George Tickner, Co-Founding Rhythm Guitarist of Journey, Dies at 76

Co-founding rhythm guitarist and early songwriter of Journey, George Tickner, has died. He was 76. His death was confirmed by Journey guitarist Neal Schon. No cause of death has been revealed.

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“Rest peacefully, Dr. George Tickner,” wrote his former bandmate, Journey guitarist Neal Schon on Facebook. “You will be missed immensely.”

Referencing Journey’s longtime manager the late Herbie Herbert, who died in 2021, Schon added, “Herbie’s waiting to greet you.” Schon also shared a YouTube video confirming Tickner’s death, along with a Twitter post. “RIP George,” added Schon. “You now fly with the angels.”

Born on Sept. 8, 1946, in Syracuse, New York, Tickner played an important role in Journey’s first three albums. On the band’s eponymous debut in 1975, Tickner co-wrote the opening track “Of a Lifetime,” along with the instrumental “Topaz,” and closing song “Mystery Mountain.”

Tickner also wrote “You’re On Your Own” and “I’m Gonna Leave You” on Journey’s second album, Look Into The Future, in 1976 along with the instrumental “Nickel and Dime” on their 1977 album, Next, before leaving the band to pursue his Ph.D. in medicine at Stanford University Medical School on a full scholarship.

Following Tickner’s departure, Schon took over all of the band’s guitar duties, until Jonathan Cain joined in 1981.

While working as a doctor, Tickner continued to work in music and co-founded the recording studio, The Hive, with original Journey bassist Ross Valory. In 2005, he also reunited with past and present Journey band members to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Along with Valory and former Journey session keyboardist Stevie ‘Keys’ Roseman, Tickner also formed the band VTR. The band released the album Cinema, featuring past and present Journey members, including Schon, Prairie Prince, and Steve Smith in 2005.

Photo by Gems/Redferns

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