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Rock Band Yes ‘Union’ Likely on 50th Anniversary


The rock band Yes was founded in 1968 and over the decades has seen many skilled musicians in its lineup. Recently, in an interview, founding member Jon Anderson hinted of a band reunion to celebrate 50 years of Yes music. Determination: Investigating

Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman and Trevor Rabin

On Sep. 1, 2016 singer Jon Anderson was present at the Progressive Music Awards where he was bestowed with the nights’ most coveted honor - "Prog God." During an interview the former front man for the rock band Yes "exclusively revealed that a ‘Union’ with his former Yes band mates could be on the cards in the lead up to the band’s 50th anniversary." This according to a Sep. 5, 2016 article by Eon Music.

Also present with Anderson were two other former Yes members, keyboards wizard Rick Wakeman and guitarist Trevor Rabin. The three musicians have teamed up to form ARW are getting ready for their concert tour beginning in October.  The band is featuring "An Evening of Yes Music" and are expected to many of the songs which Trevor Rabin wrote with the band from the band's 1980's top selling LP 90125.

The Eon Music article said, "When questioned on whether a ‘Union’ bringing together ARW with the current Yes line-up was possible – in reference to a similar grouping that saw two differing line-ups of the band unite in the early-1990s’ - the singer was emphatic; “You never know, you never know”, he said candidly, before elaborating: “There’s the idea, if we get welcomed into the [Rock And Roll] Hall Of Fame on our 50th year, which is 2018, that’s when we’ll all get together. There’ll be about twenty of us on stage. It would be cool!”

Anderson and Wakeman have left Yes several times since the mid 1970's but returned on several projects. Together with Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White, they have been knows as the "Classic Yes Lineup. Anderson and Wakeman have not played with the band since 2008. Rabin exited Yes in 1995 to pursue a film scoring career.

1991 was last time the band had a Union tour which featured an impressive line up of founding members Jon Anderson on vocals, Chris Squire on bass, Tony Kaye on keyboards and Bill Bruford on drums. Later band members also were in the this massive line up, Steve Howe on guitars, Rick Wakeman on keyboards, Alan White on drums and Trevor Rabin on guitar.

Video of the 1991 Union Tour was found on YouTube

The current line up of Yes is Steve Howe (guitars and vocals), Alan White (drums), Billy Sherwood (bass, vocals and harmonica), Geoff Downes (keyboards) and Jon Davidson on lead vocals. The band has seen two other lead singers over the decades with the departures of Jon Anderson, Former Buggles member Trevor Horn and Benoit David.

The band lost founding bass player Chris Squire on June 27, 2015 to acute erythroid leukemia. At Squire's suggestion the band replaced him with friend Billy Sherwood. Sherwood had worked with the band on several albums contributing with background vocals and guitars. He also helped to engineer the bands 1991 Union album, where he co-wrote "The More We Live – Let Go" with Chris Squire. Rumor has it that Sherwood actually recorded the bass track on the preliminary session of the song and Squire liked it so much that he kept it in the final mix. Sherwood worked with Squire years later on a project called 'Conspiracy.' 

Yes founding guitarist Peter Banks never rejoined the band after he left in 1970 and was replaced by virtuoso guitarist Steve Howe. Banks died of heart failure on 7 March 2013. Banks was the member who came up with a positive, simple and catchy name for the progressive rock band.

On April 8, 2017, after the band's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (RRHOF) induction, Rick Wakeman sent a message out to fans on his Twitter feed: "To answer as to whether or not the Hall of Fame Induction will mean a YES reunion in the future, I can say 100% it's never going to happen."

Wakeman's acceptance speech at the RRHOF was laced with humor and in the background the audience could see the reaction of guitarist Steve Howe. In an offstage band interview Howe's body language gave away his emotions.

Video was found on YouTube:



The iRumorMill has reached out to other members of the Yes band for comments and will post findings on this page when they develop.


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