Founding member for progressive rock band Yes, Christopher Russell Edward "Chris" Squire has died today while battling Acute Erythroid Leukemia, a rare form of Acute Myeloid Leukemia. In May Squire had announced the diagnosis and his decision to leave the band temporarily to undergo treatment. He was replaced by Billy Sherwood, another Yes alumni, on bass for the remainder of the tour.
Chris Squire was the only founding member of Yes to have been part of all it's incarnations. Since August 4 1968, when the band offered it's first concert under the Yes moniker, with Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, and Peter Banks, up to 2015, Squire was the flagstaff upon which the Yes flag has sailed in the wind. He was the glue that held the band together.
For many Jon Anderson's ethereal voice was the pillar of Yes, but it was Squire's emblematic bass playing that was part and parcel of the Yes sound for more than 40 years. Yes he was part of a whole, but he was a big part, and a solid part of that whole.
In recent months there has been a push to include Yes in the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame, due to it's influence and excellence in the music industry. If they do get this long delayed honor it will be in no small part thanks to Mr. Squire.
With his passing, a complete chapter in the history of progressive rock is now closed.
Chris Squire will be sadly missed by friends and family, of course, and by the music community as a whole.