I’ve been reading the many tributes to Chris Squire of Yes online, and felt compelled to write one myself. The music of Yes has had an immense and profound influence on my life from the moment I heard it. Squire didn’t just play the bass, he mastered it. He made the instrument his own, and took it to sonic landscapes it had never traveled to before.
The first Yes album I ever listened to was Close to the Edge. I had been yearning for new progressive rock music to listen to, and through the suggestion of a friend I checked this record out. I had never really listened to Yes before. I had heard most of Fragile and admired it, but never really took the time to sit down and actively hear the music. The first time I heard “Close to the Edge” I was moved to tears. I had never heard a song so beautiful in my life. My friend Matt had suggested that record because he considered it to be the greatest progressive rock album of all time; I wouldn’t disagree with him. Yes elevated prog music to an entirely new realm of spirituality; and found soul not only in the lyrics, but in the music as well. Chris Squire was a key component of that soul. His bass not only complimented the composition, it also fought against it. If ever there was a “lead bass” player in a band, it would be Chris Squire. The melodies he created were as memorable as any lead guitar or keyboard line. He could be thunderous and violent one moment, serene and benevolent the next.
He by no means lived a short life, and yet it seems he was taken much too soon. His music and soul live on within the same hearts he so frequently inspired while he graced this universe. Yesterday was really tough. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so personally effected by the loss of a musician. Today has been a bit easier, if only because the legacy of so much incredible music has been left behind. New generations will come to discover and explore that legacy. I find comfort in that thought, and even more comfort in continuing to enjoy and explore Chris Squire’s incredible gift to this world. I’m beyond grateful I was able to meet him and see him play live while he was still with us.
When I first read that Chris had passed, music came before sadness. Before I felt the heartache, I heard his music.
Childlike soul dreamer, one journey, one to seek.
And see in every light do open, true pathways away.
Carrying closer go gently, holding doors.
Will open every way, you wander through pathways away.
After all your soul will still surrender.
After all don’t doubt your part, be ready to be loved…
Rest In Peace, Chris Squire 1948 – 2015