Guitarist Peter Banks, founding member and original guitarist for progressive rock band Yes, was found dead in his London home on March 7, according to reports. Banks was 65.
An official statement released on Banks’s website states that he died of apparent heart failure, and was discovered in his home after failing to show for a recording session.
Active as a guitarist throughout his life, Banks was part of the original lineup for Yes when the band formed in 1968, and is reportedly responsible for suggesting the band’s name. His progressive guitar work greatly influenced the sound and direction of the band, and he was frequently called “The Architect of Progressive Music” because of his signature style and sound.
Banks actually only played on the first two albums in the Yes discography, after which he left the band due to creative differences. He went on to play in several other bands, including Flash and Empire. He also released several solo albums during his career.
Yes released the following statement upon receiving the news of Peter Banks’ passing: “We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of fellow bandmate and founding Yes member. 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.”
R.I.P., Peter Banks. You will indeed be missed.