82 Facts About Jon Anderson


Jon Roy Anderson was born on 25 October 1944 and is an English singer, songwriter and musician, best known as the lead singer of the progressive rock band Yes, which he formed in 1968 with bassist Chris Squire.


Jon Anderson was a member of the band across three tenures until 2008.


Jon Anderson has appeared on albums by King Crimson, Tangerine Dream, Iron Butterfly, Milton Nascimento, Battles, Mike Oldfield and Kitaro.


Jon Anderson released his first solo album, Olias of Sunhillow, in 1976, while still a member of Yes, and subsequently released 14 more albums as a solo artist.


John Roy Jon Anderson was born on 25 October 1944 in Accrington, Lancashire, England.


Jon Anderson said they named him after an English singer who toured as "John Roy the Melody Boy" and the Scottish name Royston.


Jon Anderson grew up on Norfolk Street with brothers Tony and Stuart, and sister Joy.


Jon Anderson attended St John's School where he organised daily football matches during lunch break.


Jon Anderson was not a strong academic, and remembered he "was always getting into trouble for messing around and singing too loud".


At fifteen, Jon Anderson left school after his father became ill and took up work on a farm, as a lorry driver transporting bricks, and as a milkman to help support the family.


Jon Anderson remained a fan of the club, and was a ball boy and mascot for the team for one year.


Jon Anderson dropped the "h" from his first name in 1970.


Jon Anderson had no particular desire to become a singer at first until his brother Tony took up singing and joined the Warriors, a local group known as the Electric Warriors.


Jon Anderson is heard on their first two recorded songs, "You Came Along" and "Don't Make Me Blue", released in 1965.


Jon Anderson briefly became singer in the Gentle Party, a band from Bolton who were in Germany.


Jon Anderson helped out by working at La Chasse; during this time he got talking to Paul Korda, a producer for EMI Records who took him on to sing several demos.


Meanwhile, Jon Anderson travelled to the Netherlands to join Les Cruches, a band he met in London, but promptly returned when he found out some of his demos were to be released as singles by Parlophone Records.


Jon Anderson found himself on lead vocals for some Mabel Greer gigs afterwards, and talks of the formation of a new, full-time band developed.


Ambitious and nicknamed "Napoleon" by the rest of the band, Jon Anderson was fond of sonic and psychological creative experiments, and in so doing contributed to occasionally conflicted relationships within the band and with management.


Jon Anderson described the album's supporting tour as one of the low points of his career, as a portion of the audience and the band were unhappy with the album.


Jon Anderson was chosen for the part as the desired vocal range was unattainable by the group's then-lead vocalist, Gordon Haskell.


In 1974, Jon Anderson co-wrote "Pearly Gates" with Iron Butterfly drummer Ron Bushy on the band's album Scorching Beauty.


Jon Anderson chose a concept album, Olias of Sunhillow, about an alien race of four tribes and their journey to a new planet as theirs is under threat from destruction.


Jon Anderson recorded the music from his garage in six months, learning to play all instruments himself, including several types of drum, stringed, and percussion instruments associated with world or ethnic music, which took up as many as 120 track recordings in its original form.


Jon Anderson found the experience a valuable one in learning about music.


Between 1976 and 1979, Jon Anderson recorded Going for the One and Tormato with Yes and completed their supporting tours.


In 1979, Jon Anderson played the harp on "Flamants Roses" on Vangelis's album Opera sauvage and wrote music for Ursprung, an act for a three-part modern ballet named Underground Rumours performed by the Scottish Ballet company, that featured music by Ian Jon Anderson.


In October 1979, Jon Anderson travelled to Paris to record a new Yes album with producer Roy Thomas Baker.


Jon Anderson acquired Jannis Zographos as his new manager, who handled Vangelis.


Jon Anderson continued his collaboration with Vangelis by singing on "Suffocation" and "See You Later" for Vangelis's album See You Later, released in 1980.


Jon Anderson spent much of 1980 recording a collection of songs for Song of Seven with a group of musicians he named the New Life Band, which Atlantic agreed to release.


Jon Anderson completed his first solo tour with the band, performing a mix of solo and Yes material in Germany and England.


In 1981, Jon Anderson played on Wakeman's concept album 1984 and released his second album with Vangelis in July 1981, The Friends of Mr Cairo.


In 1982, Jon Anderson released Animation, and in 1983 appeared on "In High Places" from Crises by Mike Oldfield.


In early 1983, Jon Anderson was contacted by Phil Carson of Atlantic Records who suggested that he hear a tape of demos that Cinema, a new group formed of Squire, White, Kaye, and guitarist Trevor Rabin, with Horn as producer, had developed for a new album.


Jon Anderson was invited to sing lead vocals on the album and join the group, which he accepted.


Jon Anderson appeared on the song "Cage of Freedom" from the 1984 soundtrack for a re-release of the Fritz Lang film Metropolis.


Jon Anderson sang "Silver Train" and "Christie" on the soundtrack to Scream for Help by John Paul Jones.


In early 1986, Jon Anderson recorded a single with Mike Oldfield and later shot a video with him in Barbados.


The last three years of the 1980s saw Jon Anderson sing on "Moonlight Desires" on Gowan's album Great Dirty World, record his fifth solo album In the City of Angels, sing on "Stop Loving You" on the Toto album The Seventh One, and record an album that would later be released as The Lost Tapes of Opio.


Jon Anderson sang on the songs "Within the Lost World" and "Far Far Cry" for the Jonathan Elias album Requiem for the Americas.


