Where are they now? - Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman

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This page last updated: 19 May 17

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On this page—Yes featuring ARW - Anderson Wakeman


Overview and touring Official website; Facebook; Twitter
Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman have been working on a collaboration together since 2010. While work proceeded slowly for the first few years, they began a tour in 2016 with a band and a set of Yes material. Touring in 2016 was under the name "Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman", but since early 2017, they started to style themselves as "Yes featuring Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman", against the wishes of the current Yes band headed by Steve Howe and Alan White. ARW announced 9 Apr 2017 that they were now assuming the "Yes featuring..." name. The other Yes stated that this was because Anderson co-owns the trademark and thus has rights to the name (more on that over here), but that they wished to minimise confusion between the two bands, their tone implying they remained unhappy about the situation. More on how this unfolded below.

They continue touring in 2017, with a live release also due this year. A studio album of new material is then expected, which will be later in 2017 or possibly 2018; material is expected to be released piecemeal before a full album. New material is not being played live yet. They are managed by Brian Lane (currently managing Wakeman, worked with Yes, ABWH, The Buggles, Vangelis, It Bites). Tour promotion is by Larry Magid (worked with Yes, Stevie Wonder, Bette Midler, Robin Williams, Live Aid/Live 8). In a Jun 2016 interview, Anderson said of the collaboration: "In the next few years we have to see what we want to do; go around the world and make some great music and obviously do some great new songs." In two Nov 2016 interviews, Anderson talked of a 3-year plan for the band. In a Dec 2016 interview, asked how long he is committed to ARW, Rabin said, "As far as how long the ARW thing goes, right now there hasn't been one minute where it hasn't been fun. As long as that continues, I'm totally up for it." The official Yes Twitter account tweeted news of the ARW tour when it was announced, saying "Sending warm wishes to our old friends, Jon Trevor & Rick for their upcoming tour".

In Facebook comments on 8 Jul, Rabin said:

From the 1st rehearsal on the Union tour, I loved Rick as a person
and player, By about the 10th gig, we talked about working together beyond Union.
I'm not sure anything else would have got me away from writing for orchestra (film scoring).
I think really the bug hit me twice... I was very close to our friend Chris Squire, and his passing hit me hard, and somehow it has inspired me to go out and play live again.
The second reason was Rick.
Obviously for me, playing the music we'll be doing, it is something
I wouldn't even consider without the glorious voice, presence and talent of mr. Anderson. "THE VOICE"!!!

In a Jul 2016 interview, Wakeman said:

One of the things that we [Anderson and Wakeman] always talked about was putting the band together with Trevor. Trevor and I have never worked just together playing Yes music. We’ve always said that it could be really different, we could really play the music to another level, do other things, because we wouldn’t be limited to the arrangements that Yes music has always been done by. The crucial layer, of course, is Jon’s voice. I’m afraid that I’m old school. This is nothing against any other singers or whatever. But to me, there are certain bands in the world that if you take the singer away, you don’t have the band anymore. I can’t imagine Led Zeppelin without Robert Plant; I can’t imagine The Who without Roger Daltrey. At the end of the day, I can never hear Yes music without Jon’s voice singing.

[...]

We see a good three years, possibly more if we can all keep our health together, of building and creating something really quite special. [...] We’re looking at this as a relatively long-term plan, at least three if not four or five years.

In another Jul 2016 interview, Anderson said:

The three of us totally love to challenge each other as part of the Yes gene. Deep inside we feel a part of the Yes history, so why not get together and chase more musical dreams?

[...]

I see ARW as a 21st-Century Yes. There is plenty of room for many Yes bands. I think one day I will be able to explain what Yes music really means to me, but, for now, I just feel very committed to create and sing more and more.

The band are touring: the set list is discussed below. They next play the 11th Festiwal Legend Rocka in Poland on 13 Jul, and then headline the XII Night of the Prog Festival in Germany on 15 Jul. At least 3 Italian dates follow, including Rome on 17 Jul, Scio on 19 Jul and Arbatax on 22 Jul. They return to North America with 30 dates 26 Aug-14 Oct 2017. In an Oct 2016 interview, Wakeman also referred to the possibility of South American dates, while in another interview around the same time, he mentioned touring Europe and then "Japan and South America and a few other places." In a Mar 2017 interview, Anderson said further touring later in 2017 "will probably include Canada, some places in South America, and also some locations that we didn't get to last year in the U.S."

They played Israel 7 Mar 2017, and then had 10 UK dates 12-25 Mar (13 Mar Birmingham, 15 Mar Brighton and 25 Mar Manchester sold out), followed by a 27 Mar Brussels, Belgium date and a 28 Mar date in Utrecht, the Netherlands. They next played 6 Japanese dates 17-24 Apr. The band had played a 36-date US tour 4 Oct-3 Dec 2016; the 15 Oct, 26 Oct, 1 Nov and 22 Nov dates appear to have sold out. Their 6 Oct Florida show was postponed to 12 Oct due to Hurricane Matthew, while the original 12 Oct Pennsylvania show was postponed due to an orchestra strike to 30 Oct. The 25 Nov show was cancelled due to Rabin having a viral infection (see Rabin's Facebook announcement here); it was re-scheduled for 4 Dec. Jonathan Smeeton is doing stage production and lighting. Dates are advertised as "Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman - An Evening of YES Music & More". Several dates are at venues Yes have played recently. Their first public appearance on stage together, albeit not performing, was at the 2016 Prog Rock Awards, where Anderson was given the Prog God Award. Trevor Horn, another Award winner, mentioned in his acceptance speech that he already has his tickets to an ARW show.

Rehearsals begin in Jul or Aug in Los Angeles, CA. Wakeman said in an Aug 2016 interview that Rabin "was rehearsing with Lou [Molino III] and Lee [Pomeroy] for about couple of weeks before I arrived out there. And then I didn't have my rig out there. I was just working with a couple of keyboards just to working out arrangements and things what we were going to do. And then, Jon came down to LA [...] and when he started singing, it was just like he'd come home". Wakeman arrived 7 Aug and, to quote his Aug 2016 GORR, "for the next seven days, ARW rehearsed solidly, with ideas constantly changing, and all for the better [...] The set developed". Wakeman then returned to the UK, leaving the others "spending the coming week working on vocal harmonies and other finishing touches. Trevor has a great voice and so have Lee and Lou so Jon has a fine "choir" behind him whenever needed." Production rehearsals were in Orlando, FL from 19 Sep.

In the 2016 Prog Readers' Poll, Anderson Rabin Wakeman were voted 8th in the Band of the Year category (one place above King Crimson; Marillion won). Anderson was third in Male Vocalist (won by Steve Hogarth) and Wakeman was third in the Keyboardist category (won by Mark Kelly).

As for the future, in his Aug 2016 Newsweek interview, Anderson talked of "a great show that will extend over maybe five years." In a Sep 2016 interview, he said, "We said we'd give it two or three years and see where it goes." In his interview, Magid said, "Speaking to everyone, and to Brian [Lane], I asked what the commitment was. I asked if this was going to be a tour, make as much money as we can and disappear? The three guys have made a commitment to each other to see this thing through to whatever it will become." Later in that article, Rabin said: "I think the intention is to keep going. [...] who knows what the future will bring? There are so many things we want to explore. I think it's going to be longer than six months."

After Yes's induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, with Anderson, Wakeman and Rabin all inductees, Wakeman tweeted:

To answer as to whether or not the Hall of Fame Induction will mean a YES reunion in the future, I can say 100% it's never going to happen

Yes also made clear their lack of interest via a press release.

Name controversy
From launching in 2016, ARW stressed their relationship to Yes and described themselves as Yes, at least in some sense, in interviews. The band's website proclaimed "that after a hiatus of 25 years, they are to reform the definitive Yes line-up as Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman (ARW)." The reference to 25 years is to when the three last worked together in the Union line-up. Wakeman there and on the press release is quoted as describing them as the "Holy Trinity of Yes". However, in an Oct 2016 interview, Wakeman denied saying those words: "I can't claim to have been the person who said that…I don't know actually where that came from." The band's Twitter account briefly used the Roger Dean Yes logo in 2016.

In an Apr 2016 interview, replying to a question about his views on the current Yes, Anderson moved on to talk about Anderson Rabin Wakeman, saying: "[The current Yes i]s just business, and it's a group of people going out there and playing music that's very valid. I have a different perspective on what it is, and there are bands out there performing Yes music, called tribute bands[.] That's kind of the feeling of what's going on. That's why me and Trevor say, 'Well, listen if we're going to get together, we've got to reignite Yes[.]' You're not going to get together with me, Trevor, and Rick and not think about our heritage, musically." In a May 2016 interview, Anderson said, "People who love Yes have been waiting for this." Likewise, in an early Jun 2016 interview, Anderson said, talking about a set list to include 1970s and 1980s Yes material: "we're very concerned that we're doing the right thing [...] that we honour the history of our work with Yes […] Yes music is within me, I can't just discard it and get on with something else, it's still there inside of me. And, er, to be working on the idea of the next understanding of Yes that I hear is going to be fantastic." In another interview later that month, he said: "I feel it's a rejuvenation of the idea of 'Yes music'..we are as much a part of the 'Yes' story as anyone". In a Jul 2016 interview, Anderson said, to explain the reference to Yes music in the tour promotion, "We're Yes as much as anybody else, y'know." In a Dec 2016 interview, he said, "We know we're Yes in our senses even though we're calling ourself ARW." In his Sep 2016 GORR, Wakeman said of the full touring quintet, "It's certainly the finest line up performing YES music that I've ever been a part of". In a Jan 2017 interview, Anderson said:

The most important thing is to continue the feeling that we are YES, no matter what, ARW equals YES, or YES is ARW. We come up with so many combinations so that people know because people still relate to the name YES very strongly, and we are ARW, but we are also YES. 21st Century thinking, man.

However, some interviews drew a distinction between ARW and Yes. In a Classic Rock interview around Aug 2016, Rabin said he did not consider ARW to be a rival Yes and that he still has friends in Yes. An Oct 2016 interview had this:

Rabin insists there's no rivalry between the two bands.

"To be honest, it doesn't even enter our minds," he said. "When Rick, Jon and I decided to get together we actively decided not to call it Yes, even though we have just as much right to do so.

"Steve Howe has been playing, in essence, with a tribute band, but there are no bad vibes," said Rabin
Tour promoter Larry Magid was asked, in an Aug 2016 interview, if there is any conflict between ARW and Yes as there was with ABWH and Yes: "Not at all. That's really the genesis of what this tour is. The Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe tour was every bit as successful as a Yes tour. When you're younger, you have legal ramifications, you want to argue or whatever. Certainly this isn't Yes. It's not meant to be even though it's going to be an evening of Yes music redefined and updated."

Then, on about 26 or 27 Jan 2017, the advertising campaign for the band's forthcoming European dates started using the Yes name. Adverts started using the Roger Dean logo: e.g., this newspaper advert. Online advertising (screenshot, 28 Jan) referred to the band as "Yes feat. Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman (ARW)". For ARW's appearance at the Night of the Prog Festival, they were likewise billed as "Yes featuring Jon Anderson Trevor Rabin Rick Wakeman" (screenshot, 28 Jan), with the festival organisers saying this was approved by ARW's management. The 'Yes' name had appeared to be udner the control of the line-up headed by Howe and White, while the Dean logo is owned by Dean and Howe (see more discussion here on ownership); they did not give permission for this usage. By 28 Jan, some of the adverts were being altered to remove the Dean logo, e.g. the front page for the Night of the Prog Festival's website front page had switched to the previous ARW graphic. Likewise, within days, some online advertising had removed the Dean logo. Jon Kirkman said online that he believed Dean had "said no" to their use of the logo. But Night of the Prog, MyTicket etc. continued using the name "Yes feat. Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman (ARW)"; and, 2 Feb, a Planet Rock Tickets mailing and website still had the Dean logo and the "Yes feat. Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman". Tickets for UK dates on ARW's tour again use the "Yes feat..." name and that is how, for example, they were described on the Hammersmith Apollo venue before the show there. Lawyers for both sides were in contact; Jon Kirkman on Facebook reported that Yes had sent a cease and desist letter to ARW. The two bands were then talking in the context of the Hall of Fame induction.

