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Alan White and Jay Schellen – 235

Alan White
Alan White – out of touring for the moment

With the news that Alan White is to miss the start of the US Yes tour, we consider what this means for Yes and Mark listens to Lou Molino, new drummer for ARW in his record review.

  • What will be the effect of Alan White’s absence?
  • Does this move us closer to ‘Yes 2.0’?
  • What is Alan White’s legacy (not that he’s going anywhere)?

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

Show notes and links

Jay Schellen’s website

Rick Wakeman on ARW

Anderson/Stolt Knowing video

Buggles’ forerunner of Riding a Tiger from Fly From Here:

Spoof Wikipedia type article

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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

19 replies on “Alan White and Jay Schellen – 235”

Hello Ken,

Yes I will be looking to get “Live in LA” very soon. Very interested in hearing it.

Mark Anthony K

My favorite song from Can’t Look Away is “Hold On To Me” Indeed it’s one of my favorite songs that Trevor was involved in Yes or solo. The chorus always gets to me. Saw the Can’t Look Away show in Chicago in 1989, but sadly he didn’t play it.

Hmm. ..well I kind of look at this a bit differently. As far as I’m concerned. .as long as there is a member from the classic line up are present (Steve and Alan) and not officially replaced…then right now I see it like Yes 1.18…Once there is a live performance with all members replaced. ..we have entered 2.0 land.
Looks like Wakeman was right all those years ago….the music and the band will continue long after everyone is gone.

Mark Anthony K

Mark – Wakeman seems to have backed away from that in the interview Kevin posted last week: “…I’m afraid that I’m old school. This is nothing against any other singers or whatever. But to me, there are certain bands in the world that if you take the singer away, you don’t have the band anymore. I can’t imagine Led Zeppelin without Robert Plant; I can’t imagine The Who without Roger Daltrey. At the end of the day, I can never hear Yes music without Jon’s voice singing.”

Understandable that he would be in the Jon Anderson Defense League right now.

As for Alan, well, of course he’s been one of my personal gods for years, but seeing Yes at the kickoff show of the Three Album Tour (which always sets off the “Gilligan’s Island” ear worm) three and a half years ago, I was struck by how old and tired and flabby his drumming was… and he looked the same. Perhaps the back problems were already affecting his playing, but I came away from that show somewhat disappointedly thinking that I could have done at least that good a job. (I do play the drums, although I regret to report that I haven’t even dusted my kit off for three years…)

And again – you and your fascination with the number 2! You’re right, Sound Chaser would have to be one – just the intro to that piece is one of the most concentrated bits of percussion genius I have ever heard. My other pick will have to be (enter the title of any Yessongs track he plays on but probably Yours Is No Disgrace). Just the fact that he had only three days to learn the set list for a major American tour is impressive enough, but he made all those songs his own and helped refine them into what they were supposed to be.

Alan White is obviously one the THE great modern drummers and he has earned his place in prog heaven, but there does come a time when everyone has to consider retiring (dammit!).

Hello Joseph,
Thank you my friend for your comments. Well thought out as usual. I also read that recent interview with Rick and thought exactly what you wrote. He is Jon Anderson defense mode..which as you said is understandable. .especially if your going to be working with him. Also back in 1991 when he made those comments…he was far from retiring from music but I guess as the final curtain slowly gets near ..there might be a sense of bitterness..I know most musicians figure on playing forever but when time catches up it can be a bitter pill to swallow and knowing that someone else can come in and fill in those shoes. ..well it doesn’t sit well with certain people. I mean Anderson has been successfully replaced by Davison and Wakeman by…Moraz..Brislin. .Downes…even his own son.

Oh and yes..I love the number 2 for these types of polls.

Mark Anthony K

Mark you really make it tough to just pick two from Alan I loved Sound Chaser and I really liked Release Release….
I agree as long as there is Alan and Steve in the band I don’t think we will be a full 2.0 however I find it amazing that there are so many great musicians that have graced this vast UN ending band..Love it!
Having had back surgery myself back in 2011 I pray that it will not take Alan 15 months to recover like it did me.

Lumbar injuries are very painful but I believe that Alan will make a full recovery and be right back where he belongs.

Great show Kevin and Mark as always

Paul Tomei

Hello Paul,

Great to hear from you again. I see great minds think alike with the Sound chaser selection…sort of surprised with Release..Release..but then maybe I shouldn’t be…in one of the many Yes documentaries I have Steve has called that song one of their heaviest and a reaction to the punk movement.

Glad to hear you gave recovered from your back woes…let’s hope Alan does soon enough.

Mark Anthony K

Looks like I will most likely be seeing the Schellen/Sherwood rhythm section in Reno in just a few weeks. I’m actually kind of jazzed about it; was already looking forward to seeing Billy in the band.

Very jealous of this. This will be a stellar rhythm section. I can’t wait to see youtube clips (since there are no Canadian shows yet) of them playing Ritual!!! I have a feeling there will be a noticeable increase of energy.

