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Dave White

Jon Anderson "Disappointed, Disrespected" About Yes Tour

By September 22, 2008

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With the band's long history of turnover and turmoil, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that Yes co-founder Jon Anderson isn't happy about his bandmates' tour plans.

To recap: Yes were all set for a big 40th anniversary tour but they had to hit the hold button when Anderson was knocked out of commission with respiratory problems. Six months of rest, the doctors said. That was in June.

Then, a few weeks later, seemingly out of the blue, came the announcement that the tour was back on, but with a little known Yes cover band vocalist named Benoit David replacing Anderson.

Anderson made no secret of how he feels about this. He wrote on his website, "[W]ith the exception of one phone call from Alan [White, Yes drummer] none of the guys have been in touch since my illness, just to find out how I am doing, and how we will foresee the future for YES. [I'm] disappointed that they were not willing to wait till 2009 when I'm fully recovered."

He says he wishes "the guys" all the best, but, in Anderson's words, "This is not YES on tour."

Photo (Yes in 1978) courtesy Special Ops Media


September 22, 2008 at 3:32 pm
(1) Alun Williams says:

Hmmm, doesn’t this sound like many other similar stories before …? Judas Priest, Journey, Boston, etc ….

Here we go again!


September 26, 2008 at 10:52 am
(2) Gators Rule says:

I agree with Anderson, this is NOT Yes going on Tour. Typical anymore, there’s more consideration given to money than there is any consideration given to the Fans. I won’t bother to see this tour…

October 3, 2008 at 11:22 am
(3) von diesel says:

yeah that’s really not the right thing for the other band members to do.
For one thing do they really need the money so badly they couldn’t wait for Jon?
Afterall Jon is the voice of Yes.
I saw them 3 times within a year and a half and each show was incredible!
But without Jon I woudn’t even consider seeing them…whats the point?

October 9, 2008 at 3:14 pm
(4) StKev says:

These guys are all in their sixties. Some of them appear to be on their last legs. Seen a picture of Steve Howe lately? I’m sure Jon’s disappointed but for any of them it could be the last tour. There are probably lots of folks who’ll see them for the first time and be glad they did. Rock ‘n’ roll is a transient affair and you’ve gotta get it while you can.

October 11, 2008 at 7:29 pm
(5) Doug says:

Do they really need the money? Yes. Actually they do. With faltering CD sales touring is where the income is at for bands. And Jon has kept the rest of Yes waiting for 4 years when the others were ready and willing to tour, but he was not.

Is it Yes without Jon? Yes. It was when he left in ’80 and they carried on with Trevor Horn instead and put out the excellent “Drama” album. Do we Yes fans prefer Jon be singing? Of course, but he left in ’80 and also in ’88 to do ABWH and the others waited for 3 years then to get back together for the “Union” album and tour.

What most don’t know is that Jon unofficially left the band after the ’04 tour was done and the others have been trying to get him back to tour since. And he has told friends and associates since June that he has left and will never work with Yes again as he has too many solo projects he wants to work on or finish in the future.

So there are 2 sides to every story. If Jon is really done with Yes he should make an official announcement to everyone so the band can carry on without him or close the book on Yes and carry on with their own solo careers, Howe with Asia, etc.

October 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm
(6) Tucson Bass Player says:

Squire is plenty wealthy. But with the others needing the income and Jon saying he doesn’t want to play, you can’t slight him for moving on. Maybe Jon will be back but for now just get over it. They owe the fans nothing, this is their lively hood. It is as if someone at your workplace couldn’t make it to work and you said you would not go in until he could! Explain that to your husband or wife. LOL

October 24, 2008 at 1:36 pm
(7) Peter Vermaat says:

Then why didn’t they ask Rabin back? If they want to crash down Yes, why not do it with thunder & lightning?

October 25, 2008 at 6:40 pm
(8) Doug says:

They did ask Rabin to join them for the summer 40th anniversary tour. He’s said he’d love to play Yes music again but he’s committed to several movie soundtrack projects and isn’t free until ’09 or later.

Squire lost money in his last divorce just a few years ago. Notice he’s since done more work than his usual very slow pace with a Christmas cd, an upcoming Steve Hackett cd project, his new solo cd, this Yes tour, and an autobiography book in ’09 or ’10- new income to supplant what his ex-wife got and for child support for their young son.

