Chris Squire R.I.P.

June 28, 2015

We’re sad to report that the death has just been confirmed of Chris Squire, the widely-respected bass player best known for his work with Yes. Chris, aged 67, had been undergoing treatment, in his adopted home town of Phoenix, for acute erythroid leukemia.

“Utterly devastated beyond words to have to report the sad news of the passing of my dear friend, bandmate and inspiration Chris Squire,” his colleague in Yes, Geoffrey Downes, has tweeted this afternoon (Sunday).

Chris Squire 2

Squire, born in London in 1948, was a founding member of Yes in 1968 and was the only musician to play on every one of their albums, from their self-titled 1969 debut to last year’s ‘Heaven & Earth.’ It had already been announced that Squire was taking a break from Yes, with Billy Sherwood taking his place on bass for their upcoming tour. The band’s first date of their upcoming tour with Toto, on August 7, will mark the first time they have ever performed live without Squire.

uDiscover’s 50 Greatest Bass Players feature, published last week (June 21) and compiled from a “poll of polls” of online surveys, reaffirmed the huge esteem in which Squire was held by his fellow musicians. He came in at No. 16, just below Charles Mingus and ahead of such great players as Stanley Clarke, James Jamerson and Larry Graham.

Yes TFTOIn addition to his expertise on the Rickenbacker, and on backing vocals, on such landmark Yes albums as ‘Fragile,’ ‘Tales From Topographic Oceans,’ ‘Going For The One’ and ‘90125,’ Chris had a wealth of other key recordings in his catalogue. His 1975 solo album ‘Fish Out Of Water,’ which featured Yes colleagues Bill Bruford and Patrick Moraz among others, was much revered, and a top 30 UK success.

Prior to Yes, he was a co-founder of The Syn, who toured and recorded for two years from 1965 and played a famous support slot for the Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Marquee Club in 1967. He played on Rick Wakeman’s ‘Six Wives Of Henry VIII’ in 1973 and on former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett’s ‘Out Of The Tunnel’s Mouth’ (2009) and ‘Beyond The Shrouded Horizon’ (2011), before the pair formed the much-lauded Squackett, releasing the album ‘A Life Within A Day’ in 2012.


"You can deviate to the extent that you can put more into the concept and less into the playing,” Squire told Sounds in 1977. “That's great for people who like concepts. But possibly the concept should be less important than the joy of playing.

“There's so much choice of what you can do whether you are gifted or dumb, qualified or not. I mean, someone like me with no great academic ability can be successful.” Chris Squire was, for the better part of 50 years, and he’ll be much missed.

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    1. Domi

      Je suis très attristé par cette nouvelle. YES reste une figure intemporelle du rock progressif qui a bercé mon adolescence. j’ai 53 ans et je reste attaché à ce groupe sans réserve. Oui Yes c’est magnifique je t’aime .

    2. thierry devant

      J ‘ai eu la chance de le voir entre autres , lors du concert à Lyon
      GEANT…. quel musicien et quel showman

  1. Lee

    He was truly an innovator changed the game and put his signature stamp on that tone from rick he will be missed .

  2. Mark

    I loved watching Chris perform He was a master of his craft, I never thought there was a bass player that could follow him. Rest in Peace. The world morns our lose.

    1. SenorPescador Johnson

      what an original,
      saw then a couple times in the early 70's unreal, with 10 Years After and then headliner with Tranquility

  3. kuto Vasquez

    The sound of prog rock Will never be The same without Chris unique style with The Rickenbacker bass…..God bless his soul!

  4. Discount Ministry

    Right now this is not an official announcement. One tweet and somebody edited his Wikipedia page.

    This page is the only hit to mention it.

    There is a huge problem with social media…people hear rumors and suddenly it’s treated like gospel truth.

    Wait for actual news.

    1. Soundchaser

      good point , as soon as I saw the post in facebook I immediately began to search…
      let’s give the Fish a chance?!

    2. brad

      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 in Phoenix Arizona, in the arms of his loving wife Scotty.
      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 h usband 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.

      Read More: Yes Co-Founder Chris Squire Dies |

  5. Tom Halpin

    Just too young to leave us…can’t believe we’re never going to hear the sounds of his melodious bass playing again…

  6. Adey Gibbs

    This is just too sad for words…, Rest In Peace Chris Squire..,
    & Thank You So Much for Your Music.., xxx

  7. John paul

    Sincerely one of the most incredible Bass player’s ever!
    I had read he was ill, but not to this extent. So,so much of an influence, the band I was in for years called Heavy Session was based on nothing but Yes songs in the 70’s and be yound. So sad of a day for me aswell as I’m positive the world will be. Rest in peace my Brother Chris Squire you will be really missed, no one like you on this planet. You were the prolific bassist of all time.

