George Tickner, an original co-founder of 70s rock group Journey, dead at 76

July 7, 2023
Ben Marquis

An original founding member of the 1970s rock group Journey, George Tickner, has reportedly passed away at the age of 76, according to the Daily Caller.

News of the death of the band's former lead guitarist was shared on social media on Thursday by fellow co-founding member Neal Schon.

Thus far, however, no cause of death for Tickner has been revealed.

Death of a founding member

In a screenshot message posted to Facebook, Schon wrote, "Journey Junkies, I have some very sad news. George Tickner, Journey’s original rhythm guitarist and songwriting contributor on their first three albums, has passed away."

"Godspeed, George … thank you for the music. We will be paying tribute to you on this page indefinitely," he added. "Our condolences to his family and friends, and to all past and present band members. So heartbreaking ... I think we need to do a group hug, JJ’s."

A separate message in the same post said, "Rest peacefully, Dr. George Tickner ... you will be missed immensely! Thank you for your incomparable contributions to Journey's early years."

"The reason he left Journey was to attend Stanford University on full Scholarship, earning his Ph.D.," the second message added. "Fly free above the stars, Sir ... Herbie's waiting to greet you" -- a reference to the 2021 death of Journey's longtime manager Herbie Herbert.

Dozens of hits and 100 million albums sold

According to the New York Post, Tickner, originally on bass guitar before switching to lead guitar, helped form Journey in 1973 alongside Schon and bassist Ross Valory in San Francisco, California, but then left the band in 1975 to pursue his medical career.

The band would go on over the years to sell more than 100 million albums and, according to Spotify, the hit song "Don't Stop Believin'" has been streamed more than 1 billion times.

That, of course, was far from Journey's only or even greatest hit, as the group actually saw 25 of its singles reach the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Speaking of greatest hits, the Post noted that the "Journey's Greatest Hits" album was one of just three -- the others being Bob Marley and the Wailers' "Legend" and Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" -- to be listed on the Billboard 200 chart for 600 weeks or more, or more than 11 years straight.

Band honored

The Post noted that even though Tickner left Journey to become a doctor, he is said to have continued to write music and perform as a hobby on the side.

He was last with the group in 2005 to collectively receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The band itself, albeit apparently without Tickner, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

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