Passings: Joey Alves, Guitarist for Y&T

by VVN Music

Joey Alves, the guitarist who played for Y&T from 1974 to 1989, died on Sunday from ulcerative colitis at the age of 63.

Dave Menaiketti, who started the band with Leonard Haze, Bob Gardner and Wayne Stitzer, wrote:

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 at the age of 63. 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 original Y&T (Yesterday & Today) formed in 1972 and played only covers until 1974 when Alves joined in place of Bob Gardner.

The group began writing its own material and released two albums under the Yesterday and Today name, their self titled debut (1976) and Struck Down (1978) before signing with A&M Records and shortening their name to Y&T. Under the new contract, they released three albums, Earthshaker (1981), Black Tiger (1982) and Mean Streak (1983) before their 1984 set, In Rock We Trust, finally thrust them onto the charts, peaking at 46 on the Billboard 200. Included on the album was the single Don't Stop Runnin' which was used in a Dr. Pepper ad campaign.

Their next album, Down For the Count (1986), included the hit Summertime Girls which went to 17 on the Mainstream Rock chart. After one more album, Contagious (1987), Alves left the band. He would return for a short time in 2004 and, in 2016, toured with them as a special guest.

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