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Jon Anderson is flirting with his wife.
The former leader of Yes, one of the most successful progressive rock bands in history, is writing a song for his Brazilian summer tour and wants his wife, Jane Luttenberger Anderson, to sing it for him. “She speaks perfect Portuguese. She’s really good,” he stammered. “I’ve tried to get her to sing with me on stage so many times. She’s very shy … but she’s certainly not shy with me.”
Wrapping up the solo tour that began in February and preparing for performances in London and Brazil, the legendary vocalist says he doesn’t care much where the stage is. “I just like to go up and sing to people, it doesn’t matter if it’s for 100 people or 10,000. I love the energy of a stage. Now in my solo show I can tell more about my life, share crazy jokes and sing some songs “. Touring alone without the band he co-founded in 1968 with bassist Chris Squire has been liberating. “I’m singing the Yes songs the way I originally wrote them,” he says of his current track list, which also includes Paul Simon’s ‘America’, a nod to his recent American citizenship. Anderson has gotten over any bad blood that might have been spilled in 2008 when, after illness prevented him from touring for four years, Yes replaced him with Benoit David, an Anderson who had fronted the Yes, Close tribute band. to the Edge.
“We all have a ticket to this life and we should just enjoy the ride,” says Anderson.
It’s a seemingly appropriate mantra for the musician at this stage in his 50-year career, a career that was nearly cut short when, in 2008, an asthma attack caused acute respiratory failure, which landed the singer in hospital and required six operations. . . “I’m a little hoarse this morning,” Anderson says. “I took my medication, an inhaler, a strong one that I take once a month, and it squeezes my larynx.” But other than that, Anderson says he has never felt better and his voice never louder. “My secret?” Honey and lemon spray. Oh, and I drink a lot of water.
“I’m very optimistic about life,” Anderson continues when asked what drives him these days. “The abundance of life is just amazing. We all have a feeling that things will change … and we must change. We have to start sharing the beauty of this world and its amazing abundance with everyone on this planet.”
Anderson, whose lyrics often explore high-flown allegories and ponder the meaning of life, is once again enjoying the long structured form as evidenced in ‘Open,’ a 21-minute play he released last November. His next release, ‘Ever’, is an extension of that song. Also available: a new album debut in Asia this summer. “It’s a coordination of songs and quiet ideas that have been around me for the past few years,” says the artist who once claimed to have seen fairies in the fourth dimension.
“I told my friend, ‘find me a good record company and we’ll get it out.’ It’s different these days, “he continues,” because you can choose to post it on the Internet or you can use a record company to promote yourself. “With more than 9,000 likes on Facebook and almost the same number of followers on Twitter, Anderson doesn’t miss out on the music landscape revamped – In fact, ‘Open’ was released online for digital download.
The man behind the warhorses of classic rock radio songs like “And You and I,” “Heart of the Sunrise,” “Long Distance Runaround,” and “I’ve Seen All Good People,” met an audience. Completely new when her ‘In High Places’ voice was featured on Kanye West’s ‘Dark Fantasy’.
“It’s great that different people from all over the world hear your voice,” Anderson says of the unexpected guest spot. “[Kayne] sells so many records. My voice is recognizable, so it is possible that one or two people will think ‘who is that’ and connect and find out. Then they open that door and discover that there is so much music. It’s a whole new generation of fans, why not? “.
Anderson says that, given the choice, her collaboration wish list would include Stevie Wonder (“when I hear her voice … she’s on another planet”) and Bonnie Raitt (“she’s so heartwarming”). And the place of your dreams is Carnegie Hall. “I always wanted to play it. So I practice at all the shows. I hope to get there one day.”