The Rock Universe Pays Tribute To Late Yes Bassist Chris Squire
Members of Yes, Rush, Black Sabbath, Kiss and so many more are paying tribute to legendary Yes bassist Chris Squire, who died this week at the age of 67. The Grammy Award-winning bassist, vocalist, and founding member of Yes died after a battle with Acute Erythroid Leukemia (AEL), an uncommon form of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).
Squire co-founded Yes in 1968 with singer Jon Anderson and was the only member to appear on each of their 21 studio albums, released from 1969 to 2014.
From the band (past and present):
Jon Anderson: Chris was a very special part of my life; we were musical brothers. He was an amazingly unique bass player – very poetic – and had a wonderful knowledge of harmony. We met at a certain time when music was very open, and I feel blessed to have created some wonderful, adventurous, music with him. Chris had such a great sense of humor… he always said he was Darth Vader to my Obiwan. I always thought of him as Christopher Robin to my Winnie the Pooh.
We travelled a road less travelled and I’m so thankful that he climbed the musical mountains with me. Throughout everything, he was still my brother, and I’m so glad we were able to reconnect recently. I saw him in my meditation last night, and he was radiant. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones.
Love and light…..Jon
Geoff Downes: Utterly devastated beyond words to have to report the sad news of the passing of my dear friend, bandmate and inspiration Chris Squire. I’ll miss seeing him looking across the stage – a wink here and a wink there with that Mephistophelean grin particularly if something had gone slightly awry. He was a legendary bassist, loveable funny guy both on and off the stage. He took bass guitar to another level and inspired thousands of others, the undisputed king of the 4 strings. Many will cite Chris as the reason why they picked up the instrument in the first place.
Steve Howe: It’s hard to imagine the future without Chris! I sense that he will be in our thoughts & minds for sometime.
He was a one-off, larger than life human being, who brought a serious amount to everything he was part of.
Long may his memory resonate through the lands.
Rick Wakeman: We have now lost, who for me, are the two greatest bass players classic rock has ever known. John Entwistle and now Chris. There can hardly be a bass player worth his salt who hasn’t been influenced by one or both of these great players. Chris took the art of making a bass guitar into a lead instrument to another stratosphere and coupled with his showmanship and concern for every single note he played, made him something special. Although Chris is no longer with us in human form, his music has not gone with him and that will be around long after all who read this will also have departed this mortal coil. That’s the great gift of music. That gift can be passed on with what has been created and so Chris will always live on. I, like all of you, send my heartfelt condolences to all Chris’s extended family and may there be some solace for them in knowing the impact he had on so many of us. Chris’s passing, truly marks the end of an era.
For more tributes from many of rock’s luminaries, click here.
Yes will be touring this summer with Toto, as well as on the Cruise To The Edge in November. Chris’s role in the band will be covered by Yes alumnus Billy Sherwood.
To quote Chris prior to his death while receiving treatment for Leukemia: “This will be the first time since the band formed in 1968 that Yes will have performed live without me. 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.”
Journey Drummer Deen Castronovo Faces Charges of Rape, Sexual Abuse and Assault
A grand jury has indicted Journey drummer Deen Castronovo on charges of rape, sexual abuse and assault.
The Oregonian reports that Castronovo was arrested this week on the charges, which stem from an investigation following his June 14 arrest for what was initially described as a domestic dispute. New details emerged at his bail hearing this week, when it was revealed that the 50-year-old was high on an overdose of methamphetamine at the time of his arrest. The judge in the case ordered him held without bail, noting that he was a danger to the victim.
The new indictment charged him with five counts of fourth-degree assault, one count of first-degree rape, two counts of menacing, one count of unlawful use of a weapon, one count of second-degree assault, one count of second-degree sex abuse, one count of coercion, one count of second-degree criminal mischief, and three counts of contempt of court.
The Salem, OR district attorney said Castronovo’s arrest stemmed from a week-long series of violent events during which he threw the victim into a wall 14 times, pulled her hair, sexually assaulted her and forced her to have sex with him. Gardiner said the assaults left large bruises on the victim’s legs, arms and breasts.
Journey has recruited Omar Hakim to sit in for their summer tour, although they’ve yet to issue a formal statement regarding Castronovo’s long-term status.
Alex Lifeson of Rush Fights Arthritis with Custom Guitar
Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson‘s ongoing struggle with arthritis has been one of several factors in the band’s decision to scale back on future tours — but he might soon be able to play with less pain.
That’s the hope expressed by instrument designer and longtime Rush fan Jody Michael, who tells Classic Rock Magazine that he wants to use technology developed by his company, Artisan Bass Works, to create a guitar that will allow Lifeson to keep performing while alleviating some of the symptoms of his condition.
“We’d love to build Alex an instrument or co-design an instrument with him,” said Michael. “We have clients that have rejuvenated their careers because of our instruments.”
Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris Says Bruce Dickinson Is “Singing Better Than Ever”
In a brand new interview with U.K.’s Kerrang! magazine, Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris was asked if singer Bruce Dickinson’s cancer diagnosis at the end of 2014 affected the recording of the band’s new album The Book Of Souls.
“Well, it didn’t at all, because Bruce didn’t know and none of us knew anything about… There was no inkling of any of it,” Steve said. “He’d finished all his vocal bits completely anyway, and then there were some other bits and pieces we were doing. Really, we didn’t know anything — he didn’t show any signs at all. I mean, his singing, when you hear it… He’s singing better than ever.”
Harris declined to discuss how the rest of Maiden coped with Dickinson’s diagnosis, telling the magazine: “It’s such a personal matter for Bruce and the band that I don’t think now is the time to talk about it. It’s Bruce’s story to tell when he feels the time is right. The one thing I can say is that Bruce is a trooper and more than ready for the next chapter of Iron Maiden. What matters now is that we’ve got an album coming out that I think our fans are going to love and we’re all excited to share with them.”
