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Original Yes Guitarist Peter Banks Dies

12:01 PM Tuesday 3/12/13 | |

British axeman Peter Banks, who played on the first two Yes albums, passed away from heart failure last week.  He was 65.

  • Peter Banks

    Undated photo from the guitarist's Myspace page. Click on image for complete photograph.



Banks was a member of the 1960s band The Syn which also included bassist Chris Squire.  When the band broke up in 1967 Squire and Banks went on to join psychedelic band Mabel Greer’s Toyshop.  After meeting Jon Anderson in a pub in 1968, Squire invited the singer to join MGT.  When drummer Bill Bruford joined the group, a new band eventually emerged – Yes – with a lineup consisting of Anderson, Squire, Banks, Bruford and keyboardist Tony Kaye.

But Banks wasn’t destined to be a long-time Yes man.  Having played on 1969’s Yes and 1970’s Time And A Word, Banks left after the second album and was replaced by Steve Howe.

Shortly after leaving Yes, Banks founded the prog-rock band Flash, which released three albums.  The guitarist also started a band called Empire.

Banks’ body was found after the guitarist failed “to show up for a recording session,” according to Rolling Stone

Former Genesis guitarist, collaborator and friend Steve Hackett tweeted, “I’m sorry to hear of Peter Banks’ passing … a great pal and a great guitarist.”


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