During a recent appearance on the Bob Lefsetz Podcast, Jon Anderson revealed the reason behind his first departure from Yes in 1980 while recording the ‘Drama’ album.
When the host asked how he had ended up leaving the band at the time, the singer replied by saying:
“Because it lost the balance. There was no balance. The balance was gone, and I couldn’t bring it back together, so that was the end of that.”
Recalling those days, he continued:
“It was like when I came and said, ‘Guys, we gotta rehearse, we gotta rehearse.” Oh, Jon, just eff off. Okay?’ Because that was what they said when I left the band in Germany. ‘Eff off.’ Very loudly. And I said, ‘Okay, I’m going.’ That’s what I did. I just went.”
Following a further question, saying that if he had left loudly because he thought he could wake the others off, Anderson stated:
“No, I didn’t think about it at all. I just knew that we were in Paris trying to make an album, and we brought in the wrong producer. And that was it. And then, it just happened to Alan out there, roller skating with his girlfriend. And he broke his ankle. That’s it. ‘Okay, home we go.’ That was the end of that. It was obviously very disappointing for me because, as I said earlier, I really believed in everybody. And when everything falls apart, you think it is your fault.”
After his 1980 departure, Jon returned to Yes a few years later and recorded new material with the band. However, he left again in 1987 due to musical differences. Then, he reunited with the act again in the early 1990s and stayed with them until 2008 before parting ways with Yes again due to health concerns. Anderson said the following about a reunion with the band in April to Rolling Stone:
“Well, it’s [reunion] not going to happen, as far as I know. I’ve mentioned a couple of times over the years that I’m very open to giving it a whirl. In these days, though, you never know what will happen.”
You can listen to the full podcast below.