Rick Wakeman

(Richard Christopher Wakeman)

Rick Wakeman
Rick Wakeman
  • Born: May 18, 1949
  • Nationality: British
  • Profession: Keyboardist, Songwriter, Television Radio Presenter, Author

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Richard Christopher Wakeman is an English keyboardist, songwriter, television and radio presenter, and author. He is best known for being in the progressive rock band Yes across five tenures between 1971 and 2004 and for his solo albums released in the 1970s. He is a current member of Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman.

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Actually, I only left twice. I left then, and then rejoined literally two years later for Going For The One.
Apparently I'm well-known for my stories, my raconteur tales, that sort of thing.
As a songwriter, I was influenced by David Bowie - a great writer. A class above everybody in so many ways. Lennon and McCartney, of course. Class stuff. David Cousins was my favorite lyricist.
But I listen to live recordings of things that I did back in the '70s and then how I've done things since. And there's no doubt about it: if I compare the two, it's like chalk and cheese.
But I'd play on everything from pop records to a lot of the glam stuff to rock stuff to classical stuff. I used to get called to do all those things, it was great.
Coming back to Yes is like never having left. Even when I have not been in the band, I have always felt part of it.
Country and western is the music of the devil. That's the real truth of the matter. My late Mother, bless her, loved country and western. God, I couldn't handle it. Truth ;Music, Chants & Rapps ;Religion & God
Even the two times that I left, I never really felt like I left the band. It's very bizarre. It's like there's sort of an umbilical cord that stretches between us spiritually.
I always say that it's about breaking the rules. But the secret of breaking rules in a way that works is understanding what the rules are in the first place.
I am a very extreme sort of character, as I don't do things by halves.
I am a Yes fan, ultimately. I've been a member of the band, but I was always a fan of the band first.
I avoid preset sounds wherever possible, and all the sounds I use I have edited.
I bought a racehorse, Tropical Saint, that belonged to the Queen Mother. I used to go down to Banbury and watch him train, but during a televised race, his jockey pulled up and said there was something wrong. They put him in the grass to try and settle him but found him dead in the field.
I cut out bread, I don't eat after 6 P.M., and I go on walks, and it's had a great effect.
I didn't enjoy 'Topographic Oceans' at all. It was a double album, and the truth is it was padded out, and I didn't like that. But I was a fan of Yes - still am - and as such, I'm entitled to say what I think. Truth
I had joined Yes in 1971. I was a classically trained musician who had worked with numerous artists as a session musician. I played on David Bowie's 'Life On Mars,' Cat Stevens's 'Morning Has Broken' and even on some Des O'Connor records, though I kept that quiet. Life ;Morning
I had just left Yes and had done a concert at Crystal Palace, South London, with a choir and orchestra playing my solo album 'Journey To The Centre Of The Earth' when I had my heart attack. That day, I hadn't been to bed for four days. I don't remember much. I felt very numb during the day and airy, which is the best way to describe it.
I joined Yes in July 1971. I had heard Yes live, as Strawbs had supported them at a gig in Hull. I thought they were amazing - incredibly different.
I like Toronto a lot, it's a good city. The only thing that really annoys me about Toronto is that you're turning Maple Leaf Gardens into a grocery store, which is absolutely nothing short of disgusting.
I read numerous books - loads in fact - and, as I always do when recording a historical project, immersed myself into the subject matter. I spent many hours at Henry's old homes, such as Hampton Court, and visiting the Tower of London. I read no other books during that period.
I was 65 in May, and when I have just shaved, I see my father. I realise that I now have the same facial idiosyncrasies he had: little twitches here and there, mouth and nose movements, even the way he would tilt his head.
I was born in 1949 - which seems like a long time ago... Actually, it is a long time ago, when I think about it. Time
I was in and out of Yes six times. Someone once likened it to Liz Taylor and Richard Burton's marriage where we couldn't live with or without each other. There's an element of truth, and I last left in 2005. Truth ;Families, Children & Parenting
