Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Glory of Yes Can a ’70s prog-rock band heal your soul?

Photo by Rob ShanahanIn the winter of 2003 I was living in Summerlin and enduring that initial season of my divorce abyss. I found salvation in colored stone, the primordial canyon, my personal Sinai. Red Rock’s 13-mile drive and the songs of the ’70s were my survival kit, and no band occupied the car deck during those sojourns more often than Britain’s progressive masters, Yes.

One afternoon, the crimson peaks called out to me. This was my Burning Bush moment. I hopped in my old BMW, grabbed the double CD Keys to Ascension 2 and slipped in disc two. As the 18-minute opus “Mind Drive” wrapped around my brain, I told my invisible passengers—vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardist Rick Wakeman and drummer Alan White—to buckle up.

I took the long way home, through Highway 160 past Blue Diamond, hitting the Strip about 8 p.m. The Mandalay Bay marquee loomed large on the left. Yes In Concert. Are you fucking kidding me? I mused to myself. The bush was getting brighter.

A futile attempt at buying last-minute tickets failed, so I took my leave. Then it happened: a seraph who I did not recognize crossed my path. “Lonn!” shined the stranger. “Lonn Friend! Dude, I’m Todd from Ludwig Drums. I met you at NAMM [the annual National Association of Music Merchants trade show in Anaheim] and REO Speedwagon a couple of months ago.”

First I drew a blank, and then came the recognition.

Read on...

Union (Standard DVD)
DVD - £9.99

Union (2CD)
2CD - £7.99

Rock Of The 70's
DVD - £12.99

The Lost Broadcasts
DVD - £7.99

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