Where are they now? - Rick Wakeman
This page last updated: 21 Jun 2018
On this page: Solo projects - Collaborations - Re-releases/archival releases - Media appearances, charity work etc.
On other pages: The
Anderson Wakeman Project - Anderson Rabin
Rick Wakeman's official
site: Rick Wakeman's
Communication Centre; Twitter;
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
After the success of Piano Portraits, Wakeman has recorded two more piano albums, Live Portraits, now out, and A Piano Odyssey (Sony Masterworks; formerly known as Piano Odyssey and as Piano Portraits Plus), due 12 Sep 2018.
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." Wakeman then said
in the Feb 2018 GORR:
I’m also spending quite a bit of time deciding on what pieces of music will be on the new piano and strings album, Piano Portraits Plus, to give it its working title. I already have half a dozen pretty firm choices and it’s just a matter of sifting through the shortlist of others.In his Mar 2018 GORR, he talked of work in the second half of Mar, "making preparations for a new solo album". He continued, "more work in the studio [...] will spill over into April", referring to both this and work for a Yes featuring Anderson Rabin Wakeman album. The Apr 2018 GORR then brought more:
as March came to a close [...] my manager completed an agreement with Sony Classical / Masterworks for a new album [...]By his May 2018 GORR, he was able to report the album was being mixed. Here he described, "whittling down the short list of 40 potential pieces to the final chosen 12, I set about preparing the piano arrangements at home over a 2 week period followed by one month of doing the orchestrations. [...] I created variations of the selected pieces, hopefully keeping all the flavours of the originals". He recorded piano parts over a week at the Granary, with Erik Jordan as the recording engineer. Wakeman "then spent a further week "tweaking" the orchestrations and talking to Guy Protheroe who would be sharing the conducting with me. We then spent three solid days in Angel Studios with the Orion Strings and the English Chamber Choir with Toby Wood engineering." A Piano Odyssey has now been mixed by Toby Wood and is to go for mastering soon. He doing some filming for album promo on 13 Jul 2018.
untitled as yet, the album will be piano pieces of variations on some classically inspired music, some contemporary music and some original music [...] some will simply be piano, whilst others will have just choir or strings and a few will have both.
I have already started on the choice of music and have made a short list of 60 pieces which I will whittle down to 20 and then record them all, choosing the 14 that I feel work the best. It is very possible that 2 of the original compositions will be 2 that I have written for 2 wonderful Moon Bears [see below for more on Wakeman's bear work]. [...] The piano will all be recorded at the Granary on my favourite piano and the orchestra in a London Studio.
Then next month [i.e. May] it’s into the studio for a few days to record the strings and choir before the music is mixed and delivered for mastering.
Portraits (UMC) was Wakeman's 100th solo album,
an instrumental piano album of covers, released Jan/Feb 2017
on CD. Details
in Yescography. Tracks:
||Buy CD from Amazon (UK):
||Buy MP3 version from Amazon
Wakeman did an 11-date English tour in support
from 25 May-6 Jul 2017 (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. On 24 Mar 2018,
Wakeman played a piano concert at the Sala della Meridiana in
Naples, Italy, billed also as part of the Piano Portraits
tour. Wakeman recorded a special 7 Mar 2018 show at Lincoln
Cathedral for a live CD/DVD, Live Portraits (trailer),
backed by a crowdfunding
campaign on PledgeMusic. Erik Jordan was the recording
engineer. This appears to have begun
shipping in Jun 2018.
On 1-3 Mar 2018, Wakeman played 3 concerts with orchestra and
choir (Guy Protheroe conducting) in Buenos Aries, Argentina. The 2
Mar show was almost sold out, while the 3 Mar show was a free
event. Wakeman announced his planned set (subject to change) as
"Life on Mars" (solo piano), "Suite from Myths and Legends of King
Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table", "After the Ball",
"Cathering of Aragon" (solo piano)/"Catherine Howard", "Gone But
Not Forgotten", "And You and I/Wonderous Stories" (solo piano),
"Help/Eleanor Rigby", "Dance of a Thousand Lights", "Sea Horses",
"Suite from Journey to the Centre of the Earth", encore: "Merlin
the Magician", "The Jig". The show in the
Teatro Colón opera house was recorded. Wakeman said in his Apr
2018 GORR that "hopefully it should see the light of day in the
not too distant future as part of a special limited edition
collection." It was mixed in Jun 2018 and is due out around
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.
Previously, 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." It is unclear what has happened to these.
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.
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 is playing at the 2018 Marylebone Music Festival on 23 Jun 2018, in aid of a homelessness charity. The evening will see Rick interviewed by son Adam, with Wakeman performing a few solo pieces on piano and possibly a duet with Adam, while a string quartet will also play, as Rick puts it, "a couple of arrangements of music from my childhood that I loved and indeed, still love."
On 2 Jul 2018, Wakeman is in conversation
with Colleen Murphy at
London's Royal Albert Hall discussing his interest in space,
with recorded music selections played, including from No
Earthly Connection, Out There and Beyond the
He then tours South America in Jul 2018:
29-30 Jul, Wakeman then plays at Ronnie
Scott's in London with his Trio with Dave Colquhoun (guitars)
and Matt Pegg (bass). Both shows have sold out.
He then plays two piano shows in Italy: 3
Aug in Treviso, and 4 Aug in Trieste. He may possibly also have
a piano show 5 Aug in Faro, Portugal.
On 21 Apr 2018, Wakeman and Peter Egan did
a private show to raise money for Animal Asia.
Wakeman had piano shows on 26-7 Apr 2018 at
On 16 Mar, Wakeman (piano) did a show
in Elche, Spain with Valentina Blanca
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 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". The event has been nominated for the Event of the Year category in the Progressive Music Awards 2018: you can vote here.
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:
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 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
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 had been working on a follow-up to Hopesongs with
music for weddings and funerals, presumably again with Howard
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
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
|Wakeman described how "on the 30th [May
2017]....I will be recording with Erik [Jordan], a track or
two for the wonderful Harry Shearer". Shearer has now
released a 14-track album as Derek Smalls, his character
from "Spinal Tap", entitled Smalls Change (Meditations
Upon Ageing) (Twanky Records/BMG), out Apr 2018 on
digital, CD and LP. Wakeman
plays on the final track "When Men Did Rock", also with
Michael League (bass), Joe Satriani (guitar) and the
Hungarian Studio Orchestra. Other guests on the album
include Steve Lukather (Toto), Jim
Keltner (ex-George Harrison), Chad
Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Taylor
Hawkins (Foo Fighters, worked with Jon Davison),
Donald Fagen (vocals), Jeff "Skunk" Baxter
(Steely Dan), Peter Frampton, David Crosby, Dweezil
Zappa (worked with Billy Sherwood),
Steve Vai, Gregg Bisonnette (worked with
Ringo Starr) and Richard Thompson.
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 maybe around Jun 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.
It appears Wakeman is guesting on an album from Rodney Matthews, as is his son Oliver: see under Oliver for details.
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. It is unclear what has happened
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
On 4 Apr 2018, Wakeman was interviewed on stage at the Cranleigh Arts Centre as a fundraising event. Bill Bruford was in the audience. This appears to be what Wakeman was referring to in his Apr 2018 GORR, when he said he was doing "a special event for my great friend Bill Bruford".
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
, (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. 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).
Any news, additions or corrections, please e-mail Henry Potts. Thanks.