Where are they now? - Rick Wakeman
This page last updated: 3 Apr 2014
On this page: Solo projects - Collaborations - Re-releases/archival releases - Media appearances, charity work etc.
On other pages: The Anderson Wakeman Project
Rick Wakeman's official
site: Rick Wakeman's
Communication Centre; Official
Twitter (Note that Wakeman does not
have a MySpace site); Internet
New solo releases
In his Apr 2011 GORR, Wakeman said:
I am finishing off writing the music for a double CD of piano which we will be recording at The Granary on my favourite piano. 70% of the music has been recorded so we’re on the last stages now. Hopefully this will see the light of day around summertime.
He continued in his May 2011 GORR: "Quite a bit of recording
going on as well in May with Erik Jordan engineering for me as
always, whilst we finish off two piano albums that we have been
working on, (off and on), for nearly two years now. These will be
recorded at The Granary on my all time favourite Steinway concert
grand piano." In the Jun 2011 GORR, describing activity for that
month: "Jordan and myself will be finishing off the piano
recordings we have been doing at The Granary with my favourite
piano." And in the Aug GORR, Wakeman described finishing recording
on what is now three
piano albums, saying, "It’s possible they will be released in time
Another piano album of Yes music performed in a classical manner
was also announced as forthcoming but has yet to appear.
Released in Argentina only in May 2012 was Live with Symphony Orchestra
(Mundo Records, MRCD 99122), a live album from Wakeman's 2011
Latin America tour. Tracks: "King Arthur Suite", "Part1: Catherine
Howard; Part 2: The Mystery of Youth", "Help/Eleanor Rigby",
"Journey to the Centre of the Earth", "Merlin the Magician", "The
Live shows (guest appearances are further down)
Wakeman played a one-off piano solo show in Tel Aviv, Israel on 20 Jan. He plays another on 30 May near Vicenza, Italy.
Wakeman is among guests for a show
celebrating Jon Lord's life on 4 Apr 2014 at the Royal
Albert Hall, London, UK. Organised by The Sunflower Jam, also
appearing will be the 83-piece Orion Orchestra conducted by Paul
Mann, Joe Brown, Bruce Dickinson, Alfie Boe, Steve Balsamo and
Billed as his "only MAJOR concerts of 2013", there were a series
of shows in
Gloucestershire 15-17 Jun 2013, with profits going to the
Cathedral of Gloucester. 15 Jun was to see two sets by "Wakeman
with Wakeman with Wakeman and Wakeman" in Blackfriars Abbey in
Gloucester (250 seat capacity; both sold out). This will be a
performance by Rick (keys) with his children Adam
(keys, guitar, vocals), Oliver
(keys) and Jemma
(keys, vocals). The set had no overlap with the 16/17 Jun shows,
and was to be recorded (possibly filmed).
The next two days, billed as "The Rick Wakeman Ultimate
Experience", saw Wakeman with his English Rock Ensemble, the Cheltenham
Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Guy Protheroe) and
Gloucester Cathedral Choirs performing in Cheltenham (2200 seat
capacity), with a 2-hour set based around selections from The
Myths and Legends of King Arthur..., Journey to the
Centre of the Earth and The Six Wives of Henry VIII.
Some "extra surprises" were also promised. In his Apr 2013 GORR,
Wakeman described performing "a large chunk of Journey, large
chunks of Arthur, at least 2 of the 6 Wives plus at least 5 other
pieces." These shows were part of the Medieval Mystery Play
Festival. Earlier plans mooted TV broadcast and
later DVD release.
On 28 Apr, Wakeman was doing a piano performance at the Gouveia
On 25 Mar, Wakeman took part in a concert celebrating the late
Vivian Stanshall (ex-Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band).
Wakeman with the English Rock Ensemble (Oliver Wakeman—keys, Dave
Colquhoun—guitars, Lee Pomeroy (Headspace, Steve Hackett, Diamond Jubilee
Concert)—bass, Ashley Holt—vocals, Tony
Fernandez—drums) were to headline the Crystal
Palace Garden Party in the Bowl in Jun 2012 (capacity:
5000), but the show was cancelled due to problems with the venue.
