Alan White

Alan White - ©

born on 14/6/1949 in Pelton, Durham County, United Kingdom

Alan White (Yes drummer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Alan White (Yes drummer)

Alan White (born 14 June 1949) is an English rock drummer known for his work with the progressive rock band Yes. White was also a member of the Plastic Ono Band, playing live in 1969 at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival, which was recorded and released three months later as Live Peace in Toronto 1969. In all, White has appeared on over fifty albums with artists including John Lennon, George Harrison, Joe Cocker, Ginger Baker, and The Ventures.[1]


Early years

Born in Pelton, County Durham, White began learning to play the piano at age six and, after switching to drums, played publicly with a local band called the Downbeats at 13.[2] Later, he worked with a number of bands during the late 1960s, notably the Alan Price Set. In 1969, White received a call from John Lennon (he thought it was a prankster[3]), asking him to join the Plastic Ono Band for a show that became the hit album, Live Peace in Toronto. He also performed with Lennon on the Imagine album and the single, "Instant Karma". When Lennon introduced White to George Harrison, he was asked to perform on the All Things Must Pass album. In late 1969, White joined Ginger Baker's Air Force with Steve Winwood.[4]

With Yes

In 1972, White was touring with Joe Cocker when he received an invitation to join Yes, to replace Bill Bruford who had left to join King Crimson.[2] Three days after meeting with Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, White played at the first show of the group's US Close to the Edge tour. Despite the fact that White had spent time in the studio with the band and even tried playing some of the Close to the Edge material, it was still a substantial challenge for him to learn the band's live set in just three days.[5] White and the band gave each other three months to see if he fitted in, and some 40 years later, he has appeared on every Yes album since.

Alan White released his only solo album, Ramshackled, in 1976.

In addition to his drum playing, White has played piano and written music for several Yes albums.

New band projects in the 2000s

Alan White had guested with local Seattle band MerKaBa on a number of occasions and Alan White and MerKaBa also had links with another local band, Treason. In 2003, Alan White joined sessions for a new MerKaBa album, but these evolved into a new band, called White, and an album's worth of demo recordings under the name Loyal. As well as Alan, the band consisted of Kevin Currie (from MerKaBa; lead vocals), Karl Haug (from Treason); electric & acoustic guitars, lap steel), Steve Boyce (from MerKaBa; bass, guitar, backing vocals) and Ted Stockwell (from Treason and MerKaBa; keys, guitar). Stockwell left the band and, in April 2005, was replaced by Alan's former colleague in Yes, keyboardist Geoff Downes. A new album, White, was recorded, partly based on the Loyal demos. The album was released in 2006, with a cover by Roger Dean.

The band has played live (with various keyboardists) in the Seattle area. They were due to join the abortive More Drama Tour. The More Drama Tour, scheduled to begin in North America in August 2005, was to have seen three acts, The Syn, White and Steve Howe touring together, with Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White and Geoff Downes playing Yes material at the end of the evening (with Currie handling lead vocals). However, the tour was cancelled shortly before it was due to begin. Alan White later joined The Syn touring band for dates in the first half of 2006.[2]

Subsequently, Alan White has been working on projects with Billy Sherwood, notably in the initial line-up of Circa, with a third Yes alumnus, Tony Kaye.

In 2010, the band White re-emerged after a hiatus with a new line-up of Alan White, Haug and Boyce joined by two musicians from Yes tribute band Parallels, who have previously worked with Alan: vocalist Robyn Dawn and keyboardist Jonathan Sindelman.[6]


White has been married for over twenty years to Gigi.[7] They have two children, Jesse[8] (also a musician) and Cassi. He currently lives in Newcastle, Washington.


  • 15 January 2006 : "Lifetime Achievement Award" by the Guitar Center of Los Angeles.



  • Ramshackled (1975)

With The Alan Price Set

  • A Price on His Head (1967)
  • The Amazing Alan Price (EP), (1967)
  • This Price is Right, (1968)

With John Lennon and The Plastic Ono Band

  • Live Peace in Toronto, 13 September 1969
  • Imagine, (John Lennon, 1971)
  • Fly, (Yoko Ono, 1971)

With Yes

  • Yessongs (1973)
  • Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973)
  • Relayer (1974)
  • Going for the One (1977)
  • Tormato (1978)
  • Drama (1980)
  • 90125 (1983)
  • Big Generator (1987)
  • Union (1991)
  • Talk (1994)
  • Keys to Ascension (1996)
  • Keys to Ascension 2 (1997)
  • Open Your Eyes (1997)
  • The Ladder (1999)
  • Magnification (2001)
  • Fly from Here (2011)
  • Heaven and Earth (2014)

