Where are they now? - Rick Wakeman

This page last updated: 20 Jan 2018
 
YES and projects with several Yesmen
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Alan
White
Geoff
Downes
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Horn
Tony
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Peter
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Rick
Wakeman
Trevor
Rabin
Billy
Sherwood
Igor Khoroshev
Oliver Wakeman

Benoît David
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CIRCA:
Anderson Rabin Wakeman
Others associated with The band

On this page: Solo projects - Collaborations - Re-releases/archival releases - Media appearances, charity work etc.

On other pages: The Anderson Wakeman Project - Anderson Rabin Wakeman

Rick Wakeman's official site: Rick Wakeman's Communication Centre; Twitter; Facebook; Instagram; Internet TV channel

In his Jan 2016 GORR, Wakeman talked of a new year's resolution "to actually finish off as much as I can as regards projects that I had started and were lying half completed", spurred on by the recent deaths of several friends.

New solo releases
In his Jan 2018 GORR, Wakeman wrote that, "The first part of the year is very much one of preparation for recording of a new album, more details of which will be in the next GORR as arrangements are currently being finalised. [...]  I am going to be spending much of January and February locked in my music room and studio every day, writing and recording as well as doing some orchestrations." This seems to be in reference to a solo project.

Wakeman's 100th solo album was an instrumental piano album of covers for Universal, entitled Piano Portraits (UMC), released 13 Jan 2017 on CD and download; a 2LP followed 3 Feb. He had filming in Aug/Sep 2016 for TV advertising for the project and a film about the album's recording, including some live performances. Details in Yescography. Wakeman has been discussing another project for Universal. Tracks:
  1. "Help", available early with digital pre-orders
  2. "Stairway to Heaven"
  3. "Life on Mars"
  4. "I'm Not in Love"
  5. "Wonderous Stories"
  6. "Berceuse"
  7. "Amazing Grace"
  8. "Swan Lake"
  9. "Morning has Broken"
  10. "Summertime"
  11. "Space Oddity"
  12. "Dance of the Damselflies" (original composition by Wakeman)
  13. "Clair de Lune"
  14. "I Vow to Thee My Country"
  15. "Eleanor Rigby"
Buy CD from Amazon (UK):


Buy MP3 version from Amazon (US):


In a Jan 2017 interview, Wakeman discussed how the idea for The album arose out of the success of his "Life on Mars" cover (see below):

Then I started getting calls from record labels, some big and some not so big, all saying, “Hey, we’d love for you to do a piano album in a similar style to that you did for ‘Life On Mars.'” [...] I spoke to all the labels to see how they’d envisioned it and Universal were great because they envisioned it exactly as I did — as a real mixture of music, not losing sight of what the original songs stood for but always working as piano pieces.

[...] We spent quite a few weeks recording this album. We knew that every piece had to be a performance; you couldn’t just edit stuff. [...] there were some pieces that I thought would work fantastically well that didn’t work so we didn’t include them and gave up on them and other pieces that I felt would never work, worked great — like “Stairway to Heaven.”

The best example of that is I wanted to do “Bohemian Rhapsody” as a little suite but I could not make it work for a way that would make me happy; it just drove me mad. Overall we ditched about six or seven pieces.

The album peaked at #6 in the UK (27 Jan) and also at #3 in physical sales (3 Feb) and #4 in total sales (27 Jan). It was #2 in the Progressive album chart in the UK for Jan 2017, and #10 in the Sep 2017 chart; it was back to #7 for the Nov 2017 chart, then to #9 for Dec 2017. The CD was also #1 in Classical albums on UK Amazon, and at least as high as #3 on all albums; even the vinyl release was at least as high as #6 in Solo Instrumental Classical albums (all 18 Jan). The CD was also at least as high as #402 on US Amazon (#235 in Rock, #385 in Pop; 18 Jan). The album made Silver in the UK, i.e. 60,000 sales.

