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Thread: Steve Howe: How important was he to Yes?

  1. #51
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevegSr View Post
    I heard that starring at computer screens for an extended duration leads one to conspiracy theories.
    Well that might explain Shadow then!

    I'm only stressing that Howe appears to be over shadowed by other band members and nothing more.
    Based on what? You just made a statement without any foundation or cogent points and continue to post without really providing any. I might take this thread more seriously if you had put some thought into it. I'm certain I'm not the only one who had that thought cross his/her mind.
    WANTED: Sig-worthy quote.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Really? I thought it was Jimmy Page and Big Jim Sullivan!
    Actually it was Sacha Distel and Barney Kessel - and a little Val Doonican.

  3. #53
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    Quintessential! I wouldn't get into a discussion on whether he was the best guitarist ever in Yes or not. I don't really care myself. There's NO mistaking in the Howe style and sound. He co-wrote much of the classic material also. The one BIG problem I always had with him as a member of Yes is his vocals. Thankfully he never sang lead in Yes. I don't believe he ever did at least.

  4. #54
    Steve Howe: How important was he to Yes?



    I'm not doubting Steve Howe's importance to Yes, only that he seems somewhat overshadowed by the late Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson in the early band incarnation. How important was Howe to Yes and what are your thoughts on his guitar playing?

    --------------------------------------

    Do you ask questions just for the sake of asking questions?

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by N_Singh View Post

    The 175 is a plywood guitar which is great for lack of fed back . Steve maybe the only one who ever used he bridge pickup --not even Metheny used it . Practically no jazz player used the bridge pickup in the 175D model.
    I never understood the "neck pickup" only thing, but yeah, I believe Metheny even removed the bridge pickup from his ES-175, and later when Ibanez built him a signature model, his personal guitar doesn't have one either.

    I remember reading a guitarist named Herb Ellis talked about his early 80's signature model that was put out by, I think, Aria Pro II. He said he never uses the bridge pickup, but the company wanted to put one on there because they felt it would sell better.

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by StevegSr View Post
    Agree 100%. Another prog producer/engineer like Tom Allom could have done them wonders on the bottom end.
    Tom Allom worked with "prog" bands? Really? I only know him as a heavy metal producer (eg Judas Priest, Y&T, etc).

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by StevegSr View Post
    If his heart was into the material and his head was in a good place, Bruford would have been freakin' awesome, but the band would have to let him experiment with electronic drums and such. And that may or may not have been a problem.
    Well, electronic percussion only just barely existed in 1972 when Bruford left Yes. For what it's worth, Alan White had electronic drums in his kits for many years, too, at least on the 90215, Big Generator, and Union tours.

    Bruford said that he felt for him, the next album would have been "Son of Close To The Edge", and he didn't see any point in it. I think he also didn't like the fact that the band had these very tight arrangements that didn't allow for much improvisation. He always regarded himself as a jazz drummer, which I think is why he fit in better with King Crimson, because Fripp allowed to him to do what he want, change things around, turn them upside down, back to front, inside out, etc.

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Tom Allom worked with "prog" bands? Really? I only know him as a heavy metal producer (eg Judas Priest, Y&T, etc).

    He did Strawbs' H&H and Ghosts.

  9. #59
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_Singh View Post
    I would say the biggest influence on Steve was Chet Atkins. The Clap was straightout Chet 101. That's why Martin Taylor and Steve get along, I surmise. Huge Chet fans.
    I think they're both Django fans, too, which also gives them something in common.

    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    I'm certain I'm not the only one who had that thought cross his/her mind.
    Nope.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  10. #60
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    He's good but he's no Steve Howe.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    He's good but he's no Steve Howe.
    I think he was a good left-handed relief guy for a while with the Dodgers put the cocaine did him in.

  12. #62
    Howe and Hackett took similar paths through rock music of the early 70's. I don't think Howe or Hackett was critical to their bands as much as people think, because you could have switched those two into the other's band framework and some great progressive rock would still have been made. You could have put either of them into ELP or Renaissance for that matter and they would have been great additions. What they did was bring a certain way of thinking about rock music which later became defined as progressive rock. Wakeman, Moraz both made great contributions to YES. Wakeman could have played in Genesis as well or Tony Banks in YES.

    What didn't work was bringing metal guitar into prog... because that is just a totally different way of thinking about music. Less sophisticated, and less broad in influence.
    Metal guitar puts more focus on chops and less upon tone and dynamics and supporting the music. It also lacks articulation and the influences of classical guitar, jazz guitar and western guitar music.

    The broad spectrum of influence that Howe and Hackett brought to their bands was a way of thinking more than anything that created a new form of music people are still discussing with great interest over 40 years later.

