Jon Anderson: My last message to Chris Squire

Yes in 2004
Yes in 2004: Howe, Anderson, Alan White, Squire and Wakeman (Image credit: Getty)

Former Yes vocalist Jon Anderson has revealed the last message he sent to Chris Squire before the bassist’s death last year.

And he’s reflected on the impression his late colleague’s approach to music continues to make on his own work.

Squire passed away in June 2015, a month after announcing that he’d been diagnosed with cancer. He was 67.

Anderson – who split with Yes in 2008 – tells Newsweek: “I emailed him, but he couldn’t speak at that time. I said, ‘I want to thank you for your life, your music. Without you I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing, and I’m so blessed to have had you in my life.’”

He continues: “As a musical partner he was so opposite to me. We were the yin and yang of the band. Like we would joke, I was Obi-Wan Kenobi and he was Darth Vader.

“The beauty of it was, I would be singing ideas and his bass would reflect my song, my lyric, my everything.”

Anderson continues to pursue that balance. “When we do concerts with any Yes music I always say, ‘There’s certain things you have to play that Chris played – because without those notes the voice doesn’t sing correctly,‘” he adds.

Describing Squire as “an extraordinary musician,” Anderson adds: “He played a double-neck, he played a six-string bass. He was one of the first guys to try one out. The guy was a monster. The stage would rumble like crazy.”

The singer will commence a tour with fellow ex-Yes men Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman in October. He reports: “We want to put on, obviously, a great show that will extend over maybe five years. We’ve written some music and song ideas – not necessarily to put an album out, but to sort of implant them into the show here and there.

“I said to Trevor, ‘Why don’t we just make it more cinematic?’ That’s what he does. ‘Put on a visually great show and musically great show.’

“We are sort of Yes alumni. We’re not going to lose that energy of wanting to perform songs we created.”

Yes guitarist Steve Howe this week wished his former bandmates well with their Anderson Rabin Wakeman project. Anderson has been named 2016 Prog God in the annual Progressive Music Awards, and he’ll be honoured at a gala evening at London’s Underglobe on September 1.

Prog God 2016 Jon Anderson: in his own words

Anderson Rabin Wakeman tour

US dates

Oct 04: Orlando Hard Rock Live, FL
Oct 06: Hollywood Seminole Hard Rock Casino, FL
Oct 07: Clearwayer Ruth Eckerd Hall, FL
Oct 09: Durham Performing Arts Centre, NC
Oct 10: Atlanta Fox Theatre, GA
Oct 12: Pittsburgh Heinz Hall, PA
Oct 14: Bethlehem Sands Bethlehem Events Center, PA
Oct 15: Glenside Keswick Theatre, PA
Oct 16: Glenside Keswick Theatre, PA
Oct 19: Boston Wang Theatre, MA
Oct 21: Wallingford Toyota Oakdale Theatre, CT
Oct 22: Huntington Paramount, NY
Oct 24: Montclair Wellmont Theater, NJ
Oct 26: Red Bank Count Basie Theatre, NJ
Oct 28: Atlantic City Borgota Event Center, NJ
Oct 29: Akron Goodyear Theater, OH
Nov 01: New York Beacon Theatre, NY
Nov 02: Pittsburgh Heinz Hall, PA
Nov 04: New Buffalo Four Winds Casino, MI
Nov 05: Chicago Theatre, IL
Nov 07: Nashville Schermerhorn Symphony Centre, TN
Nov 09: St Louis Fox Theatre, MO
Nov 11: New Orleans Saenger Theatre, LA
Nov 12: San Antonio Majestic Theatre, TX
Nov 14: Austin Moody Theater, TX
Nov 16: Denver Paramount Theatre, CO
Nov 17: Salt Lake City Capitol Theater, UT
Nov 19: Las Vegas Pearl, NV
Nov 20: Phoenix Celebrity Theatre, AZ
Nov 22: Los Angeles Orpheum, CA
Nov 25: San Francisco Masonic, CA
Nov 27: San Jose City National Civic Center, CA
Nov 29: Portland Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, OR

UK dates

Mar 12: Cardiff Arena
Mar 13: Birmingham Symphony Hall
Mar 15: Brighton Dome
Mar 16: Bournemouth International Centre
Mar 19: London Hammersmith Apollo
Mar 21: Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
Mar 22: Edinburgh Usher Hall
Mar 24: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Mar 25: Manchester Apollo

European dates

Mar 27: Brussels Cirque Royal, Belgium
Mar 28: Utrecht Tivolivredenburg, Netherlands

Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman is ‘next understanding of Yes’ says Jon

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.