Pentti ‘Whitey’ Glan, Drummer for Lou Reed and Alice Cooper, Dies
Pentti "Whitey" Glan, a session drummer who played on Alice Cooper's Welcome to My Nightmare and Lou Reed's Rock 'n' Roll Animal, has died. He was 71.
The news was reported by Simcoe.com, who say that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer last month. Kenny Webber, the administrator of his Facebook page wrote that cancer was discovered as he was being treated for pneumonia back in August, although it was believed to be "one of the more treatable types."
Born in Finland on July 8, 1946, Glan moved to Toronto and, by 1965, was in a band called the Rogues, who changed their name to Mandala and had a 1968 Top 10 hit in their native country with "Loveitis." He later spent time with a group called Bush, which opened up for Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night in the early '70s, which worked out nicely for Glan. One of Bush's songs, "I Can Hear You Calling," which Glan co-wrote, was the b-side to Three Dog Night's "Joy to the World." Steppenwolf frontman John Kay then used his talents on a pair of solo albums. 1972's Forgotten Songs and Unsung Heroes and My Sportin' Life a year later.
Then, Lou Reed hired him and Bush's bassist, Prakash John, to play at a concert at Howard Stein's Academy of Music in New York in late 1973. Highlights from that show were released as Rock 'n' Roll Animal. After it became a hit, a second record from that night, Lou Reed Live, came out in 1975. In between, he played on much of Reed's Sally Can't Dance.
Reed's band for that show, which consisted of Glan, John, Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter (guitars), then went on to work for Cooper, who was looking for new musicians after the dissolution of the original Alice Cooper band. That first solo record was Welcome to My Nightmare, which reached No. 5 on the Billboard Albums chart. Although he didn't work with Cooper in the studio again, he was often part of his touring band in the '70s, and was featured on The Alice Cooper Show, a live album from 1977.
He also played the drummer in The Rose, the 1979 Bette Midler movie that was loosely based on the life of Janis Joplin.