Published Mar 12, 2013Peter Banks, founding guitar player for classic prog act Yes, has passed away at the age of 65. According to his official home page, the musician died of heart issues in his London home on March 7.
Former Yes guitarist Billy Sherwood also confirmed the passing via a post made on his Facebook page earlier today (March 12). While the men had performed in Yes in different eras, Sherwood had recently been working with Banks on other projects.
"Rest In Peace.... Peter Banks," Sherwood wrote. "Peter very recently played on the new 'prog collective 2' project I'm writing/producing, as well as the Days Between Stations record I worked on. As a Yes fan... this is sad news indeed. It was an honor to work with Peter on many productions. He will be missed!!!"
Prog rock contemporary and Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett also weighed in on Banks' death, tweeting, "I'm sorry to hear of Peter Banks' passing... a great pal and a great guitarist. Sweet memories of watching Yes at the Marquee for the first time."
Banks had been the original guitarist of Yes and had teamed up with the group's Chris Squire earlier in the Syn. When that act broke up in 1967, he briefly played with Neat Change, but rejoined with Squire and others to form Yes. It's allegedly Banks who came up with the band's name, as well as their first logo.
The guitarist played on Yes' first two albums — 1969's self-titled set and 1970's Time and a Word — but left in 1971 to form the group Flash. Banks had also performed in Zox & the Radar Boys with Phil Collins and issued his first solo album, Two Sides of Peter Banks, in 1973. He'd spend the next few decades doing session work and making solo LPs.
In the early 2000s, Banks also wrote an autobiography called Beyond & Before and, according to his website, was putting the final touches on a live album called Flash — In Public, set for release on Cleopatra Records.