Alan White, the British drummer who played in progressive rock band Yes and featured on John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, has died aged 72.
The musician, born in County Durham, England, died Thursday in the United States after a brief illness, his family said in a statement shared on his Facebook page.
“Alan White, our beloved husband, dad and grandfather, passed away at the age of 72 at his Seattle area home on May 26, 2022, after a brief illness,” the post read. .
“Throughout his life and his six-decade career, Alan has been many things to many people: a certified rock star to fans everywhere, a bandmate to a select few, and a gentleman and friend. for all who met him.”
Yes I saidno statement shared on Twitter that they were “shocked and amazed” by the news of White’s death, revealing he was looking forward to an upcoming UK tour and celebrating his 50th anniversary with the band, which he joined in 1972.
White’s bandmates said they would dedicate their UK ‘Close to the Edge’ tour in June to their “much-loved drummer”.
Following news of his death, tributes from celebrities and musicians around the world flooded social media.
Former member of Yes Rick Wakeman shared with his 85,000 Twitter followers: “I was so sad to hear of Alan’s passing yesterday. He was such a gentle soul…except behind his drums where he was so powerful and creative. I will miss you my brother.”
Artist and activist Yoko Ono, who was married to the late John Lennon and worked with White in the Plastic Ono Band, remembers him as a “wonderful drummer who was an essential part of the sound of Imagine, Instant Karma! and more recordings.
She added: “He was always sweet, kind and cheerful. We were lucky to have him as part of our family.
Singer of the Spandau Ballet Gary Kemp simply wrote, “RIP the great Alan White.”
White started playing the drums when he was 12 and was performing in public within a year, his family said in their Facebook post.
He played with several other bands before joining Yes, including the Downbeats, Gamblers and Bell & Arc.
In 1969, John Lennon invited White to join the Plastic Ono Band, which led to him being featured on several Lennon albums, including “Imagine.”
When White joined Yes in July 1972, he had just three days to learn the songs before the start of a major US tour, his family said. He contributed to hits such as “Owner of a Lonely Heart”, “Long Distance Runaround” and “Roundabout”.
His long musical career has also seen him work with stars such as George Harrison, Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton.
White was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Yes in 2017.