Chris Squire - Impressive Facts You Didn't Know

Chris Squire – 18 Impressive Facts You Didn’t Know

Christopher Russell Edward Squire was born on March 4th 1948 and died on June 27th 2015. He was born in Kingsbury, North West London and grew up in and around the Queensbury and Wembley areas.

His dad was a cab driver and his mother worked as a secretary for an estate agent.

Those are pretty standard facts about Chris you might have already known, keep reading for 18 impressive facts about Chris Squire you didn’t know.

He Was A Choirboy

When he was a youngster, Chris’s mother made him join the Cub Scouts, but he hated it. One of his friends told him he could make money if he joined the church choir, so he did. They even performed at St. Paul’s Cathedral. He learned a lot while under the tutorship of Barry Rose the renowned choirmaster. Chris said,

I learned from an early age the importance of practice and making a unit that was fired up to be the best.

Chris Squire

He Was Paid To Leave School (Sort Of)

On the last day of term before the Summer holidays, Chris and his friend were suspended from school by the headmaster for having their hair too long and given money (half a crown) to go and get a haircut.

Instead of getting a haircut, they both went home and never returned to school.

He Was Part Of A Conspiracy

Around the turn of the millennium, Chris Squire along with fellow “Yes” band mate Billy Sherwood formed a side project called “Conspiracy”. They released 2 albums, their debut was self-titled and their 2nd “The Unknown” was released in 2003.

He Worked In A Music Shop

His mother took him to an employment agency and asked for work related to music. This resulted in Chris getting a job at Boosey & Hawkes shop in Regent Street. Chris used his staff discount to buy a new bass guitar. 

He bought a 1964 Rickenbacker RM 1999 to replace his original bass which was a Futurama.

His First Band Once Opened For Jimi Hendrix

Chris’s first band was “the Selfs” who were a rock, rhythm and blues band, they morphed into “the Syn” who perform Tamla Motown covers before becoming a psychedelic rock band. 

“The Syn” developed a large enough following for them to get a weekly residency at the Marquee Club in London’s Soho. It was while playing at the Marquee that “The Syn” opened for “The Jimi Hendrix Experience”.

SEE ALSO: Interesting Facts You’ll Wish You Knew About Jimi Hendrix

He Performed On All 21 Yes Studio Albums From 1969 – 2014

Chris Squire was the only constant member of the band Yes since they formed in 1968 until his death in 2015. Over the history of the band there have been numerous lineup changes which have included 20 musicians as full time members. 

But through it all, there was Chris Squire playing his bass and singing backing vocals.

His Nickname Was Fish

Chris Squire was given the nickname “Fish” apparently because he liked to soak in the bath for lengthy periods. He added to the watery story by once accidentally flooding a hotel room in Oslo, Norway whilst having a shower. 

He also made the band an hour late going on stage because he’d fallen asleep in the bath. Plus, can you guess what star sign he was? Yep that’s right, Pisces.

Even his first solo album was called “Fish Out Of Water”. He also performed a solo piece called “The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)” for the 1971 yes album “Fragile”

He Has An Asteroid Named After Him

In April 2016, asteroid 2002 XR80 was given an official permanent name by the International Astronomical Union in honour of Chris Squire.

It is a main-belt asteroid with a 4.08 year orbital period and is now known as “Asteroid (90125) Chrissquire”.

He Didn’t Only Play A Rickenbacker

Chris was well known for playing a Rickenbacker bass guitar, but it wasn’t his only instrument. He used to select the instrument depending on the needs for the particular song he was performing. 

During the early days of “Yes” Chris played a Fender Telecaster bass nearly as much as his Rickenbacker RM1999 (serial number DC127). During the mid 1970s he used to play a Fender Jazz Bass and a Gibson Thunderbird.

He also played an MPC Electra 4-string with a built in effects unit. He also played a custom 4-string designed by Jim Mouradian, several Tobias 4 and 5-string basses as well as bass guitars made by Lakland and Yamaha.

Then of course, there was the Rickenbacker 8-string bass followed by the Ranney custom 8-string as well as the Spector 8-string owned by Billy Sherwood when he was a member of “Yes”. Not forgetting his custom 3 necked bass custom made by Wal which was a gift from Rick Wakeman.

He Collaborated With Steve Hackett

Chris Squire recorded a Christmas album, “Chris Squire’s Swiss Choir”. A project that included among others, Steve Hackett (formerly of “Genesis”).

They went on to collaborate on what became known as “Squackett” ; they released the album “A Life Within A Day” in 2012.

He Wasn’t Just A Bassist

Chris Squire was, without doubt, the best bass guitarist in the world at one point. But his musical talents weren’t only limited to the bass guitar. He also played harmonica, piano and 6 or 12-string guitar.

He Inspired Many Bassists

Chris Squire’s style of bass playing has inspired many bass guitarists including; Geddy Lee (Rush), Steve Di Giorgio (Death, Sadus), Pat Badger (Extreme), Steve Harris (Iron Maiden), John Myung (Dream Theater), Robert DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots) and John Deacon (Queen). 

In fact John Deacon told Guitar Magazine that Chris Squire was his favourite bass player.

