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Rockers React to Yes Legend Chris Squire’s Death

Dave Kotinsky, Getty Images

Classic rock legends are lining up to pay tribute to Yes bassist Chris Squire, who died yesterday after a short battle with acute erythroid leukemia at age 67.

Some — like Steve Hackett, Styx and Tony Levin — played with Squire in the studio or onstage. Others, like Geddy Lee and Geezer Butler, shared a passion for the bass. Then there are those who simply recognized Squire’s lasting impact on rock music.

Then there was longtime Yes bandmate Rick Wakeman, who helped create some of the band’s best-known music with Squire: “We have now lost, who for me, are the two greatest bass players classic rock has ever known. John Entwistle and now Chris,” he said today. “There can hardly be a bass player worth his salt who hasn’t been influenced by one or both of these great players. Chris took the art of making a bass guitar into a lead instrument to another stratosphere and coupled with his showmanship and concern for every single note he played, made him something special. Although Chris is no longer with us in human form, his music has not gone with him and that will be around long after all who read this will also have departed this mortal coil. That’s the great gift of music. That gift can be passed on with what has been created and so Chris will always live on.”

Here’s a collection of other memories and well wishes …

Longtime Styx leader James “JY” Young:

Very sad to hear of Chris’ passing. Along with John Entwhistle of the Who, Chris was at the top of my list of great British bass players. His sound was powerful, unique, and he along with Entwhistle and to some degree Jack Bruce, brought the bass out to the front of the mix. It was an honor for Styx to share the stage with Chris and Yes in 2011 as we toured across North America. I cannot say I got to know him well, but it was incredible to hear him every night up close and personal. His hands were so strong that when he high-fived me on stage on the last night of our 2011 tour, he nearly took my hand off! He will be missed.

Last night, with some old friends in distant places, I shared a conference call and toast to the memory of the great…

Posted by Tony Levin Official Page on Monday, June 29, 2015

From Styx’s Lawrence Gowan:

I took this photo (fuzzy though it appears, due a shaky photographer) of Chris Squire’s bass as it lay side stage awaiting his hands during our tour with Yes in 2011. Standing alone next to Chris’ bass that day, I stared at it a long time realizing how much I revered him and this relic. Since I was a teenager dreaming of a life in music, all the wondrous magic he’d conjured from this instrument had made such an impact on my life! Thank you, Chris Squire. May your music live forever!

I am devastated by the news of Chris Squire’s passing. A special pal and a man who defined the progressive genre. Open…

Posted by Steve Hackett on Sunday, June 28, 2015

so…when I heard Chris Squire had passed away my first thoughts were of Julie Slick because I knew how much his playing…

Posted by Adrian Belew on Sunday, June 28, 2015

Styx’s Ricky Phillips:

The first time I met Chris, I told him I was sure I owed him for being such an influence on my playing. He thrust his palm forward and said, ‘Well, pay up!’ When I was about 18, I heard he had whittled down an English coin into a pick as part of his sound and I immediately made an attempt to do the same. It forced me to develop my pick playing, and not just rely on my fingers. I was fortunate enough to tour with Yes a few years back and I truly enjoyed my conversations with Chris. One day, he asked me a few questions about my gear and what I was running through. Well, that opened the flood gates for me to fire back with twice as many questions about his rig and how he got his sound. I’ll always have that as a cherished memory. Thank you, Chris. You’ll always be fondly remembered and revered.

Remembering Other Rockers We’ve Lost in 2015

Next: Top 10 Chris Squire Yes Songs

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