Asked on the Cruise to the Edge (Feb 2017) about the matter, the band with Howe, White etc. stated they are Yes.

On later dates on their European tour, Anderson sometimes described the band as Yes from on stage. By the end of Mar 2017, the band were using "Yes feat. Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman" on adverts for forthcoming US dates. However, it was notable that the band's website was not using that name. Then, in his Apr GORR, Wakeman talked of "ARW, (now known as YES featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman)". In an Apr 2017 interview, asked about why Howe etc. are continuing as Yes, Anderson said:

That’s a tough one to answer, but we think we’re Yes, anyway. ARW equals Yes. It’s mind-boggling in a way to think I started the band and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to utilize the name, because it’s part of my life And me, Rick, and Trevor are p[er]forming an evening of Yes music because that’s who we are. We can’t deny who we are.
After the Hall of Fame induction, a press release then announced the new name of "Yes featuring ARW". This quoted Anderson as saying, "It's very simple[.] The Yes fans want it, we want it and it's our right to use the name. Yes music is in our DNA!" Howe and White's Yes then explained in a release:
While Jon Anderson has rights to use the name as one of the co-owners of the trademark, Yes' position is that every effort should be made by promoters, ticket agencies and all involved to respect Yes' magnificant and loyal fanbase and minimize confusion regarding the use of Yes Featuring Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman.
More on those rights over here.

Rest of the band
The touring band is normally a quintet with bassist Lee Pomeroy (Headspace, This Oceanic Feeling, It Bites, works with Take That, ELO, worked with Downes Braide Association, Steve Hackett), who works regularly with Wakeman and was rumoured to have been approached back in 2010, and drummer Lou Molino III, who works regularly with Rabin. With Pomeroy busy with other commitments (seemingly a Take That tour), Japanese dates in 2017 were with Iain Hornal (ELO, worked with Grahman Gouldman, 10cc) on bass.

The touring was originally announced as also including Gary Cambra (ex-The Tubes, ex-Jefferson Starship) on keys and guitar, but his name vanished by Aug updates. A feature in the Feb 2017 issue of Prog said that the band started their 2016 rehearsals as a 6-piece band, i.e. presumably with Cambra. Anderson explained: "When Trevor records, he has another two or three guitars, so I though[t] it would be useful to have someone who could orchestrate more and bring it to the next level, perhaps make it more cinematic. But it worked out that what we're doing now is exactly right, because we're performing Yes music, and the cinematic stuff will come with the new music we've been working on."

In a Feb 2016 interview, Adam Wakeman revealed that he had been approached to also play keys for the band: "[My dad] asked if I was available to do second keys on the shows, but unfortunately its gonna be overlapping with Sabbath, so I'm not able to do it unfortunately. I'd absolutely jump at the chance to do it."

Ryan Rabin, Trevor's son, sat in with the band to play drums on [SPOILERS—highlight to read] "Owner of a Lonely Heart" at two gigs on their 2016 US tour.

Live release
The band are planning a live DVD release in 2017, with 5.1 sound that Rabin will mix. Although the Feb 2017 Prog quoted Rabin as saying, "if everything continues as discussed, we'll be filming and recording both shows at Hammersmith", it was the 25 Mar 2017 Manchester show that was filmed. The Manchester set was: [SPOILERS—highlight to read] "Cinema", "Perpetual Change", "Hold On", "I've Seen All Good People", drum solo, "Lift Me Up", "And You and I", "Rhythm of Love", "Heart of the Sunrise", "Changes", "Long Distance Runaround/The Fish", "Awaken", "Make It Easy" intro/"Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Roundabout".

The band has been recording "practically every show in our attempt to release the definitive ARW live," according to a Nov 2016 interview with Wakeman. Likewise, to the Feb 2017 issue of Prog, Rabin said they had recorded "all of the shows we've done". In a different Nov 2016 interview, Anderson said that a live album is "in the works. We actually record every show now. We have an incredible show in New York and a really good show in Boston. The show last night in Chicago was really great. There were about two or three songs we played better than ever. We will take all of the best ones and put it out."

In his Oct 2016 GORR, Wakeman said, "We are looking very seriously at producing a live album from the tour as there are already some very poor quality bootlegs appearing on the internet. We hate these and it's very annoying that people just don't have an ounce of decency or respect for the music but there's nothing you can do so we feel the best answer is to produce a high quality recording ourselves and hope that people would rather wait for that than buy [sic] poor quality illegal stuff."

New material
The band have been working on new material, to be released piecemeal and then as an album. An early Apr 2017 press release said "the trio will be recording new material throughout the summer for a projected album release of early 2018." A Mar 2017 interview with Anderson and Rabin reported "four long-form pieces ready with plans to return to the studio after the current tour" (which is 7 Mar-24 Apr 2017). It quotes Rabin: "I think by June, July we'll pretty much have half an album finished[.] It's very different from anything we've done before, which we're pretty happy about, hopefully breaking new ground, soundwise." Anderson added, "We don't know the best way to release them yet". This echoes earlier comments by Anderson about releasing new pieces online in stages rather than a traditional album format. In an interview at the Hall of Fame induction in early Apr, Wakeman said: "We've got three pieces that are well down the line that we're really pleased with and which we're working on. Hopefully by summer we should have them there. But we're not going to rush – we want them to be as good as we possibly can make them."

In another Mar 2017 interview, Anderson said, "[We] are creating songs now and will continue – and hope to record them later this summer. What we're developing is in the YES style but very much 21st Century sounding." By the time of
an Apr 2017 interview, Rabin said:
We’re about a fifth of the way there. I can’t really describe the music, but hopefully it’s fresh and innovative. And what we are going to do, rather than do an album and then present it, is we’ll do a song or two and put it out and keep putting out songs as we finish them. So there’s not going to be some large picture as far as a concept album or anything. Once all the material is done, then we’ll encompass it and sequence it into an album, but in the meantime we’re going to be releasing all of it into individual songs.
In another Apr 2017 interview, Rabin said:
Jon was at my studio [recently] putting final touches on a couple of tracks we’ve been working on and we’re just gonna do it song by song and bit by bit, and as we go along we’ll formulate what the whole concept is. But these days doing an album is very different to what doing an album was many years ago. It’s almost freeing, although I really miss the idea of an album and the album cover and the sequencing of the songs and the whole story that the album might develop into, but it’s also quite freeing having this kind of thing where you just put a song out.

[...]

I’m a bit of a stickler for polishing things up and getting them to where I think they’re perfect, and I know there’s two kinds of artists, there’s those that do that and then there are the others that are very prolific. Like Prince was very prolific, and I remember hearing that George Michael said to Prince or to his manager, one of Prince’s problems is he doesn’t edit himself. And I thought about it and I said that’s a good point, but at the same time, it’s another way of doing it. But I guess I’m on the other side of the equation with that.
Work on new material was expected in Jan/Feb 2017, but it is unclear how much progress there was. Rabin posted on 21 Jan 2017 to Facebook:
Jon was at my studio this week and we're enjoying the new music.
Can't wait to get it done so you can have a listen.

But Wakeman appears to have been in the UK through the period. In a Jan 2017 interview, Wakeman said:
We're sending lots of music to each other and working on different tracks...We're not setting ourselves any time limits...Any tracks that we do, we want them to be really special and good, and if they're not then they won't see the light of day...We're not going to be rushed -- 'Oh, you have to do an album. You have to do this.' It'll be ready when it's ready
In the Feb 2017 issue of Prog, Anderson described the new music as "powerful[.] It's wild, crazy, surreal, classic, what-the-hell-is-this Yes." He goes on:
We'd like to make a record that people get a chance to hear and see, because these days music is such a visual experience. It always has been [...] but while we've made some good videos, we've never made a great video. We want to create a great musical event and project it out into the world. We have the music, but for it to reach more people, they have to be able to see it as well as hear it. I said when we started that I didn't see any point in doing an album, and that we might do two or three songs every six months, but somehow visualise them.
In another Jan 2017 interview, Wakeman said, "We're putting new music together but we're determined not to rush anything. [...] We've been offered all sorts of contracts, even before we started the tour. We said no, we want to do this properly." Asked about recordings on the Yes Music Podcast in Jan 2017, Pomeroy said, "it's happening and I'm gonna be a part of that. I've heard some of the stuff as well [...] back in August [...] there's some really fantastic music just waiting to be recorded". He went on to say that he would like to play some Chapman Stick (with Anderson and Wakeman both welcoming that suggestion) and fretless bass on the material. He concluded, "That will be happening at some point in the very near future, I think [...] I hope so, anyway."

They have been talking to a number of prospective labels. In an Oct 2016 interview, asked what happens after the US tour, Wakeman said, "We're obviously going to start recording. We will start putting some stuff together next year [2017]." However, the band, as per this Nov 2016 nterview with Rabin, have "a couple of months off" after the US tour. In his Nov GORR, Wakeman said, "We have plans to complete new recordings early in the New Year [2017]". In a Nov 2016 interview, Anderson said, "We have some very interesting songs already to record. Like most musicians we are constantly in a creative mode, so most likely we will record in the New Year [2017] after this tour." In a Dec 2016 interview, Wakeman said, "After the European dates next year [2017] we will be ready to make a really hot, really tremendous album. We are looking at a release date of autumn 2017." In a Dec 2016 comment on Facebook, Rabin said, "We're getting new music together at the moment, slowly as it may be." In a Dec 2016 interview, Rabin said, "We're actually about a third of a way through writing new stuff [...] Jon has come up quite often to my house, my home studio, and we've done work here. We're sharing files, and the same goes for Rick for quite a while. I'd say we're closing in on half an hour of what we feel is pretty good stuff." In the Jan 2017 interview, Anderson said: "We've written a new album already, but we don't want to release an album so much. We just want to release music over a period of time like they are called EPs, two songs here, two songs there, and then you bring them into the show and see how it goes, and hope they enjoy the new music, and then get it onto the internet for people to hear it."
 

The album will be recorded with the live band, Lee Pomeroy on bass and Lou Molino III on drums. Anderson explained in a Nov 2016 interview: "it seems more logical to see [new material] through in the studio together." He then says of the material that it is "not going to be long-form music, but then again it might be". He also moots the possibility of releasing the material in some other format, as the band have suggested previously: "We have enough music for an album. But these days, we're not quite sure. Do we make an album? Or do we just make an EP and take that on the road — put in one or two [new] songs for the next [touring] leg — and make another one [later]? So that over the course of a couple of years you've actually put together four or five EPs." In the Nov 2016 interview, Rabin said they will "maybe sort of even put some songs out [before the next tour leg]. [...] kind of like a jigsaw puzzle, we'll put it out as it goes and then eventually put together the whole album." In another Nov 2016 interview, Anderson said:
We’ve written about an hour[]s worth of music already.  Unfortunately, this last summer Trevor got pneumonia when he went to South Africa for his son’s wedding.  He was pretty sick for a while.  Rick was finishing some projects as well.  We couldn’t get into the recording studio.  We recorded some demos before we started rehearsing… this was about September and they sounded really great.  We didn’t want to take them on the road until we finished them properly. We will do that in January and February.

[...]

