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'Heartbreaking': Journey Co-Founder, Songwriter Dies at 76

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One of the co-founders of the iconic rock band Journey has died, his bandmate confirmed.

A social media post from Neal Schon, the band’s lead guitarist and lyricist, paid tribute to founding rhythm guitarist and songwriter George Tickner, who was 76.

Schon wrote a short tribute to his late friend and bandmate on Facebook and also shared a number of other tributes from fans.

“Dear George… ‘Of a Lifetime’ is still one of my favorite songs ever. RIP brother God Speed,” Schon wrote.

He included a cross emoji as well as a praying hands emoji.

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No cause of death for the late guitarist was announced.

“Journey Junkies, I have some very sad news,” one tribute shared by the guitarist reads.

The tribute continues, “GEORGE TICKER, Journey’s original rhythm guitarist and songwriting contributor on their first three albums, has passed away. He was 76 years old.

“Godspeed, George…thank you for the music. We will be paying tribute to you on this page indefinitely,” the post adds. “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!”

Another tribute reads, “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. Fly free above the stars, Sir… Herbie’s waiting to greet you.”

Journey was formed in 1973 in San Francisco by Tickner, Schon and other former members of the band Santana.

Tickner was picked up from a psychedelic rock band called Frumious Bandersnatch from near Berkeley, California.

With the help of Tickner, the group initially launched as a progressive rock band and began to find its identity.

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Tickner’s contributions can be heard on the group’s self-titled album and heavily on the band’s first track release “Of a Lifetime,” which was cited by Schon as one of his personal favorites.

Tickner left Journey and music altogether for a time prior to the addition of singer Steve Perry in order to pursue an education at Stanford Medical School on a scholarship, Consequence of Sound reported.

He continued to play music as a hobbyist throughout his life and as Journey achieved major commercial success.

Tickner was present in 2005 as Journey was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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