GURU: EXPERIENCE EVERYTHING PP GURU, BUT DON'T LET THE LANDSLIDE , or better yet: IS THIS THE WAY TO KEEP THE PP GURU BONFIRES BURNING?
Another transitional period was coming up for the PP Guru. Stagnation was creeping upon the PP Guru's moon touched shoulder when he woke up one morning and suddenly realized that he had stuck himself into a rut. Four years of working days in a health food packaging factory/warehouse yielded nothing but alfalfa powder up his nose and some very nasty looking boogers to go with it. Four years of spending nights getting soused in Irish pubs on Newcastle Ale and then going home drunk to read Alan Moore Swamp Thing comic books...out loud, much to the chagrin of his roommates and neighbors was making the PP Guru a very marked man - just like someone who should be taken out with dire expediency, such as this Diet Coke Dubya joker that weaseled his way into the Oval office. The PP Guru needed a change of venue and he needed it pronto. The PP Guru's always inebriated roommate, Jene Ellis had told him that he would have to leave the apartment we were renting because he found out that he was schlepping his sister, Jennifer. John Gorman left for greener pastures down south to Claremont, Caifornia because he was sick and tired of waking up in the morning and finding Jene sacked out on a recliner with a gallon of melted ice cream resting on his stomach and a bottle of JD by his side- and it was ice cream that John bought.
The PP Guru has a psychotic episode of his own when Jene and John both brought home some hashish Blueberry muffins from a New Year's Party that the PP Guru was left out of. The PP Guru ate them- without reading the nutritional labels. All he remembers is that he believed that they were at the time to be normal everyday blueberry muffins that you ate for breakfast. They tasted like they needed some butter, that's all. They had a very peppery taste.
Not realizing that he was given his puritanical systems a massive overload in peyote payback, the PP Guru got in his PP Gurumobile and nearly wrapped his honda civic around a telephone poll and had to be hauled off to the hospital where he suffered hallucinations of the Joker coming to get him for three or four days. Then Gorman packed up and left after that episode that left the PP Guru parched for sanity and was replaced by one of Jene's friends who worked in a resturant with him, whose name escapes him at the moment. He slept on the living room couch and it wasn't too long until the civility between him and the PP Guru was shattered by the new guy being caught schlepping the PP Guru's Jennifer on that couch. This led to a fistfight between the PP Guru and his new naked roommate which resulted in no resolution other than breaking a few knobs on PP Guru's new Roland JX-3P synthesizer.
That was the final straw- the PP Guru just had to snap out of it.
Luckily a new Yes album,... well sort of, was on the way to get the PP Guru out of his doldrums.
Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe - the band, not a law firm, as many would mistakenly refer to was known as the Alternative Yes. It was born from the ashes of Anderson's discourse over the direction that Rabin was taking Yes into constant AOR territory. Anderson didn't want Yes to cement their reputation as a singles band no longer with AM radio playing constant looping rotations of the two singles from the 90125 and Big Generator albums, Owner of a Lonely Heart and Love Will Find a Way. So it was Jon's first wife at the time who suggested to him that he should form a different band with the people that he liked to play with when concerned over Jon being down and out over the direction and the lagtime between releasing albums. So Jon got the idea of reuniting with his old band mates. Steve Howe was finished with both GTR and Asia (and Asia was finished as well, ...for the moment) Rick Wakeman was through with being a wino who had at one time resorted to been found sleeping on park benches in Santa Moncia, and with Robert Fripp putting King Crimson on hiatus once again found Bill Bruford with little much to do but front a jazz rock band called Earthworks - but who the fuck buys jazz these days? So as to avoid any scrutiny from the law firms representing Squire and Rabin's version- they settled on using their last names as the band's name (although No was kicked around a bit). But someone on this side of the camp realized that it was not going to be a easy sell when the album would be released through Arista records on August 23, 1989 (however the PP Guru remembers he had a promo copy of the album two months before that, because he listened to it on the way up to a Sugarcubes concert in June that was to be Jennifer and the PP Guru's last date together in Irvine...with three or four of her friends that he got conned into buying tickets for), Anderson had to make the record buying public knew who they were somehow... so as to sell tickets, they toured under the sub heading - a evening of Yes Music Plus, i.e; old standards such as Close to the Edge, Starship Troopers, and Roundabout were to be blended in with new songs such as Order of the Universe, Brother of Mine, and the Australian Aborganine plight inspired Birthright. Both legal firms on both sides battled each other over the use of the Yes Music plus phrase which will find resolve itself to a amicable agreement as we'll discuss in another few paragraphs.
