Keyboardist Rick Wakeman posted a tribute to his longtime Yes bandmate, bassist Chris Squire, who died on Saturday (June 27th) at age 67 from acute erythroid leukemia. Wakeman shared a unique history with Squire, having been apart of Yes’ glory days, including stints in the band from 1971 to 1974, 1976 to 1980, 1990 to 1992, 1995 to 1996, and finally 2002 to 2004. His son, Oliver Wakeman, toured and recorded with Yes between 2008 and 2011.
Although he was featured in several different versions of the band, like most fans, Rick Wakeman agrees that the definitive lineup of Yes will always consist of himself, Chris Squire, Jon Anderson, Alan White, and Steve Howe: “There is a sort of a strange X-factor that is produced when the five of us are playing together — that the sum of the five of us adds up to more than five when this particular lineup plays together, and I wish I knew what it was so it could be bottled. And it is a strange thing that there’s five very individual players, five very individual people, and when we play together there’s sort of a strange. . . it’s just really weird. I can’t. . . As I say, I wish I could really put my finger on it and tell you what it was.” , on Friday evening to enquire how Chris was and heard the desperately sad news yesterday. The phone has not stopped ringing and my inbox is overflowing with tributes from so many people which simply shows the effect that his contribution to music made to so many of us, musicians and fans alike.
We have now lost, who for me, are the two greatest bass players classic rock has ever known. John Entwistle and now Chris. 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. That gift can be passed on with what has been created and so Chris will always live on.
I, like all of you, send my heartfelt condolences to all Chris’s extended family and may there be some solace for them in knowing the impact he had on so many of us.
Chris’s passing, truly marks the end of an era.
28th June 2015