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Chris Squire

UK-England UK-England

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Influenced by Yes (Prog)
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Squire's first band was The Selfs, a rock and rhythm and blues band that featured Andrew Jackman on keyboards and Martin Adelman on guitar. Their first public performance took place at The Graveyard, a youth club in the hall of St. Andrew's. In 1965, following several personnel changes, Squire, Jackman and Adelman teamed with singer Steve Nardelli, guitarist John Painter, and drummer Gunnar Jökull Hákonarson to form a new group, The Syn. The group performed Tamla Motown covers before they changed direction towards psychedelic rock.

After several months, Painter was replaced by guitarist Peter Banks.

The new line-up gained a following large enough to secure a weekly residency at the Marquee Club in Soho, which was followed by a recording contract with Deram Records. The band once opened for Jimi Hendrix at the venue, "So I saw what was possible, and I just had this innate faith that I was going to make it." Together they released two singles before they disbanded.

In September 1967, Squire joined Mabel Greer's Toyshop, a psychedelic group that included Peter Banks, singer Clive Bayley and drummer Bob Hagger. They played at the Marquee club where Jack Barrie, owner of the La Chasse drinking club a few doors down, saw them perform. "The musicianship ... was very good but it was obvious they weren't going anywhere", he recalled. One evening at La Chasse, Barrie introduced Squire to Jon Anderson, a worker at the bar who had not found success as the lead singer of The Gun or as a solo artist. The two found they shared common musical interests including Simon & Garfunkel, The Association and vocal harmonies. In the following days they developed "Sweetness", a track later recorded for the first Yes album.

Squire concentrated overwhelmingly on Yes' music over the years, producing little solo work. His first solo record was 1975's Fish Out of Water, featuring Yes alumnus Bill Bruford on drums and Patrick Moraz on keyboards and The Syn/The Selfs alumnus Andrew Jackman also on keyboards.

In 1981, Squire was later a member of the short lived XYZ, short for eX-Yes/Zeppelin, which Squire claimed his father had come up with the name, a group composed of White and guitarist Jimmy Page. XYZ recorded several demo tracks, but never produced anything formal, though two of the demos provided the basis for two later Yes tracks, "Mind Drive" and "Can You Imagine?"

Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant was not ready, despite Page's promises, to get involved with the band so soon after the death of Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. According to Squire, Zeppelin manager Peter Grant objected to the name as the "Y" appearing before the "Z" in the name. The group then "fizzled out"

Squire also played a role in bringing Trevor Rabin into the Cinema band project, which became the 90125 line-up of Yes.

In later years, Squire would join with Yes guitarist Billy Sherwood in a side project called Conspiracy. This band's self-titled debut album in 2000 contained the nuclei of several songs that had appeared on Yes' recent albums. Conspiracy's second album, The Unknown, was released in 2003.

In late 2004, Squire joined a reunion of The Syn. The reformed band released the album Syndestructible in 2005 before breaking up again.

Squire also worked on two solo projects with other former Syn collaborators Gerard Johnson, Jeremy Stacey and Paul Stacey. A Christmas album, Chris Squire's Swiss Choir, was released in 2007 (with Johnson, J. Stacey and Steve Hackett).

Squire collaborated again with Steve Hackett, formerly of the band Genesis, to make the Squackett album A Life Within a Day, released in 2012.

Christopher Russell Edward Squire (4 March 1948 – 27 June 2015)