Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Still in the 'Roundabout Arw Is on the Road with Three Key Pieces of Yes

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Still in the 'Roundabout Arw Is on the Road with Three Key Pieces of Yes

Article excerpt

A full-blown Yes reunion could be in the offing, if only for one night, with the band's likely entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April, but for now the British prog rock legends are riding on separate tracks.

The ensemble touring under the name Yes is down to two members from the '70s in guitar wizard Steve Howe and drummer Alan White, with the loss of Chris Squire.

When the bassist died last year, three former members of Yes - original singer Jon Anderson and longtime members Rick Wakeman and Trevor Rabin - who had been working behind the scenes decided it was time for re-entry.

"That was definitely the catalyst," said Mr. Rabin, who arrives at the Byham Sunday as a member of Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman, or ARW.

The guitarist, originally from South Africa, was a latecomer to Yes, replacing Mr. Howe in 1980, long after the band had made its name with early '70s classics like "The Yes Album," "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge," but he played crucial role in revamping the band. For Yes' 11th album "90125," he brought in a demo for "Owner of a Lonely Heart," a song that would usher the band into the modern world and become its first and only No. 1 hit. That album would also include the band's only Grammy winner, the instrumental track "Cinema."

Yes continued that momentum on 1987's "Big Generator" before Mr. Anderson, displeased with the band's commercial direction, split off to form the Yes alumni project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe for one studio album. With neither side thriving, in 1991 the eight musicians of Yes and ABWH joined forces for "Union" and a tour.

"One of the things that happened with that," Mr Rabin said, "is that Rick and I became very close friends and we wanted to work together again, but we were always, always busy."

Mr. Rabin remained in Yes for 1994's "Talk" (sans Wakeman) and then the original '70s lineup reunited and stayed together, for the most part, until 2008. While that was happening, Mr. Rabin was forging a prolific career as a film composer, scoring such movies as "Armageddon," "Remember the Titans," "Gone in 60 Seconds" and "Snakes on a Plane."

"I studied hard in conducting and arranging and thought what a great place to use it, and I was very lucky with that I spent about 17 years doing it and it all went pretty well," he said. "I didn't stop playing guitar, but my guitar playing became significantly less [frequent]. There was so much I had to do. You're working with a different set of disciplines, and largely I was working with orchestra, or sometimes just a banjo and a piano. That became the norm for the last 15 years or so, so it was definitely a different set of muscles."

In 2012, he changed it up, putting his guitar work front and center on the proggy jazz-rock fusion instrumental album "Jacaranda" that employed his son Ryan, a member of Grouplove, on drums. …

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