Yes Hit The Road For 40th Anniversary, Rick Wakeman Quits For The Fifth Time
BY ANDY GREENE
MARCH 20, 2008
A MERE FOUR years after their 35th anniversary tour, prog rock giants Yes are hitting the road for their 40th anniversary tour. Billed as “Close to the Edge and Back,” the twenty-six date American tour launches July 12 in Quebec and wraps up August 22nd in Los Angeles. The band’s constantly shifting lineup now features vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, drummer Alan White, guitarist Steve Howe and — in a bizarre twist even by Yes standards — Rick Wakeman’s son Oliver Wakeman on the keyboards. Rick explained his absence in a lengthy post on his website. “My major concern was that of over-touring,” he writes. “Which I felt YES had done since 2002 with far too many shows, especially in America which for me diminished the ‘specialness’ of the band.” He doesn’t rule returning to the fold at a future point for something “very special in the not too distant future.” For those keeping track, this marks the fifth time Wakeman has quit the band, which has to be some sort of record. There are plenty of examples of sons filling in for their dead fathers in bands (most famously Jason Bonham in Led Zeppelin), but this has to be the first time a son will fill in for his alive (and perfectly healthy) father in a band.
OMG, stop preaching Christmas! The internet IS where these comments belong. And I sure hope the band IS reading them. No one gets anywhere when surrounded by sycophants who tell them that they can do know wrong.
Anyone who missed the In the Present Tour on principle was a FOOL. If everyone in the band is a competent musician, then the three main factors that went into deciding to see this show were setlist, setlist, and setlist.
This Tour had the second best setlist of ANY Yes show I've seen since 1984. The only tour that had a better setlist was the 2002 Summer Tour that had Awaken, Revealing Science of God, Silent Wings of Freedom, South Side of the Sky, And You & I, and Don't Kill the Whale. Awaken and RSOG in the same show? WOW!
Astral Traveller, Tempus Fugit, Parallels, and Machine Messiah in the same show? WOW! If you missed it on principle, you're a FOOL. With all due respect, of course. :)
Reading these posts, my first thought is "I sure hope none of the band reads this".
How can you people call yourselves fans of the band and then spew this kind of petty, vindictive dialog? Is that how you show your appreciation for the music and the people that made it?
For starters, the band members are HUMAN. You want perfect - drag out Yessongs (on vinyl if you're old school ... crack ... pop), put on your headphones and close your eyes. Human - meaning imperfect, aging, possibly flawed. They still kick all our asses, so please STFU and remember your place.
Second, name me ONE band that continues to EXIST after 40 years in ANY incarnation. Arguably the Stones still are around but besides them you get nothing. The fact that this band is willing to go through the rigors of touring FOR US FANS elevates them above any petty indignities. "Jon this - Chris that". Who made you God? What a bunch of ingrates! Like I said, I sure hope none of the band members reads this, because if I were them I would be thinking "what a bunch of ungrateful twats!"
I'm a big fan - the music of Yes gave me a reason to live during bad times. If you "fans" have ANY passion left in your hollow souls, then you will please remember that except for the efforts of a few extraordinary Englishmen there would be NO Yes music for ANY of us.
Count your blessings. If you were lucky enough to see the band live, or better yet had the good fortune actually to SPEAK WITH any of them, then your life is richer.
Inconsiderate, ungrateful, negative, petty - that is not what the music of Yes means, and SHAME ON YOU for forgetting that.
If Yes never recorded or toured again, I still would thank Heaven for their music, still would wear out my latest CD copy of Yessongs, and still would sneak into the garage to play the whole album through from start to finish.
The members of Yes owe us NOTHING, and we owe them our thanks and respect.
Suck it up, people! We are merely fans who appreciate the best music of our generation. Act like it!
How come this web site, which is amazing, the best ever doesn't have the new tour set up. Maybe because of no Jon. The Drama Tour is on here. I guess it will be set up SOON!
