Ultimate Classic Rock reports that Chris Squire, legendary Bass player for the progressive rock band Yes has died (June 28th) after a battle with Leukemia. He was 67 years old. This kills me, as Squire was one of my rock heroes and my favorite bass player ever, followed by John Entwistle and Dennis Dunaway of Alice Cooper. Not only was Squire a phenomenally innovative bass player, but he was also one of the first bassists to release a solo album (1975’s Fish Out of Water) on which the bass is played as a lead instrument with no other guitars appearing on the record.
All you have to do is listen to the lead track on that album, “Hold Out Your Hand” — a song that I would put up against the best of Yes’s entire catalog — to have your mind completely blown. Chris Squire was a true Rock God. Both his contributions, as well as the loss of his talent, to the world of Rock music, is immeasurable.
In September of 2103, NYC-based design firm Sagmeister & Walsh was commissioned by the DUMBO Improvement District in partnership with Two Trees Management Co and the NYCDOT Urban Art Program to paint two 80 foot long murals on the walls of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway underpass, on Jay Street in Dumbo. The firm collaborated with renowned Japanese illustrator Yuko Shimizu and created two large typographic messages to sit on the facing walls. A fierce Octopus and its tentacles form ‘Yes!’ on one side, and a graphic black and white version (not shown) covers the opposite wall. Both murals were hand painted by Coby Kennedy.
Apparently, Jimi Hendrix Always Dressed Like This (all Post Photos By Gail, Click any Image to Enlarge)
Every picture tells a story. During his career, Photographer Barrie Wentzell collected an endless cache of unheard stories from and about many of rock’s greatest legends that would blow your head right off. From 1965 to 1975 – certainly one of the (if not the) most vibrant and fertile decades for Rock & Roll music and culture — Wentzell shot both live performance and candid, intimate photographs of everyone who was anyone: from Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles to The Kinks and Led Zeppelin for the UK weekly music rag, Melody Maker.
John Entwistle and Pete Townshend During Recording Sessions for Tommy
His pay was about 20 pounds per week, but Wentzell will tell you even today that his dream gig during the Golden Age of Rock & Roll was never about the money; it was about the experiences he had with these artists.
An Early Incarnation of Yes
Right now, you can view a small portion of Wentzell’s extensive and wildly impressive career legacy at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in the comprehensively entitled exhibit, Melody Maker: The Best Years, 1965-1975, The Photography of Barrie Wentzell. Most of these pictures have never been published or viewed by the public. In fact, Wentzell admitted that, prior to staging the exhibit, he’d not viewed the majority of these photos since he first took them. And that is just shame, because his pictures are transcendent.
Ray Davies Plays Pool
Pete Townshend & Friends
I have seen many, many great rock photography exhibits and I must say that this is the first one where the words “Fine Art Rock Photography” – which is what Morrison Hotel Gallery is known for – really resonated with me when experiencing Barrie Wentzell’s photos. The oddest reaction I had was while silently gazing at a black and white photo of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, taken while both were still in their early 20s. They just looked so young and unjaded, with their entire lives and careers ahead of them. I thought about the first Elton John songs I ever heard, like “Mona Lisa’s and Mad Hatters,”“Mad Man Across the Water” and “Sixty Years On.” And unexpected tears of deep nostalgia welled up in my eyes. It was embarrassing to dork out in public like that, but it was also such an amazing feeling to be so fully transported back to a time when Rock Stars meant everything to me. Barrie Wentzell’s work is truly as magical as the music of that era.
Read more about Barrie Wentzell, and view some of the photos in this do-not-miss show, at This Link.
Morrison Hotel Gallery is Located at 116 Prince Street (Loft) and 124 Prince Street (Store Front) in NYC’s Greenwich Village.
This Photo of Led Zeppelin In Concert Fully Captures the Energy of the Performance in a Static Medium. Amazing.
Best known for his role as George Jefferson on the popular 1970s sitcom, The Jeffersons (a spinoff of All in the Family, on which he also starred as the same character), actor Sherman Hemsley passed away on Tuesday, July 24th at the age of 74. While Hemsley is primarily famous for his acting resume, he was also a musician who once collaborated with Jon Anderson of Progressive rock band Yes. And according to a 2009 article from Magnet Magazine, Hemsley was an eccentric, prog rock aficionado who had a sweet spot for the band Gong. Read on and have your mind blown little at This Link.
Yes guitarist (also a member of Asia) Steve Howe was born on this day April 8th, in 1947. The band Yes was a passionate favorite of mine growing up in the seventies. In fact, one of the most crazy fun and highly memorable concerts I’ve attended was the co-headlining concert of Yes with Peter Frampton back in the summer of 1976, which took place before a crowd of 55,000 people at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California. Although he does not enjoy the level of continued buzz as, say, a player like Jimmy Page, to give you an idea of his popularity during Yes’s heyday, Steve was voted Best Overall Guitarist in Guitar Player magazine five years in a row from 1977 to 1981. Below, please enjoy a live clip of Steve playing “The Clap” and also the acoustic ballad “Mood For Day” to hear an example of his one-take perfection. Happy Birthday, Steve!