George Tickner, a founding member of the rock group Journey who left the band in the mid-1970s to pursue a career in medicine, has died, his former bandmate Neal Schon said on Facebook. Tickner was 76, per Schon.
Tickner was a rhythm guitarist in Journey, which he joined after previously playing in the psych-rock band Frumious Bandersnatch with future Journey bandmate Ross Valory. Initially, Journey was formed along with Schon and Greg Rolie, who played in Santana, as a “premier backing band” for established acts in San Francisco, according to Sirius XM classic rock host Dean Baldwin.
But soon, Journey was making original music, releasing their eponymous debut album in 1975. Tickner is credited with writing three songs, including “Of a Lifetime,” which Schon said is still one of his favorite of his band’s releases.
By the time Journey achieved international fame with new frontman Steve Perry and hits like “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Tickner had already left the band. Though he’s credited on the group’s 1976 sophomore album “Look Into the Future,” Tickner left the band before Perry joined in 1977 to attend medical school at Stanford University, Schon noted on Facebook.
Tickner maintained a connection to the music business, though, through Valory, with whom he founded a recording studio called the Hive, per Variety. He appeared with the band in 2005 to accept Journey’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
CNN has reached out to Schon and the band’s representation for comment. As of Thursday afternoon, the band hasn’t released an official statement on Tickner’s passing.