Episodes YMP Classic Feed

A Tale of Two Yeses – 277

Produced by Preston Frazier, David Gordon, Bill Govier, Wayne Hall and Michel Arsenault.

It’s the Easter holidays for me but I still managed to catch up with Mark about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction and the following re-naming antics. It was fantastic to have audio from the event from Ken Fuller and Michel Arsenault and also photographs from Bob Mantin – thanks to all! Mark also reviews a Bill Bruford record!

  • How did the induction go?
  • Who played?
  • What were the speeches like?

Listen to the episode then let us know what you think!

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Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from the following two creative commons sources: thanvannispen and

34 replies on “A Tale of Two Yeses – 277”

I saw the broadcast of the Rock and Roll HOF performance and the coolest thing I saw was Steve How on bass. “Competent” on bass? What exactly did you expect? I mean the bassline on this song is simple enough for even me to play. Steve Howe plays a lot of bass on his solo albums and he is no Squire, but he plays the instrument just fine. It is well known that Steve Howe does not like playing Rabin era material on stage, but we also know that Sherwood can sing and play material very well (as he did on the Open Your Eyes tour). If Steve is willing to play Squire’s lines in the Rabin era songs, a 90125 or even Talk whole album performance with Howe on bass would be something really cool to see.

Billy on bass could have been great on Friday. I’m in favour of all kinds of swapping of roles as long as it works!

Rick Wakeman a brilliant thinker? Citation please! Rick Wakeman is a professional entertainer and that is all he is. Entertaining is what he does and outside of his talents as an entertainer you or I know nothing about this man. When he is on stage, we are only seeing him with that mask on. Do not look for moral virtue from your musical heroes. You are likely to be disappointed every time. The same goes for Mr Anderson, Howe, Sherwood, Rabin etc etc..

Don’t blame Wakeman for running the clock. Those charges are just more spiteful jabbing from people who hate each other. Wakeman spoke by my clock for only 3 minutes and 30 seconds – just 30 seconds longer than Jon Anderson. Besides have you seen some of these hall of fame speeches? Joan Baez went on for easily 10 minutes.

Whatever though – this is all just trashy fodder for the Yes Drama Podcast.

Very good points. I think I am guilty of assuming musicians I like are automatically decent human beings and I will never know the truth of that. We all project a particular version of ourselves in any given situation. After all, I’m really a fan of Hip Hop and not prog at all.

I find myself agreeing with most of what Mark had to say about the HOF shenanigans. And that must have been hard for Mark, as he’s been such a huge fan of Rick Wakeman for many years, so I applaud you for not just sticking by your hero. I feel the same way, it’s very disappointing when a hero lets you down.
For me, the lowest point was the ‘wife in a coma’ routine. Trevor Horn, an important member of the Yes family, both as a singer and producer, his wife was in a coma for some time before she died. So it was utterly inappropriate for Rick to do that at a Yes tribute event. Imagine how Trevor would have felt watching and hearing that ‘joke’.

I am glad you mentioned that as I have been biting my tongue wondering why no one else was talking about it . Inappropriate doesn’t even cover it. This isn’t about free speech or over sensitivity or political correctness it’s just a lack of common decency, good manners and intelligence. So much for Rick’s smarts. It’s also profoundly unprofessional and disrespectful to the “family” that has paid an awful lot of his bills the last 50 years.

When it comes down to it Trevor Horn has contributed a lot more creativity to the continuation of the Yes story since Jon and Rick’s first departure than Trevor Rabin (or Rick) ever did. Without the Drama record I am not sure we would have had a band called Yes in the 80s or 90s. Horn’s production was also a huge part of what made 90125 and Owner the unlikely hits they turned out to be, It was the Art of Noise elements – the drum sample and the orchestra stabs and the robotic, 80s dance floor friendly rhythm track – that made an ok-ish song a massive hit. When Rabin has complete control he turns in fairly anodyne music. Very competent but kind of uninspiring.

Arguably, of all the core members of 70s Yes who left the fold, he has had the least creatively impressive career outside of the band since Tormato. Howe, Bruford and Anderson have done a lot more musically. There are lot of records those three have made since the 70s that I would be very sorry not to have in my collection. There is nothing Rick has recorded in the same period that falls into the same category.

Anyway … it just reinforces what I have felt about Rick since I first heard the stories that emerged from the Topographic Oceans sessions and the subsequent tour. Sulky, bitter and disrespectful.

Doesn’t take anything away from the music he has contributed to in the formation of the Yes legend but if ARW carry on like this they are going to be hemorrhaging potential customers from the core fan base and heading straight to the casino circuit. All Steve Howe has to do now is say nothing and leave it to the lawyers while ARW keep punching themselves in the face. As Trump would say. Sad.

