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Peter Banks


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Peter Banks (born Peter William Brockbanks on 15 July 1947 in Barnet, North London; died 8 March 2013) was an English guitarist. He was the original guitarist of the progressive rock band Yes. The BBC’s Danny Baker and Big George often called Banks “The Architect of Progressive Music”. In Gibson Guitar’s ‘Lifestyle’ e-magazine of 3 February 2009, Banks was listed as one of the “10 Great Prog Rock Guitarists”.

When Banks was a young boy, his father bought him a acoustic guitar, and Banks showed unexpected devotion and ability with the instrument. As a teenager, he also learned how to play the banjo.

Banks and Chris Squire first met when Banks joined The Syn, which also included Andrew Jackman (keyboards), who in later years became an orchestral arranger for some Yes and Chris Squire records. The Syn only lasted until 1967, but the group released two singles.

In 1968 Banks played briefly with the band Neat Change, recording one single.

Squire joined friends Clive Bailey (rhythm guitar) and Bob Hagger (drums) in Mabel Greer’s Toy Shop, and Banks came to join the band too for a time. Banks left the band, which was subsequently joined by singer Jon Anderson and then drummer Bill Bruford replaced Bob Hagger. With the loss of Bailey, addition of keyboardist Tony Kaye and Banks’ return, the band took on a new name. The members searched for an appropriate name. It was then that Peter suggested they called the group Yes, a very short and positive word. All parts agreed that the name was not meant to be permanent, but just a temporary solution. Four decades later, the name remains Yes.


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