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Jon Anderson interview and APB competition results! – Episode 198

Jon Anderson
Jon Anderson

This week I spoke to Jon Anderson about the Anderson Ponty Band, their new album and Yes. I also announce the winners of ‘Better Late Than Never’. It was an amazing privilege to speak to Jon and an opportunity I will never forget. Thank you, Jon.

  • Is it still exciting to be preparing for a tour?
  • Is a lead violinist the same as a lead guitarist?
  • Will you work with Yes again?

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


Show notes and links

Preston Frazier on GTR

Miguel Bass site for Chris Squire tutorial

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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

22 replies on “Jon Anderson interview and APB competition results! – Episode 198”

Wow very cool indeed,
I was very surprised when I heard that interview very interesting indeed.
I myself would have never been able to pull that off since as you put it “My hero” what a beautiful thing that Jon said about Chris and very true indeed.I’m very glad that they were albe to at least talk to one another before Chris had passed true friends for sure.
Very enjoyable you were outstanding keep up the great work I know that you put a lot of time and passion into this podcast and it really shows.

Great Show!


Paul Tomei

Thanks once again, Paul. It was so exciting to be able to share the experience with the YMP listeners. 200 episodes have really been building up to this, I suppose. Now…on to the next high point!!

Terrific interview. I was very moved by his comments about Chris and the meaning of being a part of Yes. I heard different things from Jon than I’ve heard in his many other recent interviews. Well done!

Thank you Jamie, it’s lovely to hear that you got something different from this interview – that’s exactly the point of the questions I tried to choose. It must get really boring to be asked the same stuff over and over again so I tried to think a bit differently. Jon was a dream to interview although I’ll let you into a secret – at one point he had to leave the phone and go and sort out a domestic incident of some kind. Such are the pleasures of working from home!

Mark-Anthony’s review of Song of Seven is spot on as usual. It is a magical album. Like Olias, it is one which still has the sparkle as it did on first hearing back in 1980.

I went to see the concert at Newcastle City Hall in december of that year. It was only a couple of days after John Lennon’s murder. I’d made a black arm band with RIP John Lennon which I’d written with tip-ex. I was sitting near the stage so in between songs I popped to the front and handed it to Jon. It was an amazing gig.

About a week later I was back at the same venue to see Yes on the Drama tour. I have to say that the Anderson gig was the better of the two by some margin.

It was great to hear JA on the latest podcast. He comes across exactly as I imagined him to be. What a bloke! Thanks for that Kevin.

As you say, Jeremy, he is such a brilliant person – just as warm and engaged as so many others have said. Like I said in the episode, don’t be afraid to meet your heroes, as long as they are like Jon!

Congratulations on capturing a terrific opportunity! What a great interview!

I was glad to hear Jon state that he’d “never left Yes”. He clearly has great respect and appreciation for the music he’s created, He sees Yes as an opportunity to create music for its own sake when so many other bands have taken their talents and turned them primarily into franchised business opportunities.

When I saw Yes in the round at the Los Angeles Forum in 1978, Jon Anderson spotted my friends and me in the fourth row (my girlfriend said we were the only ones standing up for the whole show). He waved and smiled at us. It was a thrilling moment, and your interview with Jon this week ignited the pleasure of that smile some 37 years later.

I’ve always heard that Jon Anderson is a graceful man, willing to engage with fans. He gave a great interview, and you presented it well. I could not stop smiling as I listened.

Thank you Kevin!

Wow! You have excelled yourself Kevin! Lovely interview and specifically heartwarming for regular YMP listeners such as myself. Great to see a true Yes fan get an opportunity like this. All the best!

Thanks, John. As you say, we are all ‘just’ fans so it was indeed a fabulous experience. It’s weird to be considered part of ‘the media’ now but I’m not complaining!

Likewise, Steve, I couldn’t help smiling throughout as well! After the ridiculous rush to get home in time, it was surreal as I said but fantastic all the same. Jon really was open and generous and I loved every second of it! Thanks for the comment.

