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RIP Alan White


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Posted (edited)

Passed away today. RIP :( 

 

 

Alan White, our beloved husband, dad, and grandpa, passed away at the age of 72 at his Seattle-area home on May 26, 2022, after a brief illness.

 

Throughout his life and six-decade career, Alan was many things to many people: a certified rock star to fans around the world; band mate to a select few, and gentleman and friend to all who met him.

Alan was born in Pelton, County Durham, England on June 14, 1949. He began piano lessons at the age of six, began playing the drums at age twelve, and has been performing publicly since the age of thirteen.

Throughout the 1960s, Alan honed his craft with a variety of bands, including The Downbeats, The Gamblers, Billy Fury, Alan Price Big Band, Bell and Arc, Terry Reid, Happy Magazine (later called Griffin), and Balls with Trevor Burton (The Move) and Denny Laine (Wings).

 

In 1968, Alan joined Ginger Baker’s Airforce, a new group that was put together by the former drummer of Cream and other noted musicians from England’s music scene including Steve Winwood, formerly of Traffic.

In 1969, Alan received what he thought at the time to be a prank phone call, but it was John Lennon calling to ask Alan to join the Plastic Ono Band. The next day Alan found himself learning songs in the back of an airliner headed to Toronto with Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, and Klaus Voormann. The ensuing album, Live Peace in Toronto, sold millions of copies, peaking at number 10 on the charts.

 

Alan’s association with Lennon continued, recording singles like ‘Instant Karma’ and the subsequent landmark album, Imagine, with Alan providing drums for the title song, ‘Jealous Guy’, and ‘How Do You Sleep at Night’. Alan’s work with Lennon led to an introduction to George Harrison, who asked Alan to perform on the album All Things Must Pass, including the single, ‘My Sweet Lord’, released in 1970. Alan subsequently worked with many artists for the Apple label, including Billy Preston, Rosetta Hightower, and Doris Troy.

 

Alan joined YES on July 27, 1972, and with only three days to learn the music, YES opened their US tour before 15,000 fans in Dallas, Texas on July 30, 1972. Alan has been with YES ever since, and with the passing of founding member, Chris Squire, in June 2015, Alan is the longest continuously serving band member.

 

Alan is preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and May White (née Thrower), his sister-in-law, Mindi Hall, and many loyal furry companions. He is survived by his wife of forty years (May 15, 1982) Rogena “Gigi” (née Walberg), his children, Jesse (Emily), their two children JJ and Ellie, and Cassi (Kela), and sister-in-law Andrea Holmqvist (Robert).

 

Gigi, Jesse, and Cassi

Seattle, WA

Edited by Rushman14
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oh man, sad to hear this.  Classic Yes is one of my all time favorites; I've seen Alan a few different time.   I always liked him - he had tough job to fill Bruford's shoes. Certainly not as technical as Bill, but he did a great job and really took over the drum throne to create some drumming masterpieces with the band (such as "Awaken").  He was also solid as a rock for the 80's version of Yes. 

 

RIP Alan.  :-(  

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7 minutes ago, cygnify said:

oh man, sad to hear this.  Classic Yes is one of my all time favorites; I've seen Alan a few different time.   I always liked him - he had tough job to fill Bruford's shoes. Certainly not as technical as Bill, but he did a great job and really took over the drum throne to create some drumming masterpieces with the band (such as "Awaken").  He was also solid as a rock for the 80's version of Yes. 

 

RIP Alan.  :-(  

 

His work on Relayer is brilliant.

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18 minutes ago, Rushman14 said:

 

His work on Relayer is brilliant.

 Absolutely!  Not to mention some great work on Tales from Topographic also.  No doubt a great player and ended up fitting well with post-Bruford Yes.

 

Also, have to recognize him for his great work with John Lennon.

 

I had the opportunity to meet him once;  really nice guy to boot.

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Oh crap, this is a shocker.  Only saw Alan with Yes once, during the tour in support of TfTO.

RIP, sleep well Alan.

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Rest In Peace. Comparisons to Yes’ other drummer will likely always remain, but White stayed onboard through every subsequent iteration of Yes for a good reason: he was that good. Plain and simple. 

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RIP Alan. A tremendous servant to Yes ...... and in fact to the world of music in general. One of the greats.

