Steve Howe on possible classic-era Yes reunion: It’s completely unthinkable

Steve Howe
Steve Howe (Image credit: Joseph Branston/Guitarist Magazine)

Steve Howe has once again ruled out the possibility of reuniting with the surviving members of Yes' classic-era lineup, calling the idea “completely unthinkable.”

The guitarist was in conversation with Rolling Stone when he referenced the Yes Union album and tour, and poured cold water on the idea of a return to those days.

He said: “I don’t think fans should stay up late at night worrying about that. There’s just too much space out there between people. To be in a band together or even to do another tour like Union is completely unthinkable.

“It was difficult when we went through that, particularly because of the personalities. I’m not saying any one person is to blame, but when you get a big hodgepodge like that together, it’s pretty much a nightmare. 

“We made a nightmare of possibly a good thing back in 1990. I don’t think there is the stamina or the appetite for that kind of thing again.”

In 2017, before he, Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Alan White and Trevor Rabin reunited for their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, where they played Roundabout with Rush’s Geddy Lee in place of the late Chris Squire, Howe said fans shouldn’t expect any more from them, adding: “I’d say don’t hold your breath.”

Back in March, Howe spoke with Classic Rock magazine about his career and his relationship with Anderson.

He said: “Stimulus, agreement and like-mindedness most definitely fluctuated continually. But it was never impossible to work together. But it wasn’t as dream-like as the 70s.

"Jon and I get on really well now. We have the history and the friendship. But it’s probably better that we don’t attempt to work all the time together – because of this and that. But nobody knows what the future holds.”

Yes will return to the road in 2021 for their rescheduled Album Series tour which will see Howe, White, Geoff Downes, Billy Sherwood and Jon Davison play Relayer in full along with a selection of other classic tracks.

Yes The Album Series Relayer 2021 UK tour
May 16: Manchester Bridgewater Hall, UK
May 17: Birmingham Symphony Hall, UK
May 19: York Barbican, UK
May 20: Gateshead Sage, UK
May 22: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, UK
May 23: Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, UK
May 24: London Royal Albert Hall, UK
May 28: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, UK

Yes The Album Series Relayer 2021 European tour
Apr 11: Lisbon Campo Pequeno, Portugal
Apr 12: Madrid Sala Riviera, Spain
Apr 13: Barcelona Razzmatazz, Spain
Apr 15: Padova Gran Teatro Geox, Italy
Apr 16: Milan Teatro Dal Verme, Italy
Apr 17: Rome Teatro della Conciliazione, Italy
Apr 19: Zurich Volkhaus, Switzerland
Apr 20: Vienna Arena, Austria
Apr 21: Berlin Admiralspalast, Germany
Apr 23: Halle (Saale) Steintor-Varieté, Germany
Apr 24: Prague Forum Karlín, Czech Republic
Apr 25: Wroclaw Narodow Forum Muzyki, Poland
Apr 27: Wroclaw Stodola, Poland
Apr 30: Tallinn Alexela Concert Hall, Estonia
May 01: Helsinki The Circus, Finland
May 03: Stockholm Cirkus, Sweden
May 04: Oslo Sentrum Scene, Norway
May 05: Aarhus Train, Denmark
May 07: Helsingor Kulturværftet, Denmark
May 08: Monchengladbach Red Box, Germany
May 09: Esch-sur-Alzette Rockhal, Luxembourg
May 11: Paris Salle Pleyel, France
May 12: Leuven Het Depot, Belgium
May 13: Utrecht TivoliVredenburg, Netherlands

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.