  13. #63
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tributary Records View Post
    What didn't work was bringing metal guitar into prog... because that is just a totally different way of thinking about music. Less sophisticated, and less broad in influence.
    Metal guitar puts more focus on chops and less upon tone and dynamics and supporting the music. It also lacks articulation and the influences of classical guitar, jazz guitar and western guitar music.
    I'm not sure I am totally following you, but largely I will disagree with this way of thinking. I'm not sure you can make these generalized blanket statements, but of course that is your opinion. I think you're sometimes living the song/album that Ian Anderson released back in 1972 right after Thick as a Brick.

  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Tributary Records View Post
    Howe and Hackett took similar paths through rock music of the early 70's. I don't think Howe or Hackett was critical to their bands as much as people think, because you could have switched those two into the other's band framework and some great progressive rock would still have been made. You could have put either of them into ELP or Renaissance for that matter and they would have been great additions. What they did was bring a certain way of thinking about rock music which later became defined as progressive rock. Wakeman, Moraz both made great contributions to YES. Wakeman could have played in Genesis as well or Tony Banks in YES.
    The big difference between Howe and Hackett, though, is that Howe was a major part of the writing in Yes. The Anderson/Howe writing team created much of their most significant work (Roundabout, CttE, Tales, Awaken). I do agree that the two could have worked as guitarists in either band, however.

  15. #65
    Member StevegSr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post



    Based on what? You just made a statement without any foundation or cogent points and continue to post without really providing any. I might take this thread more seriously if you had put some thought into it. I'm certain I'm not the only one who had that thought cross his/her mind.
    I might take you more seriously if more than you and one other (who seems to be following his MO) had voiced reservations about the OP. The original post is simply a devise to jumpstart a discussion, which so far has worked well and is now on it's third page. It was my personal opinion, btw, which does not tread into the larger areas of complete fiction or distorted facts. This intrusion into a thread in which members are enjoying the discussion or at least engaging each other peacefully smacks of trolling, IMO. If we cannot come to a mutually civil agreement about them, PM me and I will be more then happy to cease posting threads that you and only one other member find to be objectionable.
    To be or not to be? That is the point. - Harry Nilsson.

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Tributary Records View Post
    What didn't work was bringing metal guitar into prog... because that is just a totally different way of thinking about music. Less sophisticated, and less broad in influence.
    Metal guitar puts more focus on chops and less upon tone and dynamics and supporting the music. It also lacks articulation and the influences of classical guitar, jazz guitar and western guitar music.
    I know a lot of classical guitarists who would dispute your thesis....

  17. #67
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    ^Ingwie Malmsteen for one.

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    ^Ingwie Malmsteen for one.
    Thankfully a guy like Ingwie Malmsteen didn't end up in YES or even Ed Van H for that matter.
    These guys are fantastic at what they do, but lack the diversity and dialog to excel in the "former' progressive rock genre that isn't coming back anytime soon.... although it should and it could.

    Another guy who could have worked in YES is Andy Summers. He was much more varied and complex than you hear on Police records.

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Tributary Records View Post

    Another guy who could have worked in YES is Andy Summers. He was much more varied and complex than you hear on Police records.
    He did some tasteful stuff with Robert Fripp.. I Advance Masked was one release I had back in the day.. interesting album..

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by happytheman View Post
    He did some tasteful stuff with Robert Fripp.. I Advance Masked was one release I had back in the day.. interesting album..
    I had that album also. Very interesting, but I found the compositions to academic for my taste. At least that's the way I remember it.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by happytheman View Post
    He did some tasteful stuff with Robert Fripp.. I Advance Masked was one release I had back in the day.. interesting album..
    I had that album also. Very interesting, but I found the compositions to academic for my taste. At least that's the way I remember it.

  22. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Tributary Records View Post
    Another guy who could have worked in YES is Andy Summers. He was much more varied and complex than you hear on Police records.
    I actually agree with you, but his output with the Police was stellar and he showed a lot more diversity than you give them credit for. I have a few of his solo albums that are quite excellent.

  23. #73
    This "might" be a bit of a stretch but...another guy who might have worked in YES (but moved them into another direction)....Steve Morse.

    The guy is:

    Talented enough,
    is professional enough to know/accept that the lap steel (sitar/mando, etc.) are needed in places,
    Can write cool GTR-centric music
    Seems to be easy to get along with
    Has played with other top-flight bands with their own "dramas/issues"

  24. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Supersonic Scientist View Post
    This "might" be a bit of a stretch but...another guy who might have worked in YES (but moved them into another direction)....Steve Morse.

