Although he has said many times that it was "unlikely," keyboardist Rick Wakeman has once again rejoined classic progressive rock act Yes, and will be with the band on its summer North American tour.
Although he has said many times that it was "unlikely," keyboardist Rick Wakeman has once again rejoined classic progressive rock act Yes, and will be with the band on its summer North American tour. "It's true that I have said in many interviews that I thought it unlikely to happen," Wakeman says on his official Web site, "but I also said that I would never say never, (although I'm sure somebody is bound to find an interview somewhere where I said 'never')!"
Wakeman, who has been in and out of the Yes lineup many times over the last 33 years, last exited the group in the mid-1990s to concentrate on his solo career. "We are very excited to have Rick joining us on this tour," bassist Chris Squire said in a statement. "It's been something the fans have wanted to see for quite some time, and we are happy to be playing with him again."
What is being called the "classic" Yes lineup -- vocalist Jon Anderson, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, Squire, and Wakeman -- will kick off its North American tour July 17 in Seattle and wrap Aug. 23 in Los Angeles.
An exclusive Internet presale will begin Thursday (May 16) at 10 a.m. ET at windowsmedia.com. Along with the opportunity to purchase tickets before they go onsale to the general public, the site also features rare Yes audio and video clips.
The group will be touring in support of its forthcoming Rhino/Elektra box set, "In a Word: Yes (1969-)." Due July 16, the five-disc, 55-track set boasts material from the band's entire career, as well as an 80-page booklet with rare photos and essays.
The booklet will also feature quotes from a host of notables, including writer/director Cameron Crowe ("Almost Famous," "Singles"), Phish drummer Jon Fishman, Primus bandleader/bassist Les Claypool, Kings X bassist Doug Pinnick, and Tool drummer Danny Carey. Artwork for the box was contributed by Roger Dean, who has in the past created the intricate murals on many of the band's classic albums.
"Tango," "Never Done Before," and "Richard" are among six previously unreleased tracks included on "In a Word." Others are "Backing Track 2," recorded in 1979 in London by Howe, Squire, and White, and "Fist of Fire," an alternate take from the 1989 sessions that produced the album "Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe" -- which is not an official Yes album. Rounding out the previously unreleased tracks is "Last Train," an outtake from the sessions that produced last year's Beyond release, "Magnification."
In addition to the box, a DVD Audio version of "Magnification" is due out June 6, while a similar treatment will be given to the band's 1972 Atlantic Records classic, "Fragile." The latter nine-track set was the band's fourth studio release and featured two of its most enduring songs -- album opener "Roundabout" and "Long Distance Runaround." The album peaked at No. 4 on The Billboard 200, and has been certified double-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for U.S. shipments of 2 million copies.
Here are Yes' summer tour dates:
July 17: Seattle (Paramount Theatre)
July 19: Kelseyville, Calif. (Konocti Resort)
July 20: Mountain View, Calif. (Shoreline Amphitheatre)
July 22: Denver (City Lights Pavilion)
July 23: Kansas City, Mo. (Sandstone Amphitheatre)
July 25: St. Louis, Mo. (UMB Bank Pavilion)
July 26: Chicago (Chicago Theatre)
July 27: Detroit (Fox Theatre)
July 29: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (Blossom Music Center)
July 31: Toronto (Molson Amphitheatre)
Aug. 2: Mansfield, Mass. (Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts)
Aug. 3: Wantagh, N.Y. (Jones Beach)
Aug. 5: New York (Radio City Music Hall)
Aug. 6: Holmdel, N.J. (PNC Bank Arts Center)
Aug. 8: Camden, N.J. (Tweeter Center)
Aug. 9: Columbia, Md. (Merriweather Post Pavilion)
Aug. 11: West Palm Beach, Fla. (Mars Music Amphitheatre)
Aug. 13: Atlanta (Hi Fi Buys Amphitheatre)
Aug. 15: Houston (CW Mitchell Pavilion)
Aug. 16: Austin, Texas (the Backyard)
Aug. 17: Dallas (Smirnoff Music Centre)
Aug. 23: Los Angeles (Universal Amphitheatre)