Who could forget the spring of 1980 – May to be exact – when prog rockers Yes announced that they were to merge with electro-poppers, Buggles. Geoff Downes would take over Rick Wakeman’s role on keyboards while Trevor Horn would be lead vocalist instead of Jon Anderson.
I saw this musical calamity at Hammersmith Odeon, as the venue was called in 1980, and from the start – the mood in the audience was ugly as hell. The lights went up and the boys waved – goodbye might have been an idea.
I’ve never been to a gig where people shouted “Bring back Rick Wakeman!” but this was the one. Then my poor ears had to endure Trevor Horn struggling manfully – or not so manfully – to reach the falsetto highs of Jon Anderson.
The ‘Drama’ album wasn’t that bad. Tempus Fugit had a good bass line. But little wonder that when Anderson re-joined the band he didn’t perform the numbers from that LP.
The only good thing about this whole episode was that it finally killed off any warm residual feelings I had towards prog rock. Suddenly, they really were the sad and tragic dinosaurs that the NME had warned us they were since the dawn of punk.