“Hey, Kids, do you know what time it is?…”

YEAH, IT’S DIATRIBE TIME! (You can tell by the caps lock)

OK, so what really cheeses me off about Wakeman’s classless performance at the Rock and Roll Crock of (RIGHT!) is that he initially announced that he wasn’t going to attend the ceremony specifically because there were no plans for a tribute to Chris, or an award for him. And then he gets his chance and decides to just tell a bunch of dick jokes. Nice, Rick, really nice.

Now, on to what’s really got my shorts in a bind (and I’m pretty sure I’m more p’d off about this than Mark):

Yes vs. Yes…? WRONG! There is only one band that can legitimately call itself Yes, and it has a virtually unbroken line of Yes DNA stretching all the way back to 1968. The current lineup is Steve, Geoff, Alan, Jon D and Billy.

Anderson, Rabin and Dr. Evil have all been parts of that DNA at several points along the timeline, but as their own band they haven’t been together for even one year yet. They have not recorded a single thing, or released any music of their own; I don’t think there’s really much creativity there at all – they haven’t even bothered to change their live set list one iota in the last six months, save for dropping the only non-Yes song they were performing. I will be the most surprised person in Yes fandom if they ever even manage to release one single note of original material… and the latest news, contrary to Wakeman’s assertion that ARW (I REFUSE to call them “Yes, featuring Three Jerks Cashing In On Other People’s Hard Work”). . . that ARW is a five man band (ARWMP anyone?) is that, apparently, bass players can be swapped out due to “scheduling conflicts.” If you’re a band, you’re a band, otherwise you’re just a bunch of faceless contract players.

Now, you need to understand that I am far, far less enamored of Jon Anderson than most Yes fans. I got tired of his pseudo-spiritual rainbows- and-unicorn-farts shtick a LOOONG time ago. Behind his Happy Face Peace and Love persona I think there is a ruthless businessman and a downright tyrant when it comes to group politics. IMHO he’s a puffed-up control freak with a giant chip on his shoulder due to the fact that just about everyone else on the face of the Earth is taller than him (not to mention his lack of a formal musical education). Let’s not forget that the ever-eloquent and gentlemanly Bill Bruford used to refer to him as “Little Napoleon.”

It’s fairly obvious that whatever project he’s involved with – Yes, ABWH, APB, ARW – nothing, but nothing, goes forward without his direct approval [much like Phil Collins’ famous quote regarding Genesis: “We never played anything that Tony (Banks) didn’t like.”] I’ve seen a lot of people deflecting blame for the current “Yes v. Yes” dustup on promoters, but I feel certain that it can be traced back to Mr. Anderson. You also see a lot of “No Jon Anderson, No Yes” comments – well, that works both ways, people.

So, where I’m going with this is that ALL of the current discord in Yesworld – Jon forming a separate band, all the sniping between him and Steve (who is the one carrying the real Yes’s ‘onward’ at the moment) and the huge insult of appropriating the name ‘Yes’ (apparently, grabbing the actual logo was a bit too much) – anyway, all of this has happened after what I think was a very unfortunate event last year, or at least a well-meaning but miscalculated one:

The editors of Prog Magazine decided to tell Jon Anderson that He Is A God.

And now He can do anything He wants, consequences be damned.

Only I’m pretty sure that it’s all going to backfire on him, in the end…

Like I said, I think I may be more PO’d about this than Mark.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest… now, let’s get back to the music, okay?

Thank you. I thought I was all alone in this. At nearly three score years old, I’m pretty sure I should be a lot more mature than to say the things I’m going to say here, but alas, I have the inspiration of a 13 year old and my emotions about this band bubble high and furious right now. I am filled with absolute resentment that there is a reason why Yes has to even be referred to as Yes “official”, Yes….whatever. They are YES. This is the band that began with the album Yes as their first album, and whose last album was entitled Heaven and Earth, (Regardless what you think of the album). They have evolved slowly, and in fact have no original members left in the band. Yet, this is the group that has been YES all along. The members they DO have all have been with the band for several years, some going back as far as the bands third album. People have left the band before, after joining it, including Steve Howe and Geoff Downes, but they came back also. Yes survived the first schism that was engineered by Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman, but I fear they will not survive this one. Sadly, I have come to believe that this is an actual plan conceived by Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman, because they believe that by using the moniker YES featuring Anderson Rabin and Wakeman, and simply marginalizing their former band as a tribute act, whatever small public is still out there still gravitating to Yes music at all, will be fooled into going to them with their precious few concert dollars.

