Where are they now? - Chris Squire
This page last updated: 26 May 2015
On this page: Squackett
On other pages: Yes news
On 19 May 2015, it was announced that
Squire has been diagnosed with acute erythroid leukaemia (AEL),
an uncommon form of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), seen in less
than 5% of AML cases. He will be receiving treatment in his
hometown of Phoenix, AZ over the summer. Planned live Yes dates
later in the year will go ahead with Sherwood on bass. My best wishes to Chris on a speedy recovery. YesWorld carried this statement from Squire:
This will be the first time since the band formed in 1968 that YES will have performed live without me. But the other guys and myself have agreed that Billy Sherwood will do an excellent job of covering my parts and the show as a whole will deliver the same YES experience that our fans have come to expect over the years.Sherwood said on Facebook the same day:
As we have all learned the news about Chris Squire/Yes... I wanted everyone to know my perspective.Friends and colleagues have posted further well wishes on social media. Downes tweeted 19 May:
I met Chris Squire in 1989, we became fast friends and have remained so ever since. I've worked with Yes in various capacities over the years, writing, producing, playing, touring etc... and have remained friends with all of them. Recently Chris phoned me to share some rather serious personal news, it seems some medical issues have arisen from out of the blue and they are needing to be dealt with before he can go back out on tour with the band. Chris went on to explain that Yes are meant to tour in Sept/Aug etc... but unfortunately this will be the 1st time he won't be able to go. The band has a deep loyalty to it's fans, I know this well having been a full member of Yes in the late 90's and witnessing the devotion to touring and sharing the great musical legacy with the people of the world who love this band. That said Chris suggested rather than cancel this upcoming tour, the band should go on for now without him. It was truly a bittersweet moment when my
dear friend of many years phoned me to explain all this to me and then ask me "would you jump in and play bass and sing with the band till I get back up to speed". I was very moved, as I told Chris, he is the reason I wanted to play bass and sing when I started my professional career... My love for the band and for my friends made the answer very easy, "of course" I said, "under the banner of your returning asap", we agreed and so I'm very honored to say that I will be playing bass and singing with Yes on this upcoming Yes/Toto tour. Thanks to the fans for understanding these unusual circumstances and supporting Yes and Chris in this decision. I look forward to keeping the musical integrity and performances as high as my friend expects it to be.
Wishing major healing vibes to the two top British bass players John & Chris in their respective recoveries from illness. Love you guys, Gx"John" is John Wetton, who has recently had cancer surgery (see under Asia for more). He also tweeted on 26 May: "please join me in sending huge thoughts and prayers to my dear friend Yes's Chris Squire who is undergoing medical treatments in the USA". Davison said on Facebook:
Hi everyone,Yes's summer touring is with Toto and their Twitter account carried this message:
As most of you already know, Chris Squire, our dear friend and amazing bandmate is battling Leukemia. Please try and remember his struggle daily and hold his image in the healing light of your deepest prayers and brightest thoughts.
We've been hearing encouraging news that he's responding really well to the treatment and we can all continue to make a big difference in his state of being by persistently wishing him much serenity, love, great courage, and the strength to endure all that is temporarily blocking his path to perfect health!
SO, HIGH VIBRATION GO ON AND ONWARD THROUGH THE NIGHT, OUR AWESOME FRIEND AND MIGHTY MASTER OF THE BASS GUITAR! WE LOVE YOU AND ARE BEHIND YOU MORE THAN EVER!!!
Chris has been a dear friend of Toto for many many years. All of us are rooting for him to beat this and get back on the road ASAP!Trevor Rabin had this announcement on Facebook:
I'm devastated to tell you that Chris Squire, my dearest and closest friend, has been ill (as you probably know by now). I love Chris like a brother and our friendship only grows. Let's hope for strength as he goes through this battle. Today it became public.Patrick Moraz said on Facebook:
It was not my place to say anything.
Love you my dear friend.
Chris, my heartfelt best wishes are with you for a FULL AND SPEEDY RECOVERY.
I will be keeping you in my prayers daily.
