Yes TV - Music Videos for Your Imagination

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Yes TV - Music Videos for Your Imagination

Post: # 3616Post Yesquire
Thu Jan 15, 2004 8:10 am

This forum is, indeed, moribund. I enjoyed writing this a couple of years ago, shortly after rediscovering Yes during the Keys to Ascension period. Keys to Ascension 2 was the first Yes CD I ever owned (I have all the classic ones on vinyl), and shoving the studio tracks into my car CD player and driving off into the night was an epiphany of sorts for me. I still hold Keys 2 close to my heart as a result, and it inspired me to imagine the comeback of progressive rock, led by (who else?) the Yes of that era.

I posted various versions of this work on other Yes forums, so some of you may have seen it, or an earlier or subsequent version (I tend to try to revisit my babies and polish them up a tad every now and then). Alas, the best copy is lost somewhere in a failed hard drive. It even had precise minute and second references to the tunes interlaced with the text. I don't have time to re-create that one presently. Hope you enjoy this one. Non-Yes fans wouldn't understand, would they?


Yes TV

Music videos for your imagination.

Now Playing: "Children of Light" (Mind Drive Suite)

Scene I

(Soundtrack: the instrumental passage that begins "Mind Drive".)

The camera is positioned somewhat distant from the scene, and somewhat
above street level.

It is a late November night, somewhere in the post-industrial Midwest.
The collective lights of the central city reveal a dreary and foreboding
sky scurrying past the twin steeples of an old church in the seedy
outskirts of downtown. Many youths dressed in black garments, some with
gruesome tattoos and body piercings, loiter on the debris-strewn
sidewalks outside the old church. Most of them are smoking cigarettes.
They somehow manage to convey being bored and agitated at the same time.
Many of them have dyed their hair in outlandish hues, and gelled it
into bizarre spiky shapes. The nearby streetlights' dim illumination is
overmatched by the cold drizzle that begins to fall. All appears in a
dark greyscale.

The camera slowly zooms in from the distance, quickly at first, then
slowing as it flies over the heads of this sullen throng. It catches a
glimpse of a particular male and, further along, a certain female.
Everyone's eyes are sunken; there faces pale and haggard. The camera
slows and the focal point lifts upwards, to a sign hanging above the
main entryway of the old church. It says "Tonite! Snakespew" and it is
decorated with severed, bloody serpent heads and moaning human skulls.
Many of the youths are crowding into the vestibule to escape the sudden
rainfall. The camera accelerates quickly over their heads, and into the
main body of the church.

Scene II

The old church clearly must have been magnificent in its heyday, with
soaring ceilings held aloft by geometrically perfect intersecting
arches. In a bygone era, the huge stained glass windows would have
once sent shafts of light echoing across an orderly array of oaken pews.
Once upon a time, the small balcony at the rear of the church must have
held a massive, highly polished, beautiful brass pipe organ. But that
magnificence is now gone, long gone. All now is in disarry. It is a
punk nightclub. The pews have been ripped out, the windows covered with
thick black tar, and only the dust-covered mahogany base and bench of
the huge old organ remain, the pipes having long ago been stripped for a
few dollars in salvage. Under the balcony, there is a bar manned by
several bored but busy barkeeps. There are a number of tables scattered
at random in the back of the church/nightclub, and along the sides of
the dance floor. The lighting is intentionally poor. The air is heavy
with cigarettee exhaust. The nightclub, in keeping with the overall
theme of darkness, is "decorated" with dead potted trees and dead
hanging plants. Greyscale still dominates. No colors can be seen.

Scene III

The focus shifts from the building to the mass of people on the dance
floor and the spectacle onstage. "Snakespew" is in the spotlight. It
is a frenetic, punk-by-the-numbers show. Four skinny, tattood, body
pierced boys thrashing at their instruments and bouncing to a seen but
not heard amphetamine beat.

But the main show is to be found on the dance floor. There is a mosh
pit directly in front of the stage. The "dancers" are slamming into
each other, careening from one collision to another. Many individuals
have large bluish/purplish bruises visable on their bare arms and faces.
Some have dark trickles of blood under their noses and at the corners
of their mouths.

The camera moves skyward to the ceiling and focuses downward. The mosh
pit is quite large in scope. From this height, no one human being is
discernible, only a roiling, squirming bio-mass, reminiscent of maggots
writhing in the carcass of some days-old roadkill.

