George Tickner, Journey Co-Founding Guitarist and Songwriter, Dead at 76

George Tickner
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The musician left the band after its third album to attend Stanford University.

George Tickner has died. Tickner's death was announced by his former bandmate, Journey's co-founder and lead guitarist Neal Schon, on Facebook July 4. Tickner, the band's original rhythm guitarist, was 76. A cause of death was not immediately available.

"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. He was 76 years old," Schon wrote. "Godspeed, George...thank you for the music. We will be paying tribute to you on this page indefinitely."

"Our condolences to his family and friends, and to all past and present band members," he continued. "So heartbreaking. I think we need to do a group hug, JJ's!"

Schon added, "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 PhD."

"Fly free above the stars, sir. Herbie's waiting to greet you," Schon concluded of Herbie Herbert, the music manager that formed Journey, who died in 2021.


Tickner founded Journey with Schon, Gregg Rolle, Ross Valory and Prairie Prince, the latter of whom was quickly replaced with Aynsley Dunbar. 

Tickner played on the band's 1975 self-titled debut album, and was credited with writing songs on Journey's next two releases, Look Into The Future and Next. During his tenure, Tickner co-wrote "Of a Lifetime," which Schon called "one of my favorite songs ever."

Journey had its big break when singer Steve Perry joined the group for its 1978 album, Infinity, after Tickner's departure from the band. Even so, Tickner was on hand when the band got its star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005.