‘They just get fed up with me’: Long-time leader Chris Squire explains Yes’ ever-shifting lineups

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Over its many eras, Yes has boasted no fewer than 17 regular working members, with bassist Chris Squire as the only one to appear in each incarnation. He says he has a theory on why.

“I don’t think anyone really has ever been fired from Yes,” Squire says in this newly uploaded video below, with a laugh. “They just get fed up with me. They can’t stand me anymore, and they have to go.”

While it might have kept things interesting musically, Squire has suggested that this ever-shifting dynamic might have been what’s kept Yes from entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

It certainly would be a crowded awards plaque.

In all, there have been 6 Yes keyboardists: Geoff Downes (1980-1981, and from 2011 to the present); Tony Kaye (1968-1971; and again from 1982-1994); Rick Wakeman (who was in Yes five times between 1971-2004); Patrick Moraz (1974-1976, before joining the Moody Blues); Igor Khoroshev (1997-2000); and then Rick Wakeman’s son Oliver (2008-2011).

Yes has also had four guitarists and four vocalists. The singers include Jon Davison (on board since 2012); founding frontman Jon Anderson (1968-1980, 1983-2004); Trevor Horn (1980-1981, who switched to producing); as well as Benoit David (2008-12). The guitarists have been Steve Howe (who joined in 1970, and remains); founder Peter Banks (1968-1970); Trevor Rabin (1982-1994, Yes’ best-selling period); and then Billy Sherwood (1989-2000).

Then, there were the drummers: Alan White (with Yes since 1972); Bill Bruford (from 1968-1972, and then 1990-1992); and, early on, Tony O’Reilly (1968).

For his part, Anderson has remained active since departing, even working on several projects with Wakeman.

Sherwood has become an in-demand producer, and often puts together partial reunions with former members of Yes. Banks passed earlier this year, just after collaborating on a terrific new album with Days Between Stations.

Asked specifically about the early-1990s exit of Rabin, who has gone on to celebrated film work after helping Yes to platinum-selling status with his arrival before 1983’s 90125, Squire says: “It was just a natural progression. That decision has served Trevor very well, to go into the field he is in now.”

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