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Yes is a British progressive rock band, who were very succesful in the 1970s and 1980s.

Link with Zappa

Lead singer Jon Anderson is a Zappa fan. In an interview with Geeks of Doom from June 29, 2011 Anderson said: "I think Frank Zappa started [progressive rock] and there were other bands, you know, Vanilla Fudge, Buffalo Springfield, there was a lot of bands, [the] Beatles, who were doing progressive music. (...) When the ‘70s came it was all to do with the music because I was 26 when I started Yes and I thought I was too old to be a popstar for one thing. I didn’t think I looked like a popstar so I thought what I need to do is to do music that’s just different. I was listening to all sorts of classical music, you know, Stravinsky and I was reading Lord of the Rings and listening to jazz and Frank Zappa and Weather Report band, things like that. It just spurs you on that you’re part of a whole new energy of music." [1]

While being interviewed by Songfacts on April 11, 2013 Anderson talked about love songs: "I've been closer to it than Frank Zappa, who studiously avoided ever revealing any kind of of a heart-on-sleeve moment. Frank Zappa was worryingly, a writer who hid behind the mask of a comedic lyric. And, much as I love Frank Zappa and a lot of his work - and I mean no misrespect for him - I did feel it was a missing part of the jigsaw puzzle, that he just didn't ever go there. And I think it was because he was a little bit emotionally repressed in some way. He couldn't ever show that soft underbelly of his personality in his musical work. And I'm much more outgoing and more emotional than that. But still by the standards of most pop and rock music, I'm not that kind of a writer, really. I tend to be more observational. I, too, employ comedic elements in my music, but not, perhaps, in the same streetwise turn of Frank Zappa." [2]

Anderson said in an interview with Kike Posada, November 2013: "(...) I would listen to Frank Zappa— he didn't have many hit records, but his music was great. And that's what Yes was about. You know, we didn't have many hit records, but our music was great. [3]

In 2015 Jon Anderson recorded an album with Jean-Luc Ponty.

Another Zappa fan in the band is guitarist Steve Howe. In an interview by Nick DeRiso for Something Else! that his first band Tomorrow was very much influenced by Zappa: "(...) Frank Zappa was a kind of subtle influence on me, too. He had that madness going on with the Mothers of Invention, which Tomorrow absolutely loved. And then I met Frank Zappa in 1967, and he walked into this room and said: “I really like ‘Claramount Lake.’” It was a B-side to Tomorrow’s (1967) song “My White Bicycle.” There was certainly some of the psychedelia that we were into, but it was a drone-y, slightly jazz guitar solo. I loved Albert Lee, who was one of the main British inspirations that I could cite. And there was a bit of Albert Lee in there. I said to Frank Zappa: “How do you know about that?,” and he told me: “No, that’s a really good guitar solo.” Having somebody like him say that made me think: “I must be doing something right here. Frank likes ‘Claramount Lake!’” I wanted to bring in some fresh and subtle sounds with Yes, sounds that were more celestial. Obviously, what I was really fighting — this is quite interesting — was the incessant influence of electric blues guitar in rock ‘n’ roll. I love Eric Clapton, but that was my main goal. I was going to come in here and do something that had nothing to do with that whatsoever." [4]

The performance of "Bamboozled By Love" at Zappa's December 1, 1984 show at the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg, FL quoted "Owner of a Lonely Heart".


External links