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Yes Fans Still Out Of Luck

Jon Anderson on Yes: “I pushed them up the mountain.”

Jon Anderson is a founding member of the seminal British progressive rock group Yes. The singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist fronted the group through several decades of commercially successful and musically adventurous albums and tours. In 2008 Anderson suffered a severe asthma attack and acute respiratory failure, leaving him unable to perform a planned Yes tour, and the group replaced him with the singer from a Yes tribute act from YouTube and moved on.

Anderson recently released a new album with former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman called The Living Tree, and has done recent interviews talking about the old band.

“I’d write the songs, I’d come up with ideas for the structure . . . I pushed them up the mountain every time,” Anderson said. “Close to the Edge, Topographic, “Gates of Delirium” [and] “Awaken” are my favorite pieces. I pushed them up the mountain. They wouldn’t have gone there without me. It was my dream. I had this idea of, we’re talented musicians. Why don’t we expand music and make it something different, rather than chase the charts?”

Anderson added that it’s not unusual for bands that stay together for a long time to have problems. “Over years, you get to a stage where bands stay together because it’s business,” he noted. “When I got sick, I just couldn’t continue. I was really ill, and the guys didn’t understand it. And what’s to say why they didn’t understand it. I don’t know. But that’s life. You know, you get on with my next thing.”

Asked if he would ever consider re-joining Yes, Anderson didn’t give a definite answer, saying, “That’s a difficult question, obviously. They just disappointed me totally, and a lot of fans. They decided they wanted to go and get a guy that sounded like me and looked like me.

“I’m doing what I believe to be the right thing by just getting on with music, rather than worrying about the band. I know they’re out there, they’re making an album. Good luck to them.”


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