    The guy is:

    Talented enough,
    is professional enough to know/accept that the lap steel (sitar/mando, etc.) are needed in places,
    Can write cool GTR-centric music
    Seems to be easy to get along with
    Has played with other top-flight bands with their own "dramas/issues"
    Second that one. His Dregs output alone shows he has the diversity of styles that would fit in nicely.

  25. #75
    Playing Steve Howe's guitar parts accurately in our defunct prog tribute band DG was incredibly difficult. The classic albums Fragile and Close To The Edge were comprised of 4 soloists essentially battling against each other. That's why (except for Relayer) I have never really gotten the same level of enjoyment from Alan White's playing. He added more rock power, but lost the jazz intricacy of Bill Bruford. Would White have ever chosen to play snare rolls at the climactic build-up ending of Siberian Khatru? I really doubt it. Somehow Bruford made those classic Yes tunes rock very hard, but it was through utilizing jazz vocabularies.

    The way that Chris Squire and Bruford locked in together as a rhythm component was remarkable in Yes. We tried to play the bass/drum section before the vocals on "Heart Of The Sunrise" with several different bassists once we lost our original one, and if they didn't know exactly what the other was playing, it fell apart. It has to be exact-precise to work. That's why many bands skip that section.

    I basically learned how to play multiple types of guitars to learn Howe's daunting techniques. Yours Is No Disgrace, Clap, Starship Trooper, Roundabout, South Side Of The Sky, Long Distance Runaraound, Mood For A Day, Heart Of The Sunrise, Close To The Edge, And You And I, Siberian Khatru, Leaves Of Green, The Gates Of Delirium, Sound Chaser. And many of these songs requires a different guitar, tone, effects, and technique to really nail these tunes.

    You cannot fake Howe. I've heard many guitarists that really do not know these tunes. It didn't help that Yes insisted on improvisation live, because many fans now expect a "looser" approach. So accuracy with performing their music was undone by them. The band, itself. Yessongs was not live beginning-to-end cuts - several of those were engineered in the studio, from different nights. I once read that Yes had to "learn" the album's arrangement for "Close To The Edge" because the arrangement was pieced together by Eddie Offord. The band once played those parts in the studio, but not in that sequence. That's why they didn't cover it at the beginning of that tour. Can anyone else corroborate this? Howe definitely improvises that opening lead - I've never heard him play the studio album's solo, live. Maybe bits of it, but not the entire section.

    I can never get behind the idea that Howe's tones were abysmal. They work in that band. When you're fighting for space with distorted Rickenbacker bass riffs, piano, Hammond, Mellotron, and Moog keys, intricate drumming PLUS three-part harmonies - what do you think is going to cut through? Howe played clean or simply overdriven to offset Squire's Ampeg/Marshall-isms. A wah pedal is also essential for Yes. And don't kid yourself; Howe was constantly riding a volume pedal while playing the ES175D to eliminate feedback. Full-hollowbody guitars will feed back. Especially if you're standing too close to the amp.

    I do sometimes dream of being in a faithful Yes cover band again at some point, but it seems those days have essentially passed. It takes an incredible amount of dedication to really play this music like the studio albums. And even the prog community expects live improvisation on a regular basis. But once you begin the required woodshedding to first learn the tune, then be able to play it well in your band, and THEN play it so effortlessly that you can begin to improvise through certain parts - who is willing to put in double, or even triple effort - for what amounts to complex cover tunes?

    Most accomplished musicians would prefer to write their own music for THAT much effort. So there you have it - you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't. You cannot win.

    It was also very damaging to hear how "any trained monkey can play a song note-for-note" from certain factions of the music community. You sometimes wonder if there is any audience left for skillfully-played progressive rock covers. Regardless, I feel proud that I really sat down and worked my ass off for many years. That confidence now convinces me to create my own solo material.

    I went to multiple guitar instructors who I hoped could really teach me Howe's techniques/notes/phrasing in the late 70s. Many dudes did "teach" me these songs. Wrong. It wasn't until I had trained my ear to learn the song by myself that I really could say I can play Yes music on guitars. As someone said recently on another website: "Yes?!? Nobody I knew could even begin to figure their music out when we were all learning guitar, let alone actually be able to play it in a band on a guitar."

    Or several. Yes, and several other 70s prog bands DID create punk in a sense, because very few knew how to play this music.

    I cannot imagine trading Howe and Hackett. From playing both guitarists songs, I know their styles are both complicated and different in intent. Hackett was led by Banks' strict classical-isms, whereas Wakeman was allowed to somewhat rearrange Yes music with his classical background, or at least the keyboard parts. Howe seemed to have more power over his band, than Hackett did in his.
    I think Steve would have possibly told Tony to fvck-off.
    Yes?
    Last edited by DGuitarist; 08-31-2016 at 01:22 PM.

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