Chris Squire

Chris Squire, Manchester Palace Theatre, 1975

Chris Squire with Yes, Manchester Palace Theatre. photo : Simon Robinson

As someone is always quick to point out if I so much as dare to mention politics in a passing comment, this is first and foremost a Deep Purple site.  But we are all a product of the times we lived through and the music we grew up with, and I am sure I’m not the only one here who will feel sad to learn of the death of Yes bass player Chris Squire.  With money always in short supply as a teenager, a fair proportion went on live music. My and I brother were fortunate enough to get a couple of the last tickets for the Yes Tales From Topographic Oceans tour, our first experience of the band live.  It was one of those show you will remember forever, and we sat transfixed by the whole evening – despite not owning the album (something we soon rectified, it remains one of my favourite Yes albums to this day).  And Yes certainly shared a similar history and timeline to Deep Purple, all the musicians being a product of the mid-sixties beat boom. Co-founded by Chris Squire, Yes also emerged from an early line-up into what many regard a their classic incarnation, and hit their stride at much the same time as Purple too.  The paths of the two bands even crossed on the live circuit in the early days (check out the advert below), different styles of music for certain, but in the late Sixties and early Seventies there was very much a progressive or underground scene to which both bands were equally valid (though whether Yes felt much of that spirit after the events at Plumpton in 1970 when they were supposed to follow Purple, despite Blackmore setting the stage on fire, I’m not sure!).  Yes underwent far more extreme changes of line-up and direction than Deep Purple over the years for sure (something I have learned more about while working on the publication of a book about Yes in recent months), but that bass (and those jackets) remained throughout.

Yes, Deep Purple, Lyceum London 1969

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15 Responses to “Chris Squire”

  1. Tony Pearsall Says:

    Although never a big Yes fan, a different brand of rock for me ,,still sorry to hear the sad news..Have to say loved the first sentence of this page- As someone is, etc etc, hear hear ..

  2. Skippy O'Nasica Says:

    Another Purple connection: he gave the name to Captain Beyond, according to Rhino: http://cleorecs.com/home/the-story-of-captain-beyond-classic-rock-magazine/

  3. Mark B Says:

    If any one objects to this non-Purple item Simon, they have no soul! I’ve always loved Yes – the four albums starting with Close to the Edge, via Tales From Topographic Oceans and Relayer and ending with Going For The One was a stunning run of form. Pearls, every last one of them. I saw them first on the Going For The One tour (at the shocking Bingley Cow Shed in Stafford) and Chris Squires bass almost punched the stomach out of my body! A brilliant musician in a fabulous band. Another one gone – the world is a poorer place for his passing.

  4. Tony B Says:

    I think it’s very true that we are a product of the times and the music we heard or liked when growing up and for me it’s music I enjoy the most especially looking at what there is of current popular music and it is saddening to hear of the death of the people who made it.

    I remember liking the really prominent bass on Yes’ ‘Roundabout’. For me similar to the Glenn Hughes type of approach, driving the track forward but also adding a big rhythmic but tuneful dimension to the song.

    As a product of the times the poster above gets me wishing to be there again seeing all those interesting bands (and individual!). For a quid you get all of it, food as well as drink (I guess you could also buy the bands records?) A bit different to the last time I saw a band recently.

  5. Les Hedger Says:

    He was a great Bass player may he RIP. Everyone is getting older. Where did the 1970’s go? (or the 1980’s for that matter).

  6. Timothy Says:

    ‘The Grope’?! Now that’s a proper band name! I’m surprised they weren’t on the Purple Records roster…

  7. Scott W. Says:

    Heard it on the radio today. I did not know he was ill as I have not followed YES for a while. Not just saying this…he was my fave bass player. I have always rated him. So prominent and original. You can hear him so well and he was so complex! Even though Purple and family are my fave bands, when asked who my favorite bass players are, for years it has been Chris, Geezer and Lynott as their sound is always right there for one to marvel at…not being buried in the mix for half the time.

  8. grannypants Says:

    A truly inventive bass guitarist. Chris will be missed by the many that loved Yes’s music.

  9. George Martin Says:

    I hate news like this, he was only 10 years older than me. It really makes you think about how fast life goes by. I am seeing Deep Purple twice in July and I will treasure every moment. God bless you Chris, jam in Heaven with Jon.

  10. Bernard Maasdijk, Netherlands Says:

    Sad news. Shall have to give “The Fish” a spin. It’s really been too long.

  11. Leftin Says:

    Simon: Thanks for the news. Classic Rock carried the story that Chris Squire was ill with leukaemia, but one always hopes something amazing will happen. Very sad to hear he’s passed on. I think Fragile and Fireball came out around the same time – two truly progressive albums. In that DVD biography of Yes (narrated by Roger Daltrey), Chris Squire seemed a very pleasant sort of chap – just as well for a guy of 6’4″! His basslines on South Side of the Sky were out there, in the best possible way, and he sang almost as well as Jon Anderson. Glad you got to see Yes in ’74 (managed to miss them in Bristol just last year). Their last album, Heaven & Earth, is a lot better than the reviews had it. Rest in Peace, Chris.

  12. davidstoddard55deeppurple6 Says:

    Back in the early 70s it was a great time to be discovering music. Like a sizeable portion of the country I was mad on T-Rex, but by 73 i’d heard MIJ and Master of Reality and I was awoken to the joys of rock. At school you fell into one of 3 categories – pop – rock or progressive, most of my mates were Floyd/Yes Genesis et al and I would not give Yes a proper listen until I’d heard Rush’s Hemispheres a few years later.
    Made the trip to see Yes at the NEC on their Union tour and my mate says – “Now you get to see Chris Squire”. Without a doubt a phenomenal bass player and I took great delight in learning parts of his Parallels bass line a few years back, and along with Hold Out Your Hand i have to say his playing was top draw stuff. He’s left us with a great body of work – thanks for the music Chris !!

  13. Bruce Says:

    Thanks for posting Simon.I am a bit younger than you.(Born in 1960) When I was 12 in ’72, I was getting into music through AM Top 40 and one of my first singles was the edited version of Roundabout. I loved that song,particularly the harmonized vocal ending and the drumming of Bill Bruford (I was just getting into drumming in those days).
    It wasn’t until 1973 that my allowance money started going toward LP purchases.Ironically, both my interest in Yes and Deep Purple began with their live LPs.Deep Purple gave me the harder edge of rock with Keyboards and Yes had the slightly softer edge with multiple keyboards. Deep Purple led me to Sabbath and Zeppelin and Yes led me to The Floyd,King Crimson and ELP. Chris Squire’s bass playing was unlike any others as he treated it like a lead guitar somewhat.
    Many music artists have left us over the years but the names of Lord,Squire and R.Wright have been the hardest to accept for me!

  14. Chris Clark Says:

    Another similarity is that both bands underwent a revival in the early 80s (90125 and Perfect Strangers). I only wish Purple could have gone on a Union-type tour in the early 90s featuring all or most past players. Squire also played the bass on the 1989 version of Smoke on the Water to aid the Armenian earthquake victims.

  15. Yes fan too Says:

    Gutted again.

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