R.I.P. Peter Banks (1947-2013)
It’s with great sadness to have to report the death of Peter Banks. He died in his London home on March 7, 2013* due to heart failure. It is reported Banks was found after not showing up for a recording session.
Thanks for all the music Peter! R.I.P.
YES: 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.
JON ANDERSON: I was watching the BBC footage just last month, and we spoke about those wonderful times. Peter was a unique guitar player and a kind soul. I will miss him.
I feel very lucky to have spoken with him over the past year. Even though he was very sick, he would chat away about music and laugh about the journey we have all been on.
He will be missed…Jon
STEVE HACKETT: ”I’m sorry to hear of Peter Banks’ passing… a great pal and a great guitarist,” Steve Hackett tweeted. “Sweet memories of watching Yes at the Marquee for the first time.”
BILLY SHERWOOD: “I loved working with Peter on the many records I have produced over the years. 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.”
- Rolling Stone
- New York Times
- The Independent
- Peter Banks: An Appreciation
- NY Daily News
- Vintage Vinyl News
- Ultimate Classic Rock
- Yes Guitarist to be cremated – Ultimate Classic Rock
- Facebook – Remembering Peter Banks
- “The fans have been great’: Original Yes guitarist Peter Banks’ remains finally set to be released
- A Poem for Peter Banks – by Bill Ward
* There have been some confusion on his date of death, but is confirmed to be March 7th (although original reports stated March 8th & March 10th by error).
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
Guitar Legend Peter Banks Passes – July 15, 1947 – March 7, 2013
London, UK – Best known for his innovative and unique guitar work with YES and Flash, as well as his own critically acclaimed solo albums, guitar legend PeterBanks passed away at his home in London on March 7, 2013. Banks, a founding member of the ground breakingprogressive rock group YES, performed on the band’s first two albums, ‘Yes’ and ‘Time And A Word’. He would go on to form Flash and release 3 well-received albums (Flash, In The Can, Out Of Our Hands), along with several successful tours of Europe and the US, culminating in an appearance on the widely watched late night American TV show ‘The Midnight Special’. With an admitted fondness for improvisation, music critics touted Banks as a cross between Pete Townshend and Wes Montgomery. Even Pete Townshend, one night after witnessing a YES performance, walked up to Banks, slapped him on the back and said, “You’re great!”
After Flash, Peter Banks would form the band Empire in the mid ’70s and eventually release 3 albums ‘Mark I’ ‘Mark II’ and ‘Mark III’. During his career, Banks would release 5 solo albums (Two Sides Of…, Instinct, Self-Contained, Reduction, Can I Play You Something?) and had been active in recent times working with acts such as Harmony and Diversity, Prog Collective, ANT-BEE and Days Between Stations. Banks first solo album ‘Two Sides Of Peter Banks’ has been considered by many as one of the great ‘prog’ records of all time and features an all-star line-up of Jan Akkerman, Phil Collins and John Wetton. In the early 2000′s Banks wrote his autobiography ‘Beyond & Before’ published by Golden Treasures publishing in the US. Peter was putting on the final touches of the log awaited live recording ‘FLASH - IN PUBLIC’ CD set for release on Cleopatra Records at the time of his passing.
Peter Banks will always be remembered as one of the pioneers of progressive rock guitar and will be missed by musicians worldwide.