By Jon Wiederhorn
Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Yes have canceled the remaining dates of their Yestival tour following the tragic death of guitarist Steve Howe’s son, Virgil.
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Virgil Howe, the drummer for the British alt-rock band, Little Barrie, died “unexpectedly” from unknown causes. He was 41. Howe joined the group in 2007 and played on four albums, including the new Death Express, which came out in July.
“Due to the tragic, unexpected death of guitarist Steve Howe’s beloved younger son, Virgil, Yes regrettably announces that the remaining dates of their Yestival tour have been cancelled,” read a statement by Yes. “Steve Howe and family ask for their privacy to be respected during this difficult time.”
“We are heartbroken that we have lost our dear friend and brother Virgil Howe,” said Little Barrie frontman Barrie Cadogan on the band’s website. “Our thoughts are with his daughter, family and partner. Please respect their privacy during this difficult time.”
“I am utterly devastated to lose my friend and a positive force in my life,” added bassist Lewis Wharton
In addition to playing with Little Barrie, Virgil Howe played keyboards on his father’s 1993 album The Grand Scheme of Things. Howe’s other son Dylan, also played on that record as well as other Steve Howe solo albums. He was playing with on the Yestival tour, which launched August 4. Yestival also featured Todd Rundgren and Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy.
“Ticket refunds for the affected tour dates (in Moorhead, Cedar Rapids, London, Rochester, Boston and Huntington) will be available at point of purchase,” the statement continued. “YES – Steve Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood – want to thank all their fans for their support and understanding at this time.”