However, the band did play Norwich and an "unplugged" show (both
Wakemans—grand piano, Colquhon—acoustic guitars, Holt—vocals,
Fernandez—percussion) in Norfolk that month. In a late May
2012 interview, Wakeman said:
I rarely do shows with the
English Rock Ensemble in the UK so when we do get together we
pretty much know what we all want to play which is a mix of the
Classics such as 'Journey To The Centre Of The Earth', '...King
Arthur...' and 'The Six Wives Of Henry VIII', plus we throw in a
few surprises that perhaps people won't be expecting.
[...] This band is the best I've ever had and I do wish we could do more together. We're off to Hungary in July for a festival and then out into Europe for October before South America kicks in, but due to a lack of festivals this year  in England it seems that 99% of everything is abroad.
The Norfolk set was: "The Jig", "Guinevere", Colquhon solo, "The
Hymn/Julia", O Wakeman solo, "Sweet Georgia Brown", "Sea Horses",
"Make Me a Woman", "Dance of a Thousand Lights" (R Wakeman solo),
"Georgia on My Mind", "Norwegian Wood/Help"; encore: "Summertime",
"Sweet Georgia Brown". Both shows were to be broadcast through Wakeman's
Internet TV channel, but, due to weather conditions, that
proved not to be possible for the Norfolk show. Wakeman and the
band next played Chile, Brazil and Argentina in Nov 2012 with Nick
Beggs (Steve Hackett, ex-Steve Howe, ex-Iona)
filling in for Pomeroy (who was busy touring with Gary Barlow) on
bass. They are also taking part in a show with orchestra in Buenos
Aries, Argentina: see below.
Wakeman appeared with the English Chamber Choir, under Guy
Protheroe, at a 27
Oct show in London.
He played 2 piano concerts in Slovakia in Sep 2011 and has also
mooted the possibility of his piano show with orchestra and choir
in the country in 2012.
In his Feb 2012 GORR, Wakeman
said he "will be spending a few days working [in Feb] on a choir
arrangement for the choir of St Martin's in the Fields for the
David Croft Memorial Service and also an arrangement of Morning
Has Broken for them." Wakeman's "Croft Chorus" was performed by
a choir at the event on 15 Mar 2012. On 12 Apr, he appeared at
'n' Cancer charity dinner at Chesterfield Football Ground.
On 27 May, he hoted an night of chat with actor Ian Lavender (best
known for Dad's Army) to raise money for the Bury St Edmunds
Theatre Royal's community and education programme. Wakeman also
wrote some music for the event.
Wakeman is appearing in a tribute to Marc Bolan. Other guests at
the T .Rextasy 35th
Anniversary Show, 15 Sep in London include Steve Harley, Toyah
Willcox, Alvin Stardust and Glen Matlock (The Sex Pistols).
DVDs of shows are now also available through
The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Journey to the
Centre of the Earth
and The Myths & Legends
of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
Wakeman has been and is re-visiting his classic early solo albums The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and The Myths & Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table with his English Rock Ensemble band. This includes live performances, in some cases with additional new music, and a new studio recording of Journey to the Centre of the Earth, again with additional material.
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Journey (and
the 150th anniversary of Jules Verne's
original story) in 2014, Wakeman is touring the
album with the English Rock Ensemble, the Jules Verne
Symphony Orchestra and choir. 7 UK dates 28 Apr-4 May followed by
2 in France (6-8 May) have been announced, with "over 100 dates
planned around the world". Further dates are expected to be
announced soon. The show will have graphics and visuals by
creative director for the shows, Roger Dean,
including a huge screen projections. This will be a 2-hour show in
2 sets. The first set (~50 min.s) will consist of Wakeman solo on
a piano, with a video screen backdrop, playing and telling stories
about the album. The second set (~70 min.s) will consist of a full
performance of the 2012 expanded Journey (with extended
solos) plus "Dance of a Thousand Lights" from Return to the
Centre of the Earth. There will then be an encore consisting
of a rearranged finale from Journey with the addition of
"Ride of Your Life" from Return. Plans for a Dean set have
been shelved because of limited stage sizes, but Wakeman hopes
later shows will be able to incorporate this.
