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Q: Steve Howe has no "guitar heir"...Is Yes "done" after Steve's done?

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  • True
    replied
    Originally posted by Olorin View Post
    The naive, idealistic part of me wishes that in the wake of Alan's death and the realization that the bell eventually tolls for us all, Steve would have invited Anderson back and they would have retooled the tour to be not only the 50th anniversary of CTTE but also a farewell tour. Davidson would remain in the band and provide harmony vocals and sing lead on anything Anderson didn't want to sing lead on (Drama, etc.). And the tour would not necessarily have been limited to a certain number of dates. They could simply continue touring over a period of years, much as they did from 1998 though 2004, and then brought it to a close while they were still performing at a level to do honor the the Yes name and legacy. Once that period ends, Yes ends. Anyone who wants to continue can continue, but call it something else.
    Ideally Anderson and Howe would truly rediscover their friendship. For the sake of themselves. I remember the body language during the last few tours with Anderson and Howe, Steve seemed very unhappy on stage. Steve Howe has been much happier-looking on stage since then. So I don't want them to re-unite for the sake of a paycheck. But I could see a situation in which promoters offer better compensation if there could be a tour with both Anderson and Howe. Yes have never done a farewell tour, I'd enjoy seeing some dates which included the current official band plus people like Kaye, Moraz, Benoit, Horn, and of course Anderson, Wakeman and Rabin. I know that will not happen, I'd just like to see it. Just think about the vocal possibilities if every lead singer of the band was on stage. They could do Leave It without tapes. But I'm getting very carried away here!

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  • Ceasar’s Palace
    replied
    Originally posted by bondegezou View Post
    When the times comes, either the band will continue on without Howe or it won't. We won't definitely know until then what will happen. I think music that is being made remains more interesting. Did you all see the news that Downes has been recording with John Lodge?
    Continuing without Howe under a different name is also possible.

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  • bondegezou
    replied
    When the times comes, either the band will continue on without Howe or it won't. We won't definitely know until then what will happen. I think music that is being made remains more interesting. Did you all see the news that Downes has been recording with John Lodge?

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  • Olorin
    replied
    It's interesting that on the same website, we have a thread that can ask the (completely legitimate) question of whether Yes is unknown to most people today and also a thread in which people posit the idea that there may be a hot young guitarist out there who would see Yes as the vehicle to get him (her) the exposure to build a great career....

    But getting to the core question of an understudy/heir apparent for Steve, I'm sure there are plenty of guitarists out there that have the chops to play what Steve plays but do they have the willingness to play the parts so as to sound like Steve? No one would deny that Trevor Rabin had great chops, but he typically did not play Steve's parts in a way that sounded anything like Steve. Not that I fault him for this...he did not sign up to be Steve's replacement or even be in a band called Yes. He signed up to be in a new band called Cinema that just happened to feature the old Yes rhythm section and after he turned his head for a second then looked back again, he was in Yes.

    In any event, I'll espouse what seems likely to be a minority opinion, since the prevailing trend in this thread is (naturally, given the thread's title), who can step up and take Steve's place to keep Yes going? My answer to that is, no one. To me, the core of classic Yes was always Anderson, Howe, Squire and White. They were the heart of Yes because their hearts were in Yes (to steal a line from the old Yes Magazine). And the core of the Yes catalog is the phenomenal music they produced in the 1970s. That run of albums from The Yes Album through Going for the One, there is just nothing like it. And that is not in anyway to diminish or disregard other phases of the band's career, whether that be the Peter Banks days, YesWest, ABWH, or the more recent years. It's simply that the 70s material is what established them as a legend and the greatest progressive rock band of all time. It's like Fleetwood Mac. They've had many lineups and many sounds, but it is the band that produced Fleetwood Mac through Tango in the Night that will live as the real Mac in the world's eyes.

    And so it is with Yes, at least for me. Once Steve is gone, that's the end of Yes, unless Anderson were to return or form a new Yes. He's the only surviving founder who is not retired or would have any interest in being in an ongoing band. It's already been pointed out that he's older than Steve so that would be unlikely, but something unexpected could happen to Steve tomorrow (God forbid) and Jon could call his band Yes. It'd be another really awkward situation, but hey, par for the course for Yes.