Look……Jon Anderson was deeply important in the early years of Yes. But people, he’s 70+ years old. He’s jolly damn lucky that he can even hold a note. I saw both Yes and ARW, (which I am going to continue to refer to that other outfit as), and the ARW show was novel and fun. On the show I went to, they did what I would call a really good job. There were no significant flubs. I clapped/and or sang along here and there……but at no point did I lie to myself that this was anything other than a tribute to Yes music performed by three important alumni. When I went to the Yes show, I was CLEARLY and fully at a Yes show. All the way from the butterflies in the stomach to goose bumps and genuine tears during some songs I hadn’t heard live for a good long time, and with Billy channeling Chris in a wonderful way. Even the newer kids JD, and Jay Schellen, hammered home one of the best Yes shows I’ve been to. And I’ve been going to Yes shows since the 70’s.

I was okay with ARW being fully ARW, and YES being clearly Yes. But this poisoning of the well being done right now nearly demands a picking of sides. This does not mean that I won’t buy and listen to any new and original music released by ARW to see what Talk would have been like with Wakeman. But whatever it is, won’t be a Yes album. With recent development, and without enough fan support for our band…….our real band…….I’m afraid that the legacy, and all that is the essence of YES is going to transfer to the ARW gang. It’s already enough that my Yes experience in this life has been tainted. There IS that much importance in a name. In a legacy. If Yes can hang on for just a couple of years, even with a dip in sales and such. If they can cohesively hold together and weather the storm, ARW will soon fall out of favor, for practical reasons. Trevor already can’t sing very well. His “mojo” is gone on the rock guitar. Rick was only ever my 3rd favorite keys guy for Yes (technically), but scored a few extra points for being on Fragile and CTTE, and his comings and goings already had me in a small bit of contempt about his loyalty to the band and the genuine love of their music. And sadly (I really do mean this, because musically, I love the man), Jon Anderson is not going to be able to sustain his resurgence in vocal ability. The physics of the human body alone are simply going to work against him, and sooner rather than later. So whatever ARW intends to record, they had best get at it. And fast. I really DO want to hear new music from them, and IF they present new music live, I’ll even hold my nose at the band title and blow another $60.00 to go and see them perform their new music live, (providing of course that it’s good). In the mean time, I guess as a way of voting with my feet, and preserving my pocket book, I am going to give my hard earned concert dollars to Yes alone, to voice my solidarity, and help them to maintain during this whole debacle with the schismatic “Asia featuring John Payne”, er, I mean ABWH, er I mean ‘Yes featuring ARW’.

Having said all this above, if ARW drops the Yes business at any given point, without having hurt the band YES too badly, then I will return to my happy place with two bands doing what they do, and not stepping on each others toes. I’d even make room for a band made up of Benoit David, Tony Levin, Bill Bruford, Patrick Moraz and Jimmy Haun (DLBM&H) to go out and play Relayer, Union and FFH songs, and write, record and deliver new music for their OWN new band. Or any other combo of alumni. They all have the right to do that. They can all even say on their concert posters “An Evening of Yes Music” with …….(insert combo here)”, if they need a boost for ticket sales. But what they can’t do is come out and say “YES…featuring Bill Bruford and Patrick Moraz”……. or indeed ‘YES…featuring Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, and Trevor Rabin’. At least not as long as the band YES. The real band YES. The 50 year old evolutionary band YES which was founded by Jon Anderson and Chris Squire. The YES which includes Billy Sherwood as Chris Squire’s hand picked successor, and are the keepers of the flame of the Yes history and legacy. The band that is made up of actual legacy members of YES in all five positions of the band. The band that has enough youth and are still tight enough that they could carry the real YES band on into generations to come if they decided to….is still in existence, and still a viable unit.

I am just worried that in this day and age, and in this thin market place and demographic that ARW are going to be around just long enough to create enough brand confusion, and play their emotions game on all the fans, that the real YES band may fall away because they won’t be able to sell enough tickets. Promoters and booking agents don’t know Yes from a hole in the ground. The promoters will all be looking for the coal which burns brightest in terms of ticket sales, and therefore more dollars and pounds.

Even on YES forums and boards. Places with “YES” in their board or forum titles, it seems that many fans of the band YES, who have been with them for many many years, are falling under the cozmik glamour of the spirit being Jon Anderson………(see Portlandia episode, and the one-liner, self-deprecating sex jokes of Rick Wakeman, and are even tolerating the guitarist they once believed to be an evil pox upon the legend of YES, Trevor Rabin, (who I always loved back in the day, by the way, and still do to some extent).

I don’t have anything really against the playing, the music and the great roll that all of these people played in the strange and winding history of YES. I’m just begging my fellow fans to not lose sight and lose touch of the actual band. Not to fall prey to the hype, promoters, lawyers, and accountants that are trying to kill them in order to get this new band of alumni a two – three year run before JA has to retire for good, and ironically be replaced in ARW if their heads are big enough by then that THEY feel an obligation to carry the flame forward having killed the real YES off. So when it’s “YES featuring David, Rabin and Wakeman” will anybody begin to get the point of the importance of a name?