Recording for the new Journey was completed in Sep 2012;
mastering took place in Oct. The album was initially available
only as a Classic
Rock fanpack (CRP13-11-12), with a 132-page magazine
and poster; cover by Dean. A
vinyl release followed in Feb 2013. The only performer other than
Wakeman (keys) from the original verison of the album is Ashley
Holt, who shares vocals with Hayley Sanderson (who does the new
songs and the parts by Gary Pickford-Hopkins on the original). The
other performers are Dave Colquhoun—guitars, Lee Pomeroy—bass,
Tony Fernandez—drums, with The London Symphony Orchestra (original
orchestrations: Danny Beckerman, Wil Malone; transcription from
original score: Ann Manly, Guy Protheroe; additional
orchestrations: Manly, Protheroe) and the English Chamber Choir
(conducted by Protheroe; additional choir arrangements by
Wakeman). The album was produced by Erik Jordan and Wakeman.
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In his Feb 2012 GORR, Wakeman said, "On the 13th and 14th [Feb],
[engineer] Erik Jordan and myself will be completing the
definitive guide back track for the new extended version of
Journey to the Centre of the earth before it goes off to Guy
Protheroe for orchestration." In Jul 2012, Wakeman tweeted about
working on an extended Journey. On 26 Jul, he said, "I'm
pretty excited about the new extended version of Journey to the
Centre of the Earth. Should be finished by mid September". There
is 20 minutes of additional material written for the original
album, but not used because of time limitations. Tweets through
Aug/Sep 2012 described recording sessions for the project.
Narration for the new version is by Peter Egan (known
for Ever Decreasing Circles). The album is
dedicated to the late Jon Lord.
A new deluxe box set version of the album
is coming in 2014, with art by Roger
A Nov 2012 show in Buenos Aries, Argentina featured the band
(Dave Colquhoun—guitars, Nick Beggs (Steve Hackett, ex-Steve Howe;
filling in for regular Lee Pomeroy)—bass, Ashley Holt—vocals, Tony
Fernandez—drums) and an orchestra playing both the expanded Journey
(66 minutes long) and Six Wives (Hampton Court
version). While Holt was the main vocalist, a female vocalist sang
on the 'new' pieces.
There were three shows in Gloucestershire 15-17 Jun. A
performance of King Arthur in Gloucester including 30
minutes of new music written for the show, plus a possible second
show performing Journey, were planned, possibly to be
filmed for TV broadcast and later DVD release. However, plans have
now shifted to two shows based around selections across King
Arthur, Journey and Six Wives: see above for details.
The original scores for King Arthur and Journey were stolen in the
1970s, but a damaged conductor's score for Journey... re-emerged
in 2007 and Guy Protheroe has been working on transcribing it.
Talking about King Arthur, Wakeman said in an Aug
When we went to get the cases with the music in back in the late 70s [...] the cases were empty.
That was it, the music was gone.
We've been extending the whole thing, re-orchestrating it, keeping the original orchestrations and adding loads more stuff to it.
When we come [to perform it] next year  it will be something incredibly special, a real one off.
It also gives us a chance to change one or two of the little bits that I was never 100 per cent happy with.
Retiring from some touring and a new focus
After 40 years of concert tours
[...] he has called it quits.
Don't panic! Wakeman simply means no more touring, no more traipsing from gig to gig, giving the same concert night after night, sometimes as many as 140 in a year. He is not retiring.
"I wanted to do a lot more (musically). I want to be more (diverse) in the concerts I do," he told Reuters [...]
What that means is cutting back
to maybe 40 appearances a year.
His Sep 2011 GORR had this: "Although I have set a date of May
2014 to cut right back and not work 18 hours a day minimum 7 days
a week anymore, (It'll be 4/5 days a week instead), the next two
years are going to be more manic than ever, especially if most of
what's in the pipeline comes to fruition." And the Oct GORR began:
I’m about to head into one of
the busiest travelling periods I’ve had for years and it is
highly unlikely ever to happen again either! Much as I love
performing on stage, my love of hotel rooms and airplanes
dissipated about five years ago, but sometimes things happen
that means that personal rules have to be broken and the next
couple of months are such a period.
Other solo work
In his Sep 2011 GORR, Wakeman says "negotiations are quite far advanced for 2 film scores next year ." One of these appears to be "The Haunting of Harry Payne", the score of which Wakeman was working on during Oct 2012, but the film (due 2013) is now listed on IMDB with music by someone else.
