September 22, 2008
A short time ago, it was announced that the 40th anniversary Yes tour will go ahead as planned despite the absence of singer Jon Anderson. Anderson, who suffered a serious respiratory attack earlier this year, was instructed by doctors to rest for six months or risk serious health complications.
After canceling the tour due to Anderson’s illness, the other members of the group have since decided to embark on the tour with another singer standing in for Anderson. Benoit David was discovered via YouTube by bassist Chris Squire, and was subsequently invited to join the group for the tour.
Not surprisingly, Jon Anderson is disappointed with this turn of events. He addressed this issue recently by writing about it on his personal website. Among other things, Anderson says: "…I feel very disrespected, having spent most of this year creating songs and constant ideas for the band, spending time with Roger Dean creating a stage design, also working with VH1 and Sirius and XM Radio to help promote the welfare of YES."
He also mentions that most of the group has not bothered to be in touch with him since he fell ill, except for one: "…with the exception of one phone call from Alan [White], 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. And [I am] disappointed that they were not willing to wait till 2009 when I’m fully recovered."
Putting on my editorial hat for a moment, I think Anderson has every right to feel the way he does. Is Six months too long to wait for the artist that was so instrumental in the creation of Yes? Anderson has been the voice of the group from the start, and all through the history of the group that I am familiar with.
Personally, if I had planned to attend one of those shows, I would be canceling my plans. I don’t know how other Yes fans feel about these developments, but I suppose tickets sales for these shows will be a good indication.
Six months is not a long time to delay the tour in order to have Anderson present. I think he is exactly right. The group that will be touring soon and using the name "Yes" is not Yes without Anderson, and I hope the other members of the group have not put an end to the possibility of a genuine with Anderson out in front where he belongs.