In memory of Chris Squire of Yes

Andy with Yes1997, outside Massey Hall, upon meeting Chris Squire of Yes for the first time:

Me: You’re the whole reason I play bass guitar.
Chris: Well, that’s a bloody good reason, isn’t it?

Chris Squire has passed away. If you know me at all, you know Yes has been one of my favourite bands for nearly a quarter century. My first bass was an imitation Rickenbacker like Chris’. When I played bass in bands, I did my best to emulate his sound, the way he’d play sliding up the neck.

The first time I saw Yes was in 1994, on the Talk tour with my best pal Perry. I wasn’t supposed to be at the gig. I had developed a horrible case of tinnitus that had left me looking at a bottle of pills, thinking that I couldn’t live with it. But thankfully, I got over that. We went to the gig at Kingswood Music Theater, maybe six rows back, and when Chris played the amazing bass intro on Heart of the Sunrise, I did the whole “we’re not worthy” thing. He saw and laughed. But it was true. We weren’t.

In 2004, thanks to kindness of Bruce Henne of hennemusic.com, I had the chance to interview Chris and his bandmate Alan White for Corus Radio Canada. It was pretty fantastic. I’d meet Chris over the ensuing years and what amazed me most was his gigantic hands – one of the world’s top five bassists simply was born to play the instrument. One of the last gigs I saw with Yes, I took my Uncle David to. We went backstage afterwards and my uncle had a chance to chat for just a brief moment with Chris. It was a memorable moment for both of us.

Along with being a master musician, Chris was also father to a young daughter. It’s such a shame she won’t have more time with her dad, but hopefully she’ll grow up knowing what a groundbreaking, influential man he was, and that those of us that loved his music loved the man as well.

Thank you, Chris Squire, for the inspiration and influence. Like the greatest of my heroes, I wouldn’t be whom I am today without your guiding light to help put me on a path.

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