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Nikki Squire mini Bio part one

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  • Nikki Squire mini Bio part one

    I happened to come across this , which is an interesting read about Nikki (and Chris Squire) with some mention of other well known Yes related folks :

    Nikki Squire was born Nicola Winters in London in the late 1940s. "I was born in a country village in England. I was still very young when my parents and I moved to London, in fact, the East End of London, where they built their businesses." Her parents "were market traders for many years and they ran their stalls in all of the famous markets."

    "So I grew up a cockney girl with a very grounded life, with a spirited collection of people around me and totally in love with my mother, who has always been a powerful force in my life; a good woman. When I was eleven years old my sister Lola was born and we were a strong family unit.

    My early experiences were that of watching the not so financially secure people striving to and becoming successful, both lawfully and unlawfully! A bit "Oliver Twist" a few years on! My sister Lola and I could play outside, it was safe and secure and we grew up with our wits about us, and thinking on our feet."

    My parents listened to a varied catalog of music and the radio was on every evening-they were not big television viewers. There were always things to do and I used to help my mum make things for the markets."

    I always loved music, especially singing, so my friends and I would regularly put on shows in one of the houses in the street and all the children would come and I would be the singer.

    However, when I became a teenager, I knew that the East-end wasn't where I wanted to be forever. I was ambitious and so I went to business school in the evenings, Corona School of Drama in the day, worked a Saturday job, eventually working in the west-end. I started my own business and took piano lessons."

    On 12 August 1969, Nikki's first daughter, Carmen Squire was born. When she was very small, Nikki worked at The Speakeasy in London. According to Jon Brewer: "There was this lovely barmaid there called Nikki, who had hair all the way down to her bum. Underneath the bar, and unbeknownst to most people, was a little Moses basket, which was where Carmen, Nikki's daughter, used to sleep."

    Nikki met future husband Yes bassist Chris Squire at The Speakeasy: "Everyone in the business frequented the place, it was excellent and on the evening of the 12th of August 1970, we began what was at first a friendship and the rest, as they say, is history!"

    "In the very beginning Chris and Yes had not yet finished recording "The Yes Album" so full-on success and international success was yet to come. Therefore as a couple and with Carmen, a family, there were so many different dynamics to our lives, we were both around twenty-three and things were exciting." Chris adopted Carmen as his stepdaughter.

    "We lived in north London, then later in Notting Hill Gate in London. Chris was touring in America and Yes were becoming more and more successful. In those days we both disliked being separated but, as they say, it goes with the turf. Having said that, Carmen and I did go on tour quite a lot, Carmen would always sit on Chris' bass speaker with her little legs swinging in time with the band.

    In December, 1972 we bought a house in Virginia Water in Surrey, known as New Pipers. Chandrika [Chandrika Squire], our second daughter, was born a few months later, in February 1973. We set about renovating, and redesigning the home. We also built the recording studio under the house. "Relayer" was recorded there, along with "Fish out of Water"; the "Esquire" album and many other projects - but both Chris, myself and the girls lived with builders for years!

    We tried, and succeeded in many ways, to have a normal family life, along with the builders, the recordings, rehearsals, touring, business meetings, school functions and family get-together - it was varied and never dull.

    Christmas was always a big family event. We would decorate the central dining hall with a large candlelit garland hanging from one of the beams. The Christmas tree was always at least 25 feet high and exquisitely decorated by Chris and the girls (the vaulted ceiling was over 30 feet high). A really traditional feast and in those days our only non-vegetarian meal and Chris, as in millions of other homes, would be Father Christmas. It was elegant, fun and they were just the best times.

    We were all vegetarians and lived on organic food (since about 1970) so food preparation was quite a big thing. In the grounds of the house we had a kitchen garden, so we had homegrown produce too. Chris and I took an active interest in matters of ecology and health and cultivated the land surrounding the house using organic methods. I studied health and diet extensively (I am involved in this still). It was incredibly busy sometimes and took a tremendous amount of organizing. Then in the summer of 1977 Camille was born - the youngest of the girls. We lived at home, toured together (whenever possible), lived in other countries together took holidays, we were, in every sense of the word, a family- and we loved each other.

    I wanted to write and sing my own songs, but I didn't, at the time, know how that could happen. I needed other players to work with; all the people I knew were already more than established and had heavy work schedules. I wouldn't even have approached them. Things were becoming delicate in my private life too. Then one evening around mid 1982, Chris and I visited the then Embassy Club. A band was playing and in that band were two of my cousins. After their set was finished they came over and spoke to Chris and me and I didn't recognize them, as I hadn't seen one of them since he was a small boy and the other was a cousin-in-law.

    Chris was going to spend some time in New York, the studio at the house was free, so I offered to help them record a couple of tracks. For about three weeks we worked together in the studio, by which time I was singing lead vocal on one or two of their songs, I had a particularly good rapport with their bass player Nigel McLaren and we were working longer and later in the studio writing songs together. Later the band New Cross and I performed at the Embassy. Looking back, I suppose it was exactly what I was waiting for. Chris had gone away and come back to find his wife in a band. He really liked the idea and was more than supportive."

