Andy White, the studio drummer who recorded “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You” with The Beatles, has died at the age of 85 as a result of a stroke, according to the BBC. The drummer lived with his wife in New Jersey.
It is also believed that White played drums for the version of “Please Please Me” that appeared on the album of the same name.
These accolades have resulted in White being seen as included in a select group of people who can rightfully bear the “Fifth Beatle” title. Others include Stuart Sutcliffe, Brian Epstein, and Pete Best.
White was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1930.
“I would get a call from EMI and you never knew what you were going to be asked to do,” White was quoted. He was said to have been paid £5, with no royalties, for his performances with The Beatles.
In the United States, White served as the drumming adjudicator for the New York Metro Pipe Band and worked as a drumming instructor. The pipe band referred to White as an “all around Gentleman” in a Facebook post.
RIP Drumming Adjudicator, Session Drummer who played with the Beatles and all round Gentleman Andy White who passed away…
Andy White was married to voice actress Thea Ruth. His family was said to pay tribute to his “amazing humility and humbleness about his many achievements.”
White stated in a 2012 Daily Record article that after he first met Paul McCartney and John Lennon in 1962, he “knew they were on to something special.” The drummer admitted to not having heard much about The Beatles before being called to sit in for Ringo.
“I had heard of The Beatles by then because my first wife Lynne was from Liverpool and had mentioned the name, but I didn’t know much about them,” White stated.
Before the Beatles sessions, White had already made a name for himself and toured the United States with The Vic Lewis Band, which he joined when he was 21. Marlene Dietrich reportedly fell and broke her leg while touring in Australia, bringing White’s days of endless touring to an end in 1975.
He then spent four years in Glasgow playing with the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra before he met his wife Thea and settled with her New Jersey.
[Feature Screenshot via Salted Print/YouTube]