Sunday, 25 October 2009

Jon Anderson: The Lost Interviews - Part One: The Introduction

Background and Introduction: 

Dear Reader,

What follows is an unashamedly probing and fictitious series of interviews conducted in his suite, at the rather luxurious Claridge's Hotel in London, the week beginning Monday, 05th October, 2009, between your intrepid rock reporter, Sam Nitrox, and Accrington's second most famous export, Jon Anderson, late of the band 'Yes': to some, one of the gods of so-called 'Progressive Rock'.

In my negotiations to agree the format and content of this series of interviews, which were to be to be spread out over three days, I made it clear that, for them to have any impact or credibility with what remains of the fan-base of his former band, Anderson would have to submit to some pretty direct, rangy and revealing questions as, frankly, the now parlous state of Yes has managed to disillusion and disaffect even some of its once most ardent fans to the point of apathy,  cynicism and disinterest - I can report that he agreed to such a line of questioning, and promised to be as candid as might be required in the circumstances.

Given the roller-coaster-ride to which he and the rest of the revolving-door membership of Yes have been subject over the last 40+ years the band (in all its forms) has been around, I wanted to get down to the real nitty-gritty of where Anderson saw himself in all these comings and goings; his and the band's creative process; and how he now feels about the direction, format and constituent membership of the vehicle he once called musical 'home' for most of his professional life; and whether, as a result of no longer being it's lead singer, he now felt like a Prog Orphan, or a liberated phoenix?

I also wanted, finally, to address some of the band's formerly taboo subjects: the 'YesWest' vs 'Classical' and 'Onion' line-ups - and whether he preferred the Prog or the Pop version of the band? What exactly is a 'Siberian Khatru'? Yes lyrics - do they actually mean anything, or are they, as most suspect, merely all just gibberish with some nice tunes attached to them? With whom, i.e. which line-up, did he prefer playing? Precisely how badly does Steve Howe look like he needs to eat a proper meat-based meal, or is Biafran-Zombie a good look for him? And what's his all-time record for his most irritating habit of making unprompted announcements of "Love is everything!" in a single day? 

And finally, I know I'm not the only one who'd like to know who's really to blame for the current - Andersonless - version of Yes; but does he see it as a case of mea cupla, or simply, Je Ne Regrette Rien - or, would he seriously have us believe that the care less train has now left the station where he and Yes are concerned?

I aimed, using a mixture of honesty and guile, to get the bottom all this, and more, during the course of my interviews with him...

*  *  *  *  *

We meet, late morning, in his suite. On arriving at his door, I knock, and there is a slight delay in him answering; accompanied by what, for all the world, sounds like a luxuriant 12 second, four-tone fart, which both raised the eyebrows of a passing room-service waiter and - as best I could hear through the door - apparently sent Anderson's dog scurrying for cover. But who had been the perpetrator: the dog, or the man himself? Either way, at least my first meeting with Anderson promised to be a fragrant affair, if nothing else.

The door opened and he ushered me in with a "Hi, please come in!" - all trace of his once broad Lancashire accent all but gone - although, perhaps understandably, no mention was made of the pungently pulsating aroma now permeating the place. I could have sworn I caught a snatched look of embarrassment on his face, but decided that discretion was the better part of valour and that we should crack-on with the interview. He made me a coffee and he took a mineral water for himself before we made our way through and settled into the sumptuous surroundings of the suite's lounge - he on the couch and me in an armchair.

Tape recorder on, pen poised, we began...


1 comment:

  1. That is funny in a way only a true YES fan can apreciate. I look forward to the rest of the interview.


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