Chris SquireChris Squire of Yes is one of my favorite musicians from a band I have loved since my teen years. He rewrote the rules for bass guitar, playing like he was unaware he was just supposed to hold down “the bottom end.” He pounded and noodled and swooped and flew the bass like a lead instrument while still supporting the virtuosity of his bandmates.

Chris has been diagnosed with Acute Erythroid Leukemia, an uncommon form of Acute Myeloid Leukemia, and will be undergoing treatment in his current hometown of Phoenix over the next few months.

This is sad news and my thoughts are with him in this battle. I think he’s got some years left making that sound he makes.

Yes has some upcoming tour dates, and an announcement on the band’s website says the group will be honoring those commitments but Chris’ role will be filled by longtime band friend Billy Sherwood. This will be the first time Yes has played without Chris since the band’s founding in 1968.

While Yes has been notorious for its fluid membership roster over the years, Chris has been the one constant all this time, the only member who’s played on every album and every tour. It was hard enough seeing the band without co-founder Jon Anderson singing lead vocals, but without Chris it certainly won’t feel like Yes.