    The naive, idealistic part of me wishes that in the wake of Alan's death and the realization that the bell eventually tolls for us all, Steve would have invited Anderson back and they would have retooled the tour to be not only the 50th anniversary of CTTE but also a farewell tour. Davidson would remain in the band and provide harmony vocals and sing lead on anything Anderson didn't want to sing lead on (Drama, etc.). And the tour would not necessarily have been limited to a certain number of dates. They could simply continue touring over a period of years, much as they did from 1998 though 2004, and then brought it to a close while they were still performing at a level to do honor the the Yes name and legacy. Once that period ends, Yes ends. Anyone who wants to continue can continue, but call it something else.

    Please don't hate on me for this. It's just my opinion and it comes from a place of wanting Yes to be neither a band of ever-diminishing stature nor a band composed of people who had nothing to do with the band's heyday.

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  • Soundwaveseeker
    replied
    The '6th man' idea may be a valid way to go in some respects. Both Kansas and Styx have an augmenting extra member in recent years (Zac Rizvi for Kansas and Will Evankovich for Styx), both serving as producers and extra songwriters/instrumentalists. Turns out that their roles were so crucial for the development of new music that they became official band members. Not only that, the recent albums from these groups (2016's Prelude Implicit and 2020's Absence Of Presence for Kansas and last year's Crash Of The Crown for Styx) are viewed by many of their fans as a return to form. In some ways, Trevor Horn for Yes has fit that role (songwriting, production, instruments, vocals) with Fly From Here - which many fans, like with the recent Styx and Kansas albums, view as a step up from a number of other albums in the catalogue. So something can be said for getting a 6th man. But I'm off topic here a little - a 6th man wouldn't replace Steve Howe, they would be an augmentation. You could have the 6th man in there along with Steve Howe, but then again Howe writes, as do everyone in Yes, so maybe the 6th member added to revitalize the band may not work after all.

    I guess there's multiple options - get a younger hotshot guitarist hungry to use Yes as his canvas to paint large strokes and forge new directions, or someone from within the Yes orbit who knows the material like Haun etc. who has the Yes spirit and could continue to supply playing and vibe of what we come to expect from that band with the squiggly-lettered logo. Lot to be said for either approach. King Crimson for example - there's plenty of great fusion players and drummers and such that can play that complicated stuff, but according to Robert Fripp, it's not a question of could they play this music but is it a music that they could run with. Is the spirit of King Crimson available to them, enfolding them with its presence? Maybe its different or Yes, but I hear the soul of Yes music in Sherwood and Jay Schellen, is that spirit available to another Yes heir? Time may tell - that is if there is a post-Howe Yes. I say sure. Whoever gives me new Yes studio albums is Yes enough for me, but it helps if they have Yes already in their DNA.

    But I like the idea of someone having the Yes spirit join rather than have a hired copycat without a Yes spirit. Sure, Sherwood sounds a but like Chris but he has the Yes soul, nurtured and formed by years within the Yes circle. Haun I believe is close to being that too, as is Jay Schellen. Get in someone too outlandish no matter how virtuosic and Yes becomes something else, but then again that could lead to major sparks as well. Different avenues, not sure which way to go with it. But I'd be happy enough with Haun. But then there's the writing. Fortunately, Davison Sherwood and Downes are all somewhat prolific writers and could probably carry a Yes album without Howe's writing input, but sure there would be a missing block.

    I'm not ready to lose Howe's masterful playing and smart songwriting any time soon. But to me, Yes must continue onward, onward...

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  • downbyariver
    replied
    Originally posted by Chrisklenox View Post
    And sadly having health issues with his hands. His wife is also ill, from what I understand.
    Steve Morse is in Flying Colors as well as Deep Purple. Flying Colors is sort of like a pop-up band, doing the occasional album and an ultra brief tour once in a while, but it's still a commitment.

