Original Journey Guitarist George Tickner Gone at 76

He was instrumental in helping shape the band’s early sound

Journey Journey, Columbia Records 1975

George Tickner, who played rhythm guitar in the original incarnation of Journey, has passed away at 76, according to a post by former bandmate Neal Schon. 

“Rest peacefully, Dr. George Tickner,” Schon wrote on Facebook. “You will be missed immensely.”

“RIP George,” Schon added in a Twitter post. “You now fly with the angels.” 

Born on Sept. 8, 1946, in Syracuse, New York, Tickner played a key role in Journey’s first album upon Schon and Gregg Rolie’s exodus from Santana following 1972’s Caravanserai. His sonic contributions to the band’s 1975 eponymous debut were instrumental in shaping their initial identity with a forward-thinking blend of jazz fusion and progressive rock. Meanwhile, his work as a songwriter for the band saw him appear on 1976’s Look Into The Future (co-writing “You’re On Your Own” with Schon and “I’m Gonna Leave You” with Rolie and Schon) and 1977’s Next (the instrumental “Nickel and Dime” with Schon and Valory). 

Journey (Image: Columbia Records)

Tickner left the band to pursue his Ph.D. in medicine at Stanford University Medical School on a full scholarship. However, he continued to make music while working as a doctor, co-owning The Hive recording studio with original Journey bassist Ross Valory, with whom he also played in a band called VTR alongside onetime Journey session keyboardist Stevie ‘Keys’ Roseman. The group would release one LP, Cinema, in 2005, which featured guest appearances from Schon, original Journey drummer (and future Tubes member) Prairie Prince and Steve Smith. 

No cause of death was revealed at press time. 



Ron Hart

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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

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