Chris Squire: news about his music &
This page last updated: 25 Jan 2016
Squire died the night of 27 Jun 2015, aged 67. The news was
Twitter by Geoff Downes and on Facebook by Billy Sherwood on
28 Jun. He was cremated on 1 Jul. My condolences to his family,
friends and colleagues. Requiescat in pace. YesWorld has a
compilation of tributes from his bandmates, fellow musicians and
many others here.
Later in Jul, his wife, Scotland, posted this message:
I just wanted to say thank you so much for the love from all of our friends.
Many of you have asked if you can send flowers but Chris asked that I make sure that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Mayo Clinic.
Please designate donations to Leukemia Research at Mayo Clinic Arizona in memory of Christopher Squire.
Donations can be called in to +1(480)301-8326
online at https://philanthropy.mayoclinic.org/christophersquire
or mailed directly to:
Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 13400 East Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale, Arizona 85259 USA
I cannot thank all of you enough for your love and support throughout this very sad and difficult time.
She wrote the following a few days after Chris's death:
I know there have been so many lovely messages to Xilan and to me and I haven't been able to say anything online or show Xilan how much love she has coming her way because I haven't been able to tell her that her daddy is gone. I just didn't know how to tell her that. I only just told her last night after she asked why I wasn't going back to the hospital to be with her daddy.....and the pain has been unbearable for her. I don't think she knows it's real. I don't even know that I know it is real. I just want everyone sending messages to know I will let Xilan know of every single message that every one of you has sent. I am hoping this will help her heal. All I can say is thank you for all the love. The pain is so unreal right now that I can't breathe, but I will try to find a way to thank everyone for all the love and caring messages. I know that everyone is hurting at this time. So, as much as I am hurting I am also sending my love out to the universe to help those that need it as much as we do.
Downes announced the news with this tweet:
Utterly devastated beyond words to have to report the sad news of the passing of my dear friend, bandmate and inspiration Chris Squire. #yesDownes later wrote a longer piece on Facebook; to quote just a section of it: "Despite his imposing figure, he had a really soft, gentle and charitable side. Always magnanimous to band, crew and fans alike. Although essentially captain of the YES ship he displayed very much a laissez-faire attitude towards the band and a nonchalance to life in general. I am eternally grateful that he was a great advocate of my playing and encouraged my own musical contributions. I learnt an enormous amount and gained great confidence from his support." He later tweeted on 30 Jun: "Very moved by the thousands of wonderful messages in Chris's memory & to his family & friends. The Bass Titan, much loved and sorely missed."
It has been harder than I can say to put thoughts to words—to express the sense of loss I feel upon the passing of my cherished friend and band mate, Chris Squire.I am without one of the most important, most loved people in my life. [...]Sherwood later shared this message on Facebook: "I'm still having a very hard time believing it. Absolutely heartbroken. Condolences and love to The entire Squire family. Thanks to everyone for the messages..." Wife Michi and brother Michael also shared thoughts on Facebook, including this from Michi:
Partnered together for forty-three years as the complicated rhythm section of YES, throughout the years and in so many ways he was my true brother; the one I never had. He was the driving force in YES from the beginning and I admired his passion. Striving for musical perfection, he set the bar high for himself and expected nothing less from the musicians around him. With deep conviction, even through occasional differences of opinion, we were united in our belief of YES music and the need to keep it alive and interesting. Through good times and hard times, we were kindred spirits, I had his back and he had mine. We shared a sometimes unspoken communication, it was something we just knew and understood. We were relentless in our quest to create meaningful music that would live on with or without us—I just never expected to be without his company at this early time in our lives.
It will be more difficult than I can imagine to perform on stage without looking at that imposing pillar of strength alongside me. He will be missed the world over but none is greater than the loss in my heart. He is no longer a fish out of water, he is free and swimming in the big ocean now.
This reminded me of a fond memory I have of Chris when taking portraits of him once.17 Jul, Billy Sherwood posted to Facebook:
There was one in particular that was my favorite of the set where he was flashing that grin of his.
When selecting his faves he picked all the serious shots that most (ok, all) rockers seem to prefer. I asked if he liked the smiling one. He said he did not. I told him it was my favorite and it showed his personality, that wicked sense of humor and his devlish grin which makes him so endearing to those who know him. He immediately responded "That one it is then". And that is the shot that ended up in the tourbook.
I just wanted to post to let all the wonderful people who have sent me messages of condolences for Chris and also wishing me good luck on my new found journey, returning to Yes.... My inbox is over flowing and I am meaning to answer every one but as you can imagine my world turned upside down since the passing of my friend and I just have not had the emotional gumption to respond on any level... that said as soon as the Yes touring starts I will undoubtably have some free time to reflect and answer the messages. For now please forgive my absence and know I am grateful for every single message, thanks to all who reached out to me here on facebook, I will get back to you in time [...]YesWorld has this message:
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 (27 June 2015) in Phoenix, Arizona.
We will have more information for you soon.
Thankyou for all your heartfelt tributes on Facebook and Twitter.
Steve Howe said on
Facebook: "It's hard to imagine the future without Chris! I
sense that he will be in our thoughts & minds for sometime. He
was a one-off, larger than life human being, who brought a serious
amount to everything he was part of. Long may his memory resonate
through the lands." Jon Davison said:
Chris was not only the Jimi Hendrix of the bass guitar and a beautiful songwriter, but a good friend to both my wife Maewe (Mumu) and me. During the near four years we lived closely with him, we often saw his sensitive and caring side, the family man. I used to enjoy appealing to his fun loving nature by making him laugh in his jovial and boisterous way. I feel immensely blessed to have had the rare chance to live and work beside such a dear soul. No words can express… ONLY LOVE can take Chris Squire’s place.
Bill Bruford posted the following on
Really saddened to hear of the death of my old Yes band-mate, Chris Squire. I shall remember him fondly; one of the twin rocks upon which Yes was founded and, I believe, the only member to have been present and correct, Rickenbacker at the ready, on every tour. He and I had a working relationship built around our differences. Despite, or perhaps because of, the old chestnut about creative tension, it seemed, strangely, to work.
He had an approach that contrasted sharply with the somewhat monotonic, immobile bass parts of today. His lines were important; counter-melodic structural components that you were as likely to go away humming as the top line melody; little stand-alone works of art in themselves. Whenever I think of him, which is not infrequently, I think of the over-driven fuzz of the sinewy staccato hits in Close to the Edge (6’04” and on) or a couple of minutes later where he sounds like a tuba (8’.00”). While he may have taken a while to arrive at the finished article, it was always worth waiting for. And then he would sing a different part on top.
An individualist in an age when it was possible to establish individuality, Chris fearlessly staked out a whole protectorate of bass playing in which he was lord and master. I suspect he knew not only that he gave millions of people pleasure with his music, but also that he was fortunate to be able to do so. I offer sincere condolences to his family.
Adios, partner. Bill.
Jon Anderson said on
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 travelled a road less travelled 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
Jon's daughter Deborah Anderson also said on Facebook:
With a heavy heart I would like to share that the passing of Chris Squire, co-founder along with my Father Jon Anderson of the Rock band YES has reminded me of the fragility of life and how music can change the lives of so many. Chris was a brother to my Father and together they created magic. Even though you are no longer in this plane, the music will never die. Many many blessings to his family. A legendary songwriter and bass player has left the building.
Trevor Rabin said online:
I am about as sad as I could be.
You all I'm sure know by now that Chris has passed.
I spoke to him about a week ago, and we were still laughing together.
Even though he had recently taken a turn for the worse, this was not totally unexpected, and the shock and sadness is extreme. I will miss him terribly. An era is over. Music has lost a one of a kind, and I have lost a dear friend and brother. RIP
Rick Wakeman tweeted:
"Thanks for your life Chris. You may be gone but the music lives
on for ever. You've personally left me with great memories and
great music". He wrote a longer note on his webpage:
I knew, like many of us, that Chris was seriously ill with a rare form of leukaemia, but had heard the encouraging news that he was responding well to treatment and so felt optimistic that with treatment, love and prayer, he would beat it. Ironically I wrote to Paul Silveira, (the manager of YES), 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.
Adam Wakeman tweeted: "Sad news indeed x RIP Chris Squire."
Oliver Wakeman tweeted:
This poster has a special meaning 4 me today. RIP Chris Squire, I enjoyed working & touring with you in @yesofficial
Patrick Moraz sent this message to his Facebook group:
The news of Chris’s passing is very sad.
He was a special friend and a phenomenal musician, always eager to go beyond the outreaches of creativity.
During my years as a member of Yes and even outside of the band, strongly embedded in my memory, are some of the extraordinary sessions we used to have together; like an “empathy of minds and souls” jamming together to the rhythms of frequencies, all distances abbreviated by the pure spontaneity of spirits roaming freely, all barriers seemingly abolished!
My deepest heartfelt thoughts and condolences go out to Chris’s Family and loved ones.
Rock on, Chris!
in a newspaper, Benoît David said, "Je l'ai toujours perçu
comme étant l'âme du groupe, plus encore que Steve Howe. Ça va
sûrement faire bizarre un peu qu'il ne soit plus là, car ça a
toujours été par lui que tout arrivait et que tout partait". He
continued: "quand ce gars imposant de 6 pieds 4 pouces et environ
300 livres te mettait la main sur l'épaule, ça te donnait de
l'énergie. C'était facile de tisser des liens avec lui."
Tom Brislin tweeted:
"RIP Chris Squire. Thanks for the memories, both on and off
stage." Tony Levin said on
Last night, with some old friends in distant places, I shared a conference call and toast to the memory of the great bassist Chris Squire. We discussed how we’d been deeply influenced by his music, we shared stories, favorite concerts and songs - and even realized that in a convoluted way we had only met each other, back in the early 80’s, because of Chris. He re-wrote the rules of playing bass lines, he gave his instrument a voice uniquely his, and he touched many of us with his music. What more can you aspire to...
Roger Dean said on Facebook: "Very sorry to hear the news that
Chris’s died on Saturday night from leukemia. It was a great shock
even though we were told it was likely. Chris was a huge force in
Prog, in Rock and in Music, a major heartbeat has stopped. Chris
will be missed by his family, by the band, by his millions of fans
and friends and I will miss him."
His first wife, Nikki, posted to
Facebook: "To Christopher, Thank you for the many great
years' we spent together - many treasured memories when we were
young together - always in my heart"
Steve Hackett tweeted:
"I'm gutted to hear of Chris Squire's passing... A huge talent who
defined a genre and a great friend." A message then followed on
I am devastated by the news of Chris Squire's passing. A special pal and a man who defined the progressive genre. Open to all styles with a love of orchestras and choirs as well as thunderous rock, his passing leaves a huge hole in the heart of music. His ingenious sound was unique. Farewell my friend. I loved making the Squackett album with you and all the other projects we worked on together, including your recent work with me on Love Song to a Vampire... It feels like only yesterday. Thank you for all the good times. Saying you will be missed is a complete understatement, and my heart goes out to Scotty and all your family.
Warmest wishes to all,
He penned a longer piece on his website; to quote an extract:
I feel I've lost a brother...
[...] When I was going through a difficult time in my personal life with the divorce a few years back, Chris was a great support. We worked on a number of projects, egging each other on and on. Whenever we were playing or singing together he approached it with all the enthusiasm of a kid in a shiny new toy shop. As the music took hold of him, he seemed to transform and roll with every note and fibre of his being. He was fully engaged with the process of turning musical notes into magic with his extraordinary ability. He was the powerhouse that drove Yes through many campaigns. They reinvented themselves through practically every album. I think like Nelson undaunted Chris was a man who saw no obstacles... He saw no ships... Only opportunities to succeed in the most positive manner. Yes was a band aptly named.
The Foo Fighters posted a video of when they performed
"Roundabout" with Squire. Their drummer, Taylor Hawkins, who had
been working with Squire on some projects, said: "To the greatest
most unusual bass player of all time and my close friend. Chris
Squire - RIP"
The Syn's Steve Nardelli wrote on Facebook:
I spent a day of reflection at home with my family yesterday following the very sad news that Chris had died. He and Scotty became close friends to my family during the year we wrote, recorded and toured Syndestructible and we remembered with compassion those amazingly happy times we had together at this moment of great sadness. I have known Chris as a friend for 50 years. We first met at the Hampstead Country Club at a battle of the bands competition, a meeting that resulted in the amalgamation of Chris’s band the Selfs, and my band High Court, into The Syn. We have been good friends ever since, not that we didn’t have disagreements and fallings out some times, but a 50 year friendship is a long, winding and sacred road. There is a Roman saying that ‘it is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a mouse’ and Chris lived every single day of his 67 year life as a lion. I have been blessed to know this brilliant man as a true friend and I will greatly miss him.
