Peter Banks died of heart failure at age 65. Peter Banks was found dead in his London home after he had failed to show up for a recording session. Best known as the original guitarist of the progressive rock band Yes, Peter Banks “was working on the live collection Flash – In Public at the time of his death,” reported Rolling Stone Music on March 12, 2013.
“We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of fellow bandmate and founding Yes member, Peter Banks. He was a huge piece of the fabric that made Yes what it is, and our thoughts, sincere condolences, and prayers are with him and his family. Peter, we shall miss you greatly.”
Peter Banks was born on July 15, 1947, in England and died on Thursday, March 8, 2013, in London. When Peter was a young boy, his father gave him an acoustic guitar and with it a passion that was to last a lifetime.
“Peter Banks will always be remembered as one of the pioneers of progressive rock guitar and will be missed by musicians worldwide.”
Peter was best known for his innovative and unique guitar work and was a founding member of the rock group Yes. In 1969, Atlantic Records noticed the impressive band and recorded their first album. After performing on the band’s first two albums, "Yes" and "Time and a World," changes in the band’s musical expression led Peter to leave the group. He played his last concert with Yes on April 18, 1970.
Peter Banks went on to form Flash, released three well-received albums ("Flash," "In The Can," "Out Of Our Hands") and went on successful tours throughout Europe and the United States.
In the mid-1970s, Peter formed the band Empire and released three albums ("Mark I" "Mark II" and "Mark III").
Throughout his career, Peter Banks did not only release albums as a member of a band but also solo albums. His five solo albums, ("Two Sides Of Peter Banks," "Instinct," "Self-Contained," "Reduction," "Can I Play You Something?") showed the innovative and unique power of Peter Banks as a guitarist.
According to Yesfans.com, Peter “had been active in recent times working with acts such as Harmony and Diversity, Prog Collective, ANT-BEE and Days Between Stations. … 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.”
In Gibson Guitar's 'Lifestyle' e-magazine on Feb. 3, 2009, Peter Banks is listed as one of the "10 Great Prog Rock Guitarists.”