Shame on ARW for the whole mess. Shame on US if we spend another dime on them until they provide a product of their own, and a name of their own.

Sorry. This has just been burning a hole in my heart since the disgraceful induction of Yes into the RRHOF. I’m now prepared for the hundreds of derogatory posts aimed at me, and my sappy sentimentalism in our ever changing ever expanding universe, where no traditions and propers may survive the relativity stew of bleh and meh that predominate Western culture. Flame away. I have dumped, confessed and am of a clean heart. If you’re not going to dump bile on me, then thank you. If you are going to dump on me, thank you also. I can take it. I believe we all need an outlet to release our frustrations about this band which still has so much impact on our musical lives and emotions.

I do want to remain positive, so now twice having got this out of my system. (Once when I foresaw it coming, and now once that it is actually happening), I will retire from negative screeds, and just return to the Yes journey that I so dearly love. Even if it means that 2014’s Heaven and Earth is the last document I’ll ever have from this band which has been such a large part of my musical life, for sure, and even a large part of my real life as a soundtrack. If Yes dies off from this assault by bitter alumni, then I will still have the 46 years that they have been a part of my life so far, and will always have their stellar catalog of music, and for new stuff, I can just turn my attention to Glass Hammer and the various bands of Neal Morse, all of which I love a great deal. The whole thing is just a little sadness I wanted to share with friends and get out of my system, so I can just get on with my life.

Peace to all, no matter where you stand,

I am with you there. I haven’t quite done 46 as a fan (44 for me) but I echo pretty much every word of this.

This one sentence is a brilliant summation of where the ARW problems lie – “When I went to the Yes show, I was CLEARLY and fully at a Yes show.”.

I think that goes for the band too. To a member of a band like that for real (i.e. not being in Foreigner) must be like pulling on the colours of a world famous sports team and with world famous sports teams the badge on the front always means more than the name on the back. If you are good enough to be on that team then that says something about you as a player. You then have to live up to all that history which the current line up of Yes are doing with real class.

I don’t think Lee Pomeroy or whoever the drummer is (sorry mate, like your playing, your name slipped my mind) will ever feel that about being in ARW because being in a band called ARW has no meaning to anyone including the people whose names form the acronym. If it meant anything at all they wouldn’t be fighting so hard to get the use of someone else’s name.

I just wish I hadn’t already given them some encouragement with my ticket money.

Thank Heaven (and Earth) there is someone here who can rant longer than I! Unfortunately for us all, you are right, I think, about having to choose sides. I don’t think I would enjoy a concert very much while harboring ill will toward members of the band. I’m glad I was able to see ARW before all (or most) of this petty stupidity happened. It was a good show, but, at the risk of repeating myself, it was not Yes.

Lol….Thanks Joseph. I can also gush for a long time as well. I look forward to returning to that form of writing soon. ;-). Yeah…..I also got to see ARW before all these shenanigans were going on much, but I could still catch a whif of it in the air.

Joseph and I are in sync on this topic point by point. When I presented my old CTTE album cover with lots of signatures (still no Bruford) to Jon A it had already been signed by Jon D and Jon A pretended to “X” out the existing Jon signature. I told Jon A it was all about love of all Yes incarnations, but he was clearly not with me in that view.
My son and I were there at the induction ceremony and he was a bit surprised by Rick’s behavior. I was not shocked but it was over the edge and out of line by any standard. BTW, after Anderson rambled, it appeared he motioned to Rick, but Rick seemed to want to wait and go last. Alan White was the most appropriate and polite. Bill was the smiling buffer between the camps. Drummers must be the best among us!
The ticket confusion is real. A link in an email I got went to a list of all their dates mixed together.
One last thought and then we do need to move on I hope. Chris Squire talked about fans needing their Yes fix, and Yes has toured hard of late to provide that. They deserve credit for their lineage.
Yes is yes. The other group are artists formerly known as ARW. I like Kevin sticking to ARW for clarity, but maybe FRAWD fits as well.

“If you’re a band, you’re a band, otherwise you’re just a bunch of faceless contract players”

and that is the truth that should set every fan of Yes music free from supporting ARW with their time and money.