"Great Work" in 2009? I was so glad to see that he wrote that. That could mean a lot of things...great live shows, a great new album, or maybe great new songs for the tour. Personally, I hope he's talking about a new album. I loved Magnification...and after seeing Yesspeak, Jon said something like, "who knows? maybe we still have another close to the edge or topographic oceans in us..." or something along those lines. I have a lot of faith that the band still has a something "Great" left in them. :)
That means we have our cake and eat it Great news for yesfans!!!
"Jon will be back...forgiving."
Jon's already removed his "disappointed / disrespected" comment from his site. He replaced it with a post-dated message stating that he is feeling well and looking forward to "Great Work" in 2009. I'd love to know what that means.
Tempus Fugit Soudchaser...as we all grow older we now look at the world differently from when we were oh so young. for me Yes music is a soundtrack of my life. The music also represents all the hope and happiness life brings.
See you in Nov!!!Peace Out Doc
yesdoc, your right. It's a miracle that they are still around. It's wishfull thinking on my part. But when I watch the Awaken from Glasgow 1977 DVD I wish it could be like that again.
Soudchaser..you are comparing decades,concerts and taking into account bootleg performances,studio albums and" Your Preception" of "what is" and what the band should be in 2008 You are EXAUSTING.I wish you did not respond to my email...but.... I apologize to you and all Yesfans for responding to your comments.
We are so Lucky to still have this precious music surrounding us!!
What say you????
YESDOC, YOU NEED TO GET YOUR EARS CHECKED. I WAS JUST USING FASTER TEMPO AS AN EXAMPLE. AND IF YOU THINK THAT ANY VERSION OF ANY YESSONG PLAYED IN CONCERT FROM 1997 TO 2004 IS BETTER THAN A 1970'S VERSION YOU SHOULD RETIRE AS THE YESDOC. I THOUGHT THE STARSHIP TROOPER IN 2004 AT MSG WAS GREAT, BUT LOUSY COMPARED TO WHAT WE'RE ALL USED TO. ie: 5/5/79
I would buy or download a bootleg of the new tour. It'd be interesting to hear Benoît David's take on the classics. I'm making plans to go see them in Albany, NY in November. I know the area, but never went to Times Union Centre before. First time for everything. This section should stay so we know what could have been. Don't worry, friends. If history's told us anything, Jon will be back and forgiving.
Are we all going to In The Present??
Get your ears checked too Fast is not all that is involved with Yes music Maybe you should stick to auto racing
See you Sooooon Soundchaser
FEEDING TUBE FOR ME. SOMETIMES WHEN THIS BAND PLAYED FROM 1997 TO 2004 IT LOOKED LIKE A NY YANKEES OLD TIMERS GAME. VERY SLOW!!!! MAYBE THEY NEED THE FEEDING TUBE, NOT ME.
COME ON YESDOC. I'M KIDDING AROUND. I'VE SEEN YES 47 TIMES IN 26 PLACES SINCE 1979. BUT DON'T SIT THERE AND TELL ME I'M WRONG. YOU KNOW DARN WELL THAT THEY DON'T COME CLOSE TO THE WAY THEY USE TO PLAY. NO BIG DEAL, IT'S WAS MIRACLE TO SEE THEM FROM 1997 TO 2004, EVEN THOUGH THE VERSIONS WERE NOTHING COMPARED TO THE 1970'S. ie: EVEN THOUGH THE STARSHIP TROOPER WAS GREAT IN 2004 IT'S 1,000,000 LIGHT YEARS BELOW THE ONE FROM 10/28/78 OR ANY OTHER FROM THAT ERA.
shit happens....as it does to the rest of us non rock star folks who buy the tickets and albums. i'm sure if alan white got sick it would be, he's just a drummer we can get another one at wal-mart cheap. judas priest did this, picked up a sound alike for awhile until halford came back. no harm no foul. look at black sabbath, toni iomni owns the name but decided to call the collaboration with dio reunion heaven and hell as not to piss anyone off. i'm sure we'll all get over it, and perhaps by letting the boys out to play we'll get a better show in 2009. as we know the future may be left up to these individuals who can do that part to carry on the band and music we love.