In an Aug 2007 interview, he said, "I'm currently involved in a stage musical, two other films and a stage juggling show!" In a May 2005 report, Wakeman says that after ending live work in 2006, he "will concentrate on recording and writing for films wherever and whenever possible." In recent years, Wakeman has been doing some soundtrack work. He has been director of the music division at Write Good Films. IMDB.com report that Wakeman is doing the music for a UK film currently in production called "Out of Reach". In an Apr 2004 interview, he says, "I've got this soundtrack thing coming up", but no details were given. In his Christmas 2004 Newsletter, he says he hopes to do more film and TV work. In Apr 2005, Wakeman said he was doing music for an animated children's feature about Noah. He had previously said that he would finish recording of his "Noah" project (performed live with the English Chamber Choir in 1997), but I am unclear whether this is connected or not. In the Nov interview, he said he would like "to do more work with orchestras and choirs and also some more film scoring which I really enjoy."
In a Jan 2003 interview, Wakeman said that there is a good chance that his album The Wizard and the Forest of All Dreams will be turned into a ballet. Early in 2001, Wakeman's newsletter said: "[2001-2] will see Rick concentrating hard on getting major projects off of the ground." This may include a new version of his ballet "Killing Grounds", a.k.a. "Triumph of Death". In his 2011 Innerview, he says, "I'm also halfway through a ballet I've been writing the music for off and on for four years." Wakeman has been working on a follow-up to Hopesongs with music for weddings and funerals, presumably again with Howard Prior. He was planning some pieces with vocals from daughter Jemma; and a keyboard concerto. He expressed the hope to record a "major themed work" in conjunction with Italian television. In a Jul 2004 interview in Switzerland, Wakeman said: "I have a dream to have a year off to do solo work and DVDs etc. However people ask me to do TV shows, concerts, so the dream never happens." While touring Cuba in Apr 2005, Wakeman said he hoped to return to Cuba several times to work with local artists. He expanded on these comments in an interview: "There were three or four very unique musicians [in Cuba] that I have to say I would love to collaborate with in a recording. Very unique styles and forms of writing that I think would fuse well with my orchestral rock way of working, but only time will tell if this is likely to happen."
Collaborations & guest appearances
Wakeman guested on Billy
album to Supertramp and his Prog Collective and Fusion
Syndicate projects, and guests on a forthcoming
William Shatner album co-written by Sherwood.
Wakeman guests on a forthcoming project by both Leon
Alvarado and one now released by Sarastro Blake: see main page for details
(Sherwood also guests).
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In his Feb 2012 GORR, Wakeman says he
is that, "There is so much other stuff in the pipeline
that I will be trying to bring to fruition this month
which include a possible trio album with Tony Levin and
Ian Paice. Early stages of discussions with all concerned,
but looking very promising." Tony
Levin, of course, played bass in ABWH and on Yes's Union, among many,
many other projects, while drummer Ian Paice is in Deep Purple.
Wakeman is playing on all the tracks of La Bambola di Pezza,
the debut full studio album from Italian singer Valentina Blanca.
The album is largely written by Bruno Rubino (Fiaba) and
arranged by Wakeman. Two digital singles have been
released so far, both as by Valentina Blanca and Rick
Wakeman (written by Rubino, arranged by Wakeman). Title
track "La Bambola di Pezza" (4:30; with Blanca on vocals
and Wakeman on piano) was released in Jan 2013, while
"Volano le Farfalle" (4:32) followed 1 Aug 2013. An album
is on her
website and a video
for "La Bambola di Pezza" is on YouTube (filmed
& edited by Pierluigi
Cavarra; directed by Cavarra & Rubino). Wakeman
described working on a track for the project in Jan 2012
with engineer Erik Jordan. Cavarra said in Jan 2013 that a
number of tracks had been recorded, but he did not know
when the album was due.
Wakeman and Keith Emerson have talked previously of a joint tour. In a Dec 2010 interview, asked "Is there any possibility you and Rick Wakeman would tour together in more intimate settings?", Emerson replies:
We’ve spoken about it. I think the last time was at the MoogFest at B.B. King’s club in New York, and Rick reckoned that he might bring some financiers to bear. [...] We’ll see what happens, but yeah, we’re up for it.
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Wakeman is planning re-releases of The Six Wives of Henry VIII, The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, No Earthly Connection and White Rock. These were initially announced to be on Gonzo/Voiceprint, but now appear to be coming from early 2014 on Esoteric Recordings. In his Jan 2011 GORR, Wakeman said: "this year  [...] barring a disaster, all the A&M catalogue should be released with lots of enhancements and additions." And in the Feb GORR, he continued, "sometime this month, the contract will be signed enabling the release of a very special re-mastered set of all of the A&M product that I released in the 1970s. There will also be additional bonus material with this set and it is all completed and just "sitting" waiting to go". And in the Apr 2011 GORR, he said:
The A&M Years special edition should be available very soon. This is all the albums I recorded for A&M records, all remastered and “cleaned up” and with additional material as well to create a very special limited edition package. We will also be releasing them separately as well.
