My question is : Why did they reject the offer from Atlantic?
Wow! What an amazing recounting Nic. Thanks so much. I had no idea it was that convoluted, nasty, petty, unprofessional. Once again, we're shown that even though YES may be the greatest band in the world, they are not necessarily the greatest of businessmen (or friends at times). How different things would have been had they gotten it together. Keys 2 (KNOW) is such amazing stuff. To finally hear Mind Drive this year (even if it was dissected) was the highlight of the first leg. I would have loved to have heard a whole set list of both KTA albums back then. Thank God they've been back together the last few years. It's been a great ride.
God bless you Nic for setting the record straight. Seems like they have all grown up now in 2004. They really enjoy being together.
Amazing but interesting that on OYE they wanted to sack Steve and get Trevor back! Trevor had the movie score thing going and IMHO never really wanted to be in YES anyway. I really think he went along with the name because Chris let(?) him write so much. Cinema was to be the band. He never liked playing most of Steve' s licks and his style did NOT fit the older stuff.
But what an absolute mess - Yes are not business people for sure. Rick Wakeman' s interview in NFTE when he re-joined in 2000 echo your detailed analysis of the YES MESS of 1997. Only you are more succint and clear. Thx again. tom
I seem to remember at the start of '97, the band was considering a setlist consisting of nothing but the KTA 1,2 studio tracks with maybe an encore of "Roundabout". Too bad that never happened.
We've gotten reports that certain cities are announcing their summer concert seasons which contain Yes shows. These include the Garden State Arts Festival in NJ on June 20 and the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles on July 27. However, Yes' management is still not ready to release the tour schedule and advised that until all details are finalized that these dates are to be considered tentative. We are keeping on top of this and will rush the dates out as soon as they are available, but in the meantime watch your local papers.
Yes' summer tour has been put on hold. Agreements between the band members had not been finalized when unbeknownst to the them tickets for the tour went onsale around the country. However with rehearsals not slated til May there was a chance that Yes would get everything worked out and still begin the tour; but that window is closing fast. Rick reportedly is telling people he won't be touring with Yes, and shows have been cancelled.
Doug & Glenn Gottlieb
TICKET SALES MOST LIKELY A MISTAKE
Yes tickets are going on sale for various locations, including NYC's Beacon Theater and Great Woods, MA. Most likely, these are just ghosts in the machine that could not be pulled from the databases in time. There have been radio ads announcing the sales. Probably pre-paid ads that couldn't be pulled. Then again...
All we know is what we've been told: that the shows are not happening this summer. Of course, anything can happen with YES, and usually does. If you are afraid of missing out, buy tickets and hope for a refund. Ask what the refund policy is before purchase. You'll probably be able to get most, if not all of the ticket price refunded if/when the show is cancelled (less service charges, etc.).
We have not heard of any changes in YES tour plans -- last we heard (directly from Jon) was that there would not be a tour this summer, but YES hope to tour in the fall/winter. We will email the YES MAGAZINE mailing list, and try to post here if anything changes.
May 1995 Rabin + Kaye jump Yes
July 1995 Howe + Wakeman join the other three for meetings in L.A. and agree to "a plan" to reunite. I was there, so was Mike Tiano, Wakeman was very upbeat and happy with everything that was decided upon. I recall him telling me "If everyone had an attitude like this in the 70's there never would have been any line-up changes!"
Summer-Autumn 1995 Music was being worked out by Jon, Chris and Steve. Plans were being made for a big concert to film and record for release. At one point they thought about NYC or Philadelphia.
November 1995 Steve Howe spends a great deal of time in SLO, meeting with Jon and writing new music.
February 1996 Yes rehearse at "The Bank" in SLO. Recording also takes place for That That Is + Be The One. It is also decided at the last minute to do TWO concerts in SLO at The Fremont (movie) Theater. Fan clubs were contacted to sell tickets to club members for two shows with about a ten day notice. Also at this time Atlantic Records exec's were visiting Yes at rehearsal and making offers to the group, which were being turned down.
March 1996 Rehearsals wind down for the concerts and everyone sounded sharp and upbeat. The two concerts were to take place on a Tuesday and Wednesday night with a full stage rehearsal to take place on the Monday night before. Some of the fan clubs were going to be allowed in on the Monday night concert rehearsal with some friends. But then someone thought about opening it up to the public and charge for it. This was met with displeasure by both Howe + Wakeman, because it defeated the purpose. But they were overruled and tickets went on sale at Boo Boo's Records. This upset many fans who purchased tickets for Tuesday thinking they were going to see the FIRST reunion concert of Classic Yes. Now they had to shell out an extra $100 to see Monday as well. When hearing of this it only made Steve and Rick more upset.
March-Summer 1996 It was decided to not tour just yet and instead plan on it for next summer.
October 1996 Keys To Ascension is released by CMC International. The president of the company Tom Lipski tells me the reason he signed Yes was because they were his favorite group and he wanted to hang with them. He also wanted the Keys video, but Yes wanted a lot of money in advance for it. CMC already put a lot of money into Yes, and a "spec" deal should have been arranged for the video. It wasn't and it still hasn't been issued in America. A good deal of promotion is begun for "Keys" with Yes coming to NYC for a HMV signing, The Howard Stern Show, The Fox After Breakfast TV show and other NY radio interviews.
November 1996 I try to contact publicity or the friendly CMC president Tom Lipsky to talk about the promo for "Keys" and find out the label's impression of the first two weeks of sales. NO ONE would talk about Yes. NO ONE! I asked other club organizers and they experienced the same thing, that all of a sudden no one was answering calls about Yes and that was strange because for several weeks it was their *favorite* subject.
