Exclusive: Video tribute to Peter Banks, founding guitarist of Yes and Flash

George Mizer, Peter Banks’ long-time manager and friend, is sharing a touching tribute video honoring the founding Yes guitarist on the one-year anniversary of his early passing. Stream it here!

Banks, who co-founded Yes after an earlier stint with stalwart Chris Squire in the Syn, contributed to the seminal prog group’s initial two studio recordings before working with Flash, Zox and the Radar Boys, and as a solo artist. The Radar Boys featured Genesis’ Phil Collins, who would also appear on Banks’ celebrated solo debut Two Sides of Peter Banks in 1973, along with John Wetton and Steve Hackett. Banks’ most recent release at the time of his passing was Can I Play You Something, a 1999 project which focused on a series of pre-Yes efforts including work with the Syn and even an early take on Yes’ “Beyond and Before.”

In the wake of his passing, Banks was featured on a series of recordings, including the Prog Collective 2, a Steve Miller tribute album, Days Between Stations’ terrific 2013 album In Extremis and — best of all — on a newly unearthed live date with Flash, featuring the band at the height of its powers in 1973.

A very limited number of Flash: In Public discs remain at www.peterbanks.net; a memorial page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/PeterBanksFlash.

Mizer played a key role in honoring Banks’ final wishes, organizing a a fan-driven campaign to raise funds for the guitarist’s cremation and holding an emotional send-off party to Banks’ life and music.

Mizer says he’d especially like to thank “Aubrey Powell and Hipgnosis for the use of the Flash logo, Barrie Wentzell for the exclusive use of the Flash photo sessions, Robert Hakalski for his wonderful a video work — and last, but certainly not least, the super folks at Greenberg Traurig LLP for your guidance the past three weeks.”

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Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.