In the May 2011 GORR, he said:
We have already planned
exactly how we’re going to release The A&M Years and
also how it is going to be something very special as
And in the Jun 2011 GORR:
the final contracts
still haven’t been agreed and signed yet as regards the
release of all the original re-mastered A&M product,
but I am reliably informed by the legal eagles dealing
with everything, that it really is the last bit of “i”
dotting and “t” crossing and within the next couple of
months, we should hopefully see the releases appear in
the “real world”.
And in the Aug 2011 GORR: "Would you believe that we’re
still trying to get the whole A&M deal finalised, but
I am continually being told that we're almost there, so my
Earthly Connection was released 29 Jan 2013 in
the US on Real Gone Music, its US debut on CD. This
version includes no bonus tracks, but replicates the
original artwork/credits plus has new liner notes.
Catalogue label Phoenix Music, in alliance with digital rights company One Media, are planning a number of digital compilations based on their recently acquired rights to the Gut Records and Jet Star back catalogues, including material by Wakeman.Out in the UK is "The ITV Live Archive Concert Series: Rick Wakeman" DVD (Wienerworld), a 2-disc release with a 56 minute playing time.
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Wakeman continues to do TV work, including for the BBC series Watchdog. He is in an episode of Celebrity Pointless for the BBC, expected Feb 2014. He guested in a new BBC4 3-part rockumentary sitcom, "The Life of Rock with Brian Pern", by Rhys Thomas and Simon Day (The Fast Show), which includes Matt Lucas as "Ray Thomas" (an homage to Roy Thomas Baker, currently producing the new Yes album). He is starting a new podcast series with Susie Dent (Countdown), due around Easter.
"Grumpy Old Rockstar" (subtitled "And Other Wondrous Stories"; ISBN: 1848090048, Preface Publishing (Random House Group)), by Wakeman in collaboration with Martin Roach, was a collection of stories from his life. Wakeman said in the RWCC Summer Newsletter 2009 (out Sep) that the book "is currently hurtling towards the 50,000 sales mark and it's [n]ot even out in other English speaking countries yet". There is also an audio book version read by Wakeman. A second volume, "Further Adventures of a Grumpy Old Rock Star" (Preface Publishing), followed. He is now working on a third volume, initially tentatively entitled "Even More Adventures from a Grumpy Old Rockstar". In his Jul 2011 GORR, he said he was close to finalising a deal for this third volume; and in the Oct 2011 GORR, this: "Whilst away on all overseas trips [solo shows in Slovakia, Anderson/Wakeman in North America, solo shows in South America] I like to keep myself occupied as I loathe hotel rooms and so the plan is to finish the third book in the Grumpy series which has a working title of "Rick Wakeman's Grumpy Old RockStar Rants". I've been working on it for most of this year, (and some of last year too), and, like the first two, contains ludicrous stories but with added rants along the way!" In Nov 2012, he tweeted about the need to finish writing the book. In the Jul 2005 interview, he said that he is going to write a book about Yes ("Grumpy Old Rockstar" only has a small amount of Yes content)—see details here.
Wakeman is a columnist for Classic Rock Presents... Prog.
He continues with various speaking engagements. He also said to Classic
Rock that, "thanks to the television exposure, I do a
considerable amount of after-dinner speeches". In the RWCC Winter
Newsletter 2007, Wakeman said, "I'm very much looking forward to
producing various music books with duets for piano as well as
music for other instruments accompanied by piano. This is very
much a long-term project and hopefully by Easter , the first books
will be available."
Wakeman has two record companies, Ambient Records and Hope
Records. Fintage Music have
announced a publishing and neighbouring rights administration deal
with Wakeman covering the administration of his rights outside of
North America, among other services.
Roger DeCourcey is
Wakeman's agent for TV, radio and corporate work (but not music).
Wakeman sits on the executive board of the Bob Moog
Memorial Fund, set up in Bob Moog's memory. He is
also an honorary director at Melling Sports Cars.
Any news, additions or corrections, please e-mail Henry Potts. Thanks.