To Soundchaser, you are entitled to your opinion. But you are soooo wrong!! Maybe its time for YOU to retire, I have a nice feeding tube for you
WHAT'S THE DIFF. I'D RATHER SIT AT HOME AND LISTEN TO THE BOOT FROM 12/1/77. THEY PLAY TOO LETHARGIC AND SLOW NOW. THE MELODIES ARE THERE, BUT THE MIND BOGGLING SOUND SYSTEM AND MUSICIANSHIP ARE LONG GONEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!! THE REAL YES ENDED 6/30/79.
THEY SHOULD WAIT FOR JON. DO AN "IN THE ROUND TOUR". OPEN THE SHOW WITH TO BE OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks guys I feel better. Lets hope all can kiss and make up.
See you all In the Present!! Yesdoc
While I think it is unfortunate that Steve and Chris have not reached out to Jon since his illness, I believe Jon is blowing this out of proportion and showed bad judgement in airing Yes' dirty laundry.
When Jon toured solo, then with Rick, then with the School of Rock, he played mostly Yes music. Chris and Alan particularly have patiently waited four long years for Jon and I don't blame them for wanting to get out and play.
The recent passing of Richard Wright hits home, and as much as I'd rather see Jon with Yes, the wait has to end now, *In the Present*!!!
There are always two sides to a story... Jon went out without Chris when Yes was called ABWH and Mr. Squire didn't get a choice in the matter back in '89. Now the shoe is on the other foot and Jon is "disappointed and disrespected", even though the guys made it clear he was welcome back when his health has improved.
We all know that there is only one human being on Earth with the musical spirit, vocal abilities and presence of Jon Anderson -- but it's been over FOUR YEARS already and this is MUCH better than having no Yes at all! I recall back in 1980 being in apoplectic shock when it was announced that The Buggles had replaced Jon & Rick -- but 'Drama' turned out to be an incredibly good and very powerful album!!!
Keep positive about Yes in 2008 and beyond... who is going to complain if we get material like "Machine Messiah", "Tempus Fugit", "Astral Traveler" and hopefully even "Sound Chaser" in the set list for the 'In the Present' tour??? And then in 2009 we can rejoice the return of Jon to Yes... if they are talking by then.
Adam, (1) I think HSW have had enough of Jon being Jon (2) There was no disrespect by HSW at all in the press release, they made it clear this is NOT YES and that they were looking foward to Jons return (3) All of a sudden Jon is better (4) HSW took the high road. Jon the low road, now fans are split. They are either angry,frustrated,confused or depressed. Read the posts all over. This is what Jons statement has snowballed into.
I for one believe again its not about the players at this stage. All orininal members who played and wrote the music are over 60 yrs.
ITS ABOUT PRESERVING THE MUSIC. LETS SEE!! See you in Nov Doc
Adam...Long Island...Big Jon Fan
Understand your thoughts...however they dont seem to be talking...management.etc... and I agree, is Jon dealing with more here?
One thought I have, why would u risk a short turnout at the windows...lets face the facts..YES...would have a hard time selling out MADISION SQ. GARDEN WITH JON..AND THE SMALLER VENUES AS WELL...
Sure there are many hardcore fans..but not enough to support this tour! If in fact Jon will be ready soon, why not wait??
And if so, where is the compassion??...there seems to be something missing
Adam, HSW are booked for Westbury 11/22 tickets go on sale next sat 9/27 on Ticketmaster 10am.
Again I cannot blame the boys for touring solo. Why wait for Divine Mother to give the ok for Jon to tour.
Can we find out how ill Jon really was? it is speculative but 1 day after HSW announced the tour Anderson posts he is feeling better.
Come on with all respect. we all know Jon is nuts Should whats left of the boys wait another 5 years?
Adam...Long Island...Big Jon Fan
Understand your view...however Jon is the front man...This tour could be a big nightmare at the ticket windows...I believe it would make sense to wait for Jon to be ready...Lets see the venues?? And the turnout??
Hey Adam.read what Jon wrote on his site. No one is a bigger fan of Jon Anderson then I am, however his statements are sour grapes at best This is not Yes on tour, Squire made it very clear. This is an opportunity for hardcore fans to experience a night of obscure and treasured Yes music. This is for the fans, Thank you Chris I was hoping to have my cake and eat it when jon returns. Unfortunately Jon's ego is so controlling he feels he is the "only" driving force behind the music ( AS IN HOW DARE YOU TOUR WITHOUT ME!!) Jon Anderson DOES NOT practice what he preaches
And to Jon my mentor and friend ,I say..........
GIVE LOVE EACH DAY!! SEE YOU IN 2009???
WITH MUCH LOVE DOC
Adam...Long Island...Big Jon Fan
This will be a nightmare...seats will be empty...including mine...I have seen in excess of 100 shows over the years...set list sucks...BAD BOY CHRIS...u must be broke...
Eduardo Salamandra Raitzin
Entre los ex miembros de la banda, nunca figura Trevor Horn( Drama & 90125 Producer), ¿ Por què ?, ¿ Por qué no està registrado en la pàgina oficial de Yes, YesWorld ?. firstname.lastname@example.org
Smart move by Squire not call In the Present Tour .....Yes Just Howe Squire White this reopens many possibilities.
Setlist is the biggest winner with these boys.Benoit as a fill-in and Oliver keeps things in the Yes family!! Lets all pray Jon recovers for the summer 2009
Setlist Revealing Science with Intro To Be Over Tempest Fugit Homeworld Into the Lense Hold Out Your Hand Howe Interlude Solo Interlude White + Heart of the Sunrise Silent wings of Freedom Be a Good Day Magnification Machine Messiah Encore. And You And I ** Sound Chaser!!! Whow Lets Go!!
Here is the official Yesworld press release, confirming the bad news:
YES CANCELS 40TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
NEW YORK, NY, JUNE 4, 2008 - Legendary rock band Yes announced today that the group will unfortunately be canceling their 2008 40th Anniversary Tour. The 26-city tour was scheduled to kick off in Quebec next month and run through the summer.
Said Jon Anderson, "In the wake of my recent respiratory attack, doctors have advised me to spend the coming months resting and recovering. Unfortunately, this means I won't be able to tour with Yes this summer as originally planned. I'd like everyone know how deeply disappointed I am by this turn of events. I was looking forward to celebrating our music with the amazing family of Yes fans once again; but as we all know, health must come before anything else. Wishing you all the very best..."
Said Chris Squire, "We were all looking forward to performing for our fans after a prolonged leave of absence from touring. I am especially regretful of the fact that I know many of our fans and friends have probably laid out non-refundable airfares and hotels, etc. in order to enjoy the Yes shows this summer. Please join me in wishing Jon a speedy return to health, which at this point in time is our main concern."
Yes frontman and founding member Jon Anderson was admitted to the hospital last month after suffering a severe asthma attack. He has now been diagnosed with acute respiratory failure and was told by doctors this weekend that he needs to rest and not work for a period of at least six months or suffer further health complications. Upon receiving this news the band has determined that their tour plans need to be put on hold.
Ticket refunds will be available at the point of purchase.
Great sadness..........summer will not be the same. My wife just gave me pity sex.It did not help. God Bless Jon and Yes!!! See you in Dec 2008????
The official announcement is yet to come but looks like the tour is to be cancelled.
