Peter Banks, Dead: Former Yes Guitarist Passes Away at 65
“It’s with great sadness to have to report the death of Peter Banks,” a post on his official site stated. “He died in his London home on March 8, 2013. Thanks for all the music Peter! R.I.P.”
Former Yes member Billy Sherwood confirmed the news earlier today in a Facebook post.
“Rest In Peace…. Peter Banks,” Sherwood wrote. “Peter very recently played on the new ‘prog collective 2′ project I’m writing/producing, as well as the ‘days between stations’ record I worked on. As a Yes fan… this is sad news indeed. It was an honor to work with Peter on many productions. He will be missed!!!”
According to Something Else Reviews, Banks was also responsible for the band’s name as well as their first logo. The musician joined future Yes member Chris Squire as a member of The Syn before the group broke up in 1967. After briefly parting with Squire he reunited with him, singer Jon Anderson, drummer Bill Bruford and keyboardist Tony Kaye to form Yes in 1968.
After playing on their self-titled debut and 1970’s Time and a Word, Banks left the group before their 1971 effort The Yes Album to form his own group Flash, who released three albums in the ’70s, the last being 1973’s Out of our Hands. Around the same time Banks also was part of Zox & the Radar Boys which included a young drummer named Phil Collins. Collins and guitarist Steve Hackett would also appear on Banks’ 1973 solo effort The Two Sides of Peter Banks.
Some session work followed in the late ’70s and a few guest appearances in the ’80s but Banks spent the ’90s releasing solo material beginning with 1993’s Instinct consisting primarily of instrumental tracks. In 1991 he also reunited with Yes briefly at a Los Angeles concert and was behind a double-live Yes album from his earlier years with the group entitled Something’s Coming: The BBC Recordings 1969-1970 in 1997. Banks continued working on various musical projects throughout his later days as well.
Although no mention of Banks’ death was noted on Yes’ official site, some musicians took to Twitter to express their sadness, including Hackett. “I’m sorry to hear of Peter Banks’ passing… a great pal and a great guitarist,” Hackett tweeted. “Sweet memories of watching Yes at the Marquee for the first time.”
Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.