With White

  • White (2006)

With The Syn

  • Armistice Day (2006/07)

With Circa

  • Circa: 2007
  • Circa: Live (CD et DVD) (2008)

With Tony Levin and David Torn

  • Levin/Torn/White (2011)

Guest appearances/sessions

  • The Downbeats: "My Bonnie" (single)
  • The Blue Chips: "I'm on the Right Side" (single)
  • The Blue Chips: "Some Kind of Loving" (single)
  • The Blue Chips: "Good Loving Never Hurts" (single)
  • The Gamblers: "Dr Goldfoot (and His Bikini Machine)" (single)
  • Happy Magazine: "Satisfied Street" (single)
  • Happy Magazine: "Who Belongs to You" (single)
  • Johnny Almond Music Machine: Patent Pending (1969)
  • Johnny Almond: "Solar Machine" (single) (1969)
  • Doris Troy: You Tore Me Up Inside
  • Billy Preston: Encouraging Words (1969)
  • George Harrison: All Things Must Pass (1970 - others drummers Ringo Starr, Phil Collins, Jim Gordon, Ginger Baker)
  • Gary Wright: Extraction (1970); Headin' Home (1979)
  • Paul Kossoff: Back Street Crawler (1973)
  • Denny Laine and Balls: "Fight for My Country" (single) (1971)
  • Sky: Don't Hold Back (1971)
  • Brian Short: Anything for a Laugh (1971)
  • Rick Wakeman: The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1973)
  • Rick Wakeman: Rick Wakeman's Criminal Record (1977)
  • Steve Howe: Beginnings (1975)
  • Steve Howe: The Steve Howe Album (1979)
  • Donovan: "The Music Makers" (1973)
  • Eddie Harris: E.H. in the U.K. (Atlantic, 1973)
  • Johnny Harris: "All To Bring You Morning" (with Jon Anderson & Steve Howe) (1973)
  • Jimmy Page with Squire on the XYZ project (1981 - "Believe It", "Telephone Secrets", "Fortune Hunter" (demos))
  • Jesse Davis: Jesse Davis
  • Chris Squire: Chris Squire's Swiss Choir (2007; re-release of "Run with the Fox")
  • "Comfortably Numb" on Pigs & Pyramids-An All Star Lineup Performing The Songs Of Pink Floyd (2002) and Back Against The Wall (2005), with Chris Squire & Billy Sherwood, both produced by Sherwood
  • "In The Flesh" (+ Steve Porcaro), "Mother" and "Hey You" (+ John Wetton), on Back Against The Wall (2005)
  • "All My Love" on Led box The ultimate Led Zeppelin tribute (2008 - CD2.05), with Tony Kaye & Billy Sherwood, produced by Sherwood (and too "Dancin' Days" (+ Downes & Wetton), "Immigrant Song", "Heartbraker", "You Shoock Me", and "Black Dog" (here with Keith Emerson))

Further work with Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe, Billy Sherwood, Trevor Rabin, Esquire, and The Syn.


  1. Eder, Bruce. [Alan White (Yes drummer) at All Music Guide Biography: Alan White]. Allmusic. Retrieved on 11 April 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Alan White Biography. Retrieved on 2013-11-10.
  3. Alan White from Yes: What The Beatles mean to me. (2009-09-11). Retrieved on 2011-10-31.
  4. Ginger Baker History Archive 1970. Retrieved on 2013-11-10.
  5. [Welch C (2008), "Close to the Edge: The Story of Yes", Omnibus Press]
  6. White: The Band. Retrieved on 2011-10-31.
  7. Pfarr T, "Yes, Alan White is ready to rock Newcastle Days", Newcastle News. (2010-09-02). Retrieved on 2011-10-31.
  8. Vivinetto G, "A classic lineup for classic rock Series", St. Petersburg Times, 20 Oct 2002

External links

  • Alan's official site
  • White's official site
  • Alan White at MySpace
  • Facebook page
  • Alan White
  • Alan White Discography
  • 1983 audio interview with Trevor Rabin, Alan White, Chris Squire, Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman
Jon Anderson | Chris Squire | Steve Howe | Rick Wakeman | Alan White
Peter Banks | Tony Kaye| Bill Bruford | Patrick Moraz | Geoff Downes | Trevor Horn | Trevor Rabin | Billy Sherwood | Igor Khoroshev
This page was last modified 07.04.2014 12:25:08

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