Monday, 23 November 2015

Cruise to the Edge 2015 wraps up with remembrance of Chris Squire

The last day of this year’s Cruise to the Edge prog rock festival took place on Nov. 18 aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line ship Pearl, and as was the case with every day of the event, things got started early. That fact wasn’t lost on the members of Yes, the stars of Cruise to the Edge, as band bassist Billy Sherwood arrived at the group’s 10:30 am Q&A session carrying a full pot of coffee and guitarist Steve Howe ran his microphone over his chin and cheeks, mimicking a morning shave.

Cruise host (and Yes biographer) Jon Kirkman quizzed the group with questions of his own and some from the audience, and those eventually turned to the subject of Chris Squire, the band’s original bassist who died earlier this year. There were fond memories of and anecdotes about Squire with the most touching moment being when Sherwood explained that Squire had spoken to him about holding down the bass slot after his passing, making Sherwood promise that he would be all-in. Without being prompted, Howe also spoke up about the valuable contributions to the early sound of Yes that came from guitarist Peter Banks, who died in 2013.

Later in the day Mike Portnoy, backed by the Neal Morse band and with special guests, played a tribute to Squire that included songs like a cover of the Beatles’ “Every Little Thing,” a song that has been a favorite cover performed by Yes. With no band members on stage, the homage began with the playing of a pre-recorded version of “Amazing Grace” played solely on bass. After the band played a couple of songs, Portnoy came out from behind his drum kit and spoke for a few minutes about Squire.


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