Monday, June 29, 2015

Chris Squire, RIP

It seems like the only thing that jolts me into remembering to write blog entries these days is the passing of someone who meant something to me. So today, another blog entry and another passing. Chris Squire, bassist, co-founder and one of the main artistic forces behind Yes, died Sunday June 28 at the age of 67 from a form of leukemia.
Chris Squire, earlier years

I've always been a big Yes fan (not necessarily a popular choice among our gang growing up). I've always had more of a taste for progressive rock than many, and (much like jazz) have no issue with long complicated meandering songs that would never get played on the radio. Perhaps it is the connection to jazz improvisation, or the multi-part harmonies, or the virtuoso musicianship, or the willingness to repeatedly make 8 minute songs in the era of 3 and a half minute radio shorts. Whatever the reason, I've been drawn to Yes's music. And nobody would debate Squire's chops as a bass player.

I had chances to see Yes in later years, and for some reason never managed to get to a show. Lazy, I guess. The only time I saw them was on the 90125 tour in 1983/1984 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. A purist would say this wasn't even really Yes, as this was the pop interlude where Trevor Rabin was the lead guitarist and main songwriter, and Steve Howe wasn't with the band. [Steve Howe was doing Asia instead, who I also saw in 1983].
Chris Squire, later years

Yes changed lineups a multitude of times over the years (perhaps hurting their chances to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - an affront that is a crime compared to letting in...say...Pat Benatar...but that is a different rant entirely). The one constant through the years was Chris Squire. There was never an incarnation of Yes that didn't include Squire. I've heard that this was because he owned the name, and Yes was whatever he wanted it to be, and he toured with whoever/whenever he wanted, and called it Yes. That may be true, but the musicianship is undeniable. And you have to love the long hair, flowing robes and satin sequined capes. Even on a bunch of 50 and 60 year olds...

I could listen to these flowing bass lines all night.

A few things from across the years...

Another great and favorite musician I will never get to see again. Sad.