Jon Anderson (pictured), Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman are playing from the Yes catalog at the Masonic. (Courtesy Dan Higgins)

Yes songs live on with Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman

Although he is no longer technically in Yes — the prog-rock ensemble he founded in 1968 – vocalist Jon Anderson is still on the road, playing its cinematic catalog with ARW, the new spinoff trio he formed with other ex-members, guitarist Trevor Rabin and keyboardist Rick Wakeman. Fans still clamor to hear classics like “Roundabout.” “But we usually do it as an encore, and it’s still a lot of fun to sing that song,” he says. “And we do ‘Awaken’ on this tour, and it grows, because we’ve added a couple of parts to it and developed it here and there. So it’s all just a magical event for me, and the audience really digs it.”

In one 2000s incarnation of Yes that you returned to front, you and Wakeman traveled together in a separate car. Why do you two get along so well?

Well, he never stops talking, and everything he talks about is so damn funny. His life has been incredible, and he does a lot of standup in England. So the things he comes out with are just absolute chaos – it’s amazing. And I think the best one I ever heard was, “Jon Anderson — he’s the only guy I know of who’s trying to save this planet while living on another one.”

You’ll have to work a lot harder to save the environment once Sarah Palin gets her official hands on it.

Oh, my God. But I’m very positive. I think that it’s going to be an extraordinary time. … 2017 is the year of bliss, so everything’s going to happen, and it’s going to be extraordinary on many levels. You can’t live the doom and gloom life — you’ve got to live a very positive life. Once Trump gets going, whatever he’s doing, it isn’t going to be what he expects. And it won’t be what we expect.

You’ve always aimed high. You even planned a Marc Chagall concept album at one point. What motivates you?

Well, I never give up. I’ve finished it, the (Chagall) album, and I’ve done all the work on staging and everything. So it’s only a question of time when things happen. So I’ve never given up on that, and I’ve written three or four more projects that I’m working on. It’s a slow process.

And the long-awaited sequel to your first solo disc, “Olias of Sunhillow”?

Again, it’s a slow process. I’m five hours into it, with 20 different permutations. And when I first started it 10 years ago, I came up to San Francisco and spent time with a really incredible virtual reality guy. So it’s not just an album — it’s going to be an event. And it’s going to take some time before it’s heard or seen.

IF YOU GO
Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman
An Evening of YES Music & More
Where: Masonic, 1111 California St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Nov. 25
Tickets: $35
Contact: (877) 598-8497, www.livenation.com
ARWJon AndersonOlias of SunshillowRick WakemanRoundaboutTrevor RabinYes

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A lab worker from the Medical Examiner’s Office was arrested with an evidence bag of methamphetamine in August. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Audit over lab worker meth arrest finds medical examiner is missing drugs

An audit of the Medical Examiner’s Office prompted by the arrest of… Continue reading

City officials argue that the dominance of a few third-party delivery services gives them disproportionate leverage against restaurants. (Courtesy photo)
Cap on food delivery app fees may remain until indoor dining allowed at full capacity

Proposal seen as financial relief for restaurants struggling in pandemic

The City is seeking to enhance health care for San Francisco International Airport workers, which include more than 100 who have tested positive for COVID-19. <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>
Airlines, business groups fight new health insurance requirements for SFO workers

Heathy Airport Ordinance would require companies to offer family coverage or increase contributions

The Hall of Justice building at 850 Bryant St. is notorious for sewage leaks and is known to be seismically unsafe. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD speeding up Hall of Justice exit after another ‘large leak’

San Francisco police can’t get out of the decrepit Hall of Justice… Continue reading

The main entrance to Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Voting rights of seniors, disabled must be protected

Coronavirus pandemic adds new challenges for accessing the polls

Most Read