In the Beginning
Snowy was born Terence Charles White in Devon, England. And was brought up on the
Isle of Wight. He was given his first guitar by his parents, at the age of ten.
When he was fifteen his band 'The Outer Fringe' played their first live gig at his
local youth club.
When he heard the first radio broadcast of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Eric
Clapton he immediately realized that the blues was his thing.
That blues influence has been a major part of his musical style ever since.
After leaving school at sixteen, he started listening to the people who had influenced
Clapton, the likes of; BB King, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Albert King etc.
At the age of 17 Snowy left home. "Because the Isle of Wight was a bit like Alcatraz
really. If you wanted to do anything with your life the first thing was that you
had to escape from there"
And seeing the way that his friends had gone to London, run out of money then come
back to the island again, Snowy decided to avoid the same fate. "I thought, I'm not
going to do that - I'm going so far away that when I run out of money I can't get
He had a contact in Stockholm, and so he put his amplifier and records in his car
and headed for Sweden, spending a year and a half there playing with a three-piece
called 'The Train'.
In 1970 he headed for London, where he soon started meeting people and doing a few
sessions and gigs. Building up a reputation as a good blues player and an easy-going
and reliable musician.
Early sessions included recordings with Joan Armatrading and a session with Linda
Lewis (on the album - Not a little girl anymore).
His first UK band was called 'Heavy Heart' which recorded a studio album for EMI
that unfortunately was never released.
Heavy Heart's drummer was a friend of Fleetwood Mac's founder and guitarist Peter
Green. So Snowy phoned Peter up and said "I've just arrived in London and I wonder
if I could come and have a jam?" To his surprise Peter invited Snowy round. And they
have remained friends ever since.
When Peter had left Fleetwood Mac, he asked Snowy to look after all his belongings
- including his record collection, his old tapes, his Fender vibrolux amp, his bass
guitar, and his beautiful old Gibson Les Paul.
One day Peter offered to sell his Les Paul to Snowy for one hundred pounds. "I looked
at Pete and I thought about it and I decided that even if I paid him for it, it would
always be his guitar, not really mine. And I figured he'd want to play it again in
the future so I told him not to sell it, that he should put it away because he might
want it one day. Or that I would put it in my attic and look after it for him for
as long as he wanted me to, but in the end he sold it to Gary (Moore)."
One day Peter asked Snowy to drive him to the nearest charity shop, where Peter gave
then his record and tape collection. "That was a bit painful to watch, I must admit"
In 1974 Snowy joined up with Jonathan Kelly (Jon Ledingham) playing on the album
'Waiting on you'. Which was the first recording of Snowy White's guitar playing ever
to be released. After recommending and recruiting his former Heavy Heart bass-player
Kuma Harada , they both remained with Jonathan's band 'Outside' for a year.
A friend of Snowy's, Jim Cregan (who later played with Family and Rod Stewart) was
the guitarist with Cockney Rebel. They were about to embark on a tour to promote
their single (Come up and see me) make me smile. Jim invited Snowy to take up the
rhythm guitar slot in the band, and, as the single went to number one, Snowy found
himself playing in front of a lot of screaming youngsters.
This was not Snowy's thing, and so when, in the middle of the tour, he received a
call from America offering him the lead guitar job with Al Stewart he gladly accepted.
He spent five weeks touring the East coast and the Mid-West of America.
Upon his return to the UK Snowy featured on science fantasy writer Michael Moorcock's
'New Worlds Fair' album, with Hawkwind members Simon House and Alan Powell.
In 1976 Snowy was told by the manager of Kate Bush that the Pink Floyd's manager
was trying to reach him. Snowy rang up and was asked if he would be interested in
the job of being the first augmenting musician for the band, which would entail performing
on their live shows.
He worked with the Floyd between 1976 and 1980, performing on the 'Animals' tour
and 'The Wall' shows.
In his spare time Snowy also played with his own band which featured Kuma Harada
and Reg Isadore. This was ideal for Peter Green, who had decided to do some recording
and invited Snowy to bring his band along to the studio to jam. The result was the
album 'In the skies'.
Snowy then joined Thin Lizzy for two and a half years, recording two albums 'Chinatown'
and 'Renegade' before leaving to pursue a solo career.