Original Y&T Guitarist Joey Alves Dies at 63
Sad news to report as former Y&T rhythm guitarist, Joey Alves, has passed away at the age of 63 yesterday (March 12). The six-stringer originally joined the band in 1974, playing on eight full length albums before his departure in 1989.
Y&T singer / guitarist and sole living original member Dave Meniketti detailed Alves’ passing in a Facebook post (seen below), explaining the guitarist was suffering from ulcerative colitis among other issues up to his death. The full post reads,
It’s with great sadness that I write this today. Y&T’s original rhythm guitarist, Joey Alves, passed away at 7:10 this morning 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 and Leonard in rock and roll heaven.
Meniketti also posted a clip (seen below) of Alves from the band’s upcoming On With the Show documentary. The frontman called the clip touching where Alves said, “Going through so many early years with the same four people, that’s not just like being in a band. When you go through age 20 to like 33-34 with like four guys and you travel —poor — you starve with them, you’ve done your laundry with them, you’ve laughed with them, you’ve cried with them. When you do that you form a bond — you can’t break that kind of bond. You’re closer to those people than you are to your own family. I knew those guys better than my own relatives and we have a bond that’s never going to break; it’s unbreakable. We spent a life together and we paid a lot of dues, hard dues. The starving was good for us, it made us hungry to succeed.”
Alves was instrumental to Y&T’s success throughout the 1980s, having played on fan-favorite records like Mean Streak and In Rock We Trust, which was the band’s highest-charting album, ascending to No. 46 on the Billboard 200. He rejoined the band briefly in 2004 and was featured as a touring guitarist last year.
Loudwire extends our condolences to the Alves family, Dave Meniketti and other family members and friends who knew Joey.