Steve Hackett tweeted:
"My thoughts are very much with pals Chris Squire and John
Wetton at this time..."
who played in the Chris Squire Experiment, said:
So sad Chris has to endure this. Such a great musician and friend. He's very tough though and I know he'll get through with all these prayers and love to carry him through
Sherwood, who played with Squire in Conspiracy, said:
Get well soon Chris. My brother will hold down the fort and do you proud.
Your parts are in capable hands.
And in a later post:
One of the highlights of my musical career was the time I got to play in a band with this giant.
Playing piano on the song "You By My Side" is far above most of my musical achievements. It was thrilling.
Get well soon my friend.
Greer's Toy Shop said on their Facebook account: "Our best
wishes to Chris Squire for a speedy recovery, we need to see you
back in action soon Chris..."
Abbey stJohn, with whom Squire has
collaborated recently (see below), said:
Aloha Ke Akua. My heart and prayers go out to my good friend Chris Squire who's freakin been diagnosed with "Acute Erythroid Leukemia" which is an uncommom form of "Acute Myeloid Leukemia". Dammit. He's the baddest man I've ever known & will be on the other side of this in no time I hope. Hes been spreading a message of love around the world for a lifetime surely god will bless him and keep him whole. Love to Scotty & Xilan.
Fish (ex-Marillion) said:
I was really shocked to hear the news today that Chris Squire has been diagnosed with acute erythroid leukemia. [...]
As a huge fan of Yes since I was a teenager and having met him on many an occasion I am especially saddened to hear this.
Thinking of you "Fish" and wishing you my finest during your treatment.
You can leave well wishes for Chris via YesWorld here.
Bass Player magazine presented Squire with a Lifetime Achievement Awards in Oct 2012 in Hollywood, CA. There was an accompanying concert including a set by Squire, accompanied by Jon Davison (Yes; lead vocals, tambourine), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters; drums), Johnny Bruhns (ex-CIRCA:, ex-Yoso; guitar, backing vocals), Matt Brown (worked with CIRCA:, keys, backing vocals), Claudio Pesavento (worked with Squire before; keys). Set: "Hold Out Your Hand/You by My Side", "I've Seen All Good People", "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Roundabout". Squire also hosted a clinic the next day.
After guitarist Steve Hackett (ex-Genesis, ex-GTR) played on Chris Squire's Swiss Choir, Squire guested on some of Hackett's solo albums—Out of the Tunnel's Mouth, Beyond the Shrouded Horizon and a forthcoming album—and the duo then made a collaborative rock album as Squackett, entitled A Life Within a Day (Esoteric). Touring and a follow-up album have been discussed.
In a Billboard interview, Squire said he and Hackett had talked about touring in autumn 2012 with a set list based on A Life Within a Day, but also including songs from Fish Out of Water, Beyond the Shrouded Horizon and further material from Hackett. In a Jun 2012 interview at MWE3.com, Hackett said: "I hope there will be shows, but it depends on our availabilit[ies] amidst busy schedules! DVD sounds like a good idea..." There were further discussions in 2014 about touring after a second Squackett album is released. Squire said in a Dec 2013 interview: "we talked about doing live performances down the line, but I think it might make sense to do a second album before we think about doing a live thing." In a Jan 2013 interview, Squire had said: "I'm sure at some point, Steve and I will probably want to do another one." In an Apr 2013 interview, Hackett said that Squire would like to do another album and how he himself "had great fun". In an Apr 2013 Q&A for YesWorld, Squire talked about, "possibly another album with Steve Hackett, which could also come down the pipe in the next couple of years." This Sep 2013 interview had Hackett saying:
[Hackett i]s also likely to do more with Squackett [...] but the guitarist notes that's easier said then done.
"We haven't seen each other in quite a bit; the last time I think I saw him was on the cruise [to the Edge] earlier this year  [...] It would be nice if we could do something live on stage together [on the 2014 Cruise]. One of the Squackett numbers would be nice, so I'll be trying to talk my band into that -- or if not that then maybe get to jam on 'Bye Bye Johnny' or 'All Along the Watchtower' or something. [...] I enjoyed doing that album with Chris; it would be nice to do another one, but what with his commitments [...] and my commitments [...] it made it very difficult to be in the same place at the same time. I'm hoping it will come home [to] roost at some point."