It was also at this time that Yes completed their West Coast/ L.A. promotion by performing and signing at the Tower on Sunset. Recording was being done also for what was to be the next album.(Keys2) CMC were there, but not talking much.
By this time it was clear that CMC were no longer interested in Yes, strange because Yes were by far their biggest act on the label.
January 1997 I spoke with Jon about the new studio tracks for the first time. I told him I couldn't wait to see "That That Is" live. He agreed that it was going to be even better live. Alan said that he was anxious to see Rick play that one live so he could totally tear it up on keys. I asked both Jon and Alan about touring plans, rumor was that a tour would start in June. One management employee told me that it was possible, but not certain, and that she could say anymore because she was no longer working for the band ***because there was no money to pay her on time anymore***.
I meet up with Wakeman in January to see Ajalon play a concert in Seattle. We also take a terrific tour of Microsoft along with Alan thanks to Mike Tiano. We ask Rick about tour plans he he said he was totally in the dark about it. I said that I heard it might be in June in Connecticutt. He said that "they" tell me more than they tell him. He was also going to stop off in L.A. for an appointment in two days to check in with the booking agent doing the tour. This was going to be done for the purpose of checking the schedule because Rick had offers to do TV shows and performances (income!) and he would also be able to SIGN the contract while he was there. As he arrived the agent was not to be found, he left for the day- early. It was clear that management was not doing the job. Rick went home.
February 1997 Still no tour plans confirmed and it was getting close to summer. Rick is making plans for dental surgery, which would include the sawing away of his jaw bone from his wisdom teeth. The doctors say that recovery is different for people, it could take a week or four weeks! Rick wouldn't be able to eat solid food for a long time. He had scheduled TV programs up to May and also planned on The New Gospels concerts for Easter. Surgery would have to wait until May. Again Rick tried to call the agent and management about the tour plans to no avail.
Meanwhile, it was around this time that "new" songs started to surface and Jon was talking to me about them. He said that two or three new tunes needed to have Rick's keyboards added to them, that they were songs that Chris and Billy had been working on, and that at least one could be the big hit that Yes needed in the 90's- like they had with Roundabout in the 70's and Owner in the 80's. It was apparent that the only ones who felt this way was Jon, Chris and Billy and maybe Alan.
April 1997 The New Gospels concerts come to southern California. When asking Rick about Yes plans, it was clear that Yes was not getting it together. The studio tracks that were being released were so good that Rick felt that they should be released on their own, not piggy back with another live disc. Except that Rick thought that they should release it as (Jon's title) "Know" and *GIVE* the extra live disc with it as a limited bonus. They could actually make it a $16.99 list CD and that extra dollar would pay for the bonus disc.
The Gospels concerts were very well attended, but the donations for the benefit fell very short. Though a few people stepped in and eventually helped balance the shortfall of the expenses.
On Easter Sunday morning at breakfast, Rick told us that he was really disappointed that at one of the concerts a fan walked up and said he had tickets for the Yes concert in June. To Rick's amazement he said, "Really? I won't be there." Rick also mentioned in the L.A. Times interview that "Yes were up to there usual tricks." It was then that Rick told us that he wasn't doing the tour, that he "couldn't". He had this surgery planned and he also had contractual obligations that he had to fill in that he simply could wait on Yes and not get any confirmation from them at all. Also, Yes had fired management and then hired new management without even telling Rick about it until AFTER they did it!
I got phone calls from Jon and Alan when I got home on Monday. Jon was in Hawaii at this point getting ready to get married that week. Alan was also just arrived to be Jon's best man. Chris stayed in L.A. Jon and Alan wanted me to try to get Rick to change his mind to do the tour. I said that it would be tough, but they said that if I could just "get Rick" to go over to the new managers office then Rick would see the great machine this place is and that they could put Yes on top again. I have to admit, all this sounded real good. The new manager represented MeatLoaf, Moodie Blues, EnVogue, John Mellencamp... some big names!
I spoke to Rick and he said that due to time the best he could do is talk to the new manager via phone, and that if they wanted to do a conference call and have Squire come over to the hotel then he could do that. (The problem was that Rick was scheduled for a flight back to the U.K. to meet up with his family in London and fly back to the Isle of Man with them.) But this wasn't a good enough plan for Yes apparently, as no one phoned Rick again at his hotel. It was posted here on that day that Squire threatened if Rick didn't get to that office by 5PM he would be fired. That was true. And that is an ass**le attitude if I ever heard one.
Rick went back home.
May 1997 I know that Steve still rallied to keep Rick in the band. Around that same time Jon and Chris were trying to sack Steve and get Trevor Rabin back, which Trevor declined. Meanwhile the band seeks out a new keyboardist and proceed with what is now Open Your Eyes. Do you see why Steve has little input on this album? Yea, open your eyes.
The reason that Rick stayed around for a whole year after SLO was because he really hoped that Yes would get it together. But it was clear that this group of fellows are their own worst enemy. They bring on these problems themselves. When Rick and Steve agreed to join Yes again they knew going in that this group was on the downside after the Talk fiasco, the debt of the tour was huge, they had no record company deal and Yes was a mess. But they both believed in the music, and that it would be great to give something back to the fans that wished for this for so long. Instead Yes were dragging their heals and two whole years worth of work only yielded 3 shows in a SLO movie theater and ONE album. (KTA2 came after Rick left). The same attitudes were poping up again and Rick just had better stuff to do, with his own 25th anniversary coming up.