Alan White: news about his music & legacy

This page last updated: 18 Oct 2022
 
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On other pages: Yes news

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

Alan White passed away on 26 May 2022 after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife Gigi and two children, Jesse and Cassi, who announced the news. He was a member of Yes until his death.

There was a fundraiser celebration of White's life on 2 Oct 2022 in Seattle, WA, with proceeds going to WhyHunger. A live stream of the event is available on Facebook. It was hosted by Bob Rivers. Performing were Geoff Downes, Billy Sherwood, Jon Davison and Jay Schellen from the current Yes, and (separately) former Yes member Trevor Rabin. Also performing were White and guests including Ryan Rabin (Trevor's son; Captain Cuts), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater, worked with Tony Levin, The Sea Within), Michael Shrieve (ex-Santana), Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam, ex-Soundgarden), Spike Edney (works with Queen), Roger Fisher (ex-Heart), Michael Derosier (ex-Heart, Heart by Heart), Steve Fossen (ex-Heart, Heart by Heart), Jeff Scott Soto (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Sons of Apollo, ex-Journey), Fernando Perdomo (The New Empire, worked with Dave Kerzner), Dave Kerzner (Arc of Life, worked with Jon Anderson, Genesis, Steven Wilson), Bernt Bodal (White Sox All-Star Band), Mark Hudson (worked with Ringo Starr, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi), Reek Havok (worked with Alan White), Geoffrey Castle (worked with Alan White), "Downtown" Joe Bryant (additional co-hosting) and Caspian Coberly. The drummers were playing on two of White's Yes kits. The set was:

Arc of Life had also rehearsed an extended medley including sections from Tales from Topographic Oceans, Relayer, Going for the One and Big Generator, which had to be dropped because of time constraints. Rudess also uploaded a video of an arrangement of "To be Over" in tribute.

The tributes by Bruford, Anderson, R and O Wakeman, Howe and Dean are available here.

White's family said on Facebook:

To all commenting on the lack of alumni participation for the tribute concert for Alan, we ask that you not speculate about why certain individuals will not be present.
All past and present members of YES are our family and we do not want any negativity directed towards anyone.  That is not what this concert is about, and Alan would not want that either.
We put forward the message that if itís in your heart to participate, all are welcome, and all were invited.
We have received video tributes from so many of Alanís peers and will be sharing these at some stage.
We hope you will enjoy the music being shared, show your love for Alan, and support the charity effort behind this event.

The band White (with the addition of a brass section) also played the day before, 1 Oct, at the Salmon Days festival, with various guests, including Castle (on Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)") and, playing White's drum kit, Schellen and Joe Cass (Total Mass Retain; on "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" and "I am Waiting"). The set also included "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Changes" and The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows", and had been expected to include music by John Lennon and George Harrison.

Another tribute to Alan was on 10 Sep 2022 during the Newcastle Days festival, performed by the Beatles tribute band Apple Jam, with whom he had played.

White had had health problems limiting his ability to play live. On tour with Yes in recent years, White had only played a minority of the set, with Jay Schellen playing most of the time. White first had problems with his back in early 2016, with Schellen first filling in for him in Jul 2016. 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." In a Feb 2019 interview from the Cruise to the Edge, White talked of a two year recovery period from surgery (an L3 to L5 lumbar fusion) and that it will be two years for him in Jul 2019, but also that he will be 70 in 2019. In a Feb 2021 interview, asked about his back problems, White said that it "never ever goes away", but that it "doesn't really affect me", although he also said he gets "a bit stiff sometimes". However, he appears to still have had health problems.

News articles around 11-15 Apr 2022 (on White's drum kit having been stolen) described him as recovering from a recent hospital stay.

