Yes fans would love to see the band’s main surviving members reunite for a new tour or project, but guitarist Steve Howe, who leads the group’s current incarnation, says he doesn’t see it ever happening.
“I don’t think [the fans] should stay up late nights worrying about that,” he tells Rolling Stone. “There’s just too much space out there between people. To be in a band together or even to do another tour like Union is completely unthinkable.”
Howe’s is referring to the 1990 trek that featured nine Yes members who were playing in two separate groups at the time.
“It was difficult when we went through that, particularly because of the personalities,” Steve recalls. “I’m not saying any one person is to blame, but when you get a big hodgepodge like that together, it’s pretty much a nightmare.”
Founding Yes singer Jon Anderson and the band’s best-known keyboardist, Rick Wakeman, last toured with the group in 2004. After going on hiatus that year, Yes re-formed without Anderson and Wakeman in 2008 at a time that Jon couldn’t tour because of a respiratory illness.
Around the time of Yes’ 2017 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Anderson and Wakeman launched a competing version of the band with Trevor Rabin — who’d played in the group during the 1980s and ’90s — which caused some tension at the ceremony, although the various members still agreed to perform at the event.
“I hope we came across as professionals, but it was certainly testing,” Howe says. “But through professionalism, me and [drummer] Alan [White] went in there and worked with those guys and played a couple of songs.”
Last year, Anderson told Rolling Stone he’s open to a Yes reunion, although Wakeman said in a separate interview he wasn’t interested.
By Matt Friedlander
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