Classic Hits & Oldies

Yes drummer Alan White dead at 72

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Will Ireland/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Alan White, the drummer for, and longest continuously serving member of, Yes, has died at age 72.

The band announced the news on its official Twitter page as did White’s official website and Facebook page. The site announced, “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.

The message continues, “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.”

A drummer since age 12, White performed with many artists throughout the ’60s, including the jazz-rock fusion supergroup Ginger Baker’s Air Force, which also featured Steve Winwood and Denny Laine. In 1969, John Lennon invited him to join the Plastic Ono Band, and he played on the 1969 album Live Peace in Toronto as well on John’s 1970 single “Instant Karma,” his landmark 1971 album Imagine and 1972’s Some Time in New York City

White also contributed to to George Harrison‘s All Things Must Pass album, including the chart-topping single “My Sweet Lord.”

White joined Yes on July 27, 1972, replacing founding drummer Bill Bruford, and learned the band’s repertoire in just three days before they kicked off a tour in Texas. The well-known albums he played on include Yessongs, Tales from Topographic Oceans, Going for the One, Relayer, Drama, 90125 and Big Generator.

White was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with Yes in 2017. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Gigi, two children and two grandchildren.

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