I’m very glad that this is now behind us all lets move forward as all good Yes fans should.
Like Mark mentioned not being in the inner circle we will never know what really went on.
I’m really taken back by all the nasty comments on the members of the group and made me kinda of sad. However the two Yes bands are obviously money driven bottom line is the bottom line. Personally I believe that the parties that manage both of these groups were and are to blame for all of it because lets face it its money all of the way. These guys are not getting any younger and if any kind of press will help then so be it.
As far as Rick’s comments go let us just go back in time when Steve Miller was inducted and his comments about the RRHOF at least Rick put it how he wanted it and I don’t believe for a minute that Rick could care less and it shows his discontent for it with humor.
But the did create a bunch of news good or bad news is news. Yes it would have been very moving if Chris wife could have spoken that would have brought them all to tears I’m sure.
Steve Howe has been attacked over and over about his looks his playing but I say I did not see Trevor picking up a bass to play Roundabout. Steve Howe showed just how classy he is.
So I’m moving forward and I hope that all Yes fans will do the same let this rest.
Rick’s flair was a bit over done but again time to move on.
Bill and Tony were the only smart ones in the whole bunch.

If I HAD to choose which band is the REAL Yes, I would probably choose the Original Yes, featuring Howe, White, etc. But I don’t have to choose, so I’ll enjoy both versions.

Very disappointed that the boys could not bury the hatchet long enough to put on a better performance. I am willing to put most of the blame on Wakeman. His comments have been the most unnecessarily harsh and rude. Not to mention his totally inappropriate “jokes” during the acceptance speeches. Regardless, Yes is in the Hall, where they belong. In the long run, they will be remembered for their great music, long after the personal conflicts are forgotten.

Yes (Original) had just announced their tour, and nearest show is in Cleveland, about 5 hours away. I was ready to buy tickets and plan an overnight excursion. Then Yes FARW announced a show in my own town! That was pretty exciting. They have not been here since the days Jon A was still in the band. I’ve seen Yes with Jon Davison recently, both with Chris Squire and without. They were great shows. But I haven’t seen Jon Anderson in over 15 years. I last saw Rick Wakeman with Yes in 1978! So, this morning, I splurged and bought a meet and greet package for the first time ever. Front Row Center. I know the meeting will be brief and as long as I can get a photo or two to document meeting two of my favorite musicians of all time, it will be worth it.

Any Yes Fans planning to attend YFARW in September at the Fraze in Kettering, Ohio, get in touch! Don’t worry Kevin, I will be reporting on my experience for sure.

I’m reading these comments and loving the passion and, in some cases, the humour.

I suspect the “nasty” comments to which Paul Tomei refers are a result of the disappointment many are feeling that their heroes aren’t necessarily nice guys as mentioned at the beginning of this thread. (As an aside I’ve just finished reading Michael Walker’s “What you want is in the limo” and “Robert Plant – A Life” by Paul Rees – I was always aware that Peter Grant and Richard Cole were really nasty pieces of work, but never realised just what an equally nasty piece of work John Bonham was so I’m going through a reappraisal of all my former heroes)

Anyone who reads Rick Wakeman’s tweets (which are primarily about the workings of his digestive system) or has read his autobiographies should not have been surprised by his speech. He can be very entertaining and funny, but I’m not sure he’s the most empathetic person on the planet and I’d suggest his comments were misguided rather than inappropriate – he was possibly trying to bring a bit of levity to the proceedings perhaps to try to avoid a potentially awkward situation.

As for the name, whilst I agree it might be confusing – certainly whilst promoters who don’t have any understanding mix the two bands up, I am pretty certain most fans know who is who and I really don’t think it is going to matter in the long run. I think we’re in danger of creating a lot of fuss about nothing.

For me, I’d have liked to have seen ARW, but not at the prices they were charging. I see them in the same light as I see the current Steve Hackett tour – I’m happy to pay the prices being charged to see someone who used to be in Genesis, playing Genesis music and I’d be happy to pay a similar amount to see former members of Yes playing Yes music.

What will be very interesting is to see how and if people’s opinions change if ARW produce a fantastic progressive music album containing lots of elements harking back to the glory days of the main sequence.This is quite possible. Anderson/Stolt’s “Invention of Knowledge” shows at leats one of them is capable.

And if Yes produce another “Heaven and Hell” (which I go against the grain by liking, despite being a hardened main sequence fan) what then?

The last four Hackett tours have been quite brilliant. He doesn’t call it Steve Hackett’s Genesis. Doesn’t need to because he has a lot of really strong solo records under his belt and his own audience. He has a far stronger solo catalogue (covering an incredible range of music) than anyone currently or formerly in Yes and has spent 40 years building a crowd that is following him in his own right not just because of a handful of records he made in his 20s.