October 26, 2008 at 11:52 pm
(9) John Demarkis says:

Easy Folks, YES isn’t about the money. They are playing small venues. They are really out for the fans and thier own enjoyment. They are getting old.They have little time left. I would rather see them than NOT see them. i actually think this tour will be a great look at a side of YES that has been kept from us because Jon and Rick REFUSE to play certain songs where as Alan, Steve and Chris seem willing to play anything. I am tired of Andersons little faggy solo spots in the middle of the concerts. at least now those extra 30 minutes of solo spots will be filled by the band playing songs we haven’t got to hear before or in years. Go see this tour The singer is a fine young singer to fill in the void. I can’t wait. and stop being negative That is not the YES way

October 28, 2008 at 8:21 pm
(10) Doug says:

John D. is correct. I agree with his points- they are playing small venues, smaller than the venues Yes played on the “Symphonic” tour in 2001. And they are intentionally playing songs they have not performed since 1980 on the “Drama” tour, and other songs from the early 70s they have not played in years, in some cases since ’71.

As Squire said in one interview, since the fans can’t see the lineup they want, in other words, with Anderson, the band are giving the fans the setlist they want to see and hear by doing songs that Jon doesn’t want to sing. This will be a different setlist, a marked change from their setlists since they reformed in ’96. For Yes fans it’s a chance to see them perform several songs they haven’t done in 28-37 years!

November 1, 2008 at 9:08 am
(11) Dan Noah says:

First, great news Jon is going to be singing again in 09. The world will be a better place again with the greatest singing voice of all time. Get well my friend. Without Jon the magic will not happen. The Mystical and AWE drop out and the heartcord won’t be engaged. With my first Yes concert in 1972 till present, I’ve seen them too many times to recount, YES:Jon,Chris,Steve,Alan, Rick (Oliver might hold his own like Moraz because of the gene pool)are the closest we get to god and they lived in our lifetime…wow. Jon will be back in our Homeworld soon and I will have to set that day aside. YES with Jon makes me a better guy.

November 8, 2008 at 4:05 pm
(12) Beverly says:

First of all to John Demarkis, is how dare you attack Jon anderson like that! He is the reason most Yesfans listen to Yes! He and Rick Wakeman are suffering from health problems! Jon Is more a real man than you will ever be! what have you done for this world lately?

November 10, 2008 at 1:40 am
(13) Jeff in Richmond VA says:

Has everyone forgotten that YES was touring once before without Jon Anderson? In 1980, DRAMA was a very good album, and it’s too bad that Trevor Horn couldn’t have come back for a stretch. No argument that Jon Anderson is king, but I’d rather see 80% YES than no YES at all.

November 10, 2008 at 11:48 am
(14) Annagi says:

I just saw the “new” YES last night, and although they played extremely well, I had to walk out because YES is not YES without Jon Anderson. I too saw them with Trevor and again YES is NOT YES without Jon Anderson. What a shame, let them get their S@#t together and give us an awesome final tour with all of them back

November 10, 2008 at 8:10 pm
(15) Doug says:

I’m always amazed that someone walked out of a concert-after paying your hard earned money, and being a Yes fan, you would walk out, not get your money’s worth, and not see and hear what else they are going to perform?! A real Yes fan would never walk out on them. I’ve been to over 300 concerts since ’75 and would never leave a show.

Second, Yes is not one member, never has been and never will be. As a Yes fan since first hearing them in ’70, having seen every U.S. tour they have done since ’75, and having met and interviewed them several times since ’84, I can tell you that Yes is about the whole. Jon is not Yes. Everyone is replaceable and has been- except Chris! Even Jon told me in ’91 after a UNION concert that he wants the band to carry on into the future with new members as a 2nd generation Yes, whether with the current members kids (like Oliver Wakeman, Jon’s son or Steve’s sons) or with strangers, as long as they are excellent singers and players and perform with the same spirit.

November 13, 2008 at 6:35 pm
(16) Geraldo says:


I will wait for the real deal – not this cover band that I can see at a casino bar/lobby!

November 15, 2008 at 2:19 pm
(17) Doug says:

This is not a cover band! If Rick can’t tour because of health, there is no one better than his son Oliver. And YES is not just Jon. We as YES fans would prefer he be there but his health won’t allow it right now. Let’s see how he feels in a few months.