Wakeman did an 11-date English tour in support from 25 May-6 Jul 2017 (while a 7 Jul show included some material from the album, but was billed separately). Most of this leg sold out. The set included 10 pieces from the album and some additional music. A second leg saw 19 UK dates 23 Oct-27 Nov.

He is planning a 7 Mar 2018 show at Lincoln Cathedral, with a live CD/DVD (Live Portraits) to follow, backed by a crowdfunding campaign on PledgeMusic. Erik Jordan will be the recording engineer.

Wakeman appeared with his Green Dolphin Trio at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival on 29 Apr 2017, tickets selling out. Wakeman formed The Green Dolphin Trio in 1966 for club work; the band lasted about a year. He revived the name for this performance, a line-up with Dave Colquhoun and Matt Pegg. The set included "Merlin the Magician", "Eleanor Rigby", excerpts from The Six Wives of Henry VIII, "Georgia on My Mind", "Sweet Georgia Brown" and "Baby Face" (with a 50 strong audience choir). Edited highlights are to be released on CD: this was expected late 2017, but has yet to appear.

Wakeman has talked of working an instrumental prog album along similar lines to The Six Wives of Henry VIII. He has also talked of a new piano album with son Adam.

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 for Xmas."

Another piano album of Yes music performed in a classical manner was also announced as forthcoming but has yet to appear.

Sound & Vision
Sound & Vision is the name of a live event at The Queen's House, Greenwich, London, UK that teams Wakeman with artist Maria Rud, in aid of Animal Asia and their work with the Asian black bear (or moon bear). Originally scheduled for 10 Dec 2017, this date has been cancelled and the  event is now planned for near Xmas 2018. Wakeman was due to be performing with son Adam, Ed Scull (Orion Symphony Orchestra) with a "mass of percussion", and a "very large" choir. Rudd will be painting live to the music, her work being projected on to the buildings. Wakeman will be playing new arrangements of existing material and some new material for the show. The event is not seated: the audience will be able to move around to watch the performers and the art. There will be further activities connected to the charity.

King Arthur
Wakeman's re-recorded The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, with new pieces, is 88 minutes long. On the recording are the English Rock Ensemble (the same line-up as on The Journey to the Centre of the Earth re-recording, except Lee Pomeroy is replaced by Matt Pegg on bass), the Orion Orchestra and the English Chamber Choir, with Guy Protheroe conducting (orchestral scores by Protheroe and Ann Manly; choral arrangements by Wakeman). Vocalists are Hayley Sanderson and Ashley Holt. The album has new artwork by Roger Dean. The release is out via PledgeMusic as 2CD, 2LP or digital download; release through Wakeman's Music Emporium followed. In a Jan 2017 interview, Wakeman said they were "hoping" a general release in the US will come in 2017, although that does not seem to have happened yet. Jun 2016 saw a live performance of the album: Wakeman headlined the second day of The  Stone Free Festival, London, 19 Jun 2016, playing a 90 min. set including all of The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The band included son Oliver Wakeman.

He is now planning a performance of the album in Tintagel, UK. This was to be in Sep 2018, again involving Oliver, and (according to an interview conducted Mar 2017) a large orchestra and choir. Plans have now shifted to Sep 2019.

Further live shows
Wakeman played a piano concert at St Mary's Church, Alsager on 5 Jan 2017. He played 2 UK Xmas shows in Dec 2017 with son Adam.

Wakeman guested at a charity show on 28 Jul 2017 in Birmingham, UK in celebration of Keith Emerson's life. Organised by comedian Jim Davidson, also performing were Rachel Flowers, Thierry Eliz, ELP tribute band Noddy's Puncture, a symphony orchestra and others. Wakeman played a piano piece based around themes from "Trilogy", "Lucky Man" and "Nutrocker".

Over the last few years, Wakeman has previously talked about somewhat reducing his workload and a changed emphasis in what he does. He has stopped doing more substantial solo tours and is focusing more on TV and radio work (see below), shorter tours and one-off performances, although Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman sees a more significant commitment to touring. In the RWCC Winter Newsletter 2007, Wakeman explained:


I still intend to keep the live performances to a sensible amount and so long spells of touring are still not on the agenda and to be honest, won't be again. [...] with fewer performances each one became special and had a little something unique.

