Alan White temporarily leaves NJ-bound Yes tour due to back surgery


On July 25, the classic-rock band Yes will launch a U.S. tour that will feature its 1980 album Drama played in its entirety, plus sides one and four of its 1973 double album, Tales From Topographic Oceans.

What the tour won’t feature, on at least some dates, is drummer Alan White, who has been forced to bow out temporarily as he recovers from back surgery. Jay Schellen — who has played with Asia, Hurricane and Circa — will keep the beat until White is able to return.

The band’s current lineup also includes guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardist Geoff Downes, singer Jon Davison and bassist Billy Sherwood.

The band is scheduled to perform at the Tropicana Showroom in Atlantic City on July 30; BergenPAC in Englewood on Aug. 10; and the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, Aug. 13.

White posted a message on Yes’ website,, yesterday, saying:

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 was not Yes’ original drummer but has been with them virtually nonstop since 1972, and played on both Tales From Topographic Oceans and Drama.

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