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Are Ex-Yes Members Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman and Trevor Rabin Touring Together in 2016?

Matt Roberts / Danny E. Martindale / Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
Matt Roberts / Danny E. Martindale / Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Years of frequent turnover in the band’s ranks has made keeping track of who’s in or out of Yes at any given moment an occasionally daunting task for fans, but it also has its perks. For instance, there’s a virtually endless list of potential new bands that could be assembled out of ex-Yes members — like the one that seems to still be brewing between Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman and Trevor Rabin.

The trio’s collaboration was first reported in 2010, but Anderson admitted it had been placed on the back burner a couple of years later, saying they “found it hard to collectively get together” but insisting, “Eventually, it will happen. You keep the door open and hope that it will happen.” With Rabin focused on film work, Wakeman continuing to pursue a solo career and Anderson exploring a few musical avenues, including a collaboration with Jean-Luc Ponty, hopes for the project dimmed.

On Jan. 9, however, Rabin told Twitter followers that he’d once again been working with Anderson and Wakeman — and although he refrained from saying much, he did reveal they’re putting together plans for a tour.

Anderson offered a little more detail with a Facebook post about upcoming projects. “At last I will start singing with Trevor and Rick later in the year as ARW,” he wrote. “We have been writing some unique songs together, and feel it is time to go out together and perform onstage … all very exciting … and so many other treats to come, lots of new music is on its way.”

Wakeman, meanwhile, seemed to hint at some sort of collaborative effort in the pipeline while writing his December newsletter. “There is one plan in particular that may well get announced in the next few days, but it is not for me alone to announce,” he teased. “But as soon as it can be told, it will be and I will elaborate on the website accordingly … now that’s got you thinking I’m sure!”

Whenever and in whatever form it surfaces, the project will unite three crucial components from the band’s checkered past. Anderson co-founded Yes and served as its lead singer for the majority of its existence before departing in 2008, and Wakeman served several stints in the lineup between 1971-2004; Rabin arrived later in the band’s existence, but helped reshape their sound for a sorely needed commercial resurgence in the ’80s.

The project seems to have the bemused blessing of at least one current member of Yes: keyboard player Geoff Downes, who’s been doing double duty in Yes and Asia since starting his second tour of duty in 2010. Asked whether he’d heard about Anderson, Wakeman and Rabin working together, he joked that if they added Ponty to the lineup, they’d have an interesting acronym for a potential name.

See Yes and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the ’70s

Next: Top 10 Yes Songs of the 70s

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