In response to the news, John Wetton (Asia,
ex-King Crimson) tweeted:
Very sad to hear of Chris Squire's passing. We were friends for over 45 years. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Jimmy Haun (ex-Conspiracy, ex-CIRCA:, worked with Yes, Jon
Anderson) said on Facebook: "RIP Fish. Thank-you for the
music, time together and the wonderful stories. You will be sorely
missed". Also on Facebook, Jay Schellen said: "Just spoke to Billy
[Sherwood]. I am sad and shocked. I can't believe I'm waking up to
the news of Chris's passing-- I'm numb. My overwhelmed heart
reaches out to Chis's family, Bandmates, friends and fans. Words
fail". He later said on Facebook:
When Bill Bruford and King Crimson was playing the Roxy in 82, We all got together after the show to jam at "the Central" club on Sunset. I was kinda the house drummer there playing in Peter Banks band and Tues Jams. I was off carousing and they needed me on stage, Chris found me and put me over his shoulder and carried me like a sack to my drums. We were both cracking up. Fond memories,
Mabel Greer's Toyshop tweeted:
"Very sad to hear Chris Squire passed away last night. Thank you
for the memories". Bob Cesca (Magnification artist)
said on Facebook:
There's so much I could say about Chris Squire's talent, warmth and sense of humor, including how well he treated me when I worked with Yes during the 2001-2002 Magnification era. All I can say now, saddened by his loss, is thank you. Thank you for writing and recording songs that have affected my life in ways more profound than nearly all others combined. Chris had a colossal heart, and he poured it into his music. The world is better for it.
Roy Thomas Baker tweeted:
"RIP #ChrisSquire #MyFavoriteBassPlayer We worked together on 2
Yes Albums..He was a Great Musician and his Humor made him Fun to
work with". Gerard Johnson, who worked with Squire in The Syn and
subsequently, said on Facebook: "Very sad to hear of the passing
of my friend, the great bassist Chris Squire. It was the greatest
honour of my life to work with him. Too sad." He also posted a
I still can’t believe it. I’m still waiting for my phone to ring and to see it say ChrisUSAMob, and for that voice to drawl “Hi, how’re ya doing?”
Although I only knew Chris personally for the last ten years his music had been a formative part of my life since I first heard Wondrous Stories, when I was 14 and it was an unaccustomed hit single for the band in 1977. I was instantly hooked – I had all their albums by the time Tormato came out in October '78. Like so many other people, Yes were the reason I became a musician. I count myself incredibly fortunate that many years later I had the chance to work with Chris on Syndestructible and Swiss Choir, and spend time writing with him, songs that were originally intended for a solo album but ended up spread around two Yes albums and the Squackett record.
He spoke slowly and deliberately, but that masked a formidable musical intelligence. He had great facility as a bassist but, more than that, he had an unmatched ability to speak with his own distinctive voice through his instrument. He had endless melodic creativity, in his bass lines and in the way he could create vocal parts which intertwined and made hooks where there had been none. He had a sense of rhythm that could be direct and full of power, or could be tricky and syncopated (in a way I often found difficult to follow, I had to keep writing things down to keep up with him).
More than anything else, he came alive when he was on stage. He was the musician you need at the centre of the band, making eye contact with everybody in turn, keeping his complex bass and vocal parts absolutely tight, but taking the time to create the sense of unity essential to any performing group. On stage he was completely in the moment. It was a joy to be in that presence. We did far too few Syn shows together.
And beyond the brilliance, he was a kind, gentle man, who regarded the adulation he received from all sides (including this one) with a slight air of bemused acceptance.
See you on the other side, Chris. We still haven’t finished some of those songs. You’re not getting away that easily. gerardx
A number of memorials were held for Squire. Rabin spoke
on Facebook about one in Jul at his house with Alan &
Gigi White and many others. An earlier gathering included
Sherwood, Rabin, Tony Kaye, Eddie Jobson, Brian Chatton, Paul
Linford and Richard Davis.
Bruce Gowdy (World Trade) said on Facebook:
"Totally bummed one of the greatest bass players". Gary Husband
(John McLaughlin, ex-The Syn, ex-UK, worked with Allan
Holdsworth, Jack Bruce) tweeted:
"Sad to hear of the passing of Chris Squire today. Another
original and big beast has gone. I feel very fortunate to have
known him a little." The Cruise to the Edge Twitter account said:
"Sadness to hear the passing of Chris Squire of @yesofficial
Crushing loss to music world". Joe Bonamassa tweeted: "Last night
the world lost one its most gifted musicians. Rest In Peace Chris
Squire. It was an honor to call you my friend." And: "My thoughts
and prayers go out to his wife Scotty and his whole family. Jason
Bonham (worked with Trevor Rabin, Led Zeppelin)
said on Facebook: "I'm devastated with the News that Chris Squire
passed away . I spent a lot of time with Chris in the late 80's .
