Nottingham Post

50 years of being Close To The Edge

Before Saturday’s Yes gig in Nottingham, dedicated to late drummer Alan White, guitarist Steve Howe and keyboard player Geoff Downes talk to KEVIN COOPER about their tour CELEBRATE A MILESTONE ANNIVERSAR­Y IN CITY


Shall we speak about the 50th anniversar­y of the Yes album, Close To The Edge.

Well, I have to say that would be nice but only if you really want to (laughter).

Looking back, does it really feel like it was 50 years ago?

No, to be totally honest with you it really doesn’t. If I am honest with you, then it really is a bit of a shocker especially when you get those types of anniversar­ies come around, not that I go out of my way to celebrate that many anniversar­ies, but, having said that, some are important. The fact that this album is still resonating in its own sweet way, really is quite remarkable and quite enjoyable. As you know, we are about to get back out on the road and play the whole of the Close To The Edge album. That is also a delight because playing songs is just playing songs but playing an album really does give you the chance to settle into that time warp of 1972 (laughter).

Unfortunat­ely, as you were about to start the 1972 tour, Bill Bruford left the band to join King Crimson which

meant that you had recruit a new drummer, the late Alan White.

It was a situation which Bill (Bruford) had created, and of course we all loved and respected Bill immensely for what it was that he wanted to do, but it most certainly was not the best of timings. Alan got thrown in at the deep end and was immediatel­y put under the spotlight. Alan was a very talented drummer who we believed would rise to the occasion, and that is exactly what he did. Don’t forget Alan was a bigname drummer; it wasn’t like we got Joe Bloggs in to play the drums. This was a wellknown drummer, and basically, he brought something to the band that only he could bring because he had the style, the adaptabili­ty, maybe more than Bill, to be able to go with us when we went on to record Tales From Topographi­c Oceans, or when we went somewhere else.

The album was actually released three months after the tour started. Was that planned?

That was the sort of usual nonsense that we, as a band, had to put up with. The tour had obviously been booked some time before we had finished the album, which was, in our opinion, absolutely stupid. It was partly based on people being a little greedy; wanting us to get out there and start earning the big bucks once again, because Yes was a big band.

You will be at the Royal Concert Hall on Saturday. Do you enjoy performing here?

I always find the city to be a pretty nice place. Let’s just hope that it is still nice as I haven’t been there for a while (laughter). I absolutely love performing at the Royal Concert Hall and I will remember it as the place where I have not trod the boards in many years due to the virus. Basically, like I said earlier, we have played at Madison Square Gardens but basically every stage is an opportunit­y to connect. I like twiddling on my guitar, I like the guitar to sound great, I like to feel good, I like to wear good clothes, I like to tune up my voice before I go on, but basically, the most important part is to put that guitar on me, plug the thing in and let me go.

Yes play the Rotal Concert Hall on Saturday. Check yes/ for ticket availabili­ty.

 ?? ?? Yes on stage GOTTLIEBBR­OS
Yes on stage GOTTLIEBBR­OS
 ?? ?? Steve Howe
Steve Howe

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