Benoit David says he was informed of his ouster from Yes through news reports

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At first, Benoit David says he was simply taking some time off from Yes’ ongoing tour to recover from throat problems. Then, David found out — just like we all did — that he had been let go, after reading about it.

That’s the bombshell revelation found in a new statement from the ousted Canadian singer, who’d fronted Yes through one studio release and a live album since 2008.

When first told of a doctor’s recommendation that he temporarily halt performing, David said “the band members were all very understanding and asked if I would mind being replaced for the April shows. I immediately agreed that this would be the best way forward and gave them my blessing.”

Yes then announced that Jon Davison, lead singer of the Yes-influenced American prog-rock band Glass Hammer, would step in — indicating at first, both on the band’s Facebook page and in a posting from Geoff Downes, that the move was simply to fulfill forthcoming dates in New Zealand, Australia and Japan.

Then, came a news report with Chris Squire in which he confirmed David’s tenure was over. That was news to Benoit David: “I subsequently learnt,” David says in the statement, “from a band member’s interview, that I had officially left Yes and that my departure was permanent.”

Yet, David remains both upbeat and thankful, despite the abrupt nature of his dismissal — one that eerily mirrors that of his predecessor, Yes co-founder Jon Anderson.

“Everyone should know that I will be eternally grateful for the opportunity I was given and very proud to have contributed to more than 200 concerts and to the Fly From Here and In The Present: Live From Lyon albums,” David said. “I would also like to express my appreciation for the support I was given by each member of the band, the fantastic crew, the management and everyone else involved during my time as vocalist in the band. Finally, to the fans who have applauded my efforts and to those I have had the pleasure of meeting – many thanks, my best wishes and please continue with your support of one of the world’s greatest bands – YES.”

After some time away to heal, David said he intends to continue in music. In between legs on the ongoing Yes tour, he added vocals last summer to a forthcoming album from Mystery, to be called The World is a Game. That’s Benoit David’s third collaboration with Michel St-Pere’s group, following 2007’s Beneath the Veil of Winter’s Face and 2010’s One Among The Living.

“So I guess I will, hopefully, see you somewhere down the road …” David says, signing off.

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