The die-hard Yes fan in me was already giddy about the prospects of interviewing/meeting the band on Cruise to the Edge in February. Now, that enthusiasm has – a la Spinal Tap – gone up to 11. I can’t wait to get on board.
The third time was clearly the charm for this progressive rock powerhouse; they are finally being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What’s even better is all the group’s core members are being enshrined. I conveyed a small “aww man…” when realizing guitarist Peter Banks and keyboardist Patrick Moraz were off the list (I wonder what Moraz will have to say about this, as he too is performing on the cruise). Still, kudos to the Rock Hall for focusing on the Union-era kitchen sink lineup of vocalist Jon Anderson, drummers Bill Bruford and Alan White, guitarists Steve Howe and Trevor Rabin, bassist Chris Squire, and keyboardists Rick Wakeman and Tony Kaye.
Some of these members helped the band take flight, others sent the band into the stratosphere, and one gave the band a tremendous comeback kick when it seemed the group would break up entirely.
Every one of these individuals is progressive rock royalty outside of Yes as well: there’s Kaye with Badger, Bruford with King Crimson, Howe with Asia and GTR, and Wakeman with his epic concept albums. I know it’s going to be hard to stifle my questioning about this honor, especially since “Yes” is currently divided into two factions – a five-piece containing Howe and White, and ARW, the trio of Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman.
Wakeman hasn’t missed a beat. He previously went on record saying he wouldn’t attend the ceremony or play with the band. Boo! Now he’s changed his mind about attending (thanks for letting me know Facebook!). We’re still unsure of whether he’ll actually perform with the group but at this point let’s try not to jinx anything considering his keyboard melodies are one of the more defining elements of the band and its overall discography.
Still if any reunion takes place with members performing the allocated three tunes, I’ll be satisfied. A lot of their tracks surpass 15 minutes so I know “Close to the Edge” and anything from Tales from Topographic Oceans is out. My money is on their performing “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” “Roundabout” and “I’ve Seen All Good People.”
As I prepare for Cruise to the Edge in a few weeks, I eagerly look forward to joining the total mass retain in basking in Yes’ greatness. If I can shake the hands of Howe and White in the process, I’ll return to land one satisfied passenger!