Yes and the Round

Yes-heads will immediately note that the late 70s tour was “Yes in the Round” and I’ve botched the title. But I spent the early part of this evening thinking about the various circles of Yes-dom and how they intersect. I’ve previously written about the intermediation of various circles of interests, ranging from eBay to charity events to sports fanaticism. But after consuming way too much science fiction recently, I decided it was time to once again dive into the stack of books I’ve acquired about Yes. Listening to “House of Yes” in the car to and from Boston this week certainly influenced my selection. (Double disclaimer: it’s not the best Yes concert CD, but it’s the cleanest version of “Owner of a Lonely Heart” with Steve Howe, not Trevor Rabin, on guitar. And I like it).

Tonight’s linkages discovered: Alan White played on John Lennon’s Instant Karma and Imagine, also appearing on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass. Rick Wakeman shows up on David Bowie’s Space Oddity. Finding your favorite musicians in other places is prelude to discovering more music that you like. Jay Littlepage, VP of the software group that delivers the Sun Connection, finally convinced me to buy Little Feat’s Waiting for Columbus by telling me that the Tower of Power horns appear on it. Obviously, they don’t appear on the three tracks my freshman year roommates played endlessly, or I would have bought a vinyl copy in 1981.

If you’re really into playing the equivalent of LinkedIn for rock stars, check out Peter Frame’s book of Rock Family Trees that shows the formation, merging, splintering and evolution of many of the 70s and 80s art-rock bands. Leafing through it you realize that this is how rich, highly cross-referenced and annotated information was conveyed before there were browsers, hyperlinks and wikis.

One thought on “Yes and the Round

  1. David Hall

    What your talking about sounds like an old method for learning to appreciate jazz. You start with a Miles Davis album — “Bitch’s Brew” and/or “Birth of the Cool” (if you don’t like one, try the other). Read the list of players on the album, and look for their solo albums and/or later bands. When you find one you like, repeat the process with the new collection of players. Buying albums based on individual musicians (not necessarily the lead players) is not uncommon in jazz circles.

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