    It would be hard for me to see Morse managing to be in Deep Purple, Flying Colors, and Yes simultaneously with a hand injury in his late 60s and early 70s and that all going well, especially the way Yes tours.

    Right up until the hand injury I'd have said that it'd be a good way to get new Yes studio albums to start rocking a little more again, though.

    It would be cool to see Deep Purple and Yes tour together as separate bands.

    But I don't see Morse replacing Steve Howe in Yes unless it was a temporary bit of stunt casting the way Asia seems to add famous people for one-off Wetton tribute shows and single tours now, which has not seemed to help that band in the studio and probably isn't something to emulate.

    Someone that busy might impede rather than make it easier to really do a lot in the studio with regularity. He's certainly unlikely to be the one pushing it with that schedule.

    I'd love to have Steve Howe's successor be someone desperate to get into the studio and do as many Yes albums as possible, like knocking on Billy's studio doors sort of thing.
    Last edited by downbyariver; 06-18-2022, 11:30 PM.

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  • downbyariver
    replied
    Originally posted by True View Post
    Speaking of Rabin -and the original topic of this thread - Steve Howe had no "guitar heir" when Rabin joined the band, and the band was very successful due to the songwriting, playing and singing of the new guitarist. Of course, numerous other bands have had success when their famous guitarist had moved on: Yardbirds with Beck after Clapton, Deep Purple with Bolin & Morse after Blackmore, Megadeth with Hammett after Mustaine -there are others.
    It's interesting that folks sometimes give a lot of thought to some person who had been in the Yes orbit in the past (Haun for example) - but there are countless guitarists who could play the Steve Howe parts very well. In the event Yes were looking for a new guitarist, its possible they could find one who not only plays, but sings and writes songs.
    You make some good points, and, though I like Jimmy Haun's work on various different things over the years, I think there is some wisdom in looking instead at a young best available type of pick who can sing, write, and maybe play some harder riffs rather than someone who's sort of been in the Yes orbit who we think can kind of do Steve Howe well but is himself old with some of the same limitations and not the same high talent ceiling.

    At the same time, it is really hard to play some Yes music, and some segments of the fan base and the music press will be really unforgiving if whomever replaces Steve Howe in the first "No One from the 70s" lineup comes out of the box and really struggles. One could actually see the first tour or two dictating whether Yes could carry on basically as it has been, has to scale down to doing state fairs and festivals while recording at Billy's studio, packs it in, or anything in between those three scenarios. Promoters will be watching, too- and that's really who determines what options you have for subsequent tours.

    So, I also see the argument for a "safe" pick to make sure things keep going. Haun isn't going to rejuvenate the band, but he also isn't going to fall on his face live. He'd continue to offer a similar experience on stage to what people see today.

    One of the reasons I keep recommending getting a young multistrumentalist to do harmonies, play some guitar, and so on and so forth as a 6th man on stage (Ideally a writer in the studio, too) is not *just* because it might fill out the live vocal sound a bit, quicken the tempos, rock out a little more, and expand the type and number of Yes back catalog songs they can do, but also because it allows the band to develop a guy for a couple years within the band, so they can *combine* the potential rejuvenating effect that guys like Trevor Rabin had when they first joined at a young age with, by the time the person is elevated, having that Jimmy Haun "We know he is going to be able to do the Yes standards well out of the gate" when the time comes (Kind of splitting the difference in a sense, too). And if the 6th guy is "just a touring musician" and "just a session musician", if he's not working out and doesn't seem like he'll develop into someone who can eventually replace a retired Steve Howe, the band just brings in someone else on the next album or tour and see how he does, rinse and repeat as many times as necessary (And if we lose Steve as an active player sooner than expected and the touring/session guy the band is on isn't suitable, they just make the same decision they'd make if there is no 6th man).

