By ERIC SCHELKOPF – [email protected], 13 March 2013, PlanitKane

Grammy-winning rock band Yes will perform three of its classic albums in their entirety – 1971’s “The Yes Album,” 1972’s “Close To The Edge” and 1977’s “Going For The One” – when it plays Saturday at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino, 777 Casino Center Drive, Hammond, Ind.

The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets range from $35 to $70, available at

Kane County Chronicle reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes about the tour and his long career.

Eric Schelkopf: The tour started a few days ago. What’s the pleasure for you in playing these three albums?
Geoff Downes: It’s a real challenge. Yes is sort of known for its albums, so it’s really important that we can apply ourselves to it and do the albums in their entirety, as they were originally conceived.

ES: As far as these three particular albums, what do you like about performing them live?
GD : They’ve all got their own kind of great things about them. They were conceived as albums, so it’s like playing two sides of a piece of vinyl.
Not having been involved actually in the recording of any of the three albums we are doing at the moment, it’s kind of a real insight into what made their music so historically popular. It’s timeless music that people still enjoy listening to today.

ES : You joined Yes in 1980, replacing Rick Wakeman. Were those big shoes to fill?
GD : I was in the band briefly in the early 1980s, when we did the “Drama” album. And we came back together for 2011’s album “Fly From Here,” which I already had contributed some of the material towards.
Trevor Horn, who produced the album, is an old friend of mine from The Buggles days, and he wanted me more involved. I think it was a case where I sort of morphed back into the band, in many ways.

ES : Of course, you are also juggling being in the band Asia. Is it hard to juggle being in both bands?
GD : It’s not easy going from one to the other sometimes, but it seems to be OK so far. Asia is really a different kind of band in many ways.
It’s a slightly different type of music. Yes is very much an album designed band in many ways, and I think Asia is more of a song-orientated rock band.
I’m priviledged to be able to do both. Each has its own merits in various ways, and obviously Asia is very important to me, as a founding member and co-writer of a lot of the material.

ES : Steve Howe recently left Asia. How do you think that will change the band?
GD : Steve had other things that he wanted to do. There was no big fallout or anything like that.
We gave it a very good shot I think, for the six years of the reunion, from 2006 up until a few months ago.

ES : Do you think Asia will carry forth without him?
GD : Yeah, I think the band will continue. I think both John Wetton and Carl Palmer want to continue with the band. We’ve got another guitarist now, Sam Coulson.
He’s one of these young guitarists that are coming through, and I think it will be a good opportunity for him to hopefully get some experience with the old pros.

ES : You’ve been in the music business for a long time. I guess I find it interesting that you co-wrote the song “Video Killed The Radio Star” as a member of The Buggles. That song was the first video on MTV and now it seems like MTV doesn’t really play videos anymore.
GD: I think that’s just the way it’s gone. It was very exciting when MTV first came out.
It’s changed. They don’t play music anymore, so it’s kind of weird that it’s called MTV, because there’s no music on there.
Having said that, things do change, and I think one has to accept that’s the way the world is.


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