Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe
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Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (sometimes referred to as ABWH, The Affirmative, Yes, No, Maybe, Yes East, Yes Minus Squire, 4/5 Yes, AWBH by Alan White in a 1991 interview, and even Anderson, Walkman, Buttholes And How! by The Dead Milkmen) was a progressive rock band consisting of vocalist Jon Anderson, drummer Bill Bruford, keyboardist Rick Wakeman, and guitarist Steve Howe – who had all played together in Yes in the early 1970s (a time during which they hunted like the dinosaurs) – with
unofficial fifth member Tony Levin on bass.
Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe released their only studio album,
creatively titled Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, in 1989. Arista Records later massacred material intended for a second ABWH studio album for what was to become the Yes album Onion; this project featured a nine-person lineup merging ABWH with the then-current lineup of Yes (Anderson, Chris Squire, Trevor Rabin, Tony Kaye, and Alan White). Since Anderson was in both bands, there were two of him at the time.
After Yes built the Large Mechanism that generated noises used for the 1987 Yes album of the same name, lead-singer Jon Anderson wanted the "ever piercing power play machine" to be gone. After a year-long tour, Jon thought that the Anderson-Kaye-Rabin-Squire-White lineup of Yes was done (though he did not say this to the members at the time).
edit The Meeting
Fed up with the 1980s in music, Anderson then tried to reunite the 1971-1972 lineup that had created the critically acclaimed Yes albums Easily Broken and By the Border so that they could try to end the decade early. When Anderson, Bruford, Howe, and Wakeman met up with each other at a barbershop in the desert, Anderson realized that he forgot to invite Squire. Bruford told Anderson to not invite he still hated him for flooding the flat that they had shared time and time again. Bruford, being the pessimist that he was, also did not want the quartet to use the Yes name. Anderson then suggested that they call themselves The Affirmative, hoping that Bruford would not know what he meant. As it turned out, Bruford was aware that "affirmative" was a synonym for "yes." The drummer suggested that they call themselves No, but Howe reminded everyone that the name was already taken by Yes' enemy band from a parallel universe. Wakeman then suggested that they use their last names as Emerson, Lake & Palmer had. Their first argument as a group was figuring out in which order the names should be. After drawing straws, they settled on the name Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (which will be referred to as ABWH throughout the rest of the article because typing the entire name is too tedious).
Now a barbershop quartet managed by former Yes manager Brian Lane, the band realized that they needed a bassist. Bruford invited fellow King Crimson Underpants bandmate Tony Levin to their barbershop. Being bald, Levin thought initially that this was a practical joke. When he realized that it was not, he agreed to be the bassist on the grounds that his name be added to the name. They said that they would consider it (but they really did not). Anderson invited a couple of family members to be on the album: his backing vocalist daughter Deborah Anderson and his rhythm guitarist cousin Milton McDonald (Jon's father was Ronald McDonald). There were also a few more remarkable unimportant session musicians whose names are forgettable. Roger Dean made the sleeve design, but he had to redesign it because he had written "Yes" all over the place without realizing that the band was under a different name. Painting the extremely long name resulted in a wrist injury that lasted for two years.
In 1988, the group went aboard a mining spaceship called Red Dwarf, on which Wakeman's diet always consisted of curries. Jon Anderson, in tune with nature, acted like a cat during all of the recording sessions. Bill Bruford, by contrast, was a stiff Mechanoid. Since Steve Howe was too afraid to travel in space, they sent a hologram named Steve Howelogram, he was just as dickish as the original Steve Howe. Tony Levin was also afraid to go up, so he communicated and recorded with the band via a screen.
The first track of their self-titled debut album was "Themes," which was divided into three sections: "Sound
Chasing," "Pay Attention!" and "Sole Warrior" (Jon was the only living member of his first band The Warriors). This was followed by a track that they titled "Wrist Of Fire" because Wakeman's wrist would hurt every time that he played it. "Brother of Mine" also consisted of three sections: "The Big Sweet Dream s, "Legal Issues Can Come Between Us," and "Long Lost Brother Squire." "Copyright" was a commentary on the band's name. "The Eating of Meat" was Rick Wakeman's piano piece that he had tried using to get Anderson to quit the vegetarian lifestyle that he despised because it went against his religious belief that chicken curries needed to be eaten. "Quartet" consisted of four sections, each one describing a band member: "Ugh, Wakeman, Learn!" "Bruford Gives Me Levin," "Howe Was The First (If You Read Our Name Backwards)," and "I'm Anderson." Anderson loved himself so much that he recorded an extended version of his section, for which a music video was made. "Tweak Boy" was about Jon partying with drugs under his pseudonym Bobby Dread. The four sections of "The Border of the Universe," a track that was essentially a rehash of "By the Border," were "Border Theme," "Rock Gives Hearing Problems," "It's So Hard For Jon To Grow Taller," and "The Final Verse." The album was concluded with "Let's Pretend We're Called Yes," for which Bruford showed much contempt. "Scavengers in the City" only appeared on a single that was stolen by many scavengers in various cities.
