History repeats itself as prog giants dismiss Benoit over health problems – just as they did with predecessor Jon Anderson

By Martin Haggarty

Benoit David

Grateful: Benoit David

Yes singer Benoit David reveals he’s been sacked over health problems – but the band didn’t tell him, leaving him to discover the news through a press interview.

David was hired after Yes sacked founding member Jon Anderson in 2008 over his own health issues. When the newcomer encountered voice trouble last year the outfit brought in Jon Davidson, originally as a temporary measure.

Now Benoit admits he discovered he won’t be back when he was reading a magazine. But he refuses to show any bitterness, and insists he’s “grateful” for the experience of fronting the band.

In an open letter to fans he explains: “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.

“I had no alternative but to inform my fellow band members I was unable to confirm my ability for our forthcoming concerts in New Zealand, Australia and Japan.

“I did it with a heavy heart as I felt I was letting everyone down. The band members were very understanding and asked if I would mind being replaced for the April shows. I gave them my blessing. I was pleased to learn Jon would be my replacement – he is an accomplished musician with a fine voice.

“I subsequently learned 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.”

David adds his thanks to the band’s crew and management, and tells fans: “Please continue with your support of one of the world’s greatest bands: Yes.”

The singer hopes to continue his performing career later this year. His other band Mystery are set to release a new album soon.

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