Tag Archives: 1960s

R.I.P. Chris Squire (1948 – 2015)

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I was very sad to learn of the passing of Yes bassist, Chris Squire, who had been fighting leukemia. He was only 67 years old.

Squire was often called the ‘linchpin’ of the band and is the only band member to appear on every album that Yes released. He began his life in music much the same as a lot of British rockers – playing in R&B cover bands, with a few Beatles tunes thrown in for good measure. He joined The Syndicate, which shortened their name to The Syn and released two psychedelic 45s in 1967 called “Created By Clive” and “Flowerman” (which was backed with their hommage to the counter-culture event at Alexandria Palace in 1967, called “The 14 Hour Technicolour Dream“). The band split shortly after and Squire joined another psychedelic outfit, Mabel Greer’s Toyshop, in 1968. He soon met Jon Anderson and the two decided to form a new group – which was called Yes, after a suggestion from original guitarist, Peter Banks.

Yes released their first LP in 1969 and showcased a longer-song format, with flourishes of classical music and jazz – what eventually became known as ‘progressive rock’. Squire’s bass-playing was unique in that he played it almost as a lead guitar, with fluid lines and hitting notes in the upper register of the instrument. After a second LP, “Time And A Word“, released in 1970 – Peter Banks was asked to leave, as the sessions for the second LP were frought with tension. Steve Howe, formerly of Tomorrow and Bodast, stepped in for the third album (and the one considered to be the first ‘classic’ Yes record), called “The Yes Album“. It was released in 1971 and placed the band at the forefront of prog rock groups. Jon Anderson managed to poach our Rick from The Strawbs (abandoning Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye) for the fourth Yes LP, “Fragile“, which made them one of the top bands in the UK and even got them attention in the U.S., due to the radio-friendly tune, “Roundabout“.

Close To The Edge“, considered to be the best Yes album in the band’s catalogue, was released in 1972. Original drummer Bill Bruford left during the tour for the album and was replaced by former drummer in John Lennon‘s backing band, Alan White. A live album of the tour was released, called “Yessongs” (along with a film of the same name, directed by Peter Neal, shot at a Yes show in London). Back in the studio, they started recording what they considered to be their magnum opus, “Tales From Topographic Oceans“, based on Shastric scriptures that Anderson and Howe were reading. The final album was a sprwaling two-record set and even longtime fans thought it was too self-indulgent. Rick left after the tour and was replaced by Patrick Moraz, for the follow-up, “Relayer“.

The band took a break in 1975 and a lot of the members released solo albums. Squire’s was “Fish Out Of Water“, referring to his nick-name and to his ‘solo’ piece on “Fragile”, “The Fish (schindleria praematurus)“. It sold well and is reckoned to be one of the better solo outings from members of the group. Yes reconvened in 1976 when Rick re-joined. “Going For The One” was released in 1977 and the band enjoyed a bit of a renaissance, even during the punk explosion. “Tormato” followed in 1978, but was not received as well and Anderson and Wakeman both left the band in 1979. A stop-gap live set, “Yesshows“, was released in late 1979. The band, with Squire, Howe and White soldiered on, adding Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn, from new-wavers The Buggles. They released one album together, “Drama“, before a disastrous tour in 1980. It looked like Yes, like many prog-rock bands of the 1970s, wouldn’t make it into the new decade.

Jon Anderson started to work on some new demos in 1981 with Trevor Horn, original Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye and eventually Chris Squire and a new guitarist, Trevor Rabin. They were brought in to help fill out the sound. The new project was to be called Cinema – but was changed to Yes, as it seemed a more sound commercial appeal. This version of the band released the “90125” (after the Atlantic Records catalogue number assigned to it) and had a few hit singles. They toured again, playing some of the ‘classic’ songs alongside the new ones. Another studio LP, “Big Generator“, was released in 1987. The band split once again. Anderson reunited with Steve Howe, Rick and Bill Bruford (who had left the 1980s King Crimson line-up after Robert Fripp split that band once again). Squire owned part of the rights to the “Yes” name, so the collaboration was called “Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman & Howe” and released one album in 1989. A year later, it was decided to record an album with both of the 1970s and 1980s line-ups. The result, “Union“, was a bit too much of a mish-mash and contained too many tracks. I did get to see them live in Hartford, Connecticut on that tour in 1991 and I enjoyed the show. I preferred the 70s tunes more, but the ‘in the round’ set-up of the show and the revolving stage were pretty cool, too.

