Former Y&T drummer Leonard Haze dead at 61

A picture of former Y&T drummer Leonard Haze
Leonard Haze: 1955-2016

Original Y&T drummer Leonard Haze has died at the age of 61.

Haze passed away at his home in Hayward, California, after a battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Y&T frontman Dave Meniketti confirmed the news, saying: “It is with shock and sadness that I type this. Leonard Haze, the legendary drummer, and a guy I spent decades with creating great music together, has passed away at 61.

“This, just a few days after his birthday. I just woke up to this news, as I’m in Germany, and immediately called his wife, Kelly. She confirmed that Leonard had passed away in his sleep sometime between noon and 7.30pm on Sunday, September 11.

“Leonard has been struggling with COPD for years, but Kelly said that although his health had recently declined, they felt he had a few years left, so this is unexpected.

“My deepest condolences to Leonard’s family and friends. His impact on the rock scene was well documented. Rest in peace, my friend.”

Haze’s band Hazexperience were due to support Y&T on two dates in California in November and were also working on an EP of new material.

Hazexperience singer Jeffrey Winslow says: “Leonard was a good friend, a great drummer, and a true ambassador for the world of rock’n’roll. I’m shocked that he’s gone, but thankful I got to know him while he was here.”

Guitarist Jim Bradley adds: “Leonard was not only a bandmate but a close friend, sharing not just a passion for music but also our appreciation for fast cars, cool RC planes, and Fireball Whisky. Leonard was taken from us way too soon.”

Haze co-wrote some of Y&T’s biggest hits including Hurricane, Black Tiger and Rescue Me. He also worked with the Ian Gillan Band. Haze parted ways with Y&T in 2006.

Y&T’s Brad Lang: 'I thought I was a social drinker. I’m not'