Thursday, 16 April 2015

Yes man offers the personal touch with his new show

Rick Wakeman. Photo: Lee Wilkinson.
Rick Wakeman. Photo: Lee Wilkinson.
RICK Wakeman has a lot of tales to tell.
In the prog rock era he was usually to be found behind a bank of keyboards — and clad in a cape — with supergroup Yes.
Away from the group he also had a sideline in his own concept albums like The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Jules Verne’s Journey to The Centre of The Earth.
More recently he has earned a reputation as a raconteur and wry observer of modern life, not only with his own live show, a sell out success on the Edinburgh Fringe, by television and radio appearances including Grumpy Old Men and Just A Minute.
Certainly he has a fund of stories to share from throughout a career that started off back in the mid-1960s.
YOU have worked with just about everybody when you were a session musician in the sixties and seventies. How did you get into that kind of work?
 I started session work in about 1966 when I was still at the Royal Academy of Music. It was mainly for the BBC at first and then I did a lot of records. If you did a good job, the word would get around by word of mouth. This was very important (and a cheap form of advertising) back then.
 When you joined the Prog Rock band Yes in 1971, you became a superstar and that era was known for its’ excesses. What was the most hilarious thing you witnessed?
Too many to mention really (and I’ve written quite a few of them in books already), but I think the most off the wall thing was when we build a farmyard in a London studio when we were recording the Topographic Oceans album. We wanted to feel that we were in the country. It was all well and good until I had to have some of my keyboards taken apart to remove the woodlice.
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