Yes drummer Alan White has announced that he has left the band’s current tour to undergo back surgery.
In a message on the band’s official website, White states that he began having pain about halfway through Yes’ spring tour of Europe and, although he worked with a number of doctors, none were able to end his suffering.
Recently, he underwent back surgery which he says was successful but he will need time to recover.
In the meantime, Jay Schellen, former drummer for Hurricane, has taken over for dates in the foreseeable future.
White’s complete statement:
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.
Thanks for all your well wishes and support.
White played with the Alan Price Set, John Lennon (Live Peace in Toronto 1969), George Harrison (All Things Must Pass), Ginger Baker’s Air Force and Joe Cocker prior to joining Yes in 1972. Like Schellen today, White only had a short time (three days) to learn Yes’ complex arrangements before playing his first show on their Close to the Edge tour. He has been with the band ever since, the current member with the longest tenure (Steve Howe has been a member longer but took a number of years off during the 80’s and 90’s).
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