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Phil View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Peter Banks & The Syn
    Posted: November 22 2005 at 10:35
You may be aware from the review by sigod that he and I saw the Syn play at the Marquee last week, and very good they were too!!

Before the gig I bought two Syn CD's - "Original Syn" which I had mistakenly thought was the new album - and then "Syndestructable", which is. On Original Syn one CD is given over to 3 tracks recorded in 2004 that feature Peter Banks (who of course was in the original band along with Chris Squire, and both of whom went on to join Yes).

The new album and the band now perfoming does not include Peter Banks, and I wondered why as he was involved last year.......then I came across this:

http://www.peterbanks.net/syn_letter.html

It's a sad and very bitter statement allegedly from Peter Banks about how he was dumped from the band. I can't comment on the detail of this and I'm not posting this to invite wild specualtion, but if anyone does know anything substantive I would be interested. It is sad that he should feel the need to have written this.


....and whatever the circumstances of his departure I do have to say that I think the new Syn material is excellent.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 22 2005 at 11:27
There's a couple of different-angled stories here ... but no explanation is forthcoming

http://www.relayer35.com/Yescography/OriginalSyn.htm

http://www.synmusic.net/press/archives/2005/oct/101805.htm l

(please copy and paste if links don't work)

The wild speculation would be that once Nardelli got Squire interested in the project he dropped Banks like a hot potato ... I emphasize that I do not know anything substantive ...
"Death to Utopia! Death to faith! Death to love! Death to hope?" thunders the 20th century. "Surrender, you pathetic dreamer.

"No" replies the unhumbled optimist "You are only the present."
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 09 2006 at 15:32

Hello,

I am curious if anyone has heard any further info on this. I find this sort of thing fascinating and am wondering what the hell happened here. It's truly sad that Banks is not on the road with them, for that would have made seeing them that much more special (they're coming to S.F. in Feb. 2006).

As prog rock fans, we need to get to the bottom of this; because we have devoted many years of our lives to both refining our aesthetic senibilities and subsizing this genre, the very genre that gives bands like The Syn a niche and a marketable handle, we deserve to know the truth...

NOTE: I think we need to paste Peter Banks public statement on The Syn in this thread since eventually the link to it will be lost:

*DECEPTION AND LIES: A TIME AND A NEED FOR PROVOCATION*


Statement from Pete Banks 24/03/05


I, Pete Banks, would like to make this statement regarding my relationship with the band known as Syn. I have been concerned with certain gossip on the Internet regarding my relationship with this band.

I was originally a member of Syn, comprised of Chris Squire, Andrew Jackman, Gunner Hakonarson and Steve Nardelli from around 1965 until their demise two and a half years later. (These dates are approximate). Steve Nardelli, the original singer of Syn, made a proposal to me that the Syn should be resurrected out of 'cold storage' and a meeting took place on the 31st of October Halloween 2003, which included Martyn Adleman, who had left the band around the time I joined back in the midst of the sixties. The original keyboard player and drummer sadly no longer cease to be.

The three of us decided to go ahead with the project, the funding of which would be provided by Nardelli. Nardelli and I spent much of November, December, and January writing and rewriting old and potentially new Syn material. I was recruited as producer, arranger, and co-writer, as well as guitar player and taking care of the personnel in the new band. Keyboardist, friend, and long-time working partner Gerard Johnson agreed to play and engineer on a newly proposed Syn album.

So, with the material that Nardelli and I had bashed together on acoustic guitars, we had some ideas for songs for a new Syn album; also a new archive album was proposed consisting of pre-historic Syn connections. The whole band began recording early in 2004. As producer, I wanted the project to sound like a group that had been transported from the sixties into the 21st century, and had found out that they could still play together.

The worrying fact that Martyn Adleman had not played drums professionally for over 30 years and that Steve Nardelli, who is running a sporting goods company, and had sang very little as a rock lead vocalist--all these handicaps could be overcome--and to a degree they were. Two pieces were completed 'Grounded' (an old Syn single) and 'Illusion' (a more atmospheric piece masquerading as an epic). 'Time and a Word' was begun and most sections were completed. Unfortunately, Steve could not do full justice to the vocal as he had to rush away to go on holiday the next day--a big headache for myself as I had only been informed of this a few hours beforehand.

Most recording projects of such a loose structure suffer from technical and performance problems, which often a producer can overcome, but, the absence of the singer and the shakiness of the drummer are impossible to fix in the mix. We overran on studio time, Gerard Johnson and myself had to finish a bulk of instrumentation and backing vocals at his home. The mixing sessions were difficult because of interruptions from Martyn and Steve (having then returned from his holiday). Comments such as 'can I hear more drums?' and 'the vocals sound a bit far back' can be a nightmare at such times. On the more positive side, the three pieces of music turned out pretty good, considering the conditions under which they were made. My arrangement and rewriting of 'Grounded' sounds very satisfactory and almost like a real band. Likewise, 'Illusion' has become a mini-epic with its components firing on all systems in the 'old prog rock tradition'. Although there was a bit of a fight for prominence and domination in the mix, it was definitely overflowing with ideas taking us back to those late sixties values of musical freedom and enthusiasm that I still love. A new version of 'Time and a Word' remains unfinished, the vocal track is weak and my guitar parts are unfinished along with the music-links that push the piece together. I hope the current Syn do not f**k it up.

