Episodes YMP Classic Feed

Miguel Falcão and #PlayForChris – 388

Produced by Jeffrey Crecelius, Wayne Hall, Preston Frazier, Bill Govier and VR Hoisington

Miguel Bass!
Miguel Bass!

This week we had a great conversation with Miguel Falcão about his now annual PlayForChris video project and also his own Yes bass covers – a long time Listerine (oops!) listener and several times interviewee we always love speaking to Miguel.

We also have a two pence from Mark which might prove controversial – and that’s of course the whole idea.

Listen and let us know what you think!

  • What is #PlayForChris all about?
  • Why are fans so keen to take part?
  • Why does Steve Howe do that??

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Show notes and links

YMP Patrons:


  • Jeffrey Crecelius
  • Preston Frazier
  • VR Hoisington
  • Bill Govier and
  • Wayne Hall


Aaron Steelman
Dave Owen
Mark James Lang
Paul Tomei
Joost Maglev
David Heyden
Martin Kjellberg
Paul Wilson
Bob Martilotta
Michael O’Connor
Peter Hearnden
Brian Sullivan
David Pannell
Miguel Falcão
Lobate Scarp
Chris Bandini
David Watkinson
Neal Kaforey
Rachel Hadaway
Craig Estenes
Paul Hailes
Mark ‘Zarkol’ Baggs
Doug Curran
Robert Nasir
Fergus Cubbage
Scott Colombo
Fred Barringer
Scott Smith
Geoff Bailie
Simon Barrow
Geoffrey Mason
Stephen Lambe
Guy R DeRome
Steve Dill
Henrik Antonsson
Steve Perry
Hogne Bø Pettersen
Steve Rode
Steve Scott
Jamie McQuinn
Steven Roehr
Ken Fuller
Terence Sadler
Jeremy North
Tim Stannard
Todd Dudley
John Cowan
Tony Handley
John Holden
Joseph Cottrell
John Parry
Keith Hoisington
John Thomson
William Hayes
Barry GorskyMichael Handerhan

Robert and David

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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

20 replies on “Miguel Falcão and #PlayForChris – 388”

Steve Howe and Alan White are the only real Yes members in that particular version of Yes. So no, Jon Davison should not be taking over anything. He’s taken over much much more than what he should have already. I think it’s awesome that Steve gets mad on stage. He’s an artist. He’s intense.
Ok, have a nice day. Here’s a smile since you seem to like them.

How can anyone who played on a yes album not be a real member? Is Moraz a phony member? I hope Davison takes over onstage banter if only to irrirate the above commenter.

Hear Hear! YMP is not the place for the “No Jon (A) No Yes” crowd… There are plenty of places on the Internet for that kind of negativity.

Thanks everyone. Yes, YMP is all about the kind of positivity we hear in the music of the world’s greatest progressive rock band. We all have our own opinions, but on the YMP we support all iterations of the band and all present and former band members, along with all the different pre and post Yes bands and projects like ABWH, APB, ‘solo’ groups and ARW etc.

If you want to say something negative you can but you won’t provoke slanging matches here because we are not interested in that – we prefer to enjoy the wonderful worlds of Yes in all their disparate and mad variety.

I attended the Royal Affair performance in Columbus, Ohio, last night. I thought the band sounded terrific. They’ve shaken off most of the rust that was evident in a few of the early performances that were posted on Youtube. I was thrilled to experience Gates of Delirium live for the first time (for me) since 1976! Most spectacularly, the adjacent baseball stadium offered up a fireworks display just at the battle sequence was getting under way… Could not have timed it any better.

As for Grumpy Steve… I was in the back, so I did not clearly hear what was said, but he did have some harsh words for someone behaving badly in the front rows on more than on occasion. There are good points on either side of the question whether he “should” admonish them or not… but I worry if the amount of discussion this is getting will only encourage the next jerk in the front to intentionally see if he can get a rise of out Steve. There are too many people that think that just because they paid for a seat, they heckle the talent (musicians, comedians, etc.) regardless of how they might be detracting from the experience of the people around them…

Thanks Jamie – that’s a very good point – we don’t want to give folk the excuse to continue this kind of thing by jumping on the tired old bandwagon.

Brilliant fireworks story!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the show.

Re: Steve Howe’s Moods

Sorry, this is a long one.

I would start by referring back to Bill Bruford’s very astute demarcation between artists and craftsmen / entertainers when talking about how UK morphed into Asia.

In that context it seems to me that the Royal Affair tour is primarily designed as an entertainment that will attract people who want to hear songs they know played more or less the way they are used to hearing them. Hence the stock-piling of familiar names and logos with a chance of selling tickets in “sheds” in what has, of late, been a fairly soft markets for rock bands who have been milking the heritage thing the last 15 years or so. Some of the people going will want to party like it’s 1982 with all that entails in terms of the consumption and a commensurate relaxation of inhibitions and good manners. I would not go to that kind of show for that very reason any more than I would go and hear a string quartet in the local boozer and hear them compete with football on tv and the dulcet chimes of the fruit machine.

