Theo Wargo, Getty Images Black Sabbath are riding high on the fact that their new…
- Posted on Oct 1st 2008 3:00PM by David Chiu
The move, however, sparked a response from Anderson on his website, on which he recently wrote that he felt "disrespected" that the band would proceed to tour without him as he was recuperating. Anderson also wrote he was "disappointed that, with the exception of one phone call from Alan, none of the guys have been in touch since my illness."
Bassist Squire, who founded the band with Anderson 40 years ago, tells Spinner that he is sad that the longtime singer felt disrespected. He confirms that Anderson has not been officially replaced as a member of the band. "We've been together longer than most marriages," Squire says. "Jon will always be a member of Yes. I hope he has a full recovery and that he can come back."
Squire has not spoken with Anderson since the latter's recent comments. "I send him flowers and get well cards," he says. "I'm assuming that when he's fully recovered, he'll get back in touch." He also says that Anderson knew beforehand about the move to hire a new touring singer. "I didn't tell him personally," Squire says. "Our manager to a degree was dealing with the politics of it, which, at the time, seemed the most appropriate thing."
Originally Yes was planning to tour North America this past summer to celebrate their 40th anniversary, but that was postponed when Anderson was sent to the hospital for his respiratory condition last May. "The Yes fan base in general has been very frustrated that Yes hasn't been doing shows for four years," Squire explains. "Of course I wish [Jon] a full recovery, and I hope he'll be well enough to come back at a later date. On the other hand, this might not happen. So we decided to look into, in my own words, getting an understudy for him to fill in."
That understudy is Benoit David, a singer for a Canadian Yes tribute band called Close to the Edge, named after Yes' 1972 album. Squire discovered David on the Web through a friend. "He said that you should check this out," says the bassist. "So I did and thought, 'Wow, this guy is really, really good.' He didn't sound that dissimilar to Jon, and I thought [of him as someone] who could be this candidate as an understudy."
Squire recalls the conversation he had with David on the phone about him joining the group. "He was at a marina at the time when I called him, working on someone's boat," he says. "Of course I put the idea to him about maybe coming into Yes. He says 'I must be being punked. I'm looking around for the cameras.'"
As for this latest tour, Squire says that they will try to perform some numbers that has never been part of the regular Yes set lists. "We're hoping to do 'Parallels' from the 'Going for the One' album, and Steve Howe suggested doing a song from 'Time and a Word,' Yes' second album. And then of course we'll try to do a couple of things from the 'Drama' album, in which Steve, myself and Alan were very involved with, which Jon didn't sing on anyway."
Squire has been the only member who has never left the band in Yes' 40-year history that included numerous personnel changes. "The thought of being in a band that would still be performing shows and making new music 40 years later was just not on the radar at all," he says. "But here we still are."