Mark Anthony K

Oh, Canada! – you get overlooked so much! Looks like their one Michigan date is about as close as they come. The tour starts Monday – so Jay has had a little bit more time to rehearse than Alan did in ’72 – and that gives Billy and him several weeks to really get locked down into the music. I think you’re right – there’s going to be some really good stuff happening (sorry, Alan!).

HI Mark and Kevin – regarding Yes 2.0 (see Mark’s reply above) you state that “as long as there is a member from the classic line up are present (Steve and Alan) and not officially replaced…then right now I see it like Yes 1.18”. I think you can’t arbitrarily say “classic lineup.” I think you should say “original lineup”. And let’s say, just for fun, that once half the band changes we get a new number. So, at Tales from Topographic Oceans, we have Yes 2.0 because only 2 of the original five (Anderson and Squire) were still there – less than half. It changes again at 90125 and again at In the Present and again when Billy Sherwood joined the band. Here is my chart:

Yes 1.0 – first and second album – Anderson, Banks, Bruford, Kaye, Squire
Yes 1.1 – The Yes album (- Banks + Howe)
Yes 1.2 – Fragile and CTTE (- Kaye + Wakeman)
Yes 2.0 – TFTO (- Bruford + White) – Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman, White
Yes 2.1 – Relayer (-Wakeman + Moraz)
Yes 2.2 GFTO and Tormato (-Moraz + Wakeman)
Yes 2.3 Drama (- Anderson – Wakeman + Horn + Downes)
Yes 3.0 90125 and BG (-Howe – Horn – Downes + Rabin + Kaye) – Anderson, Kaye, Rabin, Squire, White
Yes 3.1 Union (+ Howe + Bruford + Wakeman)
Yes 3.2 Talk (- Howe – Bruford – Wakeman)
Yes 3.3 Keys 1&2 (- Kaye – Rabin +Wakeman +Howe)
Yes 3.4 Open Your Eyes (- Wakeman + Sherwood)
Yes 3.5 The Ladder (+Koroshev)
Yes 3.6 Magnification (- Koroshev – Sherwood)
Yes 3.7 (again) Songs from Tsongas (DVD) (+Wakeman)
Yes 4.0 In the Present (- R Wakeman + O Wakeman – Anderson + David) David, Howe, Squire, O. Wakeman, White
Yes 4.1 Fly From Here (- O Wakeman + Downes)
Yes 4.2 Heaven and Earth (- David + Davison)
Yes 5.0 (- Squire + Sherwood) – Davison, Downes, Howe, Sherwood, White
Yes 5.1 (-White + Schellen)

However, Schellen is not really a replacement, he’s a sub. (Note that I don’t list Tom Brislin for the same reason.) That’s a difference and, in the long run, this latest version of Yes might not count. Especially if there is never an official release with this band. Of course, if you look at it that way, there is no release from Yes 5.0 yet. I’m hoping for a DVD of this tour.

A second unrelated point: I don’t think you should apologize, Mark, about your comments regarding White’s playing. You called it as you saw it. Was it fair? Was it spoken with truth and grace? Was it mean? Just because he has been playing with pain does not mean that he has been playing well. His back pain might explain the playing but it doesn’t improve the playing. So, it is one thing to say “oh, now I understand why he might have been playing sluggishly. I feel sorry for him. But, unless you were unfair in your original assessment or said it in a way that was unkind then an apology is not necessary.

Hello Bob,

Thank you for your response.
I find your chart of the different line ups very interesting …yes if we looked at it your way with the criteria being once half the line up changes the number changes…man there would certainly be numerous numeric versions.
And that’s not to say that your version and view is wrong…many could look at it that way. I guess I’ve been having this debate so long on the Kiss forum in regard to Kiss that I apply the same logic…to me 2.0 begins when all traces of the original band is gone.

And thank you for the kind words regarding my Alan White apology. comments were not meant to be hurtful ..just my honest opinion.

Mark Anthony K

Hi, Bob – Seems to me that the fact that Tom Brislin is included in the roll call of official “former members” on the Yesworld website pretty much makes him a “replacement” and not just a “sub.”

Favorite 2 Alan White Yes songs?

I’m gonna say Sound Chaser, (Surprise surprise) ;-), and then, I think I’ll go with Ritual from his first effort with the band as my second all time choice. It’s off the charts in places. Just miraculous for this drummer from the pop rock field entering a band like Yes.

But while those two are the best, the list just goes on and on:

Machine Messiah
Tempus Fugit
Owner of a Lonely Heart
Big Generator
The Calling
Going for the One
On the Silent Wings of Freedom
Future Tmes/Rejoice
Turn of the Century (lyrics too!!)
To Be Over
The Gates of Delerium
New State of Mind
Subway Walls
Endless Dream

I have to second Steve R’s choice for Alan White’s best. Ritual and Sound Chaser. Nothing else comes close.

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