Original Y&T guitarist Joey Alves has died at the age of 63, the band’s Dave Meniketti has revealed. Alves, who played rhythm guitar in the band, was in the band from 1976 to 1989, had been suffering from ulcerative colitis, among other complications. Here’s what Meniketti says about the loss of Alves, via Facebook yesterday:

It’s with great sadness that I write this today. Y&T’s original rhythm guitarist, Joey Alves, passed away at 7:10 this morning at the age of 63. He suffered from ulcerative colitis and other complications that led to his passing. Joey was one of the finest rock rhythm guitarists, and I’ll always remember playing next to him chunking out those monster chords with his classic red double cutaway ‘59 Les Paul Jr. As Ronnie Montrose once said about Joey, “There are rhythm players, then there’s Joey. A class of his own…..”.

He was a fun guy who always played with attitude and conviction, and was responsible for writing some memorable riffs for Y&T over the years. His friendship and presence will be missed. This is a great loss for all the Y&T family and faithful. He now joins Phil and Leonard in rock and roll heaven.

The 80’s band, put out eight albums with Alves, the last being 1987’s Contagious, before breaking up in 1991. They reformed in 1995, and Alves played with them again in 2004 and 2016.