It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Yes drummer Alan White.
Alan was a brilliant drummer and a very kind spirited person. One of my favorite memories of Alan is when we had the chance to interview him for the Yes Music Podcast. He was funny and very easy to talk to. This is a great loss, not only to Yes fans but to the music world as well.
Rest in Peace Alan.
Your friends – Mark Anthony K & Kevin Mulryne
15 replies on “R.I.P. Alan White”
Such devastating news!
This is indeed very sad news fellows. My thoughts go out to his friends and family, as well as all fans around the world. He was a true gentleman and superlative musician. Rest well Mr. White.
So sad – he held the yes drum seat since I was 11! It’s all I have ever known – he is part of my and many peoples music development
A great drummer and winderful man
He is a true great and I am so pleased I have seen him play the drums for Yes over the past years
He will be truest miss
The worst thing is that when I heard he had to step down for the upcoming tour and let Jay Schellen substitute for him 100%, my first thought was: “I really hope that this isn’t a new Chris Squire situation”. And it was! So sad 🙁
I apologise for my typos
It came as a shock!!
Big loss to Yesworld to the band , the fans and music in general and of course his family . Have seen him play numerous times live in UK , Canada and US and always was a great performer. Met him a couple of times , the time in Edinburgh at in a hotel organized by Brian Neeson was special , he signed my vinyl copy of Talk and said how much he loved that album and he talked about the album , he was so easy to talk to
I remember seeing his mum at shows as she would attend many of the UK ones , she was so proud of him
Hope the drum kit that was so special to him can be found so he can look down and be at peace
Such sad news
Huge loss to his family , the band , his friends and the fans
I have seen him live numerous times over the years in the UK , Canada and US and he was a pleasure to listen to
Met him a couple of times , the time in Edinburgh at a pre show event organized by Brian Neeson was special as he sat and talked about the Talk album as I had a vinyl copy with me that he kindly signed , he was so easy to talk to and was so enthusiastic about that album
I remember when his mum was alive she used to travel to shows on the Uk to see him and he never let her or anyone else down
All good things come to an end but 72 was way to early.
Chase that sound brother Alan. May you embrace the Sacred. You have touched my heart, given of your heart thru your music, and now with you goes a piece of mine. So glad I saw you again on the last go round. The 2005 Red Rocks show changed my life. At that show Jon said we want nothing more than to seek the Divine, then he said something like, “So glad he is here tonight!” A gift I will forever seek to realize…
What an immense loss. One of the many (frequently underestimated) aspects of Alan White’s contribution to Yes over 50 years has been his adaptability within a variety of incarnations and styles of music. At this moment I’m remembering him via his tuned percussion moments on the ‘Going for the One’ Album’. But I’m also compelled to revisit his quite extraordinary solo – blending seamlessly into a highly adventurous sound world – on “Sound Chaser”. And there is so much more…
What a loss to his family, the band, Yes fans, and the music world in general! Much as I love the artful and jazzy drumming of Bill Bruford, Alan White’s contributions are were always so powerful and intelligent. Such great, truly *composed* percussion work on Tales, Relayer, Going for the One, and so many other Yes albums.
I encountered Alan a handful of times, when the band were doing signings or when they’d agreed to meet fans before or after shows. He was always affable and never let you feel you were bothering him in the slightest.
When Yes played several nights at the Royal Albert Hall on the Ladder tour, they did a signing at HMV in Oxford Street on the lunchtime between evening shows. It was very well attended and I think the band were taken aback with how many people they’d have to meet. Some of them were fairly reserved, you could say, but I vividly remember that it was Billy and Alan, next to each other in the line, who were being actively friendly.
Alan, in particular, made me feel OK about being there. He asked me, unprompted, “Hey, how are you doing?” as an opener and it felt like he’d been waiting ages to see ME and not the other way round!
What a lovely man. He seemed to be the one who kept cordial relations open with all the others amid all the tensions that have at times divided them. This is entirely consistent with how he came across in person. It’s a visceral shock to know he’s gone.
What a loss! I agree with all the comments so far, but if anyone wants a really good example of how fantastic Alan was even in his late 50s, have a look at the 40 minute chronological instrumental Yes medley played by Circa (around 2008?). The songs jump around a massive amount, requiring the band – and Alan particularly – to play in a huge variety of styles within a few moments. It’s a mind-blowing performance – and a perfect reflection of Alan’s skills.
Although it’s been clear for a new years that it was unlikely that Alan would play a full live set again, it’s wonderful that he was able to play on The Quest, and his status as a talisman in the Yes camp cannot be overstated. He remained a very real link to the band’s greatest success and now only Steve is left. The band is weakened by his passing, if not musically, but spiritually.
Alan’s passing was a lot for me and my dad to take in. He was a class act and a real team player. Everyone who knew him knew what a nice guy he was. Though gone from our world, he’ll still live on in the music that’s part of all our lives.
I remember during interviews Alan would often mention about his first encounter with Chris Squire. Alan would say “Chris walked up to me and said “If you don’t join Yes I’ll throw you off the plane!” Well Chris is a lot bigger than me so I had no choice but to join the band.” Then the next interview Alan would say a similar tale but this time Chris would say “I’ll toss you out the window”. And so on. Each time Alan would offer a different dastardly deed that Chris would use to get him to join Yes. Of course it was all in good fun and gave me a chuckle each time.
Alan had great style both as a drummer and a human being. He joined Yes when I was a teenager and I quickly became a fan of that unmistakeable Ludwig Drums / Zildjan Cymbals sound.
In addition, over the years Alan did quite a bit of fundraising for various charities around his hometown and state. It was very common to see Alan’s name appear when these charitable events were announced.
Rest in Peace, Alan White.
It is indeed a sad day for everyone not just Yes fans but anyone who had the chance to meet Alan.
I was lucky enough to meet him with Tony Kaye on the Talk Tour.
I was so taken back by how grounded Alan was just a very very nice man.
I hear all the things about his drumming, well I first seen Alan in 1976 his playing was brilliant and just amazing.
The world lost a really good human being….
Prays to his family and loved ones ……