George Tickner, Original Guitarist and Co-Founder of Journey, Passes Away at 76

George Tickner, the original guitarist and co-founder of the iconic ’80s rock band Journey, has died at the age of 76. Neal Schon, Journey’s lead guitarist and co-founding member, shared the tragic news on Facebook.

“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 on Facebook, accompanied by a black-and-white photo of the band.

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From left to right, Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory, Neal Schon, George Tickner, and Aynsley Dunbar of Journey. (Getty Images)

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

The cause of Tickner’s death remains unknown. Schon concluded his message by offering condolences to Tickner’s family, friends, and all past and present band members. He expressed his grief, stating, “So heartbreaking… I think we need to do a group hug, JJ’s.”

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Heartbroken fans expressed their condolences and paid tribute to Tickner on the shared social media post.

“You have so many precious musicians with you over the years. Condolences to George’s and the Journey Family. Love the music you have all done together… and thankful for George’s contributions,” one fan wrote.

Another Journey fan penned, “Oh no, I am truly sorry to hear this news. Fly with the angels and rest peacefully, George.”

“Thanks for the great music, George Tickner. Another new star in the sky tonight,” read another comment.

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In addition, Schon shared another photo of Tickner holding a plaque of the Hollywood Walk of Fame star and explained the reason for Tickner’s departure from the band Journey.

“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 a full scholarship, earning his PhD. Fly free above the stars, Sir… Herbie’s waiting to greet you.”

Tickner’s passing comes after the legendary band celebrated its 50th anniversary in April. Journey was formed in February 1973 by Schon, Gregg Rolie, and Herbie Herbert.

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Steve Perry was the frontman and prominent songwriter for the band for 10 years, alongside Schon, Rolie, Ross Valory, Jonathan Cain, Aynsley Dunbar, and Steve Smith.

The rock band has charted on the Billboard Hot 100 with 25 of their hit songs, including “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Open Arms,” “Who’s Crying Now,” and “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart).” Journey has sold over 100 million albums.

The current members of the band include Schon, Cain, Deen Castronovo, Arnel Pineda, Jason Derlatka, and Todd Jensen.

Stephanie Giang-Paunon is an Entertainment Writer for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @SGiangPaunon.

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