An Aug 2010 article said:

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.

Wakeman's Music Emporium
Wakeman's Music Emporium is his new online shop selling a range of hard-to-find items, including CDs, DVDs and memorabilia. It will also carry exclusive content, like everything detailed in this section.

The "Exclusive Emporium Collection" was announced as consisting of 2 new solo albums (a reduction from an original plan of 6 albums). Movements, a synth album, was due Apr 2016, but has yet to appear. The second was announced as due Nov 2016, also yet to appear.

Wakeman and the English Rock Ensemble performed at the Starmus festival in 2015, with Brian May (Queen) guesting. Their set, including "Starship Trooper", was released on DVD, entitled "Starmus" (MFGZ019DVD), on 29 Jul.

Wakeman wrote a soundtrack for the 1925 silent film "The Phantom of the Opera", which was released in 1990 as Phantom Power. Phantom of the Opera (RIC2716) is a 2CD/1DVD release of the film with the unedited soundtrack, with different mixes to The Phantom Power release. DVD bonuses include a commentary by Wakeman, a featurette on the soundtrack and the original trailer. This is due 3 Feb 2017, with a signed, limited edition version (RIC2714) due 24 Feb.

The Complete Gospels (RIC2736) is a signed, limited edition boxset combining the 2CD The Gospels, the 2CD The New Gospels, a DVD about the project and, previously unreleased, a CD/DVD of The Gospels performed in California. The release was 21 Oct 2016.

Gastank was a 1982-3 Channel 4 TV series where Wakeman interviewed other musicians. Each episode saw Wakeman, the house band and the interviewee perform. This was released 16 Dec 2016 through the Emporium as a 2DVD (RIC2718), a 3CD (RIC2717; buy from Amazon UK) or a signed deluxe box set with both and further extras (RIC2715). A general UK release for the CD followed in 2017. Guests included Eric Burdon, John Entwistle, Andy Fairweather Low, Godley & Creme (worked with Yes), Steve Hackett, Phil Lynott, Ian Paice, Rick Parfitt, Suzi Quatro and others.

Other solo work
In memory of David Bowie, Wakeman performed a piano arrangement of "Life on Mars" for the BBC. He then released "Life on Mars" b/w "Space Oddity" as a digital single in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support (out 22 Jan 2016; available in multiple countries). A CD release followed 16 Feb on RRAW (UK only), with a third track, "Always Together". This made #1 in the UK physical sales singles chart (19/26 Feb). The single has now led to a new album project, Piano Portraits: see above for details. Past Bowie tracks on which Wakeman played are included on the compilation Best of Bowie, which was the 10th best-selling album of 2016 in the UK, and the 86th in the US.

Wakeman was scheduled to do the score for "Hawk the Hunter", a planned sequel to the 1980 fantasy film "Hawk the Slayer", if the film secured funding through a planned Kickstarter that started 30 Aug 2015. That Kickstarter was unsuccessful and the project team are looking at possible next steps.

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."

Wakeman has been working on a follow-up to Hopesongs with music for weddings and funerals, presumably again with Howard Prior.



Collaborations & guest appearances
Jon Anderson, Wakeman and Trevor Rabin are working together as Yes featuring Anderson Rabin Wakeman, with touring and recording plans for 2018: see here.

My Labrador Eats Poo (HaGaTaS) is a 2017 book of poetry by Charles Garland (worked on Blue Peter, Terry and June, Hi-De-Hi!, 'Allo 'Allo). The accompany audio book, read by Garland, also includes musical inserts by Wakeman. Wakeman said it was due Aug, but it doesn't appear to be out yet. Garland has also been touring England with an evening of humour, including readings from the book and Wakeman's recorded music. There were 5 dates in Jun/Jul, with 9 due Sep-Nov 2017. Wakeman also appears to be involved in the publishing company, HaGaTaS.

