Bass-guitar legend Chris Squire of Yes dead at 67

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By Steve Newton

Sad news for music fans today.

Chris Squire, bassist for British prog-rock legends Yes, passed away in Phoenix, Arizona, last night. He had been suffering from a rare form of leukemia.

He was 67.

Squire had formed Yes with singer Jon Anderson in 1968, and it didn’t take long for the band to make it big with albums like 1971’s Fragile, 1972’s Close to the Edge, and the 1973 triple-live album Yessongs.

Although they were best known for their music in the ’70s, Yes also hit it big in the ’80s with the 1983 album 90125, which featured the U.S. number-one hit “Owner of a Lonely Heart.”

Yes were one of my favourite bands in the ’70s, right up there with Mott the Hoople, Thin Lizzy, and Blue Oyster Cult. I worshipped them by having the folded-out Yessongs album–with its fine Roger Dean cover art–displayed along the back of my bedroom dresser.

They sported an amazing guitarist in Steve Howe, but Squire was an exceptional player as well. A good example of the power of his bass can be heard in the Close to the Edge track “Siberian Khatru”.

In the wake of Squire’s death, his fellow musicians have been paying their respects via social media. Current Yes keyboardist Geoffrey Downes tweeted: “Utterly devastated beyond words to have to report the sad news of the passing of my dear friend, bandmate and inspiration Chris Squire.”

Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello tweeted: “RIP Chris Squire, super bassist of Yes. An extremely talented musician’s musician who mastered his instrument and took it to new realms.”

Squire is survived by his wife, Scotland, and children Carmen, Chandrika, Camille, Cameron, and Xilan.

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