Where are they now? - Alan White

This page last updated: 10 Jun 2018
 
YES and projects with several Yesmen
Jon
Anderson
Chris
Squire
Steve
Howe
Alan
White
Geoff
Downes
Trevor
Horn
Tony
Kaye
Peter
Banks
Patrick
Moraz
Bill
Bruford
Rick
Wakeman
Trevor
Rabin
Billy
Sherwood
Igor Khoroshev
Oliver Wakeman

BenoÓt David
Asia
CIRCA:
Anderson & Wakeman
Others associated with the band

On this page: White - The White Sox - Solo work - Charity work

On other pages: Yes news

Alan White's official site: Homepage; News; MySpace page; Facebook page


White remains a member of Yesósee main page.

Health
Alan White has had back problems since early 2016. On 18 Jul 2016, a week before the band were due to tour the US, White announced that he would have to miss at least part of the tour while recovering from surgery for an injured disc. Jay Schellen filled in for him. White explained in a message posted online:

After enduring intense back pain which began halfway through YES' spring European tour, and working with European and American doctors, spinal specialists, exploring optional treatments, I've had no choice but to undergo surgery to repair an injured disc in my lower back. I'm pleased to announce a very positive result from this procedure, which took place in Seattle.

With some rest and physical therapy, I should be back in good form and ready to rejoin the Summer YES Tour in the near future. I'm eager to be on the road with the band but also need to ensure my recovery is complete before doing so.

Until I'm able to rejoin the tour, my good friend Jay Schellen will be performing with the band and keeping my drum stool warm. Please welcome him to our YES family; he's doing a great service by stepping in last minute so as to not disappoint everyone hoping to see YES music performed live this summer.

Please know that I'll be back as soon as physically possible and looking forward to taking my place on stage with the band.

In a follow-up post on 11 Aug, White said, "Believe me when I say that no one wants to see me back with the band and sitting behind my kit more than I do. After 44 years it's really hard to sit this one out, even if it's temporary. [...] I'm obeying all my doctor's orders so as to get back to my place [...] hopefully in the very near future." Downes said in an Aug 2016 interview: "he knew only a week before the tour when he had the operation on his back Ė and his recuperation time was longer than anticipated". White then returned to the band for Nov 2016 Japanese dates, but Schellen played the bulk of the shows on his own. Schellen remained with the band through their Feb 2017 touring, playing most of the set, but with White on slightly more tracks. In a Jan 2017 interview, White said, "I wasn't playing the full set [in Nov 2016], only part of it. But I'm getting back into it slowly so I don't do any more damage to my back. At the moment, it's a lot better than it was, and everything is getting better every day." The band continued with a dual drummer format for summer touring, with Dylan Howe (Steve's son; Steve Howe Trio, Wilko Johnson Band, ex-The Blockheads, worked with Viv Albertine, Gabrielle) as the second drummer. Each play some of the set alone, with both on further numbers: see details on the main page, under touring. White said in an Aug 2017 interview (probably conducted in Jul) that, "I had a problem with my back last year [2016] and I had some surgery and it's slowly going away, but I think by this summer it'll be fine." In another that month (also probably conducted in Jul), he said, "A lot of people know I've had a couple of back injuries. The last one was a couple of months ago".

In a third Aug 2017 interview, White said, "I had back surgery a couple of times". He explained more in another that month: "I've had two surgeries. The first one didn't really work. This time, they put metal rods in my back. The whole period since, just walking has been a problem. Now I'm walking like a normal human being ó although the doctor said, "We all know you're not normal.""

In a Nov 2017 interview, Billy Sherwood said, "Alan's health has vastly improved now, and I believe it may just be him on the next tour [in 2018]." Downes on the Yes Music Podcast the same month made similar comments: "he's been getting a lot better as time has gone by [...] Hopefully, he'll be able to do the whole [2018] show [...] It's really down to Alan". In a Nov 2017 interview of his own, White said, "I had surgery 18 months ago and it didn't really work so I had it done again and had a fusion done and I haven't had any problems since, it has kind of cleared itself up, I am pretty good now." In an interview published Jan 2018, White said:
Iíve been dealing with a back problem, but had surgery in May, and itís much better now. At one point, we had to take another drummer on the road. I was only playing half the set. I played everything except two numbers during our tour last summer. For the 50th Anniversary tour, I plan to play everything. Iím feeling much better and building my strength up again.

Touring is difficult when you get older, and traveling in general is harder these days. Every day you have to get up, go to the airport, and get to the next gig. Itís very strenuous. After youíve done about 25 shows, you start to feel a bit tired, but itís doable. When you tour, you canít take a break and come back to it. You have a full crew on the road and need to keep it rolling because it would cost a fortune to stop everything and take a break.

