Passings: Andy White, Drummer on the Beatles' "Love Me Do" (1930 - 2015)

Andy White, a Scottish drummer who famously sat in with the Beatles in place of Ringo Starr on the recordings of Love Me Do and P.S. I Love You, has died in New Jersey after suffering a stroke at the age of 85.

White was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1930 and took up the drums at the age of 12. Five years later, he started to do session drumming and, in 1958, he moved to the U.S. northeast where he formed a band that would back such touring musicians as Chuck Berry and the Platters.

By 1960, he was back in England where he played on what is considered to be Britain's first rock record, The Sound of Fury by Billy Fury but it was a call from George Martin's assistant in September 1962 that gave him his most famous credit. Martin was unhappy with the drumming of both Pete Best and Ringo Starr on two separate recordings of the Beatle's song Love Me Do and he wanted a session drummer brought in to lay down the track. The Beatles recorded the third an final version of the song on September 4, 1962 with White on drums and Ringo on tambourine. They also recorded the b-side of that first single, P.S. I Love You, on the same day with Ringo on maracas.

While the version with Starr drumming was released originally in Britain, the White version was used for all subsequent releases both as singles and on albums. Andy was paid for the session but was not due any royalties for the recording.

White also claimed to have played at the September 11, 1962 session for Please Please Me but is not generally given credit.

Andy went on to play on numerous other hit records out of Britain including Tom Jones' It's Not Unusual and Lulu's Shout along with tracks by Herman's Hermits, Rod Stewart, Anthony Newley and others.

White moved to the U.S. in the late 80's where he taught drumming, specifically for Scottish bagpipe bands. He also was hired to teach Steven Van Zandt drums for his role on  The Sopranos.

In 2008, White was introduced to the band the Smithereens and became involved in their projects to rerecord some of the Beatles early classics. Andy played on their version of P.S. I Love You and, later, appeared with the band in concert.

1 comment

56dinosaur said...

At the session for The Beatles "Love Me Do"(version 2)" and "P.S. I Love You", Andy White DID play on a version of "Please Please Me", but not the hit version. The version with Andy White, which survives only as an acetate, appears on "The Beatles Anthology Vol.1"

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