Archive | October, 2014

YES LOG: A HAPPY 70TH BIRTHDAY TO A 1970S’ RENAISSANCE MAN – JON ANDERSON OF YES!!

24 Oct

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY – TO JON ANDERSON THE LYRICAL PRINCE OF PEYOTE !!

Let the (yes)festivities commence! The once influential vocalist and chief grand poobah lyricist of Yes turns 70 tomorrow!!

Jon Anderson – 70 years old.

Jeez, that’s a full two decades ahead of me, but only three years younger than my own natural parents.

I’m pressed for time today, so I’ll try to make this short and sweet.

Wikpedia sums up Jon Anderson’s history until he helped formed one of the most able-bodied group of musicians who have ever graced an arena-sized rock and roll stage.

John Roy “Jon” Anderson (born 25 October 1944) is an English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist musician best known as the former lead vocalist in the progressive rock band Yes. He is also an accomplished solo artist and has collaborated with Greek musician Vangelis and others.

Jon Anderson was born John Roy Anderson in Accrington, Lancashire, England, to Albert and Kathleen Anderson. His father was from Scotland and his mother was of Irish ancestry. Anderson dropped the “h” from his first name in 1970.

Anderson attended St. John’s Infants School in Accrington. There he made a tentative start to a musical career playing the washboard in “Little John’s Skiffle Group”, which played songs by Lonnie Donegan, among others. After leaving school at the age of fifteen he tried a series of jobs, including farm hand, lorry driver and milkman. He also tried to pursue a football career at Accrington Stanley F.C., but at 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m) tall he was turned down because of his frail constitution. He remains a fan of the club.

In 1962, Anderson joined The Warriors (also known as The Electric Warriors), where he and his brother Tony shared the role of lead vocalist. He quit this band in 1967, released two solo singles in 1968 under the pseudonym Hans Christian, One of which was a cover of The Association’s “Never My Love”. One of Anderson’s first producers at EMI was songwriter Paul Korda.

In March 1968, Anderson met bassist Chris Squire and joined him in a group called Mabel Greer’s Toyshop, which had previously included guitarist Peter Banks. Anderson fronted this band but ended up leaving again before the summer was over. He remarks on his website that his time with the band consisted of “too many drugs, not enough fun.”

Anderson, Squire and Banks went on to form Yes with drummer Bill Bruford and keyboardist Tony Kaye. Their debut album was released in 1969. Although the band had no formal leader, Anderson served as its main motivating force in the early days, doing most of the hustling for gigs and originating most of the songs. He also played a key part in initiating some of the band’s more ambitious artistic ideas, serving as the main instigator of a series of complex, epic Yes pieces including “Close to the Edge“, “Awaken” and especially the “musical version of War and Peace which later became “The Gates of Delirium” on the Relayer album., as well as bringing in the yogic philosophy behind Tales from Topographic Oceans. Despite his own initial lack of instrumental skills, Anderson was strongly involved in the selection of successive Yes members chosen for their musicality – guitarist Steve Howe (who replaced Banks in 1970), Kaye’s successive replacements Rick Wakeman and Patrick Moraz, and drummer Alan White (who replaced Bruford when the latter departed for King Crimson in 1972).

Ambitious and stubborn (he was sometimes referred to as “the hippy with the iron hand”) Anderson was also fond of sonic and psychological creative experiments, and in so doing contributed to occasionally conflicted relationships within the band and with management. One celebrated example of Anderson’s approach was his original desire to record Tales from Topographic Oceans in the middle of the woods: instead, when the band opted to use a standard recording studio Anderson decided to arrange hay and animal cut-outs all over the floor to create atmosphere. In another “Tales” incident, Anderson had tiles installed in the studio to simulate the echo effect of one’s vocals in a bathroom.

Anderson stayed with Yes until a “bitter dispute” in 1979., following which he went solo for four years. Although he did not appear on the band’s 1980 album Drama, he rejoined a reformed and restructured Yes in 1983, singing on their most commercially successful album 90125 and its follow-up Big Generator. Anderson ultimately felt sidelined by the band’s more pop-oriented 1980s approach (creatively dominated by then-guitarist Trevor Rabin, and aimed at major commercial success and mainstream radio play). He left the band again in 1988, and teamed up with other former Yes members in 1989 to form the group Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe (ABWH) (augmented by bassist Tony Levin, who had played with drummer Bruford in King Crimson.

After the successful first ABWH album, a series of business deals caused ABWH to reunite with the then-current members of Yes, who had been out of the public eye while searching for a new lead singer. The resulting eight-man band assumed the name Yes, and the album Union (1991) was assembled from various pieces of an in-progress second ABWH album, as well as recordings that the “Yes proper” band had been working on without Anderson. A successful tour followed, but the eight-man line-up of Yes never recorded a complete album together before splintering in 1992: Anderson remained in the next version of the band, which reunited the 90125 lineup. Many more personnel changes (including assorted full or partial reunions) followed, all of which featured Anderson until 2004, when health issues began to impact on his ability to play live. A Yes tour planned for summer 2008 was cancelled when Anderson suffered acute respiratory failure, precipitating his replacement within the band by Benoît David, the lead vocalist in Yes tribute act Close to the Edge. (and, subsequently, by Glass Hammer vocalist Jon Davison).

It is a commonly held misconception that Anderson sings falsetto, a vocal technique which artificially produces high, airy notes by using only the ligamentous edges of the vocal cords; however, this is not the case. Anderson’s normal singing/speaking voice is naturally above the tenor range. In a 2008 interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Anderson stated, “I’m an alto tenor and I can sing certain high notes, but I could never sing falsetto, so I go and hit them high.”[10] He is also noted for singing in his original Lancashire accent.

Anderson is also responsible for most of the mystically themed lyrics and concepts which are part of many Yes releases. These have occasionally alienated some members of the band (most notably drummer Bill Bruford and keyboardist Rick Wakeman), contributing to their leaving the group. The lyrics are frequently inspired by various books Anderson has enjoyed, from Tolstoy‘s War and Peace to Hermann Hesse‘s Siddhartha, and Carlos Castaneda. A footnote in Paramahansa Yogananda‘s Autobiography of a Yogi inspired an entire double album Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973). Recurring themes include environmentalism, pacifism and sun worship.

I can’t really sum up the crux of his career better than that.

In addition to the above-mentioned Vangelis, (of which they recorded four studio albums together), Jon has also worked with Kitaro, King Crimson, Iron Butterfly, Toto, Glass Hammer, Mike Oldfield, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and the Paul Green School of Rock, amongst a host of others.

Jon also has children who are sometimes involved with his music activities, they are his son, Damian (born 1972) daughters, Deborah (born 1970, who’s also a famous magazine photographer), and Jade (born 1980). His second wife Jane Luttenberger has assisted Jon on a couple of music projects (including one recorded entirely in a San Luis Obispo area Irish pub).

He has been an US citizen now since 2009. He moved to the Los Angeles area at the time when 90125 was released, (1983? 1984? working heavily with guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Trevor Rabin on its’ follow up Big Generator and recorded a solo album, In The City of Angels with several members of Toto guest starring on the project.

Currently, Jon is involved with ex-Yes members Rick Wakeman and Trevor Rabin, cobbling a new project together and recently started a Kickstarter campaign to fund his new project with jazz fusion violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, which goes a little like this on Wikipedia:

“On 25 July 2014, Jon announced the formation of a new ensemble, the Anderson Ponty Band, with French virtuoso violinist and jazz composer Jean-Luc Ponty and the recording of an album. The Anderson Ponty Band also includes Jamie Dunlap on guitars, Wally Minko on keyboards, Baron Browne on bass and Rayford Griffin on drums & percussion.

The band will visit the music created by Jon Anderson and Jean-Luc Ponty over the years with new arrangements while creating new compositions as well. The Anderson Ponty Band have been writing and arranging old favorites during the past three months May, June and July 2014. They will be in residence for three weeks in September 2014 at Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Colorado rehearsing, recording and playing a public performance on Saturday 20 September 2014. An album will be finished in Los Angeles and is yet scheduled for release in early 2015. Also, a videography documenting the making of the album will be released as well as videos of performances. A world tour beginning in March 2015 is in the planning stages.”

I’ve met Jon Anderson personally on three occasions – 1994 at his appearance at the YesFestival in Glendale. A 1997 store signing at the Tower Records in Glendale for the Open Your Eyes album, and a 2004 store signing and performance at the Tower Records in Sherman Oaks Galleria for the release of the The Ultimate Yes collection and Yesspeak DVD with my recently deceased best friend Harry Perzigian.

I’ve only had the occasion to hear Jon perform solo at three shows – two for his Animation tour in 1982 at the New York Palladium and Asbury Park Convention Center in New Jersey, and at one time at the Roxy Theater in 2008.

My favorite five solo albums of Jon are:

 

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1. Olias of Sunhillow 1976

Olias of Sunhillow is a progressive rock concept album which tells the story of an alien race and their journey to a new world (the story printed in the LP jacket calls it “the earth”, lowercase ‘e’) due to a volcanic catastrophe. Olias, the title character, is the chosen architect of the glider Moorglade Mover, which will be used to fly his people to their new home. Ranyart is the navigator for the glider, and Qoquaq (pronounced ‘ko-quake’) is the leader who unites the four tribes of Sunhillow to partake in the exodus.

The album represented 8 months of physical work, but it took two years from conception to release. Anderson used more than a hundred tracks in putting the album together, overdubbing strings, organ, harp and percussion (see complete list of instruments further down).

Since Anderson produced Olias soon after Vangelis had auditioned to be a part of Yes, there has been widespread speculation that Vangelis contributed to the album, with some fans going so far as to say that Olias represents the kind of sound that Yes would have created if Vangelis had in fact joined the band. However, both Vangelis and Anderson have denied that they collaborated on the album.

I still hark back to those days of having three paper routes to my name back in Parsippany NJ throwing papers at doorsteps with one hand while trying to balance my ‘ghetto blaster’ blasting “Solid Space” at full volume with the other hand.

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2. Animation 1982

Animation was recorded during a busy time for Anderson when he was collaborating with Vangelis and Mike Oldfield and exploring new age and electronic pop.

As with the previous album Song of Seven, several well-known musicians were involved in Animation, including Simon Phillips, David Sancious and Jack Bruce.

Animation was produced by producer Tony Visconti (who had worked with more mainstream British acts such as David Bowie and T. Rex) and was released on vinyl but no CD version was published until 2006, when a limited edition CD re-release of the album (with two bonus tracks, one titled “Spider” which was originally the b-side to “Surrender”) was issued by Opio Media.

“Surrender” and “All in a Matter of Time” were released as singles.

The album was promoted with a world tour where Anderson would perform songs from the album as well as several Yes classics, mostly in medley form.

A follow-up album entitled Chagall was recorded but never released.

One track on the album, “Boundaries”, would later appear on other works by Anderson himself (entitled “O’er” on The Promise Ring) and Yes (entitled ‘”Somehow, Someday” on 1997’s Open Your Eyes.

The title track, Animation was a very touching and moving 10 minute epic piece dedicated to the birth of Jon’s youngest daughter Jade.

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3. Jon and Vangelis – The Friends of Mr. Cairo 1981

The Friends of Mr Cairo is the second album by Jon and Vangelis, released in 1981. There are two editions of this album, with different sleeves. Both versions were released in 1981 within a few weeks of each other. The title track, “The Friends of Mr Cairo”, peaked at No. 1 on the Canadian singles late 1981, though this track was not a hit elsewhere. The second edition of the album includes the single “I’ll Find My Way Home“, which stayed for 14 weeks in the Swiss charts and peaked at No. 1 on 7 March 1982. “State of Independence” was later a hit single for Donna Summer, and a decade later for Moodswings with Chrissie Hynde on vocal. Anderson also later re-recorded that song on his solo album Change We Must, released in 1994.

The title track and its accompanying music video serve as an ode to classic Hollywood films of the 1930s and 1940s. Most notable references are to the classic film noir The Maltese Falcon. The track incorporates sound effects and voice impressions of the stars of the era most notably Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre and Jimmy Stewart. At the beginning of the track, the screeching of tyres and a car horn are heard, presumably as a car makes an attempted getaway, which then gives way to the sound of gunfire. This screeching sound/car horn is identical to that heard in the 1970 feature film Get Carter (at 1.1.52-1.1.56), and was probably sampled for use on the track. Joel Cairo (Mr Cairo) is the name of the character played by Peter Lorre in The Maltese Falcon.

I remember the Canadian comedy sketch show, SCTV did a whole parody on gumshoe detectives with the title track used as background music. THIS was a very big selling album in Canada, if I remember scouring though the billboard magazine foreign charts at the Lake Hiawatha Library magazine section correctly, which was where I read all the trades that came in back in my high school days.

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4. 3 Ships  1985

3 Ships is the fourth solo album by Yes lead singer Jon Anderson, released on Elektra Records in 1985. It includes versions of traditional Christmas carols and original material by Yes lead singer Jon Anderson. The three ships reference comes from the song “I Saw Three Ships,” which states, “I saw three ships come sailing in, on Christmas day in the morning”.

The album was dedicated to the organisation Beyond War.

The ‘Holiday Card Pack, Jon Anderson Special Edition’ came with a personal autograph from Jon, as well as a set of five Christmas cards. Each card displayed an image of an Anderson watercolour painting.

3 Ships was reissued on Compact Disc in 2007. This remastered ’22nd Anniversary Edition’ contains all of the album’s original songs, plus five bonus tracks, two of which were previously unreleased.

Yeah, but does it also include that embarrassingly bad MTV video he made of “Easier Said Than Done”with all the VJs running around like loony little elves at the MTV studios? Still, it’s the only album of Christmas carols that I don’t have to put a gun to my head to listen to every year.

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5. Toltec 1996

The 1996 Toltec release is made up of 13 cuts divided into three parts. (it was originally supposed to be called the Power of Silence to be released by Geffen Records) It tells the tale of the Toltec, a Native American concept of a group of people who have been all over the Earth, existing within different cultures throughout the centuries. They are described in the album liner as “Creators of the circles of power, color, perfume, and music healing domes.” Musically, it is progressive rock with elements of new age, world music, electronic, and jazz. Anderson provided the vocals, wrote, arranged, and produced the work.

I also bought a copy of this album to share with native American adult film actress  Hyapatia Lee.

Well, I want to thank everyone for checking out these blogs, they were absolutely a privilege to research and write and to sit back reliving memories both good and bad. No matter how bleak or how jubilant life gets from time to time, just remember you’ll always have your Yes albums to fall back on. I’m thankful for the memories and thankful for the friends I made along the way, and will always mourn the ones who are not with me any longer. Thanks ever to the tantalizing Tamara Shain for the stimulating stand in models for Jennifer Ellis and Marlene, original editor Sparky Santos for the original editing and blog formatting, and former Yes (or sometimes stand in utility) member Billy Sherwood for the words of encouragement and thumbs up of approval.

And of course, Wikipedia for increasing the word count on these blogs

Blog is going dark for a while. I’m exhausted with going with this project five weeks straight. I’ll be back next month with a blog about the future of the Deposit Man.

~

Cary Coatney  10/24/2014

YES LOGS: A CORRELATION OF RECORDED LIVE EVENTS

23 Oct

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After the heavy duty blogging the past three days, I think I’ll try to tone it down to a low roar with a assemble of the live box set collections released throughout the band’s history. By the time you get to the end of this entry, you’ll find that I’m really not the Yes completest I’m perceived to be.

So here I am scraping the bottom of the wikipedia barrel – oh, look – I nearly forgot:

Yessongs is a triple live album from the English progressive rock band Yes, released on Atlantic Records in May 1973.

It is both their last recording with drummer Bill Bruford, who is performing in two tracks of the album, before his departure, and their first recording with his replacement Alan White who plays in all other songs. Bruford would later return for the studio album 1991’s Union, who would feature both drummers as well.

Yessongs is Yes‘ first live album, made of recordings from their Fragile and Close to the Edge tours which occurred between February and December 1972.

The album received a mostly-positive reception from critics, with the most criticism directed towards its audio quality. It peaked at number 7 in the UK and number 12 in the US. The album was certified platinum in 1998 by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling over one million copies.

Yessongs, a film of the concert on 15 December 1972 at the Rainbow Theatre was released in 1975.

The Fragile tour tracks “Long Distance Runaround/The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)” and “Perpetual Change” are the only tracks on the album to feature Yes’s original drummer, Bill Bruford, who left the group after recording Close to the Edge. For that album’s tour, Yes were joined by drummer Alan White, who had only days to learn the material. White was only three years into his career as a session drummer, but had already worked with such acts as The Plastic Ono Band and Joe Cocker.

