The keyboard legend has today reversed course and now says he will attend the induction with his Yes colleagues
By Dan Wooding, Founder of the ASSIST News Service
CLEVELAND, OHIO (ANS – January 5, 2017) – Fans of Yes, the British progressive rock supergroup, were rejoicing today after keyboard legend, Rick Wakeman, announced that he has reversed course and will now be attending Yes’ induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Class of 2017.
In a statement posted on his official website (www.rwcc.com), Wakeman announced, “I am very pleased to announce that as the Hall of Fame have now agreed to present Chris Squire’s wife with a posthumous award acknowledging his massive contribution to YES, [and] I have agreed to attend the Induction ceremony in New York to both stand proudly with my fellow band mates Jon [Anderson] and Trevor [Rabin], and also to watch Chris’s wife Scottie collect this well-deserved award on his behalf.”
Rick went onto say, “I also hope that this move to acknowledge members of bands who sadly did not live to receive their own honor, means they can get them posthumously in the future.”
Rick Wakeman, considered by many (including myself) to be the world’s greatest rock keyboardist, had previously voiced his annoyance that it took so long for Yes to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The band has been eligible since 1994.
Rick had stated, “I find it hard to come to terms with the fact that so many bands are inducted into the Hall of Fame too late in their careers after key members have passed away. Classic examples are the Who and John Entwistle, Deep Purple and Jon Lord and now Yes and there will be no Chris Squire.”
Chris Squire, who co-founded Yes along with singer, Jon Anderson, passed away in June of 2015 after battling acute erythroid leukemia.
It has been a long wait for Yes to get this recognition — almost 50 years — but now they are finally to be inducted into the Class of 2017, and will be delighted that Wakeman will be joining them.
The induction of Yes, which follows two previous nominations, will occur one year shy of the legendary progressive rock band’s 50th anniversary. The 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame “Performer Inductees” were chosen by more than 900 voters, as well as the aggregate results of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s online fan vote.
When the news was originally announced, some of the present and past members of the group, gave their reactions.
Guitarist Steve Howe told the official Yes website (http://yesworld.com), “What an honor this is for us and all involved with the history of this band. We thank all the Yes fans who have been so passionate over the decades, and helped us to keep the flag flying. It is the fans who have constantly demanded our inclusion. They have been heard.”
Drummer, Alan White, added, “We look forward to accepting this esteemed award next spring in honor of our fallen brother, Chris Squire, who would have been delighted to see his musical vision finally receive such recognition. We thank everyone who voted for YES. We’ll see you soon, Cleveland!”
The members of Yes, who will officially be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are the “UNION” tour line-up: current members White and Howe, the band’s late bassist and founding member Chris Squire, and former members Jon Anderson (vocals), Bill Bruford (drums), Tony Kaye (keyboards), Rick Wakeman (keyboards) and Trevor Rabin (guitar).
Bruford said, “Yes was like my first girlfriend, to whom I was hopelessly committed. Despite a couple of wrinkles, I’m glad to hear the old girl is in fine shape.”
Kaye confirms, “I am honored to be included in Yes’ induction. I am delighted for my friends in the band, and I salute Chris, without whom it would never have happened. Chris would have been so very proud.”
In addition to Steve Howe and Alan White, Yes’ current line-up includes Geoff Downes (keyboards; first joined in 1980), Jon Davison (vocals since 2011) and Billy Sherwood (guitar/keyboards in the 1990s0 and Chris Squire’s choice to take over bass/vocals in 2015).
Grammy-award winning recording artists Yes have created some of the most important and influential music in rock history, such as iconic pieces “Roundabout,” “Close to the Edge,” “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” “Starship Trooper,” and countless others. Its albums, including “Fragile”, “Close to the Edge”, “Tales from Topographic Oceans”, “Relayer”, “Going For the One” and “90125”, have been certified multi-platinum, double-platinum, platinum, and more by the RIAA, and have sold over 50 million records total in its career that has so far spanned almost five decades. Among the world’s most influential, ground-breaking, and respected progressive rock bands, Yes continues creating masterful music that inspires musicians, fans and music lovers around the world.
The official Rock & Roll Hall Hall of Fame Class of 2017 inductees roster is:
* Joan Baez
* Electric Light Orchestra
* Pearl Jam
* Tupac Shakur
Award for Musical Excellence:
* Nile Rodgers
The 32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Klipsch Audio, will take place on Friday, April 7, 2017 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York for the third time. Ticket on-sale dates will be announced in January. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2017 Induction Ceremony will again have its television premiere on HBO, and a radio broadcast on SiriusXM. Broadcast details will be announced soon.
A note from Dan Wooding I have had the joy of knowing my Christian friend, Rick Wakeman for a half-a-century and wrote the very first story about him, and later went on to write his official biography, which has been re-released under the title, “Caped Crusader Rick Wakeman in the 1970s” (Gonzo Multimedia), with a foreword by Sir Elton John. So you will understand the headline, one of Rick Wakeman’s greatest hit albums was “Journey to the Centre of the Earth.” I met up with him again in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, when he nearing the end of a tour of America with ARW (Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman), along with other musicians, who were playing many of the Yes hits for sold-out shows. I also interviewed Rick for my “Front Page Radio” show, which you can hear by going to http://oldassistnews.net/frontpageradiofiles/RickWakemanFPR20161211Mono.mp3 and also for my TV show “Inside Hollywood” which you can see at http://hsbn.tv/_demand/[inside-hollywood]%20011.html .
Photo captions: 1) A composite picture of the classic Yes. (http://yesworld.com). 2) The Yes lineup for their hugely successful “UNION” tour. 3) Rick Wakeman playing recently with Brian May of Queen. 4) Dan and Norma Wooding with singer, Jon Anderson, after the ARW show in Anaheim, California. 5) Rick joking around with Dan after the LA interview.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 76, is an award-winning journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 53 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder of the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and he hosts a weekly radio show and two TV shows, all based in in Southern California. Dan also is the author or co-author of some 45 books, including Rick Wakeman’s official biography.
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