Jon Anderson Recalls Fear of Death at Argentina Show
Yes ARW singer Jon Anderson recalled the time he performed a show fearing he would be killed onstage.
It took place during Yes’s 90125 tour in 1983, when they became the first British band to play in Argentina after that nation’s war with the U.K. over the Falkand Islands had come to a close.
“We had death threats against us, so we didn’t fly to Argentina," he said in a recent interview. "We flew to Uruguay. So we’re in this room to have a conference call with the promoter and the presidente. And the presidente says, 'We will take care of you. Don’t worry about the death threats.'"
The band was flown in with an escort of five fighter planes, then transferred to the stadium venue in a full-scale motorcade. “Talk about doing it quietly,” Anderson noted.
He recalled the 70,000-strong audience being surrounded by 2,000 “army people with guns” to ensure Yes’ safety. “It was very much like a movie," Anderson recalled. "We’re getting ready to go on, the crowd going bananas, the music’s playing and as we’re walking out onstage, Chris [Squire] turns to me and says, 'Jon, I just realized, you know who they’re going to shoot at first?' I said, 'Oh (expletive), the singer.’”
Anderson quickly came up with the best solution possible: “So I just kept moving. I didn’t stand still.”
The singer also discussed his upcoming solo album, 1,000 Hands, which he first started work on 27 years ago. “Music is timeless, I’ve realized,” Anderson said. “I think I’ve got a hit record. But everything I release is a hit to me."
Yes ARW just started a new U.S. tour, which runs until Sept. 9.