Chris Squire, the bass guitarist and co-founder of 1970s British prog rock band Yes, died on June 27 at the age of 67. Squire had revealed in May he was suffering from a rare form of leukaemia.
The band said he died “peacefully” in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday night.
Current Yes keyboardist Geoffrey Downes tweeted: “Utterly devastated beyond words to have to report the sad news of the passing of my dear friend, bandmate and inspiration Chris Squire.”
“It’s with the heaviest of hearts and unbearable sadness that we must inform you of the passing of our dear friend and Yes co-founder, Chris Squire,” said a statement on the band’s official website.
Yes were formed in 1968 when singer Jon Anderson met self-taught bassist Squire in London. The group’s big break came a year later when they signed to Atlantic Records after opening for Janis Joplin at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Their debut single, ‘Sweetness’, and first album, Yes, were released later that year.
Other albums included 1971’s Fragile, 1972’s Close To The Edge and 1977’s Going For The One. The group’s most recent studio album, Heaven & Earth, was released last year.
“Chris was a very special part of my life; we were musical brothers,” wrote Anderson on the group’s website.
” He was an amazingly unique bass player – very poetic – and had a wonderful knowledge of harmony. We met at a certain time when music was very open, and I feel blessed to have created some wonderful, adventurous, music with him. Chris had such a great sense of humor… he always said he was Darth Vader to my Obiwan. I always thought of him as Christopher Robin to my Winnie the Pooh.
We travelled a road less travelled and I’m so thankful that he climbed the musical mountains with me. Throughout everything, he was still my brother, and I’m so glad we were able to reconnect recently. I saw him in my meditation last night, and he was radiant. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones. Love and light…..Jon.”
“We have now lost, who for me, are the two greatest bass players classic rock has ever known. John Entwistle and now Chris,” wrote former Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman, who played with the group on numerous tours and albums across three decades.
“There can hardly be a bass player worth his salt who hasn’t been influenced by one or both of these great players. Chris took the art of making a bass guitar into a lead instrument to another stratosphere and coupled with his showmanship and concern for every single note he played, made him something special.
Although Chris is no longer with us in human form, his music has not gone with him and that will be around long after all who read this will also have departed this mortal coil. That’s the great gift of music.”
Former Yes drummer Bill Bruford wrote: “Really saddened to hear of the death of my old Yes band-mate, Chris Squire. I shall remember him fondly; one of the twin rocks upon which Yes was founded and, I believe, the only member to have been present and correct, Rickenbacker at the ready, on every tour. He and I had a working relationship built around our differences. Despite, or perhaps because of, the old chestnut about creative tension, it seemed, strangely, to work.”