Trevor is a very powerful writer of music.  I come in with some interesting lyrics and melodies.  You bring Rick in on top and you’ve got a totally new sounding idea and a new sounding band.  It is very exciting. [...] We will probably do two or three songs every three or four months.  We will work it that way rather than do a complete album.  I think the idea is to continue to celebrate the Yes music that we love and really develop this part of it slowly.
In another interview published that month, but possibly conducted before the tour started, Anderson said, "I've got the lyrics for five or six songs in front of me". Rabin and Wakeman were asked about new music in a joint Sep 2016 interview with Planet Rock. Rabin explained how they had been talking about doing ARW for years: "we were all very busy, but in between all this, there were pieces of music and little, embryonic stage stuff that we would pass on to each other [...] One example, Rick wrote something that is [...] called "Bolero"[, a working title] [...] I got this thing and I thought, 'Oh my God, this is... this is amazing,' and I just kind of thought of what this could be once we've all done it, Rick's on it and Jon's on it. And I sent Rick stuff, and Jon stuff." Wakeman then interrupted to praise Rabin and the quality of material Rabin and Anderson had sent, continuing, "we're all quite different, so when you put all those different things together, it makes a [...] wonderful jigsaw." Rabin then continued, "It is a very different picture; one that you might not expect almost. [...] we have got quite a collection of things, but we just didn't want to do it quickly, and rush it out [...] Brian Lane [...] was kind of getting [the tour] [...] moving, and I think we were moving a little [...] more slowly. And next thing, this tour was up [...] and then [...] we decided, 'You know what? This will be a great tour for us to have some fun and, hopefully, the fans have some fun, and get us so tight that when we finish the tour, that's when we'll go into that [...] we're really thinking of it as [a] much more long-term thing". Wakeman again: "[I]t was actually Trev's idea, he said to us all [...] everybody really expects us—because we had loads of record company offers—everybody expects us: do an album, go out and tour the album, which does look like a bank raid thing [...] which is not what this is. This is a longevity thing [...] He can earn far much more doing his films, and, without being unkind, I can earn more doing solo stuff because divided by five, it's [?unclear] [...] Trev said, '[...] Why do we have to follow [...] 'oh yeah, do an album [...]'? No, no, let's play. This is a long-term thing. This doesn't all have to be done by next week.' [...] I'd like to think that people, including us, have waited this far for new music. To wait another year for something that's really special is hopefully worthwhile."

In the early Oct 2016 interview, Wakeman confirmed plans for recording at some later point, "We are writing new material. We are putting stuff together. [...] There's no rush." In his Oct 2016 GORR, Wakeman said, "As for a new album with new music. That's definitely going to happen next year [2017] and we are already discussing how we are going to do it. We already have some music well on the way that we have been exchanging." Rabin said in an Oct 2016 interview: "Once we started talking about it [ARW], we started recording [...] We're about an eighth of a way through an album". In a Nov 2016 interview, Wakeman said: "I will say that we have been writing some really interesting stuff, and some really exciting stuff. Trevor writes completely different from me. I write completely different from Jon who writes completely different from Trevor. So throw all those ingredients together and you have the way Yes music used to be made. It was a big jigsaw puzzle with everyone bringing in bits and fusing it together to make interesting music. And I sense that happening again. Our plan is to sit down in January and February [2017] with two pieces in particular and see how far we can get with them and see what happens." Rabin had more in another Sep 2016 interview: "So far I've been writing much of the new material. Rick and Jon are definitely involved but we're going on tour and the new album is not done so we won't be playing any new songs off of it just yet. We'd love to test the waters but the problem is that it would wind up on You Tube and we're still not done revising some things and we just didn't want that. We don't want the wrong versions getting out there that's all but eventually, well, hopefully we will be debuting them shortly after the tour starts." And an Oct 2016 interview has:
Rabin says that in the years leading up to this current reunion, members spent a lot of time talking about “ideas and concepts,” something which he says has been “invaluable to what this is.”

“[It wasn’t about] getting together and smoking a little joint and going and jamming. It wasn’t that at all. It was really thinking about what we were going to do and also thinking about not letting thinking get in the way of the natural flow of the music [...] We’ve been thinking about it for a long time. In between films for years, I’ve been writing and Jon’s been hearing the stuff and has been really, really motivated to get moving on collaborating on that and Rick too. Rick recently sent me a piece of music that’s probably 20 minutes long, and it’s just breathtaking. I really do want to get this stuff going. It’s just not ready yet.”

Asked about new material in a Sep 2016 interview, Anderson replied:
We've written a lot of new music. Time wouldn't allow us to properly record this year [2016], so we're going to probably record in January or February. We're not quite sure how or what we're going to record, but we have a lot of good music already we've worked on over the past few months. The most important thing is to establish ourselves. We're still an unknown quantity to the business. We're going to get out there and prove we're still good and still inventive and we still love what we do.
Earlier reports had that an album or at least some sort of release would probably accompany the tour, with Anderson repeating this position into Jun interviews. However, around the same time, Wakeman laid out a delayed timetable. This is from an early Jun 2016 interview with Wakeman:
Trevor, quite rightly, said ‘Hey guys, we’re not going to rush into all of this. This is nuts. It’s going to take us enough hard work to put a great show together.’ [...] we can send music backwards and forwards and start working on bits and pieces, and maybe if we’ve got a couple of tracks ready to perform onstage or to do whatever, yeah, that would be great. If not, it’s not the end of the world, because we’ve got all of these months of working together and living in each other’s pockets. If we’re going to produce a full album, it’s got to be absolutely a cracking album. It’s got to be fantastic. So [we decided] not to rush into it, but just to make sure that when we do it, it’s really, really the right thing.
In another Jun 2016 interview, Wakeman said: "The plan is, we had a lot of offers. We looked at doing a... shall we do a whole album, whatever. And we thought, no, hold on a minute. That's just really rushing things. It's wrong [...] OK, we'll start putting some music together, looking at it, thinking about it, and maybe, y'know, premiere one or two bits on the tour. But then after we've done the tour, we've really got to know each other again playing wise and what we can do. That's the time to really do an album [...] Otherwise, it's a bit rushed and it's a bit, um, y'know, I think we would all regret it if we rushed into something." And in his Jul 2016 interview, Wakeman said:
As soon as it leaked out what we were doing, it was nuts. We had lots of offers from various record labels. “Oh, come and make an album.” It’s very tempting to say, “Yeah, great, let’s make an album,” but we sat down and said, “This is doing it for the wrong reasons.” Yes, we’ve all got music, we’ve been throwing music back and forth towards each other with ideas of things we want to do and there is some great stuff. But we decided what’s best is to go out and play together and really get to know each other again. We’ll continue the writing during the tour, and after the tour, we can do some more recording, put some more tracks together. We may do it as a CD EP, we may do it as a single track, we may do it as an album, but we’ll be doing it for the right reasons when the music is ready.

I’m coming over to see Trev in the beginning of August to put some keys down on a couple of tracks that we’ve been working on. If they’re ready in time, we may well do one in time, we may release it as a single piece, I don’t know. But what we’re not doing is we’re not going down the old road of, “Oh, you’ve got to make an album before you tour.” No, we don’t have to do that at all. We can go out, play music, maybe include some new stuff, certainly throw in some new surprises and certainly some new arrangements of some of the classic Yes material.

Similarly, Rabin confirmed in a mid-Jun 2015 interview that song ideas have been worked on by trio file sharing, but that the timetable for new music has been delayed: "I don't want to rush these songs[.] We've had offers from different record companies, but we've said no. We want control over the vision for our songs. Once you start listening to record company executives, then you lose sight of what you wanted to do in the first place." In an Aug 2016 interview, Rabin said, "[The project] actually started purely just to do new music. We started working on that. Then the touring aspect came up. That seems to have taken over and we'll end up releasing new music." In an early Sep 2016 interview, Anderson said:
We have some songs based on music from all of us really – very intense to very ethereal. It's really typical Yes energy.

We'll probably release EPs, but we will wait until the new year [2017] to record them.

In the Jul 2016 interview, Anderson said, "It was supposed to be both [a recording and touring project], but we've run out of time." He went on to say that they are "rehearsing [new pieces] now. I have about about three pieces. And then there's a long piece that Rick wrote early this year [2016] that I'm juggling with. I think it can work. It might work out that we'll tour and then record some more and then tour and then record some more. That kind of thing over the next year [2017] or so." In an 8 Jul Facebook post, Rabin said, "We're still working hard on the new material." Anderson talked about the new material in the Aug 2016 issue of Prog:
I heard it... Trevor's done some power-rock tracks for some of the record; it's really bananas. Then I put some ideas on them... so it became furious, cinematic. There's long-form material too [...] it goes from one extreme to another!
In an Aug 2016 interview, seemingly conducted in Jul or earlier, Anderson said, "We're just working on writing. We've just done some writing these last couple of months. [...] So now we're going to get together in July, August, rehearse in September". Asked about when they might record a new album, he said, "I think we're just going to record three or four songs, not so much an album. I don't think albums are really relative [sic] at the moment, from my standpoint. I'd rather do, er, projects, we call them, so if we do three or four songs and then, as for touring, write a couple of more things, and then... in between touring, finish off them, so next spring, a couple more songs for the European tour... I like that idea. [...] I'd rather just do, sort of, ideas now and again. I think it's just a different way of thinking. We can release music all the time." In his Newsweek interview, published the same month, Anderson said, "We've written some music and song ideas, not necessarily to put an album out but to sort of implant them into the show here and there." Later, asked about recording new material, he replied:
Oh yeah, that’s for sure. We’ve actually written a lot of ideas. It’s a question of finding the right time. [...] It was just a question of “well, let’s get the tour going, let’s go on tour and do a couple of new songs for fun, let’s go on tour and feel who we are.” So, by the time we actually record, we know who we are and the recording will be a lot simpler than going in and trying to stick it together with superglue.
In a Jul 2016 interview, Molino said that a couple of new tracks are "close" to being completed. In a 15 Aug 2015 Facebook update discussing the ARW rehearsals, Anderson shared an audio sample of him entitled "To be Alive" (but without apparent connection to the Yes song of that name). The piece consists of multitracked vocals with simple keyboard accompaniment. He did not explain the context for this piece, but it may be connected to some new music from the band.

This was Anderson's reply in the interview published 8 Jun with The Prog Report when asked whether they have been recording:
we've been recording some ideas over the last couple of months. We're going to get into it next week. Trevor is going to start work on it later this week, and, er, Rick's going to be involved transatlantic through the Internet. We've got a design, musically designed, to aim for. And I think we might have it all, sort of, tied up by August, and then we'll start rehearsing for a tour
However, Anderson subsequently echoed Wakeman's and Rabin's comments. A late Jun 2016 interview with Anderson had this reply when he was asked about releasing an album: "I'm not sure an album is the right move, new songs yes, we are con[c]entrating on a concert, making a statement of music is the whole point of the adventure, music is the driving force." And asked if they had "started working on new music" in a Jul 2016 interview, Anderson replied: "Yes, we want to do something creatively new. [...] We won't have a new album per se, but we will have new pieces of music and we will figure how to release it once it's done." Later in that interview, Anderson also mentioned using "new music with Trevor" in some videos he is doing with daughter Deborah around the Anderson/Stolt release, Invention of Knowledge: see here for more. It is unclear whether this "new music with Trevor" is part of the new Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman repertoire or something else.

