Written by: Matt Sloan
Joey Alves, one of the founding members of the band Y&T has died.
Alves, who was battling ulcerative colitis along with other health issues, was 63.
The rhythm guitarist was memorialized by Y&T singer Dave Meniketti on his Facebook page:
“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.”
Hailing from Oakland, Y&T got their start in 1974 and Alves played on the band’s first eight records.
He was replaced in 1989 by guitarist Stef Burns.
Heavily supported by 90.5 KVHS, the band was a staple of the Concord, California high school radio station. SEM’s Alex Green, who was the former Music Director of KVHS, recalls Y&T’s ubiquity on the station’s airwaves.
“They were a pretty beloved band because not only were they were local, they were truly one of the best live acts around,” he recalls. “And they were very generous with the station, doing spots for us and providing us with tickets to their shows to give away on the air.”