“The very first time I heard Roundabout by Yes it had that nylon guitar string thing going on and I was like, ‘Wow!’ Here was a band that sounded so different but were still doing something in a rock format. So I went out and bought Fragile and it has Roundabout and Mood For A Day on it. All of these different styles in the context of a psychedelic rock band. I fell in love with them and devoured all their stuff. I got into other progressive rock guitarists like Robert Fripp, and they were good, but Yes just seemed to encapsulate all these different styles.
"I’ve seen them live a dozen times. First time was back in 1974, when I was 14, on the Tales From Topographic Oceans tour at Madison Square Garden. It was incredible. They were so far ahead of other bands. I also remember seeing ELP and, like Yes, they made me go, ‘Oh man, that’s what I want to do!’
"When the line-ups changed, when Jon [Anderson] and Rick [Wakeman] left and The Buggles guys came in for Drama and then the 90125 era, it was whole different thing. I saw Yes on the Tormato tour and recall thinking it was getting a bit stale but I’d already moved on to bands like XTC and Siouxsie & The Banshees by then. When they reinvented themselves, it was phenomenal. I don’t look at them in the same way, but what an incredible thing to have done, to keep it all going the way the band have. I saw them on a few dates with Trevor [Rabin] and they were great.
"I became quite friendly with Chris [Squire]. We recorded together, did a couple of things. You know that expression, don’t meet your heroes? Chris was the exception to that. There’s been a few I’ve met who are definitely not like that; musicians who are not at all how they appear to be in their public persona. But Chris really was. He was a rock star, larger than life and gracious. He lived up to my expectations.
"You know that thing, whatever band you were into as a 14-year-old kid? You’re going to go to your grave loving the band.”