Previous reports had also suggested the band were quite advanced in writing an album, with work going back several years. It had been suggested that an album or at least some material would be released to coincide with the tour. In an Apr 2016 interview, Anderson said the album will be out "probably in October". To the Mar 2016 issue of Prog, Wakeman said, "Some of the songs will be out by September". He subsequently reportedly said that an album is planned for CD, digital and vinyl, probably with bonus video material, but if it is not out by Oct, they will release ~2 of the songs digitally then. In the Eclipsed interview, he said there would be an EP of 4 longer songs before the end of 2016. In an interview for Inside MusiCast published in May 2016, Anderson had more:
We [Anderson and Rabin] got together last week, and, er, we actually put together the format for the album, because we've been working on music for the last three months, sending MP3s to each other, same with... Rick, so we have the format for the concert idea and the album idea. We might release it in three parts because there's long music in there, long-form music [...] the last time I worked with Trevor [...] [on] Talk [...] I actually stayed at his house for about three weeks and we put it together in the studio, and we're going through the same sort of process now
In another Jun 2016 interview, Roine Stolt, who has been working with Anderson on a collaboration, said:
Jon and Rick and Trevor, they’re getting together to write music. As we know, it’s a long process. It’s going to take a long time for them to come up with something. Trevor is writing music. When we met in Los Angeles [which I think was May or Jun 2016], Jon tried to describe the music Trevor was coming up with. He said it wasn’t like traditional Yes music. He told me it was a little different. So they’ve been working on that for a long time
Wakeman continued in the Prog article that the three of them have "been exchanging music and ideas for the last five years and we're at the stage where we've got some material that we're all over the moon with. The interesting thing is that although we all write quite differently, when you put those three elements together, it produces something quite remarkable. Does it sound like Yes? I would be bloody surprised if it didn't!" Wakeman adds: "I wouldn't say it's the last hurrah[.] We just really want to do something special." To a later edition of Prog (Aug 2016), Wakeman said the new material will be "75 per cent classic Yes... The most distinguishing feature of true Yes is Jon's voice so that will be there for a start. [...] I'm really pleased that we've not been rushed into it because we reall want it to be special." In the Jun 2016 interview, Wakeman also said that it was Squire's passing that spurred them to move quicker with the group. He had more comments along those lines in his Jul 2016 interview: "I think it was brought about a bit quicker when we lost Chris Squire. Although none of us really like to talk about it, it brought home our own mortality, or Yes' mortality, I suppose you can say." Asked in a 26 Apr radio interview if Squire's passing motivated the project, Anderson replied, hesitantly at first: "I think... probably. [...] He would have wanted to be involved [...] I think [...] he loved us all so much. I think he's overseeing a lot of thing. He's up there, being the puppeteer." Likewise, in his Jun 2015 interview, Rabin said:
Chris and I were friends throughout the years. Every couple of years, he would always ask me if I wanted to come back to the band[.] I was in touch with Chris every day until his death.

Chris' passing made me think that life is short and that if the three of us were ever going to work together, now was the time. We all agreed that we've got to do this.

In his Apr 2016 GORR, Wakeman said:
Anderson / Rabin & Wakeman continues to gain pace and all is looking tremendous. Performance dates are coming in thick and fast and the new music is just everything I believed it could be. [...] as I write this GORR I know that Jon is actually spending a few days with Trevor before Trev scoots off to South Africa for his son’s wedding.

The band's website, which appeared mid-May 2016, also described the trio as "working on new songs, which are currently being recorded."

In a Mar 2016 interview, Anderson said, "I'm working with Trevor and Rick already on some musical concepts, so we start, er, next week a few things—I'm going down to see Trevor. And then we'll get together in June, in July and finish the concept and then hopefully we will tour later this year [2016] in the USA and then, next year [2017], go to Europe and around the world if we can [...] My understanding of Yes music is still very, very strong. I never let go of Yes music; it's part of my DNA." In a 25 May 2016 interview, Anderson said he would be working with Wakeman and Rabin "next week". In the Apr interview, Anderson also describes working on a song with Wakeman "about the idea that we are now ready to move on, consciously, into traveling space and time. There is new technology that's going to push us in that direction. We have to get rid of the limitations, and realize that we are limitless beings." It is not explicit whether this is for the ARW project or something else. In the Apr radio interview, Anderson said: "I was working on a couple of songs yesterday that me and Trevor have sort of designed. And then this other piece of music that I'm working with Rick. [...] Then in June, July [...] me, Rick and Trevor will get together [...] and put together this album, because we feel it's our time to do it [...] our destiny to do a really good and very, very powerful album." He later added, "I went down 10 days ago for a couple of days with him [Rabin], three days, and, er, we worked out all the music we're going to do and more." The interview published 16 Jun 2016 had Anderson saying he was going to see Rabin "next week".

Set list
On their Japanese leg, the band played their usual set, as below, including [SPOILERS—highlight to read] "The Meeting", but they dropped "Long Distance Runaround/The Fish".

On Mar 2017 UK dates, the set was usually: intro music: orchestral "Perpetual Change", "Cinema", "Perpetual Change", "Hold On", "I've Seen All Good People", drum solo, "Lift Me Up", "And You and I", "Rhythm of Love", "Heart of the Sunrise", "Changes", "Long Distance Runaround/The Fish", "Awaken", "Make It Easy" intro/"Owner of a Lonely Heart", encore: "Roundabout". They also played "The Meeting" on some dates (e.g., 18 & 19 Mar) at the beginning of the second set. The opening night of their European plus tour, 7 Mar in Tel Aviv, had basically the same set, but Rabin also played the Israeli national anthem ("Hatikva") in a solo before "Changes". In Manchester (25 Mar), they played without "The Meeting" and without an interval.

The opening night set in the US was: "Cinema", "Perpetual Change", "Hold On", "I've Seen All Good People", "And You and I", "Rhythm of Love", "Leaves of Green", "Awaken", "Long Distance Runaround", "The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)", "Roundabout", "The Meeting", "Heart of the Sunrise", "Make It Easy (intro)/Owner of a Lonely Heart", encore: "Starship Trooper" (with a short quote from "I Can't Look Away"). "Soon" was written on a set list to come after "Starship Trooper", but was not performed. The set was just over 2 hours. Wakeman tweeted shortly before the second show: "changing the set a little even though we enjoyed the Orlando set..So much music to choose from". The set at the next several shows, at 2 hours long, was: "Cinema", "Perpetual Change", "Hold On", "I've Seen All Good People", "Lift Me Up", "And You and I", "Rhythm of Love", "Heart of the Sunrise", "Long Distance Runaround/The Fish", "The Meeting", "Awaken", "Make It Easy intro/Owner of a Lonely Heart"; encore: "Roundabout". At the 22 Oct show and onwards, "Heart of the Sunrise" was moved to after "Rhythm of Love", with "Changes" added after it and the abbreviated version of "Roundabout" used. At the 29 Nov show, shortly after Rabin had missed a show due to a viral infection, they dropped "Lift Me Up", "Changes" and "The Meeting". Subsequent shows were the same, or just dropped "The Meeting".

Rabin said in one interview that they dropped "Starship Trooper" because neither he nor Wakeman played on the original, while in another interview, Rabin said the reason was it was a bit "long in the tooth" and had been played so often. In his Aug 2016 GORR, Wakeman described a week of rehearsals: "We tried out lots of the classic YES pieces and also played around with some of the arrangements which in most case, really worked fantastically, and in the cases where the changes didn't work, we laughed out loud and ditched them!" Rabin said in a Nov 2016 interview that, "We rehearsed... er... way more than we could do." He went on to say that they had rehearsed "Shoot High, Aim Low". In an Oct 2016 interview, during final rehearsals, Wakeman said, "We decided that, pretty much the rule of the music would be that at least two of us had to have played on the original music that we're doing…whether that was Jon and Trevor or Jon and me…and that would include live stuff as well…and it's worked extremely well." (The "live stuff" clause, which rather appears to contradict the phrase "on the original music", appears to explain how several parts of the set fit that criterion. In a Mar 2017 interview, Wakeman explained that the choice of "Perpetual Change" as the second song was Pomeroy's: "We wanted to open with something that nobody would suspect that we would even think about doing.")

In an interview with Prog, Wakeman implied that the band were planning to include solo material by the three. Asked about this idea in the Nov 2016 interview, Anderson replied, "We rehearsed so many ideas, but found that celebrating Yes music became the focus. We have so many songs to choose from, we would be playing all night into the morning pleasing everyone." In another interview published that month, but possibly conducted before the tour started, Anderson said, "I'd like to hear Trevor do one of his pieces of music from a movie [...] I'd like to hear Rick do some new compositions."

Anderson, in the Newsweek interview, said:

We’ve written some music and song ideas, not necessarily to put an album out but to sort of implant them into the show here and there. A little bit of fresh musical ideas and, I can safely say, redesigning what we would think Yes would be doing in the 21st century.

The old classics, but sort of, as I said to Trevor, why don’t we just make it more cinematic, 'cause that’s what he does. So put on a visually great show and musically great show.

He also described a plan of "let's go on tour and do a couple of new songs for fun". In a Sep 2016 interview, Anderson implied they would play "a couple of songs" from Talk, but these were absent from the tour. In an Oct 2016 interview (probably conducted in Sep), Rabin said: "We took a lot of Yes songs and stripped them down to nothing, then reconstructed them differently[.] Rick is calling it 22nd century Yes." In an early Oct 2016 interview, Wakeman explained how he and Rabin, in wishing to "keep all the ingredients but go another stage further", came up with the idea that, with the YesWest tracks he wasn't originally on, Wakeman "would imagine I was in the band at the time, and what would I have done." And "Trev's done exactly the same with the pieces he wasn't on, like "Long Distance [Runaround]" and "Roundabout". And it really works [...] it gives the whole thing a whole new meaning. [...] All the ingredients are there but there's a load more ingredients been thrown in". One report around the beginning of the tour had that it is Wakeman who is blocking any Talk material. However, in an unpublished extract from an Oct 2016 interview (done before the tour started), Rabin answered the question of the lack of Talk material:

Rick had nothing do with that -- he wasn’t involved in that -- and I’m not sure how fair it would be to kind of throw that on his lap. But we’ll see what he feels about it and if it fits into the songs we’re doing, then yeah, maybe we’ll do it. It’s not certain yet, although Jon’s pushing real hard. But I haven’t decided how I feel about it yet and I’m not sure Rick would want to do it.

Rabin subsequently said in the Nov 2016 interview that they will "look at" doing "Endless Dream" on the tour's next leg in Israel/Europe, having not rehearsed it before the US leg, although it was on their list of possibilities. Anderson said on stage at the San Francisco show that they will be playing new material on tour in summer 2017.

In the Sep 2016 interview, Anderson ruled out playing any new material live. Asked whether the set gives equal balance to the '70s and '80s, he replied: "It's a pretty good balance. I think that music of Yes spans 30 or 40 years." He also said they would play for 2 hours, with no intermission, and that the set would not change over the tour. In a Sep 2016 interview, Rabin also ruled out new material (because it would be shared online), but he suggested the set could vary from night to night, saying: "We rehearsed a lot and really worked hard at trying to decide what songs to perform. We have six hours of material and we pulled each song apart and re-worked and revised and we have enough to make each show a bit different. We can't play six hours in one night (laughs); or can we?"

In a Jul 2016 interview, Rabin talked of a long play time for the set and of how most of the 'YesWest' tracks have been considered for inclusion, including possibly "Shoot High, Aim Low". In one of the Jun 2016 interviews, Wakeman talked of how the tour will be "an evening of Yes music [...] [plus] a few other surprises and things thrown in as well [...] a two-hour show, nice production and, with no disrespect to anyone else, it will just be lovely to hear the Yes songs sung by Jon again." The interviewer asked what the "and more" of the tour will be: "none of us can really tell you what all of the 'and more' is going to be, because until... we've got a long period of rehearsals scheduled [...] I'm flying over to LA to meet with Jon and Trev when we're going to discuss all the possibilities and what we can do. One of the things that we definitely want to do is to... the Yes music that we're going to do, it won't be done as we've always done it. We are going to try and... obviously keep it very much Yes, with a Yes sound, which is how we play anyway, but we want to try and, um... not update, that's the wrong expression, but we want to try and do is make it a bit different. So it sounds weird, but the same but, er, with a new lease of life." In an Aug 2016 interview, Rabin talked further about re-arranging Yes material: "That's going to be a big part of what we're doing. We really wanted to look at them in different ways, find different ways of approaching them [...] without any preconceived ideas of where they've been, what they have been. Obviously, they are what they are. We're not going to, hopefully, ruin them. (laughs)"

In an Aug 2016 interview, asked about touring plans, Anderson said, "That's all I want to do, a wild and amazing show. [...] if it works, people will get it [...] You can't go around really saying, OK, we're going to go along, on tour, we're going to be like a Yes band. We'll obviously do some Yes music, 'coz we wrote it. Y'know, I wrote a lot of music with Trevor and 90125 and Talk [...] Talk is a great album [...] of course, I've written a lot of things with Rick, and that encompasses a show all together with maybe some standard, classic Yes pieces [...] But, generally, we just want to put on a great show that people love."