Great ,great, memory's of a fantastic musician and a father like
figure to me at that time . My thoughts are with his family". Maor
Appelbaum said on Facebook: "Sorry to hear about Chris Squire's
passing. such a legend, pioneer inspiring musicians and person. my
condolences". Jimmy Page, who worked with Squire in XYZ (see below), said in a Jul
2015 interview, "[It] was really sad, he was a phenomenal
Steve Lukather (Toto) tweeted: "We lost one of the
greatest musicians of all time.. an innovator-true legend.. a
friend and hero. RIP Chris Squire. You will be so missed". Toto's
David Paich said on Facebook: "Killer show tonight in Sofia,
Bulgaria. I dedicated "Great Expectations" to Chris Squire. RIP my
musical brother." Queen's Brian May wrote a long piece online
here. Keith Emerson posted online:
It's taken me some time to adjust to Chris's passing. I probably won't.
He was a great friend and a great musician.
God knows the grief that his family are going through – let alone Alan White and Geoff Downes and ALL of YES.
My heart goes out to them.
May God rest you in his musical heavens, Chris.
Greg Lake wrote:
I am very saddened to hear about the recent passing of my old and respected friend Chris Squire. Chris was a decent and loving person, not to mention a great musician, bass player and singer.
What most people are not aware of is that Chris and I shared an apartment together in London during the early nineteen seventies and as a consequence became very close friends.
I will definitely miss him.
Michael Shrieve (ex-Santana) said: "RIP Chris
Squire, the innovative bassist for the band YES. I spent many
hours back in the day listening to his solo album "Fish Out OF
Water", aside from the music of YES. Just two days ago I was with
my friend Alan White, YES's drummer, who expressed how difficult
it was going to be if this happened. He said they've been playing
together for over 40 years, and there is nothing like a bass
player drummer bond like that. My heart goes out to Alan,Chris'
family, and all the members of YES."
Vicky at Esoteric said on ProgressiveEars: "Had the pleasure of
dealing with Chris when we did Squackett, a true big bear of a man
but actually quite a softie , sadly in the last year we also lost
Jack Bruce , so many genuinely lovely guys leaving us far too
early. RIP Chris, you have given so many people such a lot of
pleasure over the years and will carry on doing so via your music.
" The Burning Shed label tweeted: "Awfully sad news about Chris
Squire. #RIP" Leonardo Pavkovic, who worked with Yes management,
simply said on Facebook, "R.I.P."
Fred Schendel (Glass Hammer) said
on ProgressiveEars: "Words fail me... I never thought it
would happen so fast. RIP Chris, you're in a better place... have
fun jamming with Ox, Peter and all the other greats up there!"
Steve Babb (Glass Hammer) said on Facebook: "Bummed
about the loss of Chris. To say he was an amazing bassist is an
understatement. His fans and peers will miss him, but this is much
tougher for his family. So my prayers will be for them. Rest in
peace Chris Squire!" The band's Twitter account said: "Our prayers
go out to Scotty and the Squire family. Hearts are heavy today.
Rest in peace Chris." On their Twitter account, the band Mystery
said: "R.I.P Mr. Squire". John Payne (ex-Asia)
tweeted: "RIP Chris Squire. Such a warm and funny guy. The musical
world has a hole that no bass player can fill. A sad day." Steve
tweeted: "Chris Squire. So sad. A huge influence". Bassist Nick
Beggs (Steve Hackett, Steven Wilson, Kajagoogoo, Lifesigns,
worked with Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman) tweeted:
"Forever in my heart. The heart of the sunrise." He later said
more on Facebook; to quote from it: "Although I still feel too sad
to write this, I feel like I need to put something down in the
hope it will focus my mind on the matter and give me some where to
go with the passing of Chris Squire. Put simply he is the reason I
chose to become a career musician. [...] I was grateful to have
known him and played with him briefly. If the youth of the world
are to find a happy professional future they need more people like
him to inspire and set them on a higher path, with a sense
purpose. I'm grateful to him for giving me that." Larry Fast
wrote: "A sad day losing Chris Squire. He was an inspirational
bass player, even to us keyboardists. I know that elements of his
style and sound influenced my synthesizer programming and the
development of bass parts within all-electronic compositions. I
was fortunate to have been at Morgan Studios in London during the
summer of 1973 when "Tales From Topographic Oceans" was being
recorded. [...] Chris remained supportive of my career whenever
our paths crossed. R.I.P. Chris."