When Wakeman and Anderson toured together six or seven years ago the London show was the Indigo O2 which is about the same as Shepherds Bush Empire (with standing) or the London Palladium. If I am right and that was one night only then, if sold out, that was about 1/3rd of what ARW drew at Hammersmith (assuming both nights last month were sold out). The previous time Jon played London I am pretty sure it was in that venue in Chelsea football ground which holds no more than 700 at a guess. That’s why they need to co-opt the name and the branding. Of course the more honest thing to do would be to make their own record, promote it and build their own fan base. The problem being that casual fans pay to see the people who the familiar logo on the poster. They don’t care who is on stage (Foreigner with no members and 10cc with one being cases in point).

Agree 100% IanNB. To prove your point, look at the massive industry of tribute bands. I recently saw a performance by a group of brilliant young (but unknown) musicians before an audience of about 10 people. I spoke to the band after the performance and they told me they were on their first tour through the United States and barely making gasoline money. Those musicians have a better chance for success by forming a tribute band and performing music that people are already familiar with. Most people would much rather indulge in nostalgia with Aeromyth or Queen Nation (or dare I say — Yes), than take a chance with an unfamiliar band name.

Just a few weeks ago, there was hope that the Rock n Roll induction ceremony would unite or at least reconcile the splintered factions of the band Yes. WoW, did that hope ever backfire. I knew that certain band members would not stop hating each other, but I am really surprised at how upset the hard core fans have gotten. (Sorry – listeners of a band podcast are pretty hardcore)

I do not understand all the concern over band loyalty, and who has the right to be called the ‘REAL YES’. As IanNB has said – it is all about da moh-nay. The casual fan knows YES and does not know or care a thing about the individual musicians, and will much more likely see band name they recognize than a band whose name sounds like that of an accounting firm.

Maybe the fact that I rarely attend big ticket concerts (I live in a rural area) explains my lack of concern over what the bands call themselves, or which faction I should decide to support. I cannot relate to the band loyalty that so many people express on this forum. I have enjoyed the music of Yes for over 40 years, but I feel no loyalty to any of them. My loyalty to them ends the second after I purchase their product. Yes can call themselves Billy and the Boingers for all I care. The bottom line is the music – if either Yes or ARW releases decent music, I will purchase it, and if they release crap, I will not purchase it, and it is no more complicated than that. I feel no compulsion to choose sides because of who I feel is being the bigger jerk. All the moral judgement of our musical heroes is projection and subjective feeling anyway, so I just find it pointless to care. Our hosts say that Bruford was showing class at the induction ceremony? How exactly was he doing that? By showing up and doing NOTHING? Had Wakeman or Anderson done the same thing they would have been hated for ‘snubbing the fans’ or ‘showing disrespect to the Hall of Fame’. Why can’t we say the same thing of Bruford? Because Dr Bruford PhD is assumed to have class, therefore he has class! He would never snub the fans! Whatever – these judgements from the peanut gallery are just subjective perceptions. I do not know these people, I can’t read their minds, I do not know their inner motivations or what they are really like when they are not performing for an audience. It is far easier to me to assume the whole lot of them are Grade A Jackasses, then I will never be disappointed when they prove my assumption true.

I was thinking I might start a YMP2 featuring (fill in names here). Two YES’s – Two YMP’s. Only joking!

So, Mark, you were right… I just booked my tickets to YES in LA for Aug 29 and I see ARW are playing the same night up the road in Friant, CA. And, why are the VIP packages more than twice the cost for ARW than YES?

OK, that’s enough ranting for one day. See what you have started Mark!! Now I am all upset too. 🙂

In Vegas we have fairly closely spaced concerts with Yes coming to the Hard Rock with Todd Rundgren and Carl Palmer (Yestival), and Yes (ARW) at the Smith center for the performing arts. Since I’ve no new ARW music to date, I will only be attending the real Yes show at the Hard Rock, where they are going to be playing one song from each album, (Yes through Drama). Pretty exciting stuff. I only bring this up, because my brother, who is a casual Yes fan, and has gone to several show with me over the years, told me that Yes was going to be two show in Vegas really soon. Which one are you going to? Is one of the concerts a festival, and the other a longer set of just Yes? My birthday is coming up, and I believe he was going to end up getting tickets for ARW (thinking it was Yes, because that’s how it’s billed, and bother are listed as Yes shows where he buys tickets. I explained the whole thing that’s going on right now with the band name, and the two outfits, and explained clearly where my loyalties lie, and so IF tickets appear in my birthday card, I’m confident they will be for Yestival. But HE pointed out as a casual Yes fan that the way the two are being advertised, a lot of people are going to end up with Yes tix who wanted ARW tix, but many many more are going to end up with ARW tix when they really wanted Yes tix. They’re just no going to be looking that deeply into it. Then I suppose they’ll either get in there and find out that Steve Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes aren’t there, or that Jon A, and Rock aren’t there, and they are going to have that feeling you get when you are on a plane to London and as they are going down the runway, you hear them announce, “Welcome to flight 420 with non stop service to Barcelona”. There’s nothing wrong with Barcelona, but you really wanted to go to London.

