Alan White (14 June 1949 – 26 May 2022) was an English drummer and songwriter, best known for his tenure in the progressive rock band Yes. He joined Yes in 1972 as a replacement for original drummer, Bill Bruford. Following the death of bassist Chris Squire in 2015, White became the longest-remaining member in the band.
Legendary drummer for Yes, Alan White, has passed away at the age of 72. According to reports he died peacefully at home. The band had recently announced he was ill and was not going to participate in the upcoming tour. In a statement on the Yes official Facebook page, the band made this statement:
«It is with deep sadness that Yes announce Alan White, their much-loved drummer and friend of 50 years, has passed away, aged 72, after a short illness. The news has shocked and stunned the entire Yes family. Alan had been looking forward to the forthcoming UK Tour, to celebrating his 50th Anniversary with Yys and their iconic Close To The Edge album, where Alan’s journey with Yes began in July 1972. He recently celebrated the 40th Anniversary of his marriage to his loving wife Gigi. Alan passed away, peacefully at home».
Alan is considered to be one of the greatest rock drummers of all time. He was born in 1949 in County Durham and joined Yes on 30th July 1972 for the Close To The Edge Tour. He had previously worked with John Lennon’s Plastic Ono band after a phone call in 1969 to play at the Toronto Rock Festival.
Alan continued working with Lennon including on the Imagine album and with George Harrison on All Things Must Pass. He also worked with several other musicians over the years, including Ginger Baker’s Air Force, Joe Cocker, Gary Wright, Doris Troy and Billy Preston to name but a few.
In 1969 White had joined John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band, after Lennon invited him to play at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival, followed by a show at the Lyceum Ballroom. He notably played drums on the singles Instant Karma! and Imagine, as well as on eight tracks on Lennon’s Imagine album.
In addition to his work with Yes and John Lennon, White performed on over 50 albums by other performers, notably George Harrison, Ginger Baker’s Air Force, Terry Reid, Joe Cocker and The Ventures.
White was born in the village of Pelton, County Durham, England.His father had different jobs, working as a clerk, shop keeper, and a lorry and bus driver who also played the piano in local pubs. His grandfather played the piano and his uncle was a drummer in local dance bands.[He attended a technical school and, at age seven, moved to the nearby town of Ferryhill, where he spent the rest of his childhood.[
At age six, White began to take piano lessons, playing the instrument very percussively, which his uncle noticed and informed his parents who bought him an Ajax drum kit for Christmas when he was twelve. White names his uncle as a big influence.White felt he was pushed to learn and play like his drum instructor and wished “to be more individual” on the instrument, so he began to develop his own style. His parents went on to buy him a metallic silver Ludwig kit.[
White was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a member of Yes, in 2017.
White was born in the village of Pelton, County Durham, England.His father had different jobs, working as a clerk, shop keeper, and a lorry and bus driver who also played the piano in local pubs. His grandfather played the piano and his uncle was a drummer in local dance bands.[He attended a technical school and, at age seven, moved to the nearby town of Ferryhill, where he spent the rest of his childhood.