Dave Kerzner (working with Billy Sherwood, worked with
Steve Hackett, Jon Anderson) said on Facebook: "RIP
Chris Squire. Your music lives on..." He continued, "I got the
news as a text from Francis Dunnery. I was floored. [...] That
band has had a lot of twists and turns but they carried on making
music and Chris was always part of Yes keeping it going through
whatever line up changes happened for reasons none of us will ever
fully understand. We just know that he was a true artist and
musician who stuck with it to the end. My respect and admiration
for that. Love and condolences to his family, friends and fans.
Now I better stop before I start crying on this train." The band
Syd Arthur said on Facebook: "Very sad to hear of the passing of
Chris Squire. We were lucky enough to spend 2 months last year
touring with the legendary Yes [...] on what must of been his last
tour. Big love to all the band, crew and their families at this
difficult time. He rocked till the end... Rest in peace." Larry
Gowan (Styx) wrote: "[...] during our tour with YES
in 2011. Standing alone next to Chris's bass that day I stared at
it a long time realizing how much I revered him and this relic.
Since I was a teenager dreaming of a life in music, all the
wondrous magic he'd conjured from this instrument had made such an
impact on my life! Thank you Chris Squire. May your music live
forever!" Ronnie Ciago (worked with Billy Sherwood, Patrick
Moraz) said on Facebook: "Chris Squire passed away
Saturday. We lost a True Legend. My condolences go out to the
Squire family, the members of YES and everyone who knew Chris. It
is a sad day. Goodbye Chris. I'll see you on the other side."
Author David Watkinson said on Facebook: "Chris Squire...Yes.
...can't believe it to be honest. My thoughts to his family and
friends." Journalist Jon Kirkman said there: "RIP Chris Squire
Safe Journey Chris until we meet again"
The Who paid tribute to Squire before their Paris show on 30 Jun.
In early Jul, Elton John dedicated "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on
Me" to Squire during a live show. Progressive rock band Magenta
opened a show with "Cinema" in tribute. Rush's Geddy Lee said on
Rush's website: "Although we never met, I'm so sorry to hear
about Chris Squire from Yes passing. As a bass player and
innovator on the instrument he was a huge inspiration to me.
Simply put, he was one of the greatest rock bassists of all time.
My most sincere condolences to his family and friends." Adrian
Belew (ex-King Crimson) tweeted:
"chris squire was very kind to me. a great player. sad news. rip
chris." He posted a longer message online:
when I heard Chris Squire had passed away my first thoughts were of Julie Slick because I knew how much his playing meant to her.
here is my real tribute to Chris:
in the early 1970s I was a starving guitarist. I had joined a new band called Zarada (supposedly it was Czechoslovakian for "garden"). [...]
we were caught up in the newest music, something called "progressive rock". we were entirely immersed in the music of two bands, King Crimson and Yes.
"Roundabout" was playing on the radio about every other 10 minutes and it was announced Yes were coming to play in my town (Cincinnati) at a large club called Reflections.
through some local finagling Zarada managed to be the first of two opening acts for Yes.
it was our first and only performance, we sucked the moon out of the sky. and that was the end of Zarada.
but earlier that afternoon I got to watch Yes's soundcheck.
first my favorite drummer Bill Bruford came out to tune his drums and play a few fills. I was apoplectic.
then Chris Squire appeared on stage, made a few remarks to the soundman (as I have done 1000 times since) and launched into Fish.
I had never heard a bass player play what he played then and my idea of bass playing has never been the same since.
and that's my tribute.
Trey Gunn (ex-King Crimson, ex-UKZ) shared
Bruford's message on Twitter. Bassist Julie Slick (Adrian
Belew Power Trio, Crimson ProjeKct) wrote: "say it isn't
so. i started playing because of john, jack and chris, and now
they're all gone. another sad day in the music world. what a
giant... rest in peace, you crazy fish." Marillion's Mark Kelly tweeted:
"Just heard about Chris Squire..😔 possibly the best bass player
in rock music has passed away. I knew he was ill but still
shocked..." Their bassist, Pete Trewavas, tweeted:
"Very saddened to here of the passing of Chris Squire. A massive
influence on bass players, way beyond the Progressive genre."
