My Man Jon

Essay by badballCollege, UndergraduateA+, August 2005

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When I leave this plane of existence, some of my fondest memories will be the sounds

and thoughts of Jon Anderson. Jon is the founder and lead singer of the rock group Yes. In recent years, he has also collaborated with Vangelis and produced some solo albums. I am an avid fan and collector of all his work. Jon's music, philosophy and personal life make him the person I admire most in the world.

It was Jon Anderson's music that first inspired my admiration. Jon has a singing voice of ethereal loveliness. There is no one else who sounds like him. I have never thought he sounded remotely like a real human being. His voice can soar and cut through the densest of Yes instrumentals or it can weave a delicate, lyrical interlude. Jon prefers long, complicated pieces instead of the short, repetitive songs that so dominate commercial rock. Varied arrangements and lengthy, sometimes difficult lyrics are the hallmarks of his work.

He likes to write music that takes the listener to "far away places with strange sounding names." It has been called "art rock," "classical rock" and "space music." I prefer to call it "real" music.

After listening to a lot of his music, I realized it contained a continuing and coherent philosophy of love and learning. I know of no other band that can boast of this. From the very beginning Yes was always positive, even their name. While other bands sang about drugs and drag races, Anderson and Yes sang about spiritual growth and love. The titles of some songs give an indication: "All Good People," "Yours is no Disgrace," "Awaken" and "The Revealing Science of God." The last is from a four part album based on the Hindu sutras. My favorite Anderson lyric is "Don't Kill...