Peter Banks RIP

peter-banksJon Anderson has paid homage to fellow Yes founding member Peter Banks, who died March 8 at at age 65.

Anderson told Premiere Radio Networks’ Sal Cirrincione: “Peter was in good spirits the last couple of times we spoke, even though he had been in bad health of late, but always joking and still ready to create music. I will miss him.”

Anderson also confirmed it was Banks who originally came up with the ‘Yes’ moniker.

“It is true, he was the one who said: ‘Yes, we should call the band Yes.’ Bless him… a sweet guy… and a wild guitar player.”

The current line-up of Yes issued this collective statement: “We are 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.”

The pioneering guitarist had been referred to as an “architect of progressive music” and as a cross between Pete Townshend and Wes Montgomery.

Best known for his guitar work with Yes and Flash, as well as his own solo albums, Banks was a founding member of Yes, performing on the band’s first two albums, Yes and Time And A Word.

He would go on to form Flash – also featuring former Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye – and release three well-received albums (Flash, In The Can and Out Of Our Hands). Kaye only played on the self-titled debut.

After Flash, Banks would form the band Empire with his (soon to be ex-) wife Sydney Foxx in the mid 70s and eventually release three albums: Mark I, Mark II and Mark III. During his career, Banks would also release five solo albums (Two Sides Of…, Instinct, Self-Contained, Reduction and Can I Play You Something?).

He had been active in recent times working with acts such as Harmony In Diversity, Prog Collective, Ant-Bee and Days Between Stations.

Banks had been putting on the final touches of the live recording Flash – In Public CD set for release on Cleopatra Records at the time of his passing at his home in London.

Billy Sherwood, another former member of Yes, commented: “I loved working with Peter on the many records I have produced over the years. He always delivered amazing stuff … and always with that classic original Yes flavour that came with his playing. He will be missed by me and many, many other fans of his music and playing.”

Classic Rock Magazine

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