With Singer Ailing, Yes Recruit Cover Band Frontman - Rolling Stone
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With Singer Ailing, Yes Recruit Cover Band Frontman

Forced with the prospect of canceling their 40th anniversary tour after singer Jon Anderson was sidelined for six months with acute respiratory failure, the members of Yes have instead opted to add an “understudy” to fill Anderson’s role so the tour can resume. So where does one go to find a replacement for their singer of 40 years? YouTube, of course. Benoit David, lead singer of Montreal-based Yes tribute band Close To The Edge, was recruited by the band after bassist Chris Squire saw a clip of David on YouTube, which resulted in an audition. “You can’t ever really replace Jon Anderson, because he’s been such a force in the music business,” Squire said. “We look upon his replacement as more of an understudy.” Anderson has been replaced previously, when Trevor Horn took over vocals after Anderson quit Yes in 1980. There was a blueprint in place for Yes’ recent move, however, as other older bands have used YouTube as a HotJobs to fill their lead-singing vacancies. Journey hired singer Arnel Pineda after hearing the Steve Perry clone on YouTube, and Boston hired a Home Depot employee who posted a video of himself doing karaoke of the band’s “After the Lovin'” at his grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Yes expects David to handle the vocal reins until at least next year, when Anderson should be fully recovered.

Related Stories:
Yes Cancel Anniversary Tour After Singer’s Respiratory Failure
Journey Finds New Singer the Old-Fashioned Way: On the Internet


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