VIRGIL HOWE REMEMBERED
InsideOut confirm that Nexus will be released in tribute to the musician.
“I am utterly devastated to lose my friend and a positive force in my life.”
The gifted Howe family – and the world of music – suffered a terrible loss on September 11 when Steve’s younger son Virgil died suddenly, aged just 41.
Virgil was the drummer for rock band Little Barrie, who he was due to tour with in September, but also played on and produced many other projects, not least his collaborations with his father and with Yes. A statement on Yes’ Facebook page described the shock as “tragic, unexpected”, announcing the cancellation of the remaining dates on the Yestival tour and thanking fans for their understanding and support, and for respecting the Howe family’s privacy.
Little Barrie bandmate Barrie Cadogan said, “We are heartbroken that we have lost our dear friend and brother Virgil”, while bassist Lewis Wharton added, “I am utterly devastated to lose my friend and a positive force in my life.” Howe Jnr was described as “a beautiful and brilliant man” by DJ Eddy Temple-Morris, and by musician Steve Mason as a “colossal drummer [who] will be hugely missed.” Others who knew him – some through his Soho Radio show – spoke of his friendliness, positivity and kindness.
Born in London in 1975, Steve Howe’s second son (eldest Dylan recently played drums with Yes) featured on many Howe solo records. He played keyboards on The Grand Scheme Of Things (1993) and Spectrum (2005), and was in Steve Howe’s Remedy band, who released Elements in 2003 and toured the UK. He also wrote and played on 2011’s Time, and the recent release Steve Howe: Anthology 2: Groups And Collaborations has Virgil drumming on several previously unreleased tracks.
Significantly, he also contributed to the rich and complex history of Yes, producing the Yes Remixes album in 2003. Under the name of The Verge, he re-imagined 11 of Yes’ best-known tracks into a techno-dance context.
More recently, he and his father teamed up for an album of fresh instrumentals, Nexus. Steve Howe told Prog 80, “I’ve done a wealth of different things but I haven’t done anything like this before.” He explained that it moved across genres, setting the father’s guitars across the son’s electronica, synths and pianos. “We didn’t need anyone or anything else,” he added proudly, insisting that “most of the credit” went to Virgil. CR
VIRGIL AND STEVE HOWE DURING THE RECORDING OF NEXUS.