Steve Howe and other members of Yes have taken a "live and let live" approach to the appropriation of the Yes name by former members Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman. But that doesn't mean Yes is happy about the situation as it prepared for this week's start of its summer Yestival tour.
Howe tells us that there's little Yes can do about it because the trio has legal right to perform under the Yes name:
"That's an unstoppable force to us, and to some extent we welcome this. Anybody can play Yes music; If they want to get up on the stage they can do anything, so why wouldn't guys that have been in Yes want to do that?...I can't say a lot about it because we don't want to put any fuel on any fires. We don't want to fuel any flames. We basically have a discretionary agreement that they're gonna do what they're gonna do. They're not gonna change their mind because of what we think, but in a way only time will tell if they did the right thing...All I can say is...good luck to them."
Yestival kicks off August 4 in Greensboro, N.C., featuring Todd Rundgren and Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy. Yes will be playing at least one song from each of its first nine albums during the show.
The Yes featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman begin their own North American tour on August 25 in Stockton, Calif.
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.