Regardless of what many loyal pundits may say, the PP Guru considers this to be an Yes album to a nth degree, no matter what lengths they would go to correct him. The PP Guru can almost forgive the misnomer of what's listed on Sparky's chronological timeline that he provides to end off every entry with- and the proof is on none other than on the new DVD, Songs From Tsongas, which was released a few weeks ago on Image Entertainment, when Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson perform a lovely tender version of the Meeting, which was the opening track of side two of the ABW& H album. Plus it has the PP Guru's favorite all time Roger Dean album cover with the eagles and vultures perched against a futuristic city backdrop. The PP Guru also has the rare-to-find cassette copy of the Brother of Mine single with a unreleased B-side Vultures (in the City) in his collection.
Ironically, the PP Guru wound up seeing the show on this tour at San Diego State University with the sister of the roommate who was caught ploughing his Jennifer- but she was sporting one hell of mean looking mustache (as all Italian women usually do); however the PP Guru doesn't fault her for having a great set of looking gams, but she was possibly under the age of eighteen and the PP Guru doesn't fall for that jail baited trim trap.
Within the next two years, the PP Guru moved on to better opportunites. He quit the vitamin warehouse (Bernard Jensen Products - Jensen was actually a eye doctor who went blind- quirky twist of fate, perhaps?) shortly after the PP Guru's rich grandfather who created Bosco chocolate syrup on the east coast had passed away from complications due to AIDS? ...well that's what one of his aunts told him - but he heard it was actually colon cancer. Shit's debatable. The PP Guru became a night manger for a Circle K in Encinitas, and he got a job working as a assistant engineer at a recording studio located on a community college campus on the weekends. Since the PP Guru didn't have to work until graveyard shift, he would also find himself doing early evening gigs at a Irish pub with some guys who called themselves the Tom Toms. The PP Guru got to use other people's keyboards and P A equipment, to create a few atmospheric and ambient numbers to be included on student CD and video projects. The PP Guru also found himself enrolled at some journalism and creative writing courses at the college on Saturday mornings. 1989-1991 was certainly a re-invention of the PP Guru's spontaneous spasticated mindfucks that he hopefully still exhibits to his very day - as he began to teach himself how to write and experiment within the parameters of comic book scripts.
It was also the period of the PP Guru's all time favorite super hero adaption to television, The Flash. The PP Guru still has all his episodes on VHS- although Warner Home Video recently announced that they will be a DVD set sprinting soon into our future. Then we can all have Flash marathons running on our High Defintion sets.
The PP Guru was introduced to one of his favorite all-time comic book industry colleagues, Heidi "Ace" MacDonald thorough a mishap with Howard Chaykin. He still keeps in contact with the old girl and she has certainly flourished more in this line of business than the PP Guru ever did. Here she is in a picture with another great editor, Anina Bennet who used to edit comic book adaptions of Harlan Ellison stories in his Dream Corridor series for Dark Horse Comics.
And with the legal improprieties, settled behind them, Yes became whole once again...and bigger because both sides of the camp wanted to keep on making music their way, so the only solution was to merge both the ABW& H and the Rabin/Squire/White/Kaye side into one huge fucking band. That's right, the roster of the band went from the five mandatory membership to an overload of eight overnight in what the fans called a sham-merger !! So what the first Yes album of the ninties released on April 30th of 1991 does is try to form a perfect Union - but instead, it winds up making you cry like an Onion, as according to Rick Wakeman. Citing some tampering with his laid down keyboard parts by the producers, (and they were many- perhaps too many) Jonathan Elias in particular, who was also a sucessful session musician in his own right after the initial sessions for the album had been long done- Rick Wakeman was heard on a radio talk show actually threatening physical violence towards him after hearing the final product which prompted him to walk out on the group once again for the unteempth time. Elias' unwelcome contributions to the new album stemmed from a two song team up of Anderson and him on a anthology album named Requiems for Americas - that Elais produced that detailed the emancipation of the American Indian had other guest star performers such as John Waite, Susanna Hoffs, and Simon LeBon helping out. The album also sported some unreleashed Jim Morrison poetry tracks and ghostdancing wisdom espoused by Martin and Charlie Sheen.