"Home for My Heart" (video) was a new single by The Fizz ft. Rick Wakeman released 8 Dec 2017. Tracks: "Home for My Heart [Festive Mix]" (3:14), "The Land of Make Believe (Christmas Version)" (3:37), "Home for My Heart [Festive Mix Instrumental]" (3:14). The Fizz is a Bucks Fizz spin-off with three of the original members, Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston, plus Bobby McVay (ex-Sweet Dreams). The single was produced by Mike Stock (ex-Stock Aitken and Waterman, worked with Kylie Minogue, Bananarama, Donna Summer, Robson & Jerome), and written by Stock, Aston and Dave Colquhoun (Aston's husband; works with Rick Wakeman, worked with Francis Dunnery, Paul Young, Ozzy Osbourne, T'Pau, Bananarama). The original versions of "Home for My Heart" (without Wakeman) and "The Land of Make Believe" were on The  Fizz's 2017 album The F-Z of Pop (while the original original "The Land of Make Believe" was a 1981 single by Bucks Fizz, with lyrics by Pete Sinfield (ex-King Crimson, worked with Chris Squire)).

He also guested on a piano intro for the charity single "Bring Me Sunshine" (video) by Alfie Boe and Michael Ball with the Rays of Sunshine Children's Choir & Friends, a cover of the song made famous by Morecambe & Wise. The single (3:53), recorded 1 Dec 2017 and released 15 Dec, raises money for the Rays of Sunshine Children's Charity. Boe & Ball had previously recorded the song for their 2017 Together Again. Other vocalist guests included Bryn Terfel, Gareth Malone, Imelda May, Imelda Staunton, Mel Giedroyc (ex-Great British Bake Off), Angela Rippon, Mark King, Kelsey Grammer, Miranda Hart, Seal (worked with Trevor Horn) and Shirley Ballas (Strictly Come Dancing).



Wakeman also guests on a forthcoming project by Leon Alvarado: see main page for details (Sherwood also guests).

In his May 2017 GORR, Wakeman said, "on the 30th [May]....I will be recording with Erik [Jordan], a track or two for the wonderful Harry Shearer". Shearer is best known for his work on The Simpsons and "Spinal Tap".

Wakeman guests on grand piano on 2 tracks of a forthcoming world music/progressive folk album by Kilty Town, consisting of Daniel Engle (composer, octave mandolin, mandolin, guitar, fiddle) and well-known Yes fan Nic Caciappo (worked with Jon Anderson; bodhran, dumbek). The album is due late Feb/early Mar 2018 on digital platforms with a limited physical release; it is produced, recorded and mixed by another well-known Yes fan, Tim Morse (author of "Yes Stories", in Yes tribute band Parallels) and arranged by Engle/Caciappo. Also performing are Morse (keys, MIDI), Michael Martin Murphey (vocals), Maurya Murphey (Michael's niece; whistle), Ray Frank (guitar), Bret Bingham (vocal on "Norwegian Wood"), Iwan Hassan (Celtic harp guitar), Oisin McAuley (Danú; fiddle), Robert Lunceford (SonoMusette; accordion), Annbjørg Lien (Hardanger fiddle) and her husband, Bjorn Ole Rasch (ex-Secret Garden; pump organ). Wakeman appears on "September Waltz" (dedicated to the victims of September 11) and "Never Ending Journey". Wakeman described the tracks as the most unusual he had ever played on. Art is by Brian McDonagh.

From 21 Sep 2015 onwards, Wakeman (with Erik Jordan engineering) was recording piano and organ on tracks for Armando Peralta (Twitter).

It appears Wakeman is guesting on an album from Rodney Matthews, as is his son Oliver: see under Oliver for details.


In his Feb 2012 GORR, Wakeman said 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." Levin, of course, played bass in ABWH and on Yes's Union, among many, many other projects, while drummer Paice is in Deep Purple. Nothing more has been heard about this project.

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 Aug 2013. An album sampler 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.