In the Jul 2016 interview, Anderson said: "Of course, a lot of fans want to hear us do Yes music, so we are working on songs from Talk and 90125. Rick has always wanted to work with Trevor, so we are picking out some classic Yes some and rearranging them like we did with Anderson/Ponty. I don't know how we are doing them yet, but I can hear it in my head. We are going to put on a great show to explain why we got together. The magic of the songs will still be there. We won't be a tribute band." In one of the Apr 2016 interviews, Anderson said the tour will include "two or three songs from Talk", as well as new material. Right at the beginning of the Apr radio interview, Anderson said they will play "I am Waiting". Later on, one of the interviewers said that, prior to the broadcast, Anderson had said that "Mind Drive" might be played in the set. Anderson then interjected: "No, no, no, parts of it will work with this new piece that Rick sent over that I've been working on. I'm thinking, how to work on vignettes, so, er, this track will be going along […] jump into "Mind Drive" […] then back into the next part of this new movement. […] We have the right to go in and out of our older music, into the newer music and interweave them". Then, asked what Yes songs they will play, he said: "Definitely, erm, "Perpetual Change" […] and we'll do the same thing. We're going to use a vignette of the main section towards the end and then go into the original song and then that will lead us into a new song. I think that's what we're going to try and do. We're going to try and balance out, so that we're not only presenting the music in a fresh way, but also in a very creative way." Anderson describes what seems like a similar approach in the Aug 2016 issue of Prog:

It'll be a mix of Yes music and our new material. I can hear everything in my head [...] in a way I don't want it to be too like Yes: we want to use a more 21st-century sound, which, given new technology, is how we record. For instance, South Side Of The Sky — we've learned now how to project that best. And we might switch things around... start with that section in the middle, come back [...] we'll rearrange things in line with our perceptions.

Likewise, in the Jul 2016 interview, Anderson said, "I think we're gonna go on stage and do some classic Yes music from early '70s to late '80s [...] a couple of songs from the Talk album [...] three songs from the 90125 album, and then some of the really good, early Yes songs and some... Just some ideas that I've been thinking about, how to re-investigate ideas, re-design some musical Yes sections and ideas".

In the Inside MusiCast interview, Anderson also talked about live work:

We want to do something very, very different. [...] We don't want to be. 'Well, let's get together and do the old stuff', y'know? We don't want to do that. But what we want to do is, we want to revamp what Yes was through [the] years. It's like, I'm going through a very strong affirmation [...] I had Yes in my DNA for 35 years, it never left me.

He again talked about "Mind Drive", saying, "we want to incorporate it with our work, with a piece of music that Rick Wakeman has come up with which is a very similar sort of attitude, so we might mould them together for the tour. The idea is to be adventurous." In another May 2016 interview, Anderson said, "I think we're going to really challenge ourselves. We don't want to just go on there and put a show together and just do Yes music from the old days and stuff. No, we want to advance our understanding of Yes music into the 21st century." In The Prog Report interview, Anderson was asked if the band would play 1970s material as well as 1980s material; he replied: "Yeah. It's a combination of both [...] it's a question of how we present it [...] to the audience, that we're very concerned that we're doing the right thing [...] that we honour the history of our work with Yes". Earlier in that interview, in the context of his work in the Anderson Ponty Band, he was asked how he approached playing material first recorded in different acts:

It's forty years later. […] You just kinda want to do them a little bit more updated. Erm, if it was the same band as the seventies band, you're going to play it like that. But if you're working with another band of musicians, you're going to play it different. So, I would generally want to push the envelope a bit and start doing some very different styles of music around songs like "Long Distance Runaround" or […] "Wonderous Stories". Same goes for Anderson Rabin Wakeman. We're going to be doing a lot of classic Yes songs, but we both – me and Trevor – started talking about how to re-create them in a more cinematic way with more adventurous [sic]. So, you tend to not want to be just performing them the old way, which is beautiful, but you want to perform them in a fresh way.

In Wakeman's Jun 2016 interview, he said the tour would include "new bits and pieces", and then continued:

One of the things that we want to do with the music is look at each of the tracks individually and look at the strengths and highlights of each of the tracks and try to take it to another level[.] We don’t want to do it as it was on the record or indeed, as Yes music has always sort of been played. We want to try and take it to another level. But we’re certainly not taking away all of the elements and the sound that the songs made.

Asked about the set, he said he would like to see "Roundabout", "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Changes", material from Fragile and Going for the One, and, "there's a couple of tracks on Tormato I wouldn't mind seeing thrown in. [...] we've got a plethora of music to choose from. I think the thing will be, How do we balance it out? How do we showcase the Yes music and showcase what we want to do with it? We've got two months where we'll be sorting that all out."

Anderson said in the late Jun 2016 interview: "we have so many classic songs from our work with 'Yes' and new songs that need to be explored before we decide on a show that will be the adventure for us all".


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Earlier news and background
The band dates back to early 2010, but progress was slow for several years with the principals busy. Wakeman said in the Feb 2017 issue of Prog that, "An unbelievable amount of preparation went into ARW. It wasn't a spur-of-the-moment thing. Jon and I started talking about this in 2009. Trevor flew to London and we talked about what we wanted it to be". Chris Squire's death then motivated them to move more quickly; Wakeman has spoken of a realisation of their own mortality. A flood of news came in early 2016, after no word about the project through all of 2015. In his Feb 2016 GORR, Wakeman said, "the Anderson/Rabin/Wakeman project [...] is really gathering momentum. [...] We are working on starting to free ourselves up from the second half of the year [2016] onwards so that ARW can take our main focus and the plan for recording and touring is suitably ambitious and so it should be!" On 5 Feb on Facebook, Rabin said of the project, "The really good news for me however,is how excited I am about ARW. I think the stuff will surprise. I hope so."

Rabin initially teased with two brief social media messages on 6 & 9 Jan, but it is Wakeman who first gave details in his Jan 2016 GORR:

I’ll start with Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman (the current working name for the time being).
Jon, Trevor and I have been talking about this for some time and following the very sad passing of Chris, felt it was the right time to get together and produce both new music and perform some of the classic material as we feel it should be performed.
We have no connection with any other former members and indeed intend this to be very fresh in every approach. We will have other experienced side musicians working with us and it does appear that musicians are lining up wanting to be a part of it. We know what sort of musicians we are looking for and so hopefully in the not too distant future we will be able to make an announcement accordingly.
The band [...] will be managed by Brian Lane at United Stage Artists. Brian managed the original YES during the 1970s and was also instrumental in putting ABWH together and has managed my musical side of things for the last three years.
We are already writing new material and swapping ideas back and forth and what I’ve heard so far is quite amazing. Very fresh, full of life, energy and melody. I have sent stuff to Jon and Trev who will hopefully add some great ideas on top of my ideas.
The plan is to play a few festivals in the summer and then to tour fully in 2017. [This last bit seems now to have changed: see Wakeman's more recent comments.]

In an 11 Jan 2016 Facebook post, Anderson said: "at last I will start singing with Trevor and Rick later in the year [2016] as ARW, we have been writing some unique songs together , and feel it is time to go out together and perform on stage". Jamie Glaser, who works with Anderson in the Anderson Ponty Band, also commented in a 10 Jan Facebook post:

They are doing a new band, have some unique music they have and are writing, and they will be doing a reinvention of YES as well. ( meaning some YES songs their way)

In the Mar 2016 issue of Prog, Lane said the group "to me epitomises everything that is great — past, present and future — about Yes."

In a Jun 2016 interview, Wakeman said that Rabin flew to England to see him "a year and a half ago" (so, around Dec 2013/Jan 2014) and they spent "a lot of time" together and concluded they "definitely wanted to do this", but all three were busy. Wakeman said the "defining moment" was then when Squire passed away, making him and the others realise how "fragile this life is". He also talked about Brian Lane's encouragement. In a Jul 2016 interview, Anderson said, "it was last December [2015] that, um, Rick's manager [...] Brian [Lane] said, 'You know what guys? Why don't you get together?' [...] Trevor said, 'I'm going to have a year off from making movies.'" In an Aug 2016 interview, Rabin gave a truncated history of the project, saying:
I had a memorial for Chris Squire at my house. He had been talking to me about getting together with the band, with Yes, for a number of years.  But I’ve been doing film scoring, been very busy [...] it’s just something I wasn’t into  at the time.  Plus, I didn’t want to be involved without Jon being the singer.  Then Jon and I started talking about three or four years ago.  He started coming to a couple of my orchestra sessions.  We started … getting together again after a long time.

Rick and I had always promised ourselves after The Union Tour that we wanted to play together.  That’s kind of how it all started.  Larry [Magid, tour promoter] was very interested in getting involved.  It just kind of got together from there.
In an Aug 2016 interview, Anderson said, "He [Rabin] kept saying to me, 'Well, we should get together. Me, you and Rick.' [...] I said, 'Yeah, well, give me a call when you're ready.' And he called me [...] this last Christmas [2015] and said, 'I think I'm ready. I've had enough of this film score stuff.'" In a Sep 2016 interview, he gave this account: "I think it was the middle of last year [2015] when Rick phoned me and said, "Is there any chance Trevor is going to stop making movies?" I said, "Well, I can ask him." [...] He just said, "Maybe next year [2016] we can get together." We made a commitment for two or three years. The next step would obviously be to see if anyone remembers us and knows we're good. We got a good reaction from Larry Magid, who is one of the classic concert promoters in America. He said he'd love to put on a tour. [...] Brian Lane and Larry Magid got their heads together and started sort of planning the tour possibilities. Here we are." Wakeman said in an Oct 2016 interview that when he and Anderson toured, "all the time" they said the next step was to assemble a full band to play Yes music how they felt "it should be played", and that Rabin was the only person they wanted on guitar. He also said how he and Rabin had talked about working together on the Union tour.

Prior to 2016, the most recent news was in 2014. In the Jan 2014 issue of Prog, Wakeman discussed how the project came about and then said, "the band was officially born last year", presumably referring to 2012. Quite what he meant by "born" is unclear given he first announced the project in early 2010; he may be referring to how all three met up in London in early 2012 to exchange ideas. In the Jun 2016 interview, Wakeman again talked about the project having been going since 2012. In the Prog article, Rabin explained, "It's been a slow process [...] because of our respective workloads. But we are always trying to move this forward." He added, "We all have a passion for this [...] I can't put a time frame on it. But none of us are getting any younger." Wakeman also explained that, given his solo touring schedule in 2014, that any release will be in 2015 "at the earliest". Describing progress to date, Wakeman said, "The first stage that we've agreed on is the swapping of music, themes and songs. That way we can begin to work on each other's suggestions." And Rabin said, "All we've done is pass on indvidual musical skeletons [...] there's nothing even close to being ready to play for anyone." In a Feb 2014 interview, Anderson said Rabin had sent him some music just before Xmas 2013, explaining, "So we're just jamming around with ideas." While in a Facebook comment that month, Rabin said, "Still hoping that time allows for an album with Rick and Jon. We certainly want it." A 14 Mar 2014 interview with Anderson said he had received an e-mail from Rabin on 11 Mar "because they were connecting with ideas and working on film scores." It also said Anderson had been in contact with Wakeman that month.

