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

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    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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      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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        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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          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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            Originally posted by True View Post
            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. 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.
            I guess that's why I mooted the question of Sherwood or Davison taking over the guitar duties upthread. I don't think either of them is nearly as good a guitarist as Howe, nor could they come close to pretending to play like Howe (a la Haun). But they have the Yes spirit, and to me at least, have a proper claim to the Yes legacy and identify.

            By the way, I doubt many folks here have listened to the 'new' Flash album from 2013, but the original Flash bassist Ray Bennett (an excellent Squire-style bassist by the way) took over as guitar on the new album. He has very much his own style, quite different from Banks, but the recipe worked for me. The new Carter-Bennett Flash is not that much like the Banks Flash, but still very good and legitimate in my eyes.


            Comment


              Originally posted by YesWill View Post
              I guess that's why I mooted the question of Sherwood or Davison taking over the guitar duties upthread. I don't think either of them is nearly as good a guitarist as Howe, nor could they come close to pretending to play like Howe (a la Haun). But they have the Yes spirit, and to me at least, have a proper claim to the Yes legacy and identify.

              By the way, I doubt many folks here have listened to the 'new' Flash album from 2013, but the original Flash bassist Ray Bennett (an excellent Squire-style bassist by the way) took over as guitar on the new album. He has very much his own style, quite different from Banks, but the recipe worked for me. The new Carter-Bennett Flash is not that much like the Banks Flash, but still very good and legitimate in my eyes.

              I remember that Flash album from 2013. Haven't heard it in a while. Interesting how in the 2000's a number of albums from pre-Yes and original Yes related outfits started showing up: The Syn, Flash Featuring Carter/Bennett, Mabel Greer's Toyshop. Yeah, it was like a more 'mature' Flash and Bennet's guitar wasn't too shabby at all. Colin Carter's voice was less over the top than before. That's an album that came and went, and they never continued after that one album. I'm not sure who else has heard it. They did a cover of a Nine Inch Nails song (!). I suppose without Peter Banks, interest in a Flash without him was limited.

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                Originally posted by Mr. Holland View Post

                Yes, the same here. I even think, although I admit it's pure speculation on my part, it plays a role in the formation of Arc of Life; to have already established a format where Davison, Sherwood and Schellen can continue working together. They'll have their own music and no doubt live will play a few Yes songs, after Yes has ended.
                And don't forget Jimmy Haun. He is well capable to play Steve's parts as we have heard on Union on Circa: live.

                Edit: Already discussed, of course
                Anyway...
                Last edited by pjt; 06-20-2022, 03:06 AM.

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                  Do we know how many Yes tribute bands there are active, on both sides of the Pond, at the moment? Do they have to be 'authorised' by the copyright holders/owners?
                  Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
                  Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post
                    Do they have to be 'authorised' by the copyright holders/owners?
                    They're not currently. Anyone can play anything they want live. You can't pass yourself off as Yes, but it would be up to Yes to take legal action if they were concerned, and I don't think they have.

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                      Originally posted by bondegezou View Post

                      They're not currently. Anyone can play anything they want live. You can't pass yourself off as Yes, but it would be up to Yes to take legal action if they were concerned, and I don't think they have.
                      I guess tribute bands for other acts of Yes's era are so numerous, taking action against one would probably trigger action against all, depending on the territory in which they operate? And it is free publicity of a sort I guess?
                      Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
                      Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post

                        I guess tribute bands for other acts of Yes's era are so numerous, taking action against one would probably trigger action against all, depending on the territory in which they operate? And it is free publicity of a sort I guess?
                        Copyright law allows you to play live anything you want. If you want to publish it, then it's a different category.

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by bondegezou View Post

                          They're not currently. Anyone can play anything they want live. You can't pass yourself off as Yes, but it would be up to Yes to take legal action if they were concerned, and I don't think they have.
                          Not even in the ABHW era? I thought legal action, or the threat thereof, was why ABWH called themselves that instead of Yes, and why they called their tour An Evening of Yes Music, Plus..." so as not to seem to be calling the then-new songs Yes songs.

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by Olorin View Post

                            Not even in the ABHW era? I thought legal action, or the threat thereof, was why ABWH called themselves that instead of Yes, and why they called their tour An Evening of Yes Music, Plus..." so as not to seem to be calling the then-new songs Yes songs.
                            https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Anderson...d_Wakeman_Howe

                            “On 31 May 1989, weeks before the release of their album and tour, the group were subject to a suit filed by Yes that wished to prevent Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe from mentioning the name "Yes" in their promotional material, suggesting or calling attention to Yes music, which they argued may cause "confusion in the minds of the public over which group is the real Yes", and prohibiting Anderson from speaking of his former membership in Yes.[14] The suit was based on a separation agreement entered into by each past and present member of Yes in May 1984 that specified who was entitled to use the Yes name; any "withdrawing partner" from the group could no longer use the name or mention they were in the band before, after a specified date. Yes argued that Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe had "wrongfully converted" the Yes name in an advertisement for Los Angeles Times that promoted their upcoming concert as "an evening of Yes music plus".[14] Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe filed a response on 5 June; their attorneys called Yes's suit "an outrageous attempt ... to stop the media and public from comparing ABWH's new recording with theirs".[14]According to former Yes tour co-ordinator Jim Halley, "the European promoters began splashing the name Yes all over the posters ... in the end they came to an accommodation".[3] Anderson stressed, "wenever said we were Yes. It was the record company."[3] In June 1989, a U.S District Court judge ruled that ABWH could refer to its Yes heritage and material in promoting their tour.[15]
                            “Well ain’t life grand when you finally hit it?”-David Lee Roth

                            Comment


                              Interesting that there was some sort of legal agreement as far back as 1984. However, I find it ludicrous that if you left the band, you were not allowed to mention you were ever in the band. I mean, I could see some stipulation about not being allowed to say that you were a continuation of the band or were the real band or something like that, but to be forbidden from ever mentioning you were in it? Sheesh. That’s extreme.

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by agentarmstrong View Post
                                Just thinking about Alan today. Just kind of heavy... both what he means to YES (a hell of a lot), and what "YES" means with one member left from the 1970s.

                                The band had an "heir apparent" for both Chris Squire / bass, AND drums with Jay Schellen.

                                But what happens after Steve's done? What does / can YES actually "mean" in the 2020s and beyond...when NO members in the band are left from the halcyon days of YES in the 1970s...???


                                -Douglas
                                They are finished now. The OTSWOF example, recent albums, etc, is what we have become accustomed too and is a harbinger of the inevitable to come. Retire the name

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