SEE ALSO: Queen Albums Ranked (rated from worst to best)

He Had A Very Distinctive Sound

Chris had a unique sound which was said to be “aggressive, dynamic and melodic”. It was created by the way he played the bass. He used a heavy plectrum (usually a grey  Herco “Heavy”) which he held with the tip close to his fingertips. 

This meant that his thumb would also hit the string straight after the pick causing a harmonic sound. He also played the bass like a regular guitar, including hammer ons, pull offs and alternate picking.

He Was A Member Of XYZ

In 1981, Chris joined together with Jimmy Page and Alan White in the short lived band “XYZ”. The name was short for Ex-Yes/Zeppelin, a name Chris said his dad had come up with. 

They produced a few demo tapes but never produced anything formal.

He Was Always Notoriously Late

Anyone who had ever worked with Chris Squire would tell you how they always had to wait for him to show up. He once said he didn’t like waiting for anyone so he always turned up late.

Due to always being late, he would often drive at unsafe speeds, on one occasion he caused an accident on his way to one of his own gigs. He has a commemorative brown plaque that makes reference to his tardiness; it reads “ ‘The Late’ Chris Squire”.

He was always late, and it used to drive everybody mad. We missed numerous flights, and we’d often arrive at concerts just in time for soundcheck. But he’d just amble in and go, ‘Hello!

Rick Wakeman

He Co-Wrote Many Yes Songs

Most of the lyrics for “Yes” Songs were written by Jon Anderson, much of the music was co-wrote by Steve Howe and Chris Squire. Plus Squire and Howe provided backing vocals too.

He Formed Yes Because He Couldn’t Get Any Session Work

Chris said that due to his unique style of playing he couldn’t find any session work. So he got together with Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Peter Banks and Tony Kaye and formed “Mabel Greer’s Toyshop” which eventually became “Yes”.

I couldn’t get session work because most musicians hated my style. They wanted me to play something a lot more basic. We started Yes as a vehicle to develop everyone’s individual styles.

Chris Squire

He Learned His Unique Style After A Near Death Experience

When he was in his teens, Chris dabbled in taking LSD which at one point nearly killed him. He ended up in hospital and on release stayed at his girlfriend’s flat and hardly left the place for months.

During that time he perfected his understanding of the bass guitar’s fretboard. He says that playing standard bass notes became “uninteresting” and so he learned how to play chords and other riffs etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

What star sign was Chris Squire?

Chris Squire was born on March 4th which makes his star sign Pisces.

Where was Chris Squire Born?

Chris Squire was born on March 4th 1948 in Kingsbury, London, England, UK.

Did Chris Squire ever perform at St. Paul’s Cathedral?

When Chris Squire was a member of St. Andrew’s church choir which he joined when he was 6 years old, he, along with the rest of the choir did indeed perform at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

What was the name of Chris Squire’s first band?

Chris Squire’s first band were called “The Selfs” and they performed rock rhythm and blues. Their first public performance took place at the Graveyard, which was a youth club in the hall of St. Andrew’s church.

What was the name of the band before they became “Yes”?

Before they changed their name to “Yes”, the band was called “Mabel Greer’s Toyshop”.

What was the name of Chris Squire’s first solo album?

Chris Squire’s first solo album was called “Fish Out Of Water” and was released in November 1975.

What was the name of the band Chris Squire formed with Billy Sherwood in 2000?

The name of the band that Chris Squire formed with Billy Sherwood in 2000 was “Conspiracy”. They released 2 albums, their self-titled debut in 2000 followed by “The Unknown” in 2003.

What was Chris Squire’s nickname?

Chris Squire’s nickname was “Fish” apparently because he spent so long in the bath.

What was the name of the solo song that Chris Squire and Alan White released in 1981?

The name of the solo song that Chris Squire and Alan White released in 1981 was “Run With The Fox”. Which was a Christmas song. 

What was the name of Chris Squire’s solo Christmas album?

Chris Squire’s solo Christmas album was called “Chris Squire’s Swiss Choir” ; it was released in 2007 and was an album of traditional Christmas music.

Did Chris Squire play in a band that opened for Jimi Hendrix at the Marquee Club?

One of Chris Squire’s earlier bands, “The Syn” opened for “The Jimi Hendrix Experience” at the Marquee Club in London’s Soho.

Where did Yes play their first ever show under the name “Yes”?

“Yes” played their first ever show at a youth camp in East Mersea, Essex on August 4th 1968.

What is the name of Chris Squire’s solo track on the Yes album “Fragile”?

The name of Chris Squire’s solo track that was included on the “Yes” album “Fragile” is “The Fish”.

What was Chris Squire’s primary instrument?

Chris Squire’s primary instrument was bass guitar. But he also played harmonica, piano and 6 or 12-string guitar.

How many studio albums did Chris Squire record with Yes?

Chris Squire recorded 21 albums with Yes, he appeared on every album from their debut in 1969 right up until “Heaven And Earth” in 2014.

What was the name of the band Chris Squire was in with Alan White and Jimmy Page?

The name of the band Chris Squire was in with Alan White and Jimmy Page was “XYZ” which stood for Ex Yes/Zeppelin.

What is the name of the album that Chris Squire and Steve Hackett released under the band name of “Squackett” in 2012?

The name of the album that Chris Squire and Steve Hackett released under the band name of “Squackett” in 2012 was “A Life Within A Day”.

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