In an interview with Anderson from around May 2013, asked about the collaboration, he said:

Well, I made the mistake of mentioning it once, and obviously a lot of people want to know what’s happening, and it was just one period of time about a year and half ago or so when I was seeing Trevor quite a lot and we’d been writing a couple of songs and we talked about maybe working with Rick. It’s funny because you spend time talking ideas and then six months later you’ve stopped talking about them, and then Rick’s busy and Trevor’s doing another movie and I’m on tour. It was very hard to bring it together, and at the moment we’re sort of in limbo.

This Apr 2013 interview with Anderson had saying: "there's now some talk of Rick and I doing an album with Trevor Rabin. Rick's doing some music so I'll send that off with some vocals on it to Trevor and he may put some guitar on it if he's not too busy composing another film score." And then in another May 2013 interview, he said that he, Rabin and Wakeman would like to tour playing Talk with another couple of musicians. In an interview in the Spring 2013 issue of Progression magazine, Rabin said:

We've let it slide for a long time because I've been busy. Jon and I have never been closer, Rick and I were never anything but close. We really want to try to do something. [...] So I'm not sure when or how, but the intent is stronger now that it has been. We've been talking conceptually, but not really trading musical ideas.

He also said that he would like to use Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters, worked with Jon Davison, Chris Squire, Alanis Morissette, Coheed and Cambria) on drums, who is "really into" the idea.

The initial idea for the project was in early 2010. In 2011, it emerged that plans had shifted to the main activity being in 2012. By early 2012, Anderson was being cautious in his descriptions. A Mar 2012 interview had this:

We talked about it, we wrote a couple of things together, Trevor got sidetracked, we talked about this year [2012].  We haven’t really finalized a time. It’ll happen when it happens. That’s my new mantra: ‘It will happen when it happens.’

The article then continues:

is there any chance of Anderson, Wakeman and Rabin hitting the road and playing Yes songs?  “No, I don’t think so.”

However, a Sep 2012 interview from the same source had this update from Anderson:
“Rick’s recording as we speak,” Anderson says. “He said he’d send me some music this month or next month. And then I would send it to Trevor.  We’d actually written a couple of songs, me and Trevor, and me and Rick have written a couple.”  Last time, Anderson said he couldn’t imagine an Anderson/Wakeman/Rabin tour, but he may have warmed up to the idea. If they do tour, fans shouldn’t expect a Yes “greatest hits” show.

“If we make music that we really like, and we put it out there, we’ve got a good fan base who wants to see us do new music… I don’t think we’d want to go out just doing old music, I don’t see the point.  I’d rather go out there and do some new music, of course, you’d do old stuff that people want to hear. But you don’t rely on that as your show.  You want to take some new music out there and have an adventure.”

A Nov 2012 interview then had this:

Anderson: It will happen when it happens.  I'm never that sure when it will happen, but I just know it will happen.  I'm in touch with Rick and Trevor all the time.  They're busy doing things [...] I'm busy doing things, but we've talked about some ideas we've come up with and music that we've come up with and it's really a question of timing. Maybe next year [2013] is going to be the year.

Interviewer: [...] who will be on drums and bass?

Anderson: Got no idea at all.  We talked about getting an ensemble on stage with three of us, rather, you know, than five or six or seven other musicians. [...]

Interviewer: Do you think it will be something you do in a virtual studio or do you think that you'll try to do some studio time together [...]

Anderson: [...] we'll probably do virtual.

Another Mar 2012 interview with Anderson had been more negative:

Over the past year, Yes fans have been looking forward to a proposed project from [...] Anderson [...] Rabin and [...] Wakeman. Unfortunately, as Anderson tells Ultimate Classic Rock, the grouping has been put on hold.

“We did some songs last year [2011], and Trevor had some things going on in his life that he had to sort out, you know, family things and he gets very, very tied up in his music for movies, so we just found it hard to collectively get together. And Rick’s got so many things that he’s doing in England. He has TV shows and radio shows. So eventually, it will happen. You keep the door open and hope that it will happen.”

An interview with Anderson conducted by Winston Arntz in Nov 2011 had already suggested no imminent developments:

With Trevor it’s all about timing being everything you know. You never know, Trevor always said he wanted to do but right now he’s going through some changes in his work, seeing what he wants to do. I am very open to when it happens it happens, always ready to try things like that.

[...] I think Trevor is waiting to jump into that adventure but he’s not quite ready yet in his heart. We wait and see and when we will work together I think it will be real spontaneous music. That’s what we talked about, making it spontaneous. A bit different than we used to do…

A May 2012 interview with Anderson had: "It Happens When It Happens, is my mantra! [...] we're always in touch. [...] we'll see what happens."

Interview comments from Rabin also express some uncertainty over timing. In this May 2012 interview, Rabin is asked whether there is anything he cares to discuss about the collaboration and replies: "Nothing I care to discuss as of yet. Rick is supposed to be sending me something pretty soon for us to work on, so we'll see what comes of it." In another May 2012 interview (with ClassicRockRevisited.com), he said:

We’ve been wanting to do something for a couple of  years now but we’ve not been able to get together. Either I was on tour [this appears to be in reference to Rabin accompanying his son's band, Grouplove, on tour], or Rick and Jon were on tour. I met with Rick about eight months ago in London. Rick and I get along so well [...] As musicians, we get on really well, and the same goes with Jon. The three of us are really intending on doing something but time has not been our friend.

In my interview with Rabin from Jul 2012, he said:

While Jon, Rick and I are excited about the prospect of doing something together nothing is organized yet and there’s no telling when or how something will be done. We really want to. Time is the enemy at the moment.

An article in Prog magazine, issue 26, stated that, "While nothing is confirmed, Rabin hopes recording will happen in 2012." This issue was published May 2012, although it appears to be based on an interview around Mar. Rabin is quoted as saying: "I haven't spent time with Rick since we had dinner in London at the end of last year [2011]. And I last saw Jon ever earlier, when he stayed with me. The problem is that all three of us have so much going on in our lives that it's been impossible to find the time to take it forward. The one thing I can tell you is that we all want to make this happen." He describes plans for the album: "What we want to end up with is an album that showcases what we're all about as individuals, but to make certain that it has an overall sound which represents this new band." He also mentions the possible involvement of Bill Bruford, which had been previously ruled out by Bruford (see below): "I know Bill Bruford's name has been mentioned, and I'd be happy to have him involved. But right now, we've approached nobody else at all. And, to be realistic, until we have our schedule mapped out, then there is no point in bringing anyone else in." In yet another May 2012 interview, Rabin said, "Jon and I speak all the time. [...] Rick Wakeman, Jon and I have been talking about doing something for the last 3 years. [...] schedules are a real problem."

In a mid-Apr 2011 Facebook message, Anderson had said, "all is great with Trev, Rick and Myself, writing ideas , and thinking of next year [2012] already." In an Apr 2011 interview, Anderson said, "At the moment, I am writing with Trevor Rabin and Rick." Asked about the collaboration in a May 2011 radio interview, Anderson said, "we were writing songs just two weeks ago [...] it's gonna be fantastic next year [2012]". In this interview, published Sep 2011, Wakeman describes meeting Rabin in London "recently" to discuss the project. Then there was this in a joint Oct 2011 interview by Anderson and Wakeman:

Wakeman: [I'm] waiting to hear from Trevor at the moment. To be fair, I certainly haven't chased him, as I've been so busy this year [2011] (as indeed Jon has and certainly Trevor as well). I really want this to happen; I believe it could be amazing in so many ways. I will certainly play my part in trying to bring this to fruition.

Anderson: We've talked about creating a project; it's just finding the right time to work together.

The Nov 2011 Classic Rock Presents... Prog (issue 21) has this on the collaboration:

Rabin is also to be involved in a new project with [...] [Wakeman and Anderson.] But things are still in the formative stages right now.

"We are still working it all out. I did spend some time with Jon when he was over in the States doing solo shows not that long ago. I'm sure this'll happen."

The original idea was for the project to be made up of and be called Anderson Bruford Wakeman Rabin, echoing the Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe project of 1988-90, but Bruford is not to be involved. I had multiple reports that plans for the project came to a halt in Mar 2011, but the project returned to being a going concern. I reported the project's demise here on 31 Mar, but in response to the subsequent online discussion, Wakeman explicitly denied that the project was cancelled and his webmaster advised looking to the RWCC for any official news. A report from close to Jon Anderson also denied the project had come to an end. Wakeman discussed the matter at some length in his April 2011 GORR:

Wayne [RWCC webmaster] has mentioned to me that he received a lot of e-mails to the site displaying their displeasure at the news that the proposed project with Trevor Rabin and Jon Anderson was not going ahead. I must admit I threw my head in my hands when he told me as it is, to the very best of my knowledge and certainly Jon’s as well, total rubbish.

There are some not very nice people out there who like to stir things up, and believe it or not, we know who some of them are. They are the equivalent to people who start computer viruses and I have no time for them. I have always said that if you hear a rumour, log into this site, and if it’s confirmed here, then it’s true. If it isn’t, then treat it as a rumour started by somebody who thinks they know something, but actually don’t!

Just two days ago I received some music from Jon for the Trevor, Jon and Rick project, and it’s tremendous. I’ve also sent some stuff to both the guys as well, so unless there really is something I don’t know, then all is progressing really well.


He continued in his May 2011 GORR:

 I was hoping to be able to confirm quite a few things in this month’s GORR in relation to stuff like [...] the Rick, Jon and Trevor situation as well, but as ever, things seem to take much longer than you think is necessary and subsequently I only have “bits and pieces” to report on the above.

[...]

Jon is in pretty constant contact with Trevor Rabin and music has already started flying back and forth. Jon has sent through some great ideas and I will shortly be sending some stuff back across the Atlantic to both Trev and Jon. Trev, I know, is also working on music for the project and we are all really up for it and excited as to what it’s going to produce. As many people know, it’s a combination of YES personnel that’s never been used on recordings, and certainly, if the chemistry that happened on the UNION tour between the three of us can reignite itself, then we are in for a treat making the music and hopefully it’ll be a treat for others to listen to it......and then, with a bit of luck...live performances...and special ones, not hundreds of gigs one after the other which dissipates all meaning of the music.


And in his Jun 2011 GORR:

Jon Anderson and myself have been exchanging music to work on for both songs for the pair of us and of course the upcoming project with Trevor Rabin who has also been sending stuff to Jon and so there’s a bit of a round robin happening which is all very exciting and the quality of the music so far is outstanding and so I have very high hopes for both the album and live appearances.

[...]

June is going to be an interesting month for sure. [...] I will be doing some more prep music to send to Jon and Trev for the new project.


In an Innerview with Anil Prasad, published May 2011, Wakeman was asked about the status of the project. He replied:

there is the potential to produce something very exciting, simply for the reason that whilst we all know each other, the three of us have never specifically worked together before. [...]

I wouldn’t say we’ll do loads and loads of touring, because Trevor is extraordinarily busy [...] Jon is busy with his solo work, and I do a lot of television and radio work [...] What I think will be great is if we put together a small number of shows to go with a lot of new music. The shows would be something really special rather than a whole bundle of touring.

I would like to think the album will be done by the end of the year [2011], and then we’ll start looking at slotting in shows around the world according to everyone’s schedule next year [2012]. It’s not something ruled by a record label or management [...] We’ll work out what’s best for all of us and the project.


Asked about plans for Bruford's involvement, Wakeman said:

Bill sort of retired. He decided a couple of years ago that enough is enough. [...] He’s a fantastic guy, but once he makes a decision, it’s very, very rare that he changes it. I can’t even think of an occasion when he’s changed his mind [...] I think he may well have been tempted by the idea, so who knows? He may just come onboard, but it’s unlikely.

