"I still think I’m part of Yes": Jon Anderson teases the possibility of a reunion with former Yes bandmates Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman

Steve Howe, Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images | Scott Dudelson/Getty Images |Robin Little/Redferns)

Jon Anderson has suggested that he's open to the possibility of playing with his former Yes bandmates Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman once more.

Though it's been 20 years since Anderson last played a full gig with Howe, when Yes embarked on a 35th anniversary tour which ended in September 2004, Anderson tells MOJO magazine that the door is open for the guitarist should he and Wakeman, with whom he last performed in 2017, want to step onstage with him again.

“I was talking to [the singer's current backing band] The Band Geeks and said, Hopefully we can play in London and Steve will get up and do a couple of songs with us, maybe Rick too…” Anderson says. “It just means talking. When I’m out there singing on my own I still think I’m part of Yes. They still feel like my songs.”

Anderson, Wakeman and Howe last stood on the same stage when Yes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2017. Discussing the current state of his relationship with his former bandmates, Anderson says that he, Howe and Wakeman are “still friends but we’re not connected.” He also identifies a key moment when he realised that Yes would be moving forward without him.

“The first time I realised it wasn’t going to continue was when I discovered you could send MP3s on the computer,” he says. “So I e-mailed Steve and Chris [Squire, late Yes bassist, saying, Why don’t we send music to each other – we’re on the same planet? And they never replied.“

“Maybe they never got the e-mail,” he adds.

Last summer, talking to Classic Rock, Steve Howe suggested that reuniting with Anderson wasn't something he envisaged.

“It's something I'm absolutely resistant to, because I remember the fiasco of the Union tour,” he stated, referencing the notoriously difficult tour in support of 1991‘s Union album, which featured eight different past and current Yes members. “It was very, very difficult and out of control. Sometimes I might have thought, Well, one day maybe, and one never wants to say never, but basically I can’t see it.”

“I love Jon [Anderson],” he insisted. “I'm a lot older now, and so is he, and the only terms I work on is that I'm happy working on this. I'm not going to take a sudden load on my back that I either don't need or want. My music’s always guided me, and it’s not telling me to do those things.” 

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.