Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Bruce Rowland, Chris Squire RIP

A few days ago I learnt of the death of Chris Squire, eternal bassist with Yes, and this morning I learnt of the death of Bruce Rowland, drummer with the late 70s Fairport Convention. The latter was not unexpected as a few weeks ago it was announced that Bruce was entering a hospice. Squire's death was unexpected: apparently six weeks ago he was diagnosed with a special form of leukemia.

Bruce was a music veteran, a drummer who had played at Woodstock (in Joe Cocker's Grease Band) and supported many other artists. He was drafted into Fairport in 1974 during the "Rising for the moon" sessions after Dave Mattacks left. He stayed for the next few albums: the unfortunate "Gottle o'gear", the splendid "Bonny bunch of roses" and the hit and miss "Tipplers tales". Then Fairport split for what seemed to be the final time and Bruce apparently gave up the drums to become a farmer in Denmark. That at least is the lore; I don't know how true that is. Bruce was a steady drummer and played what was required of him; the evidence shows that his Fairport work places him behind all the other Fairport drummers.

My contact with Chris Squire was only during 1971: I attended a Yes concert at the beginning of the year (actually, they were supporting Iron Butterfly), bought their breakthrough "Yes Album" shortly after and lost interest after "Fragile", which was released later on that year. On stage he was a dominant figure: tall, playing a Rickenbacker bass, dressed in a cape and pom pom boots. His sound on record was similarly dominant. Yes were the subject of a television documentary which I remembered watching; coincidentally I found this on YouTube about two weeks ago and enjoyed watching it. It contains much footage of Squire in his prime.

No comments: