Original Y&T guitarist Joey Alves has died at the age of 63.
The news was confirmed by Y&T leader Dave Meniketti, who paid tribute to his friend, calling him “one of the finest rock rhythm guitarists.”
Meniketti says in a statement: “It’s with great sadness that I write this today. Y&T’s original rhythm guitarist, Joey Alves, passed away 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 Kennemore and Leonard Haze in rock and roll heaven.”
Alves played on Y&T’s 1976 debut album Yesterday And Today, and went on to appear on 1978’s Struck Down, 1981’s Earthshaker, 1982’s Black Tiger, 1983’s Mean Streak, 1984’s In Rock We Trust, 1985’s Down For The Count and 1987’s Contagious.
The guitarist left the band in 1989 and was replaced by Stef Burns before Y&T disbanded in 1991.
Alves will feature in the upcoming Y&T documentary On With The Show, with Meniketti posting a short clip from the film showing an interview with Alves.
Meniketti says: “I saw this clip of Joey two days ago when I was reviewing part of the documentary. Seeing Joey on the screen while knowing he was not long for this earth was a shock to me at first, but hearing what he said in this clip really touched me.
“What he said is so right and I wanted to share this with deep respect for my friend.”