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Posted (edited)

Very very sad news.

 

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Edited by custom55
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Posted (edited)

I'm sorry, to hear, see, and read this.  He was a gifted, talented musician, and an awesome, and amazing drummer.  He will be missed, and remembered to the world, and the music industry similar to Neil Peart's passing away was.  It's sad that he has passed.  My condolences, and sympathies, to his family, and friends.  R.I.P., Alan.

Edited by Derek19
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1 hour ago, Entre_Perpetuo said:

Rest In Peace. Comparisons to Yes’ other drummer will likely always remain, but White stayed onboard through every subsequent iteration of Yes for a good reason: he was that good. Plain and simple. 

 

This is the truth.

 

I am sorry to hear this. Off to listen to Yes today.

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Before YES, Alan work with some very prominent musicians

 

 

 

With John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band

  • Live Peace in Toronto 1969 (1969) (drums)
  • Instant Karma! (1970) (drums, piano, backing vocals)
  • Imagine (1971) (drums on "Imagine," "Gimme Some Truth", "Oh My Love", "How Do You Sleep?", "How?" and "Oh Yoko!"; Tibetan cymbals on "Oh My Love"; vibraphone on "Jealous Guy")
  • Some Time in New York City (1972) (drums on side three "Live Jam" at the Lyceum Ballroom in London on 15 December 1969 at a UNICEF charity concert)

With George Harrison

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Oh wow, this is very sad to hear. Alan was one of my favorite drummers, and was, I believe, very underrated for what he did in Yes. 

 

RIP Alan. 

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19 hours ago, custom55 said:

Before YES, Alan work with some very prominent musicians

 

 

 

With John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band

  • Live Peace in Toronto 1969 (1969) (drums)
  • Instant Karma! (1970) (drums, piano, backing vocals)
  • Imagine (1971) (drums on "Imagine," "Gimme Some Truth", "Oh My Love", "How Do You Sleep?", "How?" and "Oh Yoko!"; Tibetan cymbals on "Oh My Love"; vibraphone on "Jealous Guy")
  • Some Time in New York City (1972) (drums on side three "Live Jam" at the Lyceum Ballroom in London on 15 December 1969 at a UNICEF charity concert)

With George Harrison

May he RIP.

 

I saw the 90125 tour as well as show in the early 2000's.

 

Had no idea about his playing with others like Lennon. And Billy preston!

 

So last night, I was thinking about Lennon and the Lennon references in the yes songs your move and all good people. I was like, now it makes sense. I had always wondered about that. 

 

Then i remembered it was bruford on that record. D'oh!

 

Great player who will be missed.

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Posted (edited)

Terrible news. Yes is probably my all time favorite band (Rush is a close second) so this hit hard. I actually even met him once (when he toured with Circa with Billy Sherwood and Tony Kaye) and he was very friendly and down to earth and even asked my name and shook my hand. RIP Alan. 

Edited by New_World_Man
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On 5/26/2022 at 6:22 PM, custom55 said:

 

 

 

Ringo chimed in while Lennon, Yoko, and Klein were brainstorming the lyrics and said, “that’s enough, John.”

 

POB, Imagine and ATMP.  That’s a career in and of itself.  RIP.

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Posted (edited)

I'm really surprised so few people posted on here which means not many people on here know who he was (I'm not sure it would make much difference if Alan White of Yes was posted in the headline). Anyway, I hope more people who see this can figure out that he was the drummer for Yes. Anyway, a lot of people feel Bruford was the best drummer for Yes and I agree he was the better drummer but I think Alan fit in better with the band. Anyway, one final RIP.

Edited by New_World_Man
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Adam Holtzman, acclaimed keyboardist that played with Miles Davis and Steven Wilson's band had a nice statement about Alan:

 

"

Quote

 

And another sad loss: legendary Yes drummer Alan White.

Interesting note: over the years I have worked with students on classic Yes and King Crimson material. The young drummers all try to copy what Bruford played on "Fragile," but it never quite works. (I am a huge fan of BB, but it's a unique headspace.) Then I play them some "Yessongs" and they get it: Alan's more 'rock' approach makes the music really come alive, especially on stage. R.I.P.

 

 

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