To Classic Rock Presents... Prog (Jun 2011), Rabin said: "We are starting soon. We have some pretty cool ideas, but we're not rushing it or being pressured by business needs." In a Jun 2011 interview, Anderson said: "I've been in touch with Trevor for the past four or five years. [...] We wrote some songs together last year [2010], and we've written a couple this year [2011]. We're thinking next year [2012] might be a good time to try [to make an album]." In another Jun 2011 interview, Anderson said: "me, Trevor Rabin and Rick are talking [...] we're writing a couple of songs". And an interview conducted Apr 2011 had this:

Anderson: [...] in the 90s we did the Talk album [...] Me, Trevor (Rabin) and Rick (Wakeman) want to re-perform that next year [2012]. We're working on songs, but we're talking about doing songs from Talk and Big Generator and 90125. It takes time, we can't say exactly what it is, but we're talking. We believe. We're all busy. Timing is everything. My new mantra is “It will happen when it happens”.

Interviewer: That's still an active project [...]?

Anderson: Oh yeah, we were working on songs last week. It's slowly moving, it takes time.

Interviewer: You're trading files back and forth?

Anderson: Yeah.

Interviewer: [...] you'll do shows together?

Anderson: Next year [2012].

Interviewer: And new music.

Anderson: Oh yeah. I would never just go on stage and do the old stuff. I would rather do some new stuff with the old stuff and make people aware that music is timeless, and we shouldn't be judged on what we've done, more what we're about to do.

Interviewer: It would be great if you revisit Talk [...]

Anderson: Oh yeah, we were singing … (sings) "it's the last ... time ... telling myself everything." Trevor and I were singing that together on the phone.

[...]

Anderson: We'll definitely be doing it [Talk].

Interviewer: Rumor had it you were getting Bill Bruford back on drums.

Anderson: Well, we asked him but he doesn't tour anymore. You never know, he might say, “Hmmm, I need some money”. You never know!

In an Oct 2011 interview, Anderson talked about them playing "Perpetual Change" and "Heart of the Sunrise".

A Jul 2011 interview describes the trio as starting recording soon, with Anderson saying: "We've written three, four songs at the moment. Whether we tour it, I don't know. We'd like to, but we'll see how everybody's schedule is for next year [2012]." While an Aug 2011 interview had this exchange:

Interviewer: you, Rick Wakeman will be working again with [...] Trevor Rabin [...] putting together another band type project. Will that just be a trio or will you be looking to fill in... will you be looking to replicate a 5-piece like Yes and have somebody else on bass and drums in that project?

Anderson: I think it will just be a trio with some musicians backing up the project. We're still working on it.

Interviewer: Well, that was Yes's commercially most successful period of output with "Owner of a Lonely Heart" and songs like "Changes". Will there be an attempt to replicate or reproduce some of that style sounding, y'know, those big radio-type songs? Or will it be whatever the moment moves you guys to produce?

Anderson: I think whatever the moment moves, but I'll let you know.


Some material has been prepared and concrete discussions had about the band. Wakeman in Jan 2011 said that the three of them "are working on putting a band together to both record and perform". A Mar 2011 interview with Anderson had this:

As you probably know I loved the albums we did with Trevor like Talk and Big Generator. [...] We'll get together to write some new music and thereafter we intend to go on tour with these new songs and of course we will also perform some Yes classics. We'll do a try out of a month and then, if it works, we'll also perform some gigs in Europe

On 11 Mar 2011, Mike Tiano said (at the Notes from the Edge Facebook site), "Trevor told me yesterday that conversations with Rick and Jon are happening." Asked about whether the project will move forward, in a Jan 2011 interview, Anderson said:

I don't know. I got an e-mail from Trevor today [...] I was with Trevor last week. [...] We've talked over the last couple of years about maybe getting together and doing some concerts, re-looking at the album Talk, and 90125, Big Generator, and a couple... two or three Yes classics, but centering in on that and maybe... We've written a couple of new songs and... me and Rick have written two songs for the project. But like anything, it's timing. It will happen when it happens, and I'll be there!

The interviewer then asked who else would be involved, mentioning Bill Bruford and Tony Levin, and Anderson replied:

No, Bill's not touring any more. [...] He's decided he doesn't want to do it no more. But you can never discount that. We'll see what happens. [...] Timing... Trevor's got work, Rick's got work, and I'm busy, but eventually the timing will work. It'll either be this summer [2011] or next summer [2012], but we'll do it.

In a Feb 2011 interview (for ClassicRockRevisited.com), Anderson said of the project:

Rick and I and Trevor (Rabin) might make some music together and tour. It's all in the talking stages but if we did something I might ask Roger [Dean] for something [in terms of cover art]. He did Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe so I'd probably ask him. When I work with Rick and other people that were in Yes, it feels like Yes music no matter what. You can't get away from that, so there's no harm in dressing it up that way.

In an Apr 2010 interview with the Boston Herald, Anderson said:

“It could happen, but it’s a question of timing,” Anderson said. “I’m touring the UK with Rick this year [2010] and Trevor and I wrote some songs, but now he’s busy doing film scores. It will be a real celebration of Yes if we ever get around to doing it.”

In an Oct 2010 interview, Rabin said he was "still hoping to work again" with Wakeman, and later in the interview:

Interviewer: What about the record that you’re currently working on with your Yes compatriots, Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman?

Rabin: We haven’t started yet. But Jon, Rick, and I are really itching to do it.


In late Dec 2010, Anderson said:

Going to write songs with Trevor......talked about shows together.......can't promise anything....just ideas just now....

Initial plans in early 2010 were for the project to have included Bill Bruford as well, but he has always insisted he is not involved. News of the project first emerged in the 6 Feb 2010 edition of Wakeman's Planet Rock radio show: a listener sent in a question asking Wakeman about the possibility of he and Rabin "re-uniting to play Yes material again." Wakeman responded:

Just last week, a discussion took place between myself, Trevor and a couple of other ex-members of Yes who will remain nameless [...] about doing just that, about doing an album, and I think the odds are extremely high that it will happen this year [2010]

In the Jun 2016 interview, Wakeman identified manager Brian Lane as an important driver in bringing the band together, although the quote is unclear whether he is referring to the band's initial formation around 2010 or to their acceleration of activity for 2016: "Brian said, 'You've got to make this happen[.]' I said, 'Look, you've got such a connection with Yes over the years. ... Why don't you give them a ring and put forward your ideas about how you think it could come together and see what they say?'"

Reports of private comments by Anderson and Wakeman in 2010 identified Bruford as the fourth ex-member involved. A Jul 2010 report claimed Wakeman had said privately that there is no decision as to the form of the project (e.g. album or live shows), but that the line-up will be him, Anderson, Rabin and Bruford. A May 2010 report has Anderson identifying the same four, but saying that the project is only "talk" at that time. He also said that Bruford loves the idea, but is not sure about touring. The Mar 2010 edition of Classic Rock Presents... Prog reported the same quartet. The article reads: "Bruford has recently announced his intention to retire from music, but Prog understands if the project goes ahead he will be involved." Asked about Bruford's possible involvement in an Apr 2017 interview, Rabin said:
I haven’t spoken to Bill. Jon, I don’t think, has spoken to him; I don’t think Rick has. So maybe someone has spoken to him, someone in management, but I certainly haven’t spoken to him.
Bruford repeatedly denied his involvement or interest. His webmaster, Sid Smith, responded to a fan with this message (18 Mar 2010): "Your message has been passed to Bill. He retired from public performance 15 months ago and isn't joining any band. Perhaps sales are down at Classic Rock?!" In Apr 2010, Smith posted to Bruford's website:

Recently, certain sections of the internet have been awash with rumours that Bill is about to return to active service in the company of his old muckers, Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin. The rumour gained a little bit of traction by appearing in print in the latest edition of Classic Rock Presents Prog magazine. [...] I contacted Bill for the inside scoop.

Rolling his eyes and sighing heavily, Bill had this to say. “I'm told there are people getting over-excited about the next reunion I'm not on. Oh ye of little faith!  I haven't been approached by Wakeman, Anderson, Rabin, Howe, Squire or Uncle Tom Cobley for anything more than a pint. For the hard of hearing, I repeat - I've retired from public performance.”

So there you have it from the horse's mouth!

In his 18 May 2010 blog, Bruford said in reply to questions:

a lot of people talking about Yes, which you may all know that I am not re-joining and have received no such invitation from anyone connected with the band. [...] Can’t we just let rumours be rumours? It just clogs up the place.

The answer to Roger Norway - 3/16/2010 12:02:37 PM [who asked about the reports of Bruford's involvement in the Anderson/Wakeman/Rabin project] is therefore – I have no interest. These rumour things often get started by a ‘slow news’ day over at the magazines and blogs.

Relationships with the current Yes line-up
With Yes being inducted into the Hall of Fame and the possibility of a reunion of the current line-up and ARW at the ceremony, the issue of a longer-term reunion has re-surfaced. I discuss the ceremony here, and what could happen in the long run here. ARW have started using the Yes name and classic logo: see above on that.

In a joint Apr 2017 interview with Rabin, Anderson said of the idea of a reunion with Yes: "I don't really have any interest in doing that[.] It would be kind of a miracle if it happened. But you know, it's one of those things where you never say never." Asked whether he and Steve Howe had ever bonded over music, Rabin replied, "We're cordial. We didn't develop any kind of creative camaraderie on Union. We played together and I think everything's fine with us on a professional level. But there's no kind of desire to do an album together or anything." In another Apr 2017 interview (conducted Mar), again askied about a new Union, Rabin said:

I think that would be fine if that’s what happens. But I think from ARW’s point of view, we’ve always looked upon ARW as being the best… we look upon ARW as being our version of a reunion

In a Mar 2017 interview, discussing the official Yes, Wakeman said, "I don't think they like us. But I've absolutely no interest in them". Asked about the possibility of a new union, he laughed, saying, "Well there's another pig flying by." In a band interview that month, the interviewer asked whether we could we expect an emotional, historic picture of all the members of the band through the years:

Anderson: No, no.

Wakeman: No.

Interviewer: You're not going to talk to them?

Wakeman: No.

Anderson: We don't like them.

The interviewer went on to ask whether meeting the others feel a bit like a wedding where two grandmothers who don't talk to each other are forced to share the same table. Rabin described this as "a great analogy". Wakeman said: "You've just summed it up entirely. [...] I've been married four times and I did not invite my previous three wives to my last one." The interviewer continued to probe on the relationship with the official Yes; Wakeman replied, "They're nothing to do with us. We have no interest in what they do. And they probably got no interest in what we do. We just play Yes music as we want to play it." Anderson and Wakeman both dismissed any possibility of a reunion. In another Mar 2017 interview, however, Anderson was more friendly about his successors as Yes lead singer: "I actually haven't ever met them [Davison or David], but I'm very happy they enjoy singing the songs I wrote[.] And they do a very good job as far as I see. I've watched a little bit and I'm very impressed with how they sound and how they make it work. It's a very hard gig getting up there and singing Yes music for weeks on end. I can testify to that, because I did it for 35 years." And in another, asked if he the Hall of Fame induction would lead to further performances with Howe and White, he said:

Not really.  I doubt it. I can’t imagine going on the road with them at this point, given the different agendas that their band and ours have currently.  I have my understanding of YES and they have theirs.  We were brothers in it once, but…  But you never know.  If everyone were to get emotionally in the right place, you never know what might happen.

In a May 2016 interview (presumably conducted in Apr), Anderson was asked, "Do you see yourself reuniting with any other members of Yes in the near future?" He replied, "No, just Trevor and Rick. That's enough." In another interview that month, with Inside MusiCast, the interviewer asked whether Anderson would like to be back with "them", i.e. Yes. Anderson replied:

It depends who 'them' are. Because I know that I'm working[?] with Trevor and Rick now. In this process of life, you go through so many changes and I just go with it and see what's going to come, at the end. An obvious time could become when Steve and Alan could join us on stage, or something like that or... It's hard to say because Steve and Alan are the only people that I worked with.