Scene IV

(Soundtrack: The moody intro instrumental ends. Mind Drive begins in

A strong wind blows across the stage, knocking most of "Snakespew"
off-balance. They stop their performance and look stage left. Standing
there is a certain somewhat frail-looking, balding vegetarian guitarist.
It is Steve Howe. He has an amazing double-necked guitar strapped on,
ready for action! His face is resolute, with a touch of anger over what
his eyes are taking in. Snakespew is infuriated at this interruption.
Their lead guitarist assaults Steve. It has no effect whatsoever. They
might as well be pushing the Rock of Gibraltar. Steve is simply,
absolutely rooted onstage. The overall impression is that he is there
now, has always been there, and will be there for evermore. Snakespew's
bassist raises his axe-shaped guitar to deliver a mighty blow alongside
Steve's head. A huge hand, previously unseen, reaches out, grabs that
puny guitar by the neck, and crushes it. Snapped strings fly out and
catch a glint or two of the stage lights. The hand belongs to Chris
Squire. He glares at Steve's attackers. He has The Monster strapped on
and plugged in. The members of Snakespew finally figure out that these
"newcomers" possess a power beyond their fuzzy abilities to comprehend.
In a fashion hightly evocative of frightened simians,
Snakespew exits, stage right. Steve smiles broadly.

Scene V

The camera now pans back for a wide-angle shot. Most of Yes are onstage
now. Their gear, from Steve' dozen guitars, to Alan's rig, to Igor's
multiple keys, looks amazing, especially in comparison to the garbage
previously toted by the punkers. Billy is resplendent in his
Sherwoodness. The band looks as awesome as possible for a bunch of
mostly old guys. The crowd is stunned. The moshing has stopped. But
where is Jon ?

The remnants of the mosh pit part to the sides, pushed (sort of gently!)
out of the way by some giant invisible hands. A single white-robed
figure approaches the stage, his head covered with a large cowl. He
gestures grandly, and an almost-invisible stairway coalesces out of the
smoky air. The cloaked figure ascends the stairway to the stage, and
takes his place at the mike in front of the band. The cowl is
suddenly flung backwards in a grand flourish, revealing!!!!! Or, at least, Jon, looking

Scene VI

(You must now, in your mind, drive the soundtrack fast forward, since
not even Yes TV will show a 20-minute music video. It is, after all,
still only TV)

Yes begins to really cook. They begin to play "Bring Me to the Power". With the
opening exerpt, a wave, not unlike heat rising from the pavement under a
hot August sun, can be seen moving outward from the PA amps. Wherever the
light touches, brilliant colors emerge to replace dark grey tones. The shimmering
wave is a living thing. It pulses with the music.

"Cover Me Up" continues. Some of the crowd seems interested. Some are
oblivious. Some are angry, and begin to approach the stage. They had
paid their $2.50 cover to see Snakespew, not these old guys. Seated at
one of the tables, there is a yound girl who you immediately sense may
once have been quite beautiful. She is the one female that the camera
lingered on from above in Scene I. She is entranced by the ethereal
beauty of Steve's guitar and Chris' bass in the opening of BMttP. A large tear rolls down her right cheek. Wherever the tear
passes, shades of grey are replaced with rich human skin tones.

Scene VII

(Soundtrack: Jon sings: "If we don't give them the Keys, how are they
supposed to be ready?".)

The shimmering pulse of light, for the first time, touches the front
ranks of those who had angrily approached the stage. The camera moves
close up on a young man who has run to the light. He is the male noted
briefly in Scene I. The pulsing wave envelops him. An amazing transformation takes place. Normal human
skin tones replace the sallow greyness. The eyebrow ring piercing his
right eyebrow melts away into nothingness. The swollen red holes in his
eyebrow mend. The darkness under and around his eyes disappears. The
moshing bruises on his face heal. His hair, full of spikes, and colored
black and iridescent purple, morphs into a rather short sandy blond
style, parted tastefully on the left. He looks infinitely younger,
almost child-like. Thusly transformed, he is clearly a major hunk. His
dirty and ragged black clothing changes itself. He is now cloaked in
garb similar to Jon's wardrobe, with a light beige T-shirt bearing the
message "Children of Light" writ in opalescent script accross the back.

His angry punker friends stop there rush towards the stage, fearing the
same fate. By their gestures they are clearly mocking their former

Scene VIII

Soundtrack: Jon sings: "Cover me up and bring the REVELATION..."

The once-beautiful young girl, her face a Zebra skin of grey and warm
human skin streaks, her eyes brimming with tears, upon witnessing the
transformation of the young man, also runs to the shimmering light. Her
steps are at first clumsy, hindered by her heavy leather coat and her
paratrooper boots. But the light runs to her, still pulsing, and covers
her up, envelopes her, and transforms her. By the time she reaches the
similarly transformed young man in front of the stage, she is moving as
a ballerina, and her physical presence is absolutely stunning. She, is
wearing a clingy "Children of Light" dress. She stares at the punkers
who had been mocking the young man. She grasps the young man, and,
feeling a magical kinship with him, kisses him, on the mouth, long,
longing, and passionate. The mockers shut up and retreat. The camera
swirls in dizzing loops around the beautiful young couple.

Scene IX

(Soundtrack: Steve is playing beautiful guitar licks.)

The shimmering light pulses upwards, into the high reaches of the old
church. Wherever it touches, all grey surrenders to vibrant color.
Suddenly, the layers of dried tar covering the old stained-glass
windows explode inward in thousands of sharp shards. In slow motion the
shards begin to descend upon the crowd below. But the shards break into
smaller shards, then smaller yet, then into sparkling dust, touched from
beneath by the shimmering light, and from above by massive beams of
outside light pouring multi-hued through the stained glass windows. The
stained glass windows themselves are revealed to be depictions of
various incarnations of Yes over the years.