The Union album itself was supposed to be amalgamation of the two existing groups. The Rabin AOR side contributed four tracks to the album with Anderson singing lead on three, the radio single, Lift Me Up, Miracle of Life, and Saving My Heart - while the remaining songs were supposed to be the tracks to go on the followup to ABW&H (although the PP Guru would debate that,because he has a whole slew of bootlegged demos of songs that were never used including one called 'Buildings' -) and as far as the PP Guru they were the more interesting ones like Shock to the System and I Would've Waited Forever (an unlisted expanded edition is included on the box set, Yes - In a Word, 1969 - ) . The PP Guru saw this tour twice, one show at the San Diego Sports Arena with people he worked with in the studio and the LA Forum to see them with friends he went to high school with in New Jersey. The show was done in the round again - looking mighty cramped to fit all eight members on a revolving stage. Ego temper tandrums would flare up between Steve Howe and Trevor Rabin. Wakeman would steal Kaye's thunder, making him look very inadequate as a player. Bruford and White seemed to get along well with White being the organic side pounding on the skins while Bruford demonstrated of how good he was on the electronic percussion kit. Anderson was just drifting away into heavy bouts of Indian lore and dogma, no doubt inspired for his love of everything Carlos Castanada, that he would constantly touch a dreamcatcher he had centered on his podium for good luck.
Despite malicious tongue lashings from most of the press and certain die-hards concerning the success or failure of this project, the album did get nominated for a Grammy for best instrumental track for Steve Howe's instrumental contribution titled Masquerade.
Although the PP Guru thought he was ebbing away at a all time creative peak, things were not going well on the homefront, as the PP Guru made a fateful decision to pack up and move out to LA with his some of ex-Parsippany brethren. He was getting too beat up living up above a Cleaners and a Italian sandwich shop along the Pacific Coast Highway with a middle-aged lady and her two sons that were constantly tweaking out on Meth and smoking too much of their socks and the PP Guru got so fed up with their constant noise and abuse that he put his fist through a wall and his hand went right through a mirror, but miraclously he didn't get one scratch or an artery severed.
Go figure, the PP Guru leads a charmed life. But it was bound to get worse before it got better.
Anderson Bruford Wakeman & Howe album credits: Milton McDonald Guitar (Rhythm) Tessa Niles Vocals (Background) Steve Orchard Assistant Engineer Chris Potter
Engineer Steve Thompson Mixing Michael Putland Photography Roy Lott A&R Oliver Bloch-Laine Liner Notes Giles Sampic Engineer, Pre-Production Engineer Martyn Dean Design Consultant, Stage Design Christopher Marc Potter Engineer Emerald Community Singers
Vocals (Background) In Seine Singers Vocals J.M.C. Singers Vocals (Background) Laine Les Chanteuses Oxford Circus Singers Vocals (Background) Giles Sample Engineer Roger Dean
Artwork, Design, Paintings Chanteuses Singer Deborah Anderson Vocals (Background)
Michael Barbiero Mixing Matt Clifford Keyboards, Vocals, Programming, Orchestration
Rupert Coulson Assistant Engineer George Cowan Assistant Engineer, Mixing Assistant
Francis Dunnery Vocals (Background) Joe Hammer Percussion Programming Carol Kenyon
Vocals (Background) Chris Kimsey Producer, Engineer Tony Levin Bass, ?, Vocals, Stick Bass
Bob Ludwig Mastering Rick Wakeman Keyboards Jon Anderson Vocals, Producer Anderson-Bruford-Wakeman-Howe Main Performer Bill Bruford Drums, Drums (Electric), Electronic Drums Steve Howe Guitar
Favorite lyric - Be gone you ever piercingPower Play machine - Themes - ii Second Attention (Anderson /Bruford /Wakeman /Howe)
Union album credits: Mark Mancina Programming, Producer Eddie Offord Producer, Mixing, Engineer Allan Schwartzberg Percussion Billy Sherwood Producer, Engineer Mike Shipley Mixing Michael Sweet Assistant Engineer Ed Thacker Mixing Jimmy Haun Guitar Stan Katayama Producer Alex Lasarenko Synthesizer, Keyboards Michael Sherwood Vocals
Steve Harrison Assistant Engineer Danny Vaughn Vocals Matt Gruber Assistant Engineer
