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Steve Hows Talks About Quitting Asia

Steve Howe explains that quitting Asia was really the only way he could properly serve his bandmates in Yes. In January, Howe — who in 2006 had reunited with the original Asia lineup — quit the band, with guitarist Sam Coulson announced as his replacement.

Howe, who’ll kick off a South American tour with Yes on May 19th in Brasila, Brazil, explained why he left Asia, telling Ultimate Classic Rock, “Well certainly, something had to give. Because I’d just done five years with both bands and then Geoff (Downes) had (re)-joined (Yes) when we did Fly From Here. . . He only experienced the tip of the iceberg of being on call for two bands. . . It actually got easier when Geoff joined. It was easier because we were both in the band and we could both wrestle with the schedules — but before that, at times, Yes or Asia would extend a tour by a day and then Yes or Asia would then expand the start of the tour, so the gap would start to close. And I would start freaking out saying, ‘Yeah, but hang on — if you add that date here and they’ve just added this date here, I’m now squeezed like a concertina.'”

He went on to explain that it basically came down to an “either/or” situation for him: “So there was going to be a time at some point when this was unworkable and unfortunately it was the end of last year that made me realize that this being on call was really too much. I couldn’t keep either really happy. I was either making Yes miserable or Asia miserable, because of the other one being in existence.”

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