Gary James' Interview With Jon Anderson of
Yes






He's had a career as a solo artist and the front man for one of the seventies most popular groups. That group was Yes and his name is Jon Anderson. Jon spoke with us about Yes and his solo career.

Q - Jon, you have three children who are all in music...Deborah, Damion and Jade. You must be very proud. They must've liked what you were doing.

A - My children are very special. They are my teachers and my dreamers. They don't think anything about singing, writing and such. Their Dad does that. As for the business, like anyone, they have found it very hard to break through, but, they have their dreams and I am very blessed.

Q - Did your parents approve of your chose occupation?

A - I think they just loved it, never really thinking I would do well. They just wanted me to be happy. Simple as that.

Q - What did your father do for a living?

A - In his early years he did entertainment in the British Army...a comic. Then he and my Mom did ballroom dancing for a while. Eventually he became a salesman. Then sadly he got very sick for nearly the last twenty years of his life.

Q - When did you know you could sing?

A - I just sang as a kid, almost all of the time. Skiffle, rock 'n' roll, movie songs. Just a happy kid really.

Q - Where did you perform with Little John's Skiffle Group?

A - In our friend's garage. We made a heck of a noise. It must've sounded terrible, but we had fun.

Q - You left school at fifteen. Why?

A - As I mentioned, Dad was sick. I needed to start work to help the family. I didn't have a strong feeling for school, just liked playing football and painting. I did work hard as a kid. Still do.

Q - You then worked at a series of jobs, a farm hand, a lorry driver and a milkman. I would guess that after those jobs you could really appreciate the applause from the audience couldn't you?

A - Just being in a band in the sixties was such a trip on many levels. Like most guys in the sixties, I wanted to be a Beatle. It wasn't easy, but I was free from the nine to five life.

Q - How's your health these days? You were a smoker in the sixties and seventies. Just how much did you smoke in those days?

A - Things are fine at the moment. The last couple of years were very hard, but the body goes through so many changes. In my head I'm still thirty, but my body is sixty one. Such is the way of things. I did smoke a lot when I was younger. But, I have a healthy feeling about life. We try a lot of things in this life. Some are good for us, some not.

Q - When you're out on the road, how do you avoid getting sick? Do you have to isolate yourself from the other band members?

A - I am fortunate to travel with my wife Janee, so she watches over me with so much love. We watch what we eat and get the rest you need to do the best show possible. Travel is the hard part. So many hotels. But, if you travel with the one you love, it works. In the old days it was the band against the world! Live together, travel together, eat together. But, we all grew out of that.

Q - You've been a vegetarian since the 1970s. That's pretty unusual wouldn't you say?

A - I was a Veggie for a while, but again I grew out of that. But I do eat very healthy.

Q - Is there still a Yes band today as we speak or are you a solo act?

A - Yes will always be. When the time comes to get together and work, music will always dictate how we go about it. For now, we needed a break. We had been working this last period non-stop for seven years and that's a long time.

Q - Is it true that by the end of 1968, your album "Time And A Word" was well received in England, not so well received in America? Did Atlantic Records tell you your next album might be your last?

A - Yes. We were on a last chance album situation. But, we didn't really know at that time. Deep inside we knew we were getting better.

Q - How popular was Yes in the United States? I'd hear your songs on the radio, but I never did hear how many records you sold.

A - We have always been very lucky everywhere in the world. We've sold around thirty million records, CDs. The States was the big break for us. We have some very dedicated fans.


© Gary James. All rights reserved.




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