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Jon Anderson on Steve Howe’s version of Yes: “They’re OK”

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Yes Jon Anderson was replaced in the band in 2004 as he was dealing with a medical condition, but he doesn’t seem to be holding a grudge about it.


“In a way, it was a breakthrough for me,” he tells Rolling Stone about Yes going on tour without him. “I was emotionally still able to enjoy performing the songs that I wrote for the band. You have to let go of things and just get on with life.”

Yes has continued over the years in various forms. Steve Howe recently announced his version of the band will release the new album Mirror To The Sky on May 19, but it doesn’t sound like Anderson is too excited for it.

“It’s Steve’s idea of Yes, I suppose,” he says. “It’s hard to pinpoint. I’ve listened to a couple of songs, of course, and they’re OK. But I’m still into the voyage of musical Yes. I’m totally into the original idea of it.”

As for how Anderson feels about Howe using a singer who sounds just like him, he shares, “There’s a phrase for that: Imitation is the most sincere most form of flattery.” 

And for fans holding out hope they will one day come together again, it doesn’t sound likely. “Well, it’s not going to happen as far as I know,” Anderson says. “I’ve mentioned a couple of times over the years that I’m very open to giving it a whirl. In these days, though, you never know what’s going to happen.” 

Meanwhile, Jon Anderson is getting ready to perform Yes classics on the road. His new tour, with the cover group The Band Geeks, kicks off April 14 in Westbury, New York. A complete list of dates can be found at JonAndersonYesEpicsandClassics.com.

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