Following the death of Yes bassist Chris Squire, the co-founder of the prog rock legends and the only member to appear on every studio album, Squire’s former band mates have penned touching tributes to the late bassist. Former singer Jon Anderson, who founded Yes with Squire in 1968, and keyboardist Rick Wakeman both remembered Squire, who passed away Sunday after a brief battle with a rare form of leukemia.
“Chris was a very special part of my life; we were musical brothers,” Anderson wrote on his official site. “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 Obi-Wan. I always thought of him as Christopher Robin to my Winnie the Pooh.”
Anderson and Squire co-wrote many of Yes’ greatest hits: “Yours Is No Disgrace,” “Starship Trooper,” “I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” “We travelled a road less travelled and I’m so thankful that he climbed the musical mountains with me,” Anderson wrote. “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.”
Wakeman, who spent five separate tenures with Yes after first appearing on 1971’s Fragile, also saluted his longtime bandmate with a note posted on his official website. “We have now lost, who for me, are the two greatest bass players classic rock has ever known. John Entwistle and now Chris,” Wakeman wrote. “There can hardly be a bass player worth his salt who hasn’t been influenced by one or both of these great players.”
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Wakeman added that while he knew Squire was seriously ill, he was encouraged by reports that Squire “felt optimistic that with treatment, love and prayer, he would beat it.” “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,” Wakeman continued.
“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.”
While Yes still have tour dates mapped out for this summer and into 2016, Wakeman notes in closing that “Chris’s passing truly marks the end of an era.”