Hi Kevin , what a great interview . Really nice to hear Jon Anderson sounding so upbeat and well especially as I remember seeing him leave the theatre after he played a solo show in Toronto back in 2008 ( just before he became so sick ) he looked really awful , so frail and weak . So looking forward to receiving my vinyl copy of the APB album , hopefully before 7th November as I am seeing the band that night in Toronto and have also bought the meet n greet option as well and hope to get the band to sign it ! Going to be my first time meeting JA and hope I am as calm and coherent as you were !

Keep up the great work


I’m so pleased you enjoyed the interview, Fergus. Jon was very lively on the phone and it was such a privilege to speak to him. Also, isn’t it great to see him at the helm of a brilliant band once again?

Hello Kevin,
I really enjoyed your interview with Jon Anderson! I was curious about your ‘happening’ that you kept teasing- never dreamed this was it! I wish I could see APB on tour, but it isn’t to be this time. Great job as usual, keep up the good work!

Thanks so much Wendy. I hope to see APB next year in the UK but by then who knows what will have happened in the crazy world of Yes? Keep listening!

Thanks for posting the interview with Jon Anderson. It was great to hear Jon on such good form.
It’s also a real boost to me as bass guitarist in SeYes to find more Yes fans out there!
We met up with Roger Dean last week at Trading Boundaries and I would recommend a trip to the exhibition for any Yes fan.
Perhaps one day we could record a podcast of live Seyes with you and talk about how Yes influenced our lives.
Jon mentioned the Hemmel Hempstead video (BBC Sounding Out) and I remember that short tour so well as my brother and I recorded Yes that same week in 1971 at The Free Trade Hall on a Phillips cassette recorder. Alas half the concert was lost over the years but we still have classic moments like Chris explaining The Fish!
Keep spreading the word,and the word is Yes.
Very best wishes,
Pete Greenwood.

Hello Pete and thanks for the comment. It’s great to see and hear you are keeping the flame very much alive. Of course it would be brilliant to feature Seyes on the podcast – we must make that happen. If you drop me a line to we will sort something out!

Wow! I’m surprised you didn’t keep that for episode 200. But then again, so much can happen in Yesworld in the two remaining weeks, it was probably safest to publish whilst it’s still current! As twodoggs52 says, incredible you pulled it off (I once bumped into Robert Plant in a village Spar and became dumbstruck like a 13 year old schoolgirl, so i know how daunting this an be).

Congratulations to Laura and Meredith (I think I remember their names correctly).

I found Anderson’s statement “Call it Yesmusic, if you like.” quite interesting as on the YesSpeak DVD (celebrating 35 years) he repeats the term Yesmusic many times – as something which is bigger than any particular group of people. I thought this was particularly perinent to recent YMP discussions about whether Yes is Yes without Chris or Jon.

But also big thanks to Mark Anthony K. I was beginning to think I was the only person in the world who loved Song of Seven. An absolutely wonderful uplifting album with some of Anderson’s most accessible lyrics reminiscent of Time and a Word in both their apparent simplicity and message.

Thanks Tim – yes it would have been better, maybe, to have been able to co-ordinate the two happenings but that’s the world of media for you 😉 I think we will indeed see Jon back in or around the thing called Yes soon…how exciting!

Hello Kevin,

Once again another fantastic episode. Great interview with Jon Anderson. .I’ve said it once before…you are really good at interviews and should do more of them.
Jon was great…i think he answered most questions fairly clearly and his memories of Chris Squire was touching. I’m listening to the APB album quite a bit and find it very interesting as I also hear a lot of Steve Howe in Jean Luc’s playing. Also I would like to thank Tim and Jezzafox for their kind words regarding my review of Song of Seven. I look forward to writing more reviews. Keep up the great work Kevin.

Mark Anthony K

Thanks so much, Mark. The APB album is great and I am quite surprised how much I enjoy listening to it as I wouldn’t normally choose the Jean-Luc style of music – it has widened my horizons!

Thank you, David. As you can imagine it was an amazing thrill. I’ll let you into a secret – when Jon answered the phone, I didn’t recognise his voice. Oops.

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