The music legends of yesteryear left an indelible mark on their craft through their work. While their music lives on forever, the people who made them sadly pass away.
Alan White, best known as the drummer for Yes and collaborations with icons John Lennon and George Harrison, passed away Thursday following a brief illness, USA Today reported. He was 72 years old.
White had announced earlier in the week that he would be pulling out of the Close to the End 50th-anniversary tour due to failing health. His family did not specify the illness but only confirmed that he passed away at his home in Newcastle, Washington home.
“Throughout his life and six-decade career, Alan was many things to many people,” said a social media post from his family announcing his passing. “A certified rock star to fans around the world; band mate to a select few, and gentleman and friend to all who met him.”
The legendary drummer had joined progressive rock act Yes in 1972, replacing Bill Bruford. Though the band was known to frequently change personnel, White was named as one of the members when the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.
However, it was White’s collaborations with the former Beetles members that cemented his legacy for greatness. According to Rolling Stone, White’s rise to stardom began with a call from Lennon in 1969 inviting him to play with his band in Toronto while White was still a gig musician.
From there, he performed alongside famed guitarist Eric Clapton and played drums on Lennon’s “Imagine” and “Instant Karma.” White also drummed for Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” album.
It’s difficult to overstate the influence that a performer like White has had on rock music history. Though he has passed away, he lives on forever in the body of work left behind and the musicians who have been influenced by him.