The rock world was dealt a blow with the news that co-founding Yes bassist Chris Squire, died on Saturday (June 27th) at age 67 from acute erythroid leukemia. Squire holds the distinction of being the only member of Yes to have played on every one of the band’s albums. Fans were hoping for a recovery when Squire announced last month he would not be on board for the band’s joint summer tour within Toto, with good friend and longtime Yes insider Billy Sherwood sitting in for him on the road. Squire is survived by his wife, Scotty, and his children Carmen, Chandrika, Camille, Cameron, and Xilan.
Squire’s work will live on in such Yes classics as “Starship Trooper,” “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Roundabout,” “Long Distance Runaround,” “The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus),” “Going For The One,” “Owner Of A Lonely Heart,” among many others.
Yes’ current members — Alan White, Steve Howe, Jon Davison, and Geoff Downes — posted a statement, which reads: “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. Chris peacefully passed away last night in Phoenix, Arizona. For the entirety of Yes’ existence, Chris was the band’s linchpin and, in so many ways, the glue that held it together over all these years. Because of his phenomenal bass-playing prowess, Chris influenced countless bassists around the world, including many of today’s well-known artists. Chris was also a fantastic songwriter, having written and co-written much of Yes’ most endearing music, as well as his solo album, Fish Out of Water. With his gentle, easygoing nature, Chris was a great friend of many . . .including each of us. But he wasn’t merely our friend: he was also part of our family and we shall forever love and miss him.”
Former Yes frontman, Jon Anderson, who began his partnership with Squire in 1968 when they both were in the band, Mabel Greer’s Toyshop, recalled his long journey with Squire saying: “Chris was a very special part of my life; we were musical brothers. 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 traveled a road less traveled 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”
When we last caught up with Chris Squire, who remained the last co-founders of the band still recording and touring with Yes, we asked him if he ever felt like rehashing the past and returning to a specific era’s sound and music for a new album. He said he was firmly against that idea: “I’m more for not repeating the past. I’ve always been one who’s wanted to, like, move on to the next thing. And of course, if it contains some influence from what we done before, there’s nothing wrong with that. But we never really have ever sat down and gone, ‘Now we want to make an album that sounds like The Yes Album or Fragile or something,’ y’know. Even though it’s been suggested from various management people from time to time. The best way to work is always to be looking forward.”