Leonard Haze, the former drummer of San Francisco heavy rockers Y&T, sadly passed away on Sunday 11th September aged 61.

Y&T frontman Dave Meniketti posted the following on Facebook:

“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, a few hours ago, 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.

untitled-12Leonard Haze and Dave Meniketti were original members of the band they formed in 1972 with Phil Kennemore and Joey Alves joining soon after. This line-up is the one many fans consider to be the classic line-up.

Originally known as Yesterday & Today, they released their eponymous album four years later in 1976. After the name was shortened to Y&T, their third album, 1981s ‘Earthshaker’, really shook the world with it’s hard hitting heavy rock that catapulted Y&T onto the global stage.

After ‘Earthshaker’, this stable line-up continued to release strong chart hitting albums with ‘Black Tiger’ in 1982, 1983s ‘Mean Streak’ and ‘In Rock We Trust’ from 84.

Leonard Haze made one last album with Y&T with 1985s ‘Down For The Count’ featuring the big MTV smash of the more commercial sounding ‘Summertime Girls’ which also appeared on the live album ‘Open Fire’.

Upon leaving Y&T Leonard worked on the 1991 album ‘Toolbox’ from then former Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan who then asked the drummer to become part of the touring band. A ground breaking ten month world tour taking in many countries behind the then Iron Curtain followed.

He did rejoin Y&T as a touring member between 2001-2006 and remained on good terms with the band, often making guest appearances. More recently he was involved with his own project, The Hazexperience.

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