The album opens with an excerpt from Igor Stravinsky‘s Firebird Suite, which has been a standard opening Yes concerts ever since. Later in the album, vocalist Jon Anderson sings a passage from Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring before the medley from keyboardist Rick Wakeman.

The Rainbow Theatre in London was where the Yessongs film was recorded.

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All band members except Anderson and White are given extended solo space. The track “Mood for a Day” is an unaccompanied guitar performance by Steve Howe, who also takes extended solos during “Yours is No Disgrace” and at the end of “Starship Trooper”. The Yessongs version of “The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)” is considerably longer than the studio version, with bassist Chris Squire taking an extended solo (and jamming with Bruford). Bill Bruford performs a drum solo on “Perpetual Change,” which is preceded by an extended guitar performance by Howe accompanied by Bruford and Squire. The album also contains a medley of excerpts from keyboardist Rick Wakeman‘s solo album The Six Wives of Henry VIII.

Some songs are extended to almost double the length of their studio counterparts as well as given a more high-octane performance.

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The album featured no detailed recording credits. Two songs, “Close to the Edge” and “Starship Trooper”, can be established by audio comparison to be sourced from the same London Rainbow Theatre concert as the Yessongs film (15 December 1972). “Roundabout” is assumed to come from the Ottawa, ON show (1 November 1972) and “Yours is No Disgrace” from the Athens, GA show (14 November 1972) (both of these dates are purely anecdotal). The two tracks from the Fragile tour featuring Bill Bruford are generally assumed to come from the NYC Academy of Music shows on 19 and 23 February 1972 (based on text in the 1973 Australian Tour programme).

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The album was initially released on three discs in a fold-out package featuring artwork by Roger Dean. Inside are four individual panels by Dean which continue a theme that began with Fragile in 1971. On the back cover of Fragile is an image of a small planet breaking apart into several large pieces with a giant sailing spacecraft nearby. The first panel in Yessongs, titled “Escape”, shows the craft apparently leading the planetary fragment through space. The second panel (“Arrival”) depicts these fragments landing in the waters of a new world. In the third image (“Awakening”) this new landscape becomes the habitat for various plant and animal species. The final image (“Pathways”) depicts the emergence of civilisation (Dean’s cat walked across this piece whilst still wet and its paw prints can be clearly seen). This theme is also the basis of the film Floating Islands. The sailing craft was used as a small logo on many of the band’s subsequent albums, and the image sequence inspired Yes vocalist Jon Anderson‘s first solo album Olias of Sunhillow in 1976, although Roger Dean was not involved with that album’s artwork.

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Yessongs was one album I always looked forward to play on my Pioneer sound system I bought as a kid when I had three paper routes to rub together to my name. Some nights were spent in my room in Parsippany, NJ with the three record set jamming out of my headphones and served as a sometime lull into deep sleep before school the next morning. Like the Wikipedia entry states, It was the star-studded debut of long time drummer Alan White. I first saw the concert film at my local General Cinema theater on Route 46 located across the street from Parsippany City Hall as part of their Saturday midnight concert series which also included Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same and Pink Floyd’s Live at Pompeii.

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Yesshows is the second live album by British progressive rock group Yes. Released shortly after the appearance of Drama, Yesshows comprises live performances ranging from the summer of 1976 to the supporting tour for Tormato in 1978. The album’s release was supervised by bassist Chris Squire.

Yesshows was remastered and expanded in 2009 by Isao Kikuchi, and published by Warner Music Japan as part of their “Yes SHM-CD Papersleeve” series.

Like the group’s previous live album, Yessongs, Yesshows begins with a recording of Igor Stravinsky‘s Firebird Suite. Unlike the Yessongs version, the band members may be heard playing in tandem with the Stravinsky track on this recording.

Although Rick Wakeman is the keyboardist on most tracks, the 1976 performances (“The Gates of Delirium” and “Ritual – Nous Sommes du Soleil”) feature Patrick Moraz. Moraz left Yes just before the recording of Going for the One.

On the original double vinyl LP, “Ritual (Nous Sommes Du Soleil)” was split in two, with its second half continuing on Side D of the record. For the CD edition, it was stitched back together, although each part is allotted its own track number.

The album shows photographs of the band’s late 1970s live stage performances. Around 1977 they developed the idea of a circular rotating stage, known informally as performing “in the round”, with Jon Anderson’s microphone hanging from the ceiling of the venue.

Good memories of this one. Both my half-sister Bernadette and my high school gal pal Linda Freeman (now Yarosh) bought this double disc set as a gift for my 17th birthday. I don’t know whose copy I had to take back to get exchange (maybe it was Linda’s) but I was real ecstatic about this collection because it featured two live performances with Patrick Moraz. Like I mentioned in a previous blog, Linda also purchased another piece of Yes essential tool for either Christmas or my birthday, The Yes Complete tablature book which I still use to this day for my keyboards.

The tablature book of music composed by Yes was a birthday present given to me by Linda Freeman of which I still possess to this very day.

The tablature book of music composed by Yes was a birthday present given to me by Linda Freeman of which I still possess to this very day.

9012Live: The Solos is the third live album by Yes. Released as a mini LP in 1985, the album features solos from each of the five band members, plus live versions of two songs from their 1983 album 90125.

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Missing from the Yes “expanded and remastered” 2003/2004 series by Rhino/Warner (like Yessongs, Yesshows and Big Generator), 9012Live was finally remastered and expanded in 2009 by Isao Kikuchi; the album was published by Warner Music Japan as part of their “Yes SHM-CD Papersleeve” series.

The video of the show, directed by Steven Soderbergh, released as 9012Live the same year, features all of the concert instead of just the solos. A 2006 reissue featured previously unseen material and a director’s cut without the 1950s

I bought this on cassette during the time I was briefly living in Kansas City in early 1986 with two of my cousins from my dad’s side. My redneck cousin Richard Mann the III couldn’t stand Yes, so he took the cassette tape out of my machine and used it as a target for skeet shooting during a time when we were camping out in the Ozark Mountain. Fucking asshole.

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Yesyears is a career-spanning collection of music by progressive rock band Yes released as a four-disc box set in 1991. It was compiled following the release of Union and Yes’s departure from Atlantic Records, with whom they had been contracted since 1969 (and the offshoot label Atco Records since 1983). Yesyears covers the band’s musical story from 1969’s debut Yes to studio material recorded with Billy Sherwood following Jon Anderson‘s departure in 1988.

One of the major attractions of YesYears was its inclusion of rare material, including many previously unreleased songs, and a full-colour booklet detailing Yes’s history.

A condensed version of this package, entitled Yesstory, would be released in 1992 on two discs.

Yesyears was deleted in the late 1990s, preceding the release of Rhino Records‘ (five-disc) box set In a Word: Yes (1969 – ) in 2002. Most of the material found on Yesyears but not on In a word would surface on Rhino’s reissues of Yes albums in 2003 and 2004

Owned and listened to this a lot while I was living with Joe and Mark Zullo in a beat up rat trap in Van Nuys before moving to a house in Northridge. Some notable gems are the “Run with the Fox” single that Chris Squire and Alan White recorded together once Yes was first dissolved as a band in 1981 following the disappointing sales of album and European tours for Drama and a another Billy Sherwood and Chris Squire collaboration was included on the final track of this collection entitled “Love Conquers All.” that supposedly an outtake from “Union.” from the Yes West Camp.  Also there were rare b-sides and unreleased sessions that were all later re-released on many of Rhino’s 2003-2004 remaster series of the entire Atlantic Records catalogue. The release of the 2002 collection Yes – In a Word (1969 – made this rather obsolete.

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An Evening of Yes Music Plus is a live album by the English progressive rock side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (ABWH). Released on 12 October 1993, it was recorded at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California on 9 September 1989 in a concert that was shown live on pay-per-view in the United States.

The album contains material from ABWH’s self-titled album, songs from past Yes records and excerpts from keyboardist Rick Wakeman‘s solo work. Tony Levin, who played bass on the studio album as well as most of the tour, was ill during the concert recorded on this album. He was replaced by bassist Jeff Berlin.

ABWH had lost the legal rights to use the name of their parent group Yes. It was agreed that they could refer to their origins in Yes on tour posters and merchandise. The cover features a painting by Roger Dean titled “Floating Islands”.

The album was released in the US by Herald/Caroline Records without the title on the cover

I had this album, but it somehow mysteriously disappeared during the time I was living with Joe Zullo and his egocentric wife, Carol Horror Show Hamilton. It might have been one of the cds destroyed during the Northridge Earthquake, or Joe simply forgot to pack it when he got laid off from Universal Music.

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Something’s Coming: The BBC Recordings 1969–1970 is a compilation of live recordings by the progressive rock band, Yes. They are the only live recordings to feature the band’s original lineup. It is a compilation of the band’s early performances on BBC radio. The two-disc set features liner notes from original guitarist Peter Banks, who was fired from the band shortly after these recordings were made.

The album was released only in 1997, with supervision and notes from Banks.

The US edition (licensed by Purple Pyramid, Cleopatra Records) is titled Beyond and Before: BBC Recordings 1969–1970

Harry Perzigian had this collection at his place. He even had the poster framed and hanging on his bathroom wall. I figured I had most of these tracks on some bootleg recordings, so it wasn’t a priority for me to own.

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Regrettably, original guitarist Peter Banks had become the first member of Yes to pass from this mortal coil in March of 2013 of congestive heart failure at his home in London. He was supposed to show up for a session to one of Billy Sherwood’s many tribute compilations. His family was so broke that his body was left in the morgue for weeks before money was raised by online campaigns for a proper burial. I had a rare chance to see Peter Banks perform a few acoustic numbers at the YesFestival held at the Red Lion Inn in Glendale, California in the summer of 1994.

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House of Yes: Live from House of Blues is a double live CD by progressive rock band Yes. The album was recorded on Halloween night in 1999 at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, Nevada, during touring obligations for the band’s studio album, The Ladder. Guitarist Billy Sherwood had already left Yes by the time House of Yes: Live from House of Blues was released in September 2000, and keyboardist Igor Khoroshev was fired later that year after a controversy involving backstage sexual harassment at Nissan Pavilion near Washington, D.C., making of House of Yes the last Yes release with any of them. Following these departures, Yes had reverted to the four core members of Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe and Alan White.

House of Yes: Live from House of Blues was also released as a DVD and both formats of the project were generally well-received critically and by Yes’s legions of fans. It did, however, omit the footage of Yes playing “Close to the Edge” and “Hearts” at the show.

I still have the VHS copy of this show packed away somewhere. One thing I omitted from my HOB performance in my Ladder Yes Log entry was that my old boss George C. Ody from my vitamin packing job in Solana Beach during 1985 – 1989 was working the merchandise booth for Yes. How did the hell did he get that gig I wonder? I was told that the band’s manager at the time was a family friend of his wife.

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Symphonic Live is a DVD and live album from the English progressive rock band Yes. The concert was recorded at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam on 22 November 2001, with the European Festival Orchestra conducted by Wilheilm Keitel. It was first released on DVD in 2002 and on CD in 2003 and 2009 by Eagle Rock Entertainment.

Keyboardist Rick Wakeman was invited by the band to perform at this concert, but this did not happen because of scheduling conflicts. In his place on the tour was Tom Brislin.

Had it, but I don’t intend to keep concert dvds hanging around so I might have traded it in for emergency cash or maybe I have it on a VHS tape in a box someplace. I might have to consign a search party to go through my storage boxes one of these days.

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Yes, In A Word (1969 – is a 5-CD box set by progressive rock band Yes encompassing their entire career from its inception in 1969 to 2001, including material from the 1989 Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe album. It was released in 2002.

The sonically improved and more expansive successor to 1991’s Yesyears, In a Word: Yes (1969 – ) marked the beginning of Yes’s association with Rhino Records, who would remaster and reissue the band’s core Atlantic Records catalogue throughout 2003 and 2004 – while adding many of Yesyears previously unreleased performances as bonus tracks on the individual newly remastered CDs re-release in 2008 is completely remastered.

The booklet contains essays by Chris Welch and Bill Martin, as well as forewords from Rush bassist Geddy Lee and Phish drummer Jon Fishman

Already covered this box set in my Yes Log 2004 and Yes Log 2011 entries. It’s gems include heavily edited versions of the 1979 Golden Age sessions, A XYZ jam called Crossfire, some Tormato outtakes, and expanded versions of the Revealing Science of God and I Would Have Waited Forever, along with a outtake from the Magnification sessions, Last Train. Highly recommended.

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The Word is Live is a live box set by progressive rock band Yes and was released in 2005 through Rhino Records.

Considered the live companion to 2002’s studio In a Word: Yes (1969 – ) box set, The Word is Live serves to document the band’s live story from early BBC recordings in 1970 with Peter Banks to 1988 shows for Big Generator. All but the first two tracks were previously unreleased.

Many of the tracks were originally broadcast on radio shows and have been bootlegged extensively. In these, it is often the case that the radio show’s final mix was the only mix available so few improvements in quality could be done for the release. While a few of the recordings (mostly those from the 1980 tour) do feature a less-than-polished quality to them, The Word is Live is still considered a fine document of Yes in a concert setting.

The box set also comes with a 52 page book containing images and stories by Yes fans and praising retrospectives from artists such as John Frusciante from Red Hot Chili Peppers. The opening for the book was written by Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

The set includes several pieces not originally released as studio recordings by Yes, including “It’s Love”, an extended cover of a song by The Young Rascals, and “Go Through This” and “We Can Fly From Here” from the tour to support Drama, but which were not released on this album. The latter would eventually be reworked and released thirty-one years later in the album Fly from Here.

The title is presumably an alteration of the lyric “The word is love” from the song Time and a Word.

Don't let the looks deceive you, Rikki Lixxx was the worst girlfriend I ever had. Money sucking pill popping petty larceny leech is a more apt description of her.

Don’t let the looks deceive you, Rikki Lixxx was the worst girlfriend I ever had. Money sucking pill popping petty larceny leech is a more apt description of her.

Arriving home from purchasing this collection at Tower Records, I couldn’t wait to get this playing on my stereo in my cul-de-sac of hell apartment located in Van Nuys while I was living next door to porn actress Rikki Lixxx who I regrettably got romantically involved with. I started blasting this on my stereo and she started pounding on my bedroom wall (our bedrooms were next to each other). I went over to apologize and she answered the door in a see through lingerie and I was hooked by the sight of her privates peeking out, then the sudden realization hit me that my cunnilingus skills needed sharpening, of which she was more than obliged to give me a refresher course.

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Live at Montreux 2003 is a 2007 live album from the English progressive rock band Yes. It is a live recording of the group’s headlining concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival on 14 July 2003. The performance was filmed and is also available on DVD/Blu-ray.

This is the first official album to feature the classic line-up of lead vocalist Jon Anderson, guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardist Rick Wakeman, bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White since the 1996/1997 Keys to Ascension live albums, along with a DVD also entitled Keys to Ascension. The album was released in 2007, during a hiatus in the band’s activity following a tour ending in 2004.

While Yes began offering USB Thumb Drive recordings of their concert performances in 2010, this was the most recent official live album by the band until In the Present – Live from Lyon 2 CD & 1 DVD album in 2011. The band’s previous live release Symphonic Live (2002), was recorded at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam on 22 November 2001, two years before Live at Montreux.

I didn’t think I was missing out on anything, so I skipped this collection.

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Union Live is a 2-CD and 1-DVD live release by progressive rock band Yes on Voiceprint Records. It documents their “Union” tour of 1991, supporting the Union (1991) album.

In addition to the California Shoreline Amphitheatre show that was available in Japan as The Union Tour Live, the limited edition package includes a DVD containing the Denver McNichols Sports Arena show that has been available in trading circles for years, audience shot footage from the Florida Pensacola Civic Center show, bonus audio 5.1 mixes, and bonus audio tracks

Fairly recent release, don’t really need to put it on the shopping list anytime soon. Some of the band members weren’t really keen with the way those Union sessions turned out. Only Shock to the System, Take the Water to the Mountain, or Lift Me Up were the only songs from that album performed live – and if they weren’t really one hundred percent all the way with the way the product turned out, then neither was I. The tour was enjoyable at the time, but I have no desire to relive that experience.

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In the Present – Live from Lyon is a 2 CD & 1 DVD album by Yes, released on 29 November 2011 in North America and 2 December 2011 in Europe. It is the first live album without ex-member Jon Anderson, who is replaced by Benoît David, and is also the only release with Oliver Wakeman as band member.

The album was recorded during Yes’ “In the Present” tour, which they undertook before their studio album Fly from Here (2011), which also features Benoît David on vocal

Ditto with this collection. Not a big fan of David Benoit, suffice to say. I rather think Benoit is better suited as a replacement for Steve Walsh, that is if Walsh ever decided to call it a night for Kansas.

Tomorrow, the final blog of this series will focus on Jon Anderson’s life and career as he approaches his 70th birthday this weekend,

 

 

 

 

YES LOG 2014: IF ONLY THESE SUBWAY WALLS BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH COULD TALK

22 Oct

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Channeling their inner The Carpenters, Yes showcased a new lighter fresher side of life for their latest release “Heaven & Earth” mostly recorded and produced on my home world turf of the San Fernando Valley throughout the early part of 2014 by Roy Thomas Baker, who like Trevor Horn on the previous release of “Fly From Here” had accumulated a bit of unfinished business with Yes with the aborted Paris “Golden Age” sessions. It’s a album I’m personally satisfied with, momentarily knocking me out of my personal  grief over the loss of my best friend Harry Perzigian who suddenly passed away late last April at the Ronald Reagan Medical Center Intensive Care Unit located on the UCLA campus after a sudden impromptu surge of alcohol and substance abuse.

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For the purposes of any news leaking to outlets such as the LA Times, TMZ, or the LA Weekly about this blog entry, I’m going to cut straight to the point: Harry was a very prominent figure in the city of Brentwood. Twenty years ago, his legal problems with actor Carroll O’Connor garnered just as much media attention as the famous OJ Simpson/Nicole Brown murder debacle was in full swing when Carroll’s son, Hugh, also a co-star on Carroll’s series at the time, In the Heat of the Night, committed suicide by blowing his head off in a violent drugged out haze. Harry was indirectly blamed for Hugh’s death due to the unfortunate circumstance that Hugh had taken the same drugs with Harry. O’Connor turned Harry into his personal scapegoat and therefore hired a private detective to report on Harry’s so-called nefarious activities and then when that detective supposedly gathered enough evidence, O’Connor convinced the LAPD to issue a search warrant to turn his Brentwood condo upside down and they uncovered a couple of bags of cocaine in Harry’s bedroom, along with a scale which led Harry to be sent to the Central Men’s Jail in Los Angeles on a ‘drug furnishing” charge. They couldn’t quite pin a drug dealing charge on Harry, because Hugh was paying Harry for his share of the drugs with personal checks. And what drug dealer in their right mind would take a personal check, let alone a credit card transaction to pay for his drugs? So Harry got sentenced to two years, but only got to serve two months for good behavior. While incarcerated, he ran afoul of the fabled Menendez Brothers, who were awaiting trail for the murder of their parents. They regarded Harry as ‘a little fish.’ (Now Chris Squire wouldn’t take that lying down).

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I remember a time while I was working for Sony Pictures Television in Westwood I called Harry from my office joking with him about Carroll O’Connor’s Emmy for his performance of “All of the Family” being displayed in a glass case located in the lobby of the reception area. Should I steal it and bring it home to him?

Then Harry would go off on in a blithering yelling tangent:

FUCKING SHATTER THAT GLASS AND BREAK THAT GODDAMN STATUE IN HALF. THAT BITTER OLD FUCK, IF ANYONE WHO KILLED HUGH, IT WAS HIS OWN GODDAMN FATHER THAT SPOILED AND MOLLYCODDLED HIS ASS!” He would bitterly retort.

Yeah, Harry Perzigian and Carroll O’Connor. They mixed well together like oil and water.

Harry was a bitter of a sort himself, having tried to unsuccessfully sue O’Connor in court for defamation of character and lost.

And so was Harry’s reputation as a well versatile songwriter was kaput as well. His contract ripped up by Warner Chappell Music and practically overnight, he became a pariah to people and no more celebrity parties that attracted the likes of Bobby Kimball, John Entwhistle, Kevin Dubrow, Linda Hamilton, Dean Cain, Farrah-Fawcett Majors (seen on the cover of People Magazine with Harry with the tagline: Farrah leaves Ryan O’Neal into arms of a drug dealer, How flattering.) and Jeff Fahey were suddenly no more. Aerosmith supposedly ransacked Harry’s file at Warner Chappell Music and stole “Dude Looks Like a Lady” from Harry, based on a song that he and co-writer Curt Cuomo wrote called “Too Many Dudes! (and Not Enough Chicks).”

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Harry was also at one point acted as a step-father figure to now famous actress/model Minka Kelly, having a tumultuous relationship with her mother that lasted three years in his apartment. Harry used to take Minka to LA Kings hockey games usually with comp tickets that were awarded to him when he wrote a song based on goalie Kelly Ruby;s impeccable goal saving record. It was titled “Rudy’s On Duty Tonight” recorded by the Puck Boys (a band mostly consisting of Harry and his younger brother) and it got tons of local airplay on Power 106 radio.

He also dated a housekeeper who was employed by Jon Voight and helped look after actress Angelina Jolie when she was a kid. Lots of intriguing stories in his short 58-year-old lifespan, and as John Wetton, once a co-collaborator of three songs with Harry and Curt Cuomo would sing on a future Asia song, ‘it’s been an extraordinary life’.

I will get into the ghastly details surrounding Harry’s unfortunate demise as well as the short little pinnacle high I was experiencing earlier this year, but when this terrible incident occurred, my life came crashing down and I still to this day can’t wrap my head around it.

We have to talk about Yes at some point here, I mean that’s the reason why most of you are here for, right? After all it is supposed to be a Yes Log.

We’ve finally come to the latest (and it certainly won’t be the last, not by a long shot) album released by Yes this past July. Wikipedia states these ethereal facts and figures:

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Heaven & Earth is the twenty-first studio album from the English progressive rock band Yes, first released on 16 July 2014 on Frontiers Records. It is their first album with singer Jon Davison in the band’s line-up. It was produced by Roy Thomas Baker, who first worked with the band on recording sessions in 1979, and mixed by former member Billy Sherwood.

Upon its release, Heaven & Earth peaked at number 20 in the UK, the band’s highest chart performance since their 1994 album Talk. It also entered the US chart at number 26.

About the name of the album, guitarist Steve Howe stated, “In a way, the parallel of saying ‘Heaven And Earth’ is the same as saying good and bad, yin and yang, up and down, left and right. They’re two extremes, but I think the way Roger and I liked it was that in fact the Earth is a physical place where you can measure stuff and you can do quantum physics. […] But Heaven is an unknown place of no particular destination as far as anybody knows. And yet it doesn’t matter whether you’re totally tied up in a religious belief or whether you’re spiritual in a way. That doesn’t require religious commitment — it just requires awareness to the fact that there’s obviously something out there that we don’t know about. […] it sums up the dualistic quality of the known and the unknown and the more you look at the known the more you see that there’s even more unknown than you knew before.”

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From 6 January to 14 March 2014, the band recorded a new album, their first with new lead singer Davison, in the Los Angeles area with producer Roy Thomas Baker. This recording is Yes’ first association with Baker since their aborted recording sessions in Paris in 1979, something bassist Chris Squire described as “a very enjoyable experience” and Baker someone “really good to work with” In January 2014, the band’s Facebook page released images of the band rehearsing in the studio with Baker. On 7 March 2014, Downes tweeted that he had completed keyboards for the album.

On 5 March 2014, former Yes member Billy Sherwood announced in a post on his Facebook page that he would engineer the backing vocal sessions, which started the day after. He also confirmed that at least Squire and Howe would also sing backing vocals in the album. In an April 2014 interview, Davison announced that the recording just finished right in time before they had to leave for a tour (i.e. the U.S. & Canada Spring 2014 tour starting on 19 March 2014), stating “we were just kind of throwing everything in at the last-minute […] We just ran out of time and had to get on the road”. He also announced that there would be 8 tracks, plus a bonus track (an acoustic version of “To Ascend”) in the Japanese release.

The album was in the mixing stages in March 2014 and then again in May 2014

Unlike the previous studio album Fly From Here, which was partially based on older compositions by Downes and producer/former member Trevor Horn, Heaven & Earth is made of new material only. For his first album with Yes, Davison was fully involved into the songwriting process; Squire stated: “he contributed very strongly to [the new album] in terms of writing, both musically and lyrically. […] [He] has brought in an interesting quality of songwriting and lyric writing. He has pretty much written all the lyrics for this album”. Describing Davison’s songwriting skills as “excellent”, Howe positively compared Heaven & Earth to Fly From Here in terms of songwriting process: “Benoit [David] wasn’t a writer, really. That’s why Trevor Horn was involved in writing […] Jon is really excellent.” About writing and recording his first album with Yes, Davison himself commented “I thought it might be [a lot of pressure] but it turned out not to be at all. I got to know them really well and [their] composing styles and patterns and pace.” Davison travelled into various different places in order to meet all the other members separately and compose the songs with them.

Steve Howe stated “Heaven & Earth has a freshness and different stance from many records we’ve done before. Hopefully, that freshness will be enjoyed.” In another interview, he discussed the fact that there wasn’t any “epics” (very long songs) in Heaven & Earth: “We have some larger pieces and some of them are quite substantial. I think that’s the kind of album it is — it isn’t about eating up the time with one big concept, it’s more about having different flavors and spices in our music that kind of show off each other. If having a track that leans one way is then followed by a track that leans the other way, at least we’re not just doing eight tracks that are all the same.”

Describing Heaven & Earth as “an accessible but still adventurous album”, Squire discussed the length of the songs: “there are three that are on the longer side, 9-, 10-minute sort of long songs. So it’s definitely got the Yes stamp of arrangement on the album, there’s no doubt about that.” He also commented Davison’s work as songwriter: “Jon’s done a pretty good job. He worked with the other four of us on a couple of tracks each, and we’ve come together at the end of the album with some very strong music.” Howe stated that although most the songs were written and composed in collaboration, some of them were written by him or Davison alone.

Davison stated that they had “a bunch of extra material” that they did not have time to finish in time for the album, including “a big prog piece” mainly written by him and Downes, which could ultimately be used for the next album

Heaven & Earth was released in various territories between 16–22 July 2014. It peaked at number 20 on the UK album chart, the band’s highest position since Talk (1994), which peaked at the same spot. It entered the US Billboard 200 chart at number 26, falling to 108 in its second week.

Every night of their Heaven & Earth tour, Yes will perform songs from Heaven & Earth with Fragile and Close to the Edge in their entirety, followed by an encore of their greatest hits.

SONGS / TRACKLISTING

  1. Believe Again (Davison/Howe) Total time: 8:02
  2. The Game (Davison/Johnson/Squire) Total time: 6:52
  3. Step Beyond (Davison/Howe) Total time: 5:34
  4. To Ascend (Davison/White) Total time: 4:44
  5. In A World of Our Own (Davison/Squire) Total time: 5:20
  6. Light of the Ages (Davison) Total time: 7:41
  7. It Was All We Knew (Howe) Total time: 4:13
  8. Subway Walls (Davison/Downes) Total time: 9:03

 

Back again for another wonderful performance after an absence of 20 years.

Back again for another wonderful performance after an absence of 20 years.

I dragged myself to see the band over at the Greek Theater. My first time to that venue in over twenty years when I saw Yes there on their 1994 Talk tour with Joe Zullo and his ex-wife Carol “Horror Show” Hamilton. This time around,  I wasn’t in the greatest of moods to see them. I even wanted to ask a girl who used to work with me at the Director’s Guild if she wanted to go but I was just not in the right frame of mind to even bother e-mailing her an invite.

Regardless, it was a great evening under the Hollywood Hills stars with great sound and a better than average performance holding firmly on to the coattails of their craftsmanship.

Hey, by now they’re showing signs of wear and tear. Alan White was certainly not in Bill Bruford’s caliber when he had to showcase a thirty-second solo based on “Five Percent for Nothing” off the Fragile album – he barely hit anything, leaving the rest of the band to pick up his percussive pace.

And jeez, Steve Howe, how could  you end a show with “Owner of A Lonely Heart”, let alone even introduce it? I thought you despised that song? Some venues I heard closed with “Starship Trooper” I guess since it was the last night of the tour, they just wanted to hurry it up along a bit, so Geoff could tuck in early and get prepping for the Asia tour.

Meet the new Jon, almost the same as the old Jon.

Meet the new Jon, almost the same as the old Jon.

Jon Davison, he kind of scares me a bit. Does he purposely think he’s Jon Anderson? Notice the similarities between their names? If you hit him up for an autograph, does he sign his name simply Jon? That would kind of disturb me if he did. The whole outstretched arm messiah bit in the middle of the organ passage to Close to The Edge, wasn’t that a tad teetering on overkill? I noted to people on facebook after the show, I appreciated that he put his own spin on the performances of the Fragile and Close to the Edge albums, that he wasn’t out to purposely mimic Jon Anderson’s every single move or nuance, rather he’s a simply a singer who’s studied the material meticulously and knows how to hit the right notes without sounding like a carbon copy to the original recordings. He’s very good at what he does and he’s being paid well enough with the job to carry on the sound of Yes well into the 21st century. Davison also happens to make his home in Laguna Beach, my own personal headquarters for outdoor Tales From Topographic Oceans listening sessions. What’s not to find charismatic about the guy?

Billy Sherwood does a superlative job at capturing the best supporting vocals of Chris and Steve not heard since 1999’s the Ladder (which was a trait I was particularly fond of on that album,) I wouldn’t be surprised if Billy had snuck in a back up harmony of his own just for the sake of nostalgia. It sounds nice and full and well prepared. What’s particularly different about Geoff’s keyboards this go around, it sounds a lot like some of Asia’s light stringy ballads putting in a guest starring appearance this go around. I think the styles mesh perfectly. Nothing too flashy, nothing too heavy until we get to the final epic track of Subway Walls, where the ‘bolero’ effect in the opening classical synth sequence is applied and before you know it, Downes explodes with a fantastic ode to Rick Wakeman atypical organ solo somewhere along the bridge.. After your ears consume the near nine minute piece it kind of makes you hanging close to the edge in anticipation for the twenty-minute epic piece that they’ve got saved for the next album.

There’s a lot of fun to be had on what I would consider perhaps the most unusual track on a Yes album that Chris collaborates with Davison entitled “In A World of Our Own” – with its’ jazzy feel good tempo that reminds you of a hidden bonus track that wouldn’t sound out-of-place on a Randy Newman album that cautions you to whet your appetite as long you do your cooking at home.

And as far the naysayers go concerning the slow dance light airy tracks of this album, well – isn’t it about time you hailed a taxi for that over inflated ego of yours? Different strokes for different folks I suppose.

My only disappointment with this whole package is they should’ve pushed the clap along thumping “ Step Beyond” as a single. Wished they did this one live instead of “Believe Again” or ‘The Game”. Speaking of “The Game” – it’s the second collaboration co-written by Gerald Johnson, a fellow member of Chris Squire’s other band, The Syn, the first being “The Man You Always Wanted Me To Be” from the previous album ‘Fly From Here”

Most of the fans would debate you into a corner of a subway wall declaring “Fly From Here” to be the better album, but in my view, that album had old ideas discombobulated from thirty plus years of demos. The material on “Heaven & Earth” sounds more fresh, more cohesive, giving each track special care and attention to shine as a breath of life all its own.

And hey, what do you expect from a group of musicians who’s core assemble are approaching their seventies? You got to slow down some time and curb down with the theatrics at some point in your life. They still are capable of writing memorable songs.

So I welcome and fully support the efforts of this new Yes and I eagerly await them to go back in the studio and come emerging with a worthy follow-up.

Courtney Love strutting her stuff on the stage of Jumbo's Clown Room in Hollywood. Ok, I can understand why Kurt Cobain would get a stiffy.

Courtney Love strutting her stuff on the stage of Jumbo’s Clown Room in Hollywood. Ok, I can understand why Kurt Cobain would get a stiffy.

This year started out so well for me. Harry and I went to Jumbo’s Clown Room together to ring in the new year. Jumbo’s is a Hollywood landmark in the magical realm of pasties and go-go dancers, as it was the first watering hole that Courtney Love was first discovered in. Harry’s girlfriend couldn’t attend as she had her daughter to contend with, but she called us to wish us a Happy new year when all of a sudden a dancer on stage snatched the phone from out of Harry’s hands and rubbed  her crotch all over his girlfriend’s picture. Just simply groundbreaking entertainment.

My last best paying gig in the sky.

My last best paying gig in the sky.

I was working full-time plus all the overtime I could eat at the Screen Actor’s Guild. It was my best paying gig in the longest while whereas I was almost grossing a thousand dollar a week. I could afford to buy holidays gifts for all eight of my nieces and nephews scattered across the country. After the first of this year, I started to save up money to finance a comic book project based on the classic Genesis concept album, “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” and I was about to commence on searching for a new penciler for my Deposit Man series when SAG pulled the rug from under me and let me go off within a period of working for them for a mere six months. I got let go from them on a Saturday morning with no warning from my supervisors who signed my time card assuring me that I would be back the next Monday morning. I’ve since learned that SAG doesn’t hire contractors permanently, but rather from within the company, and my clearance simply expired after six months passed. I didn’t mourn them for long, because another agency sent me to the Director Guild, where I was taught about foreign levies, which is basically just residuals being paid overseas, but that gig only lasted nearly a month, another position swiped from me from an insider who applied for my job and wanted it. Again, I’ve been separated from the only industry that I feel capable of keeping my sanity operational.

Weeks before I was lucky to score the SAG gig, Mark Zullo departed back to New Jersey to enroll in classes at the Joe Kubert school of art, got another roommate but he turned out to be a lazy asshole who secretly was popping post-natal vitamins in order to become a transgender, so I kicked him out and could afford to pay the entire rent, but now I live with some heavyset girl who pays her rent on time, inhales a lot of pizza, and practically watches Doctor Who all day long when she isn’t working.

Everything else went downhill from there within a matter of weeks.

Since I was never asked to turn in my key when I moved out five years previous for reasons I explained in yesterday’s chapter, I relied on still going to Harry’s apartment for four things:

  1. When Harry needed to go out-of-town, someone had to make sure Duncan the parrot was looked after and fed.
  2. Most of my jobs or assignment were usually in his West Los Angeles area of town, so if I had to at a certain area in the wee hours of the morning, I could sleep over at his place to make sure I got there on time, SAG required me to be in on early Saturday morning and the bus system operated on a different schedule coming in from the Valley on weekends.
  3. I could watch all the free cable including the premium channel until my eyes bled.
  4. Listen to my all King Crimson, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Yes, and Porcupine Tree albums in dts 5.1 surround stereo because his state of the art stereo system could only play these types of discs.
Harry Perzigian's condo in Brentwood, Ca..

Harry Perzigian’s condo in Brentwood, Ca..

Harry Perzigian had this strange philosophy when it came to songwriting. Even though he hadn’t published anything in decades, he still did only what he knew to do: take a guitar at any given moment of the day and start writing songs, but he said the only way he could come up with a bunch of material was to get himself disgustingly drunk until he blacked out for extended periods of time usually around the early months of spring every year. When I called to tell him that I probably need not come over that Friday of April 13th this past year because I just received my walking papers from the Director’s Guild, but I’d be over Sunday to watch Game of Thrones with him, was probably around the time that the large economy sized Costco all industrial strength bottles of Canadian Mist Whisky and the methadone tablets were starting to make their encore engagement.

We all, i.e; me, his girlfriend, roommate, and the sister he still had living in Los Angeles been through this song and dance before with him last spring, That last time, he drank himself into a such a belligerent stupor, that he had built himself a nest from torn up blankets and pillows and huddled himself into a corner of his room, because he was unable to physically climb up to his bed. He destroyed his bedroom carpet with an endless array of human stains that it all had to be replaced with hard wood floors. He got put in psychiatric lockdown for a period of ten days at St. Josephs in Santa Monica to detox himself out. Doctors were amazed that he survived with the levels of toxin running through his body. Harry was like ten drunks in one airing the toxic poisons out of their systems. Harry once told the doctor this: “Doc, there are only three things that can survive a nuclear holocaust: and they are cockroaches, rats, and Armenians”

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When Harry was released from the hospital in that spring of 2013, he refused to seek counseling or allow himself to be put in a rehab facility, pointing the finger of blame at all of us for allowing paramedics and police to take him out of his own home against his will. ‘THIS IS PART OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS!! ALL ARTISTS DO THIS WHEN THEY START PREPARING TO WRITE NEW MATERIAL!” Coincidentally at that same time last year I was let go from a clerk position at Universal Pictures  so I had time enough to stick around and drive him to his doctor appointments – but not driving in that fucking showboat Ford Mustang of his, but rather the Mazda he bought for his girlfriend.

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This past spring, it was like an exact replica of what I experienced last year: lose job in entertainment industry, go to Wonder Con in Anaheim the following weekend regardless of whether you can afford it or not, only to come back to find your best friend drunk off his ass and engaged in another big blowout with girlfriend. It was just like a Moody Blues concert set list: predictable, every song aligned in the same order as the last tour you heard them perform live.

So when I arrived back from Wonder Con that Sunday (I think it might have been Easter day) in time to watch Game of Thrones, I just happened to have left Harry’s spare key at my house, but I found a way into his building and knocked on his door. He opens the door and he’s walking around in his typical just a t-shirt and nothing else, with his giant horse Johnson dangling in display, and stumbles back into his room and slams the door behind him.

“Hey, Game of Thrones is about to come on, aren’t you going to watch it-“ then I peeked inside his room and he was fast asleep on his bed, already snoring.

Watched all my shows he had stored on demand, went home, didn’t think much of anything about it. The next evening he calls me on the cellphone asking me “Were you over my house last night?”

“Yeah, I watched my shows and left. You were really out of it.”

“Dude, never again, never again.”

“I was drinking again. The girlfriend and I got in a fight, and I started drinking again. But I feel like shit now and I don’t want another drop, so I dumped the rest down the sink.”

“Well, good to admit your mistakes. Call me if you need me, otherwise I’ll see you next Sunday. They still haven’t revealed who killed Joffery by the way.”

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But Sunday wasn’t soon enough. On Wednesday afternoon, my apartment management was installing some new doors in my apartment, when I got a series of phone messages from Harry originating from his unlisted number. One message said: “CARY – YOU GOT TO COME OVER, IT’S BAD, IT’S REALLY BAD MAN!” and then click.

Around mid-afternoon, the door professionals finished installing the doors and I’m trying to reach Harry on his cell but it goes straight to voice mail and since I got a new cellphone, all my old contacts had vanished including Harry’s unlisted number. I can’t call him and I’m assuming that he must have broken his phone and is back to using the land line.

As I arrived to the Brentwood pad, I could see it’s a mess everywhere, bird seed spilled all over the place, food discarded, vitamin supplements spilled all over on the kitchen counter, and there’s Duncan, the parrot who can’t shut up once I walk in the door. Harry is laying down on his bed face flat and asks me “Cary, where the fuck have you been? Did you get me any more?”

“Get you more of what?”

“My whisky…”

News to me, I’m afraid. “Sorry, but all the liquor stores in Sherman Oaks were fresh out of Canadian Mist. I didn’t have time to check before boarding the bus, but here, have some Burger King instead.” Which was where I stopped on the way down.

Harry wanted me to stay, said he was too ill to feed the bird, and he had cut himself near his eyelid by falling into a closet door mirror, so I had to put on my Florence Nightingale spit polish best and patch him up. He said that Duncan needed attending to and after I bandaged him up, he started to whip out a checkbook and starts writing  a check out.

For $20,000.

“What the fuck is this all about?” I said looking at the check.

He tells me he wants me to have it, in case he dies. Only cash it if or when he dies because he didn’t want the government getting hold of his banking account.

But I don’t believe a word he’s saying. I tell him that’s preposterous, ‘you’re not going to die, you’re an Armenian, remember? Armenians can’t be killed. Besides I’m going to owe you money because you agreed to help me fund that Genesis comic book.’ That’s right, Harry was going to help me with half of the legal fees to pay for the lawyer representing me to Genesis’ management to secure permission to write The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway as a comic book mini-series.

So I took a magnet and stuck the check on his refrigerator. His current roommate got a chuckle out of it, because the check turned out to be uncashable. More on that later.

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Harry’s roommate suggested that I spend the night, since he had to get up real early that next morning.  I was thrust into a sleepless night to nursemaid a near 60-year-old man. I kept yelling at Harry to get back into bed, because he kept insisting on walking in the kitchen, but only to fall flat on his face. Remember when I mentioned yesterday while I was his roommate, I kept waking up to the sounds of mysterious thuds in the middle of the night? Well, it turns out that sound was actually Harry dropping like a sack of potatoes and hitting the floor as he blacked out. It actually turns out that this wasn’t my first rodeo with him and the booze. He’s been like this since I’ve known him. Then I drag him off to bed, and then not more than ten minutes after I think he’d be sleeping it off, he’d be belting my name from out of his bedroom “CARRRRRYYYY

“What the fuck is it this time” I stormed in yelling

“I need hot water. Hot water for my feet.”

Looking at his feet, oh yeah, they’ve kind of swelled up like two balloons. How the fuck did that happen?

So I retrieved a big bucket, filled it to the top with hot tap water from the bathroom and placed it beneath his feet. “Dude, you soak them. I’m touching your feet.” Back to the couch I headed.

Then not more than twenty minutes later, a big crash is heard.

Now what is it?

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Why, it’s none other than Harry sitting up on his bedroom floor, looking all bewildered with a new 32 inch plasma television set resting on his head and an acoustic guitar in his hand, only he’s got the electric cord of the tv wrapped around the guitar’s neck and if I didn’t remove it carefully, that guitar was going to snap in half. Then if he sobers up, then he’s going to be mad.

And so it went on for most of the night. Think I got around two solid hours of sleep on the living room couch from 5 to 7 that morning until his roommate scurried out the door to work and woke me up. Then Harry emerges later that morning, and he says my first task of the day is to go over to the nearest CVS and to get him another bottle of whisky.

“Are you fucking nuts? I’m not doing that. You’re getting cut off as in right now.”

Then we start yelling about how it’s not fair that I’m not helping a friend. “I just wrote you a $20,000 check, didn’t I?” he states.

“So?”

“If you don’t get me a bottle, I’m going to cancel that check.”

Good. Go ahead, because if you look at the check, one can barely see my name spelt correctly and in the upper right hand corner, he scribbles a large 20,000 across where the date is supposed to go.

 I got back home that day and powered my phone down for the evening.

Friday at 10 AM, there’s a message from his roommate pleading me to get back down to Brentwood to check up on Harry, AND THIS TIME YOU BETTER BRING GLOVES!!

Okay, that can’t be good.

Around the hour between two and three that afternoon, I arrived at Harry’s condo after having made a pit stop at the CVS store on San Vicente Blvd to pick up disposable gloves, I found Harry in his bed shivering and convulsing. He was too far gone. He kept mumbling incoherently the word “fuck’ over and over and he thought I was his roommate returning by the way he kept repeating his name.

“It’s me, dude, Cary. Listen, you selfish prick: the next words I want to hear coming out of your mouth is ‘you better call me an ambulance. Call me an ambulance Cary. Otherwise I was never here and I’ll just leave you to fucking die. I’m not going through another day of this shit.’

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After another ten minutes of coaxing, he muttered out those words…

“call…. me …a….ambulance’.

Good enough. I was on the phone to 911 and surprisingly was still on the phone with the 911 dispatcher even as the paramedics arrive. Jeez, you never got this kind of speedy response if you were in Sherman Oaks, I tell you but this is Brentwood after all.

So they hauled him away and I was talking to his roommate at the time and he reminded me that I should tell the paramedics that they know him over at St. Joseph’s, but the paramedics threw me a curveball: ‘no, we’re taking him to UCLA Trauma Center.’ What the hell for?

For reasons I would learn hours later.

Once they left, I started applying the gloves, because there was blood everywhere on the phone. I had no idea what Harry had done to himself between the time I left him that late Thursday morning until now, but his roommate had told me he was staggering around in the kitchen when he had left for work this morning and had to help him back to the bedroom. I started the process of picking up bloody towels and bed sheets and throwing them out in the garbage…

….just as the police were arriving.

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Uh oh, This doesn’t look good.

Well, why didn’t they arrive with the paramedics? Like they did last spring?

So I underwent a near two-hour interrogation with the police. They were very cross with me. They grilled me with a series of questions: Why were you removing bloody objects from the room? (well, no one told me that this was a crime scene) Did you beat him up? Why do you have the key if you’re not living here anymore? How is it that his mirror is all smashed up?

That was only the cream of the crop. The ultimate question was “How the hell is there eight giant size bottles of whisky tucked under the bed?” One still remained partly half filled. Well, that figures, Harry was like a squirrel hiding his nuts away in hibernation. Even though he’s yelling at you to go buy him more booze, chances are if you refuse, he’s got a back up plan put in place just in case, bury it under the bed.

"Murdering fiend! You killed my best friend - and now you're trying frame me for it!!"

“Murdering fiend! You killed my best friend – and now you’re trying to frame me for it!!”

Harry’s roommate was on the phone with the police and they cleared up most of the matters concerning my presence at the apartment, so I was left to finish cleaning up and making sure the bird was taken care of. I could tell on the cops’ faces that they wanted out of there because of Duncan’s constant squawking was driving them crazy.

Later that night, I got a call from a nurse stationed at the trauma center of UCLA. She asked me what in the hell happened to this man and what was his name? I told her Harry’s name and the situation as best I could, They informed me that Harry went into cardiac arrest and it took a good two and a half hours to resuscitate him and he was in critical condition. So I had to start calling members of his family and close friends. I got his iphone working, and I couldn’t find the number of his sister who lived locally (and no wonder, it was listed under the word PIG), so I found his niece who lives close to me in Sherman Oaks, and then I contacted his brother in Las Vegas to make sure he let their mother know. Then after I got a hold of his girlfriend, we both went to UCLA over the weekend to keep a vigil over Harry until the family could arrive.

All I could think of at this point was: what a way to start off your weekend.

When everyone arrived and gathered together, we were informed by the trauma staff that Harry’s prognosis was not good. There was so much damage to his liver that not even a souped up brand spanking new dialysis machine couldn’t keep him stable. Even if Harry would wake up from his coma, he’d be mostly brain-dead and then he’d point the finger of blame to me for trying to save his life, therefore condemning him to a life of living hell.  I was curious to know why he legs blew up to the size of balloons, and I was told it was because his liver and pancreas were so full of poison, that every time he got up to walk or use the ballroom, it was  like an injection of a lethal venom shooting into his legs.

The final resting place of Harry Perzigian. Joining the pantheon of such other celebrity dignitaries such as Michael Jackson, John Wayne, and Ed McMahon who also died here. I sometimes work at the UCLA mail department located next door.

The final resting place of Harry Perzigian. Joining the pantheon of such other celebrity dignitaries such as Michael Jackson, John Wayne, and Ed McMahon who also died here. I sometimes work at the UCLA mail department located next door.

So on Tuesday April 29th, 2014 the family came to the fateful decision to pull Harry Perzigian off of life support. I didn’t stick around the hospital to see the plug get pulled out. I’ve already swayed to this number. Next came the hardest thing: going through Harry’s contact list and calling all the ex-live-in girlfriends and even before I was so despondent and distraught over the whole ordeal that I even reached out to a voice I hadn’t heard in thirty years.

Hey, look who's back. It's that mysterious girl from my past again...Linda, Linda....whats' her name. Oh yeah, Linda Freeman (now Yarosh). Didn't she contact me out of the blue on facebook back in 2009 for what reason again... and now here she is...in Burbank, California? What gives?

Hey, look who’s back. It’s that mysterious girl from my past again…Linda, Linda….whats’ her name. Oh yeah, Linda Freeman (now Yarosh). Didn’t she contact me out of the blue on facebook back in 2009 for what reason again… and now here she is…in Burbank, California? What gives?

Out of desperation, I called Linda Freeman, the old high school girlfriend, I figure if I’m talking to people of Harry’s past, why should I be shut out and not reach into my own? Linda Freeman now lives like seven miles from me in Burbank nearly on the same street I currently reside on that stretches all the way back to Sherman Oaks. We’re only separated by two Westfield shopping malls and she resides here because her daughter Danika Yarosh is a now budding young child actor, having achieved supporting and guest starring roles on Law & Order:SVU, In Plain Sight, some shows for Nickelodeon, and can be currently seen on the American version of the British television hit Shameless starring William Macy.

The offspring of Linda Freeman have invaded my home turf of Los Angeles. Danika Yarosh star of tv and screen, can be seen on the upcoming fifth  season of Shameless starting January 11th 2015.

The offspring of Linda Freeman have invaded my home turf of Los Angeles!! Danika Yarosh star of tv and screen, can be seen on the upcoming fifth season of Shameless starting January 11th 2015 on Showtime.

She advised me that I should take that check down to the bank and see if I could open an account with it and perhaps donate some of the money to Harry’s grandchildren and daughter who live in Australia and take what you need to finance the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway project. So that’s what I did, took Linda’s advice and it turns out due to how the check was written out, it was no good to cash. So I called the family and told them about what I was attempting to do and they got mighty pissed off at me, particularly the brother out in Las Vegas, but Harry’s other sister from San Jose gave me the money from her personal account to pay off the lawyer I needed to negotiate with Genesis’ manager Tony Smith. I stumbled by Linda’s phone number and address merely by coincidence in the SAG database, which was how I accidentally came across Phil Collins’ film agent.

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So now, my role in terms of Harry’s estate is that I shall remain as the curator of all of Harry’s demos, hoping to one day have friends and members of family treasure these precious musical gifts he has left the world. To my utter amazement, I came across three songs co-written by John Wetton and Curt Cuomo entitled “I Can’t Tell You”, “Back in Your Loving Arms” and “Power, Sex, & Money”. The latter was re-tweaked by John Wetton and Geoff Downes to be included on their Icon 3 album released in 2009. Harry nor I were aware that John brought that song back out of the mothballs. I gave looking for it in the record store bins a long while ago, even though I own the first two records in the Icon series. I’m sure if Harry was aware of its’ existence, I’d think he’d be a different man today.

A song called "Power, Sex, and Money" that Harry Perzigian had originally written with John Wetton was rewritten by Geoff Downes and John Wetton and appears on Icon 3 released in 2009. I don't think Harry knew of this album's existence, but he probably got paid royalties on its' use as his name appears in the production credits.

A song called “Power, Sex, and Money” that Harry Perzigian had originally written with John Wetton was rewritten by Geoff Downes and John Wetton and appears on Icon 3 released in 2009. I don’t think Harry knew of this album’s existence, but he probably got paid royalties on its’ use as his name appears in the production credits.

Tomorrow: a run down of all Yes box sets and live collections.

YES LOG 2011: STRAP IN FOR THE BUMPY BRENTWOOD RIDE

21 Oct

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Talk about fast forwarding the clock. We are now magically transported seven years to 2011 and here I was living abroad between two Los Angeles hotspots amidst the struggles of barely clinging to financial stability. From the year 2009 and onward, it’s definitely an era where you get to see the decline of my personal Western civilization crumbling into bits and chunks each and every day – not only with me, but Yes was going through some major, major perpetual changes, so much in fact, that the band is barely recognizable to the trained naked eye nor the trained naked ear.

Before we get to my personal fall from a high rung ladder, let’s check in with the band’s frequent activities without the such use of touring behind new material, rather they fell back on the strength of their previous 19 studio releases to carry the ball for them into the new millennium.

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Box sets and compilations came out by the score. In 2002, you have the incredible massive box set, Yes, In a Word (1969 -) which finally released truncated versions of three or four tracks that were scrapped for the unreleased 1979 album, The Golden Age (my title) that was ghost produced by Roy Thomas Baker, who’s recently back in the Yes highlight of things with this year’s new release, “Heaven & Earth” of which I will discuss in length tomorrow.

Then in 2004, you had the greatest hits package, The Ultimate Yes – 35th Anniversary Celebration  The US release got a bonus disc of Yes performing their classic songs from the Fragile era acoustically smattered with three new songs also performed acoustically. It didn’t really help sales all that much out in the US, but it did score Record Scan brownie points in the UK that propelled them in the top ten list for more than a decade.

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Then in 2005, we got another monster of a box set package which compiles a lot of live Yes nuggets going way back to the Peter Banks days up to the Big Generator tour of 1987 and 1988 in the three disc box set Yes: And the Word is Live, of more I will get into on Thursday’s entry, covering the live stuff.

Shitloads of tours followed, So many tours in fact, that I couldn’t keep up or afford to attend each one. I got to check out the band in the Los Angeles area a few times in 2002 and 2004 respectfully at the Universal City Amphitheater for the Full Circle tour when Rick Wakeman came back. I wouldn’t get to see Yes again after that until 2009 while I happened to be out in Las Vegas, where I ran into Michael Zullo, my high school friend from Parsippany, NJ and his fairly new blushing bride Heather. Michael’s bachelor party just happened to have took place at a Asia gig at the nearby House of Blues the previous year for their Phoenix album.

But something was quite different with the band when they first walked on stage at the Thomas & Mack Sports Arena located smack dab in the middle of Las Vegas University (Asia also were the opening act on this tour, although I got there too late to see them, but it was Steve Howe pulling double shifts).

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It wasn’t Jon Anderson up there singing on stage. It was some clean-cut looking doofus, not just singing Yes classic standards mind you, but he was singing MACHINE MESSIAH from Drama? How does it ever happen?

Egads……..could that possibly be….?

Huey Lewis singing for Yes??

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And just what is up with Rick Wakeman? Why does he look like he’s thirty years younger and has pimples?

Well, the answer will startle your cockles as we examine the ever incredible expanding open door of Yes members walking in and out of phase – even as much to go far as the phase cancellation of the band’s beloved member for the second and final time. How did these young whippersnappers get into the old people’s ball in the first place, let alone on the new Yes studio release in nearly a decade?

Only Wikipedia advises us to take us away from the heart of the storm:

Fly from Here is the twentieth studio album from the English progressive rock band Yes.

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Yes’ first studio album since Magnification (2001), it is also the only one to feature Canadian singer Benoît David, and only the second album (after 1980’s Drama) without former singer Jon Anderson and with keyboardist Geoff Downes. The line-up is David, Downes, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe and drummer Alan White. The album was produced by Trevor Horn, who was the singer on Drama, and who had previously produced 90125 (1983) and initially Big Generator (1987).

The album takes its name from its main work, “Fly from Here“, a 24-minute composition split up into six songs. The basis of the hexalogy was a demo originally recorded by Downes and Horn of The Buggles before they joined Yes in 1980. After Yes disbanded in 1981, Horn and Downes recorded a second demo, and both recordings became the foundation of the tracks “We Can Fly” and “Sad Night at the Airfield.”

Fly from Here was first released on 22 June 2011 in Japan and France, followed by releases on 1 July in the rest of Europe and Australia and on 12 July in the United States. It peaked at number 30 on the UK Albums Chart, and number 36 on the US Billboard 200.

Fly from Here is Yes‘ first studio album since the release of Magnification (2001), the longest gap to date between two Yes studio albums. It is also their only studio album with Canadian singer Benoît David on lead vocals who had replaced long-time member Jon Anderson in 2008. Before joining Yes, David performed as the lead vocalist in Close to the Edge, a Canadian Yes tribute band, for more than 10 years. He remains the lead singer of the Canadian band Mystery, which he joined in 1999.

In 1980, singer Trevor Horn and keyboardist Geoff Downes of The Buggles replaced Yes members Anderson and Rick Wakeman. They feature on Drama (1980) and its supporting tour. Before joining the band, Horn and Downes had first approached Squire, Howe, and White with a demo titled “We Can Fly from Here.” The first rehearsals had featured Bill Bruford on drums, an original member of Yes who had left in 1972. It was later recorded as a studio demo and was never recorded for Drama, but it was performed live on the subsequent tour, of which a live performance appears on the compilation live album The Word is Live (2005). After Yes disbanded in 1981, Horn and Downes recorded another demo of “We Can Fly from Here”, this time as a two-part suite. It was a candidate for inclusion on The Buggles’ second album, Adventures in Modern Recording (1981) and was eventually featured as a bonus track on the album’s 2010 reissue. These two demos and a third (which has not been released) would become the basis of the tracks “We Can Fly”, “Sad Night at the Airfield”, and “Madman at the Screens”.Downes returned to Yes for Fly from Here, handling “most of the keyboards”, following the departure of Oliver Wakeman, who had contributed both to the album’s writing and recording.

Someone got a raw deal...

Someone got a raw deal here.

According to Squire, “Fly from Here” is the band’s 11th epic-length piece, their first in 15 years, which clocks in at nearly 24 minutes. “Life on a Film Set” is based on “Riding a Tide,” a Buggles demo that was first released on the 2010 reissue of Adventures in Modern Recording.

The first recording sessions took place between 3 October and 12 November 2010 at SARM West Coast Studios in Los Angeles, California, before resuming in the first week of January 2011. Horn produced the album using the digital audio workstation software Pro Tools. The album was then mixed in April 2011 at SARM West Studios in London, with additional vocals being added.

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The cover was designed by artist Roger Dean, who has created many of the group’s previous album covers. It is a painting he started in 1970 but had remained uncompleted. He finished it in the style of his current works, but the colour and texture were kept from the original.

SONGS / TRACK LISTING:

1. Fly from Here – Overture” Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes 1:53
2. Fly from Here, Part I: We Can Fly Horn, Downes, Chris Squire 6:00
3. “Fly from Here, Part II: Sad Night at the Airfield” Horn, Downes 6:41
4. “Fly from Here, Part III: Madman at the Screens” Horn, Downes 5:16
5. “Fly from Here, Part IV: Bumpy Ride” Steve Howe 2:15
6. “Fly from Here, Part V: We Can Fly (Reprise)” Horn, Downes, Squire 1:44
7. “The Man You Always Wanted Me to Be” Squire, Gerard Johnson, Simon Sessler 5:07
8. “Life on a Film Set” Horn, Downes 5:01
9. “Hour of Need” Howe 3:07
10. “Solitaire” Howe 3:30
11. “Into the Storm” Squire, Oliver Wakeman, Howe, Horn, Benoît David, Alan White 6:54
12. “Hour of Need (Full-length version)” (Japanese CD issue bonus track) Howe 6:45

It would seem from the point of a view from a dedicated die-hard fan, such as myself, this albums seems to serve a multitude of purposes.

It sort of ties up a few loose ends with the conclusion to the Buggles saga.

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It is a sequel of sorts to Drama. In fact, I remarked to Billy Sherwood outside a Asia show at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, Ca while having a cigarette that the band should call the new record “Melodrama” in reference to the reunion of the Buggle lads into the Yes fold, to which Billy interjected, ‘that band is anything but melodrama’.

A long gestating Yes song. “We Can Fly From Here”  once sought out by collectors and Yes-philes in its’ raw demo form has finally seen the light of day.

The artwork that Roger Dean provided for the album cover IS in fact, a sequel to Drama, despite what Dean says about it being an unfinished work from the seventies. Look closely between the two flying hawks and you’ll see a silhouette of a cat jumping out of a tree, the same silhouette of the cat that is also seen on the Drama cover.

Holed up working at this clinc at the time when Fly From Here was released. Solidary confinement for three months.

Holed up working at this clinic at the time when Fly From Here was released. Solidary confinement for three months.

Upon the initial date of its US release, it was Michael Zullo’s younger brother Mark who pitched in for a copy for me while he was living with me for three years at my current abode. My finances were dwindled at the time (actually the same as it stands today) working my butt off at a medical clinic for the low-income people of the city of Santa Monica. Place was a fucking disaster to work in, It was the only place in the longest while that I couldn’t stand a moment of even breathing in its’ air, I was put in a brick mortar room located right on the mental health floor to scan medical files, and I was on constant lock out from listening to music or radio, let alone allowed to speak to my co-worker, not even as Fly From Here is concerned, it wasn’t enough to cheer me up from the shit working conditions I’ve been placed in and I needed a way out. I was sick and tired of hearing people yelling and screaming at their psychiatrists and throwing chairs around. Mark’s heart was in the right place in helping me obtain a copy when I really couldn’t afford one, as the old Zullo adage still applied: ‘every new Yes record day is a holiday in this house.” – but unfortunately, even with the return of my keyboard hero, Geoff Downes at the keyboard centrifuge – in all, it’s just incoherent misfires cobbled together by old bricks and mortar of demo ghosts of the past.

Bend and stretch.. Geoff Downes, the Jack LaLanne of keyboardist sect demonstrates how calisthenics can really work for you behind the rack mounts.

“Bend and stretch” Geoff Downes, the Jack LaLanne of the keyboardist sect demonstrates how calisthenics can really work for you behind the rack mounts.

There’s only two songs I like on the entire album, The twenty-four minute suite of unfinished business that make up the  “Fly From Here” suite and the Oliver Wakeman co-penned epic finale of “Into the Storm”, which makes you wonder, why was the curry-less and cape-less Oliver Wakeman was even sacked from the group in the first place? Well, ….because Trevor Horn didn’t feel comfortable working with any other keyboard player other than Geoff Downes, especially on songs written together three decades ago. Regardless, it’s still around 70% percent of the album that I’m comfortable with.

If you lads don't mind, I'll just sit out on the vocal duties this time around.

If you lads don’t mind, I’ll just sit out on the vocal duties this time around.

For the rest of the album everything else seems out-of-place, as it tries to evoke a county western/so cal rock vibe of sort. Chris Squire’s “The Man You Always Wanted Me to Be” probably wouldn’t sound out-of-place on a Toby Keith record, I understand from further research, that Chris’s writing partner’s on that song, Gerald Johnson is a member of Chris’ Syn project (and there would be another collaboration with him on the new album). A Buggles outtake, “Life on A Film Set” boasts the most dumbest Yes lyric line ever devised by man, “riding the tiger” over and over towards its’ end. Steve Howe’s “Hour of Need”, which should have been something saved for many of his solo records. It’s really the only piece of music that sort of has Oliver Wakeman in the forefront of the mix with some acute synth flourishes. They sound like throwaway tracks – adding nothing to the album’s overall theme.  It’s the final track “Into the Storm” that kicks the nutsack continuity into overdrive, wondering what the possibilities would’ve been had OW  been allowed to stay aboard and proceeded in this direction. It’s a great little seven minute journey that could have stood at the pantheon of  Yes modern era classics.

I was too broke to even see the tour, of which I understand that Benoit David got replaced on by new Laguna Beach sage man Jon Davidson after David suffered a respiratory ailment while on tour.

Why isn’t that the same thing that benched Jon Anderson to the Yes camp sidelines?

Yes, I believe it was.

But it could be that curse that somehow befalls all Yes singers, and Trevor Horn probably had it too, but he didn’t realize it until it was too late, sparing us his off-key renditions of the old classics this time around.

It’s that bug going around, I’ve been hearing on all over the news about….

Yes Ebola.

And if you try to sing in the same high register alto that Jon Anderson naturally sings in while the rest are merely mimicking  falsetto – I’d say quarantine that man in an incubation cube for a period of 21 years instead of days.

So as I was saying earlier in the blog – seven years I spent between 2004 and 2011 had seen its’ ups and down. I couldn’t determine which way the wind blew for me as things seem remained inconsistent in my life. I worked for four movie studios in that exact timeframe, only to have each job end on a laid off sour note.  In 2005, I was let go from Warner Bros, but I sort of had a girlfriend on the side who was an amateur adult actress who blew through my credits card and unemployment checks like no tomorrow (and that wasn’t all she blew) , so I had to get a job working with Paramount Pictures calculating box office receipts (right in an office building across the street from the Sherman Oaks Galleria from where I saw Yes perform) – then that girlfriend got me fired from there for sending lewd pictures of her to my work e-mail address. Not more than a month passed did I get a nice cushy job working at Fox Sports Network helping out with accounts receivable department that paid me pretty ok, but that turned out to be a seasonal position that only required me to work until baseball season was over, and from there I got a job at Sony Pictures Television that I fell in love with researching Nielsen ratings for syndication programming. That job lasted me for two years and earned me an office with a silver plaque on the door. I got let go from there because of unresolved contractor negotiations when Sony wanted me to stay permanent but my agency wanted a huge chunk of percentage from my impending first year of salary. It took me a good three years after that to find any meaningful employment in the entertainment biz.

Me hard at work in my high rise office at Sony Pictures Television.

Me hard at work in my high rise office at Sony Pictures Television in Westwood.

I was so cocky with my position with Sony that I chanced myself to venture out of the San Fernando Valley and moved in with my best friend at the time, Harry Perzigian at his stylish Brentwood pad – but it wasn’t not even two weeks after I settled in that I got a two-week notice to vacate my Westwood area high-rise office on the top floor of the Saban building (my floor was where the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers first auditioned). When I started to collect my unemployment, I was shanghaied by another agency of which I worked at a post production facility that claimed that I didn’t give them notice that I quit them to go take the job for Sony. so while I was waiting to appeal that decision, I was forced to work my rent off by working for one of Harry’s brothers in some loan modification boiler room office in Burbank that was located literally blocks from where that girl who I went to high school with now lives. For some unfathomable reason, I can’t think of her name right now.  BUT I bet it comes back to me tomorrow.

My now once upon a time home away from home in Brentwood.

My now once upon a time home away from home in Brentwood.

However I didn’t last no more than a half a year trying to live with Harry and his parrot, Duncan. Strange situations were afloat in that condo. Weird things would drop on the floor in the middle of the night. Classical music would be blaring at 3:00 in the morning, and uncontrollable bursts of yelling at me to wake up and interrogate me why a $300 electrical bill wasn’t paid off yet, even though the bill wasn’t due for another two weeks. Even when “Fly From Here” was released in 2011, Harry threw me out of the house because I dared to put a Yes album on his stereo without Jon Anderson singing on it.”IT’S NOT YES, IF IT DOESN’T HAVE JON ANDERSON ON IT!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND??,” he would yell.

It wasn’t a side I was used to seeing from this friend of mine, so my surrogate sister Becky kept pestering me to move back to the Valley to help a friend of hers out with rent. After three times of telling her to fuck off I finally relented and checked the place out during the summer of 2009 and I was pretty snazzed that the room had it own patio door and a small fireplace to myself but the small caveat was, the fat fuck who was renting the room to me smoked way too much pot (and little did I know back in Brentwood who also indulged in pill popping proclivities)  but it was better than being destitute and laughed at about how broke you are in Brentwood, so I gave the fat fuck rent for the next month and a deposit and I’ve remained there ever since, because it just happens that the fat fuck I was renting the place from was a serious hard-core diabetic and just didn’t know how to stop, so he just went into a coma and died. That’s where Mark Zullo came back in the picture, wanting a chance of pace from the stagnating life he forged for himself and his brothers Joe and Pat in North Carolina. So I was in sore need of a roommate and it worked out ok between us for three years.

But I was missing those stories of Harry’s about the celebs that used to snort coke and booze it up big in that Brentwood condo. Harry used to regale me twenty-four seven about how John Entwistle from the Who would come over and check out Harry’s basses. Gatherings of Sunset Strip debauchery usually ended up at Harry’s house with Toto’s Bobby Kimball guest starring on the grand piano in Harry’s bedroom (it’s been taken a sledgehammer to in the years since Harry didn’t want to pay to get it tuned, but it was replaced by Mark Zullo’s Rhodes electric piano that was sold to Harry in exchange for rent money).

Linda Hamilton used to snort Coke on the couch with some of her friends.

Lois & Clark’s Dean Cain would hang out with Harry after a nearby workout to listen to records.

Jeff Fahey introduced young relatively unknown actor Benicio del Toro to Harry when they used to hang out and go barhopping.

Harry Perzigian's vacation capitol of the world.

Harry Perzigian’s vacation capitol of the world.

When Harry was released from the downtown Central Men’s jail at Parker Center concerning his ‘drug furnishing’  ordeal with Carroll O’Connor’s son, it was none other than Different Strokes’s Todd Bridges who picked him up and became his rehab sponsor.

During the time Stevie Nicks was recording her most famous solo hit, “Stand Back”, Harry was in the recording studio with her at the time and witnessed her assistant having to blow cocaine through a straw and up her rectum because her doctor said that Stevie’s cartridge was so severely damaged, that anymore cocaine were to be to go up her nasal cavity, it would lead to cardiac arrest but Stevie couldn’t manage to wean herself off of it and invented a new way  to take it orally.

Glenn Frey was so upset that the toilet paper in the studio where he recorded “The Allnighter” was placed improperly on the roll of being tucked under instead of over, that he fired his assistant immediately.

Ryan O’Neal and Harry got into fisticuffs at a gym after a workout because he suspected that Harry was fucking Farrah Fawcett Majors. I know this one to be true, because I had spoken to Ryan on the phone when he called to invite Harry to Farrah’s funeral.

Harry's constant foil, Kevin Dubrow, lead singer of Quiet Riot. They started out as great friends, even wrote a song together, but their friendship soured. to the point where Dubrow was leaving threatening phone messages. Dubrow later killed himself in Las Vegas from too much booze and jerking-off. Oh, and that's a wig he's wearing.

Harry’s constant foil, Kevin Dubrow, lead singer of Quiet Riot. They started out as great friends, even wrote a song together, but their friendship soured. to the point where Dubrow was leaving threatening phone messages. Dubrow later killed himself in Las Vegas from too much booze and jerking-off. Oh, and that’s a wig he’s wearing by the way.

Quiet Riot’s Kevin Dubrow (they actually wrote a song together called “Slam Dunk” that was recorded by Pretty Boy Floyd and used as the title song for the soundtrack of the movie.) used to shack up at Harry’s apartment and masturbate like six times a day in the shower without removing that ridiculous wig off his head.

Rainbow/Deep Purple/ELP drummer Cozy Powell used to hole up at Harry’s house when he wasn’t in the UK.

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Harry worked on and recorded some new songs at my house utilizing Mark’s very own Pro Tools on his mac, just like the very one Trevor Horn used to record “Fly From Here”. There were like around fifty takes of a song Harry wrote about his new lady friend Melinda. I applied a mellotron flute patch from my Alesis QS8.2 synthesizer to one of the takes (nicknamed the Silver Synther – TO ME MY BOARD!!), but Harry nixed it because it sounded too much to him like the Moody Blues (well, fucking la de da). Mark Zullo, who was engineering the session threw up his hands in frustration and resigned and told Harry to seek out a professional engineer. I used to be one myself, but I don’t understand how these digital devices nowadays My niece Olivia and I would just stay out of it and babysit Duncan in my room hoping he wouldn’t be squawking during the recordings.

Harry's bird Duncan on my shoulder helps me keep time as I run through another sonata.

Harry’s bird Duncan on my shoulder helps me keep time as I run through another sonata.

It was also the period when I released my latest Deposit Man mini-series called Deposit Man: Playgod. This particular issue dealt with my fascination with 1920’s flapdancer Josephine Baker and voyeur writer extraordinaire Henry Miller. I celebrate the publication of this issue by calling up two black female escorts and fuck them at my dad’s house in Las Vegas (where I had my books printed) while he was on vacation somewhere at a family reunion in Wisconsin. Probably some neighbor snitched on me and that might be the reason why he’s not talking to me these days.

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There was certainly doozies and I’ll have a big doozy of my own concerning Harry, and nothing between Heaven & Earth is going to prevent me from telling it.  So tune in tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

YES LOG 2004: SHOW ME A MAN ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF A SHERMAN OAKS SKY

20 Oct

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The next five blogs will serve as the perfect addendum to my epic blog mini-series, The Yes Logs. For the past five months you have been witnessed to the whole gamut of Yes studio releases (not the live releases, mind you. I will be dedicating Thursday’s blog to that whole schmeil) ranging from 1969’s soul searching debut album at the time when I was a toddler spanning all the way forward

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to 2001’s 19th   studio release of the classically fusion Magnification just as I was starting my employment at a major movie studio amid the horror backdrop of Saudi Arabian terrorists invading America’s most famous city. In the middle of that I sprinkled assorted knowledge and theories about the album that never materialized in 1979 that was under the producing vision of Roy Thomas Baker in a whole new entry. The rest of the entries were originally posted on another blog ten years earlier that used to serve as the mother ship called purplepinupguru.blogspot.com , but if you were to log on to find them, they would be unrecognizable to the untrained eye, as I writing them in the third person of my sex charged purple pinup guru persona.

Don’t ask- it was just a stupid gimmick at the time. The fun I enjoyed most about writing these blogs were that were written on Warner Bros studio’s dime. When all my work would run out before the day was through, I’d had three hours of downtime before I was allowed to punch out, so I blogged, mostly in a lavish veneer stupor.

Most of those blogs were edited by my long time editor and collaborator Sparky Santos. Anything after the 90125 album, he sort of lost interest, and I was left on my own to post up the rest. Looking back at the originals, sort of glad I got the chance to revisit them here boy, they are sure were very conceited pieces of work from a decade back.

For those who haven’t picked up on the format of the pieces, I’ll try to explain:  the first part of these blogs, I state certain facts or certain tall tales that have been passed down from all the forty-five years since the band has been around pertaining to the period of time of the studio album we’re talking about – then we take a visit to Wikipedia to see if any of those facts or dissertations happen to match up to what I’m writing off the cuff of my head. We then follow with the listing of songs and see who has been accredited to their creation. On the fourth leg of our journey (don’t worry, it’s not to the center of the earth), I recount whether or not I saw that tour on the blog entry’s release, which didn’t officially begin for me until the band released Tormato back in 1978. Then in conclusion, I recount whatever personal event happened to me growing up during the period of that album’s release. Got me so far?

But the days are growing shorter, and the newer releases were growing thinner and thinner as time went on. A massive 5 disc box set was released in 2002 called “In a Word, Yes (1969 –“ which compiled a whole slew of Yes classics, rarities, and extended versions of songs into one massive package if you’re willing to spend six and a half hours with the band all in one sitting, then this is the package for you!! Curry powered concerto master Rick Wakeman was back for a fourth and final round helping to pack in the medium-sized theaters that included a couple of stops at the Universal Amphitheater in support of this massive retrospect.

Another two years down the line, as a prelude to perhaps recording a new studio album, the band went into practice mode and decided along with Rhino Records (which technically was their old homestead of Warner Bros/Elecktra/Atlantic Records) to test the waters with a three compact disc greatest hits package called The Ultimate Yes 35th Anniversary Collection.  The first two discs were a short time capsule capture of what the band had been up to at the moment of its’ inception to it present classical music leanings, with a few rarities thrown in for good measure such as the single edits of America, Soon, It Can Happen, The Calling, and Homeworld (The Ladder). The real gem out of all these assemble together singles is an entirely unheard remix of the title track to Big Generator (which contradicts whoever was spearheading the Rhino re master series saying that they were no extended or unheard of tracks to use on the last album recorded for Atlantic , so it was omitted but yet, going to back to last Christmas, a brand new re-mastered Big Generator is included on the box set The Studio Albums: 1969 – 1987).

For the reason why I’m including this collection in my Yes Log series of studio releases is simply because the third disc on the American version is nothing but a short EP of acoustic warm up sessions including a jazzed up versions of two perennial classics songs from the Fragile era “Roundabout” and “South Side of the Sky” featuring Wakeman at his boogie piano playing best. Jon Anderson channels his inner Bob Dylan in the short but poignant “Show Me,” Steve Howe contributes a solo guitar piece called “Australia”, and Chris Squire serves up a bass solo sequel of sorts to his “Amazing Grace” in an all bass guitar droning treatment of Dvorak’s “New World Symphony”.

Sadly, this is how close the ‘the definitive lineup’ of Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman, and Alan White got to do one last studio album before calling it a night. Ending even more on a sour note, this would be the last recorded appearances of both co-founder Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman on a studio album and their involvement with the band PERIOD (but another Wakeman shall arise to take Rick’s place in tomorrow’s chapter).

Only Wikipedia is capable enough to procure the proper Ultimate Yes knowledge – although that could easily be debated.

The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection is a triple compilation album by progressive rock band Yes, was released in 2003 in the United Kingdom and in early 2004 in the United States, and covers the length and breadth of the band’s thirty-five-year career.

Released on Warner Music in the UK as a double CD, the United States edition – on Rhino Records – included a bonus disc of acoustic recordings of old and new material recorded in October 2003. One song from the third disc, “Show Me,” is based on a recording from the “Fragile days,” according to Jon Anderson in Yesspeak Live: The Director’s Cut. Both editions also feature a different tracklisting and running order.

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The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection entered the United Kingdom charts at number ten upon its mid-2003 release, giving Yes their highest charting album there since 1991. In the United States, it reached only number 131.

With a range of material from 1969’s Yes to 2001’s Magnification – and beyond – The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection supplants earlier greatest hit retrospectives such as Classic Yes and Yesstory.

The later US release included a third disc of new recordings. These included three semi-acoustic band recordings, similar to what the band had been playing live: two versions of old Yes songs (“Roundabout” and “South Side of the Sky”) and one new song by Anderson (“Show Me”). Also included was a Howe solo recording, a new version of his solo piece from the 1970s, “Australia”, recorded with the help of Oliver Wakeman, (oh, how about that?) Rick’s son, who would later join Yes. Finally, “New World Symphony” was a solo recording by Squire, an adaptation of Dvorak‘s Symphony No. 9 in E min.

The lyrics to “Show Me” are about the Gulf War

I’m going to disperse with the regular track listing and just list the contents of disc three. We already know about the crazy shit on the first two discs.

Disc three track listing:

1. Roundabout (song)|Roundabout (Acoustic)” (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe) – Total time 4:18
2.”Show Me” (Jon Anderson) –  Total time: 3:37
3. South Side of the Sky|South Side of the Sky (Acoustic)” (Jon Anderson/Chris Squire/Rick Wakeman) – Total time 4:28
:I. “South Side of the Sky”
:II. “South SIde Variations”
4.”Australia (Solo Acoustic)” (Steve Howe) – Total time: 4:12
5.”New World Symphony” (Chris Squire, based on Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 in E min) – Total time: 3:33

When the album was released on that late January day in 2004 , along with its’ companion documentary dvd Yesspeak – the band celebrated its’ US release by throwing a big bash acoustic performance at none other than at the Tower Records in Sherman Oaks Galleria located directly across the street on Ventura Blvd from where I was living in Sherman Oaks. I mean, the band was so close to my house (which used to be owned by Wizard of Oz Tin Woodsman actor Jack Haley, by the way) that I could’ve easily invited and thrown a barbecue for them – that is, if they weren’t still into their tofu craze).

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I was employed full-time at Warner Bros, not as a contractor, not as a temp, but a full-fledged employee. What was also cool is that even though I worked on the lot and in another annex building located near the Burbank airport, my access card could get me into any building that was off-site and that included the animation division which was also located at the Sherman Oaks Galleria at the time. So on the off chance I had stopped in the Tower Records on my way home from work and found out that the signing was going to be taking place the next day. Oh cool, I thought, but for one caveat: ‘you had to line up in the morning to get a wristband and you had to pre-purchase the 3 CD collection in order to get it signed.’ So I rushed immediately to the guard desk at Warner Bros Animation, flashed my badge and asked to use the phone system – hoping my boss would still be hanging around doing some overtime in her office. I dialed the extension and luckily enough she was there and I told her, ‘hey boss, there’s an emergency taking place near my house, and I’m going to be just a tad bit late in the morning’. She said fine, as long as I didn’t blow my accumulated sick hours out.

So I got up at 4:30 in the morning (of which I have had lots and lots of practice of getting up early for) to wait in a small line developing at the Tower Records, I knew scoring a place in line this early would speed me on my way faster to work once I got the wristband (damn store didn’t open until 9 AM) and at least prevented me from not getting shut out completely.

But still I was like thirty or forty something in line – so it was a in for me. Then someone coming from a gym workout with a baseball cap and sunglasses (although I don’t why someone would be wearing sunglasses at 5:30 in the morning when the sun isn’t anywhere near the horizon) asked all of us waiting in line was the hoopla was about. “We’re waiting in line for a Yes appearance at this store” I excitedly and voluntarily proclaimed.

“Oh yeah, no shit?” he replied. “Man, I love Yes. Do you mind if I wait with you guys? They’re going to be here tonight?”

So this strange sunglass wearing man got in line and started striking a conversation with me about all the bands he liked, usually centering around Yes and Frank Zappa. He inquired what it was that I did and I told him that I gotten permission from my boss at Warner Bros to wait here, taking a break from my duties at the studio processing invoices for craft people who work at the soundstages and that I wrote comic books on the side. He started telling me that he was a songwriter himself and had contributed words and music to some known acts such as Vixen and John Wetton, of the latter he mention a guitar player he worked on a number of songs named Brian Young.

“Wait a minute” I started to ask him.” He wouldn’t be married to a Nancy Walter by any chance?

Flabbergasted he flustered, “Yeah, I know Nancy. Good people. I hung out with them while I was in the studio working with Wetton. Real talented guy.”

Then I updated him about how he was currently touring with David Lee Roth after being spotted by Roth playing in a tribute band called the Atomic Punks. The news didn’t surprise him, so from there I asked him his name. “Oh it’s Harry Paris.”

“Like the city?”

“Yeah, sort of, but it’s spelled P-A-R-E-S-S”

Really, do you have any brothers?

He mentioned two.

“Oh, and would their last names be London or Moscow by any chance?”

We kept each other company until the doors finally opened and the wristbands were distributed and I said to him, ‘well, I guess we’ll see each other tonight then’.

“Oh absolutely, I got a wristband for my girlfriend too. So I’ll introduce you two.”

I got to work around ten that morning, and after my preliminary duties were finished, I decided to give Nancy a call and told her about meeting this Harry Paress who said he knew her husband.”

I could still recall the shivering shock in her voice. “What? You met Harry Paress? THE HARRY PARESS?”

Puzzled by her abrupt reaction, I pressed on with “Yeah, why do you phrase his name like that?”

Nancy, in a uptempo cautionary tone then chimed,  “DON’T  YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO HE IS?”

Feigning my usual naiveté self: “Well, he told me he was a songwriter who once worked with your husband.”

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Then Nancy let it rip: “Cary, he’s been implicated in the death of Hugh O’Connor. He’s been in jail because he sold bad drugs to him and his father, Carroll O’Connor had him prosecuted because he claims his son would still be alive today if the drugs that Harry sold him hadn’t caused Hugh to shoot himself. You should stay away from this guy. He’s bad news.”

“Oh, that’s interesting. Well, Nancy thanks for the tip. I’ll keep it under advisement. Talk to you later. I miss staring at your sweet ass at work, Ciao”

After work, I got  home to take a shower and later sauntered across the street. The line was out the door again. only allowing us in by the number of your wristband given to you earlier that morning and sure enough, there was Harry waiting for me at the store entrance.

It was the first time I heard him utter to me, his trademark greeting “Hey man” and he approached me in his traditional garb of a Los Angeles Angels cap and jacket.

“Hey, so, I hear you’re some sort of famous writer.”

“Whatever gave you that idea?”

He cocked his head back and started to rely his personified intel to me. “Well, I know I found a King Crimson review of yours and some other band called Porcupine Tree. And then there are these reviews of your comic book called the Deposit Man or something, some not very flattering, I should add.”

“How did you come across these things?”

“Oh, my girlfriend Barbara – she googled you.”

Back in those days, the thought of some stranger completing a search engine search on you, was a quite an unnerving feeling, I was wondering, ‘gee, should I mention my big reveal?’ I guess I wasn’t the only one who was investigating who around here.

Shortly after being introduced to Barbara, we found places in the store where we could be comfortable checking out the performance without some tall guy as big as a tree blocking my stocky 5’6 frame.

Everyone was presented and accounted for in the Yes Camp, except Chris was his usual late self getting to the stage. The band played a lot of their old standards, but slightly re-arranged to accommodate their acoustic instrument versions such as Roundabout, South Side of the Sky, I’ve Seen All Good People, and “And You and I”. They were up on stage for at least an hour. Lots of fun bantering between the members in such an intimate setting which was more than any Yes fan could ever dream possible, although it was pretty damn crowded to the max, even though aisles of CDs were removed to be placed in back of the store to make room for the crowd. The store was two stories tall with stairways and escalators (not in operation of course) being fully occupied. People didn’t like to see Steve Howe sitting in a chair throughout the evening and they kept bellowing at him to stand up, but Steve was complaining that he pulled his calf or something of that nature, and refused to stand. You can find portions of this performance on the bonus features of the dvd Yes released of another acoustic performance (I think it was taped at a studio in Washington DC) called Yes Acoustic: Guaranteed No Hiss.

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The evening ended majestically with a great non-hurried signing. Groups of ten were assigned at one time to meet and greet the band and the atmosphere of camaraderie was just so pleasant this time around rather than my last personal encounter. You got to spend a reasonable amount of time talking to each member. Jon Anderson was in such a jovial mode that night, he initiated all the handshaking and said pleasantries to each one standing in line. Even though, the signing was limited to only the CD collection and DVD, but I somehow snuck in my Conspiracy album that Chris collaborated on with Billy Sherwood called “The Unknown” uttering my kiss ass appreciation that it was one of my favorite non-solo album that I had ever heard from him since “Fish Out of Water”. “Oh right, I’ll sign it for you kid, but make sure that no one’s looking”. He signed it and I snuck it back into my coat pocket before a security guard could catch us.

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I saw Harry and Barbara as I was leaving and we were happy that we got to share something in common that night. Harry proposed to me ‘that since I was very knowledgeable with what’s going with the world of progressive rock, would I mind imposing that we’d hang out and go to a record store and maybe catch up with some bands he never heard of. He was practically interested about this band I wrote a concert review about called Marillion.

I was reluctant at first, remembering to heed Nancy’s warning, but this guy’s easy going attitude and demeanor didn’t seem like a threat to me. And any wisdom about progressive rock I can pass on to the uninitiated is something I take particular pride in. So yeah, I gave him my house number, not thinking he’d use it or throw it out, plus the guy claimed to have written songs with John Wetton, that’s got to be at least some salacious stuff in the music industry worth its’ weight in gold

It wasn’t more than a couple of months later that Harry called from his place in Brentwood and showed up at my door, and unfortunately the house was being sold off and everyone was in the process of moving. Obi-Dan Kenobi had his longtime Jewish friend Len Cane visiting to make sure nothing of his was being left behind. Len used to revel in his days of living in my old home town of Parsippany, NJ, telling me how Lake Hiawatha used to be a vacation resort for the east coast celebrity sect back in the 1930s and 1940s’. I said that idea was preposterous, there was no lake there when I was growing up.  Len was usually regarded as the jokemeister at the age of eighty-something (I doubt he’s alive today) always courting with the standard fare of jewish and polish jokes as jewish old guys are prone to talk all day about with every other third word that comes out of their mouths. It’s like walking in on a Larry David secret cabal meeting taking place at a lunchtime at Canter’s.

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Until Harry arrived at the scene, roaring up into my drive way with his Classic 1973 customed Ford Mustang (which was the first time I was seeing this boat myself). Harry had the two old guys in complete stitches with jokes that were fired rapidly, relentlessly, and unapologetic. Before you could say ‘check please’,  I never thought I’d see the day Len Cane being schooled out of his own element choking on his generic brand of cheap smokes he used to indulge in smoking at our backyard pool and patio.

Later, after all the mirth had died down, I coaxed Harry into checking out Moby Disc, a small independent record store further down Ventura Blvd just a block away from where the old Tower Records location used to be. I had nearly forgotten about the time when Spock’s Beard set up outside the store on a sidewalk and gave an impromptu concert performance in support of their 2002 Snow album. (It was also the last time I saw once upon a time lead singer Neal Morse perform) As I was telling Harry that story, I recommended some of the titles I saw that I already had from The Flower Kings and Marillion (it was the Afraid of Sunlight album that grabbed him), then we had lunch at some place called Roman’s on Ventura Blvd which is now a Chase Manhattan bank.

From there, a great friendship was bonded, although it wouldn’t be for a few years until I actually worked up the nerve to hang out at his fable Brentwood pad, which was rumored to have had numerous celebrity attended parties filled with all kinds of devious debauchery.

So that’s how I met the controversial figure of Harry Paress, who’s real name I later found out was Harry Perzigian.  More of Harry tomorrow, which will be significant in our conversation pertaining to a Jon Anderson-less 2011 release of Fly From Here.

Other notable events of this period:

I released my first ever Deposit Man three issue mini-series called The Deposit Man and the Last Great Gate of Mortality. I debuted the first issue at a comic book convention in Las Vegas held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. In addition to Larry Nadolsky’s phenomenal pencils and inks, I employ letterer and graphic designer and small press publishing colleague Oliver Simonsen and Sparky Santos as editor and cover designer, as well as cover painter Masakela Polee, a very talented painter whom I discovered while riding on a MTA bus.

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When it came to females during this period, I started to show off my soft dark jerk-off side. A fellow temp at Warner Bros tried to pin a sexual harassment case against me simply because I wanted to show her the old wild western town of Laramie on the lot before it was wrecked down and had new offices standing in its’ place. We down on the lot together doing some kind of mandatory safety seminar and she drove me down in her car. After we came back she complained to my boss that I had caressed her thigh, which was completely untrue. I told the boss she was off her nut, I may have gently tugged on her arm to lure her to see the Western town before it was demolished. In a huff, we had a spat in front of our co-workers that resulted in her giving me the finger and I retaliated by telling her to stop showing her IQ score to everyone in the room. She cried and left the building, never to be seen ever again. My boss just shook her head and went back to her office, not saying a word.

YES LOG 2001: THE MAGNIFYING SURVIVAL GUIDE TO THE SPIRIT OF SURVIVAL

17 Oct

untitledThere is a good September 11th and there is a bad September 11th.

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This is a very bad September 11, 2001 where more than 3,000 people unwillingly kissed their asses goodbye.

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And this is a good September 11, 2001: which you can listen to over and over again and think positive thoughts to help ease or block out the ghastliness of those terrifying moments that kept one nervously glued for hours on end through radio and television on that terrible Tuesday morning.

Yes’ first studio effort for the 21st century, Magnification had the misfortune of being released in the UK  on September 1o, 2001- just a day before terrorists sucker punched the US with a few hijacked airliners. I had just started a temp job with Warner Bros when the unfathomable event occurred. While I was getting ready for that morning just after the first plane and everyone in the house getting ready for work in the house with me thought it was just another one of those unfortunate fluke accidents. No sooner than I was boarding the bus to work and on my way to the studio was when the second plane hit. When I got off the bus and approached the studio lot, security guards were mounting barricades around the perimeter of the lot. Every entrance was being blocked off and everyone was being told to go back home. When the coast was clear and the city of Los Angeles wasn’t attacked, everyone, my co-workers, and myself were like walking on eggshells throughout the remainder of the week.

I was lucky enough to latch onto an advance copy that was sent to me via Germany by a friend who was associated with  Inside Out Music. Matt Goodluck was on the ground floor when Inside Out was a record label just forming in both here in the US and in Germany. The label specialized in bands whose roots are planted firmly in  progressive rock of which I has been a staunch supporter for nearly almost all of their releases (although I’m more of a Kscope Music label kind of guy these days). The favorites of that time for Inside-Out included The Flower Kings, Ayreon, Asia, Jadis, IQ, Spock’s Beard and most recently, Carptree. There used to be days when the I’d look forward to Matt’s packages of promo discs and in reciprocation, I’d send Matt a few Daredevil or Howard the Duck comics his way via the store I used to manage in North Hollywood called Rookies & Allstars. Matt, being within the crux of the record business was able to secure an advance copy of the new Yes disc – probably through Steve Howe’s management dropping off some at the office (Steve’s solo discs were distributed through Inside-Out) and I had my copy at least a month in advance of both the Europe and months ahead of the December 5th US ship date.

And I was sure glad I did – because coincidentally enough, the lyrics to Anderson’s songs – We Agree and The Spirit of Survival are eerie enough as it is as if Maestro Jon A’s mind was strong enough to channel clairvoyant powers through his consistent peyote pandering to predict the tragic events of the twin towers crumbling to rubble. What’s even more shocking: the band had completed a series of 3 shows in New York City the night before all pandemonium broke loose in which they got out just in the proverbial nick of time.

Although some days you may feel that the gods have forgotten to switch on the light, here is a cozy little beacon of hope from Wikipedia to help you glide you along:

Magnification is the nineteenth studio album by English progressive rock band Yes, released in 2001.

Magnification is Yes‘ first album of the new century and their second using a live orchestra (the first being Time and a Word from 1970). It marked the band’s last studio album to date with vocalist Jon Anderson.

Released between the departure of Igor Khoroshev the previous year and Rick Wakeman‘s fourth return in 2002, it is the only album in the band’s history not to feature any keyboardist, and the only one involving only four Yes members

Following the departures of guitarist Billy Sherwood and keyboardist Igor Khoroshev, and Rick Wakeman‘s decision not to rejoin the band, remaining members Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe and Alan White decided to fill the keyboard role with an orchestra, and hired film composer Larry Groupé to compose and conduct original orchestrations and musical bridges.

The album was re-released in 2002 as a limited and numbered 2-CD set with alternate artwork; the second disc contains three live performances and a CD-ROM track with an interview, video of “Don’t Go,” and a live video of “The Gates of Delirium”. This album also features the song “Can You Imagine”, in which the main vocals are sung by Chris Squire with Jon Anderson on backing vocals. This Squire-penned song was originally recorded in 1981 as a demo entitled “Can You See” for his aborted XYZ project.

Apart from the traditional Yes themes of spirituality and relation to nature and divinity, the album also addresses personal issues (Jon Anderson’s relation with his daughter Deborah in “Don’t Go” and political issues (the war in Bosnia in “We Agree”, the plight of drunk-driving youth in “Spirit of Survival”). Magnification was reissued as part of the box set Essentially Yes in 2006.

Magnification received a warm reception from critics and fans, although not on the level of older albums such as Fragile or Close to the Edge. It reached No. 71 in the UK and No. 186 (wow!!) in the US during a chart stay of 1 week.

SONGS / TRACK LISTING

All songs written by Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Alan White.

1. “Magnification” 7:16
2. “Spirit of Survival” 6:02
3. “Don’t Go” 4:27
4. “Give Love Each Day” 7:44
5. “Can You Imagine” 2:59
6. “We Agree” 6:30
7. “Soft as a Dove” 2:17
8. “Dreamtime” 10:46
9. “In the Presence Of
I. “Deeper”
II. “Death of Ego”
III. “True Beginner”
IV. “Turn Around and Remember””  
10:24
10. “Time Is Time” 2:09

The Japanese version has a bonus track of “Long Distance Runaround”

The 2002 bonus disc included:

When it was re-released in 2004, you got a bonus disc that was just a tad slightly different:

1. Close to the Edge [Live]
I. “The Solid Time of Change”
II. “Total Mass Retain”
III. “I Get Up, I Get Down”
IV. “Seasons of Man””  
20:04
2. Long Distance Runaround [Live]” 3:44
3. The Gates of Delirium [Live]” 22:41

So get them off of e-bay while they’re hot and discontinued:

After the departure of the only traces of young blood in the band, Igor Khoroshev and Billy Sherwood, Yes returned to the studio, this time to record with an orchestra in lieu of a keyboardist. Instead of looking for a replacement (although the Swiss Poodle Spaceman, Patrick Moraz was even considered for a return engagement ) – the band considered the idea of returning with an orchestra, not used on a Yes album since 1970 when Time and A Word was released. Both fans old and new were dreading this idea or prospect of using an orchestra to fill the vacant keyboardist spot. Oddly enough, the idea did seem to work out ok. My  favorite tracks on the album is “Don’t Go” and “Give Love Each Day.” It’s far from anywhere near an original statement, other than wearing its Beatles influence openly on its sleeve even down to the “All You Need Is Love” trumpet flourishes at the end. Also, of great importance on this album is the last of the XYZ jams (you know that super-group that was supposed to happen between Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Chris Squire, and Alan White?) shows up courtesy of Chris Squire entitled “Can You Imagine.”

Tom Brislin - the only keyboard temp in Yes to hail from New Jersey.

Tom Brislin – the only keyboard temp in Yes to hail from New Jersey. The check’s probably still in the mail as we speak.

The band was not only backed by a 60-piece orchestra, but specific parts and arrangements were written by notable film composer Larry Groupe and executed by the orchestra, sounding as if the orchestra was a permanent band member. On tour, however, the band hired a session keyboardist, Tom Brislin, (who now works a manuscript transcriber for Keyboard Magazine ) as the orchestra alone could not faithfully reproduce some of the classic material. Unfortunately, I had to miss out on this tour in my area due to financial restraints (I was a little strapped for cash at the time) when the band made its first ever appearance at the Hollywood Bowl. However on the tour’s encore run in the summer of 2002- I was fortune enough to catch some of Magnification performed live when Curry eating Capeman Rick Wakeman came back in the fold (yet again). That’s when things were right as rain when I was hired by Warner Bros to work in the scripts/studio services MIS department.

Alright – I’m going to deviate as far from the blog I originally wrote in 2004 as far away as I can because it’s a run on sentence ranting mess.

Unused cover to The Deposit Man Kaleidoscopic Medicine Freak Show by Scott Goodell and Jillian Suzanne. It was rejected by my independent-comics.com partner Mark Capuano for reasons that...

Unused cover to The Deposit Man Kaleidoscopic Medicine Freak Show by Scott Goodell and Dr. Revolt. It was rejected by my independent-comics.com partner Mark Capuano for reasons that…

2001 was an incredible year for me. It was a time of creativity unfettered a thousand fold for me. I’ve decided to hold off on all talk about how my own comic book called the Deposit Man materialized and was a good seller for me in its beginning years. Basically the premise or the pitch concerns an unknown humanoid entity wakes up in the afterlife not having a remote idea of who or what he is or why he is different from everyone as he possesses a body composed of pure television snow and test patterns that transmit televised images onto his body. Along the way, he learns he’s in the employ of God and is dispatched through strange neighborhoods to serve eviction notices to certain residing undesirables “who have somehow gotten through the main gates by the misfiling of paperwork.” I sold it to convention goers at small press gathering such as APE as an alternative to Spawn – if Spawn had starred in his own situation comedy, that is. People ate it up initially. I had sold out my first two appearances, one as pilot try out in some cheap Xerox print run of some anthology title called Malice that was distributed through some pimply face kid’s Florida basement called Death Comics, that somehow was lucky to be solicited through Diamond Comics back in 1999. Even though the book sold on the merits of a wonderful cover by children’s book illustrator Jillian Suzanne, the quality of the product looked like a steaming turd lit afire by a butane torch , plus it wasn’t enough to match the powerhouse debut of the first official one shot comic book entitled The Deposit Man Kaleidoscopic Medicine Freak Show that nearly sold half its’ printed run at its’ premiere over at the 2001 Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco. I’d to think that it was the brilliant marketing strategy of our action figure and toy supplier at Rookies & Allstars, Mark Capuano. He fronted up half the money and arranged the design, logo, and printing and I’d also like to think it was because of penciller/inker/letterer acute Mort Drucker inspired craftsmanship of Revolutionary Comics alumni, Larry Nadolsky that sealed the deal (based on original designs by Ben Fogletto). Not to go into too much of a rant this go around – I vow to discuss further my comic book origins in a separate blog chapter after the conclusion of these Yes Logs.

