B Y M I K E M E T T L E R
Genuine chemistry among artists cannot be faked—it either is there or it isn’t. No amount of studio chicanery or production mixing magic matches the flow between gifted musicians instinctively engaged with one another.
This rare quality became mutually apparent to singer Jon Anderson, guitarist/vocalist Trevor Rabin and keyboardist Rick Wakeman during Yes’s 1991–’92 Union tour. All three served in the seminal progressive group’s lineup before and since but never worked together exclusively, until now. Joining forces as ARW to tour the U.S. in October–November and Europe next March, the troika will play Yes favorites plus new material, assisted onstage by bassist Lee Pomeroy, drummer Louis Molino III and multi-instrumentalist Gary Cambra.
The project dates back to early 2010 when Wakeman expressed desire to form a supergroup including Anderson, Rabin and former Yes drummer Bill Bruford. Bruford denied any involvement but the others proceeded as schedules allowed, initially swapping ideas for new tracks in 2011.
“We’d been talking about it on and off for years,” reports Anderson. “This past Christmas, Rick’s manager, Brian Lane [who also once managed Yes], got in touch with Trevor and me and said, ‘Come on, guys—do you want to do this?’ We both said, ‘Yeah!’ We’ve got a general understanding of what we want to do musically and like another adventure, here it is.”
Says Wakeman, “I always have wanted to do a proper live tour with Trevor. I did three duo tours with Jon over the last eight years, one in America and two in the U.K. We kept saying the next step was to do some Yes music and have Trevor in on it with us. We spoke to Trev and he loved the idea.”
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ILLUSTRATION BY JEAN RUDEGEAIR