Chris Squire died aged sixty-seven on 27th June 2015, while receiving treatment in his adopted hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. He was survived by his third wife, Scotty and his daughters; Carmen, Chandrika, Camille, Cameron and Xilan. Tributes were paid by fellow musicians Brian May, Geezer Butler, Gene Simmons and Tom Morello, as well as bandmates Geoff Downes and Bill Bruford.
On 19th May 2015, Yes announced that Chris Squire had been diagnosed with acute erythroid leukemia, and would take a break from performing while receiving treatment.
Chris Squire was born Christopher Russell Edward Squire on 4th March 1948 and was an English musician, singer and songwriter best known as the bassist and a founder member of the progressive rock band Yes. He was the longest-serving original member, having remained in the band until his death and appearing on every studio album released from 1969 to 2014.
Chris was born in Kingsbury, London NW9, Chris took an early interest in church music and sang in the local church and school choirs. After he took up the bass guitar at age sixteen, his earliest gigs were in 1964 for the Selfs, which later evolved into the Syn. In 1968, Chris Squire formed Yes with singer Jon Anderson; he would remain the band's sole bassist for the next 47 years. Chris Squire was widely regarded as the dominant bassist among the English progressive rock bands, influencing peers and later generations of bassists with his incisive sound and elaborately contoured, melodic bass lines. His name was associated with his trademark instrument, the Rickenbacker 4001.
Chris Squire met his first wife Nikki in 1970 at a club in London. They married in 1972. She sang on the 1981 Christmas single "Run with the Fox" and also the track "Hold Out Your Hand" from Fish Out of Water in 1975. In 1983, she formed Esquire, on whose first album Chris, Alan White and Trevor Horn assisted. Their family included Carmen, Chandrika and Camille Squire. The couple divorced after fifteen years of marriage.
Chris Squire married actress Melissa Morgan on 8th May in 1993. The pair divorced in 2004.
Chris's third and final marriage was to Scotland who gave birth to daughter Xilan in 2008. They resided in the Chelsea neighbourhood of London, and latterly in Phoenix, Arizona.
In the 1970s, Chris Squire was a vegetarian for five years, before he returned to eating fish, then meat. He also got involved with cocaine in the 1970s and early 1980s after the band The Eagles, then a supporting act for Yes in the early 1970s, got him into it. He also did heroin at a party hosted by Phil Lynott.
In May 2015, Chris Squire announced a hiatus from Yes after he was diagnosed with acute erythroid leukemia, and subsequently died on 27th June at his home in Phoenix, Arizona. The band's first show of their tour with Toto on 7th August 2015 marked the first Yes concert ever performed without Chris Squire. From 1991 to 2000, Rickenbacker produced a limited edition signature model bass in his name, the 4001CS. Chris Squire released two solo albums, Fish Out of Water in 1975 and Chris Squire's Swiss Choir in 2007, a Christmas album. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Yes in 2017.
Chris Squire was born on 4th March 1948 in the north west London suburb of Kingsbury, to Peter and Joanne Squire. He grew up there and in the nearby Queensbury and Wembley areas. His father was a cab driver and his mother a secretary for an estate agent. As a youngster Chris Squire took a liking to Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald records belonging to his father, though his main interest was church music. At age six, he joined the church choir at St. Andrew's in Kingsbury as a soprano with Andrew Pryce Jackman, a friend of his who lived nearby. The choir got to perform at St. Paul's cathedral. Their choirmaster, Barry Rose, was an early influence on Chris Squire. He said that he made me realise that working at it was the way to become best at something. Chris Squire also sang in the choir at his next school, Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School, then located in Hampstead.
Chris Squire did not consider a music career until the age of sixteen when the emergence of the Beatles and the Beat music boom in the early 1960s inspired him to "be in a group that don't use music stands". A school friend recommended Chris Squire to take up the bass after pointing out his tall frame and large hands, thinking they were ideal for playing the instrument. Chris Squire then purchased his first bass, a Futurama, which he described as "very cheap, but good enough to learn on." In 1964, on the last day before the summer holidays, Chris Squire's headmaster suspended him and a friend for having their hair too long and they were given two shillings and sixpence to have it cut. Instead, they went home and never returned. After his mother took him to a recruitment agency and enquired for work related to music, Chris Squire landed work selling guitars at a Boosey & Hawkes shop in Regent Street, London. He used the staff discount offer to purchase a new bass, a Rickenbacker 4001, in 1965.
Chris Squire's first band was the Selfs, a rock and rhythm and blues band that featured Jackman on keyboards and Martin Adelman on drums. Their first public performance took place at The Graveyard, a youth club in the hall of St. Andrew's. In 1965, following several personnel changes, Chris Squire, Jackman and Adelman teamed with singer Steve Nardelli, guitarist John Painter, and drummer Gunnar Jökull Hákonarson to form a new group, the Syn. The group performed Tamla Motown covers before they changed direction towards psychedelic rock. After several months, Painter was replaced by guitarist Peter Banks. The new line-up gained a following large enough to secure a weekly residency at the Marquee Club in Soho, which was followed by a recording contract with Deram Records. The band once opened for Jimi Hendrix at the venue. Chris said so I saw what was possible, and I just had this innate faith that I was going to make it.