“City of Love, Long Distance Runaround. The time between the notes relates the colour to the scene. How did we Dance of the Dawn on the South Side of the Sky? We Have High-Pitched Vocal Hell, shining flying purple wolfhound. And through the War Against No, they move fast, they tell me. 'Dawn of the light' was a beginning lyric. I just can't believe they really mean to. (Soon, oh soon the light.) I just can't believe this song will leave you. We need love, we've moved fast. I was A Bacon in Sweet Dreams. She puts the sweetness in and stirs it with a spoon. And all that I remembered with the capacity of a goldfish was the roundabout. I just can't believe they really mean to. (In and around the lake.) I just can't believe this song will leave you. (In and around the lake.) ”
edit An Evening Of Yes Music Minus Squire
Yes ABWH performed a tour titled An Evening of Yes Music Minus Squire, during which the Steve Howelogram took the lazy guitarist's place. They refrained from performing "Wrist of Fire" because they did not want to risk Wakeman breaking his wrists during the tour. "Let's Pretend We're Yes" was dropped after the first show because Bruford threatened to quit if they played it again. Despite his hatred for the Yes West lineup, Jon performed "Boner of a Lonely Fart" for no reason. After meeting Jon's father during the tour, Tony Levin got food-poisoning at McDonald's. Jeff Berlin filled in for him to get away from the protests at the Berlin Wall, which had been in his family for many generations. When Levin felt better, Berlin went back home, discovering that his wall had been torn down by Punk Floyd fans.
Chris Squire, who thought that he had bought tickets to see an accounting firm, attended one of the shows. He loved the performances of Yes songs until he realized that he was not performing on them. He scolded Jon for being with this quartet while Yes were trying to make a new album, to which Jon responded, "Yes still exists?" Squire was even more pissed off when he finally saw an advertisement for their album, claiming that it was "Closer to the border than Yes album By the Border."
ABWH and Yes realized that they were not making enough money. ABWH made demos for a second album, but much of them were stolen by flying hags. Yes, meanwhile, only had a few tracks. In 1991, Arista Records, in order to maintain the balance of power between Yes East and Yes West, exploded their first Onion bomb in Woomera. They failed to call all of the Yes peoples at the time. The Yes members still call this "The YesYear of Rubbish" (the first of many more to come). In other words, tracks by both bands were put on an album full of 200 underpaid session musicians. Since Onion is under the Yes name, that entire story cannot be covered (at least not legally) in this article. However, it can be said that, after playing bass on this album, Tony Levin went on to star in his own surreal sitcom, I, Levin, which was cancelled by BBC after a series of six episodes. In 2009, he realized that his surname was not included in ABWH's name and began hunting down each member. So far, he has succeeded at "retiring" Bill Bruford.
edit Posthumous Releases
After the death of Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe was announced (causing people to believe that the members themselves had actually died), a live album and film titled An Evening of Yes Music Minus Squire (which featured Jeff Berlin) was released in 1993. In 2006, Anderson found the demos for what could have been the band's second album and, not realizing that the other members were still alive, released the demos under his own name as the album Watching The Hags That Fly, which was part of The Forgotten Tapes boxset (which he has forgotten to update). In 2011, ABWH's studio album was re-released with a bonus disc containing singles and live tracks that were not that interesting, including an early version of Yes song "Children of White," which had been dedicated to Cassi and Jesse, the children of Yes drummer Alan White. In 2012, a live album titled Live at the NEC, which was only purchased by Tony Levin, was released.
edit Yes? No? Maybe?
To this day, some Yes fans still debate over whether or not ABWH should be considered Yes. This was even of the subject of the theme song for Malcolm in the Middle. Other fans, however, have stopped caring.