I just saw the band on Wed. night in Columbus, Ohio. My wife, me and everyone there saw a fantastic show and loved it. I’ve seen YES on every U.S. tour since ’75 and the crowd was the loudest and most excited I’ve ever seen- there were women screaming and yelling, which I’ve never seen or heard at a YES show ever! Of course, they were directing their affection to Oliver and to Benoit, who are good looking guys.

The band was very tight, energetic and there were smiles all around all night. Howe doesn’t smile much but on Wed. he was smiling from the first song, “Siberian Khatru,” to the end with “Roundabout.” Benoit was amazing, his voice is the perfect replacement for Jon, and he also plays acoustic guitar and percussion like Jon. He knew all the lyrics perfectly and his harmonies with Chris and Steve were the best I’ve heard in many years. Chris and Alan were excellent, although it was very obvious that Chris has gained a lot of weight in the last 4 years since the last YES tour. Oliver was very good and only made 1 obvious timing error, during “Close to the Edge.”

The setlist was the best part. They did two songs from DRAMA which they haven’t performed since ’80 (which I won’t give away), and a song they hadn’t done since ’71, which really rocked and was a great surprise. They did 1 song from TORMATO, not performed since ’79. And there was 1 new song, unrecorded. Howe had a great night and you could tell he was really enjoying himself, which he doesn’t show at that many shows. I mean he was smiling big time.

If you skip this tour you are missing a fantastic show. If you close your eyes you can not tell it’s not Jon singing, and Benoit even looks like a young Jon; he’s the same size and look.

If Jon can’t rejoin the band Benoit is the perfect choice to replace him- he sounds just like Jon did 20 years ago, he plays guitar better than Jon, is young, healthy and full of energy, and the women love him. And Roger Dean did the stage design, which was different and a nice addition.

December 10, 2008 at 2:30 am
(18) Zewg.com says:

I went and saw this show and it was excellent. The singer they are touring with sounds great.. and a lot like Jon Anderson.. You know what they say about imitation.

I hope Jon recovers, and I think he should be thrilled that there are people out there who are trying to sound like him.

December 10, 2008 at 9:07 pm
(19) rreed says:

Tell Chris I saw the Beatles the other night. They looked and sounded just like their records. Did I really see the Beatles Chris . Get the picture .

December 11, 2008 at 1:32 pm
(20) Mike H says:

Saw the show in Nashville last night, 12/10/08. While I miss Jon’s presence very much (who wouldn’t), it’s so wonderful to see the 3 guys having such a good time. And Howe just seems to get better with age. Earlier comments said it well: it’s not perfect, but a heckuva show and you get to enjoy some songs that Jon wouldn’t sing. Take life as it comes and make the best of it in the true YES spirit. This is a show definitely worth seeing. Heal well, Jon, we miss you … but the music is more powerful than one man as you’ve said yourself. ENJOY AND GO SEE THESE GUYS!!!

December 25, 2008 at 11:03 pm
(21) Dan Noah says:

Went to the YES show at Ruth Eckerd hall. It wasn’t YES but a nice evening with friends. I can only hope that Jon gets well soon and forgives his lads for going on the road without him under the YES umbrella. Please forgive and tour again for the intoxicated fans. “Intoxication must first have heightened the excitability of the entire machine”–Nietzsche

January 11, 2009 at 12:40 pm
(22) Steve says:

Yes has become their own cover band, they play their own songs, its them- but it does’nt sound like them.
Genesis without Gabriel, Toto without….., Pink without Waters.
Prog Rock has gone into recession

January 27, 2009 at 3:14 pm
(23) tim says:

have you heard this guy sing (Benoit David)
he is no jon anderson
i could do better

January 27, 2009 at 3:25 pm
(24) paul says:

jon you are YES you are the only one without the others that i would go to see as YES.
this guy singing as you, is not even as good as this guy i saw doing jon anderson’s covers on youtube
@(yea78861) hearing is beleving, his equipment sucks but he sounds great
jon when your well, and i wish you god’s speed
and, i really hoping you will do a solo tour

April 18, 2009 at 7:38 am
(25) James Payne says:

I saw Yes when I was 18 years old and Jon was 24.I remember Jon forming the band (we grew up together in Accrington Lancashire).They were young,vibrant,full of energy and confidence.The music was new and fresh (the term “prog rock” hadn’t been invented at that time).I recently saw a clip on Fox News of Chris,Alan,and Benoir David playing “Owner of a Lonely Heart”.It as awful,Benoir sings out of tune and has none of the “character”of Jon.Very sad,they look so old,the spark has gone from their playing.Nothing like the band I saw supporting “The Nice” in 68,or supporting “Deep Purple” at the Lyceum in 70.Such a shame.

