Bassist Chris Squire died (March 4, 1948 – June 27, 2015) but Yes will not cease and desist. When he was diagnosed with leukemia back in April, he gave his blessing to a summer tour without him.
"This will be the first time since the band formed in 1968 that Yes will have performed live without me,” he said. “But the other guys and myself have agreed that Billy Sherwood will do an excellent job of covering my parts and the show as a whole will deliver the same Yes experience that our fans have come to expect over the years.”
That's why a quick check of the Yes itinerary showed a prominent picture of cadaverous Steve Howe, and a list of their tour dates in July with the equally infamous arena-rock group Toto.
A roundabout look at the history of Yes reveals that there have been many changes over the years, with Squire the leader who often decided who got tossed out and stayed tossed. For example, Jon Anderson had to leave the band in 2008, replaced by Benoit David. When Jon was ready to come back, Squire said "Not so fast." When David became ill in 2012, it was Jon Davison who became the new lead guitarist. Other names in and out of the Yes world include Bill Bruford and Rick Wakeman.
Cynics would say that all the various changes didn't impact the group much, because fans of this type of progrock are a bunch of drugged out idiots who only want to stagger to their feet and shout "WOOOO."
By way of tribute to this enduring band, here's "All Good People" as covered without guitars, busy bass, or synths by the a cappela Vassar Devils. You have to admire those cunts. (Oh, both the Vassar Devils ladies and Yes, I suppose). The Devils managed to turn in a rendition without the fancy underpinnings Yes always supplied, and Yes managed to make a classic out of a song with lyrics that are pretentious even by progrock standards. This 1971 classic features music by Mr. Squire with the lyrics by Jon Anderson.
"I've seen all good people turn their heads each day so satisfied I'm on my way! I've seen all good people turn their heads each day so satisfied I'm on my way! I've seen all good people turn their heads each day so satisfied I'm on my way!" It just never gets old, does it? Or as Lugosi once said to Karloff in "The Raven," 1935, "You are saying something profound."
"Take a straight and stronger course to the corner of your life. Make the white queen run so fast she hasn't got time to make you a wife. 'Cause it's time is time in time with your time and its news is captured...for the queen to use...surround yourself with yourself….'Cause it's time is time in time with your time and its news is captured...for the queen to use! Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda…"
Yes, the music by Chris Squire launched millions of smiles and cheers, thousands of tabs of acid, and continues to help a variety of good people get through the day. As Tweeters love to Tweet: "RIP" and "He WILL be missed."
Here's "All Good People," from the appropriately named VASSAR DEVILS.