I don’t give a crap about the whole Yes / ARW politics thing. Until a few days ago everyone here was pretty happy that both incarnations were currently at work touring old Yes material.
So Rick showed his disdain of the RRHOF by taking the p***. I don’t have a problem with that. Surely that arch organisation should take the blame for being so precious for so many years about who they’d let in to their ridiculous award. For me Rick did all of us a favour. I’ve not watched the programme as it is of no interest to me.
I’m sorry that it offended you Kevin and I can understand your sensibilities, I’d have thought the same had I seen it. Also Mark, I feel your pain given that you feel betrayed by one of your heroes. Think about it though. Imagine that you are part of the greatest prog group in history and have to submit to the humiliation of this pathetic ceremony. How would you feel? Talk about the tail wagging the dog. It is them who called time on Mrs Squire’s opportunity to talk.
I love Mark’s picture last week of Steve bashing Rick with his guitar. Bang bang Maxwell’s silver hammer came down upon his head. So if the y have a feud so what?
The last decent Yes music was Talk, preceded by 90125 and Drama. So unless any iteration of what Yes may be, until they can come up with some new Yes music it is just a couple of bald guys fighting over a toupee.

Hey Jeremy, I think the last decent Yes music was on The Ladder (18 years gone now – where does the time go?), but other than that quibble I am with you completely. Good point about Yes’ forced participation in the induction ceremony. It is not like any of them was trying to get into the stupid Hall of Fame. I hate accepting cheap awards of appreciation at company social functions – but I don’t want to jack off my boss or employees either so I will accept that stupid award with a cheesy grin on my face and stuff it in the shredder Monday morning when nobody is looking. I sometimes have to wonder what some of those musicians are really thinking.

Thanks Jeremy. I love to hear the different perspectives, and indeed, even after my long post above, I’m anxiously awaiting new music out of both outfits. Here’s the thing though. When the music comes out……….especially when the music comes out……, let’s say Trevor get’s all his magic back, and Jon is blessed with a vocal performance akin to his fine work of “Knowledge”, and Rick remembers that he can play an integral roll in the creative process, and ARW comes out with a fine fine album, at the quality of Talk, or even better. And then let’s say Yes comes out with something as good as say The Ladder or Open Your Eyes for instance. (Both albums which I like, but are not even in whiffing distance of my top ten). For me…… settles nothing, other than the fact that I will go to one more ARW gig to hear their new music live, (IF I see on FY that their set list will be featuring their new music), and I will DEFINITELY continue going to YES gigs, even though they produced an album slightly inferior to the ARW album, and they may play not even play any new music. Why? because the same situation will still exist if ARW hasn’t change their name to go with their new music. And frankly, it will even murkier, because consumers at Amazon, when they type Yes into the browser are going to be presented with two new “Yes” albums, which will just be weird. I KNOW we can buy both. I almost certainly WILL. But for me there’s a psychology involved that I find difficult to make reasonable sounding, and thus I guess I’m going to follow your advice. I’ll try to remember that when I saw ARW there were still ARW, and I did enjoy it, but not as much as Yes who I saw first, but I was still pleased that the two bands were out there. But as far as the name controversy proper goes, (and I know you don’t care about it….that’s cool), the new music will not only not solve the mystic problem for many of us, but will in fact make it stranger to deal with if we get a 4 star Yes album from ARW and a 3 star Yes album from Yes, but a 3 star subsequent tour by ARW, and a 5 star subsequent tour from Yes. Just saying. This is actually about what I expect. I guess I just wasn’t that bowled over by ARW live. It was pleasant and fun, but I’ve had that evening, and I’m all good. I don’t count it among my Yes concerts, which sits somewhere around 20. When I see Yestival that will uptick to 21. When and if I go see ARW again, because they announce they’re going to play there new material live…..even then… Yes concert count will remain 21. Does it make sense rationally? Probably not. I don’t even care about the legalities. I’ve seen posts of who owns what etc., and am unmoved by it. If it was wholly owned by Jon Anderson even, then he has every RIGHT to call even just himself Yes. But I wish he wouldn’t. I wish he respected Yes. The band he co-founded. Not the one he’s trying to foist when that other band is still very much alive and kicking. Nuff said. I think I promised to drop off of this stuff. Sorry. Okay…….this is it for sure. 😉

Oh….I do see your points though, and if I were mature, I’d be right with you.

