BY JULIA CIRIGNANO
Trevor Rabin is a musician, singer/songwriter, producer and film composer most famous for his time as the guitarist and vocalist for YES. He was with the band from 1982-1995 and was responsible for some of their biggest hits including “Owner of a Lonely Heart” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 singles chart. He was also responsible for their most successful selling album 90125, along with three others: Big Generator, Union, and Talk.
Rabin is currently planning a tour with two former members of YES, Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman. The tour, appropriately called “Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman: An Evening of YES Music & More,” launches tonight in Orlando, FL, and will come to Boston on October 19th at the Citi Wang Theatre.
It’s been 25 years since Rabin performed on stage with Anderson and Wakeman on the Union tour. In an interview with Limelight Magazine, Rabin talked about how this reunion came about.
According to Rabin, he and Wakeman had always planned and hoped to tour together, but it never happened until now. With busy lives full of thriving careers, both Rabin and Wakeman spent years making excuses and putting off their work together.
“I think the catalyst was our very good friend [YES founder and bassist] Chris Squire dying,” he said. “This led us to discipline ourselves and say ‘you know what, now we really really got to’.”
The two finally decided to clear their schedules and make this project happen with their mutual friend Anderson who previously performed a successful series of concerts with Wakeman in the U.K. in 2010 and the U.S. in 2011. These three musicians work great together and flourish in the mist of each other’s company and creative energy.
“What’s really great is that it really came from the heart of the musicians, opposed to some promotion company or record company getting involved,” said Rabin.
Rabin and Wakeman are currently rehearsing and also recording music together. Rabin said that they have had a great time working together recently and are both inspired and excited for the upcoming tour.
Although they will not be playing any of their new music on this tour, Rabin explained the setlist they are working on.
“So what we’ve done is we’ve really taken the catalog that we’ve all been involved with in the past, and really found, I think, exciting new ways of doing it,” he said. “We’re pretty excited about it.”
“We’re still going through it,” he continued. “We’ve rehearsed way more than we need and we still haven’t reconciled what we are going to play. I mean obviously we’re going to play “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and things that you kind of have to play. It’s kind of prerequisite for doing the tour, almost.”
Rabin explained how the tour came about and his current work with Wakeman.
“We do have some new stuff, but I guess just because of the passion we have for this and how we approached it, it isn’t done yet,” he said. “This music and tour wasn’t put together by a bunch of promoters and managers and record companies. It’s really just happening in it’s own good time. The intention was to possibly do an album or at least a bunch of songs and go on tour after, but it was taking a long time once we started to get the stuff done.”
Due to their lack of time and eagerness to go on tour together, Rabin and Wakeman have set up two different tours. After this series of dates, they plan on finishing their collection of music and then plan a separate tour where they will be playing new music.
Rabin has many things to look forward to in the future, but he also spoke a little about his time with YES and his reasons for leaving the band in 1995 at the conclusion of the Talk tour.
“It was very satisfying when 90125 came out and was the biggest YES album ever. It kind of legitimized this band,” he said.
But eventually, Rabin did outgrow the band and moved onto a new project.
“I had done close to a thousand shows with YES and I just didn’t feel like playing ‘Roundabout’ and ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’ for a little while,” he said. “I wanted to get into film and I’ve been famed as a conductor, arranger, orchestrator, so I thought, ‘well, what’s the natural place to do this?’ I thought, ‘well, film, maybe film.’”
During Rabin’s time with YES, he worked closely with Anderson writing songs in the past particularly on the highly underrated Talk album, but he has done less work with Wakeman. Because of this, Rabin was truly excited to work with him.
“The most important thing about this for me was working with Rick,” said Rabin. “Obviously working with Jon is great. We’ve always wanted to do this again. But Rick, I haven’t worked with as closely as this before. Although, when we were doing the [Union] tour, we worked very closely. There were nights when it felt like it was just him and I on stage.”
Rabin said fans who purchase tickets to his upcoming shows with Anderson and Wakemen will enjoy a night of old time classics with a new twist and be able to witness the flourishing musical relationship these three men have.
“I hope people enjoy it as much as we’re enjoying it,” said Rabin.
The Citi Wang Theatre is located at 270 Tremont Street in Boston, Mass. Tickets to the show can be purchased online by clicking HERE, at the Citi Center Box Office, or by calling 800-982-2787. VIP packages are also available through ARW-TOUR.COM.