LONDON: The English progressive rock band Yes on Sunday announced the death, aged 67, of the group’s bassist and co-founder Chris Squire.
“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 said in a statement.
“Chris peacefully passed away last night in Phoenix, Arizona in the arms of his loving wife Scotty.”
Squire had revealed last month he was battling a rare form of leukaemia and would undergo treatment in Phoenix, his adopted hometown in the United States.
Geoff Downes, the band’s keyboardist, wrote on Twitter that he was “utterly devastated beyond words”, and described Squire as a “dear friend, bandmate and inspiration”.
The band statement described Squire as the Yes “linchpin” and credited him with inspiring bassists around the world.
Born in northwest London, Squire was the son of a cab driver father and housewife mother.
He was suspended from school in 1964 for wearing his hair too long, and never returned.
Squire formed Yes with singer Jon Anderson in 1968, and the band rose to fame after opening for Janis Joplin and being signed to Atlantic Records.
They gained a large following with landmark albums including “The Yes Album” and “Fragile” in 1971, “Close to the Edge” in 1972, 1973’s “Tales from Topographic Oceans”, “Relayer” in 1974 and “Going for the One” in 1977.
Squire was the only band member to feature in all of the band’s studio albums and was an important songwriter for the group.
He also released a solo album in 1975, “Fish Out of Water”, a pun on his nickname “Fish”.