Music Loses Two Greats: Alan White of Yes; Andrew Fletcher of Depeche Mode Pass

Progressive rock fans are mourning the death of two stars this week as both Alan White, drummer for the band Yes, and Andy Fletcher, keyboardist for Depeche Mode have passed.

White, one of the longest-running members of Yes, died at home at age 72. The band said they were “shocked and stunned.”

White’s family confirmed he died at his “Seattle-area home after a brief illness” in a social media post Thursday.

“Throughout his life and six-decade career, Alan was many things to many people: 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 post read.

In 1969, White received the call of a lifetime.

“He received what he thought at the time to be a prank phone call, but it was John Lennon calling to ask Alan to join the Plastic Ono Band,” the post read. “The next day Alan found himself learning songs in the back of an airliner headed to Toronto with Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, and Klaus Voormann. The ensuing album, Live Peace in Toronto, sold millions of copies, peaking at number 10 on the charts. Alan’s association with Lennon continued, recording singles like ‘Instant Karma’ and the subsequent album, Imagine.”

White played with Yes bassist Chris Squire and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page in a group called XYZ, whose work has been bootlegged but never formally released.

Yes single ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’ reached No 1 in the U.S. in 1983.

Fletcher was a founding member and keyboardist of Depeche Mode. He was 60. His cause of death is unknown.

“We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member, and bandmate Andy ‘Fletch’ Fletcher,” a statement posted to Depeche Mode’s social media pages on Thursday read.

Depeche Mode was formed in 1980 in Basildon, Essex, England by original members Fletcher, vocalist Dave Gahan, and multi-instrumentalists Vince Clarke and Martin Gore,

Depeche Mode has released 14 studio albums and earned 14 Top Ten singles in the United Kingdom including “See You,” “People Are People,” “Enjoy the Silence,” and “Barrel of a Gun.”

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