Chris Squire, known for co-founding and playing bass for progressive rock band Yes, died Saturday night just a month after revealing that he had been diagnosed with leukemia. He was 67.
“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,” the band wrote. “Chris peacefully passed away last night in Phoenix, Arizona. We will have more information for you soon.”
Yes’ keyboardist Geoff Downes was the the first to break the news online early Sunday, writing on his Twitter, “Utterly devastated beyond words to have to report the sad news of the passing of my dear friend, bandmate and inspiration Chris Squire. “
Squire was the only member of the band to appear on every one of its albums. The bassist co-created the band in 1968 with singer Jon Anderson after the two met in a London bar. Drummer Bill Bruford, guitarist Peter Banks and keyboardist Tony Kaye went on to join the group, releasing their first album that same year.
Yes, however, really struck big with their next two prog rock albums, 1971’s “The Yes Album” and 1972’s “Fragile,” which saw Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman become guitarist and keyboardist, respectively, replacing Banks and Kaye.
The lineup changes would continue for the next 40-some years, with Squire remaining the one constant, staying with the band for decades. Squire also released a solo album, “Fish Out of Water,” in 1975.
Squire revealed his diagnosis of erythroid leukemia in May, forcing him to skip Yes’ upcoming summer tour, and noted in a statement at the time that it would be the band’s first time playing live without him since its inception. Bassist Billy Sherwood stepped in for him.