Yes Hit The Road For 40th Anniversary, Rick Wakeman Quits For The Fifth Time

March 20, 2008 12:25 PM ET

A mere four years after their 35th anniversary tour, prog rock giants Yes are hitting the road for their 40th anniversary tour. Billed as "Close to the Edge and Back," the twenty-six date American tour launches July 12 in Quebec and wraps up August 22nd in Los Angeles. The band's constantly shifting lineup now features vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, drummer Alan White, guitarist Steve Howe and — in a bizarre twist even by Yes standards — Rick Wakeman's son Oliver Wakeman on the keyboards. Rick explained his absence in a lengthy post on his website. "My major concern was that of over-touring," he writes. "Which I felt YES had done since 2002 with far too many shows, especially in America which for me diminished the 'specialness' of the band." He doesn't rule returning to the fold at a future point for something "very special in the not too distant future." For those keeping track, this marks the fifth time Wakeman has quit the band, which has to be some sort of record. There are plenty of examples of sons filling in for their dead fathers in bands (most famously Jason Bonham in Led Zeppelin), but this has to be the first time a son will fill in for his alive (and perfectly healthy) father in a band.

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