The legendary Rick Wakeman is currently out on his Grumpy Old Rock Star Tour, and that will be at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg this Thursday night, October 3rd.The show will combine piano music, comedy, and revealing insights into Wakeman’s 50-plus-year career.
Featuring music from YES, Rick’s own solo epics and early Bowie hits, plus arrangements of Beatles’ songs, and much more, it’s definitely one you do not want to miss.
You might be thinking, “Wait. Rick Wakeman does comedy?” Yes, and he does it very well. I recently got to chat with Rick, and that was just one of many topics we covered. He talked a little about how he got into doing comedy, and he also shared a bit of the speech he made at the 2019 Progressive Music Awards last month when he presented John Lodge of the Moody Blues with the Lifetime Achievement Award. It was the story about when John met his now wife of 53 years, and it is best told by Rick (you can listen to it around the 3:45 mark in the audio from the interview below).
We also discussed the work he did with David Bowie, who Wakeman said was the “biggest influence musically that I’ve ever had.”
Growing up in a musical family, Rick’s father was a piano player, and on Sundays in the early 1950’s, his dad, uncle, and mum would get together to sing and play, and he remembers just watching them and being “riveted.” At the age of 5, he started taking piano lessons, and later found out that his father was taking half of his paycheck to pay for them.
Wakeman recently finished working on a new Christmas album called “Christmas Portraits” which will be out on November 29th. He said, “It’s a piano album, where I take 22 very well known Christmas songs, and perform them just on the piano with some interesting variations. When you listen to it, you’ll recognize the songs, but there is no way you’ll be able to sing along with it.”
It also sounds like there is possibly an Anderson, Rabin, and Wakeman (ARW) Farewell Tour in the near future. Rick told me they are looking into doing a 2-year-tour that would start next year, so they can say a “real thank you to the fans and people that have supported them over the years.”
You can listen to the full interview below.
Tickets for Rick Wakeman’s Grumpy Old Rock Star Tour at the Palace Theater in Greensburg are still available.You can get those at thepalacetheatre.org.
Photo Courtesy of Rick Wakeman