Ont he other hand Yes (with Steve in the band) is first and foremost an art project. It may have some craftsmen in it, they may want to entertain, but Steve Howe is the boss the Steve is going to make the music he wants to make and if there is an audience for it then great. If there isn’t then I don’t think it’s going to lead him to change anything in the music to alter the odds of people wanting to buy it. If the balance between art and commerce isn’t right then Steve Howe isn’t going to be right and the music will suffer. That is my impression at any rate and so I see the behaviour you describe as being rooted in integrity rather than petulance. They’re not a bar band. This isn’t Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Doobie Brothers. No one who is a committed Yes fan loves them because of their propensity to boogie.

I would put Carl Palmer in the same category. Having had the pleasure of watching him soundcheck his show in meticulous (and lengthy) detail in a small English provincial venue a couple of years back I can tell you nothing was being left to chance. That the music be the best it could be was clearly his absolute priority. Regardless of venue size. He reminded me of films I have seen of great conductors rehearsing an orchestra. It was all about making the musicians and the venue work together to fulfil a creative vision. How it should be, right?

For me Asia and the Moodies are more in the craftsmen / entertainers area. I have one Moody Blues album that I like a lot (On The Threshold Of A Dream) and can take or leave the rest. Asia are not meant for me. I loved UK and everything that I loved about them and that made them special was missing from that first Asia record. That is subjective personal taste on my part, I know, but using the Bruford barometer I think that is fair comment.

In this respect Steve Howe is more like Fripp. Crimson don’t make between song announcements. There are two recorded announcements one before each half about listener etiquette and that’s it. The music speaks for itself for two and a half hours (plus interval) and very eloquently at that. Fripp clearly has zero tolerance for sub-standard anything. They could make a fortune playing 21st Century Schizoid Man, Epitaph, Dinosaur and Frame By Frame etc to crowds of drunk people on multi band bills in places with unreliable sound but he very specifically chooses not to do that.

I don’t know why the economics of a seven man King Crimson (with one “name” member) are different from the economics of a six man Yes (with to my mind two “name” members and one of them is only on stage for a small portion of the show) but clearly there is a reason why Crimson can go around the world playing largely old (sometimes very old) music on their own terms as the only act on the bill and Yes can’t.

It certainly isn’t the scarcity value as I have been able to see them on three different tours in the last four years. There have been shifts in the set list but not in way that would drive (or not drive) ticket sales. It isn’t that Crimson are the bigger band. Yes clearly sold a lot more records even in their “dog days”.

Could it be that when it comes to Progressive Rock art is more popular, more compulsive for the listener than entertainment?

The Pavarotti comparison is a good one actually and I would put the legendary pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli in the same category. He would often cancel if the room and or the piano were not quite so. We already know how particular Steve Howe is about his equipment and warm up-time and everything else. Are we really surprised that being put in a sub standard situation is going to lead to some grumpiness?

So maybe the problem is just that – Yes need to treat their own legacy with the care and attention that is more about art than a rock n roll party?

Bad mood or no bad mood Steve How is still the most original and gifted musician on that stage (or pretty much any Rock stage you could name) and I think audiences should be grateful, listen more and talk less. I really do.

I can’t help but wonder – what with all the available videos of Grumpy Old Steve – if, perhaps, there is that small minority of Yes fans at these shows who are purposefully trying to incite a Grumpy Old Man incident… ?

Quite possibly. There is fair chance that there are some people there who actually think that Asia were an improvement on Yes who might prefer (adopts Jon Anderson’s Yes Years accent) “pop songs” to Gates of Delirium or thoughtful bits of solo acoustic playing. It’s a risk they run with a festival set-up but it doesn’t make it in any way acceptable. The customer isn’t always right, especially after half a dozen supersized rations of Coors or whatever!

I was front row, dead center, for the show in Columbus, Ohio, my hometown, on Friday. I was backstage with Asia before the show, with other musicians during the evening, and with Yes after. I can tell you that what Steve said to the audience after the first few songs was, quote, “If you are going to use your phones for photos, which you shouldn’t be doing, don’t use the idiot light, that we can see, or you look like an idiot.” Should Steve have said it, or left it to security to deal with the idiots using flash, or shooting video, with the record light visible? In my opinion, to security. There was an audible gasp from some of the audience when he said that, while some laughed at his words.

After it got dark, Steve had flies attracted to the light over his steel guitar, and I could hear him saying “f**k off” to the irritating insects as they landed on his hands while playing it! They also swarmed around his head, landing on his hair or head, and he swatted them away several times. This clearly got on his nerves while trying to play. All this was coupled with the fact that the heat index hit 103 degrees for the temperature with the humidity. It was a draining heat. Alan was clearly wiped out after “Roundabout” as I saw him exhale a “woo, it’s hot!” That they didn’t return to play “Starship Trooper” didn’t surprise me, as they, and the audience was drained after 4.5 hours.

