Peter Banks Dies: Yes Guitarist Passes Away At 65

Peter Banks, a founding member of the British band Yes, died last Thursday in his London home from heart failure. He was 65.

A statement from fellow Yes band members said: “We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of fellow bandmate and founding Yes member, Peter Banks. He was a huge piece of the fabric that made Yes what it is, and our thoughts, sincere condolences, and prayers are with him and his family. Peter, we shall miss you greatly.”

Another former member of Yes, Billy Sherwood, also mourned the guitarist’s sudden passing.

“I loved working with Peter on the many records I have produced over the years,” he said. “He always delivered amazing stuff, creative, inspires and always with that classic original Yes flavor that came with his playing. He will be missed by me and many, many other fans of his music and playing.”

According to the Telegraph, Banks, along with singer Jon Anderson and bass guitarist Chris Squire, formed Yes in 1968. Banks is said to have came up with the name for the group and was a part of the band when it recorded its first two albums, 1969’s Yes and 1970’s Time and a Word.

He departed the band in 1970 due to disagreements over the direction they were headed with their sound.

Following his run with Yes, Peter went on to form two bands, Flash and Empire, and, between the two groups, released seven more albums.

Banks also spent time recording several solo albums, releasing his first work, Two Sides of Peter Banks in 1973, followed by four more solo albums: Instinct, Self-Contained, Reduction, and Can I Play You Something?

You can listen to some of Banks’ solo work below: