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Rick Wakeman Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (4) | Trivia (18) | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (4)

Born in Perivale, Middlesex, England, UK
Birth NameRichard Christopher Wakeman
Nicknames The Grand High Wizard of Prog
One Take Wakeman
Height 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Rick Wakeman's work on the classic albums of the progressive rock band Yes, his hugely successful solo albums, as well as his contributions to classic David Bowie songs, has earned him a reputation as one of rock's greatest ever keyboardists. Wakeman was educated at Drayton Manor County Grammar School. Classically trained on the piano, he later attended the Royal College of Music. He first made his name as a session musician at Trident Studios. Among his notable early work was playing Mellotron on David Bowie's breakthrough single "Space Oddity".

Bowie subsequently asked Wakeman to play on his "Hunky Dory" album, which has become one of his most acclaimed works and produced the songs "Life on Mars", "Changes" and "Oh! You Pretty Things", which all featured Wakeman on piano. In the early 1970s, Wakeman was one of the most sought after keyboardists in Britain. He played on albums by The Strawbs and was receiving offers to join the progressive rock band Yes and David Bowie's band The Spiders from Mars at the same time. He chose to join Yes and during his time with the band they recorded several of the most famous albums of the progressive rock genre, including "Fragile", "Close to the Edge" and "Tales from Topographic Oceans". Wakeman also recorded some hugely successful solo albums during the 1970s, principally "The Six Wives of Henry VIII", "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" and "The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table".

In the late 1970s, Wakeman and progressive rock in general fell out of favour with the arrival of punk rock. Nevertheless, he was able to continue with work as a musician and continued to record his own albums, although they were not as commercially successful. In his later life he has become just as well known as a radio and television broadcaster.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (4)

Rachel Kaufman (13 December 2011 - present)
Nina Carter (10 November 1984 - 2004) (divorced) (2 children)
Danielle Corminboeuf (1980 - 1981) (divorced) (1 child)
Rosalind Woolford (28 March 1970 - 1977) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (18)

He has three sons from his first marriage (to Roz): Oliver Wakeman, Adam Wakeman, and Benjamin, and a stepdaughter, Amanda.
He and Nina have a daughter, Jemma Wakeman, and a son, Oscar.
In his appearance on This Is Your Life, his early life was summed up by the host saying "You'd had three heart attacks, two marriages and lost £10 million by your early thirties ... but then things got better".
He is a devout fan of Norman Wisdom
He has lived in Middlesex, London, Buckinghamshire, Devon, Switzerland, Scotland, Surrey, Hertfordshire and on the Isle of Man. He has lived in Norfolk since 2005, with Rachel Kaufman.
He attended the Royal College of Music and is a classically trained pianist as well as being regarded as one of the most influential progressive rock keyboardists for his work with the band Yes and his own solo career. Despite the fact they were often accused of being Genesis clones, Marillion keyboardist Mark Kelly has always said that Wakeman was actually his biggest inspiration.
Yes' 1973 album "Tales from Topographic Oceans" came seventh in Classic Rock Magazine's list of the 30 greatest concept albums of all time. Wakeman's 1974 solo album "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" came 25th on the list. [March 2003]
Before joining yes, he played in the folk rock group the Strawbs.
He began learning to play the piano at the age of four.
He is the only non-vegetarian member of Yes.
He is a member and promoter of the British Conservative Party. He played at a concert at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire in aid of the Conservative Party on Saturday 25th September 2004.
He was educated at Drayton Manor County Grammar School.
He provided keyboards as well as produced a few Black Sabbath albums in the seventies (the Ozzy Osbourne years) using the name "Spock Wall".
He was friends with many actors and comedians, such as the late Eric Sykes and Bernard Cribbins.
He is a member of the National Trust.
In an interview, Rick told of playing at a concert during which a bizarrely dressed man leaped on stage and started waving his walking stick. Somewhat startled, Rick threw him off the stage and carried on playing. Only afterward did he find out that the guy was Salvador Dali!
He was paid nine pounds to play piano and mellotron on David Bowie's first hit single, "Space Oddity", which reached number five in 1969.
Prog magazine has described him as "one of the funniest men in prog".

Personal Quotes (9)

[speaking on The Weakest Link (2000), 2005] It's got a bit sad, really. I've stopped drinking, I don't smoke anymore, I've stopped getting married and I play golf and eat shepherd's pie.
[speaking about his keyboard playing] I avoid preset sounds wherever possible, and all the sounds I use I have edited.
I joined Yes in July 1971. I had heard Yes live, as The Strawbs had supported them at a gig in Hull. I thought they were amazing - incredibly different.
I'm always writing or playing because that is my life.
[speaking about Jon Anderson]: Jon is the only person I know who cares about the planet but lives on another one.
[on progressive rock] I've always believed that these days there is hardly a band or musician anywhere who haven't used some element of prog in their music. It's all about freedom of expression, which in my case is often in seven different time signatures!
[on Freddie Mercury] I only got to meet Freddie a few times out in Montreux and got on great with him, an absolute character.
Bohemian Rhapsody broke every single rule. It broke the rules in radio too because it became the most played radio track and yet it didn't fit into any of the genre that it should have done.
Back in the '60s, you'd play anywhere, you really didn't care, you just wanted to play, and some of the working men's clubs and some of the places we went to, to put it crudely, were shit-holes. And that's upgrading them.

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