Looking ahead to the touring cycle in support of The Book Of Souls (due September 4), Harris told Kerrang!: “Whenever we do a new album, we always go out with a new stage show; that’s exciting in itself. We always feel like every show is sacred these days anyway, and I suppose even more so now after the scare with what’s happened with Bruce. It makes everything more important to us.”
Bill Ward Reveals He’s Formed a New Rock Trio
Former Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward recently released the album “Accountable Beasts” under the name the Bill Ward Band. In an extensive interview that you can check out on DailyHeadbanger.com, Ward talks about the album along with numerous other topics including another project he’s involved in.
Dee Snider Talks About Origins of “We’re Not Gonna Take It”
Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider recently talked about his band’s classic song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” in a Canadian interview. Dee talked about how the song was made, how the music video came to be and revealed how the melody of the song happened with “divine intervention.”
“We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “Stay Hungry” were the biggest hit single and album, respectively, in Twisted Sister’s career. Snider said “We’re Not Gonna Take It” is now part of America’s cultural fabric.
“It’s become like a folk song. It’s a traditional song now. It has a simple message that’s applicable to everything from sports teams to politics. I even once heard about the song being used by people protesting the development of commercial property,” he said.
Check out the interview on DailyHeadbanger.com.
Tom Keifer “Hearts” Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale
Halestorm recently released their new album Into the Wild Life, and on the cover picture you may have missed one pretty cool feature. Vocalist Lzzy Hale is sporting a pin given to her by Cinderella’s Tom Keifer that is a bit of rock history.
Keifer told Jacky BamBam of Philadelphia’s WMMR that the pin in question was one that he wore on the Cinderella album Night Songs. “It’s funny. We’ve become friends since that first show [Halestorm and my solo band] did together in Atlantic City,” stated Keifer. “You know, she told me how she’d been inspired by my guitar playing and singing in Cinderella and that stuff, and it meant the world to me. And, we’ve just become very close friends since then.”
Anthrax have teamed up with Knob Creek for their second limited-edition bourbon called “The Devil You Know,” the title of a song from 2011’s Worship Music. Last year they released their “Indians” whiskey, named after a track on their 1987 album Among The Living.
“If we find something we really like and that we actually drink ourselves, we think maybe our fans might like it too, so we want to make it available for them,” says guitarist Scott Ian. “We really enjoyed ‘Indians,’ the bourbon we produced last year, and obviously our fans did as well as it sold out really quickly.”
The group are working on the follow-up to Worship Music, and have a number of live dates scheduled for this year, including a UK winter tour with Slayer. Check out tour dates here.
Operation: Mindcrime, the new band fronted by former Queensrÿche singer Geoff Tate, has announced its new album, The Key, will arrive in September. Listen to snippets of four different tracks featured on the album in the video on DailyHeadbanger.com.
Tate’s group, named after Queensrÿche’s seminal 1988 concept album Operation: Mindcrime, is a seven-piece band comprised of Disturbed / Adrenaline Mob bassist John Moyer, drummers Simon Wright (AC/DC / Dio) and Brian Tichy (Whitesnake / Ozzy Osbourne), keyboardist Randy Gane, and guitarists Kelly Gray (formerly of Queensrÿche) and Scott Moughton.
On the 24th anniversary of the release of the Van Halen album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, Sammy Hagar takes you back to 1990 when it was being written, recorded, and released. He talks about what was going on in his personal life, how songs like “Right Now” came together, and the goose bumps shared with producer/engineer Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Cream) during the recording of the song “Poundcake.” Check out the video interview on DailyHeadbanger.com.
Metallica’s horror-loving guitarist Kirk Hammett is heading to Comic-Con to promote his limited edition 9″ vinyl figures Tomb Mummy Green, Tomb Mummy Metallic Green, Bad Brains Green and Bad Brains Metallic Green. Fans who buy the figures at Comic-Con are guaranteed a ticket to have Hammett sign their new green geek toys.
In a recent Radio Nova interview, Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash says he feels that “even heavy metal bands are just like Top 40.”
Speaking about the state of the record industry in 2015, Slash said: “I think the music business itself sucks. It’s turned into a very corporate, materialistic… I mean, even artists are trying to conform to the record industry now. It used to be the artist was for the artist and there was a conflict of interest between the creative artist and the record company wanting to make a lot of money, and eventually they’d sort of work it out. Because then, they used to develop artists, and now it’s just like Top 40 — everybody’s trying to be Top 40. Even heavy metal bands are trying to be Top 40. So it’s not a big turn-on, like it was for me in the ’60s and ’70s and ’80s where it was exciting and there was a sense of rebellion and whatever. So I just do what I do, which is completely against the grain of what the industry is all about. But, as a whole, it’ll get better eventually. It always has its ups and downs.”
Former Hanoi Rocks frontman Michael Monroe joined Alice Cooper on stage last week at the Tuska open-air festival in Helsinki, Finland to perform the classic Cooper song “School’s Out”. Check out the fan-filmed video footage on DailyHeadbanger.com.
AC/DC were purposely late to the game, but finally the band has joined forces with subscription streaming companies such as Spotify, Rdio and Apple Music, with the services now offering the band’s catalogue digitally.
AC/DC guitarist Angus Young vowed to keep AC/DC’s music limited to physical pressings back in May 2011, after the Beatles finally chose to work with iTunes after years of resistance. “I know the Beatles have changed but we’re going to carry on like that,” guitarist Angus Young said. “For us it’s the best way. We are a band who started off with albums and that’s how we’ve always been.” AC/DC eventually allowed their music to be offered on iTunes in 2012.