Yes Founding Guitarist Peter Banks, Dead At 65

Word spread today that Peter Banks, founding member of legendary progressive rock band Yes, died of heart failure in his London home on March 8th. He was the band’s original guitarist and appeared on their first two albums before being replaced by Steve Howe, with whom the band went on to achieve greater success.

An accomplished and original guitarist, Banks came to the band via bassist Chris Squire, who he played with in the cult freak-beat group The Syn.  He is also responsible for giving Yes it’s distinctive and memorable name. After performing on the records Yes and Time and a Word he left the group due to artistic differences. He subsequently played with the bands Flash and Empire and was active as a session guitarist up until his death.

Yes posted a statement on their official Facebook page saying “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.

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