Yes continued to release albums and tour up to now – with the line-ups ever-changing. Anderson finally left in the early 2000s, for what seems to be permanent. Squire was the one main-stay and now that he’s passed on, it seems to me that Yes has as well. They are going to tour with Billy Sherwood on bass duties – but to me, it’s just won’t be the same (it wasn’t the same without Anderson, either). Perhaps the remaining ‘classic’ 1970s line-up will re-form one last time and then call it a day. Rest in peace, Chris – thanks for all the music!

Daft Or Dastardly? The Laurel Canyon Conspiracy

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A short time ago, a FB friend posted a link to a site all about the supposed “Laurel Canyon Conspiracy”. I think the context was a post I shared about Aleister Crowley. I’m not a hard-core Thelemite – but I do enjoy Crowley’s books on magick and the bit of his fiction I’ve read so far.

In any case, the L.C. conspiracy seems to have been first posted online by a bloke called Dave McGowan in 2008. Since then, it’s been reproduced in sections or in it’s entirety on various sites. Usually, I dismiss that kind of thing outright as nonsense, thought up by paranoids who want to blame the shitness of their own lives on some over-arching group (The Bilderbergers, The Rothschilds, The Rockefellers, etc, etc.)

McGowan contends that the 1960s counter-culture began in the Laurel Canyon neighbourhood of Los Angeles. The main characters in the scenario, such as Jim Morrison and David Crosby, were the scions of upper-ranks military commanders and intelligence personnel. They were then indoctrinated into working for the CIA to….well, McGowan never really says. Was the aim to spread the gospel of non-violence and psychedelics, to create a pliable populace easy to manipulate? Was it to create a counter-culture to scare the god-fearing Joe and Jane Six-Packs into voting for a strong conservative government and perpetual warfare?

Maybe both, or neither. There seem to be a couple of glaring errors in his analysis, almost from the outset. He contends that Frank Zappa was ‘pro-war’ and that all of the bands hung out together and were all good pals. According to the testimony in other books, Arthur Lee, of the band Love, liked neither Frank Zappa nor Jim Morrison. David Crosby has gone on record several times about how much he loathed Jim Morrison. Frank Zappa lampooned the ‘hippie scene’ quite a few times on his early albums (especially “We’re Only In It For The Money“, released in 1968). The idea that these disparate personalities were all gelling together for the CIA seems ludicrous…add in Stephen Stills, Charles Manson, Dennis Wilson (of The Beach Boys) and Neil Young and things seem even further far-fetched.

McGowan has done quite a bit of research on the history of Laurel Canyon, especially during the 1920s and 1930, when it’s homes were bought up by some big-name Hollywood folk, as well as stage magician extraordinaire, Harry Houdini (yep, he did some work for the U.S. gubberment too, says McGowan). McGowan impressively does find connections between a lot of the key L.C. players in the 1960s and while it may look like something sinister was happening, I’m not convinced that because a lot of the musicians were ‘army brats’, they automatically were drafted into helping the military/industrial complex. The U.S. military was a big employer immediately after WWII, when a lot of them were born – it doesn’t seem like much of a coincidence to me.

To be fair, there was a lot of weird stuff happening – but it seems L.A. does attract it’s share of chancers and miscreants and has done since the film industry set up there a hundred years ago. Add in psychedelics and sexual liberation and well…you got yourself a freaky scene, man. McGowan does shed light on the infamous Manson murders of 1969, deviating a lot from the ‘official’ story given by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi. Apparently, it was the result of a couple of drug deals gone very badly. Manson botched a drug deal with an African-American dealer, which left him (Manson) paranoid and looking for protection. Allegedly, he approached the “Straight Satans”, a biker gang, who were hanging around Manson’s place for the ‘free love’ and drugs. They thought Manson was a joke, but agreed to protect him if he could score some mescaline for a party they were throwing in a couple of weeks’ time.

