Y&T Founding Guitarist Joey Alves Dead at 63

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Y&T’s 1976 debut album

The original rhythm guitarist of the hard rock/metal band Y&T, Joey Alves, died Sunday (March 12) due to ulcerative colitis and other complications. He was 63. Alves’ death leaves Dave Meniketti as the only surviving member of the original lineup that recorded the band’s debut album, Yesterday and Today (the band’s original name), in 1976.

Two other founding members of Y&T—drummer Leonard Haze and bassist Phil Kennemore—preceded Alves in death: Kennemore passed on January 7, 2011, and Haze on September 11, 2016, both from complications of lung cancer.

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Meniketti posted on Facebook: “It’s with great sadness that I write this today. Y&T’s original rhythm guitarist, Joey Alves, passed away at 7:10 this morning. He suffered from ulcerative colitis and other complications that led to his passing. Joey was one of the finest rock rhythm guitarists, and I’ll always remember playing next to him chunking out those monster chords with his classic red double cutaway ’59 Les Paul Jr. As Ronnie Montrose once said about Joey, ‘There are rhythm players, then there’s Joey. A class of his own.’ He was a fun guy who always played with attitude and conviction, and was responsible for writing some memorable riffs for Y&T over the years. His friendship and presence will be missed. This is a great loss for all the Y&T family and faithful. He now joins Phil and Leonard in rock and roll heaven.”

The current lineup of Y&T is working on a documentary, On With the Show, scheduled for release later this year. It is expected to cover the band from its earliest days and will include live footage.

Joey Alves excerpt from upcoming Y&T Documentary “On With The …

I saw this clip of Joey 2 days ago when I was reviewing part of the documentary. Seeing Joey on the screen while knowing he was not long for this earth was a shock to me at first, but hearing what he said in this clip really touched me. What he said is so right and I wanted to share this with deep respect for my friend. Thank you Mark and Geoff for putting this together for me.


Posted by Dave Meniketti on Sunday, March 12, 2017

Y&T’s current lineup consists of Meniketti, guitarist John Nymann, drummer Mike Vanderhule and bassist Aaron Leigh. They released Live at the Mystic in 2012 and Facemelter, their first studio album in 13 years, in 2010. Y&T formed in Oakland, California, in 1974.

Listen to “25 Hours a Day” from Y&T’s 1976 debut album

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