Continued from We’re Back
Yes has always been in a state of perpetual change — usually for the best. Members come and go (and sometimes come and go and come and go again and again and again). But through it all, Yes has always remained our favorite band, and no doubt, always will.
But following the tragic loss of Chris Squire, we were fully expecting our enthusiasm to wane. How much could this band still sound like Yes? Apparently, quite a lot! In stepped Billy Sherwood. We knew Billy from his days with the band during Open Your Eyes and The Ladder, and we knew he was both a great fan of the band and a great musician. But we never expected that the torch would pass so completely and perfectly as from Chris to Billy.
Billy’s presence on those first tours was decidedly, and appropriately, respectful. But damn, if he wasn’t playing all of those notes with feeling. His attention to detail — to the tone and soul of the sounds Chris used, were always spot on. And we began to happily believe that Yes would go on, and we’d go on enjoying our fandom, and would continue to contribute whenever we could.
Then, Yes faced another set back, as Alan White needed to sit out most of the 2016 U.S. tour owing to back surgery. Just as Yes seemed to be emerging from the shock of Chris’ passing and had been poised to really take things to the next level. Jon Davison, with his pure, powerful voice, multi-instrumental dexterity and engaging stage presence had long since vanquished any doubt — he is now the voice of Yes. And Jon D seems to welcome any challenge — embracing the most challenging of Yes’ repertoire and performing it with a passion, honesty that has made Yes fans believe again.
Like Jon D, Geoff Downes has been taking on Yes music from any period with amazing conviction, and style. His ability to jump from the most complex prog to prog pop, to straight up rock and everything in has steadily been building stronger and stronger support from the Yes faithful.
When Alan bowed out of the Topographic Drama tour, we were worried. Alan’s precision thunder has helped propel Yes’ live sound, without interruption, for decades. And he and Billy Sherwood were really melding. A tour without Alan was going to be rough. And he was missed. But…
Nobody Expected Jay Schellen
Jay Schellen stepped behind the drum kit just ahead of a major U.S. tour (much as Alan himself had done in 1972) with little time to prep. Fortunately, Jay came to Yes through Billy Sherwood, and the duo had been working together since 1995. They were already a tightly bonded unit.
Jay brought the laser precision thunder of Alan White — the power that Yes has needed to fill the arenas and stadiums, while also shifting embracing the jazzy swing that characterized Bill Bruford’s signature style in early Yes.
The tour featured an adventurous set list. Steve Howe, had long been advocating his “Album Series” concept and now in very much the leadership role in Yes, was eager to take on the entire Drama album, in sequence and sides one and four of Yes’ magnum prog opus, Tales From Topographic Oceans.
Yes did not merely “get through” the Topographic Drama tour — they caught fire again, burning with the passion and energy of Yes at their very best.
Alan even rejoined the band for select performances towards the tour’s end, further bolstering the powerful rhythm section and delighting fans.
Yes Has Never Sounded Better
So as Yes enters its 50th anniversary year, finally taking its rightful place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and sounding as powerful as ever, we found our fandom similarly energized.
Is This the New Yes Magazine Site?
In a word, no.
This site will be a place for us to share our thoughts on Yes, related music and other passions. We might even pluck appropriate materials from our Yes Magazine archives to share here. But it is not a our goal to be the definitive source of Yes information. We started Yes Magazine because Yes were not being covered enough in magazines like Rolling Stone, so there was no real source of information, interviews and opinions on the band. Then the web happened. And YouTube. And Twitter. And podcasts (like this great one by Kevin Mulryne and Mark Anthony K), great fan connections on Facebook, and great sites like YesFans.com, Forgotten Yesterdays, and of course, the official Yes web site at Yesworld.com. So there are plenty of places to get the latest Yes news.
So as we launch this site, some thirty years after first launching Yes Magazine, our goals are very different. But we hope you’ll drop by now and again just the same.
– Doug & Glenn