May 26, 2009 at 5:22 pm
(26) nathan says:

this is no different than alan white replacing bruford.. the keyboard players who replace wakeman.. rabin replacng howe…
c’mon folks.. it IS yes and they are doing it without anderson!!!

September 21, 2009 at 4:58 pm
(27) 4QUAD says:

Please, please Mr. Squire, (who owns the name “YES”), call your old mate Jon and have the “YES-THE FINAL TOUR” You’ll sell out every venue in the USA. Just one more time….

October 17, 2009 at 5:39 pm
(28) Annie says:

I shall not going to YES’concert in Olympia/Paris, as YES’ concerts without Jon ANDERSON are not YES’ concerts ; and more, he was the enthusiastic men to unite the band around 10 ten years ago with 2 fantastic new albums. And HE is the voice of YES, definitely !
To my best health to Jon,
A very great fan from France,

October 31, 2009 at 12:20 pm
(29) CUITOR says:

Yes sin JON ANDERSON ni RICK WAKEMAN es como una comida sin sal y pimienta….

January 3, 2010 at 3:40 am
(30) Steve Drummer says:

Everyone , lets be honest here, and not say well “jon says this” Jon says that”Chris or alan says this about things….its not a soap opera.!! but sounds like it eh?…
Yes has been and always will be the most talented and the most inspirational playing, singing,that i have known.
Jon,, we wish you a speedy recovery, and to the rest of “Yes”….We wish you all the best of health.
It was said the right way when someone said that the band is yes..they all make up the part of yes that has brought us so much talent and joy, and inspiration..Lets just wish the Men luck and Pray they will play as “one” again… wether it be their 40th… their 45th or their 50th anniversary Yes fans are as special as the band… lets not argue over who’s better who’s worst.. or who needs money the worst…..”Yes are about Yes” thats what we all love about them

September 15, 2010 at 2:22 pm
(31) Vernondelray says:

I’m such a fan of the band I would see them in this incarnation, but I sure miss Jon. I’m on the fence on this thing. I just saw Jon last night in Austin in an intimate theater – solo acoustic, and he really looked well and sounded great. The show was a tad corny, after all Jon isn’t a great instrumentalist, but he seemed in a really happy place. He told a few stories along with the songs and I’ve never seen him more at ease with an audience, albeit it a small crowd. He has lost weight but it looks like a healthy weight loss, and THAT VOICE, still so incredible. I’m a bass player and Chris is my favorite, and Yes music is my favorite, but Jon is the heart of Yes and Chris is the soul. I think Benoit is probably a fine singer and can perform the songs adequately, and in interviews seems like a real nice guy, but the personality I saw last night would definitely be missed. But seeing Steve and Chris again would still be s worthwhile night out!

December 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm
(32) S. E. Wms says:

To John Demarkis,
Your comment: “I am tired of Andersons little faggy solo spots in the middle of the concerts.”
As a gay man, and HUGE Yes fan, I find this HIGHLY disrespectful not only to myself and to Jon, but also to just about everyone else who understands that refering to something as “faggy” denotes extreme ignorance and uneccesary hatred. One would hope you wouldn’t talk about your gay son or your gay brother like that. If so, you need to get a clue. You should be ashamed of yourself.

November 5, 2013 at 9:11 pm
(33) scott warner says:

Jon Anderson WAS…IS…and will forever BE YES!

November 5, 2013 at 9:20 pm
(34) scott warner says:

Doug…you proved my point…who goes to a Yes show to see yelling and screaming girls? Yes without Jon is NO!

April 22, 2014 at 4:41 pm
(35) lucy says:

jon Anderson was yes his unique voice it was,nt very nice as he was replaced with some unknown person.whilst he was ill.are you not allowed to be ill?

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