I would have loved to record with Paul McCartney on some of his early solo recordings, wonderful music. Playing some lovely organ, perhaps. I would have loved to record with John Lennon. He was a dear friend. I had lunch with him just two days before he died. Music, Chants & Rapps
I'm a Freemason, and we love to celebrate Burns' night: piping in the haggis, the whole lot. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I'm always writing or playing because that is my life. Life
I'm hugely fond of Scotland. My daughter, Jemma, was born in the Simpson Memorial Maternity Hospital in Edinburgh, and it always tickled me that she was so vexed she didn't have a Scottish accent even though she was brought up down south.
I've been married three times and divorced three times.
I've got an overactive brain. I enjoy work, I enjoy life, and I'm not good at relaxing. I've also never slept very much due to this overactive imagination and my brain constantly thinking. Life ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Liszt was a bit of a rock and roller at heart, but he was a bit of a puritan on his sounds.
My dad died in 1980, and I found out afterwards from mum that my piano lessons, which cost £2 a week, took up nearly a third of his income. Families, Children & Parenting
My earliest professional musical experiences were really as a session player, and every day was an adventure. Three sessions a day, every day, and you never knew who you would be working with until you arrived at the studio.
My eyes are green, and in one of them there is a splash of brown - apparently it is not a colour, but a freckle! Sometimes I notice that one eyelid droops more than the other.
My faith is very private to me. It plays an important part in my life, but I do not try and throw my beliefs at others. I have tremendous respect for all faiths and beliefs, but have a deep concern that religion and faith are currently a long way apart from each other. Life ;Respect ;Religion & God
My life revolves around music and always will. I need to be a part of music and not an observer. Life ;Music, Chants & Rapps
My mother had never had a day's illness in her life and never thought to have checks. Then, at 78, she discovered she had breast cancer and passed away the next year. But if she'd had a check two years before, they could have done something about it, they could have saved her. Life
People always said that I hated punk, and that really wasn't true. It was glossed over for many years that I was the guy who found the Tubes and signed them to A&M. English punk was a revolution.
People like Frank Zappa were amazing for us Brits.
Since the 1980s, I've been known more for my TV work, I used to host 'Live at Jongleurs' and of course 'Grumpy Old Men,' and so it's really all come from there. It's been a funny career really, there are people that know me now as a TV person, a comedian, an interviewer - I've had people genuinely gobsmacked to find out I am a musician. Humor ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Sparks is a sporting charity that puts on golf tournaments for sick children, and my animal charities include Oldham Cats and Feline Care, a big cat charity close to me in Norfolk. I'm also a Freemason and the money they raise for charity is phenomenal. Sports & Athletics ;Money, Coins & Minting
'Tales From Topographic Oceans' is like a woman's padded bra. The cover looks good, but when you peel off the padding, there's not a lot there.
The studio is not the place to write. You need to be 75% ready when you go into the studio, and then the music can develop to the next stage. Music, Chants & Rapps
There are people who think the film 'This Is Spinal Tap' is simply a very funny 'mockumentary.' Well, with Yes, we lived it. Take the hilarious scene in the film in which the bass player is trapped in a giant pod - that actually happened to Alan one night. Humor
There must be something wrong with the mirrors in our house because every single one I gaze into makes me appear somewhat overweight.
There's a fine line between angry and grumpy. Angry isn't nice, but grumpy is funny. Humor
To play music, you have to understand it. I didn't understand 'Topographic Oceans.' That's why I hardly played on it. It frustrated me no end - and playing the whole thing on tour, I got farther and farther away from it. Music, Chants & Rapps
Touring with Yes was generally great fun, and I got on well with the rest of the guys, but we were like chalk and cheese in many respects. I was unique in the band as a card-carrying Conservative.
When I die, I'll probably climb out of the coffin and play the organ at my own funeral!

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