JON ANDERSON Talks YES 50th Anniversary Tour, Relationship With STEVE HOWE-Led Incarnation Of The Band - "They've Been Really Cool About It; It`s Never Been A Problem"
June 8, 2018, 4 months ago
Jon Anderson formed YES 50 years ago and spent most of his career in the band establishing them as one of the biggest progressive rock bands on the planet. Ill health forced him out of the band he founded, but Anderson picked himself up and worked hard to regain his fitness by touring hard as a solo singer. He recently reconnected with former YES members Rick Wakeman and Trevor Rabin and decided to put together his own version of YES, who are now on the road celebrating their 50th anniversary. Metal Express Radio's Mick Burgess called up Anderson ahead of his UK shows to chat about the tour, working with Wakeman and Rabin again and staking his claim to the YES name. Following is an excerpt from the interview.
Q: YES are renowned for their impressive stage shows. What do you have lined up for this tour?
Anderson: "We`ll be concentrating on the music. If you look around there`s some incredible shows out there with projections, lighting and special effects. We`re just going to go out and play and that`s what we do best. We just can`t keep up with these huge, futuristic visualisations. When you perform songs like 'Heart of The Sunrise', 'Rhythm Of Love' and 'Awaken', which is an amazing piece of music, you don`t need all of the big effects, we just want to let people enjoy the music without any distractions."
Q: Will you be releasing any special products like a boxed set to celebrate your anniversary?
Anderson: "I`d suggested putting out the best live recordings of YES over the years with Warner. I did a compilation for them featuring songs recorded all over the world and picked out all of the best versions of all of the great songs, and they turned around and said it was going to cost so much money to get licensing that they wouldn`t be doing it. I wish they`d told me that a few months ago before I`d done all of the work pulling it all together. They said they were just going to put another Best Of album but we already have several of those. I wanted to do something a bit different but the label just didn`t want to do it, which was a shame. We will, however, be putting out a live show that we did in Manchester last year which Trevor Rabin is producing, and it sounds great and that will be our homage to YES. We do songs from way, way back right through to the modern era of the band."
Q: Did you have any problems with the version of YES featuring Steve Howe and Alan White?
Anderson: "They`ve been really cool about it. It`s never been a problem. I had a conversation with the other guys and just said to them to let people know who`s in the band as I keep getting phone calls about me playing somewhere but I`m not in your band, so please tell people who`s in the band so they don`t expect to see me."
Read the complete interview here.
2018 marks the 50-year anniversary since the formation of one of rock’s all-time ground breaking supergroups, YES. And to mark this milestone, YES Featuring Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman will be celebrating by touring the world as part of Quintessential YES: The 50th Anniversary Tour. In addition to what is promising to be truly memorable shows that span the band’s career, there are also several upcoming YES-related events and releases in store, including:
* YES Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman: 100 Show World Tour - The 100 show World Tour will commence on June 3rd in Warsaw, Poland, and feature shows in Scandinavia, Germany, UK (including headlining the Stone Free Festival at the O2 Arena in London) and North America in 2018, going on to South America, Central and Southern Europe, ending in Japan and the Far East in 2019.
* Whisky A Go Go concert - YES Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman will return to their roots by performing at the Whisky A Go Go, the iconic venue they first performed as a headliner in June 1971. Information on tickets to this show will be available at a later date.
* US Tour - The band will then play nine shows in August and September including the Greek Theatre in LA on August 29th and Chicagoland’s Ravinia outside on September 7th before continuing the US Leg with 20+ shows in early 2019. Most dates will be going on-sale starting April 20th.
* Quintessential YES 50th Anniversary Album & CD - In August, Warner Bros. Records will be releasing an historical 2 CD/3 LP anthology of YES curated by band founder/singer Jon Anderson.
* Live CD & DVD - There will also be released in August/September by Eagle Rock a Live CD and DVD of the band’s show from March 2017 recorded live in Manchester, UK, featuring special mixed in OE Audio by Paul Linford and Trevor Rabin.
* New Music - In addition to all of the above, the band are currently hard at work, creating some stellar new recordings for their 50th Anniversary. This will be the first new music in 28 years featuring Jon Anderson/Trevor Rabin/Rick Wakeman together. It is planned these will also be available for release by the end of 2018 or early 2019.
The most successful progressive rock group of all time, 2017 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductees YES, was co-founded by Jon Anderson and the late Chris Squire in 1968. They went on to sell millions of units with releases such as The YES Album, Fragile, Close To The Edge, Tales From Topographic Oceans, Going For The One and 90125, as well as embarking on several record-breaking world tours.
Whilst Rick is predominantly associated with the '70s "prog era" of the band (which saw YES become a worldwide stadium headliner) and Trevor associated with the '80s "mainstream era" of the band (which furthered the band's popularity - including the band's biggest chart success 90125), Jon is the bridge between both factions (as he was a guiding vision of both eras). The touring band line-up is completed by two extraordinary musicians - Lee Pomeroy on bass and Louis Molino III on drums – who help to ensure that YES’ immaculate artistic legacy remains intact.
The worldwide tour with YES Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman is being produced by renowned concert promoter Larry Magid, who is considered an architect and leader of the modern concert business. With over 17,000 concerts and live events to his credit and still counting, he has produced national and international tours for YES, Billy Crystal, Richard Pryor, Bette Midler, Stevie Wonder, Robin Williams, Gladys Knight, The Isley Bros., Earth Wind & Fire, ARW, Il Divo, The Allman Brothers Band, Patti LaBelle, Grover Washington Jr. and many others. In 1985 Larry Magid, co- produced the American portion of Live Aid, and in 2005, he was the American producer of Live 8. In 2001, he produced the United We Stand concert at RFK Stadium to benefit the victims of the September 11 attacks.
Confirmed 2018 YES Featuring Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman US tour dates (first leg):
26 - Los Angeles, CA - Whisky a Go Go
27 - San Diego, CA - Humphrey’s By The Bay
29 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre
31 - Phoenix, AZ - Celebrity Theatre
1 - Las Vegas, NV - Westgate Resort & Casino
3 - Denver, CO - Levitt Pavilion
5 - Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theater
7 - Chicago, IL - Ravinia
8 - Northfield, OH - Hard Rock Live
9 - Huber Heights, OH - Rose Music Center
For specific on-sale dates and times, tickets, tour and VIP Information, go to here. Additional dates to be announced soon.