Almost twenty-five years after they were first eligable for inclusion, and fifty since thir formation, legendary progressive rock outfit Yes are to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The band join fellow 2017 inductees Pearl Jam, Electric Light Orchestra and others, for next years' ceremony to be held in New York on 7th April.
Speaking about the news, Yes guitarist Steve Howe said: “What an honor this is for us and all involved with the history of this band. We thank all the Yes fans who have been so passionate over the decades, and helped us to keep the flag flying. It is the fans who have constantly demanded our inclusion. They have been heard.”
Drummer Alan White added: “We look forward to accepting this esteemed award next spring in honor of our fallen brother, Chris Squire, who would have been delighted to see his musical vision finally receive such recognition. We thank everyone who voted for Yes. We’ll see you soon, Cleveland!”
The members of Yed who will officially be inducted into the Rock Hall are the 'Union' tour line-up: current members White and Howe, the band’s late bassist and founding member Chris Squire, and former members Jon Anderson (vocals), Bill Bruford (drums), Tony Kaye (keyboards), Rick Wakeman (keyboards) and Trevor Rabin (guitar).
“Yes was like my first girlfriend, to whom I was hopelessly committed,” says Bruford. “Despite a couple of wrinkles, I’m glad to hear the old girl is in fine shape.”
Kaye confirms, “I am honored to be included in Yes’ induction. I am delighted for my friends in the band, and I salute Chris, without whom it would never have happened. Chris would have been so very proud.”
A performance by the most celebrated line-up of the band at the ceremony now seems likely, with Jon Anderson returning to the mic nine years after he left the band. Speaking exclusively to eonmusic at the Progressive Music Awards, which were held in London in September, Anderson said that a 'Union' of the band was possible, should they get inducted. “There’s the idea, if we get welcomed into the [Rock And Roll] Hall Of Fame on our 50th year, which is 2018, that’s when we’ll all get together. There’ll be about twenty of us on stage. It would be cool!”, he said.
In addition to Steve Howe and Alan White, YES’ current line-up includes Geoff Downes (keyboards; first joined in 1980), Jon Davison (vocals since 2011) and Billy Sherwood (guitar/keyboards in the 1990s and Chris Squire’s choice to take over bass/vocals in 2015).