We were deeply saddened to learn about the passing of fellow bandmate and founding Yes member, Peter Banks. He was a huge piece of the fabric that made Yes what it is, and our thoughts, sincere condolences, and prayers are with him and his family. Peter, we shall miss you greatly.
Innovative musician played on band's first two albums
BY RJ CUBARRUBIA
MARCH 12, 2013
Peter Banks, best known as the original guitarist of Yes, died last Thursday in his London home from heart failure. He was 65. Banks was reportedly found after failing to show up for a recording session.
After playing with bassist Chris Squire in the Syn, Banks and Squire helped form Yes in 1968. Banks played with Yes through their first two albums, 1969’s Yes and 1970’s Time and a Word, but disagreements over the direction of Time and a Word led to Banks’ dismissal from Yes before the album’s release.
After Yes, Banks formed Flash and released three studio albums with the group: 1972’s Flash and In the Can and 1973’s Out of Our Hands. He then formed Empire, releasing Mark I in 1973, Mark II in 1974 and Mark III in 1979. Banks also explored solo recordings, releasing his first solo album, Two Sides of Peter Banks, in 1973. He followed up with three more solo works in the Nineties with Instinct in 1994, Self-Contained in 1995 and Reduction in 1997. He was working on the live collection Flash – In Public at the time of his death.
Funeral plans have yet to be announced. A revamped Yes are currently touring behind three of their classic albums, playing Close to the Edge, Going for the One and The Yes Album in their entirety.
Peter Banks, Original Guitarist of Yes, Dies at 65
By Peter Keepnews
March 15, 2013
Peter Banks, one of the founders of the popular British rock band Yes, died on March 7 at his home in London. He was 65.
The cause was heart failure, according to an announcement on the Web site of Flash, the band he formed after leaving Yes in the early 1970s.
Mr. Banks, a guitarist influenced as much by jazz as by rock, formed Yes in 1968 with the bassist Chris Squire, the singer Jon Anderson, the keyboardist Tony Kaye and the drummer Bill Bruford. The band’s name was Mr. Banks’s idea.
Yes was one of the first and most successful purveyors of what came to be called prog (short for progressive) rock, an adventurous style far removed from the simplicity of early rock ’n’ roll, with complex melody lines and unusual time signatures that required considerable virtuosity to master.
Its best-known songs — all recorded after Mr. Banks left the band — include “Roundabout,” “I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” a No. 1 hit for a later version of the band in 1983.
Prog rock began to fall out of favor in the late 1970s, but Yes has remained popular; the band, which has gone through various incarnations, continues to tour and record.
Mr. Banks played on the band’s first two albums, “Yes” and “Time and a Word,” before leaving to form Flash. He was replaced by Steve Howe, who remained with Yes for 11 years and has reunited with the band several times since then.
Mr. Banks went on to record and perform with Flash and other bands, and to release several solo albums.
The current version of Yes issued a statement calling Mr. Banks “a huge piece of the fabric that made Yes what it is.”