Manson went to Bobby Beausoleil, who had formed short-lived psychedelic band The Orkustra (who later morphed into It’s A Beautiful Day) and knew a lot of the Laurel Canyon players. Beausoleil then contacted Gary Hinman, an acquaintence and fellow musician. Gary spoke with a couple of chemist friends who said they could get the amount of mescaline together. Money changed hands and that was that. Until, according to the bikers, the mescaline was bunk and they demanded their money back. Beausoleil went to Hinman, who said he’d already spent the money. Manson got involved and Hinman was killed, after being kept in his home by Beausoleil. Hinman was suffocated, still suffering from a wound Manson had given him. To make the murder appear as a political attack, they scrawled “Political Piggy” on Hinman’s wall.

Beausoleil was, of course, the prime suspect for the murder of Gary Hinman and trying to protect him, Manson hatched the idea of a few more murders to make it look like a political gang was on a rampage – hence the “Healter Skelter” (sic) and “Piggies” scrawled on the walls of the Sharon Tate home in blood. Bugliosi thought that Manson was serious with his “race war” talk and run with that story. It seems it’s a lot more mundane. It was all about money and paranoia.

Getting back to the original premise – why would the CIA create the counter-culture, only to destroy it (via Manson and Altamont) a few years later? The Laurel Canyon theory also ignores all the other contemporary scenes in San Francisco, New York, London, Paris and Amsterdam. The S.F. and London scenes were already in action as early as 1964, while Laurel Canyon didn’t really start until 1965 or ’66. While isolated examples like Vito Paulekas and Zappa seemed ahead of the game, most sorta drifted in after the fact.

Aside from the Hinman killing and the Tate-LaBianca murders, the other major tragedy of the era was Paulekas’s two-year-old son, Godot, falling to his death in his father’s studio. There’s also allegations that before he died, he was ‘introduced to sensuality’ by being passed around to adults open mouths. So, yes, there’s alleged child abuse as well. Still, I don’t believe that everything and everyone in the Canyon at that time were CIA agents and connected to the government. None of the conspiracy theorists have offered any sort of official proof – wouldn’t a Freedom Of Information request turn up hard evidence that Crosby et al. were on the payroll? Perhaps I’m naive in that respect.

As with anything – you can read the theory for yourself and make your own decision – it is twenty-one pages long and covers a five decades or so, so it does get meandering. It’s here, if you dare.

Also, as a bonus – McGowan references the film, Mondo Hollywood, several times in the article – you can watch the film in it’s entirety below:

Lou Reed: Farewell To A Rock-N-Roll Animal

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“Maybe only a thousand people bought the record…but they all went out and formed bands…”  –Brian Eno on “The Velvet Underground & Nico”

You may or may not have heard, but Lou Reed has left the planet, at age 71. While ol’ Lou could have been cut from the same cloth as some of the ’27 Club’, he stuck around long enough to have more than a few highs and some really deep troughs. Sure, he coulda pegged out in the early 70s (and probably nearly did), but somehow, it didn’t seem like his style.

The Velvet Underground, the group he formed with John Cale and Sterling Morrison, seemed so outside of the zeitgeist of the late 1960s it was nearly comical. An American band (well, nearly – Cale hailed from Wales (Ha HA!)), they didn’t rely so much on the jazz and blues traditions, but more on European avant-classical stylings. They had a female drummer who looked every bit as snarly as the guys and she wasn’t a flashy player either. No showboating – straight to the beat. Maureen Tucker, the VU drummer, has said that one of her main influences was African drummer Babatunde Olatunji. On the first VU LP, released in 1967, the quartet was joined by German singer Nico. Her Teutonic tones were morose and guttural, nowhere near the higher-pitched warbling of Joan Baez or the icy-breathed shimmer of Grace Slick.

The album hit the racks without much fanfare – 1967 was dominated by the pastoral English sounds of The Beatles and the U.S. West Coast bands – flower-power was in and Reed & Co’s gritty NYC decadence was viewed with suspicion, even hostility. Eventually, “The Velvet Underground & Nico” would become a cultural touchstone, the yin to “Sgt. Pepper”s yang. The VU toured that year as part of Andy Warhol‘s “Plastic Exploding Inevitable” multi-media show. Again, they were largely ignored. First, Nico left for a solo career. Cale departed after the second LP, “White Light/White Heat“, was released. “WL/WH” does seem to owe a bit to the burgeoning acid-rock scene and shows that the VU were listening to their peers somewhat, while still retaining the rough edges of the first album.

