The interview was conducted by staff writer Peter S Sakas. Alan White was a pleasure to interview as he was pleasant, engaging, interesting, and forthcoming during the entire interview process.
We sincerely thank him for his willingness to take part in the interview.
RC: You have always been one of my rock idols. I am a 60 year old prog rocker from the good old days.
AW: There you go.
RC: Actually my real profession is that of a veterinarian, believe it or not.
AW: You are? I’ve got three Jack Russells (terriers).
RC: You must like to keep busy. Those dogs are hyperkinetic. They are great dogs, I love them.
AW: They run the household. They are too smart for their own britches.
RC: I write for Rock Chicago online magazine as a side job. I will be at the concert Saturday with my wife and also be attending the “Meet and Greet” event, so we will get to meet you in person. I am very excited about that.
AW: Yeah, that’s cool.
RC: I have a series of questions for you. Hopefully they are not like the ones you usually hear and will find them interesting. The first question is that I know you started playing the drums at an early age and played with a number of local bands. So could you tell me how it came about that John Lennon called you asking you to join the Plastic Ono Band?
AW: Yeah, that’s going back a long ways. I was with my band and we were trying to play new music, we were a bunch of adventurous young guys. It was pretty much out of the blue. We were doing gigs around London, we lived in Wembly, London. We had a gig to do that night. We played a gig the night before, and I guess he came into the club with Yoko and I didn’t even know he was there. Everything seemed to go pretty well and he obviously saw me playing, then he kind of left. Somebody later told me that John Lennon had popped through. I must have left some kind of impression upon him because I got a call the next day saying, “Can you do a gig with me, I have a gig lined up. I saw you play last night and you are a great drummer. I’d like you to play with me if you want.” I was only twenty years old at the time, young and naïve, gunner musician. He said he was John Lennon and I put the phone down on him. He called back in ten minutes, I had thought it was a friend of mine. He said, “No man, this is John Lennon,” and I nearly fell off my chair. Saying, “Oh, oh my God”. He said, “I got this gig and I will send a car for you in the morning and pick you up.” I said, “Sure, no problem.” The only problem was my band had a gig that night and needed the money. They got annoyed with me because I was going to do a show with John Lennon and not them.
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