  8. Matt Westwood

    Just been sitting listening to Lucky Seven with tears rolling down my face. Another of the greats gone.

  9. Larry Kohlenberg

    Indeed a huge loss. Yes stands the test of time. Chris was a force of nature and live concerts were an incredible experience. Thoughts and prayers to Chris’ family

  10. Soundchaser

    I picked up a bass guitar and did my best to emulate “the Fish” (Schindleria Praematurus) when I knew that I’d never, ever be as good as Squire Chris.

  11. Mick Margraf

    …….Spent hours….learning….Roundabout….note for note… Bass … and guitar lines. …..What a prolific bassman…..

    1. S. Crabtree

      The world just lost a fantastic bass player (friends and family lost him), but remember – the world lost one of the best teachers of the Bass Guitar! No telling how many players he influenced over the years playing with YES – and ANY instrument you play, he had to have some influence on how you played, too. One listen to Roundabout and I knew this was no ordinary Joe on bass. After the YES ALBUM, I was blown away (I’m a drummer) by “Fragile” and it made me realize “Practice or Perish”. RIP Mr. Squire with R.I.P. (Rickenbacker In Place). Thanks for helping me be a better drummer.

  12. Alexander ah addy

    Sorry for this los, I will remember Chris as a very good Musician and inspirator … R.I.P. Chris! My condolances for his Friends and Family…

  13. Pedro

    You can always tell the great players … you remember their moments in many a piece of music. With that in mind, RIP my friend, because what you gave us is a lot more than any man, woman or child has a right to do. Truly wonderful music to lullaby us during our lives … words fail me at the moment. But you know where the sentiment is.

    All the love and care from all of us to the family and relatives.

  14. Charlie Souza

    Chris Squire is the reason I bought a Rickenbacker bass so many years ago! I looked up to him as a hero and musical icon. His music will live on!

  15. John Penney

    I will always remember the first time I heard the combination of Bruford and Squire and how floored I by the tightness and creativity of that rhythm section. I’m sad for the music community in general and his family and friends. What a loss.

  16. Cary Iskowitz

    Chris was a joy to listen to and watch on stage. His stage presence was immeasurable. His Bass playing was pure magic. He will be sadly missed and my heart and deepest sympathy goes out to his family and close friends.

  17. Pat Eck

    Wow, how many times from the first time in 1972 seeing Yes live I sat there and had Chris’ bass vibrate thru my body! It was amazing to watch him take the music to another level everytime. R.I.P. Chris.

  18. Mike Robbins

    So grateful for that evening of sushi and sake’ with Chris and his family. What a kind, generous and talented friend. We love you Chris.

  19. Paul M. Helfrich

    A Titan has crossed over and now rides “on the silent the wings of freedom…” He left us with a legacy of masterworks and masterful playing that will continue to inspire and delight for generations to come. Sincere condolences to all the YES family and friends in this time of transition. May our memories of Chris bring joy and peace in the months ahead.

  20. Peter

    Chris was the reason I bought a Rickenbacker 4001 and tried to play along with his recordings,what was seldom a succes.His presence and virtuoso bassplaying was a joy to see and hear and he will be dearly missed.Rest in Peace,Chris..

  21. ernie klein

    It is a sad day when such a true gentleman and musical legend passes away at such a relatively young age. Truly an inspiration to countless bass players and musicians. And such a kind and sweet man from everything I have ever read about him. He is in Heaven now and being taken care of.

  22. Carl LoSasso

    Few have an impact as profound especially at a time when progressive Rock & Roll was in it’s infancy. Thanks Chris, and God bless you

  23. Telmo Martins

    Meu coração foi invadido por uma infinita tristeza com esta notícia do desencarne de Chris Squire. Sem a mínima dúvida; um dos maiores e melhores músicos que já ouvi. Graças a Deus os assisti em 2015 aqui no teatro Araújo Viana-Porto Alegre/Brasil. Vá em Paz, Chris Squire com muita Luz e pra toda Luz ….

  24. Bob Catalano

    The world has lost a Progressive Rock Icon. Chris was hugely instrumental in shaping the musician I am today. Yes fans all over the world mourn his loss. Rest In Peace Chris!

  25. steve bartlett

    In the centuries to come your legend will loom large in the hearts and souls of bassist and musician’s the world over.
    Thank you Mr Squire for taking us all to the next level and for sharing your genius.

