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Peter Banks, Original Guitarist for Yes, Found Dead

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.

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About the Author


David Tillman is an independent composer/arranger whose primary work involves writing jingles for commercials for radio and television, with several film and television placements to his credit as well. David has a fascination for all things related to the music business and the music industry in general, an obsession which his wife finds to be mildly unhealthy at times. His personal tastes in music are in electronica and industrial rock, and include The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk and Nine Inch Nails (he loves that Trent Reznor is writing soundtracks!). When not in his office or in his man-cave, David enjoys skiing, hiking, the occasional game of golf, and sometimes just lounging by the pool. David lives with his wife and three children in Los Angeles, CA.

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