YES’ SQUIRE SERENDIPITIOUSLY DODGES TRAFFIC FINE
Arresting Officer President of Online Yes Fan Club
(Chelsea, London) – Chris Squire is usually more than happy to see his name printed in big letters on a ticket worth tens of pounds, but not always. Not, for example, on the £35 traffic ticket for a faulty left tail light he was about to receive from Chelsea area police deputy Graham Shearing.
Fortunately, chance favored the million-selling progressive rock megastar.
Squire, 64, whose band’s hits include “Don’t Kill the Narwhal”, “Roundabout Here” and “Owner of a Lonely Hearts Club,” was pulled over yesterday at 12:17 p.m. GMT when traffic cop Shearing, who is also webmaster of Wonderous Stories, a fan site dedicated to Yes, noticed that the left rear brake light on the bassist’s metallic blue 62 Reg Jaguar “failed to deploy” as he slowed down to stop at a traffic light in Richmond, west London.
At first, Shearing, 44, who owns multi-format versions of all 22 Yes studio albums, 10 live albums and two box sets as well as most Yes solo albums, didn’t initially recognise Squire’s personalised licence plate, Fish. “I should have known,” admitted the shame-faced policeman later, “I mean, who else?”
“The thing is, I wouldn’t have normally even bothered with a Section 51/T [tail light moving code violation],” claimed Shearing, “but things had been well slow all morning and I guess Mr. Squire was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Anyway, after I ripped up the proper ticket, I got his autograph on the voided office copy for my [Yes] shrine in the annexe,” said Shearing whose favourite Yes collectible is the ultra-rare Japanese-only treble gatefold vinyl-style two-CD promo version of Going For The One (1977), which includes a fourth bonus DVD of the group’s legendary Ekeberghallen concert in Oslo on 11 November 1977 and comes with a guitar pick with Squire’s signature embossed on it in gold.
“Call it the upside of noblesse oblige, or just plain old ‘star power’,” chuckled prog legend Squire, “But he was apologising, cap doffing, bowing and scraping quicker than Rick Wakeman could scoff a curry.”
Not everyone was happy about Squire’s fine-avoidance. “Frankly, it’s a perversion of justice,” Bristol homemaker Sally Wheelers reported. “I wonder if [Shearing] would allow [Squire] to drive his car in that condition.”
“As usual, it’s one rule for the rich and famous and another rule for Joe Muggins,” she added bitterly.
Shearing posted a breathless account of the run-in with his idol on the Wonderous Stories Bulletin Board section, Awaken, later when he got off work that evening. There were no replies as of press time.