Christopher Russell Edward Squire was born in central London, England on March 4, 1948. In his youth, Chris began his musical career as a choirboy. This early indoctrination gave Chris a particular insight into choir arrangement and vocal techniques that was to follow him throughout his career to this day. In 1964, Chris was suspended from Haberdasher Aske's public school for wearing his hair much longer than was allowed. The money given to Chris for a haircut was 'spent on other things'. Chris never returned to school. Chris' signature bass style was developed during a particular period of 'hibernation' as he spent several months in his girlfriend's apartment, recovering from the excesses of youth in London. During this time Chris' practice routine was relentless as he bonded intimately with the bass. Chris' early influences were diverse, ranging from church and choral music to the Merseybeat sounds of the early 1960's. A rabid listener of bassists from McCartney to Entwhistle, Chris further developed his style and became a member of The Selfs and The Syn with Andrew Jackman and Peter Banks , and later, Mabel Greer's Toyshop with Peter Banks and Clive Bailey who co-wrote "Beyond and Before", which appeared on the first Yes album. Jon Anderson joined MGT for one show.
The partnership between Chris and Jon Anderson sprang from their mutual admiration of vocal groups, particularly Simon and Garfunkel. They formed the group Yes and released their first record in 1969. Although the band has had many personnel changes over the years, Chris is the only member who has survived through the many versions. There has never been a Yes without Chris Squire. Yes will celebrate their fourtieth year in 2008 with a much anticipated, but not signed-in-stone tour. During Yes' formative years Chris was frequently known for being a 'free-er spirit' than the rest of his bandmates. Bill Bruford, at that time drummer for Yes, was the one most vocal in his displeasure. Sensitive to Bill's fragile demeanor, Chris was often known to drive at unsafe speeds to get to gigs on time. Chris' penchant for the fast life in the fast lane caused him to create a major altercation on the Autobahn after he was caught 'asleep at the wheel'. Miraculously, nobody was injured, not even the Rickenbacker in the back seat.
Chris has always been credited as the owner of the 'Yes' name. However, the name is co-owned by Chris, Alan White and Jon Anderson . Hence, the group formerly known as Yes were given no choice but to appear as Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe when in 1989 these members decided to go out on their own, sans Chris and Alan White. Yes, LLC is co-owned by Chris, Alan and Steve Howe.
Chris' first solo work was 1975's Fish Out Of Water, featuring Yes alumni Bill Bruford on drums and Patrick Moraz on keyboards, as well as The Syn and The Selfs alumnus Andrew Jackman, also on keyboards. Chris was also a member of the short-lived XYZ (eX -Yes-Zeppelin) in 1981, a group composed of Alan White (Yes) on drums and Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin). XYZ recorded several demo tracks at Chris' home studio in Virginia Water but never produced anything formal (legend has it that vocalist Robert Plant, still in mourning over John Bonham, was not interested). XYZ never officially released any material, though two of the demos provided the basis for "Mind Drive" later recorded by Yes.
Cinema, featuring Chris' friend Trevor Rabin became the 90125 line up that later produced the first complete album to be recorded on a hard drive - Talk. Chris later joined up with guitarist Billy Sherwood in a side project called Conspiracy. The band's self-titled debut album contained the nuclei of several songs that were to appear on Yes' recent albums.
- edited by Richard Stellar