The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced their class of inductees for 2017 this morning and progressive rock pioneers Yes finally made the cut, after having been eligible for induction since 1995 and nominated twice in the past. Rush was quick to send out their congratulations via social media this morning:
YES...the Rock Hall finally got it right! Big congrats to Yes and Pearl Jam on their entry to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
Rush was inducted into the Rock Hall back in 2013 and since then Geddy, Alex and Neil have been among the group of 900 or so inductees, music journalists and music industry folk to vote on the inductees each year. Both Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have made it known in past interviews that they have consistently voted for Yes when they've been nominated in recent years (2014 and 2106). Back in late 2015 the pair spoke with St. Louis radio station KSHE 95 and talked about who would be getting their vote for the 2016 class:
... [Geddy and Alex] were both surprised to learn that one of this year's nominees, Chicago, aren't already in. Geddy says, "Great band. We all listened to those early CTA [Chicago Transit Authority] records." And Alex adds that they were very "influential." Asked who he'll vote for, Geddy said, "Yes and Deep Purple 100 percent." ...
Both Deep Purple and Chicago ended up being voted in, but not Yes. Here was Geddy's reaction after hearing the news:
"Some justice at last! Deep Purple in the Rock Hall!! But no Yes??? Are you kidding me??" - Geddy Lee
Back in 2013 Yes was nominated for induction for the first time and Yes' late bassist Chris Squire - who passed away last year - talked about the nomination in an interview with K-Earth 101. He was asked about the Rock Hall nomination and who he'd like to have give the induction speech if they were ultimately inducted:
I haven't given it much thought, maybe those Rush guys who got in last year! I'm pretty good friends with Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins (of the Foo Fighters) and they did a great speech for Rush... so probably not them, since they just did one. But if you know Geddy (Lee), let him know that that would be fine by me. I don't know how these things work, though, I don't know how much control we have, how much control the voting committee has, and of course we're still kind of wondering how many members of Yes would be inducted.
Let's hope they honor Squire's wish and have Rush present Yes with their induction. Here's how some members of Yes reacted to the news via YesWorld.com:
... "What an honor this is for us and all involved with the history of this band," shares guitarist Steve Howe. "We thank all the Yes fans who have been so passionate over the decades, and helped us to keep the flag flying. It is the fans who have constantly demanded our inclusion. They have been heard."
"We look forward to accepting this esteemed award next spring in honor of our fallen brother, Chris Squire, who would have been delighted to see his musical vision finally receive such recognition," adds drummer Alan White. "We thank everyone who voted for YES. We'll see you soon, Cleveland!"
The members of YES who will officially be inducted into the Rock Hall are the 'UNION' tour line-up: current members White and Howe, the band's late bassist and founding member Chris Squire, and former members Jon Anderson (vocals), Bill Bruford (drums), Tony Kaye (keyboards), Rick Wakeman (keyboards) and Trevor Rabin (guitar).
"YES was like my first girlfriend, to whom I was hopelessly committed," says Bruford. "Despite a couple of wrinkles, I'm glad to hear the old girl is in fine shape."
Kaye confirms, "I am honored to be included in YES' induction. I am delighted for my friends in the band, and I salute Chris, without whom it would never have happened. Chris would have been so very proud." ...
Other acts making the cut for the 2017 class of inductees are ELO, Journey, Tupac, Joan Baez, Pearl Jam and Nile Rodgers.