(Anderson apparently forgetting Billy Sherwood there.) A similar question in one of the Jun 2016 interviews saw Anderson cagey about any reunion. Asked what the chances are, he replied:

Anderson: Very hard to say. Life is a strange sort of event. Sometimes you expect things to happen, and they don’t. Sometimes, things that you don’t expect, do happen.

Interviewer: I was always under the impression that it was Chris who didn’t want you back in the band. I imagine Alan White would certainly be amicable to you returning to the band…

Anderson: Right.

Interviewer: … And probably same with Steve Howe. It doesn’t feel like either of those two guys would object to having you back in Yes. [I think the interviewer is probably inaccurate in his summary.] Have you spoken to them recently?
 
Anderson: No. [T]he whole procession of events that happened before I got sick was: something really bad happened, it wasn’t the guys in the band, it was management at that time, they did a terrible thing, it sort of poisoned the band. I got sick. I don’t know what happened, maybe it was psychological. I got really badly ill for a whole year, and they decided to carry on without me. But at that time, I just wanted to survive my illness and become well, which did take quite a long time [...] I came out of that, and the only thing I wanted to do was get back in the studio and compose [...] I didn’t have the strength to go on tour, and the band had already gone on tour anyway. That’s what they wanted to do, that wasn’t my idea of Yes, the kind of music they recorded. Definitely not my idea of what I would be doing with Yes.

The future is more exciting, and it always has been for me. I’ve always been grateful for having had those years with Chris; me and Chris were sort of the main guys in the band. And there was a time when we didn’t connect. That’s called “life.” Thank God I was able to connect with him before he passed away

A similar question in the Jul 2016 interview elicited this answer from Anderson: "Well, it's hard, y'know, Chris passed away a year ago [...] Steve and Alan are doing their thing. It's very hard to know when we'll get together. It's got to be a musical idea. And somehow I think that, er, the way things are going... I'm a very sort of adventurous musician and the only way we'll get together probably is if we get into the Hall of Fame in a couple of years or something like that. And I think that will bring us together. And... But generally speaking, I'm a more adventurous musician and I'm very interested in working with Roine Stolt again and working with Jean-Luc Ponty." In a Sep 2016 interview, Anderson was asked if it is weird for him that "there's a band on the road called Yes that doesn't have you in it?" He replied: "Well, it's ongoing", before mentioning four Yes tribute bands and concluding, "So many bands are out there playing Yes music, and Steve's band is one of them. He has the name. That's life. It's a challenge to me to get on with my world and stand up and say, "OK, we are ARW." I've got a T-shirt that says, "A.K.A. Yes."" When the interviewer suggested that ARW is the "more authentic" band, Anderson said, "Probably. But you could say, "Well, the guy [Davison] has been in the band for 10 years [sic], so he's as much a part of Yes as anybody else."" Asked then about the last time he spoke with Howe, Anderson replied:

A long time ago. We've exchanged pleasantries. I was in touch with Alan [White], who has been very ill [more on White's health here]. [...] Over the years I've had ups and downs with Steve, but he's still my musical brother and one day he'll come through and probably be very happy about life. That's what it's all about.

[...]

when he opens up his heart and becomes, I suppose, more open, shall we call it, and relaxes about everything, he'll probably come around.

The interviewer then asked whether Anderson sees the current Yes as competition:

No. They're just playing music. They're just playing the Yes music. It's OK. I've seen a bit here and there on YouTube. To me, it's not inspired. [...] We're going onstage and we're going to perform it inspired to take it a little bit further along the line.

In a Nov 2016 interview, Anderson said:

Yes music is still surviving on many levels.  There are some great Yes tribute bands around the world. [...] You can come to a Yes show or you can come to one of my solo shows as well.  The band that calls themselves Yes now only has Steve Howe from the old band now [referring to the US summer tour 2016 that White missed due to back problems].  They are kind of good and they are continuing the music but Rick, Trevor and myself… we are the real Yes.  We feel that, and the audience feels it, too.

(Responding to the interview on Yesfans.com soon after, Downes said, "Oops, Alzheimers kicking in... Alan White?? HELLO??" He later described Anderson's words as "an intentional disingenuous comment (amongst others) made towards fellow professional musicians".) Anderson's interview continued with him being asked about the possibility of a reunion. He replied: "You never know. There is the Hall of Fame… we could get in by next year [2017] or the year after [2018], which is our 50th year. Who knows what's going to happen."

In a different Nov 2016 interview, asked about a reunion with Yes if the band get inducted in the Hall of Fame, Wakeman said: "I think there's no chance of us ever reuniting[.] There's not a hope in hell of that happening."

In another Oct 2016 interview, Rabin was asked, "What are the relationships like between all the past and present Yes members? Are the guys in Yes upset that you and Rick are going on tour?" He replied:

I really don't know. It's not something I concern myself with, so I don't know and I don't care. It’s not something I spend a lot of time thinking about. The only guy I speak to quite often is Alan White, who has always remained a very close friend. Alan and I don’t have any issues at all.

Asked about ARW said in an Aug 2016 interview, Downes said:

I think we’re just, you know, we let them get on with it really…I don’t think there’s any……we just wish them luck. Anything that’s going out promoting the music of YES is good for everybody. It’s not a kind of us versus them scenario.

And asked about the possibility of a new Union: "Ummm, I'm not seeing that at the moment but you never know what might happen. YES is a very strange band (laughs…..) weird things happen with YES." While another Aug 2016 interview, this time with Howe, has him saying:

I would say good luck to them [...] Anybody can play Yes music, and hopefully the bar is set very high. [...]

We’re just going to carry on, irrespective. [...] we’re delighted, really, that there’s more Yes music being out there, getting played.

Similarly, asked in a Mar 2016 interview what he thought about the project, Howe replied:

Maybe there’s three things I can say about it. First, anybody can go out and play Yes music because our music can be explored in so many different ways. The second thing is obviously you’ve got to go out there like Yes have for the last eight years – we’ve proved that we can do things like the full albums show. The third thing is that getting back with people you’ve worked with before is really good, especially if they’re a musician – some of the people we’ve worked with in other fields have certainly derided the band at times and sometimes been quite greedy. That’s the only thing I’ll say.

Billy Sherwood was asked the same question in an earlier Mar 2016 interview and said:

That's happened down through the ages [...] There was Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe back in the day [...] so I don't have a problem with it at all. Y'know, I know all those guys. They're lovely people [...] so I wish them well and I think, y'know, they're amazing musicians so it's going to be great, whatever they do. That said, there's plenty of room on the playing field for multiple teams [...] I'm happy about what I'm doing [in Yes] and I'm happy for anybody else who's making Yes music in 2016.
Anderson/Wakeman
Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman's duo collaboration is on pause for the moment. Asked if they have plans in an Apr 2014 interview, Anderson said, "Not at the moment. He's very committed to doing [...] "Journey to the Center of the Earth," [...] So we decided that we'd get on with our work for the next couple of years, and maybe next year [2015] we'll bump into each other again and find time to write some new music, because we enjoy writing, we enjoy touring together." However, it appears nothing happened in 2015 in terms of this collaboration.

In a Sep 2013 interview, Anderson was also asked about the collaboration and gave this somewhat contradictory answer:
Not at the moment. I spoke with Rick a couple weeks ago, and he’s getting ready for a tour next year [2014] [...] Journey to the Centre of the Earth, a big tour. But he actually said to me he had some new music he wanted to have ready in a couple weeks, and I said, “Please,” because we might as well continue writing together, because we respect and love each other very much.
A Nov 2013 interview had more: "We're working on a project, doing a couple of songs in the moment. He's doing a lot of orchestral work next year [2014] [...] We won't tour the next year [2014] together, but the year after [2015], I'm sure. We are always in touch." In a May 2012 interview, Anderson said, "Rick's working on some new music now. I'm not sure when he's going to finish the music but he's actually working on some new music for a new album". In his Jun 2011 GORR, Wakeman mentions that he and Anderson "have been exchanging music to work on for [...] the pair of us" (as well as material for the project with both of them and Rabin; see below). Asked in a Jun 2011 interview, Anderson said:

I think we’ll do another, or two, because we’re connected, we’re good friends.

To a similar question in a Nov2011 interview, Anderson said:

We are started writing in the new year [2012], we have a lot of new ideas to work on, and we enjoy each others music...so a new album should be coming...

And then a Mar 2012 article had this from Anderson:

We’re actually writing some new music next month. He sent a couple of things last week. We’re still creating, we’re still talking about touring later in the year or the beginning of next year [2013], so we’re in touch.

The Living Tree In Concert Part One (Gonzo) was taken from the band's 2010 UK tour. There had been talk of a 'Part Two' to be taken from the pair's 2011 US tour, but this never appeared. In the May 2012 interview, Anderson said:

we actually did Awaken on the last tour, so I’d love to find a good recording of that. I think we recorded about five shows, six shows, so I’ll be able to sift through and find Part Two later this year [2012].

Although discussing this in an Oct 2011 joint interview, Wakeman said (seemingly as an alternative to 'Part Two'):

Jon and I haven't really discussed this, as the live album from the UK tour has only just been released. Personally, the next thing I'd like to see from Jon and myself is a DVD; one that is put together from a special one-off show in a special venue. [...] I'm sure Jon and I will chat about it on the tour.

In a Feb 2011 interview, Wakeman had said about the tour:

We also recorded that tour live and that did come out extremely well [...] We wanted to film it but we felt it wasn’t ready to film. Visually it wasn’t ready to film. Musically, we’re happy with the duo show, but we’ll wait because if we’re going to do a DVD it’s got to be something a bit special, so we’re talking about that.

In a Sep 2011 interview, Wakeman said: "I never saw Jon Anderson and I working together as a replacement for the now "dead" dreams I had with the band Yes. What Jon and I do is totally stand alone." A joint Oct 2011 interview had this exchange:

Interviewer: you’re being billed as the “'Heart and Soul' of Prog giants YES.” How do you respond to this assessment? Does it imply that your contributions were more important than the other members’?

Anderson: No, not really. I think they say that to show how important we were to the band’s creative process.

Interviewer: What do the other members of Yes think about your collaboration? Has there been any response from anyone?

Anderson: I don't know what they think; we are not in touch anymore. That's life.

Jon Anderson & Trevor Rabin
Anderson and Trevor Rabin have been sporadically collaborating over the last several years beyond the ARW project. They were reportedly writing together in 2006. Anderson has mooted both the possibility of joining Rabin on some film work and of touring the YesWest catalogue. In a May 2008 article, he talked of him and Rabin "maybe touring some of that '80s-period music, because it was very special. [...] I wouldn't do it, like, Yes. I'd do it like me and Trevor aspiring to be the two of us making music and see what we come up with." The article describes Anderson as being "amenable to some sort of reunion of the Yes[West] lineup", although it is unclear whether Anderson indicated the involvement of any of Squire, White or Kaye. However, it appears this co-writing activity has since been directed to the project with Wakeman.

A Mar 2014 interview with Anderson said he had received an e-mail from Rabin on 11 Mar "because they were connecting with ideas and working on film scores."


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YES and projects with several Yesmen
Jon
Anderson
Chris
Squire
Steve
Howe
Alan
White
Geoff
Downes
Trevor
Horn
Tony
Kaye
Peter
Banks
Patrick
Moraz
Bill
Bruford
Rick
Wakeman
Trevor
Rabin
Billy
Sherwood
Igor Khoroshev
Oliver Wakeman

Benoît David
Jon Davison

Asia
CIRCA:
Anderson Rabin Wakeman
Others associated with the band

Any news, additions or corrections, please e-mail Henry Potts. Thanks.