Chris Squire asked Alan White to keep Yes moving forward – and the drummer says that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
But he admits it’s going to be difficult to continue without the only man to have been part of every lineup.
White tells Billboard: “It’s certainly going to be hard without him – but he called me and asked me to keep everything going regardless of what happens.
“So absolutely we’re moving ahead. I’m going to do it for him.”
He adds: “Everything has been pretty positive in that regard. The fans are behind the band. It doesn’t seem like anybody’s given up. Things can’t just stop. We’ve got to maintain the Yes name and meet the high standards of musicianship Chris created.”
He believes Squire knew in April that he was seriously ill, but only told his bandmates the following month. “We got an email that said, ‘I don’t think I’m going to be able to make this tour, so if you can do it without me I want you to keep things going.
“‘I’ll get rid of this and see you next spring in Europe.’
“He had a very positive attitude – but it was clear that something was wrong.”
Billy Sherwood, who took over Squire’s role when he dropped out to receive cancer treatment, will continue in that position when Yes begin their US tour with Toto next month.
White says: “It will be very hard to go on stage and not see that familiar figure standing there.”
The set will contain a musical tribute to their late colleague. “We’re going to try a few ideas out,” the drummer reports. “We’ll definitely pay homage, but I’m not quite sure in what form yet.”
White won’t rule out recording in the future, but he says: “It’s too early to venture into thinking like that. We want to get the band on an even keel first.”