Doug Yule replaced Cale and brought more of a pop sensibility to the band. The self-titled third album featured some gentler tunes and even a bit of optimism in the lyrics. They toured and even played a few of the West Coast psychedelic haunts like the Avalon Ballroom. The band carried on for a couple more albums – I don’t even think Lou participated on the final one, “Squeeze”.

He officially went solo in 1972 and from there got involved in the androgynous/glam scene, his “Transformer” LP being produced by David Bowie (who borrowed the VU’s style on a few of his tunes, such as Queen Bitch). “Transformer” gave him his first ‘hit single’ in the form of Take A Walk On The Wild Side, which seems to be still his most well-known song. His 1973 ‘concept’ album, “Berlin“, was a critical hit, but again, didn’t make much of an impact upon it’s release. He confounded even his most ardent fans (including noted rock scribbler Lester Bangs) in 1975 by releasing “Metal Machine Music“, 2 LPs of constructed guitar feedback with no vocals or song structures, possibly a first for a major-label recording artist.

After that, Lou sorta disappeared into the late 70s and 80s miasma. He continued to create records, with diminishing returns – though I note that “The Blue Mask“, released in 1982, did get some accolades at the time. His “New York” album, released in 1989, was a comeback of sorts and in a sense, came full-circle back to the realism of the first VU LP. Eventually, but perhaps not inevitably, the original VU (minus Nico, who had tragically passed away) re-grouped for a tour in 1993. A live album was issued, but some thought that a bit of the old magic was gone. Still, you can’t blame them for capitalising on their now-legendary status. The rest of the world had finally caught up to them and they were being name-checked as an influence left and right.

They split yet again and Lou continued on…well, being Lou. He dated, then married NYC musician/performance artist Laurie Anderson, made some new albums and saw Perfect Day, from “Berlin”, become popular again after appearing on the Trainspotting soundtrack, He was as cantankerous as ever and still made interviewing him a grueling experience for the hapless journos sent to ask about his latest offerings. His final release, a collaboration with metal main-streamers Metallica, called “Lulu“, was poorly received. I myself only heard one track and I found it a chore to get through. Seems a shame he had to go out on that one, but, like Bob Dylan, he probably delighted in side-stepping his fans yet again.

What else can you say, really? Much more, I suspect – but others will say it more eloquently than I’m able. The guy was uncompromising and had little time to explain himself and his music. More popular as an influence than in the commercial realm (“Walk On The Wild Side” seemed more of an anomaly than anything) – a rock-n-roller to the core. Here’s Bangs on why he loved Lou so much: “Lou Reed is my own hero principally because he stands for all the most fucked up things that I could ever possibly conceive of. Which probably only shows the limits of my imagination.”

Happy Autumn Equinox

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We’re already into the final quarter of Gregorian calendar year 2013 – another one almost over. I admit to liking early autumn. It’s still fairly warm and the foliage on the trees looks lovely. It’s a bittersweet time of year – even though I’ve not been in school in twenty years, I still get that “summer’s over” feeling in September. You know, that ‘oh man, what a drag’ sentiment mixed with ‘but hey, a new (Gregorian) year is on the way’. Like I say, bittersweet.

Here’s one of my fave autumn tunes – it’s by the one-and-only Nick Drake. I love everything about it – the gentle finger-picked guitar chords, Drake’s melancholy-but-hopeful vocal and the lyrics. “Summer was gone and the heat died down/and Autumn reached for her golden crown…” and “Time goes by from year to year/and no-one asks why I’m standing here/but I have my answer/I look to the sky…for this is the time of no reply…” Beautiful and evocative. I often wondered what he is looking to the sky for. The space brothers? Angels? I love how he never says – I just picture him in comtemplation while the weather gets colder.

In contrast – here’s another autumn-type tune from Led Zeppelin, from their mystic-tinted fourth album. The title of the album is four symbols, representing the four members of the band. Consequently, it’s just been called “Led Zeppelin IV” or “The Symbols Album”. The song is called “Four Sticks”, allegedly because drummer John Bonham used two sets of drumsticks while playing the central beat. The main riff is a nice Page rocker, but the interesting bit is when they get to the chorus. The chords are minor, which gives a strange, haunted feel to the music. For me, it just conjures images of autumn evenings – especially with the lyrics: “When the owls fly in the night/and when the pines begin to cry..”. I still have no idea what Plant is singing toward the end. Some Tolkien-esque phrases, I reckon – something about strong shields and boots marching. Grok it in it’s fullness:

Mick Farren: A Rock-N-Roller To The End

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I was shocked when I learned, via Facebook, that UK counter-culture legend Mick Farren, had passed away, after collapsing on-stage. He was playing a gig with the re-formed Deviants, the psychedelic-punk band he fronted in the late 1960s, while also working the door at the UFO Club, editing issues of the International Times (the bi-weekly hippie newspaper published in London) and various other activities. Farren had been in ill-health and moved back to England from the U.S., because he couldn’t afford the care he needed.