Fish, the former lead singer of Marillion, said on Facebook:
there is a dark cloud over us all today:-(
I first saw him on stage at the Edinburgh Usher Hall back in 1975. It was my very first concert and I was catching my then favorite band. I admit to being so impressed with the big guy on bass that It played a big part when I welcomed the suggestion from friends to adopt his nickname. It was a bit embarrassing when we first met backstage in L.A. when I was on an American tour with Marillion. "Fish meet Fish" being the introduction.
We met several times over the years and I have fond memories of a lovely guy with a brooding dark side that oozed danger. We partied very hard a few times and opened quite a few story boxes in the late hours of a morning.
He was a brilliantly talented bass player and master musician and I hold him up there with the best I have ever seen or heard.
Another legend lost, RIP Fish.
Marillion's current lead singer, Steve Hogarth, said on Facebook:
Every once in a while, a musician comes along who redefines the sound of a musical instrument and how it can be used in the making of art. Such people are true innovators and rare talents.
Chris Squire was just that. He brought his instrument - the bass - to the front of Yes's music and endowed it with fabulous rasping, grinding melodic tones normally reserved for lead instruments. I first heard his chromatic upward run at the intro of "Starship Trooper" on the groundbreaking "The Yes Album". It was playing at a party when I was 17 and it knocked me out. From then on I was listening...
I was fortunate to meet him last year on the "Cruise to the Edge" and I was a good deal more nervous than I look in this picture. He was a almost a foot taller than me and quite a daunting figure, in addition to the awe I was already in. A giant, physically and musically.
Another true great has left us behind.
Rest in peace, Chris
Mike Portnoy (Flying Colors, Transatlantic, ex-Dream
"I am absolutely FLOORED to hear the news of Chris Squire passing
away...I had the honor of touring w Yes in 2004...Chris was a bass
pioneer". Neal Morse (Transatlantic, ex-Spock's Beard)
"I am so sad about the passing of Chris Squire. He was one of the
greatest bass players that ever lived! Great composer too, A big
"I saw Yes open for Black Sabbath at the LA Forum in 1972 and it
changed my life forever. RIP Chris Squire. One of the greats!"
Portnoy and Morse are organising a tribute performance for the Cruise to
the Edge in Nov 2015. Dream Theater's John Petrucci tweeted:
"Thank you for all of the amazing music Chris Squire. You will
surely be missed." Bassist Bryan Beller (The Aristocrats,
works with Joe Satriani) tweeted: "...so many Chris
Squire basslines changed my approach forever. Compositionally as
well. I could go on. Like @MikeKeneally said: Onward." Keneally
and Beller played together in Stanley Snail on Tales from
Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler tweeted:
"Shocked to hear of the passing of Chris Squire, one of the great
bass players. RIP" The band Tool tweeted: "RIP CHRIS SQUIRE. Very
sad news to hear of the passing today of "YES" bassist
extraordinaire, Chris Squire." Bruce Kulick (Grand Funk
Railroad, ex-KISS) tweeted:
"RIP Chris Squire. Your incredible talent and bass playing is why
I own this Rickenbacker bass 4001." Stanley Clarke (Return
to Forever, ex-Animal Logic) said on Facebook: "RIP.
Chris Squire". The Flower Kings bassist Jonas Reingold said on
Facebook: "A sad day. One of the biggest bassplayers of all
time has passed away. The importance of this man in progressive
rock is beyond words. Safe journey Chris, you'll never be
forgotten." Flea tweeted: "chris squire could rock the shit out of
Tom Morello (ex-Rage Against the Machine, ex-Audioslave)
"RIP Chris Squire, super bassist of Yes. An extremely talented
musician's musician who mastered his instrument and took it to new
realms." Artist Dave McKean (worked with Bill Bruford's
Earthworks, John Cale, Neil Gaiman) tweeted: "Sad to
hear that Chris Squire has died. A singular musical voice from my
childhood." Dave Mustaine (Megadeath, ex-Metallica)
"A tremendous talent and a terribly sad loss. Prayers to Chris
Squire's family and band." Metallica's bassist Robert Trujillo
tweeted: "Sleep well Chris." Living Colour's Vernon Reid tweeted
several clips of Yes performing, saying:
Sad Bad News.
Living Colour's bassist Doug Wimbish tweeted:
"Prayers and blessings to Chris Squire and his family. Gone way
too soon - thank you, Chris, for the music you shared with us."