Re-releases/archival releases
Wakeman's 8 albums with A&M from the 1970s—The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Lisztomania, No Earthly Connection, White Rock, Criminal Record and Rhapsodies—were announced as being remastered by Universal Records for a staggered re-release, usually with bonus material. Six Wives, Journey and King Arthur came out 2015-6, followed by No Earthly Connection.

However, Wakeman is now crowdfunding The Real Lisztomania through PledgeMusic, due early Apr 2018. The original 1970s release of the album was put together by A&M having rejected Wakeman's soundtrack master. This full score was released some years ago but just within the limited edition Treasure Chest boxset. The score has now been re-mastered from the original tapes and interspersed with narration by Paul Nicholas. This will be available on CD, download or in a deluxe box set with a DVD of the film and various extra. Tracks:


  1. "The Scene" (0:34), narration
  2. "The Metronome" (0:58)
  3. "The Country Sword Dance" (4:05)
  4. "Free Song"
  5. "The Freudian Dream"
  6. "Dante Period" (2:31)
  7. "Orpheus Song" (4:04), vocal by Roger Daltrey (The Who)
  8. "For the Chop" (2:38)
  9. "Hell" (1:57), vocal by Linda Lewis
  10. "Wagner's Dream" (0:29), narration
  11. "The Dream of Hell" (1:12)
  12. "The Inferno Ride" (0:51)
  13. "The Master Race" (0:48)
  14. "The Ride of Thor" (3:17)
  15. "Excelsior Song" (2:37), vocal by Paul Nicholas
  16. "The Guardian Virgins" (0:19), narration
  17. "Rape, Pillage and Clap" (3:24)
  18. "Loves Dream" (3:47), vocal by Daltrey
  19. "The Suffering" (0:14), narration
  20. "Peace at Last" (3:52), vocal by Daltrey
  21. "Loves Dream" (4:26), vocal by Daltrey, alternate mix not previously released

Jun 2017 saw a re-release of Crimes of Passion, Wakeman's score for the 1984 Ken Russell film. A limited edition (250 copies) box set comes 2 Jun with a CD (with a bonus track of "Dangerous Woman", sung by Maggie Bell), DVD/BluRay (including a 112-minute director's cut and a 107-minute unrated version of the film, deleted scenes and an interview with Wakeman), a signed and numbered certificate, and various artwork/reproduction press materials. The CD and DVD will also be available alone.   

Out There was re-released digitally on Gonzo Multimedia Ltd. on 26 Dec 2017.



Media work
Rick Wakeman's Key to Keys series on BBC Radio 2 continued with an interview with Tony Banks (ex-Genesis), broadcast 28 Aug 2017.

He was on Simon Mayo's Radio 2 show on 19 Dec 2017, performing on piano. In Nov 2017, he was filmed for a documentary about Bob Moog by his daughter Michelle. On 8 Jan, he was due to be filming for a new series of When Television Goes Horribly Wrong.

Other news
Wakeman has previously written "Grumpy Old Rockstar" and "Further Adventures of a Grumpy Old Rock Star". Some years back, he talked of working on a third volume. 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 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 [2011], (and some of last year [2010] 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. However, no further news followed until a 7 Sep 2017 tweet in which he said, "Decided it's time for the 3rd Grumpy Old Rockstar book & have already started on it."

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 Prog. 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.

Wakeman has been managed since approx. 2013 by Brian Lane (previously managed Yes, ABWH). Lane also now manages the Yes featuring Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman band: see main page for details. Roger DeCourcey is Wakeman's agent for TV, radio and corporate work (but not music).



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YES and projects with several Yesmen
Jon
Anderson
Chris
Squire
Steve
Howe
Alan
White
Geoff
Downes
Trevor
Horn
Tony
Kaye
Peter
Banks
Patrick
Moraz
Bill
Bruford
Rick
Wakeman
Trevor
Rabin
Billy
Sherwood
Igor Khoroshev
Oliver Wakeman

Benoît David
Asia
CIRCA:
Anderson Rabin Wakeman
Others associated with The band

Any news, additions or corrections, please e-mail Henry Potts. Thanks.