Yes May Reunite if Political Consultants Succeed in Getting Them Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 13 2013 1:33 PM

Yes May Reunite if Political Consultants Succeed in Getting Them Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

50914519
A Yes reunion? Singer Jon Anderson thinks it might happen.

Photo by Martti Kainulainen/AFP/Getty Images

Last month I wrote about a new left-right venture by political consultants who want to get Yes, the beloved progressive rock group, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It didn't take long for Jon Anderson, the singer of Yes from its inception through the late 1970s, then again from the early 1980s through the aughts, to hear about this and form an opinon.

"It's very bizarre, amazing, wonderful," Anderson told me Thursday. "You meet people from all walks of life who are Yes fans. My doctor who saved my life about five years ago was a big Yes fan. It's kind of amazing!"

So why had Yes had been excluded from the hall for so long? "It was only four or five years ago the Who got in," he said. "That was 20 years late. Sometimes it takes a while for the penny to drop, for people to think the band is worthwhile. Progressive rock never really figured in the world of the people who make this decision. Think of Mahavishnu Orchestra, one of the greatest bands of the '70s. They're not in the hall."

Advertisement

In another interview, Yes bassist Chris Squire had said the band doesn't think much about making it to Cleveland. Anderson wasn't obsessed, exactly—but hey, who wouldn't want this? "I visited there twice over the last 20 years. It's amazing. All of your childhood floods back when you see Buddy Holly and Little Richard and all the reasons you started making music."

I didn't actually ask Anderson whether the band would "reunite" if the hall came calling. Ask Pete Frame, the genius behind Rock Family Trees—Yes has a byzantine history, with most fans calling the lineup of Anderson, Squire, Steve Howe (guitar), Rick Wakeman (keyboards), and Alan White (drums) the "classic" band. A few years ago, after Anderson started ailing but the band toured without him, the smart money was that the band was too fractured to reunite that lineup. Anderson surprised me by suggesting otherwise.

"It would be wonderful, more for the band than anybody, to be in the Hall of Fame," he said." It would be great for the band—we'd be maybe able to reform the classic lineup with Rick and me. And we'd maybe go on tour, and Trevor [Horn] will join us. It's once in a lifetime that this happens, so why not enjoy it?"

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Jurisprudence

Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your children is perfectly legal. 

Ken Burns on Why Teddy Roosevelt Would Never Get Elected in 2014

Cops Briefly Detain Django Unchained Actress Because They Thought She Was a Prostitute

Minimalist Cocktail Posters Make Mixing Drinks a Cinch

How the Apple Watch Will Annoy Us

A glowing screen attached to someone else’s wrist is shinier than all but the blingiest of jewels.

Books

Rainbow Parties and Sex Bracelets

Where teenage sex rumors come from—and why they’re bad for parents and kids.

Books

You Had to Be There

What we can learn from things that used to be funny.

Legendary Critic Greil Marcus Measures and Maps Rock History Through 10 Unlikely Songs

Catfish Creator Nev Schulman’s Book Is Just Like Him: Self-Deluded and Completely Infectious

Behold
Sept. 12 2014 5:54 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Sept. 14 2014 2:37 PM When Abuse Is Not Abuse Don’t expect Adrian Peterson to go to prison. In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 12 2014 5:54 PM Olive Garden Has Been Committing a Culinary Crime Against Humanity
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 13 2014 8:38 AM “You’re More Than Just a Number” Goucher College goes transcript-free in admissions.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 12 2014 4:05 PM Life as an NFL Wife: “He's the Star. Keep Him Happy.”
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 12 2014 5:55 PM “Do You Know What Porn Is?” Conversations with Dahlia Lithwick’s 11-year-old son.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 14 2014 7:10 PM Watch Michael Winslow Perform Every Part of “Whole Lotta Love” With Just His Voice
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 12 2014 3:53 PM We Need to Pass Legislation on Artificial Intelligence Early and Often
  Health & Science
New Scientist
Sept. 14 2014 8:38 AM Scientific Misconduct Should Be a Crime It’s as bad as fraud or theft, only potentially more dangerous.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 12 2014 4:36 PM “There’s No Tolerance for That” Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh say they don’t abide domestic abuse. So why do the Seahawks and 49ers have a combined six players accused of violence against women?