Chris was a very special part of my life; we were musical brothers. He was an amazingly unique bass player, very poetic, and had a wonderful knowledge of harmony. We met at a certain time when music was very open and I feel blessed to have created some wonderful, adventurous music with him. Chris had such a great sense of humour – he always said he was Darth Vader to my Obi Wan. I always thought of him as Christopher Robin to my Winnie the Pooh.
We travelled a road less travelled and I’m so thankful that he climbed the musical mountains with me. Throughout everything, he was still my brother, and I’m so glad we were able to reconnect recently.
Chris took the art of making a bass guitar into a lead instrument to another stratosphere and that, 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.
Partnered together for 43 years as the complicated rhythm section of Yes, throughout the years and in so many ways he was my true brother, the one I never had. He was the driving force in Yes from the beginning and I admired his passion. Striving for musical perfection, he set the bar high for himself and expected nothing less from the musicians around him. With deep conviction, even through occasional differences of opinion, we were united in our belief in Yes’ music and the need to keep it alive and interesting. Through good times and hard times, we were kindred spirits – I had his back and he had mine.
We shared a sometimes unspoken communication – it was something we just knew and understood. We were relentless and I never expected to be without his company at this early time in our lives. It will be more difficult than I can imagine to perform on stage without looking at that imposing pillar of strength alongside me.
He will be missed the world over but none is greater than the loss in my heart. He is no longer a fish out of water – he is free and swimming in the big ocean now.
It’s hard to imagine the future without Chris. I sense that he will be in our thoughts and minds for some time. He was a one-off, larger‑than-life human being who brought a serious amount to everything he was part of. Long may his memory resonate through the lands.
Chris was not only the Jimi Hendrix of the bass guitar and a beautiful songwriter, but a good friend to both my wife Maewe and me. During the near four years we lived closely with him, we often saw his sensitive and caring side, the family man. I used to enjoy appealing to his fun-loving nature by making him laugh in his jovial and boisterous way. I feel immensely blessed to have had the rare chance to live and work beside such a dear soul. No words can express… Only love can take Chris Squire’s place.
I have so many wonderful memories of working with Chris and many of those in recent years. We once spent an entire journey after a gig trying to remember all the lyrics to My Old Man’s A Dustman – we eventually gave up on that one!
I’ll miss seeing him looking across the stage – a wink here and a wink there, with that Mephistophelean grin, particularly if something had gone slightly awry. He was a legendary bassist and a loveable, funny guy, both on and off the stage. He took bass guitar to another level and inspired thousands of others, the undisputed king of the four-strings. Many will cite Chris as the reason why they picked up the instrument in the first place.
We became close over the last few years and spent a lot of time together socially, as well as on the tours. He was always greatly entertaining with his countless tales of rock’n’roll, and his own personal spin on life. Despite his imposing figure, he had a really soft, gentle and charitable side, always magnanimous to band, crew and fans alike.
Although essentially captain of the Yes ship, he displayed very much a laissez-faire attitude towards the band and a nonchalance to life in general. I am eternally grateful that he was a great advocate of my playing and encouraged my own musical contributions. I learnt an enormous amount and gained great confidence from his support.
This has to be the hardest message I’ve ever written – I’m devastated losing Chris.
I met Chris in 1987, we became fast friends and remained so through all these many years. He was a big part of my world. He was my hero: playing bass and singing the way he did was such a huge inspiration.
We made a lot of music together over the years, for which I’m eternally grateful. It was always something very special indeed to create with Chris. We seemed to always be on the same page with our ideas. Chris used to say to me, “I guess it’s because we are both Pisces, our music always has a watery sort of vibe to it.
He was a special friend and a phenomenal musician, always eager to go beyond the outreaches of creativity. During my years as a member of Yes and even outside of the band, strongly embedded in my memory are some of the extraordinary sessions we used to have together: like an “empathy of minds and souls” jamming together to the rhythms of frequencies, all distances abbreviated by the pure spontaneity of spirits roaming freely, all barriers seemingly abolished.
Really saddened to hear of the death of my old Yes bandmate, Chris Squire. I shall remember him fondly – one of the twin rocks upon which Yes was founded and, I believe, the only member to have been present and correct, Rickenbacker at the ready, on every tour. He and I had a working relationship built around our differences. Despite, or perhaps because of, the old chestnut about creative tension, it seemed, strangely, to work.
I spoke to him recently and we were still laughing together. Even though he had recently taken a turn for the worse, this was not totally expected and the shock and sadness is extreme. I will miss him terribly. An era is over. Music has lost a one-of-a-kind, and I have lost a dear friend and brother. RIP.
I feel very privileged to have shared the stage and personal moments with you. I can still feel your huge hand on my shoulder and your warm presence. During the three years that we shared moments together, I never sensed that you placed yourself above me. You will always be in my heart.
Very sorry to hear the news that Chris died on Saturday night from leukaemia. It was a great shock, even though we were told it was likely. Chris was a huge force in prog, in rock and in music; a major heartbeat has stopped. Chris will be missed by his family, by the band, by his millions of fans and friends, and I will miss him.
Image below: Getty