Carolyn Quan Art Direction Jerry Bennett Synthesizer, Percussion Buzz Burrowes Engineer, Assistant Engineer Sherman Foote Synthesizer Chris Fosdick Synthesizer, Engineer Roy Lott
A&R Kai Krause Computer Graphics Sophie Masson Assistant Engineer Steve Wellner Assistant Engineer Kuni Takeuchi Liner Notes Roger Dean Design, Computer Graphics, Paintings Ian Lloyd Vocals Alan White Vocals, Instrumentation Deborah Anderson Vocals Richard Baker
Synthesizer Gary Barlough Synthesizer Paul Berry Assistant Engineer Greg Calbi Mastering
Jim Crichton Synthesizer, Keyboards Richard Edwards Assistant Engineer Jonathan Elias
Synthesizer, Producer, Keyboards, Vocals Gary Falcone Vocals Brian Foraker Synthesizer, Mixing, Engineer Paul Fox Mixing Tommy Funderburk Vocals Lolly Grodner Assistant Engineer
Renny Hill Assistant Engineer Greg Jackman Post Production Rory Kaplan Synthesizer Tony Kaye Vocals, Instrumentation Rick Wakeman Vacuum Cleaner Jon Anderson Vocals, Instrumentation, Associate Producer Bill Bruford Vocals, Instrumentation Steve Howe
Vocals, Instrumentation, Producer, Engineer Trevor Rabin Vocals, Engineer, Instrumentation, Producer Chris Squire Vocals, Instrumentation
Favorite lyric: Shock to the politicians/You know they just got burned by the fire/Shock to the freedom whispers/They're only coming after /they be dreaming all the time - Shock to the System (Anderson/Howe/Elias)
Be Dangerous for what you're looking for when trying to convey this to:
The PP Guru's new hometown!>
Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe
"Blue Desert" by Roger Dean.
Back cover by Roger Dean for the album Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe featuring the painting "Red Desert", 1989.
Alternate gatefold cover of the album
Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (1989)
featuring the painting "Blue Desert" by
The project began in 1988 when Yes was in its 1980s line-up featuring Trevor Rabin. At that time vocalist Jon Anderson began to feel artistically limited in the band's current format. He then left to regroup with Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Bill Bruford of Yes’ “classic” line-up. Bruford, who had been a member of King Crimson since 1973, recruited band-mate Tony Levin as the group’s bassist. ABWH originally intended to use the name Yes but after a brief legal dispute, it was decided that Chris Squire, as the only permanent member of the band, held exclusive rights to its name.
The group rehearsed and composed their material in Paris and then flew directly to the island of Montserrat to record. Many of the tracks on the album (specifically “Teakbois”) carry Latin and Caribbean influences. “Let's Pretend” was co-composed by Vangelis in 1986, and was a previously unreleased piece by the group Jon & Vangelis.
The artwork for the album was created by artist Roger Dean, best known for designing album covers for Yes in the 1970s. It features two paintings, the front titled “Blue Desert” and the back titled “Red Desert”. These are the two largest paintings ever painted by Roger Dean, both measuring 9’ x 6’. Most releases of this album represent only a truncated version of “Blue Desert”. There was, however, a special release with a gatefold cover, though “Blue Desert” was horizontally inverted in that version.
- ”Themes” - 5:58
- ”Second Attention”
- ”Soul Warrior”
- ”Fist of Fire” - 3:27
- ”Brother of Mine” - 10:18
- ”The Big Dream”
- ”Nothing can Come Between Us”
- ”Long Lost Brother of Mine”
- ”Birthright” - 6:02
- ”The Meeting” - 4:21
- ”Quartet” - 9:22
- ”I Wanna Learn”
- ”She Gives Me Love”
- ”Who Was the First”
- ”I’M Alive”
- ”Teakbois” - 7:39
- ”Order of the Universe” - 9:02
- ”Order Theme”
- ”Rock Gives Courage”
- ”It’s So Hard to Grow”
- ”The Universe”
- ”Let’s Pretend” - 2:56
- Jon Anderson - lead vocals, backing vocals,
- Bill Bruford - drums
- Rick Wakeman - keyboards
- Steve Howe - guitar
- Tony Levin - bass, Chapman stick, vocals
- Matt Clifford - keyboards, programming, orchestration, vocals
- Milton McDonald - rhythm guitar
- Deborah Anderson - backing vocals
- Tessa Niles - backing vocals
- Carol Kenyon - backing vocals
- Frank Dunnery - backing vocals
- Chris Kimsey - backing vocals
- Emerald Community Singers, Montserrat - backing vocals
- Produced by Jon Anderson and Chris Kimsey
Nothing more to add - Sparky