So… YES, one of my favorite bands of all time, are finally getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight.
They’re also frequently the butt of jokes for their numerous, tumultuous lineup changes. The one true real life Spinal Tap, I say. Today Rolling Stone released a short video chronicling, with good (snarky) humor but a bit of carelessness, these changes.
A friend shared this on Facebook, and of course tagged me. I enjoyed the video, but could not abide its omissions, so I went on a bit of a rant, which I share below, unedited.
I’m sorry… they glossed over some HUGE drama in the band between 1973 and 1979. Rick Wakeman left over “Tales from Topographic Oceans” which according to this video “SUCKS”. (It doesn’t suck; it’s just hard to get into an album that consists of four 20-minute songs.) Patrick Moraz came in and played on one album, then the band took a break and in 1975 each of them released a solo album (before KISS tried this stunt!), and in 1977 they came back together, but Moraz was out and Wakeman was back. They released one album which was their last really good album, followed by another that was — at the time — their worst. THEN you’re up to 1979 when the band was in the middle of recording an album that never got released, and Anderson and Wakeman left. (And that’s as far as I’ve watched so far… I’m sure I’ll have a Yes-grade epic rant about later errors and omissions too.)
And then, after I’d watched the rest…
Some more glossing over as it goes (like how the ’80s lineup got back together after Union fell apart and recorded one more album in 1994), but I am really glad they had the bit at the end about Anderson Rabin Wakeman and how they’re more Yes than the current Yes lineup, and now the guys from that hideous Union/Onion thing are coming back together (tonight!) for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. It’s all too much to take. My head used to spin over these lineup changes when I first got into the band in high school, and that was just before Union. It’s gotten so much crazier since then.
Oh, and they also didn’t even mention how Benoit David was kicked out in 2011 and replaced by ANOTHER Yes tribute band singer, Jon Davison. (Whose name always kills me… it’s like a mashup of Jon Anderson and Benoit David.)
And they ALSO didn’t mention the infamous Russian keyboardist Igor Khoroshev, who played with the band in the late ’90s until he got kicked out for molesting some fans.
And they ALSO ALSO didn’t mention Billy Sherwood, the guy who replaced Chris Squire on bass, who happened to have been one of those unnamed session musicians on Union and was for some reason added as a 6th member for a while in the late ’90s on guitar and keyboards (and yes, now he plays bass).
Then there’s Jay Schellen, who’s been playing drums with them recently because Alan White had back surgery, and Tom Breslin who briefly toured on keyboards in 2004-ish because the band didn’t have a keyboardist and had recorded an album with an orchestra.
Somewhere in the midst of those inane changes, the band recorded several albums that were worse than the one that came out in 1978, but up to that point, it was the worst.
OK, I’m done.
But I wasn’t done. One last thing was stuck in my craw. Trevor “Ray-BEEN”? That’s not how I’d ever imagined it was pronounced. I assumed it was “RAY-bin”. And, if the man himself is a trustworthy source, I’m right: