After several previous nominations, Yes will be getting its due during tonight's (April 7) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Brooklyn.
Eight members of the progressive rock troupe -- frontman Jon Anderson, the late bassist Chris Squire, guitarists Steve Howe and Trevor Rabin, keyboardists Rick Wakeman and Tony Kaye, and drummers Bill Bruford and Alan White -- will be inducted by Rush's Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson and plan to perform together.
Anderson, who's been out of Yes since 2008, tells us he's feeling good about the honor:
"One of the things I keep thinking about is, I was actually in the Hall of Fame about three years ago when I was working with the local Cleveland Contemporary Youth Orchestra, and I went to do a show in the Hall of Fame in a songwriters/storyteller hour and I did it and then they showed me around and all my heroes are there. I just feel like I'm joining all my heroes over the years, too."
With so many former members, meanwhile, there's a chance for the kind of rancor that's marked other Rock Hall inductions. But Rabin, who was key in Yes' 80s resurgence with "Owner Of A Lonely Heart," adds that they won’t be coming from him:
"I'm not actually too sure about what other people feel. I don't want to say I'm too smug, but I really just don't care insofar as for the last 17 years I've just been doing film scores. I've really been in a different world and just enjoying what I'm doing, so animosities don't come from me -- not that there might not be any on that date, but I just don't care one way or the other."
All of the Yes members, past and present, will be thinking about Squire, who was with Yes from its inception through his death in 2015. Anderson says he'll definitely pay tribute to his onetime bandmate:
"Well, Chris is gonna be there in spirit...He always believed that we should have been in the Hall of Fame 20, 10, 20 years ago, whatever. It wasn't high on my agenda...'It happens when it happens' was my mantra. And we know Chris will be there in spirit and energy, and I loved the guy very much. Without him I wouldn't be here, that's for sure."
The induction ceremony will be filmed tonight and broadcast April 29 on HBO. The current incarnation of Yes has announced a summer tour dubbed YESTIVAL, featuring Todd Rundgren and Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy, kicking off August 4 in Greensboro, N.C. Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman are recording their first album as ARW and plan to tour North America later this year.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.