Could it be that Jon Anderson and Yes have parted company for good? When the band made the fateful decision to embark on their 40th anniversary tour with a stand-in while Anderson was recuperating from a respiratory ailment, it may have been the beginning of the end for the group called Yes that was fronted by a fellow named Jon Anderson.
Initially, Anderson was initially quite upset about the group’s plans to soldier on without him, and made no secret of it, posting his thoughts on his personal website. The rest of the group reacted in a way that seemed to suggest that the presence of Benoit David – The “understudy” who was chosen to take Anderson’s place – was only temporary, and that Anderson would be welcomed back to the group when his health would allow it.
Since that time things seemed to have evolved. Although there have been no public statements from Anderson regarding his official status as a member of Yes, a recent announcement from another member of the group suggests that they may have split with Anderson for good.
Chris Squire, the only continuous member of the group since its founding, has recently announced that the group plans to tour next year in its current form; in other words without Jon Anderson. There is also talk of a new album. In addition to what Squire told Plant Rock Radio back in October regarding their plans for a tour and album, he also revealed that both Benoit David and Oliver Wakeman are now official members of the band. “This is now Yes,” Squire was reported to have said.
With regard to the status of Jon Anderson, Squire indicated that the group – in its current form – has his blessing and that they are still friends. Anderson is reportedly not well enough to endure a full tour schedule with Yes and has decided to continue his solo efforts. Squire adds that he hopes he will have the chance to work with Anderson again some day.
The 2010 tour begins in February on the 4th at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, NH. The tour then works its way west and winds up the month with a show in the 28th at the Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Boca Raton, FL. Not a bad place to be in February.
A quick look at the Yes discography shows that Jon Anderson played a major role in creating a very significant quantity of the group’s material, including some of their best-known hits like “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Roundabout,” and “Owner of A Lonely Heart.” This, it would seem, gives Anderson a financial stake in whatever activities the other members are engaged in as long as they continue to use material that Anderson wrote or shares credit on. Not being a lawyer or music company executive, this is just speculation on my part, but it seems like a reasonable conclusion.
Whether Anderson and the rest of the group ever reunite – even for a single gig – remains unclear. Things often change quite unexpectedly in the music industry, so I think we can safely assume that almost anything is possible.