Thanks for your comment Steve though I don’t understand what you’re trying to say.
Talking of the live experiences, I can’t comment either from being there. However I have the DVDs of Yes playing The Colston Hall, Bristol which is a dismal show and that was when Chris was still with them. He was the only thing with character. The rest of them seemed like a painting by numbers session. Joyless.
By comparison the Anderson Ponty band sparkled in their live recording.

The last decent Yes Music that involved Steve Howe was Drama, nearly 40 years ago. The same could be said of Chris too as the later albums with TR weren’t really Yes Music. I suppose that means that Jon hasn’t done any proper Yes Music since GFTO in 1976 given that Tomato is a lame excuse for an album with only one decent song (sorry Kevin).

These guys are just milking the cash cows and have been doing so for decades. I remember how I felt with each release during the 80″s 90’s etc. etc. Why else would they release new material alongside live recordings of classic songs a la Keys to Ascension? Blatantly cynical and lazy. I kicked myself for being sucked in due to my thinking that they were Rock Gods from my teenage years. I gave up on them after OYE though on Kevin’s recommendation I did buy The Ladder which is bland beyond bland.

Now that the band names have eclipsed whatever they do is for me the last straw. I’m sick of all the talk and speculation. I’d prefer it if this podcast concentrated on the reality of the great music they produced for their first decade or so rather than all of the crap they’ve served up since then, this inter-nicene b****cks being the lowest point of all.

The greatest band ever, The Beatles, thank goodness, quit while they were still the greatest. Sadly Yes and ARW are just a bunch of superannuated session players.

In reading these comments, many of which I agree with, it occured to me that Steve Howe has never quit being in Yes. Yes disbanded after Drama and Chris and Alan formed a new band, Cinema, without him – perfectly within their rights to do so. Steve and Geoff formed Asia at about the same time. Cinema then morphed into Yes – again, apparently within their legal rights. But Steve did not quit Yes, Yes reformed without him. Everyone else except Alan and Chris quit yes at least once. (I guess Geoff, technically, didn’t quit either and neither did Trevor Horn). Jon quit at least twice by my count (after Tormato and again after Big Generator.) Rick has quit multiple times. Rabin was only in the band for ten years and quit after Talk. Steve is not opposed to quitting bands (see Asia) but he has never quit Yes. I’m not sure what that proves but it seems to me that the Yes DNA runs most clearly through Steve, Alan and Chris – the three who never quit.

Hmmmm. I like this. Interesting. I hadn’t thought of it that way on a conscious level, but I think that plays into my subtext.

Good point Bob but in real terms it’s just a name they play behind. What really counts is what the write and record from now on if ever they do so.

I resist the temptation to choose sides here, because as has been alluded to, we just don’t know all the behind the scenes details. And I’d encourage Mark and Kevin to try and stay as “Switzerland neutral” as they can muster as they navigate these tricky waters for the next year when relaying band news and reviews, though I know that’s not likely. For the most part, both Yes Official and Yes ARW are currently chasing the same niche of fans, and I would say 75% (if not more) of the people who are buying tickets for concerts this coming year will know which YES group they will be seeing, so the idea of marketplace confusion may be over-emphasized, particularly when you consider a good deal of a given show’s profits will come from the VIP or MEET & GREAT packages, and the people buying those more expensive tickets will almost certainly know which YES they are spending that dough on.

As to the induction and Rick, as I mentioned before on Facebook, I’d be lying if I claimed I didn’t laugh at Rick’s bawdy jokes, and I think it displays much of the tongue and cheek contempt to the Hall elites that Alex Lifeson’s “Blah Blah” speech a couple years before showed (I know Mark referenced Alex but was surprised he didn’t make that same connection?). I was a bit disappointed that Billy S. kept stirring the already over-boiling pot with his social media posts, but that thankfully doesn’t take away from my continued appreciation of how he continues to honor the legacy of Chris Squire.

I do agree with Mark though that Bill Bruford was class itself, and I’m probably as disappointed he didn’t get to speak as Scotty’s omission (though that was probably his wish). But he did seem to be the one guy there who everyone got along with: Rick mentioned having a great dinner with him the night before, and then Billy published that great picture of Steve with the guys at Steve’s birthday lunch the day after. So perhaps both camps should have pushed Bill harder to give a consensus acceptance speech that both camps could have lived with. And it makes me wish I had appreciated him more when I saw him playing back on the Union tour.

Last point, as to who the real Yes ends up being now? Am I the only one who thinks that there can be no definitive answer until both camps give us some new music? YES original has to show that Heaven & Earth was an aberration, and YES ARW has to show that they are more than just a touring cash grab. Maybe in the end this rivalry will have the major side benefit of giving us fans some really great 21st century progressive rock music. One can hope.

Clarification: meant to say Billy S. publishing the picture of Bill Bruford with the guys at Steve Howe’s birthday lunch.

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