Thousands of words will be written about Farren’s impact on the UK late-sixties scene and his subsequent work as a sci-fi novelist, NME provocateur and political observer/agitator. I can’t remember how I discovered The Deviants, probably through a book or magazine article. I bought a reissue CD of “Ptooff!“, the first full-length, originally released in 1967. It wasn’t what I expected at all. Raw and rockin’, it’s worlds away from the acid-drenched curios offered by The Beatles and Pink Floyd, as much as I love those. One track in particular, Nothing Man, is a sort-of sound collage that wouldn’t be out of place on a 90s electronic record. Check it out for yourself – almost as radical as The Velvet Underground & Nico, or Kick Out The Jams (itself released nearly two years later):

The second Deviants LP followed in 1968. Called Disposable, it features one of the most blistering attacks on the establishment and calls for a hippie utopia. Somewhere To Go features a bass line that recalls The ZombiesTime Of The Season, only it was released a year before “Time Of..”. To me, it’s one of the best Deviants tracks, and possibly one of the best of the 1960s:

The Deviants folded late in 1969, after releasing one final LP. Farren recorded a solo album, called Mona – The Carnivorous Circus, then left the music scene to concentrate on writing. A series of sci-fi novels, political screeds and music journalism were published throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s. He would re-convene the Deviants every so often, with various line-ups. The latest incarnation of the band featured the original 1967/’68 rhythm section of Duncan Sanderson and Russell Hunter.

You can read Charles Shaar Murray‘s excellent obituary here. R.I.P. to one of the true originals and a beacon for the counter-culture, rock-and-roll spirit!

Hidden Gems – Obscure 45s – No. 4: Boeing Duveen

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Boeing Duveen was the trippy stage name for one Sam Hutt, a London gynaecologist, who also dabbled in the nascent drug scene in the early 1960s. He became one of the first “rock and roll doctors”, dispensing holistic cures and uh…substances, to musicians. I don’t think he’s the “Dr. Robert” of the Beatles’ song fame, however.

Hutt got psychedelicised and allegedly worked in the Notting Hill Free Clinic as well in 1967 and 1968. In between hanging out with the likes of Pink Floyd and Tyrannosaurus Rex producer Tony Visconti, he found time to record two sides of a single. Released in 1968, under the Boeing Duveen & The Beautiful Soup moniker, the single flopped but has since been afforded legendary status. The record itself seems quite rare – the last one I saw on eBay went for £260.00 – for six minutes of music!!

The A-side, Jabberwock, features freaky background screaming and Hutt singing lyrics cribbed from Lewis Carroll in an upbeat, but somewhat menacing, voice. The B-side, Which Dreamed It (and the better of the two, in my opinion) features more Carrollian lyrics, but sung in a languid Eastern style. The vocal melody is echoed by some excellent sitar-playing and there’s tabla thrown in for good measure. A true UK psychedelic classic!

It seems a shame Hutt never had the backing or maybe even time to record a full album. The Beautiful Soup faded shortly after the release of “Jabberwock/Which Dreamed It”. Hutt resurfaced later as mock country/western singer Hank Wangford and had some minor success in the 1980s and 1990s. He’s still playing to this day, as well, as…er…nude mountaineering. I don’t think he plays the Duveen tunes live, though.


Two guitar-slingers head to the great gig in the sky

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Much as I was hoping not to turn this blog into an obituary page, it’s really not been a good couple of months for musicians. Maybe these things really do come in threes?

Kevin Ayers passed away last month and now we’ve lost both Alvin Lee, the fleet-fingered axeman for UK psych blooz band Ten Years After and Peter Banks, one of the founder members of UK prog-rock giants, Yes.