Chris Squire was fond of using LSD in the 1960s; a visit to the UFO Club on the drug on Friday which lasted through Saturday, and recovery on Sunday, became a regular event until a 1967 incident where he had a bad trip on a friend's home made LSD. When the police asked him to reveal who gave it to him, Chris Squire pretended to be disoriented and made up a story that involved an unknown Australian he met at a Wimpy restaurant beforehand. He recalled, "It was the last time I ever took it, having ended up in hospital in Fulham for a couple of days not knowing who I was, or what I was, or who anybody else was." After his discharge from hospital, Chris Squire spent several months in his girlfriend's apartment, afraid to leave, only managing to visit the corner shop. He spent each day practising his bass playing which resulted in his distinct style, citing bassists John Entwistle, Jack Bruce, Larry Graham, and Bill Wyman as early influences.
In September 1967, Chris Squire joined Mabel Greer's Toyshop, a psychedelic group that included Peter Banks, singer Clive Bayley and drummer Bob Hagger. They played at the Marquee club where Jack Barrie, owner of the La Chasse drinking club a few doors down, saw them perform. "The musicianship ... was very good but it was obvious they weren't going anywhere", he recalled. One evening at La Chasse, Barrie introduced Chris Squire to Jon Anderson, a worker at the bar who had not found success as the lead singer of The Gun or as a solo artist. The two found they shared common musical interests including Simon & Garfunkel, The Association and vocal harmonies. In the following days they developed "Sweetness", a track later recorded for the first Yes album.
As the band developed, Anderson and Chris Squire brought in drummer Bill Bruford, keyboardist Tony Kaye and Banks for rehearsals. The five agreed to drop the name Mabel Greer's Toyshop; they settled on the name Yes, originally Banks's idea. The band played their first show as Yes at a youth camp in East Mersea, Essex on 4th August 1968. Chris Squire spoke about the band's formation: "I couldn't get session work because most musicians hated my style. They wanted me to play something a lot more basic. We started Yes as a vehicle to develop everyone's individual styles." Chris Squire developed a bass solo named "A Bass Odyssey".
In August 1969, Yes released their self-titled debut album. Chris Squire received writing credits on four of the album's eight tracks—"Beyond & Before", "Looking Around", "Harold Land", and "Sweetness".
When Bill Bruford was replaced by Alan White in July 1972, Chris Squire altered his playing to suit the change in the band's rhythm section. He felt he was "playing too much, though I was never really sure. With Bill, the things that I did felt right ... With Alan, I found that I was able to play a bit less than before and still get my playing across".
Chris Squire described his playing on "The Remembering (High the Memory)" from Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973) as "one of the nicest things I think I've ever played".
Chris Squire was the only member to play on each of their 21 studio albums released from 1969 to 2014. He was seen as one of the main forces behind the band's music, as well as being "perhaps the most enigmatic" group member. Heaven & Earth was his final studio album.
While most of the band's lyrics were written by Anderson, Chris Squire co-wrote much of their music with guitarist Steve Howe . In addition, Chris Squire and Howe would supply backing vocals in harmony with Anderson on songs such as "South Side of the Sky" and "Close to the Edge".
During the band's formative years Chris Squire was frequently known for his lateness, a habit that Bruford often complained about. Because of this, Chris Squire would frequently drive at unsafe speeds to get to gigs on time, once causing an accident on the way to a gig in West Germany after he fell asleep at the wheel, although nobody was injured.
As Chris Squire, along with Alan White and Steve Howe, co-owned the "Yes" name at the time, the 1989 ABWH line-up without him (which contained Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe) could not record under that name.
Following Chris Squire's death on 27thJune 2015, the band's show on 7th August of the same year marked the first Yes concert ever performed without him. Former member Billy Sherwood replaced Chris Squire during their 2015 North American tour with Toto from August to September 2015, as well as their performances in November 2015, as announced when the band first revealed Chris Squire's disease in May 2015.
Chris Squire concentrated overwhelmingly on Yes' music over the years, producing little solo work. His first solo record was 1975's Fish Out of Water, featuring Yes alumnus Bill Bruford on drums and Patrick Moraz on keyboards and The Syn/The Selfs alumnus Andrew Jackman also on keyboards.
In 1981, Chris Squire was later a member of the short lived XYZ, short for eX-Yes/Zeppelin, which Chris Squire claimed his father had come up with the name, a group composed of White and guitarist Jimmy Page. XYZ recorded several demo tracks, but never produced anything formal, though two of the demos provided the basis for two later Yes tracks, "Mind Drive" and "Can You Imagine?"
In later years, Chris Squire would join with Yes guitarist Billy Sherwood in a side project called Conspiracy. This band's self-titled debut album in 2000 contained the nuclei of several songs that had appeared on Yes' recent albums. Conspiracy's second album, The Unknown, was released in 2003.
In late 2004, Chris Squire joined a reunion of The Syn. The reformed band released the album Syndestructible in 2005 before breaking up again.
Chris Squire also worked on two solo projects with other former Syn collaborators Gerard Johnson, Jeremy Stacey and Paul Stacey. A Christmas album, Chris Squire's Swiss Choir, was released in 2007. Chris Squire collaborated again with Steve Hackett, formerly of the band Genesis, to make the Squackett album A Life Within a Day, released in 2012.