KISS's Paul Stanley tweeted:
"RIP #ChrisSquire Legendary @yesofficial bass player,
vocalist&cornerstone of YES. Condolences to family." While
Gene Simmons tweeted:
"RIP, Chris Squire. Classic YES bassist. You will be missed.."
Belle & Sebastian (worked with Trevor Horn)
played Glastonbury Festival the day the news broke and dedicated a
song to Squire. At a show the same evening, Magenta also played a
tribute to Squire. Level 42's Mark King tweeted:
"Sad news. Chris Squire has passed away. He advanced the bass with
Yes, and was a big part of my youth. RIP". Bassist Rudy Sarzo
(ex-Whitesnake, ex-Ozzy Osbourne) tweeted:
"I'm stunned! Chris Squire, influential bassists and founding
member of YES has passed. Rest in Peace bass master🙏🏻🙏🏻" Joe
Satriani tweeted: "R.I.P. and thank you Chris Squire." Spandau
Ballet's Gary Kemp (worked with Trevor Horn) tweeted:
"Close to the Edge was one of my most played records as a youth.
So much good music was played and made by Chris Squire.Absolute
bass legend." Kip Winger (Winger) tweeted: "R.I.P
Chris Squire. One of the most inspired bass players of all time".
Former Guns N' Roses bassist "Duff" McKagan tweeted: "RIP Chris
Squire." The band's former drummer Matt Sorum tweeted: "Rest in
Peace Chris Squire you were a visionary" Stone Temple Pilots'
bassist Robert DeLeo tweeted: "My deepest sympathy to @yesofficial
& the family of Chris Squire. Such a huge loss. An immense
impression on my life." Michael Sweet (Stryper, ex-Boston)
tweeted: "My love, respect & condolences to @yesofficial Chris
Squire - such an inspiration - May God Bless The Squire Family,
friends & fans....." Bassist Billy Sheehan tweeted: "Sad day
-- rest in peace Chris Squire. Wonderful guy, spectacular player.
Certainly one of the founding fathers of modern bass and more."
Simply Red's Twitter account posted: "Sad news. We've lost Prog
Rocks greatest ever Bass player. RIP Chris Squire. Phenomenal YES
musician." Umphrey's McGee played "Roundabout" at a show in
tribute. And many, many other musicians and fans have said similar
across social media.
The Progressive Music Awards' Virtuoso Award is being
re-named the Chris Squire Virtuoso Award in his memory. The
first award under the new name was on 3 Sep 2015. In the Prog Readers' Poll 2015, Squire
came 2nd in the Bassist category (won by Nick Beggs), 4th in the
Man of the Year category (won by Steven
Wilson) and his death was the top 'Non-Event' of the year.
It was announced on 19 May that Squire had been diagnosed with
acute erythroid leukaemia (AEL), an uncommon form of acute myeloid
leukaemia (AML), seen in less than 5% of AML cases. He was
receiving treatment in his hometown of Phoenix, AZ. 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..."
Jimmy Haun, 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
Michael 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.
Steve Hackett Official site
After guitarist Steve Hackett (ex-Genesis, ex-GTR) played on Chris Squire's Swiss Choir, Squire appeared on three of Steve Hackett's solo albums and the duo made a collaborative rock album as Squackett, entitled A Life Within a Day (Esoteric).
The last of these collaborations was when Squire appeared on Hackett's 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). It came 6th
in the Album of the Year category in the Prog Readers'
Poll 2015 (won by Steven
Wilson's Hand. Cannot. Erase.). Details
Squire first appeared on Out of the Tunnel's Mouth. "Nomads" from the album, with Squire on bass, was 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.
Collaborations & guest appearances
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.
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 a 28
Jul 2015 interview, after Squire's death, Page was asked
about wanting to release the XYZ tapes:
Absolutely, but I haven’t worked on it. It’s a series of multi-tracks, it was something that I was wanting to do after all of the Led Zeppelin stuff was out, I wanted to contact Chris and Alan. It’s really sad that we’ve lost him. The music was really good. It’s the first thing that I did after we lost John Bonham. I had a studio at the time, and they wanted to get together, and I thought this was like laying down the gauntlet… I’m not curling up under a rock and hiding [after Led Zeppelin’s breakup]. And these guys are really, really good so I had to be really good too. It was really an interesting blend, and really good music.
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) had "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."
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.