The ever-optimistic Anderson parted with Yes in 2008 but began using the band name again in 2017 for his Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman project, despite the fact that the other Yes (led by Steve Howe and Alan White) remained active.
Anderson began calling for the two Yes's to join forces in 2019 to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the band's debut album. He was asked again about his reunion ambitions in a recent interview with Talkin' Rock with Meltdown.
"I'd love to get the whole of Yes together one day in the next couple of years — everybody, 20 of us on stage, that kind of thing," Anderson said. "I had a dream about it about a month ago. I was there with my guitar. I went on first. I sang a couple of songs and said hello to everybody. And then Steve Howe's band came on, and then after that, I joined the band with Steve in the band and sang 'Close to the Edge.'
"And Rick came on as well, and then Trevor came on, and we did 'Owner of a Lonely Heart,' and then we all did 'Awaken,' and it was a beautiful moment."
There might be no vitriol remaining amongst all the former Yes bandmates — there was none evident during the band's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2017 — but there also seems to be little motivation for the parties involved to reconvene.
While Howe and Anderson recently collaborated on Anderson's latest solo album, 1,000 Hands: Chapter One, the guitarist has remained resistant to the idea of reunion. Unlike what Anderson dreamt, Howe told Rolling Stone that he can't envision a reunion at all.
"There's just too much space out there between people," Howe explained. "To be in a band together or even to do another tour like [1990's] Union is completely unthinkable."
Wakeman himself, though a longtime ally of Anderson's, has expressed his own misgivings about doing anything as Yes again. In an interview last fall, Wakeman said he opposed ARW's own appropriation of the Yes moniker, saying he felt it was "disrespectful to Chris [Squire]," who passed away in 2015.
Anderson's proposal of a one-off concert involving the current lineup of Howe's band is a creative solution. Yes fans would surely line up to see the show, and Howe couldn't ask for a better way to move forward with his version of the group than with Anderson's blessing.
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