When Yes announced the sudden departure of vocalist Benoit David, it caught many by surprise - including, unfortunately, David himself.
He issued a statement Friday to confirm the news and shed a bit of light regarding his departure. No doubt, it's a crushing thing for Benoit to lose a dream gig after being a Yes fan for so long, but he certainly handled the events with a lot of class.
"Dear YES fans,
As you all know, the final three shows of last year's European tour were cancelled due to my ill health. On my return to Canada, I was advised to cease touring, for the foreseeable future, in order to avoid further damage to my voice. Following this extremely disappointing diagnosis, I had no alternative but to inform my fellow band members that I was unable to confirm my availability for, at least, the forthcoming concerts in New Zealand, Australia and Japan.
Although there was no alternative, I did so with a heavy heart as I felt that I was letting everyone down especially those who have supported me since I had the privilege of becoming the band's vocalist in 2008. The band members were all very understanding and asked if I would mind being replaced for the April shows - I immediately agreed that this would be the best way forward and gave them my blessing. I was then pleased to learn that Jon Davison would be my replacement as he is an accomplished musician with a fine voice.
I subsequently learnt, from a band member's interview, that I had officially left Yes and that my departure was permanent. As this is the situation, everyone should know that I will be eternally grateful for the opportunity I was given and very proud to have contributed to more than 200 concerts and to the 'Fly From Here' and 'In The Present Live From Lyon' albums. I would also like to express my appreciation for the support I was given by each member of the band, the fantastic crew, the management and everyone else involved during my time as vocalist in the band. Finally, to the fans who have applauded my efforts and to those I have had the pleasure of meeting - many thanks, my best wishes and please continue with your support of one of the world's greatest bands - YES.
Although I need to take it easy for a while, I fully intend to continue with my music career. In late summer of 2011, I added vocals to Mystery's forthcoming album 'The World Is A Game' - which is at the final stages of mixing and will be available in the near future. This is my third collaboration with Michel St-Pere, and Mystery, following 2007's 'Beneath The Veil Of Winter's Face' and 2010's 'One Among The Living'.
So I guess I will, hopefully, see you somewhere down the road...
Bassist Chris Squire took the lineup changes in stride and says that he even believes that the band will work again with original vocalist Jon Anderson someday.
Yes will play their first shows with new vocalist Jon Davison in April.
Thanks for the report to UltimateClassicRock.com.