By Brian Ives
This summer, Yes fans have two options if they want to see live bands with members of the classic lineup(s) of the prog-rock giants. First, there’s the band that is still called Yes, which features guitarist Steve Howe and drummer Alan White, who recently announced a summer tour.
But there’s also Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman, featuring singer Jon Anderson, guitarist/singer Trevor Rabin and keyboardist Rick Wakeman.
Related: Chris Squire, Remembered
Wakeman has joined and quit Yes many times over the years, most recently quitting in the mid-2000s. He, Anderson and Rabin have been talking about doing something for years, and in a new interview, he says that the death of Yes bassist Chris Squire in June of 2015 made them realize that if they were going to do something, they’d better just do it. “I think it hit home to us all, certainly to me, that, ‘Hold on a minute, we’re not immortal.’”
The trio don’t have concrete plans to hit the studio, yet. “Trevor, quite rightly, said ‘Hey guys, we’re not going to rush into all of this. This is nuts. It’s going to take us enough hard work to put a great show together.’” He did say that if they write any songs during rehearsals, they could certainly perform them. But they aren’t going to rush into making a new album.
Wakeman also notes that they haven’t figured out a setlist yet, but that it will encompass much of the band’s history (since most of Wakeman’s albums with Yes were in the ’70s, while Rabin was in the band in the ’80s and ’90s), and that they haven’t hired a bass player or drummer for the tour yet.
If history repeats itself, there’s a chance that Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman may end up back in Yes. In the late ’80s, Squire, White, Rabin and keyboardist Tony Kaye existed as Yes, while Anderson, Wakeman, Howe and drummer Bill Buford formed Anderson Buford Wakeman and Howe. After one ABWH album and tour, the four musicians rejoined Yes to create an eight-man mega-Yes. It’s not hard to imagine that Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman could similarly rejoin at some point.