George Tickner, although not widely recognized by music enthusiasts, played a significant role in the formation of one of the most renowned bands in American music history. Journey, the iconic group, owes some of its success to Tickner as a co-founder and guitarist/songwriter. Regrettably, Tickner has recently passed away.
On July 4, Neal Schon, the co-founder of Journey, took to social media to announce the untimely demise of his former bandmate. Schon shared screenshots of a post that conveyed the sad news that Tickner, the original rhythm guitarist of the band and a contributor to songwriting for the first three albums, had passed away. The post extended condolences to Tickner’s loved ones.
Tickner, born on September 8, 1946, in Syracuse, New York, played a pivotal role in co-founding the band during the 1970s. He showcased his songwriting talents by penning three tracks for the band’s debut album titled “Of a Lifetime,” “Topaz,” and “Mystery Mountain.” Additionally, on their second album, Tickner contributed the songs “You’re On Your Own” and “I’m Gonna Leave You.” Later, on their third album released in 1977, he wrote “Nickel and Dime.” Subsequently, Tickner decided to leave the band in order to pursue his Ph.D. in medicine at Stanford University Medical School, where he had been granted a full scholarship.
Journey’s breakthrough came when vocalist Steve Perry joined the group. With Perry onboard, Journey rose to prominence and became one of the most renowned bands of the 1980s. Their hit song “Don’t Stop Believin'” resonated across the nation, playing incessantly on radios and solidifying their popularity.
Almost three decades later, the music of the band Tickner helped establish gained significant prominence through its extensive inclusion in the television series “Glee,” which revolved around a high school glee club.
While the band he co-founded achieved stardom, Tickner pursued a career as a medical doctor. Eventually, he collaborated with Journey’s original bassist, Ross Valory, to establish the recording studio known as The Hive. In 2005, the band was honored with a star on the renowned Hollywood Walk of Fame. Tickner, alongside current and former members, attended the ceremony.
In a heartfelt tribute, Schon bid farewell to his friend and expressed the wish for Tickner to “Fly free above the stars.” He also mentioned that the band’s longtime manager, Herbie Herbert, who passed away in 2021, would be there to welcome him in the afterlife.
RIP George you now fly with the Angels 🙏🏽✝️🙏🏽 https://t.co/jOug74sJxD— NEAL SCHON MUSIC (@NealSchonMusic) July 5, 2023