A thoroughbred musician, a workhorse, a relaxed, likeable guy, a sensitive giant - that's how companions, friends and journalists remember Chris Squire. The co-founder of Yes was not only a formidable bassist, but also a great human being. Squire never let the rock star hang out. He was never dismissive, seldom in a bad mood. When it became known in May that he was suffering from leukaemia, recovery wishes trickled in from all sides and through all channels. But already on June 27 Squire succumbed to the disease at the age of 67.
"Chris Squire was the most important figure in the band, a good musician and a strong personality. He was the one who brought everyone together," says the British journalist, author and Yes expert Chris Welch in the group-authorized documentary "The Story of Yes". In fact, Squire was for his band what Tony Banks was for Genesis or Nick Mason for Pink Floyd: a pillar, the last constant in a constantly changing band, their (faithful) soul. Squire says about himself in the documentary: "I've always been the personnel manager. I let Jon be the leader, as number two I was in a safe position."
That's it. While singer Jon Anderson with his vision of an ambitious, sometimes ethereal music determined the artistic destiny of Yes, Squire acted as a stripper and networker. It was he who persuaded Tastenass Rick Wakeman to leave his band The Strawbs and join Yes. He introduced his Buddy Alan White to the band as the successor to drummer Bill Bruford. Squire brought Wakeman back in 1976 and his predecessor Tony Kaye back to Yes in 1983. And he kept a small door open for Jon Anderson, who had retired in 2008 due to illness and was meanwhile represented by Benoît David and Jon Davison.