The punkers are mystified and afraid.

Scene X

Soundtrack: Jon begins to sing (obviously) "Children of Light, don't be

Cutaway scene to the balcony at the back of the church: A pair of hands
touches the dusty, battered keys of the old church organ. Just then,
the shimmering light pulses over the balcony. The camera draws back.
It reveals Wakeman. The brass pipes of the massive church organ shimmer
into existence. The keys return to their original ivory sheen. The
ornately carved mahogany throws off the dust of the ages and shines
anew, freshly polished. Wakeman lifts his hands, as if to play, but
stops, spins around on the organ bench, looks at the band assembled on
the stage, and smiles warmly.

The camera pulls further back, still focused on the balcony.
Surrounding Rick, dressed in filagreed choir robes, are Rabin, Horn,
Kaye, Downes, Bruford, Banks, Moraz.......Gabriel, Rutherford, Fripp,
Emerson, Lake, Palmer...and Stravinsky.

Scene XI

Soundtrack: The "Lifeline" instrumental begins. The sound level of the
video doubles.

The church/nightclub in alive with light! The "decorative" dead trees
and hanging plants sprout fresh, green foliage, then flowers, then exotic fresh fruit.

Some in the crowd are transformed. Many, however, have hardened their
hearts and minds. The latter group seeks shelter from the light under
the newly reborn trees. They are changed, but their transformations are

Jon gestures towards the balcony. Once again, an almost invisible,
shimmering staircase, this once much broader, and outlined by votive
lights, forms out of thin air.
The members of Yes ascend the staircase, the Children of Light
following behind them, the young lovers in the lead. With each step, the Children of Light leave irridescent footprints hanging in the air.

Up ahead, they (and the camera) see that the balcony is now empty. Beyond the balcony, space and time have been penetrated, and a portal awaits them. We see through that portal a fabulous fantasy world full of bright sunshine, and brilliant blues, greens, and various shades of purple, with waterfalls pouring into azure seas from upside down islands. Strange fish glide past in the air beyond the portal, and, in the distance, thousands of people, of all ages, all colors, all nationalities, are coming to greet the Children of Light with open arms. They are the Yes fans of elder years. They look a lot like you and me.

The balcony is empty. Wakeman and the other heroes of progressive rock
have already disappeared through the portal. Yes and the Children
of Light follow them. The portal winks shut. The music ends and all is quiet; the invisible staircase evaporates, and the iridescent
footprint stardust twinkles down to the floor; the light becomes steady and
serene. The remaining punkers come out from under the canopies of the now
living trees. Their tone is muted. When they think none of their companions are watching, they each gaze up in turn at the balcony with a look of wonder in their eyes, as they pass through the stardust which still shimmers softly on the floor of the club.

Behind the bar, a barkeep wipes a glass dry with a dirty towel, one
eyebrow raised.

On the stage, the Monster sits in a guitar stand. The bassist from Snakespew enters,
stage right. He struggles to pick up the Monster, and somehow manages
to strap it onto his shoulder. The weight proves to be too much. He
loses his balance, stumbling forward off the stage, landing face first
on the dance floor. The show is obviously over. The remaining punkers file quietly outside.
The cold grey rain has turned to white pristine snow, blanketing and purifying the old city. As the youths cut across the lawn and out into the city, their footprints sparkle with shimmering stardust, and, behind them, the snow melts in their path, and fresh green grass appears in their tracks.

Sound track: Footprints "Don't ...forget... to leave good footprints behind..."

(Roll Credits).

****************************The End **************************

I cannot tell you what a relief it was to write this piece at the time. The images were running through my mind, and writing them down online helped to clear my thoughts tremendously.

"Awaken" is troubling me these days in much the same fashion.

Ken W. Kalls, Yesquire

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Post: # 62670Post Greenglade
Fri Jan 16, 2004 3:28 am

Pretty creative mind there.
I always wanted to make a video with Yes music.

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Post: # 62689Post Yesquire
Fri Jan 16, 2004 11:16 am

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
<b>Greenglade wrote:</b>
Pretty creative mind there.
I always wanted to make a video with Yes music.
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></font id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>

Well, haven't we all. That's the beauty of imaginary videos. You don't need a million dollars or the cooperation of the band.

So, you want to make one, make up an imaginary one.

Thanks for reading it.


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Post: # 66890Post Chris2210
Sat Mar 27, 2004 2:06 am

I haven't stepped foot in this old church... er forum in a few months.

If someone had given me a precis of your video Ken, I may have been rather dubious - but you made it work for me and I could hear those songs. Apposite, positve and hopeful in a dreary world. Maybe that's a bit too close to the truth and Yes haven't rescued most of humanity yet...

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Post: # 67170Post Yesquire
Sat Apr 03, 2004 11:57 am

Give them some more time...


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