Jon Anderson on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snubs: 'They don't feel like Yes is important'

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Ask cofounding member Jon Anderson why Yes is not yet a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and you get a blunt answer: “It’s very simple,” Anderson says. “They don’t feel like Yes is important.”

Anderson, who split with his old bandmates in 2008 and has had his run-ins with them since, was a key element in creating the Yes sound — and thus, the sound of progressive rock. He says the genre has never gotten its due: “The people in charge didn’t like progressive music,” he tells The Hartford (Conn.) Advocate, “and they’ve stuck to their guns.”

With the notable exceptions of Genesis (a band that has long since left it progressive days behind) and Pink Floyd, none of the key representatives of the prog rock sound have been so honored — including Emerson Lake and Palmer, Jethro Tull, The Moody Blues, King Crimson, Procol Harem and Rush, among others. Fans of Yes and the Moody Blues have started online petitions recently, to no avail.

“Maybe in a few years time,” says Anderson, whose on-going solo tour continues tonight. “For me, I’ve never really invested too much into it. When it happens, it will happen …”

Here’s a look at our recent thoughts on Jon Anderson, along with his future concert dates. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: FORMER YES FRONTMAN JON ANDERSON: Anderson spoke about a broad range of topics – from key musical memories with Yes to the recuperative qualities of painting, and the role the Internet might play in reviving rock music’s long-dormant progressive spirit.

JON ANDERSON AND RICK WAKEMAN: THE LIVING TREE IN CONCERT: PART ONE (2011): Anyone expecting the cosmic prog-rock journeys of this duo’s work as members of Yes must have been a little disappointed — and not just with the spare instrumentation. More striking than the lean, guitar-free musical structures was how intimate, even grounded this concert performance was. If anything, though, this album speaks to both the individual trials and the shared will to overcome for both singer Jon Anderson and keyboardist Rick Wakeman. Each has had to grapple against some terrifying health problems, even as Yes continued on without them.

SOMETHING ELSE! PLAYLISTS: 2011 YES REMIX, WITH EXTRA TRACKS FROM JON ANDERSON, OTHERS: 2011 offered a wealth of delights for Yes fans, even beyond the main group’s well-received Fly From Here. Jon Anderson issued two projects, his terrific solo venture and a souvenir from his 2010 concert series with fellow Yes alum Rick Wakeman. Meanwhile, Billy Sherwood — a 1990s-era member of the group — issued both a new solo project and another Circa album with Tony Kaye, Yes’ pre-Wakeman keyboardist. The Levin Torn White trio album featured both Yes drummer Alan White and bassist Tony Levin, who has appeared on a pair of Yes-related releases. Taken together, it’s actually an embarrassment of riches for Yes fans — and something that led us to construct an all-encompassing iPod/Spotify/CD burner playlist in belated celebration.

JON ANDERSON – SURVIVAL AND OTHER STORIES (2011): Too often, it was like Anderson didn’t want to make a solo record that sounded too much like Yes. As interesting as these sideroads no doubt were, they gave few clues to how his own voice fit into the wider topography of the band. And they often were so idiosyncratic that only the deepest, more committed fans had the will to follow along. That is, until Survival and Other Stories, a rousing return to form that finds Anderson coming to terms with his own storied history, even as he transcends it.

ONE TRACK MIND: JON ANDERSON ON YES, VANGELIS AND SOLO SONGS: Anderson shares unique insights into some of his more memorable tracks, and a few deep cuts, as well. Go inside the creative process as Anderson and Co. complete the epic Side 1 opener to 1974’s Relayer. Get insights into working with Vangelis, and find out why Anderson made another pass at the closing track from 90125 for a solo project almost 10 years later. And, of course, there are the lasting mysteries of “Roundabout.”

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Jon Anderson’s continuing U.S. tour dates:

3/10/2012 – B.B. King Blues Club & Grill – New York, NY –
3/14/2012 – Infinity Hall – Norfolk, CT –
3/15/2012 – Wilbur Theatre – Boston, MA –
3/17/2012 – Narrows Center For The Arts – Fall River, MA –

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