Monday, January 12, 2009

Chris Squire and Some Yes Tidbits - On the Fence

I have been on the fence. Should I go see the pseudo-Yes tour with the clone lead singer? It will never be the same without Jon Anderson but they are playing a tiny place in Portland (for them) and are doing stuff off of one of my favorite albums, Drama (see videos below).

Will it kill me if I miss this? No. But if Chris Squire dies this summer and I was not able to see these guys play again, would I be bummed? Yes.

Decisions, decisions.

In my quest for an answer, I stumbled across some interesting nuggets. Squire in November quietly posted a pretty enlightening interview on his official Web site. He answers some of the hard questions fired at him from online fan sites, such as, what is he thinking by replacing Anderson and what happens after this tour? Here are a couple of things that stood out:

RS: You’ve referred to Benoit as an understudy on the Internet. Are you being ‘p.c.’, so as not to ruffle any feathers, or could Benoit be the new voice of Yes?

Chris: The fact is that Jon Anderson had a series of health problems, and he’s not out of the woods yet. I really don’t know what his prognosis will be – if he’ll be able to do any lengthy tours. Although I did mention that Benoit was the understudy originally, which is the fair way of saying it. You know, a stand in. I can’t really tell. Obviously I’m not really a doctor and I can’t tell how Jon will be in the future, but I imagine it will be more limited to doing maybe some individual shows here and there with him. I don’t know if he’ll ever want to do a full-scale tour again. But once again, until he’s recovered, and of course we wish him a full recovery, we won’t know any of those things. So meanwhile we’re getting along all right with Benoit.

RS: Are there any plans to record a new album with this current line-up?

Chris: Yes. Absolutely. We’re looking at doing some new recording. And obviously we’ll be working with the guys on that. Although there are no definite plans or dates yet, because obviously we’re working on this tour. But, we’ll be introducing new ideas. I know Steve Howe has new ideas and I know I have, as I mentioned earlier, have written quite a lot of material when I was in London that I want to use for that purpose.

Another thing Squire talked about in November was the coming birth of his new baby, due in March. But on the Yesworld site, Squire posted on Christmas that his daughter had been born - that's almost four months premature. Here is the post:

December 25, 2008 - Message from Chris & Scotty Squire
We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

We are pleased to announce the very early arrival of our daughter, Xilan Squire, born on Dec. 19th

Everyone is happy and healthy and doing as well as can be at this time. Xilan weighs in at 1 pound 13 ounces and is being a very brave little starship trooper/pooper.

Best wishes to all and Happy Holidays.

There is a photo here. That is a very small preemie and I hope she is doing OK! Wow.

And to further help me make my decision, I did some YouTube trolling and found these fan videos of Machine Messiah from the first leg of the tour. Hmm. Sounds pretty damn good. I will never see that song again live. Decisions, decisions.

Machine Messiah Part 1

Machine Messiah Part 2


Bob K said...

In 1995 I decided against traveling across the state to Detroit to see the Grateful Dean one more time. They tour every summer, I said, so this is no big deal, although it had been 12 years or so since I'd last seen them.

Four weeks later Jerry died.

If Yes is playing near you and you can afford it I would go.

VoxMoose said...

"Obviously I’m not really a doctor and I can’t tell how Jon will be in the future..."

But Squire did play one on the 9012-live tour: "the doctor, doctor Chris Squire!"

If they are going to be in Portland, just go. I get the sense you don't want to go out of some sense of loyalty to Jon Anderson, which is noble (I didn't get the sense Squire communicated very well with him). But, hey, that's Yes's internal politics.

Why should we really care what they call themselves as long as a substantial part of the core talent is present? It's not like Squire is out on tour by himself calling it Yes. Would you have skipped the Drama tour with Trevor Horn and Downes? Skipped 90125 with Rabin but without Howe or Wakeman? Skipped ABWH without Squire? Insert all permutations of Yes's long history with or without person X, Y, Z.

Isorski said...

All good points! And I think I may even have a free ticket so maybe the decision has been made. Thanks, guys.

Bob K said...

Do you maybe have an *extra* free ticket? I'll be in Vancouver the end of February!

Isorski said...

Hi Bob - No, my guy would only be able to set me up for the Potland show, which is mid-February. You'll be in Vancouver BC, or Washington (we call that town "Vantucky")?

Dr. John said...

Isorski - if you have a free ticket, just go.
Interesting that you count Drama as one of your favorite Yes albums. I liked that too back in our SF days, but it was oddly one of their least critically acclaimed albums, as I remember. I still remember playing Tempus Fugit for Voxmoose and blowing his mind with the bass line.