Steve visibly jumped when the fireworks started after the Columbus Clippers baseball game, as the sound bouncing off the venue boundary wall near him sounded like firecrackers. I had texted several different folks in the Yes camp, including management, Geoff and Billy, the day before to warn them that there would be fireworks once it was dark, after the game, and that the ball park, Huntington Park, was right next door to the concert venue, Express Live, with shared parking lots. It just so happened to be during “The Gates of Delirium” battle section, and Steve was caught off guard!

So talking to the band backstage after, Steve was still clearly short-tempered. He said the heat had got to him, and I said I understand, we were still very hot almost an hour after the gig. Personally, I’ve seen that Steve has increasingly gotten upset at various things he sees on stage over the last few years. In my opinion he should just ignore them, or point the offenders out to security, as quietly as possible. All of this behavior just increases his image as grumpy and mean, which is not the case offstage most of the time. Steve is just a perfectionist, and expects the light crew, everyone really, to do their job perfectly. But I do think it’s tied into his increasing age, and one concert-goer told me Steve sounds like the cliched old man neighbor yelling at kids to “Get off my lawn”!

I do know that the band have talked to Steve about these “outbursts.” Whether it helps, we’ll see.
Letting Jon do the talking to the audience will not completely solve the issue, as Steve has a microphone in front of him for vocal harmonies, but I have no objection to Jon taking over as the compere/host.

P.S. On a similar note, several in the Yes circle have also kindly asked Steve to smile for the meet & greet photos, or any photos with fans, guests, etc. He just doesn’t like his smile, so he rarely smiles.

Oh Steve, you are worth so much more than this…..
I wish so much that Steve would put together a little solo concert tour, playing stuff from his solo albums and some acoustic Yes music, instead of what he is doing now. He does solo concerts in England, so why not other parts of the world? He could play smaller, indoor venues which would be much less stressful for him. I know I’m gonna get crap for saying this, but in my opinion everyone who goes to see this incarnation of Yes is there just to see Steve play any way. So why not just do a nice, low key solo tour instead of these hectic, mad festivals? Many others have done it, like Rick Wakeman, Jon Anderson, and Greg Lake just to name a few.

Actually I’m there to see them all play….in fact I’m a big fan of Billy Sherwood’s playing and Jon Davison is a fantastic singer….so I’m there for much more then Steve.

I’m there for everyone as well, though I do think that Steve playing theaters on his own like Carl Palmer does would be a good idea.

But I did not go last night in Cary, N.C. because of what I have read and seen of Steve’s behavior. I would have been disinclined to go even on my own because the experience (and it was very hot yesterday and Steve might have been particularly surly) is not what I expect from a Yes show. But I was going to take my son as well. There used to be two big shows that I knew were just joyous events and where people, including those on stage, kept themselves reasonably in check: Rush and Yes.

Rush no longer tours, for reasons that I think are very honorable given Neil’s views about his ability to play as he once did, views that Geddy and Alex completely understand and honor. (Are there three nicer guys than that bunch?)

The other was Yes. They still play, but I won’t be seeing them live again. My first show was the Union tour in suburban Detroit in April 1991.

I’ve just returned from holiday and caught up with the last two wonderful podcasts.
It was great to hear that fellow Liverpudlian Jon Kirkman was at the Deeside show on the Drama tour, my own first Yes concert. He’s quite chatty, isn’t he!
By contrast, I think I recognize in Steve Howe both an introvert and an HSP (highly sensitive person). He’ll find the interruptions and distractions that come from inattentive elements in the audience more painful than more neurotypical members of the band, and I completely identify with his greater desire to react and respond to them.
He’s also been recently and painfully bereaved. We all wear our grief uniquely, and often it doesn’t show as stillness and silence but can bubble up and erupt at the most unexpected times. When we meltdown or snap, it can be at the last straw rather than the preceding millions.
I’d love to hear Jon D do more introductions and announcements. When Peter Gabriel left Genesis, for the first two tours, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett shared the talking, but then it defaulted to Phil. I think Steve should do one and leave the rest to Jon.

I love that Steve has a pop at audience members who are disrespectful to the the band, the music and their fellow concertgoers. I wish more artists would do it. As Simon Barrow (among others) has so eloquently pointed out, you do not get this sort of shouting out at classical or jazz venues.

As an aside I was at the Royal Albert Hall a couple fo weeks back for the Royal Philharmonic Ochestra playing Holst’s Planets Suite to large NASA images. Two boxes away from us was an elderly woman who clearly had mental issues of some sort who was russling bags of food throughout. Her son tried to keep her under control, but she slapped him! A bit of a dilemma – on the one hand, why shoud she be denied the opportunity to hear the beauty of the music because she has “problems” – on the other hand why should she be allowed to deny the opportunity to listen in peace to those around her. I had tended to come down on the side of the former, until my daughter – who had paid for the tickets and treated me – pointed out that if this was a baby making a fuss, the parent would be expected to take it outside.

Anyway – back to the plot (if ajnyone’s still with me), those who call out/heckle presumably do not have similar mental healt issues and should just button their lips. Yes, this IS a rock concert, even if it is art, and Yes do provide moments to let off steam and have even been known to encourage such unruly behaviour as clapping along in Wurm or singing along to I’ve Seen All Good People. Save it till then.

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