White official website; Facebook page
White was Alan (drums, percussion, backing vocals), Karl Haug (guitars, backing vocals), Steve Boyce (ex-MerKaBa, Two Sheds Jackson; bass, guitar, backing vocals), Robyn Dawn (worked with the White Sox All-Star Band, Black Sabbath tribute band Supernauty, ex-Yes tribute band Parallels, worked with Ajalon; vocals) and Jonathan Sindelman (The Bird Brain, ex-Parallels, worked with Ajalon, Neal Morse; keys, vocals). The remaining members of White performed at 1 and 2 Oct 2022 shows in tribute to Alan: see above. They had been continuing with occasional live performances around Seattle, WA before the pandemic. In a Feb 2019 interview from the Cruise to the Edge, Alan said he was looking to record with the band in his time off from Yes in 2019. He said, "we're piecing together an album right now [...] It's coming to the stage where everybody's got the pieces that will fit. We've just got to fit it together and rehearse it well. And then go in there and slam it down." They played Newcastle Days, WA in Sep 2019, with White, Boyce et al. (I haven't been able to confirm the rest of the band); set: "Tomorrow Never Knows", unidentified, "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "I am Waiting", unidentified, "Changes", "Hold On", "Instant Karma", "Roundabout", "Imagine", "Gimme Some Lovin'".

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: "we're talking about doing another [album]."

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.

Ted Stockwell (Treason), the original keyboardist in White, and Kevin Currie, the original vocalist, have put together three archival releases, Origins, Loyal and Whitesongs, and are considering how best to release them. They discuss the releases and the band on YouTube. No release date has been determined at present. Loyal is the original version of the album White with Currie (lead vocals), Stockwell (keys, guitar), Haug (guitar), Boyce (bass, bass pedals, acoustic guitar, backing vocals) and White (drums, percussion). Completed in mid-2004, this was going to be released at the time under the name New Day (tracks: "Fate", "The Way You See Me", "DreamAway", "New Day", "Shine", "Up", "Loyal", "Rite of Rain", "Mighty Love", "Burn All the Maps", "Waterhole (I'll Come Around)"). The new track listing is: "Fate" (4:52), "DreamAway" (6:16), "The Way You See Me" (4:57; not included on White, written by Stockwell/Currie), "New Day" (4:46), "Shine" (4:52; not included on White, written by Stockwell/Hogan), "Up" (6:16; I would guess this is "Give Up Giving Up"), "Loyal" (4:57), "Rite of Rain" (4:46; not included on White, written by Stockwell/Currie), "Mighty Love" (4:52), "Maps" (6:16; not included on White, co-written by Hogan/Cooper Edens), "I'll Come Around" (4:57; i.e., "Waterhole"). Whitesongs is a live album, presumably recorded around 2004, with Currie (lead vocals, percussion), Stockwell (keys, bass pedals), Haug (guitars, backing vocals), Boyce (bass, bass pedals, backing vocals) and White (drums, percussion, backing vocals); tracks: "Fate" (6:17), "Way You See Me" (6:26), "Changes" (6:41), "Loyal" (5:50), "DreamAway" (4:43), "Tempus Fugit" (5:28), "Mighty Love" (8:48), "Machine Messiah" (12:01), "New Day" (5:55). Origins covers the beginnings of White. These are sessions by the band when they were still MerKaBa and when Stockwell first joined them; tracks: "Love will Always Return" (written by Edens/Hogan), "Dangerous Highway" (4:42; written by Edens/Hogan), "Respect for Love" (4:57; written by Edens/Hogan), "Black Rose" (6:15; written by Hogan), "Love will Always Return [instrument only version]" (3:53; written by Edens/Hogan), "Dangerous Highway [instrument only version]", "Respect for Love [instrument only version]" (4:58), "Black Rose [instrument only version]" (6:16). The line-up on Origins is Currie (vocals), Stockwell (keys, guitar), Boyce (bass, bass pedals, acoustic guitar, backing vocals) and White (drums, percussion). Currie, Boyce and White began the sessions, with Stockwell then adding to the material.



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Other projects & appearances
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 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 described him as writing a memoir and quotes White: "I usually try to tell people to get the book. It will be out soon". In a Jan 2020 interview with Yes Music Podcast, asked about writing an autobiography, White said "I eventually will", but did not give the impression that he had yet begun.





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YES and projects with several Yesmen
Jon
Anderson
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Squire
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Howe
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White
Geoff
Downes
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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.