LEONARD HAZE, FORMER Y&T DRUMMER, PASSES AWAY
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.
Leonard 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.