But in a late Dec 2017 interview, Sherwood said, "We're about to go out tour again and Jay[ Schellen]'s going to come out with us and support Alan in the same way again." It appears White had new medical problems at the end of 2017. On 2 Feb 2018, just before this year's Cruise to the Edge, White posted to Facebook:
After battling an illness for the past two months, I'm happy to say I'm once again sitting behind my kit on stage with the other members of YES for the 'Cruise to the Edge.' The wonderful doctors at Virginia Mason Hospital, Seattle, had in November detected a bacterial infection in my joints that severely limited my mobility. I'm pleased to announce that I'm making good progress in recovery and looking forward to performing in a limited capacity on the Cruise. Playing drums has been rewarding physical therapy but it will take a little time to build my strength to full capacity. My friend and comrade Jay Schellen will be helping me and we're fortunate to have Tony Kaye join us for this journey.
In a Mar 2018 interview, White referred to his back surgery, saying, "It's getting better, I had surgery on it and some fusion done, it takes a long time to get over that kind of stuff but it's a lot better than it was. I'm walking almost like a normal human being again. Actually when I sit on the drum kit I never feel anything at all, it's just kind of walking that gives me a little problem but that's going away very quickly." He said the band have no plans to retire, adding "It's just what I do. I've been doing it all my life. We do work in bundles, we do a lot then rest for a while." Best wishes to Alan for a speedy recovery!

White official website; Facebook page
Whiteówith Alan (drums, percussion, backing vocals), Karl Haug (guitars, backing vocals), Steve Boyce (ex-MerKaBa, Two Sheds Jackson; bass, guitar, backing vocals), Robyn Noto (nťe Dawn; works with the White Sox All-Star Band, Black Sabbath tribute band Supernauty, ex-Yes tribute band Parallels, worked with Ajalon; vocals) and Jonathan Sindelman (Parallels, worked with Ajalon, Neal Morse; keys, vocals)ócontinue with occasional live performances around Seattle, WA. They again played the Salmon Days festival in Issaquah, WA on 7 Oct. They were also part of LoisPalooza on 5 Oct: see below.

In Mar 2017, they played at a benefit for Music Aid Northwest, raising $97,000. Marking Alan's return to live performance after back surgery (details here), the band White performed a set at Newcastle Days 2016 in Washington state. The set included "Roundabout", "Changes", "Purple Haze" and "Imagine". The band was augmented by Chris Gorczyca (Parallels; drums), Alan Genatossio (Parallels; guitars), Randy Hansen, Steve Kelly, a horn section and further guests, while Haug was absent due to other commitments. They played Newcastle, WA on 29 Jul 2015 and the Issaquah Salmon Days Festival, headlining on 3 Oct 2015. In a Nov 2014 interview with YesFANZ, Alan said: "I have been writing material already with [...] the White Band [...] we have come along with it and I'll probably will venture out into recording something kind of heading towards Spring [2015] time or something like that. Do some more writing and get in the studio and it will be interesting." Alan White said in a late Mar 2017 interview that he and the band "[a]re looking forward to writing more music together and coming out with another album in the near future." More broadly, he said:

I have many ideas for music. A lot of the stuff I write is in collaboration with other artists including the members of YES. [...] I have things in my mind and demos Iíve recorded. I have a couple of songs that I did with Chris that weíre never released that I was thinking about reviving. Itís an excellent piece of music. Chris came up with certain chords and I wrote the melody. So, Iíve got some interesting stuff like that around. [...] in the back of my mind I have some music hanging around that I want to eventually record. Iím also getting new musical ideas all the time.

In an interview published Jun 2017, but seemingly conducted around Mar, Alan said: "I did [an album] with the White band [...] and we're talking about doing another."

In a Q&A for YesWorld in Apr 2013, Alan said "We've started writing and working on a new album but it's taking time due to my commitment to YES." In another in Jul 2013, he said, "Obviously my time commitments with YES are pretty strong right now [...] but I meet with the White band and we've been rehearsing for an upcoming show [...] We've written and recorded some new music in demo form, and hopefully we can find time to record it properly later this year [2013] or early next year [2014]." In an interview published early Nov 2011, he said:

While I had a month off [from Yes], or so, we got into writing some new stuff. Weíre working on a lot of new material right now. Itís refreshing. You feel like you are getting a bunch of music out there. Of course, Yes is everybodyís main project.

In Jun 2013, responding to a question about plans for a new studio album, the band's Facebook account said, "We do have some new music in the works. With everyone's various schedules it's been a little slow-going, but we are working on it". In a Feb 2014 interview, asked about doing a new White album, Alan said: "We've been writing some new material but I've been doing these things with Yes. I've been trying to fit it in between and record new stuff, but I have a lot to do with Yes [in 2014]". In a Mar 2014 interview by Brian Neeson of the Scottish Yes Network, White expressed similar sentiments: "With the Yes schedule it's hard to fit anything in there. We've been talking about doing another [White] album. A couple of the guys have been writing and I've got some stuff to present [...] it's getting the time to do it."

