It took 22 years of “nos,” but Yes will finally be a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. After first becoming eligible in 1994, 25 years after the release of their self-titled debut album, the prog-rock icons are set to be inducted into the prestigious organization on April 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Yes co-founder and original lead vocalist Jon Anderson hinted at a possible reunion with his former bandmates at the ceremony.
“I'm sure it's going to happen,” Anderson told the magazine. “I'm sure we'll all eventually let go of these feelings of frustration you have with people over the years. You go through periods of time where you're totally ... Whenever I think of Alan (White) and Steve (Howe), we're still musical brothers. Sometimes brothers don't agree with each other. It's the truth. But this is just one night, a lot of fun, a celebration. I think a celebration is good.”
Anderson formed Yes with bassist Chris Squire in London in 1968. A year later, the pair recorded their debut album with guitarist Peter Banks, keyboardist Tony Kaye and drummer Bill Bruford. However, the band didn’t truly hit its stride until 1971, when guitarist Howe joined prior to the recording of The Yes Album. With the additions of keyboardist Rick Wakeman on 1971’s Fragile and drummer Howe for the 1973 U.K. chart-topper Tales From Topographic Oceans, the classic lineup was in place. Although Howe and White currently lead the touring version of Yes, Anderson and Wakeman have both been part of the lineup as recently as 2008 (Squire passed away last year) and went on to co-found ARW with one-time Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin earlier this year. The trio, backed a pair of touring musicians, is currently on tour under the banner “An Evening of Yes Music & More.”
If the classic lineup does reunite in April, Anderson hopes Bruford is in Howe and White’s plans. As Yes’ original drummer, Bruford’s tenure in the band predates either member but his exit in mid-1972 has been more permanent than either Wakeman’s or Anderson’s. Aside from a brief détente when both Yes and ABWH (Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe) joined forces for the 1991 album Union and its subsequent tour, Bruford has been content to focus on other projects, including his membership in King Crimson.
“I'm hoping Bill is going to come because I'm a big friends of Bill's,” Anderson said. “He was there on so many levels in the beginning, at the foundation of what Yes became with Fragile and Close to the Edge. Then he goes and joins King Crimson. How dare he!”