“They were cosplaying with these new sounds” – Steve Howe’s guitars on Tormato with Fernando Perdomo – 525

Produced by Wayne Hall and Jeffrey Crecelius

Mark and I just about manage to stay in control of the ‘spirited’ Fernando Perdomo this week. Ask him about guitar tech and he will literally talk for hours – which is exactly what we want on the YMP of course. What we were left with are many fascinating insights into Steve Howe’s guitars and approaches, all based around the greatest Yes album, Tormato. Stay tuned for that hurricane of enthusiasm.

  • How did Howe get those sounds for Tormato and why?
  • Where is the steel guitar?
  • What are the secrets to his guitar approach?

Fernando’s website –

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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:

5 replies on ““They were cosplaying with these new sounds” – Steve Howe’s guitars on Tormato with Fernando Perdomo – 525”

It’s great to hear from Fern regarding Steve, as he usually talks about his love for Peter Banks & Pete’s guitar playing & music. I’ve talked to Fern several times on the Cruise to the Edge when he’s performed with Dave Kernzer. Both men are very friendly & love to talk about music & gear, as you found with Fern! Of course, he was off just a bit when he said that Yesshows was the companion piece to Tormato’s songs. There is only 1 song from Tormato on Yesshows, “Don’t Kill the Whale.” The rest are from earlier tours.

Another fabulous and informative discussion. This is the kind of depth I really appreciate. Fern rightly highlights Steve’s breadth and capability of style, expression, tone etc.

On ‘Yesshows’, there are actually two pieces from the Tormato tour – “Time and a Word” as well as “Don’t Kill the Whale”. But the majority is from the 1976 ‘solos’ tour and the Going for the One tour in 1977.

By the way, I actually enjoy Rick’s often frantic Polymoog work on Tormato, and its intricate interweaving with Steve’s guitar. That said, the sound is a little thin and tinny at times. But overall, big thumbs up. A minority perception, I appreciate.

It’s always a challenge when you have someone so shy and introverted as a guest, but well done to you both for chipping in with your own insights, riding those long, awkward silences, and sensitively managing to tease out one or two responses.

Really loving this recent spate of technical background episodes, and this one was no exception; please keep them coming!

I must disagree the Ferando’s comment that the song “Circus of Heaven” needs to highlight the more menacing aspects circus life. A circus that takes place in heaven should NOT be menacing. If you want to hear the devil pounding out his sermon, then listen to “The Gate of Delirium”.

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