Yes’ Billy Sherwood On Feeling ‘Extremely Guilty’ After Chris Squire’s Death

Yes bassist Billy Sherwood recently joined an interview with Rolling Stone and talked about the loss of Chris Squire. Sherwood replaced Chris after he was diagnosed with leukemia. The bassist admitted that replacing such a dear friend wasn’t an easy task for him. Billy explained his struggle to honor the late musician:

“I did my best to get my act together and got onstage and performed the stuff. I found some way to do it respectfully and in a way to honor Chris as best I could. But that first tour was very difficult because there were moments where I’d look out there and think, How the hell has this happened in my life?”

In addition to his effort to find the right way to honor the late Yes bassist, Sherwood admits feeling guilty for continuing without Chris. He added:

“There was a part of me that felt extremely guilty for being there at all because this should be where Chris is. And then the joy to play this amazing music, and intense sorrow to have to play this music that I loved … It was the strangest double-edged sword.”

Chris Squire Knew He Wasn’t Going To Make It

When Chris found out about his illness, he knew he had to find the right person to take his place in Yes. In a 2021 interview with the Progressive Aspect, Sherwood revealed that Squire offered him to join the Yes to continue his legacy. The bassist mentioned that he hesitated to take such an important name’s place. However, he didn’t want to upset Chris during his battle with cancer. Billy stated:

“Sadly, when Chris was diagnosed and knew he was going and asked me to take his place, it was just the reality of fate, the destiny of my musical career, which I’m blessed to have. What can you say? Personally, for me, it’s a very strange thing. For the longest time, I was pushing it away, and when he called the first couple of times to say the band really wants to keep touring, he said, ‘They have this tour with Toto. They want to go, but I’m sick.’ I said, ‘They need to wait, you’ll come back.'”

Apparently, Chris insisted that Billy should be the one who would replace him. The bassist continued:

“He called me the next day with the same line. I said, ‘Chris, we spoke about this already’. By about the third or fourth call, he said, ‘They really want to go. They said why haven’t you told him? You’re just not getting it!’ I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘I want you to do this!’ I’m like… ‘Wow!’ That was the moment… That was a real… crushing moment.”

In May 2015, Squire revealed that he was diagnosed with leukemia and decided to take a break from Yes. Unfortunately, he passed away due to his illness almost a month later. Sherwood permanently replaced Chris after his passing.