Bipartisan Effort Seeks to Right Historic Wrong By Getting Yes Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

"There's hope yet," the optimistic young man says as his eyes scan Cleveland's North Coast Harbor. Indeed, 'neath the angular awnings of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame now rests a truly bipartisan effort - a campaign that dwarfs other national concern in its ability to unite political strategists from both sides of the aisle.

Conservatives and liberals are joining forces to get Yes inducted into the Rock Hall.

Last week, The Washington Post dished up a keen feature on the men and women who make up Voices for Yes, the mostly official backing effort to support the British prog-rock band's ascent to Rock Glory. If you're presently wondering why in the hell this thing even exists, the group has its answer at the ready:

Yes is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed bands in the history of progressive rock. They have also had a profound influence on a wide range of musicians and acts, including groups such as Pearl Jam, Dream Academy, and even Led Zeppelin. And recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Rush claims that Yes’s music not only influenced their work, but also brought them together as a band.

Yes music has always been described as fresh, innovative, intricate, and truly progressive. Their musicians are celebrated as some of the most masterful in the world. Guitarist Steve Howe, for example, was named “Best Overall Guitarist” five years in a row by Guitar Player Magazine.

Many believe YES should have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame many years ago. Now is the time to join the growing voices calling on the voting members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to vote “YES.” Please join them by adding your name to the petition.

Imagine that cross-cameral zeal for something important like immigration reform, universal health care, multilateral diplomacy, or inducting Phish into the Rock Hall.

We'll settle for this shot at political unity. I mean, the people involved with this campaign are obsessed. In fact, the WaPo reporter relays the sights and sounds from a recent conference call among these compatriots; any time Yes is brought up, they ooze into uberfan mode and gush over their shared love for the band. (On any Yes question, [NYU research scientists Steven Sullivan] chimed in with the urgency of a “Jeopardy!” contestant.")

At times, words fail them:

“If you look at the body of work that Yes has done, compared to Deep Purple, I mean, I just ...” [Campaign leader and GOP political strategist John Brabender] left the thought unfinished.

Regardless of your take on the Voices for Yes campaign, the WaPo story is actually a pretty great read. And though we'd all like to see more across-the-aisle cooperation, so to speak, this effort underscores the simple fact that music remains one of those rare factors of unity in this world. Music bends the arc of reality to the point where things start to make sense - if only for a moment - and real joy abounds.

And when those opening notes to "Roundabout" start filtering through your speakers and tickling the nostalgic nodes of your past, you'll have these brave men and women to thank... for something.

Like this story?
SCENE Supporters make it possible to tell the Cleveland stories you won’t find elsewhere.
Become a supporter today.

Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
Scroll to read more Music News articles

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.