I knew, like many of us, that Chris was seriously ill with a rare form of leukaemia, but had heard the encouraging news that he was responding well to treatment and so felt optimistic that with treatment, love and prayer, he would beat it. Ironically I wrote to Paul Silveira, (the manager of YES), on Friday evening to enquire how Chris was and heard the desperately sad news yesterday. The phone has not stopped ringing and my inbox is overflowing with tributes from so many people which simply shows the effect that his contribution to music made to so many of us, musicians and fans alike.

We have now lost, who for me, are the two greatest bass players classic rock has ever known. John Entwistle and now Chris. There can hardly be a bass player worth his salt who hasn’t been influenced by one or both of these great players.

Chris took the art of making a bass guitar into a lead instrument to another stratosphere and coupled with his showmanship and concern for every single note he played, made him something special.

Although Chris is no longer with us in human form, his music has not gone with him and that will be around long after all who read this will also have departed this mortal coil. That’s the great gift of music. That gift can be passed on with what has been created and so Chris will always live on.

I, like all of you, send my heartfelt condolences to all Chris’s extended family and may there be some solace for them in knowing the impact he had on so many of us.

Chris’s passing, truly marks the end of an era.

Rick Wakeman
28th June 2015