The Marquee Club - A tribute site dedicated to the history of the legendary Marquee club at London's 90 Wardour street.

Jon Anderson by Pam Jarvis

"I got into Yes through the voice of Jon Anderson. the first time I heard it was live at the Marquee in London, sometime in 1968. I thought: 'That voice, it's wonderful; heaven'. I didn't know who he was! The band was the Gun. They were supporting Marmalade, I seem to remember. I can't recall what songs the Gun performed, but they were cover versions.

So there I was at the Marquee again, a few weeks later, to see the Gun and waiting in anticipation to hear that lovely voice. To my horror the band was reduced to three (they were five, before). Gone were the keyboard player and, yes, the singer -that voice! was shattered, especially as I dragged a couple of friends along to hear this wondrous sound!

The search was now on for the guy with that voice. I found him at the end of 1968 or maybe very early 1969. There was an article in one of the music papers, something like: 'Yes - the new band to look out for in 1969...' (I had seen the name Yes but new nothing about them) and there was this photo. I spotted the face who owned The voice!

I was ecstatic because not only I had found him and now knew his name, I also spotted in the band's photo Chris Squire and Peter Banks who I knew from the Syn. I'd seen that band a few times at my local 'ballroom' (discos hadn't hit the suburbs yet - we were still in the age of the 'ballroom' and 'Top Rank'!) The Syn were a psychedelic-ish group and usually performed a "mini-opera" during their set. Incidentally, on one occasion as the singer Steve Nardelli, introduced the "mini-opera" (this was the time when Keith West was having success with "Excerpts From A Teenage Opera") the rest of the band started singing "Keith West is a bastard"!!

Obviously, for me, Yes were the band to go and see in 1969! I can't remember how many times I saw them in those days; it's something I never bothered to keep track of. Yes were so different to other bands. There was this "something" - Jon's vocals... Chris' strutting, high bass... Pete Banks' wah wah... Bill's drumming... and Tony Kaye's bluesy funky Hammond. It all sort of gelled together: the harmonies and the unique Yes-touch to cover versions.

When "Yes", the first album, was released it was great to be able to hear Yes on the record player (not even in stereo, in those days- thank God for CDs, nowadays!)

I do remember being nearly crushed in the rush to get a seat at an open air festival. Yes were last but one on the bill before the Who, playing in this special area. I also remember Yes being introduced at the Marquee as: "Jon anderson and the Yes"!"

Pam Jarvis, UK, for Yes Talk fanzine, #1, March 1994.