Extraordinary questions are the impetus of exceptional answers.
Truth Be Told: "Behind the Set"
I have had the pleasure of interviewing Yes many times in a number of member configurations for both radio and television. I've spoken to all of them either one-on-one, two and/or three at a time, and I've even chatted with a few members at one session when they toured in support on the "Union" disc. They were all especially nice gentlemen to me and always provided me with well thought out, eloquent, articulate answers.
For this piece, I want to tell you about one Jon Anderson interview in particular.
I was doing my afternoon broadcast at WCCC-FM in Hartford hours before Yes was to perform at the Civic Center.
I was featuring the music of Yes ("I've Seen All Good People" to be exact) when Jon Anderson entered the room. In his hand was a tambourine. I suspected he brought it with him, since I was aware that the band had just finished their sound check. I got up, walked over to introduce myself, and told him to make himself comfortable behind the guest mike. He turned to one of my staff and whispered something. The assistant left the room, and when she returned, handed Jon a Sharpie. Picture Jon Anderson drawing on this tambourine while the music played.
What happened next couldn't have happened at a better moment. I put on my headphones, as did Jon. I potted up our mikes as the song began to fade out, and Jon started to sing along, which went over the air. It was very cool.
After what proved to be a great interview – where we discussed music, singing, astronomy, channeling, and Native Americans (all important topics for Jon), among other things – he got up and – without saying a word – left the tambourine on my satchel. What a fantastic gesture. I had more Yes music playing on the air, and that's when Jon invited me backstage before the gig. He told me he travels with a teepee and sits inside to meditate prior to the performance. I found our interview to be intellectually stimulating and revealing of Jon's personality, and there was no doubt he was a fascinating artist. I knew meeting him backstage would only confirm what I already knew. Trust me when I write that being around Jon Anderson gives you a feeling of calm, peacefulness, the sense of one's inner self being tethered down, and believe this: I'm one intensely passionate, obsessive compulsive type of guy. I had to go, and I did.
Jon Anderson is a most unusual and interesting man, and he and the music of Yes have touched millions of people since 1968. They are still doing so to this day.