Just Say No: A Lifelong Fan Walks Away from Yes

[For the first time in the history of “5” the royal we” will be put aside. This is personal.]

I used to be a real hardliner about artists retiring once, in my estimation, they had become artistically irrelevant—which I define as releasing mediocre material nowhere near the quality of their artistic heyday and simply cashing in on their past—but in recent years my stance has softened considerably in this regard. Hey, if people want to pay good money to see _____ perform, who am I to disagree? I’ll just be over in the corner if somebody needs me.

So, why has the news that Yes plan to soldier on without Chris Squire, founding member—the last of those, btw—and sole constant presence throughout the band’s history, bothered me so much? To the point that I’ve engaged in heated discussions online over the subject. (Chill, dude.) Part of it has to do with the fact that I unapologetically expected much more than dexterous mediocrity from a band which has meant so much to me. And that’s what the music they’ve made from 1991-2014 has been: well-executed dreck. So, the death of Squire coupled with fans who tell me they’ve been listening to Yes for decades and that they consider the last quarter century of Yes music to be of respectable quality, has made it obvious to me that I need to STFU, walk away and leave these folks to enjoy their Krokus* version of Yes. Cheers.

* [Krokus is a Swiss metal band which has soldiered on without an original member in their lineup for decades, long after their creative and commercial peak, with diminishing returns.]