Monday, 19 November 2012

Rick Wakeman 26th August 1987

Now this was an awesome concert. Due to my love of keyboards I'd grown up loving bands that had keyboard players in them or artists that played piano etc. So "Deep Purple", "Blondie" and "Kate Bush" were high on my list of favorites.

I then discovered prog rock (which seemed to annoy many) and I was in heaven. Such intricate and complex widdly music drenched in keyboards. "Genesis", "IQ", "Pallas", "Marillion" and of course "Yes". Rick Wakeman with his mad wizard capes and banks of keyboards, fingers of lightening producing a ridiculous torrent of notes. Rick Wakeman voted No.1 keyboard player of all time by other great keyboard players within the music business. So naturally our keyboard player, bass player and I bought tickets to see him in concert. He didn't disappoint. Obviously he played some of his new pieces but he also played much of his older stuff including the manic "Merlin" from his maddeningly great 2nd ever studio album "The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table".

After the concert we thought we'd try to speak to him so rushed around the back of the concert hall and stood by the stage door along with loads of autograph hunters. Eventually he came out and signed everyone's programs and then turned to us to see what we wanted signing. We explained that we didn't want anything signing but had a tape cassette of our band we'd like to give him to listen to. He took it and then much o our surprise started up a conversation with the three of us. After about 15 minutes a range rover pulled up and he introduced us to his wife Nina and all four off us ended up chatting for another half hour or so. We then said goodbye and that was that.

A year later a letter arrived addressed to the band. It had an Isle of Man stamp and watermark on it. I'd forgotten all about giving Rick Wakeman our cassette tape ... but he hadn't. One year later he's finally got around to listening to it and had taken the time to write to us to tell us how much he'd liked it and wished us all the best of luck.