In an Apr
2014 interview, Squire said there was a "very good chance"
of a follow-up album: "We'd love to do that, I'm sure. We've both
been real busy [...] we'll be seeing him on the cruise [to
the Edge 2014]. I'll be talking with him then, and then I'll
be over in England so we'll probably get together and discuss the
possibility of another Squackett project. I'm not quite sure what
the window time-wise for that is going to be." On the cruise,
Squire (and John Wetton) joined Hackett's band for a performance
of "All Along the Watchtower" on the cruise. However, to a fan in
Dec 2014, Hackett said there were no immediate plans for further
Squackett work due to scheduling difficulties.
| A Life Within a Day was released Jun 2012.
It was performed by Chris Squire (bass, vocals), Steve
Hackett (guitars, vocals, harmonica), Roger King (Steve
Hackett, worked with Gerard Johnson; keys,
programming), Jeremy Stacey (ex-The Syn, Noel
Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Sheryl Crow; drums),
Amanda Lehmann (Steve Hackett; backing
vocals), plus on "A Life Within a Day", Christine Townsend
(violin, viola), Richard Stewart (cello), Dick Driver
(double bass); produced and mastered by King. Artwork and
design is by Xu Bing, with photography by Maurizio &
Squire brought 3 songs to the project—"Aliens", "Can't
Stop the Rain" and "Perfect Love Song"—that date back to plans
for a Squire solo album in 2006/7, some co-written
by Gerard Johnson (co-wrote "The Man You
Always Wanted Me to Be", The Electric
Opera/Funky Monkey, St Etienne, ex-The Syn, ex-Peter
Banks) and Simon Sessler
(co-wrote "The Man You Always
Wanted Me to Be", works with Chris Kimsey, worked
with IQ, Terry Reid, Francis Dunnery).
Hackett brought "Storm Chaser" and "Divided Self" among
other pieces (presumably also "Sea of Smiles" and "The
Summer Backwards"); in a Jun
2012 interview, Squire said he first played
on "Divided Self" when it was to be a Hackett solo piece,
before its inclusion in the Squackett project. "A Life
Within a Day" and "Tall Ships" were specifically written
for the album. An article in the May 2012 issue of Prog
(#26) explains how "Tall Ships" began with a bass riff
from Squire; Hackett then "added a guitar phrase, the
lyric and the chorus tune, while Squire provided the verse
melody." In a Jun
2012 interview, Squire described the piece
beginning with a riff, that King recorded. He then goes on
to say that King and Hackett then built a demo around that
recording, adding a chorus, and then all three of them
worked on the vocal line and lyrics. In the May 2012
article, King explains, "I did most of the arrangements
with Steve and Chris' approval." Hackett talks about the
album in a Jun
2012 interview at MWE3.com:
mwe3: So “Aliens” is
kind of a co-write?
|Buy regular edition from
At first we gave each other the
pick of material we’d been working on, and reviewed that
together. We spent time together socially [...] A lot of the
album was recorded in the living room I’m calling you from. In a
way, it was an anti-studio album. We recorded some bass parts
and drums in the studio, but most of it was recorded in a
domestic environment. We did a lot of writing face to face.
History of Squackett
In an early Nov 2008 interview, Squire explained, "I went round to his studio and played on some things for him that he had been working on I think from a view to making a solo album. [...] he had been working on a new project and asked me to join in on it. Once I became involved in it, we started writing new material together and now it's developing into another project, which I think, is collaboration". These first recording sessions, around the end of 2007, were with Hackett, Squire and Simon Phillips (ex-Toto, ex-Mike Oldfield, ex-Mike Rutherford, ex-U-Z) on drums; their release was held up following legal issues around Hackett's divorce but have now seen the light on Hackett's solo album, Beyond the Shrouded Horizon (see below). Work then proceeded slower than first planned. The album was eventually recorded mostly in Hackett's home (most of the album except bass and drums) or his studio. Plans that appear to have been abandoned as the project developed include the involvement of Steve Hackett's brother John (described in an early 2008 interview with S Hackett) and Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) on drums (Aug 2009 report from Squire).
guesting on Hackett's solo albums
Squire has appeared on three of Steve Hackett's solo albums, most recently on Wolflight (YouTube trailer), out in Europe and the US as a standard CD, special edition CD (with 2 bonus tracks, one being "Midnight Sun" with Todmobile (worked with Anderson)) + Blu-ray with 5.1 mixes, 2LP or digital download. Tracks:
Others performing include Roger King (keys, programming) and
Amanda Lehmann (harmony vocals), who were on the Squackett album.
