CLEVELAND, Ohio – Alan White is not one to rush into anything. He had a tryout to play drums for this band called Yes in 1972 and is still hedging his bets. "Let's give it three months and see if I like it,'' White said, laughing, in a call from his Seattle home to talk about the band's show on Wednesday, July 23, at the Hard Rock Rocksino.
In a way, it's sort of fitting that White is prone to jokes. After all, he may have survived the biggest one. When drummer Bill Bruford left, right before the "Close to the Edge'' tour in 1972, the band was scrambling to find someone to sit on the throne. The story goes that White had only one full rehearsal to learn the album.
"Not true,'' White said. "I had three days to learn the ENTIRE repertoire of the band,'' he said. "It was basically a lot of hard work – reading the music, listening. I don't think I had one full rehearsal with the band until I went onstage with them. "It scares me to think about it now,'' he said, chuckling.
But really, the British-born White was prepared for the intricacies of progressive rock, even if he didn't know it at the time. "It was kind of a little bit natural for me,'' White said. "Prior to being in Yes, I had my own band in England, and we were going in prog-style music anyway. But we were a little more jazzy-oriented. We had a horn section.''
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