TYA formed in 1966, out of a couple of local Nottingham bands. Lee was enamoured of American blues and rock-and-roll and used those influences in his guitar-playing. The quartet moved to London and were offered a recording contract on Decca’s progressiveDeramlabel, also home to The Moody Blues, among others. Their first record was released in 1967 and while it was primarily a straight-forward R&B/blues collection, it did show off Lee’s lightning-fast guitar phrasing on a few of the tracks. Their second LP, Undead, was recorded live and Lee came to the fore with his playing, this time incorporating a bit of jazz into the mix.

The band went ‘underground’ during that time, playing in hippie clubs like Middle Earth. Their third album, Stonedhenge, released in early 1969, reflected the change with a more psychedelic tinge in it’s studio experimentation. Ssssh followed on in the same vein, but maybe a bit less experimental. They also went from a cult act to internationally famous after their appearance at the Woodstock festival in August 1969 (and the subsequent film, released in 1970).

In 1970, they again released two LPs, the first of which, Cricklewood Green, is considered to be one of their ‘classic’ records. They released a single from it, Love Like A Man, which made the upper reaches of the UK charts that year. Watt, their final album for Deram, was released late in the year and didn’t fare as well. A Space In Time (on Chrysalis Records) was dropped in August 1971 and is considered to be their finest album. They had another hit single with I’d Love To Change The World, which is their most well-known song (besides their Woodstock show-stopper, I’m Going Home).


After that – the band entered a slow decline, not helped by Lee’s alcohol intake. The last couple of studio records seemed uninspired and even a stopgap live set couldn’t slow the fragmentation. TYA split in 1974 and Lee embarked on a solo career. By the 1980s, even Lee was laying low, but the original TYA line-up reformed in 1989 for the About Time album, which was fairly well-received for a new record by a ‘dinosaur’ band. The reunion didn’t last long and soon Lee was back as a solo act. The others carried on as Ten Years After, with new guitarist, Joe Gooch.

While Lee is primarily remembered for just a couple of songs and super-fast soloing, he deserves a bit more credit for songwriting and being willing to stretch his band’s repertoire beyond just playin’ th’ blues.

Peter Banks started out in a few R&B bands, before getting together with future Yes bassist Chris Squire in The Syn, an R&B-turned-psychedelic group who released a couple of singles. One of them, Flowerman (with 14-Hour Technicolour Dream as the B-side), is considered a classic of UK psychedelia now. The Syn folded late in 1967 and Squire joined Mabel Greer’s Toy Shop, featuring Jon Anderson and Bill Bruford. Banks joined for a short while, then left. The band then broke up and Banks and some of the remaining members formed a new group with the ‘provisional’ name Yes. The new band gained a reputation on the live circuit and even played as a support act at the final Cream show in 1968.

Their first (self-titled) album was released in 1969 and was a melange of pop, psychedelia and stretched-out arrangements. Banks would often incorporate classical melodies and bits of show tunes and other snippets into his solos, much like Roy Wood of The Move. They were creating a fusion of rock and classical music (along with King Crimson, Genesis and a few other bands) in a distinctly British way that would eventually be called ‘progressive rock’.


By the second album, Time And A Word, in 1970 – Banks was becoming more critical of the direction of the band. He didn’t like the orchestral arrangements which effectively sidelined himself and keyboardist Tony Kaye. Banks was asked to leave the band in April 1970. He was replaced by former Tomorrow guitarist Steve Howe and the band entered their ‘golden’ era of prog-rock. Banks formed Flash in 1972 and they released three albums of pop-prog which sounded very much like early Yes. The original incarnation of Flash split in 1973 and while Banks was trying to get a new line-up together, met Sydney Foxx. They were married and recorded three albums as Empire, though none of the material was released until the late 90s.


In the 1980s, much like Lee, Banks did a lot of session work and generally kept a low profile. He released his second full-length solo album in 1993 (his first was dropped in 1973), with another one following in 1995. He also was instrumental in getting the Yes BBC sessions from 1969 and 1970 released as a 2-CD set in 1997. Banks rejoined The Syn in 2004, but left again shortly after. Lately, he was playing in an improvisational trio called Harmony In Diversity.

Danny Baker has referred to Banks as the ‘Architect of Prog’. I’d say that’s a fairly accurate description, though Banks may have to split the title with Robert Fripp and Mike Pinder of The Moody Blues. Still, he was a talented guitarist with loads of great ideas. He certainly guided Yes to become a top-flight progressive band and for that, he should be given accolades.