The album made the Amazon UK top ten Rock albums and top 40
overall. It made #21 in the midweek UK album chart (1 Apr) and #31
in the full week chart (5 Apr). Details
Squire first appeared on Out of the Tunnel's Mouth (see Yescography). "Nomads" from the album, with Squire on bass, is on the Genesis 3CD compilation, R-Kive, which made #7 in the UK (and at least #2 in the Rock & Metal chart), #10 in Wallonia (Belgium), #12 in the Netherlands, #23 in Germany, #26 in Italy, #39 in France, #52 in Flanders (Belgium), #56 in Ireland and #82 in Switzerland. It also made #1 in Box Sets on Amazon UK and the top five in Rock and Pop.
Then came Beyond the Shrouded Horizon (InsideOut Music), available as a 2CD limited edition and as a 1 CD version. Squire plays bass on 3 tracks of the regular CD and 2 tracks of the bonus CD. These use material from 2007 sessions. Performing on most of the album are Hackett (guitars, vocals, harmonica) and King (keys, programming), while others include O'Toole (drums, vocals), R Townsend (sax, whistle, bass clarinet), Beggs (bass, Stick), A Lehmann (vocals, guitar), John Hackett (Steve's brother; flute, vocals), C Townsend (violin, viola), Richard Stuart (cello), Benedict Fenner (keys, programming) and Dick Driver (double bass). Most tracks were co-written by S Hackett, King and J Hackett. Two tracks are co-credited to Steve Howe and Jonathan Mover, reflecting the use of the same riff that came from a GTR piece. In a Nov 2011 interview, Hackett, talking about one of these pieces ("Turn This Island Earth"), explained:
Former solo album plans
Squire was working on a new solo album in 2006/7, co-writing with Gerard Johnson (The Electric Opera/Funky Monkey, St Etienne, ex-The Syn, ex-Peter Banks) and Paul Stacey (The Black Crowes, ex-The Syn, worked with Oasis), with plans to then record with Jeremy Stacey (ex-The Syn, Sheryl Crow) too. Material for around half an album appears to have been developed, but this was largely re-purposed for the Squackett project, with one song, "The Man You Always Wanted Me to Be", going to Fly from Here and another idea being used as part of "The Game" on Heaven & Earth. It now appears unlikely that this material will have a life of its own. As for his solo album plans, asked in a May 2012 interview about a follow-up to Fish Out of Water, Squire said:
What seems to happen is every
time I’ve sat down and been disciplined with myself and written
new material, I’m thinking it’s going to go in that direction
and then something else has come up, like the Squackett project.
[...] So it might be best that there will never be a follow up
to Fish Out Of Water…
never say never… but we’ll see what happens
And in a Jun
2012 interview, he said:
I've been trying to make a follow-up [to Fish Out of Water] for years, but the material always gets diverted for other projects [...] But the chances of that happening again in that way is unlikely because a lot of the flavor and the orchestral arrangements [...] were done by my dear friend Andrew Jackman and he is no longer with us. [...] I think I'll not attempt to do a Fish Out Of Water 2. I might stumble upon another way to do it at some point.
