This show was particularly memorable for me because I was to be discharged from the Navy on Friday, June 22. They originally planned two shows, on the 21st and 22nd. I tried to buy tickets for the show on the 21st with no luck, but then the Wednesday show as added. I managed to score two nosebleed seats for $6 for myself and a shipmate who was also a dedicated Yes fan.
On concert day, we traded the nosebleeds plus $15 to a scalper and scored floor seats just six rows from the rotating stage. Incredible view. Jon was conversational throughout the show, although it was very hard to make out what he was saying. The crowd was electric, banners filled the hall, and for the most part mellow and subdued, so the majority were obviously Yes fans and not merely concert goers looking to party.
I don't much remember the set, but I do recall as Chris was hammering out the final notes of his bass solo to 'the Fish', the woman standing next to me took notice of a growing erection under Chris's robe. I thought to myself about the power of that solo and it's seemingly orgasmic buildup and climax and sort of understood. Still creepy and weird though.
Ahh...remember it like it was yesterday.On the day of the show,yours truly didn`t have a ticket.So a fellow Yesfriend of mine,HELLO PAT WARD,went over to the only place that had tickets.The ticketmaster located in the Bag & Baggage Shop in Wilmington,Delaware.Now you have to remember that in 1979 concert tickets were already printed up and stacked in mail room slots.(This was years B.C. Before Computers.)The clerk said he only had 5 tix left for that evenings show.I told him just give us the two off the top of the pile.Lo and behold,the top ticket was a single seat in the FRONT ROW.The other one was for the second level.I won the coin toss and was in THE FRONT ROW.To make a long story short....Siberian Khatru could go down as not only the best song preformed that night....but it could go down as the best song ever done by these guys in concert.Simply note for note.Seeing Yes from the "Relayer" tour to the present (2003)...the sound quality from this tour ranks up there with the best of them.
My first show was Yes in 1979 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. I accidentally hit a topless woman on the head with my camera during Roundabout. She was right in front of me, and I had the camera hanging around my neck. It was bouncing around quite a bit. I didn't realize the person was a topless woman until my friend pointed it out to me a minute or two later. I had just thought it was a long-haired, hippy guy.
Paul Gravelle Jr
Yes was doing an unbelievable 3 nights in Philly and we were getting tickets for all 3 shows. We arrived at the Spectrum the day before thinking we would be the first to be there and would sleep out at the ticket office and run "the list". We got off the subway and to our utter amazement there was no one there. We parked it in front of the ticket office with our blankets and pencils and paper thinking we were in. A few hours later a Spectrum employee asked what we were doing, we told him we were sleeping out for tickets and he informed us there was a bunch of people around the other side in the parking lot and had to leave. Very bummed we proceeded to the parking lot hoping to see just a few people and to our total bummed surprise were greeted by hundreds of people and a completely organized list. We got on the list at something hundred and it was followed to the T. We scored excellent first section seats for all three shows although we dreamt we would have rows 1 to 3. The guy who was running the whole thing thought himself a YES authority and kept giving all the fans in the parking lot YES updates via a bull horn. He was telling everyone what the stage setup was going to be and it wasn't round. To his embarrassment he announced the next day that everything he said about the stage was wrong and they would be touring in the round. I also remember Billy Joel fans there as he was going on sale too. The show was great and it was nice to see them mix up the setlist a bit after seeing both shows at the Spectrum in September 78. I especially remember being completely taken with Rick & Jon on Arriving UFO. A definite cosmic experience for me.
As for my 23 years as a Yes fan, I can tell you that I've been there for the good and bad. Some of the best memories are from camping out for concert tickets and enjoying Yes up close. For those who are interested, I'd like to share some of the especially good and the especially bad memories:
Good memories of camping out for a week outside the Spectrum to secure first row seats for all three nights of the TORMATO Tour in the round. Vivid memories of Chris Squire in a black costume (almost vampire-like) with a cape, airborn and landing on que.