A key figure in the world of prog rock has died, as Yes co-founder Chris Squire has lost his battle with leukemia. The bassist was 67 and died last night (June 27) in his adopted hometown of Phoenix, AZ.
Squire was born in London, UK, in 1948, and he co-founded Yes with singer Jon Anderson in 1968. The lineup changed a lot over the years, and Squire was the only constant member. He appeared on all of the band’s albums and was one of the key composers. He also played in side-projects like XYZ, the Syn, the Squackett, Conspiracy, and had a 1975 solo album called Fish Out of Water.
Back in May, Yes announced that Squire had been diagnosed with acute erythroid leukemia and would be going on hiatus from Yes while undergoing treatment. The band will be touring North America with Toto later this summer, which will mark their first shows without Squire.
Below, read a statement from Yes on the bassist’s passing:
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.
Outside of Yes, Chris was a loving husband to Scotty and father to Carmen, Chandrika, Camille, Cameron, and Xilan. With his gentle, easy-going 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.