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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."

Steve Howe told us that when the original Asia lineup first reunited in 2006, it took a lot of work for them to get the music where they felt it needed to be: "It was really good to come back to the music and think that we were gonna take it to the level that was required. Not the '92 level, which was the non-original Asia, if you like, but to find the original Asia back together and say, 'Well, let's play the original, the first album. . . ' -- it was demanding, because artistically, it was a demand to get that music back to where it was, where it ought to have been, and where it can be, y'know, with the original members."

UPDATED: Yes North American tour dates (subject to change):

July 6 - Paso Robles, CA - Vina Robles Amphitheatre
July 7 - Saratoga, CA - The Mountain Winery
July 9 - Phoenix, AZ - Celebrity Theatre
July 10 - Anaheim, CA - City National Grove Of Anaheim
July 12 - Las Vegas, NV - Pearl Concert Theater
July 13 - Jackson, CA - Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel
July 14 - San Diego, CA - Humphrey's Concerts By The Bay
July 18 - Jackson, MS - Thalia Mara Hall
July 19 - Birmingham, AL - BJCC Concert Hall
July 20 - Huntsville, AL - Mark C. Smith Concert Hall
July 21 - Atlanta, GA - Symphony Hall - Woodruff Arts Center
July 23 - Charlottesville, VA - Ntelos Wireless Pavilion
July 24 - Washington, DC - Warner Theatre
July 25 - Morristown, NJ - Mayo Performing Arts Center
July 27 - Holyoke, MA - Mountain Park
July 28 - Port Chester, NY - The Capitol Theatre
July 30 - Montreal, QC - Place des Arts
July 31 - Westbury, NY - NYCB Theatre At Westbury
August 2 - Lincoln, RI - Twin River Events Center
August 4 - Homestead, PA - Carnegie Library Music Hall
August 7 - Cleveland Heights, OH - Cain Park
August 8 - West Allis, WI - Wisconsin State Fair Park
August 9 - Prior Lake, MN - Mystic Lake Casino
August 10 - Mount Pleasant, MI - Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
August 11 - Indianapolis, IN - Murat Theatre
August 13 - Cincinnati, OH - PNC Pavilion At Riverbend
August 14 - Rosemont, IL - Akoo Theatre At Rosemont

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