Jon Anderson, long-time vocalist of prog-veteran band Yes has recently, and for the first time, spoken about his replacement in the band, Benoît David - a Canadian vocalist from a Yes tribute act and new-prog band Mystery, a very different sort of replacement from Trevor Horn, who replaced Anderson for the 1980 album Drama.
Jon Anderson is well known for being a very spiritual kind of guy, and doesn't seem the type of chap who'd hold a grudge. He has accepted the limitations his recent bad health has left him with and prevent him from taking up his place - front of stage with Yes.
Anderson recently gave a telephone interview with The Hamilton Spectator, and sounded rather at peace with his place in the world and with his former band mates. "They were busy. They were just guys who had to make a living" he says.
Anderson admits that he is in no shape for touring with Yes, unable to do 4-5 shows per week. An asthma attack in 2008, which almost killed him, has left him unable to push himself as he once did, similar to his close friend and former Yes keyboardist, Rick Wakeman who suffers with heart problems and can no longer tour (he is replaced in the band by his son, Oliver Wakeman). The two have recently released an acoustic album titled The Living Tree and was released last year, a short UK tour followed.
Regarding his replacement, Benoît David, Anderson seems flattered "imitation is the biggest form of flattery" he says. It seems that Anderson is now truly retired from Yes but he holds out some hope of spending time with his old friends.
Anderson is currently working on 2 operas and 3 musicals and says "you can't think the best music I ever made was in 1972". Which is a bold statement considering that Yes released Close to the Edge and Fragile around that time, and The Living Tree certainly doesn't hold a candle to them. Yes are also to release a new album this summer, Fly From Here, the first since 2001's Magnification and is also produced by Trevor Horn.
Anderson has said nothing more of his sequel to Olias of Sunhillow, which is apparently called Songs of Zamran, son of Olias.
One thing is very clear - we have not heard the last of Jon Anderson...