CHRIS SQUIRE – Founder of Yes and renowned bass guitarist dies

Posted: June 30, 2015 in MUSIC
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In this circa 1979 photo, Chris Squire plays bass during a Yes concert in Champaign, Ill.

Chris Squire, co-founder of prog-rock band Yes and renowned bass guitarist, has died aged 67.

Squire, who formed Yes with vocalist Jon Anderson in 1968, had been undergoing treatment for acute erythroid leukemia (a rare cancer of the blood and bone marrow) in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona.

In a statement released on Sunday, fellow Yes band members described Chris Squire as a phenomenal bassist and the “linchpin” that held the group together. “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,” the band said.

“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.”

Among those paying tributes to Squire was Scott Shriner, bass player in Weezer,who wrote: “There are a handful of bassists that changed my life and the way I play music.” Geezer Butler, founding member of Black Sabbath, also tweeted: “Shocked to hear of the passing of Chris Squire, one of the great bass players.”

Fellow band member Geoffrey Downes wrote on Twitter that he was “utterly devastated beyond words”, and described Squire as “my dear friend, bandmate and inspiration”.

In addition to his work in Yes, Squire also released the solo album Fish Out of Water in 1975 and was a member of the supergroup XYZ, where he played alongside Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Yes drummer Alan White.

He leaves behind a wife and family. The band said in their statement: “Chris was a loving husband to Scotty and father to Carmen, Chandrika, Camille, Cameron, and Xilan.”

Chris Squire, the bassist and co-founder of the progressive rock band Yes who recently announced he had leukemia, has died, according to a statement from his band members on Sunday. He was 67.

The band posted a statement on its Facebook page saying Squire “peacefully passed away” Saturday in Phoenix, where he lived. No further details about the death were provided.

Squire announced last month that he had acute erythroid leukemia, a rare form of acute myeloid leukemia. He was receiving treatment before he died.

Chris Squire was born on March 4, 1948, in London. He was the only member to play on all of Yes’ albums, and he co-founded the band with its former lead singer, Jon Anderson. The group released its self-titled debut album in 1969. In a statement posted Sunday on his website, Anderson said he and Squire were “musical brothers.”

“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,” he wrote.

Anderson added that he was thankful he recently connected with Squire: “I saw him in my meditation last night, and he was radiant.”

Squire, a talented and dominant bass guitarist, was one of the leaders of progressive rock in the 1970s. His website says he was a choirboy in his youth, which set the foundation for his musical talents.

He released his solo debut, Fish Out of Water, in 1975, Yes released the album Heaven & Earth last year. The Grammy-winning band’s hits include “Roundabout” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” which became a No. 1 hit on the Billboard pop charts in the 1980s. The group will launch a U.S. tour with Toto in August, when Billy Sherwood will fill in for Squire.

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