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Jon Anderson meets Chris Squire for the first time at La Chasse

Posted By: Randy Renaud · 7/20/2012 8:10:00 AM

La Chasse was one of the most important social spots of the musical scene during the late 60's in London. Mainly because it was just down the street from the legendary Marquee Club, which didn't have a liquor license, while La Chasse did.

La Chasse was on the first floor of the building, it was a tiny room smaller than anybody else's living room where no more than 30 people could fit in. It just had a bar, a jukebox packed with the latest hits, a minimal decor with a couple of couches and a collection of framed caricatures of pop music figures on the walls. 

At this "members only" club, you could meet Phil Collins, Elton John, Ian Anderson, David Bowie, Robert Plant, all in the same room, sharing their contacts for a new gig, looking for a new replacement for their band, or just begging for a drink to fill their empty stomachs.


La Chasse Club

Legend has it that Keith Moon arriving to La Chasse by the fire escape after having climbed over the rooftops from the Who's offices in Old Compton Street.

And serving them all drinks in 1968 was one John Anderson, later to be known as Jon Anderson. He had left his brother's band, The Warriors, and was biding his time, looking to begin his own band. So he took a job at La Chasse, serving drinks, and sweeping up after closing, sometimes even sleeping overnight on one of the old couches. 

One May night, in 1968, the club's owner, Jack Barrie, introduced Anderson to Chris Squire, a bass player who used to hang out at the Marquee studying the technique of The Who's John Entwistle.  

They ended up talking late into the night, and discovered that they had similar musical tastes. They even wrote a song together that night -- "Sweetness" -- which appeared on Yes' first album.

Anderson recalls the night, saying "the very first thing we talked about was the production on Simon and Garfunkel albums and whether we could make a few musical statements on our own."

Their new band, Yes, was launched just three months later.

Yes, 1969

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