Jon Anderson pissed that Yes replaced him

Getting the long-distance runaround
Getting the long-distance runaround

Yes vocalist Jon Anderson has seen all good people - and they're not the members of his band, who have chosen to tour with a singer they recruited off of YouTube rather than wait for Anderson to recover from an illness that will keep him off the stage until 2009.

In May, Anderson suffered a severe asthma attack which required a stay in the hospital. Doctors dianosed him with acute respiratory failure and cautioned him not to work for at least six months or risk further health complications.

Only problem was, Yes's 40th Anniversary tour, Closer To The Edge And Back, was booked. The tour was to feature Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White and Oliver Wakeman sitting in on keyboards for his father (who had to bow out on the advice of his doctors).

Tour cancelled, then uncancalled

At first the tour was put on hold, but now it's back on - the band will hit the road in North America starting November 4 with singer Benoit David, a singer from a Yes tribute band, whom they discovered on YouTube. (Here's a video of David fronting the tribute band. He certainly sounds like Anderson, and he's wearing the right pajamas.)

The situation has the usually Zen-like Anderson spitting mad. "I'm disappointed that, with the exception of one phone call from Alan, none of the guys have been in touch since my illness, just to find out how I am doing, and how we will foresee the future for Yes. And disappointed that they were not willing to wait till 2009 when I'm fully recovered.

"Yes is a precious musical band. This is not Yes" - Jon Anderson

"Of course I wish the guys all the best in their 'solo' work, but I just wish this could have been done in a more gentlemanly fashion. After all Yes is a precious musical band. This is not Yes on tour."

Concluding his thoughts, Anderson said that he felt "disrespected." He also called the members of Yes "a bunch of weenies." (Okay, we added that last part. But you know that's what he's thinking.)

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.