1904: Thomas “Fats” Waller
1941: Ronald Isley (The Isley Brothers)
1943: Vincent Crane (Atomic Rooster)
1943: John Dalton (The Kinks)
1943: Hilton Valentine (The Animals)
1955: Stan Lynch (The Heartbreakers & Record Producer)
1967: Pink Floyd recorded “See Emily Play”.
1970: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released the protest single “Ohio” (composed by Neil Young), in reaction to the Kent State shootings of 4 May, 1970.
1971: English rock band, Free announced their disbandment.
1976: Blue Oyster Cult released their fourth album, ‘Agents of Fortune’, featuring a guest appearance by Patti Smith and the smash single, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”.
1983: David Bowie hit the number one spot in America and U.K. with his single “Let’s Dance”.
1991: Yes played a concert at Seattle Coliseum ~ I was there and met them after the show! Another day and concert I will never forget. Below is a link to 90 minutes of highlights from the Union tour (the shows were generally over 150 minutes long).
2013: Death of bassist / songwriter, Trevor Bolder of Uriah Heep / The Spiders From Mars / Wishbone Ash [aged 61].
2016: Death of drummer, Nick Menza of Megadeth [aged 51].
2017: Death of singer / songwriter, Jimmy LaFave [aged 61].
This was my second journey to a Yesshow (the first being at The Forum in L.A. the week before) and it was truly a magical experience ~ the stars aligned to make 21st May 1991 a very memorable evening. Being a writer for Ripitup music magazine, an interview with one of the band was arranged by the local representative of the Yes label. I was faxed a detailed message from the record company in the States, describing where to meet the tour manager (Rex King) before the show — I would receive a complimentary ticket and an interview would be possible before the band performed that night!
I duly arrived at the Seattle Center Coliseum at the said time and made my way around to the backstage area. From where I was standing, I could plainly see the whole band around a large table, having a laugh and enjoying their dinner — quite a surreal sight! (I couldn’t quite tell who was eating vegetarian food). Unfortunately, the security guard promptly informed me that in no way was I getting through to the “restricted” area, despite my official fax, outlining the interview. Bitterly disappointed, I made my way around to the ticket office in the hope that my details would be listed there, so I could at least get in to the show — but alas, they didn’t know anything about the arrangements either. I then stood around for a while at the gates (of delirium), feeling rather down and wondering what to do next. I’d traveled halfway around the globe to witness this show and there was no way I was going to miss it.
By chance, I overheard the conversation of a group of people beside me as they spoke of someone called Alan and how they were looking forward to seeing him. An elderly lady was talking to a woman with a couple of children, and she said the name “Gigi”. Suddenly, my years of studying Yes album liner notes paid off — this must be Alan White’s wife, children and mother-in-law! At an appropriate moment I shyly introduced myself and explained my predicament to Gigi. She read the fax and said something like “Oh dear, you better follow me”… She led me through the building and left me to wait in a vacant area while she tracked down the road manager. I was thrilled enough to be inside the Coliseum now, but unbelievably there, right in front of me on a stand, was Chris Squire’s Rickenbacker bass!!! I didn’t even dare touch it, but stared in awe at the instrument that had been played by the greatest bass player on the planet, on all those amazing Yes albums that are so dear to my heart. (And no, I didn’t think for one second of running off with it ~ a sacrilege that would surely result in eternal damnation with an awful muzak soundtrack!)
Anyway, Gigi soon returned with one of the Yes managers (I think the band members had one each for the ‘Union’ tour!) and he explained how sorry that this had happened, but the record company had not informed them. The bad news was that the interview would not happen, as the band was due on stage soon. The good news was “here are two tickets plus passes to meet Yes after the concert” ! I was overjoyed and am eternally grateful to Gigi for being so friendly, helpful and understanding.
And the show was amazing (of course). More details & photos at Forgotten Yesterdays.