In late 2009, Boyce told one fan that he and Alan had been working on material. In a Jan 2009 interview for Notes from the Edge, Alan said, "I've been talking to Steve Boyce [...] and I've been trying to kind of like reconstruct that as a side project kind of thing, so we're still working on that right now. But I can see something coming about right now, so we'll see what happens." In a Jul 2005 interview for Notes from the Edge, Alan said, "We've got plenty of material, that's for sure. There is a lot of material that's still hanging around." In his blog, Boyce previously implied new recording in late 2006 and the band, then with a line-up of White/Boyce/Haug/Kevin Currie/Richard "Wayo" Hogan and possibly Phil Davis, recorded a piece called "To Kill the Pain" in Aug 2006, but for release under some other moniker than White.

Charity activity
Rupam Sarmah's A Musical Journey: Together in Peace was released digitally 21 Sep 2017 in partnership with the UNESCO Center for Peace, World Genesis Foundation and Human Rights Org. The lead piece on the album is the "Together in Peace Symphony" (26:37 duration; an instrumental version also concludes the album), a recording involving 600 different tracks of live instruments and vocals recorded over a 2 year period, with lyrics in English, Hindi, Russian, Arabic, Irish, Dutch, Turkish, Assamese, Sanskrit, Bengali, and other languages. (A longer, live performance of the symphony in 2013 broke a world record for the most instruments used in a piece of music.) The album was produced, composed, and directed by Sarmah, who also sings lead vocals, with Kevin Mackie as executive producer. Alan heads the list of featured musicians, which also includes Mackie, Brian Vibberts, Oscar Autie, Fiona Joy, Brian Sargent, Alex Otey, Lonnie Park, Kathy Sanborn, and others. The album made #1 in the US World Music chart. Sarmah and Mackie previously worked on the Action Moves People United album project, with White among several Yes-related guests.

On 5 Oct 2017 was LoisPalooza (in Seattle, WA) celebrating the 48th anniversary of the Plastic Ono Band's debut appearance (which was recorded as Live Peace in Toronto) and raising money for photographer Lois Levin, who has cancer. For the show, the band White (with Alan) and the Beatles tribute band Apple Jam performed and were to come together to recreate side 1 of the live album. Violinst Geoffrey Castle also appeared.

Alan and wife Gigi co-founded and are on the board of directors for Music Aid Northwest (MAN), whose mission is "to bring business and community organizations together, with the talent and resources of the Northwest music industry, to provide funds to aid people in need while enhancing and promoting music awareness and performance throughout the region." (You can donate to MAN here.) MAN organise various benefit concerts. Alan is on the advisory board of Northwest Program for the Arts.



Other projects & solo appearances
White guests on Jon Anderson's 1000 Hands: see under Anderson for details.

He plays live with the
20+ piece Seattle Rock Orchestra at the San Juan County Fair on 18 Aug 2018.
 
Alan played live with the University of Washington Husky Marching Band in Seattle, WA on 29 Oct 2017 at the University of Washington homecoming football game, as part of a tribute to the Hall of Fame inductees for the year. The band played several numbers, and were then joined by White for an abridged arrangement of "Roundabout". The Band's video of the event can be seen here.

Asked about a new solo album in a Jan 2000 interview, White said: "I've got tons of material, I just need the time to do it. [...] I've had the material hanging around for a long time". In a Nov 2001 interview, he said: "I've actually had a lot of material, collected over years and years, but I use some of it in every Yes album. However I'm collecting some other pieces and maybe my second album will come out someday." In a Dec 2003 interview with Delicious Agony, he said, "I have stockpiles of material," but that he wanted to take his time over any project to "make sure it's right." In his 2004 MSN Chat, White said, "I have a home studio and I'm working on some solo projects as well [as the White band]."

In an Apr 2016 interview, White was asked if he will "be catching up with any old friends again while" he's in Newcastle, UK for a Yes tour. He replied:

I was in touch with one of the lads who used to be in The Downbeats with me years ago. He wants to get the band together so we might get together sometime. It should great seeing them again.

In an interview for Rolling Stone published Nov 2012, Jimmy Page (ex-Led Zeppelin) said that he has multi-track recordings from the 1981 XYZ sessions with Chris Squire and Alan White and that he would like to see these released at some point: see under Squire for details.

In a Feb 2017 interview, White indicated he was doing an autobiography or biography: "A few people are wanting to do a book, but one guy in particular has some good ideas, so we'll see. I'll go back through the John Lennon days and Joe Cocker and all kinds of stuff." A Jun 2018 interview describes him as writing a memoir and quotes White: "I usually try to tell people to get the book. It will be out soon".

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YES and projects with several Yesmen
Jon
Anderson
Chris
Squire
Steve
Howe
Alan
White
Geoff
Downes
Trevor
Horn
Tony
Kaye
Peter
Banks
Patrick
Moraz
Bill
Bruford
Rick
Wakeman
Trevor
Rabin
Billy
Sherwood
Igor Khoroshev
Oliver Wakeman

BenoÓt David
Asia
CIRCA:
Anderson & Wakeman
Others associated with the band

Any news, additions or corrections, please e-mail Henry Potts. Thanks.