Hey devilnation, in 2004 I attended Jones Beach and Holmdel both were 95% sold out. my night at the garden that year saw more then 17,000 Not bad for a band without an album
Disturbing to hear that Jon Anderson suffered a severe asthma attack on May 13th and is in hospital. Let's hope this doesn't jeopardise the tour and -- most importantly -- Jon gets well really soon!
well, well......i am very excited to see that yes is back-as they remain one of my all time favorite groups......but i see big problems with this tour already: namely the venues are way too big for them these days......remember what happened the last time(s) they have played these large arenas: they had to curtain off large areas of the venue and /or played to a very sparsely filled enornodome. they should be playing smaller theaters that would be mostly full with the die hard yes fans
also touring without a new record is not new for yes: they have toured in support of -take your pick- greatest hits albums, box sets, dvd's, etc.....i personally believe that "open your eyes" is better than the "ladder" or "magnification" but either way it would be nice to see some new material
and regarding wakeman jr.: i believe it would have been in much better taste to lure moraz out of retirement or at the very least give igor another shot-as he did pretty damn good........so
in the end they really need to dust off some old warhorses that haven't been run in awhile......lord know they have the material......im looking forward to seeing them again-there may not be many more chances but they need to wise up a bit and , play smaller venues and consult fan boards regarding song choices:after all if they can't please us_the older fans_ then who are they playing for?
I m thrilled that the greatest progressive band of all time is back on the road after almost 5yrs hiatus.I hope they can add some obscure pieces of music to the setlist.From what Jon was saying ( and it took time to deceifer) Seems like we might be in for a generic setlist. Hoping that the other members can infiltrate Jon's thinking and persuade him to relent.Anyway we should all be thankful that YES has returned even without Rick or Patrick or Igor. Positve thinking dictates that the theme of the tour is one Rick has been discussing for sometime. There will always be a YES.Maybe with young Wakeman and the School of rock the torch is slowly being passed.This music should never stop being played. That would be a great way to leave a legacy for any band or anyone! I ask the boys to consider giving us, the die hard fans an opportunity to someday select the setlist or have the memebers each contrbute their favorite selections and add a sophisticated / relevant Light Show! Jon singing Macine Messiah,the Remembering, That That Is,attempting Sound Chaser, To Be Over, Homeworld, Be a Good Day, 9 Voices, From The Balcony,Silent Wings of Freedom, The Revealing, Close to The Edge, South Side,Dear Father, Ave Verium and on and on and on.............. Peace Out!!
Please have cheer, and don't feel left out of anything.
This is looking like the most hopeless yet of nostalgia tours. None of the pre-tour energy even of 2004. A Wakeman on keys for the sake of a Wakeman, as just one illustration of a creative well run completely dry no matter how intact the technique. No new material, even from a band once famous for repeatedly breaking new ground. Any new material would probably be even more 'safe' than the last few offerings anyhow. Hopefully they'll deliver some real surprises on the actual tour, but recent history suggests a less than promising pattern. When Bill Bruford spoke of a 'caged songbird' some 15 years ago he was only partly right, but now it looks 100% accurate.
I love Yes and defend their legacy as much as anyone when their true achievements are attacked by ignoramuses, but whether they succeed or not acts like King Crimson at least try to balance past, present and future - tapping into all three.
And yet another Yes tour where the deep south is avoided (no, Florida is not considered the deep south). C'mon guys, hit Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana once in awhile. I guess I'll be missing this tour as I have so many of the others (sigh).
They should add Syracuse to the end of the tour if they're not all too tuckered out. With the economy now, I'm lucky I got to see Asia!
After the longest break in their history (even when they split up in 1981) it's a BIG welcome back to YES!!! And greetings to new keyboards man, Oliver Wakeman -- we're sure your Dad is very proud of you and taught you well. Glad the tour wasn't called 'Close to the End' -- long may YES rule!
Yes Cancel Anniversary Tour After Singer’s Respiratory Failure
6/5/08, 9:15 am EST Prog-rock kings Yes have been forced to cancel their entire 40th anniversary summer tour because vocalist Jon Anderson has health problems. Last month, Anderson was taken to the hospital with an asthma attack. Doctors then diagnosed the vocalist with acute respiratory failure and recommended he rest for at least six months. “In the wake of my recent respiratory attack, doctors have advised me to spend the coming months resting and recovering,” Anderson said. “I’d like everyone know how deeply disappointed I am by this turn of events.” No rescheduled dates have been announced. Also, the live album documenting the tour has obviously been scrapped.