  26. gary

    Chris was my biggest influence as a teenage Bass Player. i tried to mimic many of his bass licks, my favorite was The Fish, and then the lead at the end of Does it Relay Happen. A legend for sure, too bad Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is to pompous to recognize Yes and one of the greatest Bass guitarists who ever recorded. God bless you man and thanks!

  27. Rob Coccaro

    RIP Chris Squire! You will be sorely missed. If it wasn’t for your perseverance we would not have had the great music and institution of Yes today. It was a pleasure to meet you back in 2013. Rock on in heaven.

  28. Fraser Turner

    a great loss – A world class musician and influenced my Bass Fumberlings since I was 19 – R.I.P. Chris and good luck in Bass Heaven

  29. Karl Taylor

    My heart goes out the entire Squire and Yes families. I saw Yes eight times in my life and I was in the front row at my last one. Chris gave me a “high five” after the show. He was the best bass player on the planet, BTW……Rest in peace, Chris. Yes is no more.

  30. Alan Price

    Chris Squire inspired me to play bass, which is why I use a pic. Learned by playing along to Close to the Edge Rip

  31. Lyle Dunn

    It Can Happen …. RIP Chris Squire …Memories memories memories …what a Great Band we were blessed with. My condolences and sympathy to Family, Friends and Fans

  32. Barry Brown

    I saw Chris with Yes on many occasions. He was a phenomenal bass player. He will be greatly missed, loved his playing.
    RIP Chris

  33. Jim Stasky

    RIP Chris. You were perhaps the biggest influence to me growing up as a bass player for the better part of me 65 years. You were the reason why I kept playing all these years. I will truly miss you.

  34. Jim Cunningham

    Chris will be missed he could play the bass like no other I loved the Fish out of Water one of his best R IP

  35. Rob van Dalsem

    I think he was the biggest part of the Yes sound, without him, Yes is no longer “Yes” RIP Chris.

  36. Della

    It’s always sad to hear of any of our well talented musicians pass on. May he fly high with the angels of all others who passed before him. Thank you for the music you have given us. Sorry for his loss to all his family freinds and vans. GOD Bless you

  37. SHADD

    Another great musician has past. In the last 5 years are so a lot of all musician have passed.
    Time to take stock and look for the great musician coming thru.
    God Bless Chris/ Thanks all the music!!! Drums Shadd

  38. Jimmy Hindle

    My son just told me of Chris’s passing. Absolutely gutted, an incredible loss to the music industry. Thanks for the memories Chris. X,

  39. Jimmy Hindle

    My son has just told me of Chris’s passing, absolutely gutted, an incredible loss to the music industry. Thanks for the memories Chris. X.

  40. John Hardesty

    Squire was the nucleus of Yes, and will forever be! So sadden of this news, I awake with Yes, every morning, my ritual, seen them in Louisville, Kentucky, years ago, and they just blew me away with their clarity, harmony and sound, one of the greatest shows I have ever seen, and I have seen them all!

  41. patrick pierssens

    Farewell Chris you made me playing bass Rick of course. See you soon for the great gig in the sky

  42. patrick pierssens

    Farewell Chris you made me playing bass Rick of course. See you soon for the great gig in the sky

  43. Mats Bjorklund

    Devastated to hear the news. He was a true legend. Crucial for YES. Life is just too short!!
    RIP Chris.

  44. Rigoberto Gruner

    Eu vivi e aproveitei muito a década de 70 quando o YES realmente aconteceu. Chris Squire foi a locomotiva deste grupo que junto com o Pink Floyd criou uma nova sonoridade. The Fish além de baixista espetacular participava dos vocais da banda, ele genuinamente fez parte da alma do Yes.
    Com isto terminou um capítulo de extraordinária criatividade da música británica. A partir de agora só poderemos ter covers do Yes, não há como serem compostas novas obras como Close to the Edge, Fragile….sem Chris Squire.
    Quem assistiu assistiu, quem não assistiu….
    Descanse em Paz.

  45. Mark

    What a shock! A master of the bass and a Maestro of arrangement with surprises in his approach to a piece. Yet always tasteful and blending with nary a wrong or sour note! The Fish darting to and fro in his element… One of the best ever and my all-time favorite bassist. Fly high my brother, and peace to all your family and friends. I miss you already.

  46. John Denley

    I first saw Yes supporting Iron Butterfly on the ” Age Of Atlantic” tour at the beginning of the 1970s.I was totally blown away by Yes,and their virtuoso bass player,Chris.
    I saw Yes a few more time in those earlier years,and their pioneering Progressive brand of rock music just continued to inspire & amaze,and still does to this day.At the heart of that music was the mighty bass playing of Chris Squire.RIP big man.

