Over 40 years in existence and still every Yes line-up change causes some controversy. The announcement of Geoff Downes returning as a keyboard player came as a surprise to many, including present keyboard player Oliver Wakeman. The following statement appeared on the official Oliver Wakeman Band facebook yesterday:
Oliver would firstly like to thank all the people who have taken the trouble to write to him with their concerns over the current YES rumours and press releases that have been circulating around the web.
An official statement will be forthcoming but we would like to at least put some facts forward.
Oliver is not voluntarily leaving YES and, as of this moment in time, we do not know which of Oliver’s many contributions to the recording will exist on the new YES record.
Oliver wanted to stay focused on the music for the ‘Rite of Spring’ tour and felt his primary role was to put on the best possible show for the fans who have paid to see the band.
As soon as the position becomes clear we will be posting more information on the new Facebook page and the official website (www.oliverwakeman.co.uk).
Thanks again for all the support that has been made for Oliver either through direct emails to the website, via Facebook and MySpace, forums or the web in general. Oliver has been very touched by the support shown for him through this unsettling period.
A bit more information was released today:
There has been some confusion with the current articles that are being printed in regards to the Styx/Yes tour. Oliver has stated that the only two dates he has been asked to do with Yes are in Mexico. He has been given no indication that he will be doing any more than those two dates with Yes.
Of course, this comes as a big disappointment to all of his fans, and to Oliver himself. Oliver greatly appreciates all the support that the fans have been giving to him at this very difficult time.
However, please be assured that this is not an end, but a beginning. This will allow Oliver the time to work on his next album with the Oliver Wakeman Band and other exciting projects that are in the works. Of course, all will be announced on this page!