Recently, Yes fans learned that Chris Squire, co-founder of the most influential progressive rock band ever, has a rare form of leukemia. This is sobering news indeed and a reminder that brilliant, timeless and heavenly music is created by fragile and mortal creatures.
For about forty-seven years, Chris has been the only constant in the band’s ever changing line-up. If Jon Anderson is the voice of Yes, then surely Squire has been its torch bearer.
It’s a shame that group’s two founding members find themselves estranged. Both have endured serious health issues, but undoubtedly past business matters and personal friction have created a rift that extends into the fan base as well. Yet, both Chris’s version of Yes and Jon’s solo career have created positive, upbeat and rewarding music.
What made Yes’ best music work was a peculiar mix of incongruous elements. Squire’s down-to-earth personality and pop-sensibility complemented Anderson’s ethereal and cryptic tendencies. Jon could soar so high, both vocally and in terms of musical ambitions, in no small measure because Chris anchored everything with his rock-solid but innately melodic bass.