  47. Greg Broyles

    Been a yes fan since the early 70’s, seen you many times. Will miss your charismatic charm, musicianship.
    Gonna miss you so much.
    R.I.P. and god bless Chris

  48. Bellorn

    Such a sad loss to Family and the music world , the music he leaves for us to listen to , is a worthy legacy for us to remember .

  49. Richard A. Sheridan, Esq.

    I first heard “Roundabout” from their “Fragile” album in the mid-70’s; was an instant fan. Richard

  50. Bart Holloman

    Get a copy of “YES Live at the House of Blues” and remember his energy, talent, and gift to us all!!!

  51. Gerhard Wiederer

    He was a funny and friendly guy and a ideal for so many bassmen ,including me !

    R.I.P Chris !!

  52. Gordon

    Chris Squire, a husband, father, brother, gentleman, legend and a hero. Thanks so much for the wondrous memories Chris. RIP.

  53. 4strings

    R.I.P. Chris. Now you get to join or conduct the best choir around and accompany the angels on bass forever!

    P.S. To say Chris as a genius on the bass is somewhat of an understatement. When bassists play bass with a pick/plectrum and other musicians disparagingly try to tell you or convince you to only use your fingers to pluck and play the bass , you just have to tell them “Chris Squire” and that SAYS IT ALL for anyone to play bass this way!

  54. Ade F

    What a huge loss to the music world!
    The distinctive signature of his bass playing is irreplaceable. Chris, you will surely be missed.
    Thanks for the wondrous stories and amazing music.

  55. Tom Arand

    The world of music and the soundtrack to many lives have been shocked in irreplaceable ways. Our deep sorrow goes out to the entire Squire family. The loss is the world’s of such a caliber musician. As it is said in times like these, As long as the speaking of our friends name, accomplishments and triumphs and melodic impact on all, he will never pass. Though you may have never known my name, you made changes to my soundtrack of life through headphones and dreams of maybe one day reaching the class you ran in, and laid a template for many at attempting at what flowed from your hands like the waters in the streams. Rest softly my friend, my hero.

  56. Robert Olschlager

    Utterly devastating! My favorite musician from my favorite band! I am still in shock and ibfeel as if I have lost a member of my family. The Yes legions mourn his loss for his family, his friends, Yes, and Yes fans all over the world. Thank you for the great, inteligent music in a world of top 40 junk!

  57. Julian Gonzales

    The Thumping Heart of my All-Time Favourite (as the Brits might spell it) Band. ‘And You and I fly over Valleys of Endless Seas’

  58. Eleventyfirst

    Fantastic player with a great stage presence. I often find myself hearing his base lines in my head and not a song’s melody. I’m so happy to have gotten to see him (multiple times) as part of the recent Three Albums Tour and I a devastated to think I won’t get to do so again. Sincerest condolences to his wife and children and to all who loved him.

  59. Mary Candlish

    Thank you for leaving us your gift of music you will surely be missed. God Bless your new journey.

  60. Mark Mckenna

    Simply one of the best , one of the Kings . His stops in Chicago were legendary . Big shows , big crowds and the biggest sound . Thanks Chris Squire , we will remember you Sir . Mark McKenna

  61. Dave Crowder

    When McCartney rested up in 69, Chris took up the baton becoming my new inspiration. He never rested up and I owe much for the ideas Chris demonstrated regarding harmonic playing.

  62. Robert Cadieux

    God Bless You Chris! And God Bless You “Squire’s !”
    ” YOUR’S IS ” NO DISGRACE! ” I Thank ” You CHRIS!”
    ” May The South Side of the SKY! Be Good To You!”

  63. Mark F

    I was seven years old when I first heard Yes or should I say felt the power of Squire’s bass. I was in Wisconsin at church camp, 1974. There were these hippie junior ministers who had a Chevy van with these big speakers that weren’t really attached to anything. So, I sat on this bench seat and I had to hold one of the speakers in my arms. And they turned on the music and I felt a vibration rolling inside me and I had no idea what was going on but the moment stayed with me. I didn’t know it was Roundabout until I was older and heard it and that feeling was triggered again and I became a Yes fan. Thanks for reading, I always picture the limo window being rolled up in Spinal Tap as I’m reading my own comments.

  64. kenny maes

    truely one of the best i never got to see him live but plenty of video I used Listen to my Bud Lorne Black RIP also plays his stuff and just smile afterwards

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