A few years ago, back when Ed was living in Chicago, I drove down to meet him and go see Yes in concert. It happened that people could go see Yes and Kansas for free if they went to “Taste of Chicago,” a festival at which Chicago’s restaurants sold food and people could attend a variety of musical events.
We walked in during the end of Kansas’ set (which we really hadn’t wanted to see anyway) and before the beginning of Yes.
Ed surveyed the crowd. It was noticeably different in ethnic make-up from the crowds near the food. “This is the whitest crowd I have ever seen in Chicago,” he said. He was probably right about that.
An exception to this rule stood about 10 feet ahead of us–an African-American man who obviously knew all the songs because he was singing along the entire time.
While listening to NPR today, I was amused to hear a commentary on Yes from one African-American man’s perspective. He loves the group and apparently his friends in the 1970’s did as well–to the point of renting two rows of seats to their concerts in Philadelphia and making black power signs and high fives when Yes started playing “Heart of the Sunrise.”
Strange and amusing.