Are Yes’ ever-shifting lineups hurting its Hall of Fame chances?: ‘It would have to be with everybody’

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Does Yes’ apparent inability to earn induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have something to do with how many members have passed through its lineup over the years? Stalwart Chris Squire thinks that just might be it.

Squire, the only original member to have appeared in the prog-rock group’s many incarnations, says he doesn’t pretend to understand what goes into the evaluation process. But he has made it clear that, if Yes ever goes in, all former members will share in the honor, as well.

That would make for a very crowded ceremony dais: Besides Squire, Yes has had some 17 other regular contributors.

That includes six main keyboardists: Geoff Downes (1980-81 and since 2011); Tony Kaye (1968-71; 1982-94); Rick Wakeman (five different stints between 1971-2004); Patrick Moraz (1974-76); Igor Khoroshev (1997-2000); and Oliver Wakeman (2008-11).

There have been four principal vocalists, too: Jon Davison (since 2012); Jon Anderson (1968-80, 1983-2004); Trevor Horn (1980-81); and Benoit David (2008-12). Also, four guitarists: Steve Howe (off and on since 1970); Peter Banks (1968-70); Trevor Rabin (1982-94); and Billy Sherwood (1989-2000). Then, finally, three drummers: Alan White (since 1972); Bill Bruford (1968-72, 1990-92); and Tony O’Reilly (1968).

In a new talk with Brian Perry of Vintage Rock, Squire says he’d love to hear what became of that kind of all-inclusive on-stage reunion. The closest Yes has come was during the a tour in support of 1991’s Union, which included Anderson, Howe, Rabin, Kaye, Wakeman, Squire, White and Bruford.

Squire wonders, though, if insisting on honoring them all is hurting Yes’ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame chances.

“It may be a problem because of the amount of members who have been in Yes. I’ve always said that if they do ever get around to putting us in there, it would have to be with everybody who’s ever been with the band, to be fair. And that’s a lot of people,” Squire tells Perry. “Yeah, it would be fascinating; it could be a good jam.”

Squire says he recognizes that prog rock has started to get his due, with the recent inclusion of both Genesis and Rush. But, ultimately, he can’t get too caught up in whether or not Yes one day joins the ranks.

“It’s nothing that we stress over at all,” Squire adds. “There’s just some weird relationship they have with Yes. I can’t explain all the peculiarities. I’m not losing sleep over it.”

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  • To me, this was Yes:

    Jon anderson
    Chris Squire
    Tony Kaye/Rick Wakeman
    Steve Howe
    Bill Bruford/Alan White

    All of their classic albums were made with these guys. Any other lineup is just a tribute band.

    I saw these guys once. It was during the Close to the Edge tour. All I can say about that night is WOW!

    They are not in the rock hall for the same reason as many others aren’t: Jann Wenner doesn’t want them in.

  • Rob

    I agree with Charlie. Those would be the core members from days of yore. I love what Chris Squire said about “the jam,” but it isn’t realistic.

    In somewhat related decisions… Bruce Springsteen is in the Rock Hall, but the E Street Band is not. It’s not a topic that sits well with artists like Max Weinberg. Why the disconnect? Because the timeframe chosen by the Rock Hall nomination committee chose the album where Bruce was essentially known as a solo act. The E Street band existed, but was not credited holistically with Bruce as it is today.

    It is a different situation with Yes, but the outcome could be similarly complex. Yes rotated so much talent through the ranks over the years and it’s likely that the Rock Hall is indeed considering “The E Street Band” dilemma, where artists are likely going to be cut out of the mix. There’s also the 25-year minimum to be even considered for nomination status.

    I agree, Yes should be in the Rock Hall. I also agree that Charlie has the best, albeit not perfect, answer for the board to consider.