..that Mark Capuano  much preferred Larry Nadolsky's version.  Mark refused to pour money into the project unless it was used. Mark C also designed my logo.

..that Mark Capuano much preferred Larry Nadolsky’s version. Mark refused to pour money into the project unless it was used. Mark C also designed my logo.

 

Towards that same year close to the holidays – Mark Capuano, Larry Nadolsky and I released our sophomore effort, The Deposit Man Survival Guide to the Afterlife, which didn’t do as good as its’ predecessor at the following year’s show. Incidentally, I utilize two Yes references in this issue, “The Second Attention” from the ABHW song, “Themes” is referenced as the town newspaper in the afterlife, and “42nd Screamdown” is the name of the gay bar that the Deposit Man tries to save from being demolished so that a fancy Planet Hollywood type of restaurant franchise can be put in its’ place. I delicately lifted that reference from the song “On the Silent Wings of Freedom” from the Tormato album.

The third time's the charm for the Deposit Man in "Deposit Man's Survival Guide to the Afterlife" which had guest stars galore such as John Lennon, Truman Capote, and Brady Bunch's Robert Reed in a tiger outfit.

The third time’s the charm for the Deposit Man in “Deposit Man’s Survival Guide to the Afterlife” which had guest stars galore such as John Lennon, Truman Capote, and Brady Bunch’s Robert Reed in a tiger outfit.

All this success with the books was going to my head, it wasn’t long until I was focused on turning my creative attention to writing scripts at any spare moment I could and then sending them off to Canada to have Larry pen and ink the pages. I neglected writing anything more for the Comics Buyers’ Guide and some other fanzine I was involved with called Comics Effect. It was strictly comic book scripting from here on out.

But despite my new-found success, with the printing of the comic books, being hired by Warner Bros, still tragedy and bad timing always seemed to have the devil’s semen on its’ breath.

My mentor who I helped with at the store and who’s house I lived in for nearly a decade (I moved out in 2004, which will be mentioned heavily in the next chapter) had a step son who tragically passed away in his sleep due to an overdose of back medication pills in the living room. This episode would need its’ own blog chapter all to itself to fully feel the impact that this had on all our lives, including my surrogate sister, Rebecca (who help edit my first two official Deposit Man books) and my niece, Olivia.

That day of December 15th ended up with me not getting any sleep for I was waiting the rest of the night, (he passed away on a Saturday night on a rare occurrence that I happened to be home and in bed early because I wanted to go to a local area comic book convention the next morning) for the coroner and paramedics to arrive. The coroner didn’t get to my house until 4 in the morning, because there were only two on duty that night and they were both covering a deadly gangbanger drive by incident all the way over at South Central. But imagine with a city the size of Los Angeles, it can only afford a budget for two coroners.

Next Monday we approache the finish line with a series of five new blogs as I recount the faithful time I met a best friend for life while waiting in line for Yes tickets to a show and a signing at my local Tower Records in my tribute to the Ultimate Yes collection.

 

 

YES LOG 1999: WHATEVER IT IS YOU’RE SMOKING – YOU ALL MUST BE HIGH ON JUDAR RHYTHM

16 Oct

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  We’re rapidly approaching the end of our little jaunt through memory lane exploring my personal origins and how mysterious events in my life always seem to coincide around the releases of Yes studio albums all in the dubious honor of Yes’ 45th anniversary and Jon Anderson’s 70th birthday celebration. In this chapter we examine the year of 1999 when our minstrels of the modern age suddenly expanded to six members for the release of The Ladder on November 5th of that year.

A change of scenery and an attempt to enlist a new mentor’s help in producing their next record lead the band to shack up somewhere remotely in the outskirts of Vancouver, B.C. The band hadn’t had an outside producer for a considerable length of time until a legendary producer of such million dollar selling acts such as Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, and Kiss was recruited to challenge the band to sit down and make ‘the best YES album you can and the rest will follow’. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Bruce Fairbairn.

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    So the band tried their best and in my estimation, they’ve practically succeeded. And for their effort I consider this effort my third all time favorite Yes album behind Relayer and Drama. The first nearly ten minute track of ‘Homeworld’ originally written as music for a science fiction video game from Sierra Studios is Yes at its’ most daring and exploitative, as they attempted to augment their popular progressive stable with the sounds of rare exotic instruments and fantastic keyboard instrumentation provided by new Russian born recruit Igor Khoroshev who nearly rivals Rick Wakeman in a flash glide of five digit dexterity. A hint of Brazilian culture permeates a trilogy of songs strung together on Lightning Strikes, (a song edited down for radio), Can I? ,(Maestro Jon A reprises Fragile‘s We Have Heaven as if performed by Aborigines ) and Face To Face. There was a much better written serenade written for Jon’s new wife Jane on If Only You Knew and Chris Squire’s reggae pumping bass is captivated once more on “The Messenger ” which is an ode to all things great and small – as it pertains to the world of Bob Marley. Another great 10 minute epic, New Language features good honest Jon Anderson spacey lyrics accompanied by fantastic Squire/Sherwood backing vocals before it ends with a cherished Steve Howe strumming celebration of all life in Nine Voices that could easily listened beside Your Move/I’ve Seen All Good People on the Yes Album. The album even debuted a new cover and a new band logo designed by Roger Dean.

You know, it’s often said that when Lightning Strikes, you can follow the sun to a Wikipedia truth that is a simple place:

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The Ladder is the eighteenth studio album by progressive rock band Yes and was released in 1999.

The follow-up to 1997’s tepidly received Open Your Eyes, The Ladder was seen as a conscious return to the classic Yes sound, while maintaining a contemporary edge. It is the only Yes album with keyboardist Igor Khoroshev as a full-time member, the last with guitarist Billy Sherwood (also the only one in which he did not play keyboards), and the only album of the band as a sextet.

Following guitarist/keyboardist Billy Sherwood‘s guidance of the last project, Yes decided to bring in an outside producer, Bruce Fairbairn, to give the music the benefit of objective ears. By the time the band had decamped to Vancouver, Canada to record The Ladder, Igor Khoroshev had become the group’s official keyboardist, with Sherwood relegated to guitar duties along with Steve Howe.

Although the sessions went off successfully, with all concerned very pleased with the end results, the project ended with Fairbairn’s sudden death in May 1999. Fairbairn died, according to Chris Squire, just before the completion of final vocals and mixing on The Ladder. Yes subsequently dedicated the album to their late producer upon its September release.

Concurrently with the release of the album, Yes licensed the use of “Homeworld (The Ladder)” with the Sierra Studios PC game “Homeworld“, of which a digital preview was included with The Ladder. The re-issue included in the 2006 box set Essentially Yes also includes this preview. The track “Homeworld (The Ladder)” was played during the game’s credits

Hyped as a “return to form”, The Ladder generally pleased most of its listeners and longtime Yes fans, performing slightly better than Open Your Eyes by reaching No. 36 in the UK and No. 99 in the US.

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SONGS / TRACK LISTING

All music Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Billy Sherwood, Chris Squire, Alan White and Igor Khoroshev. All lyrics by Jon Anderson.

1. “Homeworld (The Ladder)” 9:32
2. “It Will Be a Good Day (The River)” 4:54
3. “Lightning Strikes” 4:35
4. “Can I?” 1:32
5. “Face to Face” 5:02
6. “If Only You Knew” 5:43
7. “To Be Alive (Hep Yadda)” 5:07
8. “Finally” 6:02
9. “The Messenger” 5:13
10. “New Language” 9:19
11. “Nine Voices (Longwalker)” 3:21

Japanese Bonus tracks featured live tracks of “I’ve Seen All Good People” and “And You and I” recorded live from Universal Amphitheater in 1997.

Homeworld (The Ladder)” references the working title for Talk, “History of the Future”.

The track “Lightning Strikes” borrows the opening flute solo from The Kinks‘ song “Phenomenal Cat” from the album The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society. The song also references “The Revealing Science of God (Dance of the Dawn)” from Tales from Topographic Oceans and “Endless Dream” from Talk.

“Can I?” quotes Anderson’s 1971 composition “We Have Heaven” from Fragile.

“Face to Face” references “Lift Me Up” from Union.

“The Messenger” is a tribute to Bob Marley.

“New Language” is based on a jam from the Open Your Eyes album sessions. The backing track from the guitar solo also references the bass line to “Roundabout” from Fragile.

“Nine Voices (Longwalker)” references “Your Move” from The Yes Album.

The Ladder (Eagle EAGCD088) reached No. 36 in the UK. It also reached No. 99 in the US during a chart stay of two weeks.

Bruce Fairbairn really pushed the band to limits that they never thought possible and their effort really shine through on the final mix, but fate came and intervened near the completion of the album to take Bruce’s life away due to cancer at the age of 49. The Canadian Music Industry posthumously awarded Bruce a Juno Award for lifetime achievement in the year 2000.

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     Anderson and Co soldiered on and stood firm behind their new album’s material that they were confident enough to play nearly every track of it live on tour. Most of the venues played this time around were mostly House of Blues club franchises with stops in major metropolises like Kansas City, New Orleans, three nights in Los Angeles, and Las Vegas – which was captured live on CD and VHS as ‘The House of Yes’.

     Shortly after the release of that video in 2000, Billy Sherwood resigned from the band – but still maintains a healthy working relationship with Chris Squire as evident by the release of 2003’s Conspiracy – The Unknown, which is Chris’s finest solo work since the release of his Fish Out of Water nearly thirty years ago. Billy Sherwood also worked with Geoff Downes in writing for Asia albums.

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I was really impressed with Igor’s work on the Ladder album and he was an equal sight to behold on stage as well. I thought it was really nifty to see him beat the fucking shit out of a cowbell with one hand while he would perform Wakeman’s arpeggiated organ swirls with the other on the rousing encore of Roundabout. Igor did four world tours with the bands two behind Open Your Eyes, this album, and the Masterworks tour in 2002 before perhaps resigning in disgrace due to Igor getting in a little bit of hot water after a show in Richmond, Virginia when he engaged in a game of grabass with an undercover woman police officer who was assigned as a body guard at the venue where they performed.

 

"Excuse me, Mr.  Igor Khoroshev, you do know that I'm a cop, right? Don't let the lacy frillies fool you, I'll bust a cap in you if you don't seriously  let go of my ass."

“Excuse me, Mr. Igor Khoroshev, you do know that I’m a cop, right? Don’t let the lacy frillies fool you, I’ll bust a cap in you if you don’t seriously let go of my ass.”

Favorite lyric: Send, ascending to the secrets/All is pure and clear to resolve/Nothing can change us now/Send, ascending to the future/Nothing can ever change us now/We follow the sun/We follow the sun/We follow the sun – Homeworld – ( Anderson/Squire/Howe/White/Sherwood/Khoroshev )

    When we last left my cliffhanger memoirs, I was making great strides in practically smacking a Cary Coatney Clubhouse together. I had gotten good word of mouth for the monumental job I undertook in supervising the small press department of the San Diego Comic Con International. He expected to repeat the performance for next year – but the committee voted not to have me back due to circumstances surrounding the budget. As I noted in my last chapter, I was really living the high life on the Convention’s dime. I arranged to have sixteen Domino pizzas charged to my room that the Convention was footing the bill for and had a party for the exhibitors in my department without their approval. I took Amtrak train rides down to meetings and gave the vouchers to the treasurer to sign off on. I charged phone calls I made from my house in Sherman Oaks to the Convention office I did a lot of crazy shit to make it look like that this is was a salary position rather than a volunteer effort (they did have an application of mine on file and I did fill out w2 forms to make it look like it was a salaried position). This of course was due to the fallout when I had written publicity on behalf of the convention for a special Comic Buyer’s Guide issue dedicated to covering summer conventions it was slipped in the “interview” I gave to the paper that approval was given about printing a free 24 page supplement that would’ve spotlighted some of the small press creators in my area. Somehow, this slipped beneath the convention organizers’ radar, both Fae Desmond and James Pascoe and they went all rogue on my ass and nixed it before it could become a reality.

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      The president of the Comic Con International committee board, John Rogers was not happy about me getting carte blanche everywhere I went and therefore suggested someone with less experience in the handling of independent creators and had it put to a vote. I thought that it was a rash foolhardy decision after all, I got good write ups for my cultural focused efforts in the Comics Buyer’s Guide and Comics Journal and I wasn’t going to give in without a fight – but then something unforeseen happened to made the situation worsen that put me in a very unflattering light.

    Some nasty witch called the convention office and stated that I was threatening her life and was going to go press charges against me. Why the fuck would someone go out of their way and say something stupid and nasty to a bunch of complete strangers about something pertaining to my personal life?

   That witch turned out to be none other than Carol ‘Horror Show Hamiltion (who is now some big fancy lawyer in Glendale) – ex-wife of my high school friend, Joe Zullo. Unbelievable, the control freak just couldn’t exit our lives completely – even though I hadn’t seen her ‘horror show’ face in years.

    In the late nineties, for some unfathomable reason, her jewish bi-sexual bestie Lara Allen, called me out of the blue and made me a public service announcement that she didn’t really want to be a lesbian anymore. I admit I had a certain fondness for Lara- she wasn’t that particularly great looking, but she had a sarcastic dark humorous streak in her that I could relate to although staring at her big tits were a little offsetting. But nonetheless we had gone on a short series of dates to some expensive eateries  including one at the much lamented Marvel Mania restaurant at Universal City Studios which I wound up writing a review of for the Comics Buyers’ Guide.

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    However the topic of conversations with Lara always wound up on the subject of Joe I kept repeating to her that I had not seen Joe for a good long number of years and to please stop bringing up the subject, I’m not his fucking publicist. Since I didn’t have a car, she would drive me everywhere, but always on the way home from a date there she was, Carol ‘Horror Show” Hamilton calling from afar asking for the gory details – on speakerphone, while I was in the passenger seat – and the subject always seemed to be, ‘has Coatney ever got in touch with Joe? What’s Joe been up to? When was the last time that Coatney got to hang out with Joe, etc, etc.”

    How much more fucking longer is this constant irritation going to go on for?

    One night, I just snapped and left messages on their answering machines telling fuck themselves and then left a very disparaging message on Horror Show Hamilton’s message machine at work telling her to get over herself and to stop pumping me for information about Joe. In not so many polite words paraphrasing something along the lines of ‘maybe you need a fist of fire high colonic – courtesy of Satan’ or something of equal thoughtful theological insulting value.

    So in retaliation, Horror Show Hamilton placed a phone call to the comic con’s office proclaiming that I called in a death threat to her office, which begs the question, ‘how the fuck did Horror Show Hamilton get the phone number for the comic con office in the first place? Turns out that Lara had my San Diego business card. Then in turn, comic con calls my place of business (most likely Obi Dan Kenobi’s insurance office) and my place of business gets in touch with me, and everything trickles down to this: I have to go down to San Diego to resolve this matter to the supervisors and to Beth Holley who I had to assure that this was nothing but the work of a prankster. But my plea didn’t make things better, it fell on deaf ears and the committee took a vote to have another volunteer by the name of Ned Cato to take over the Small Press position effective immediately. I got mad and stormed out of the meeting – just another victim of a corrupt ruthless bureaucracy.

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    All was not lost, my career as a writer ballooned so much that I was finally granted a professional badge for having my first byline in the pages of Comics Buyer’s Guide for reviewing the Marvel Mania date that Lara and I shared together – including not leaving a big enough tip for Jarvis Butler and how I yelled at my date for not using the correct crayon color scheme on Electro’ costume. Editor John Jackson Miller thought it was one of the funniest things that he had read all year and had Krause Publications cut me a check for $ 50.00

   By the end of 1999, I had my very first comic book story published. Too bad, my debut came off the press looking like a fresh-baked turd that not even fourteen professional pencilers and inkers couldn’t polish successfully to flush out of sight before it clogged up the bowl.

    Tomorrow: Magnification and the debut of the Deposit Man.