In a Mar 2007 post
to alt.music.yes, Johnson said, "Chris, Paul (Stacey) and I
are working on material now, which will be ready when it's ready
and not before." Another report in Mar 2007 talked of Squire,
Johnson and P. Stacey having demo'd four songs with lengths of
around 5-10 minutes. In the interview done late 2006 for the Fish
Out of Water re-release (see below),
Squire said he had "29 minutes worth of ideas [...] not finished
ideas, but ideas." In a late 2007
interview, Squire was asked from where his inspiration comes
on solo projects. He replied:
In a Nov 2007 Notes from the Edge
interview, Squire said he's "got close to 80% I think of the
material I'm working on for the solo record; I'm pretty much in
good shape, a lot of the lyrics had gotten written". However, the
project appears not to have progressed since 2007, initially in
part because of P. Stacey's other commitments and then with
material and focus shifting to Squackett. In Sep 2008, Squire posted
In an interview for Rolling Stone published Nov 2012, Jimmy Page (ex-Led Zeppelin) said that he has multi-track recordings from the 1981 XYZ sessions with Chris Squire and Alan White and that he would like to see these released at some point. Squire's response to this came in a Jan 2013 interview:
Interviewer: Jimmy Page recently brought up [...] the XYZ sessions [...] even suggesting the idea of releasing some of it. Are you on board with that?
Squire: I wouldn’t have a problem. It was fairly unfinished when we left it; it was pretty much in a demo form, mainly. So it would require some more work. There were only four tunes that were involved in that, so if there is an idea for a serious release of it, there would have to be a little bit more done on it.
Most of the material was songs I had written actually, although Jimmy did contribute. [...] Yeah, we might try and revive it in the future. We’d have to get together, of course, and welcome it, but that wouldn’t be something I’d be opposed to.
While Squire refers to "four tunes" here and that's what has been
bootlegged, there have been past indications that there was
further material beyond those four. A Feb
2013 interview then has this exchange:
Interviewer: [Page] said that there are some multi-track recordings that exist that he’d love to see come out. Would the two of you have to do some additional work to make that happen?
Squire: Probably, yeah. There are bass tracks and drum tracks and guitar tracks, but there wasn’t much in the way of overdubs. I did quite a few vocals and harmonies, but they were somewhat rough. It was intended just really to be demos that we were making anyway. So that’s where it got to really. I know you can probably access that stuff — it’s out there on the web and you can find it, but they are just really rough mixes. How they got out there I’m not really sure, but that’s the way those things happen. So yes, if we seriously did anything with those, they’d need a little bit more work on them.
A Dec 2013 interview had another exchange on the topic. The interviewer asks whether Page has been in contact about releasing the material. Squire replies, "No! [...] we haven’t gotten in touch about it." He continues, "And you have to remember that that stuff would have to be finished off a bit more, because what we did together was really demo-ish with rough edges. I think it would need a bit more actual work."
In an Aug 2014 interview, Jon Davison revealed that Squire and Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters, The Birds of Satan, worked with Davison, Brian May, Coheed & Cambria, Slash) have "done some demo work. Chris has played bass on some of Taylor's stuff [...] And Chris has done some stuff that actually hasn't been released." He went on to say, "we always talk about the three of us, plus another member, doing some kind of side project."
Asked about plans for a Fish Out of Water Part 2 in the Apr
2013 Q&A, Squire answered:
There’s never really been a plan to do that. I don’t think I would ever want to [...] do a followup to that particular album as it stands very much in its own right. However, I can tell you that there is a 5.1 mix of Fish Out of Water which is in the completion stages at the moment and should be available at some point this year .In mid-Nov 2007, Squire announced on his website that, "In the not too distant future, after delaying the project for awhile, I'm going to start work on my book which will cover my experiences, anecdotes, etc. over the last forty years". In an Aug 2012 Innerview, Squire said he is working on his autobiography with actor/musician/film-maker Vincent Gallo: "I'm doing interviews with him and we're recording them. Vince and I have been good friends for years. He's the godfather of my son. [...] the interviews involve me just remembering stuff about my life. I think the project will take a couple of years. We'll see how it ends up." He talked more about the book in an Apr 2014 interview:
I sit down with him [Gallo], we talk, we record it, then he goes and transcribes it.
We're about half way through that and have been working on it for about a year.
We have to schedule time, he lives in Los Angeles and I live in Phoenix in Arizona. We have to find time to do it, sometimes I'll go to him, sometimes he comes to me.
[...] Hopefully within a year we'll be able to wrap it up and get it out there. We haven't signed a deal yet, we'll get it written first
Any news, additions or corrections, please e-mail Henry Potts. Thanks.