    Esquire "was short lived for various reasons, but Nigel and I continued to write. In March 1983 Jill Sinclair and Trevor Horn signed us to ZTT. We had written "Hourglass" first and the other songs that are on the Esquire album were developing one by one.

    We met [keyboard player] Charles Olins and we teamed up, continuing to write. The three of us continued to write, but we were waiting for Trevor Horn to produce our album. In between the odd futile rehearsal sessions that Trevor would initiate and the numerous false starts to record the album, because Trevor hadn't finished the last project, then more late projects. We waited and went on waiting! This was a painful experience I can tell you. Then in 1986, John Kalodner of Geffen Records happened to be in Jill and Trevor's studio and I played him "Knock Twice for Heaven" and "Special Greetings" and he wanted to sign us immediately. After the lawyers, we had our release from our contract with ZTT! Esquire formed a band and became a band, at last. The album was recorded in Virginia Water, London, and California for Geffen."

    During the recording of the Esquire album, in 1987, Chris and Nikki divorced "after fifteen years of marriage and had a somewhat sketchy relationship. Finally our daughters and I were alone: our home, our lives, nothing was the same. Charles Olins had disappeared (so to speak) from the band, Nigel McLaren and myself were also alone. So in a scruffy smelly basement Nigel and I put together a small studio and set about writing "Coming Home".

    Trevor Horn always said I hadn't suffered enough for my music (because of my connections with the business). Well I was now! I can only say that (with a smile on my face) that some of it was nothing less than a nightmare. I also understood what disappointment meant and how no one was exempt - maybe I was learning something. So I wrote the title track: its about coming back to the home of one's heart to gather strength and understanding and feeling - the general lack of it - in the world.

  • #2
    Part 2

    Later, as the album evolved in that basement, Nigel and I got more help and other players contributed. Carmen sang on the tracks again, a better studio and so forth. Finally after a long, long time the album was released" in 1994.

    In 1997, Nikki provided vocals for the electronic house single "Stay Alive in a Big Country" by Mr. Blank meets Big Country. The single was engineered by her friend form the 1970s Nigel Luby.

    "Coming Home" was re-released in 1998, with two additional tracks. Around this time, Nikki moved to Ibiza. Ten years later, Nikki and Nigel began recording the third Esquire album. During album sessions in 2015, Nigel sadly passed away: "Nigel was my best friend. I would speak to him nearly every day. And his joyfulness. He'd go "Nicola!", he'd say "I got this song, listen, I'm just going to send this down the wire, just wait, wait, wait! You're gonna love this! I can hear your vocal now." He was so up and so open and so dedicated. I spoke to his mum yesterday, Nigel's mom. She's very musical, his mom. She was saying how she felt. And I said, "Look, he's here with us." And she loves the album. And then she said, "Nigel, he adored you. That's very high for Nicola to sing." He might have played her a demo. And she said, "Do you think she could do it?" And he said,"of course she can, Nicola can sing anything!" So he was definitely, totally convinced that I was the one for him in the musical sense. He was a good bass player."

    The "No Spare Planet" album was finally released in autumn 2016 with support from Daniel Earnshaw who Nikki met at Chris Squire's London memorial service on 22 October 2015: "Daniel is a really good guy. I like him a lot. He's been very honest with me. I don't know if you know him very well but he loved the first two albums. He approached me at a time when we were putting this album together. I didn't even know where it was gonna go. I just knew I had to do it. And coincidentally, he talked to me at Chris's memorial. The last thing I expected was for somebody to talk to me about my album, or my past albums, at that time, the Esquire album and "Coming Home". I thought he was gonna come up and say how brilliant Chris was. But he said, "I gotta say, the last two albums you made are really brilliant.' And I was like 'wow thank you." All Chris's family were there and the kiddies, our daughters and grandchildren were there. Out of that came a quite a pleasant part of the evening. The memorial was very nice anyway, for what it is. I know my kids weren't happy but it was a good celebration of his life. I don't want to sound uncaring for one second. And Daniel spoke about that. And I said, "funny you should mention it". He said "if you ever do another album, I want first option on it." And I said, "we're working on one right now." And obviously were weren't going to spend the evening talking about it. We made an arrangement to meet, not too long later. And then he came and heard some of the things we were doing and it all kind of evolved but it was funny because we were doing it and at the same time I was invited to join the label" (Cherry Red).

    In January 2018, Nikki contributed to Billy Sherwood's Chris Squire tribute album, "A Life in Yes", providing vocals on "Owner of a Lonely Heart". In December, Nikki Squire/Esquire released a new song and video: Esquire: Gaia (Mother of Heaven)(2018). "Nigel and I originally wrote the music for "Gaia"' together, but it was unfinished. This year Mark and I re-worked the music which inspired the lyrics I have written, reflecting the feelings we share regarding what is going on in the world politically and ecologically." Nikki was filmed by her eldest daughter, Carmen Squire, for the video, which also features video references to Brexit and deforestation.

    - IMDb Mini Biography By: Jay Haywood


    • #3
      interesting bio, thanks for posting!