|Wednesday, December 9, 1970 (50 years, 1 month and 14 days ago)|
|Hull, England, United Kingdom|
|Jon Anderson (Vocals)|
|Bill Bruford (Drums)|
|Steve Howe (Guitars)|
|Tony Kaye (Keyboards)|
|Chris Squire (Bass)|
Q: How well did you know Yes before you joined?
RW: I didn't know the original Yes album or Time and a Word. I knew The Yes Album when it came out. That became quite a cult album when it came out. I was with a band called Strawbs and we supported Yes at a show in northeastern England. And after we'd done our set, I stayed to listen to Yes because I'd never heard them live. It was bizarre because back then in early 1971, in a rock band your lead singer was six feet tall with long, black, greasy hair. Your guitarist had a Marshall stack and a Fender Strat and the bass player had a Fender Jazz Bass and another Marshall stack and the drummer would have a massive kit and the keyboard player would have an organ.
They came on and Tony Kaye was probably the only one I’d say was standard rock band material when he sat at his Hammond organ. And then on came Steve and Steve didn't have a Marshall stack. He had a little Fender Twin amp on the floor and played a Gibson semi-acoustic guitar. I went, “What's this? Nobody does this.”
Bill mic'd his drums up, which was unheard of back then, which was phenomenal. And Chris came on with a Rickenbacker [bass] and Rickenbackers were so out of fashion. No one touched a Rickenbacker and he had these amps called Sunn amps in cabinets and, basically, all of the treble was wound on full and the bass on full with the middle turned off. It created an incredible sound. Then on came the singer who was five feet nothing and had an alto voice. I went, "What is going on here?"
But it was fantastic. The harmonies were good. The musicianship was good, which I really enjoyed. One of the things you can’t help thinking when you look at a band is, "If I was in that band, what would I do?" Not trying to get anyone out of a job or anything, but I thought they were tailor-made for orchestral sounds and keyboard sounds.