The current state of Yes is a tricky one since there’s, in essence, two different versions of the band. There’s Yes and Yes featuring ARW, which stands for Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman. Wakeman, however, feels neither band should be using the Yes name.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Wakeman says he never wanted ARW to use the Yes moniker after the death of bassist Chris Squire in 2015.
“When Chris died, he was the only founding member still left in the band,” said Wakeman. “He’s the only guy that had been in every incarnation of Yes, through thick and thin. I felt with so many different band members in and out that when Chris passed away, the decent thing to do would be to say, ‘OK, we’re putting the name Yes on the shelf. That’s it.'”
Wakeman continued, “Anyone that has been in the band is fully entitled to play Yes music, but do it under a different name. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it degraded the name and the word and the music by what happened after Chris died. We did end up going out because promoters wanted it as Yes Featuring ARW, but it just confused people. They had no idea who they were going to see and what was going on. It was wrong and I was very against it, I will admit. But we’re going to do some farewell shows next year and they are going to be ARW. It may be ‘ARW Performing an Evening of Yes Music.’ That’s fine. But not Yes in the name of the band.”
Squire died in 2015 from complications from Leukemia