Yes Guitarist Peter Banks Dies At 65

Yes Guitarist Peter Banks

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Yes Guitarist Peter BanksThe original guitarist from Yes, Peter Banks was found dead last Thursday in London after he failed to show up for a scheduled recording session.

The stated cause of death was heart failure. As of right now, no funeral plans have been announced.

Peter was a founding member and helped put the band “Yes” together, in 1968. He only played on Yes’s first two albums, and was then replaced by guitarist Steve Howe. Peter was also responsible for the band’s name – which was originally only intended to be a temporary name.

Banks was asked to leave the group after a few musical disagreements, culminating in one in particular where bassist Chris Squire and vocalist Jon Anderson decided that a backing orchestra would sound good behind the band. It became more than that – eventually almost replacing the guitars completely – leaving Peter Banks and keyboardist Tony Kaye without a clear role in the band.

After the album was released, Peter was asked to leave the band.

After leaving Yes, Peter stayed relatively busy in the early 70s,  forming the band Flash, and then in a solo project, releasing the album Two Sides Of Peter Banks – which featured Banks playing both keyboard and guitar. The album included guest artists such as Phil Collins, and Steve Hackett.

Peter also formed Empire, which released three albums, between 1973 and 1979.

Since then Peter worked with many other bands, solo artists, guitar workshops, and on various collaborations.

Hours ago, three tweets came from Yes’s official twitter account:

We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of fellow bandmate and founding Yes member, Peter Banks.


Peter was a huge piece of the fabric that made Yes what it is & our thoughts, sincere condolences, and prayers are with him and his family.


Peter, we shall miss you greatly – YES

Here is a little video of Flash – Children of The Universe

This is taken from American Television and was performed in 1972.

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Tim Monaghan

Tim has been playing guitar & bass since he was 12 years old and has been in Jazz, funk, rock & metal bands. Influences include Jeff Beck, Stanley Clarke, Doug Stegmeyer, Baden Powell, Steve Vai, and pretty much anyone else who has a unique style that expresses their individuality. One of Tim’s many hobbies is building, tweaking, and repairing basses and guitars.

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