Mark Kozelek released the covers compilation Like Rats in 2013, and among the songs included was a re-working of Yes’ 1978 ballad “Onward.” Chris Squire, Yes’ bassist and backing vocalist, passed away at the age of 67 on Sunday after being diagnosed with acute erythroid leukemia less than six weeks before, and Kozelek, who has been a Yes fan since childhood, posted a short tribute to the late, great musician on the Sun Kil Moon site:
My condolences to the family, friends and fans of Chris Squire. I’ve been a fan of Yes since I was a kid and covered Yes’ Long Distance Runaround, and later Chris Squire’s beautiful Onward, which I can be seen singing in the new film Youth by Paolo Sorrentino. Cameron Crowe and I argued during the movie set of Almost Famous about how he wanted me to play bass with my fingers “like John Paul Jones and John Entwhistle.” I would tell Cameron “but Chris Squire played with a pick!” Cameron got his way, but my heart filled with joy and melancholy when I saw the premier of Almost Famous and heard I’ve Seen All Good People from The Yes Album. I’ll never forget listening to that one over and over again in an Ohio basement where my love for Yes ignited. Thank you Chris Squire for the beautiful music. I will listen to I’ve Seen All Good People tonight, over and over. —Mark Kozelek 6/29/15
Stream Kozelek’s rendition of “Onward” below.