    But if Steve Howe were to leave the band, then there would be no one remaining who had been involved with either the classic 70's albums or the 80's albums, and then you'd have a Yes which would be several degrees from the Yes on those records.
    Well, you might still have Geoff Downes from Drama, but, yes, you'd be missing the guys from the old 70s and 80s albums. On the other hand, you'd have 4/5s of the band people have seen tour in recent years, 4/6 of the band from a lot of those live albums, 3/5 of the guys from The Quest, and people who are well established in ways that are hard to quantify (Like Sherwood being involved to various degrees in a zillion things since first doing some jam sessions with Yes in the late 80s.). You've got the voice of Yes from the last 10+ years, etc..

    I see the big reason for me as a fan wanting the band to carry on is to get more Yes studio albums out of the deal, though. I have to think those albums would be better if they didn't just keep replacing older guys with less famous older guys who the band is comfortable with because they've more or less been around playing the songs.

    I guess that's another reason I talk about maybe a 6th man who is kind of a developmental prospect to be part of the big 5 later. You don't face a situation where Steve needs surgery a week before a tour and really you have to call Jimmy Haun, Johmny Bruhns, or someone like that because those are the only ones who have the Yes specific knowledge and experience to play a concert's worth of Yes songs well on a week's notice. You can make a more considered choice based on potential and who can write new songs and rock up the albums more and whatever if you've got that guy already there learning Yes, or try a variety of guys out that way, giving them a tour with Yes here or there so they can later be called to step in on short notice if necessary.

    I think for me, doing as many studio albums as reasonably possible will help, both before and after a Steve Howe retirement. If the band is working it's butt off making a lot of new Yes music, it would be very hard for me to consider them a tribute band or as somehow taking advantage. They'd be giving back to the legacy and doing what a band does by making all this great new music for us.

    I mean, Jon Davison sings lead on two Yes studio albums (With a third reportedly most of the way to being finished), five Yes live albums, one Arc of Life album (with another to come, already finished recording, but not with no release date yet), three Glass Hammer albums (and two partials), and has at least a song each on Prog Collective's Worlds on Hold album and Sherwood's first Citizen album. The more these guys are just all over my music collection, the less weird it is for me to think they are Yes even without Howe or whomever.

    And of course, he was preceded by Benoit David who in retrospect did a studio album, an EP, and a live album.

    And many of the current members work with each other a lot in and outside of Yes.

    I love the harmonies between Davison and Sherwood on Arc of Life and such. Bizarrely, Yes doesn't let them show that off as much, but it's great when they do.

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  • Chrisklenox
    replied
    Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post

    Morse is 67...
    And sadly having health issues with his hands. His wife is also ill, from what I understand.

    Wicked good, and very musical guitarist... Not such a crazy idea other than the life issues he is dealing with... Howe plays on a Dregs album after all.

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  • Gilly Goodness
    replied
    Originally posted by Frumious B View Post
    I mean, if we want relative youth coupled with massive virtuosity then let’s just get Tosin Abasi (age 39) and reinvent big time.
    Just listened to Gordian Naught. Heavy riffage. May be more suited to Prog metal. 8 string lead !!!!

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  • Frumious B
    replied
    I mean, if we want relative youth coupled with massive virtuosity then let’s just get Tosin Abasi (age 39) and reinvent big time.

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  • Gilly Goodness
    replied
    Isn't Dave Colquhoun a bit younger?

    Has recently played with both Rick Wakeman and Geoff Downes! ❤



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    (Married to Jay Aston from Bucks Fizz.)
    Last edited by Gilly Goodness; 06-18-2022, 05:28 PM.

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  • Frumious B
    replied
    Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post

    Morse is 67...
    Jimmy Haun is probably in his sixties as well.

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  • Ash Armstrong
    replied
    Originally posted by Frumious B View Post
    I once read an interview where Howe personally nominated Steve Morse as a potential replacement for himself. This was before Morse joined Deep Purple.
    Morse is 67...

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  • Frumious B
    replied
    I once read an interview where Howe personally nominated Steve Morse as a potential replacement for himself. This was before Morse joined Deep Purple.

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  • yamishogun
    replied
    Originally posted by Mr. Holland View Post

    Yeah? Can I remind you of the ARW album?😉😛
    But you said a few weeks ago that ARW didn't do much of anything with respect to new music whereas the last we heard two years ago was that his album was 60% done.

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