The last time I met Steve Nardelli was on the fourth of April 2004, appropriately just after April Fool's Day. He told me how happy he was with the three pieces and that we would finish them later on in the year when he could gather more funds to spend on the project. He also told me that I was indispensable to Syn and I had made the songs live again (perhaps I had misheard him on that one!). Despite my attempts to contact him, he has never spoken to me for nearly one year.

To make things clear and transparent, hear are the relevant facts:

I put the band together, recruiting Gerard Johnson and several bass players--Steve Gee was gracious enough to step in at the last moment to deputise. He coached and guided Martyn Adleman with his drumming and was a model of courtesy, reliability, and patience. I do not think that he ever got paid.

I originally suggested Chris Squire on bass, to which everyone agreed. Steve Nardelli, when I gave him Chris' number, never called.

I co-wrote all the songs.

I arranged all the songs.

I played guitar.

I sang backing vocals with Gerard Johnson.

I produced the recordings of the three aforementioned songs.

I would like to make it clear that I am no longer a part of Syn, although nobody has officially informed me of this. I find the suggestion that I was hired as a session player very offensive as a professional musician. Steve Nardelli and Martyn Adleman are not competent performers, they are amateurs and I doubt that they can be 'roadworthy' or fit enough to play any gigs without substantial musical and physical assistance. Gerard Johnson's despicable attitude to my disposability has been unprofessional, two-faced, and deceitful. I use to regard him as a friend--a piece of bad judgement on my part.

The whole Syn project, which I worked on the 1st Nov 2003 to the 4th April 2004, with so much enthusiasm and energy has become a complete waste of time; I have never been thanked or credited and it has been thrown back in my face. They deserve no success or credibility as a band or as human beings.

You can find the old Syn singles and B-sides plus a demo of 'Flower Man' on my compilation 'Can I Play You Something?' featuring Mabel Greer's Toyshop, Yes, etc., released 1999 on Blueprint records BP301CD.

I find the behavior of Nardelli, Adleman, and Johnson totally mystifying. Their deceitful, hypocritical and cowardly behavior and inability to deal with the situation that I find myself in is something that I have never had to deal with in this profession. They refuse to even discuss this matter and release Syn material without any consultation with myself whatsoever. This also applies to the compilation album which I am featured on and was asked to produce, having already supplied a lot of archive material from my own personal collection. Incidentally, I do not include Chris Squire amongst this cast of villains, as he joined the band after my departure.

This whole Syn enterprise really stinks and I would just like to make people aware if they are contemplating purchasing any of these Syn projects of what kind of people the aforementioned characters really are. I am really saddened by my need to have to make this statement; music is the foremost drive in my life and the massive hypocrisy of these people fills me with intense outrage.

To Johnson, Nardelli, and Adleman, why not be human, why not show emotion...(very hard for most English people)? Why not have a f**king opinion?



Pete Banks

"The red polygon's only desire / is to get to the blue triangle."
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 10 2006 at 07:44

I don't know about the situation with The Syn, but reading the notes he made for the Yes At The BBC CD, Peter Banks has pretty much the same opinion of Yes and the way he was "removed" from that band (and is particularly sour towards Steve Howe). They do say there's no smoke without fire!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 10 2006 at 09:45
It seems a bit sad but like most things in life, there are always two sides to every story. All I can say was when Phil and I saw The Syn at The Marquee, they were really good.

I feel like a kid watching their parents fighting.
I must remind the right honourable gentleman that a monologue is not a decision.
- Clement Atlee, on Winston Churchill
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 10 2006 at 21:44

Let's be honest ... whether this particular incident is true or not ... there can be little doubt that our heroes in Yes had a ruthless side and were capable of back-stabbing ...

Nor indeed is this sort of ruthlessness restricted to Yes, I'd read bitter complaints from Nicky Simper about his ejection from Deep Purple (and since Purple have printed the fact that they were rehearsing with Glover and Gillan behind the backs of Simper and Evans on their own liner notes, I can well imagine that he's justified) ...

I think Pete Bardens depature from Camel ... Martin Smith's exit from Gentle Giant ... even Lemmy's ousting from Hawkwind may not all have been entirely honourable ...

And don't tell me Bobby Fripp was an angel, either!

 

"Death to Utopia! Death to faith! Death to love! Death to hope?" thunders the 20th century. "Surrender, you pathetic dreamer.

"No" replies the unhumbled optimist "You are only the present."
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 10 2006 at 22:13
Poor Peter Banks.

treated like crap by Yes and the Syn.  As Trotsky so well pointed out, Yes was ruthless, and despite Jon Anderson masquerading around as an Angel, from what I've read he's a hippie-Fripp, a complete dictator over Yes, with Chris Squire as his deputy. 

too bad, a very able guitarist, his collaborations with Jan Akkerman are decent.
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