It wasn't too long ago that you could easily guess a rock fan's age by his or her taste in music. If it ran to breaking bands, odds were the fan was college age or younger; if it leaned more toward well-established or even defunct rock acts, then theIt wasn't too long ago that you could easily guess a rock fan's age by his or her taste in music. If it ran to breaking bands, odds were the fan was college age or younger; if it leaned more toward well-established or even defunct rock acts, then the bTC listener was likely 30-ish or older. And on the odd occasion when a younger fan would admit to liking older music, it would generally turn out that those rock classics were just a recent discovery.
Not anymore, though. Just ask Yes drummer Alan White.
As he and the reunited Yes -- a group which not only includes such stalwarts as Jon Anderson, Chris Squire and Steve Howe, but also Yes men from all stages of the band's history, including Rick Wakeman, Bill Bruford, Tony Kaye and Trevor Rabin -- make their way across America, the group has gotten considerable encouragement from its fans, especially the younger ones. Yet as White tells it, few of them appear to be recent converts.
"Funnily enough, those younger fans have parents who have been playing our music at home for many years," he says, over the phone from his New York hotel room. "And they know the music. So you actually span two generations -- and sometimes almost into three generations -- of people."
Which is great, he says, except for one thing: Hearing the phrase, "Yeah, my dad has all your records." Laughs White, "It's like, 'Well, don't make me feel that old!' "
Still, some sense of history seems inevitable, given the retrospective nature of the tour. And with "Yesyears," a four-CD retrospective due out in early August, it's not likely to go away anytime soon.
"The box set has really got more to do with the older version of the band," says White. "There is stuff from '90125' and 'Big Generator' on there. But it's really the history from Day One. . . . Plus there's some added material on there that people have never heard before: a couple of kind of songs that never made it onto disc in the early days, and things like that. A lot of collector's stuff."
Given Yes' standing in the classic rock world, interest in the band's past is higher now than ever. But Yes, White says, has never been a band to rest on its laurels. "We basically just get on with the task of creating new music, and moving forward," he says. "And that's always been the feeling in the band."
At the moment, the only question is what form the band will take before moving onward. "People are talking about how, when and where we can possibly get together in what shape or form to approach new music," White says.
"One thing we may be able to realize, down the line, is everyone playing in the studio together, recording a orchestral type piece of Yes music. Which would be very difficult, but if we could find the right piece, it would be interesting to get it all on tape."
When: Saturday, July 20, 8 p.m.
Where: The Capital Centre
Tickets: $40 (sold out), $22.50
Call: 792-7490 for information, 481-6000 for tickets