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"He didn't talk about it very much, except to joke about it," the drummer's wife tells the Associated Press

By Nick Maslow
Updated November 12, 2015 09:45 AM
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Credit: Michael Brennan/Getty

Andy White, a drummer who played with the Beatles and Tom Jones, has died, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

He was 85.

The Scottish-born musician passed at his home in Caldwell, New Jersey, on Monday. His wife, Thea White, told the AP he suffered a stroke on Sunday.

White contributed to the Beatles’ breakout song “Love Me Do” in 1962, playing drums on the English band’s massive hit when producer George Martin wasn’t happy with the work of band member Ringo Starr. He also provided percussion for the song’s B-side, “P.S. I Love You,” on which Starr played the maracas.

“He didn’t talk about it very much, except to joke about it,” Thea told the AP of her husband’s first and last time collaborating with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. “He liked to say: ‘It could have been anybody. It just happened to be me.'”

Even though another version without White on drums was released, his role in the hit was a point of contention for Starr.

“For the last 35 years, I’ve never let George Martin forget it,” Starr told the AP after recording another version featuring himself on both vocals and drums in 1998.

White – who hailed from Stranraer, Scotland, and was raised in Glasgow – went on to work with Jones on “It’s Not Unusual,” tour with Marlene Dietrich, colllaborate with an American band named the Smithereens, teach the bagpipe and consult on the 2012 movie “Not Fade Away,” which tells the story of a 1960s band.

White and his wife moved to the U.S. in the 1980s. He is survived by four nieces and six nephews, the AP reported.