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The cover of Peter Banks 1973 record Two Sides of Peter Banks. - Provided courtesy of Esoteric Records

Peter Banks of Yes dies at age 65

03/13/2013 by Corinne Heller

Peter Banks, the original guitarist of progressive rock band Yes, died last week of heart failure at age 65.

Official statements posted on his website on Tuesday said the British musician passed away on March 7 and that he was reportedly found after failing to show up for a recording session.

"Peter was putting on the final touches of the log awaited live recording 'Flash - In Public' CD, set for release on Cleopatra Records, at the time of his passing," a press release said. "Peter Banks will always be remembered as one of the pioneers of progressive rock guitar and will be missed by musicians worldwide."

Banks and bassist Chris Squire helped formed Yes in 1968. Banks played and recorded with the group until 1970 and left before the release of their second studio album, "Time and a Word." He later formed the band Flash and also concentrated on a solo career.

Two former Yes band mates released separate statements about his passing. Check them out below.

Jon Anderson (lead singer): "Peter was a unique guitar player and a kind soul. I will miss him. I feel very lucky to have spoken with him over the past year. Even though he was very sick, he would chat away about music and laugh about the journey we have all been on. He will be missed ... Jon."

Billy Sherwood (former Yes guitarist): "I loved working with Peter on the many records I have produced over the years. He always delivered amazing stuff, creative, inspires and always with that classic original Yes flavor that came with his playing. He will be missed by me and many, many other fans of his music and playing."

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