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Yes Drummer Alan White Takes Hiatus for Back Surgery

Dave Kotinsky, Getty Images
Dave Kotinsky, Getty Images

Yes drummer Alan White will take a break from the road after undergoing surgery on an injured disc in his lower back, leaving the band to soldier on with ex-Hurricane drummer Jay Schellen while White recuperates.

White broke the news to fans on Yes’ website, explaining he’d endured “intense back pain” during their spring tour of Europe and sought medical advice from a number of specialists. After reaching the conclusion that surgery was his only option, he added that he’s “pleased to announce a very positive result” from the procedure.

“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,” wrote White. “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.”

Schellen’s name will be familiar to many Yes fans through his stints in a number of band-affiliated projects. Aside from performing with original Yes guitarist Peter Banks, he was a member of Conspiracy alongside bassist Chis Squire, and was also in Circa with Yes vets Billy Sherwood and Tony Kaye, as well as serving a tour of duty in Asia with current Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes.

Yes’ upcoming tour commitments will find the group performing what they’ve dubbed “The Album Series” — a set list that will incorporate sides one and four of Tales From Topographic Oceans as well as the entire Drama LP and “a selection of their greatest hits.” Visit the group’s website for a complete list of shows and ticketing information.

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