In 1988, after Yes' Big Generator tour, Jon Anderson reunited with Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe to form Jon Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe with bassist Tony Levin.


Jon Anderson toured South America with a band that included his daughters, Deborah and Jade.


Jon Anderson appeared on the song "Along the Amazon" which he co-wrote for violinist Charlie Bisharat's album of the same name.


In 1993, Jon Anderson started work on Change We Must, his seventh solo album, featuring a mixture of original and orchestrated versions of songs he had sung with Yes, Vangelis, and his solo career.


From 1992 to 1994, Jon Anderson recorded the Yes album Talk.


In July 1994, Jon Anderson released Deseo, a solo album of Latino-influenced music.


Jon Anderson sang on the 7th Level children's video game Tuneland.


Jon Anderson followed this with Toltec, a concept album released on 30 January 1996 on Windham Hill Records that tells the story of Toltec, "a Native American concept of a group of people who have been all over the Earth, existing within different cultures throughout the centuries".


Jon Anderson's move to San Luis Obispo influenced the decision for Yes to record their three-night stint at the town's Fremont Theater in March 1996, as part of their subsequent studio and live album sets Keys to Ascension and Keys to Ascension 2, released in 1996 and 1997, respectively.


In 1997, Jon Anderson released the Celtic-influenced The Promise Ring with his second wife, Jane Luttenburger, sharing vocals.


Jon Anderson appeared on the song "The Only Thing I Need" by act 4Him in 1999; it was recorded for Streams, a multi-group album.


Jon Anderson recorded with the Fellowship on their album In Elven Lands, inspired by the works of JR R Tolkien.


In 2000, Jon Anderson had started work on a sequel album to Olias of Sunhillow named The Songs of Zamran: Son of Olias.


Jon Anderson expressed a wish of putting out an interactive album with "an app that allows people to go on a journey, [to] choose a new journey every time they open it up, and hear it in a different way every time".


In 2004, Jon Anderson appeared with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra of Cleveland and returned in 2010 for a second performance.


In 2007, Jon Anderson sang on Culture of Ascent by Glass Hammer, and appeared as part of a vocal ensemble on "Repentance" on Systematic Chaos by Dream Theater.


Also in 2007, Jon Anderson toured as part of the Paul Green School of Rock Music.


In 2008, Jon Anderson released From Me to You, an ambient album of his vocals with birdsong, which was added to The Lost Tapes.


Jon Anderson appeared on "Sadness of Flowing" which he co-wrote for Peter Machajdik's album Namah and he made similar contributions to a re-mastering of Tommy Zvoncheck's album ZKG.


In May 2008, during plans for a Yes tour to commemorate the band's fortieth anniversary, Jon Anderson suffered an asthma attack, and was diagnosed with respiratory failure.


In 2009, Jon Anderson had regained enough strength to complete a solo European tour named Have Guitar, Will Travel.


Jon Anderson invited people to submit music to him online and used them as the basis for the new material.


In October 2011, Jon Anderson released a single-track EP entitled Open, a 20-minute piece with a group of additional musicians including orchestral arrangements and a choir.


In 2012, Jon Anderson continued work on a sequel to Olias of Sunhillow.


In 2013, Jon Anderson performed solo shows worldwide, including Australia, North America, Europe, and Iceland, followed by a North and South American tour from February 2014.


From 2014 to 2016, Jon Anderson collaborated on a recording and touring project with violinist and composer Jean-Luc Ponty named Jon Anderson Ponty.


Jon Anderson announced the project in July 2014, with the intent on releasing an album of original songs and music the two had written in their own careers with new arrangements.


In January 2016, Jon Anderson announced the formation of Jon Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman, a new group formed together with Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman, with the intention to tour and record new material.


Jon Anderson sang "Roundabout" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart" at the ceremony.


Jon Anderson released his solo album 1000 Hands: Chapter One in March 2019.


Jon Anderson had started it almost 30 years prior and named the album accordingly due to the many musicians that play on it, including Steve Howe, Jean-Luc Ponty, Chick Corea, and Billy Cobham.


In December 2018, Jon Anderson released a video for a new song, "Love Is Everything", to promote 1000 Hands, though it did not appear on the album.


On 30 June 2021, Jon Anderson announced a Summer 2021 11-city tour of US theaters with the Paul Green Rock Academy that kicked off 30 July in Patchogue, New York, and wrapped up 20 August in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.


The lyrics are frequently inspired by various books Jon Anderson has enjoyed, from Tolstoy's War and Peace to Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha.


Jon Anderson married Jennifer Baker on 22 December 1969; they divorced in 1995.


Jon Anderson released the EP Close to the Hype with his father.


Jon Anderson sang backing vocals on many of his later albums and released a solo album in Japan.


Jon Anderson's goddaughter was Ariane Forster, better known as Ari Up, lead singer of the Slits.


On 13 May 2008, Jon Anderson suffered a severe asthma attack which required a stay in hospital.


Jon Anderson was diagnosed with acute respiratory failure and was told by doctors to rest and not work for a period of at least six months.


Jon Anderson returned to touring that year, performing along with Peter Machajdik and an ensemble of Slovakian musicians on Tribute To Freedom, an event to commemorate the fall of the Iron Curtain in former Czechoslovakia at Devin Castle near Bratislava, Slovakia, and continued touring in 2010 and the autumn of 2011, with Rick Wakeman for a UK tour and the eastern US.