A 63 y/o, his grand piano and some funny stories

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Harley
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A 63 y/o, his grand piano and some funny stories

#1 Post by Harley » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:20 am

I've just got back from a concert given by 63 y/o with just his grand piano with a whole pile of very funny but interesting stories.

It has to be one of the best concerts I have ever been to - who would have thought that? !

The artist was Rick Wakeman

You know, there are a few older artists who rest on the laurels of just a narrow corridor of fame and regurgitate the same old same old.

But not Rick.

He played just one Yes song and even that was "You and I" based on a recording tape he'd rediscovered which was one of many he'd done when Yes were in the studio trying out different approaches to the song.

The rest of the 2 hour show was based on a whole raft of different stuff and his playing just had the audience spell-bound. 63 years old and he still plays the piano like a maestro. A veritable whirlwind of notes and arrangements and chordal structures that were a pleasure to listen to. His percussion, syncopation, and rhythmic style was just pure magic.

His stories were just as good. Full of wit, humour and interest.

I'm so glad I went.

When my boss told me he was shouting me a seat to join him I was really looking forward to hearing the 'man from Yes' and the writer of "King Arthur.." and "Return to the centre of the earth" etc , but when I heard on the radio it was just Rick and a grand piano my heart sank a bit - where were all the synthesisers, keyboards, moogs etc etc that one tends to associate Rick with ???

Happily, his talent was such tonight that the grand piano by itself was more than enough anyhow!

I just had to share - I am one happy camper :fruit:
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Re: A 63 y/o, his grand piano and some funny stories

#2 Post by Grant Bunter » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:31 am

No doubt about it, old rockers know how to entertain!

Great post Harley, glad you enjoyed his show :hyper:
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Re: A 63 y/o, his grand piano and some funny stories

#3 Post by Chris_Allen » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:42 am

He used to have a show on Planet Rock on a Saturday morning, I could listen to him for hours.

However, I've never really listened to any of the music he has done.
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Re: A 63 y/o, his grand piano and some funny stories

#4 Post by LelandCrooks » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:45 am

That's great. Never a big Yes fan, but I always appreciated his playing. And I really liked JTCOE.
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Re: A 63 y/o, his grand piano and some funny stories

#5 Post by wounded horse » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:05 am

A raconteur of the highest order too. I have searched for, but cannot find, his appearance on the Michael Parkinson show years ago in the UK. The most entertaining guest I've ever seen on Parkinson. In his book of 2 or 3 years ago, he tells the story of having a takeaway indian meal sent in while Yes were playing live. He had Curry and all the extras arrayed all over his keyboards and tucked in while Steve Howe was doing an extended solo piece.

And finally, his influence all over Hunky Dory makes it the major work it is. For me, Bowies best work.

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Re: A 63 y/o, his grand piano and some funny stories

#6 Post by Harley » Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:42 pm

I'll give you an example of his entertainment value.

How many of you would sit enraptured by a guy playing nursery rhymes on a piano?

Well, he had us this way last night. I tell you, it was magnificent.

One of his tutors/mentors had tried to extend his thinking and approach to playing. he asked him to play certain piece but to a completely different composer's style.

He did this with the nursery rhymes last night. For example Baa Baa Black sheep a la Mozart, Dickory Dickory Dock a la Maurice Ravel ( Bolero ) etc etc. Brilliant playing and just had everyone in stitches of laughter.

He also played Elanor Rigby in the style of some Latin/Jazz/Fusion artist ( can't remember the name ) which was a completely new take on the Beatles song - very enjoyable. He said he could play it because "The (Latin/Jazz/Fusion) artist is dead and won't know and McCartney don't bleeding well come and listen to my playing anyhow so ....( blerting sound made by tongue )"
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Re: A 63 y/o, his grand piano and some funny stories

#7 Post by Tom Smit » Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:24 am

Hey, that's cool, Harley. Isn't it great to go into something with low/mediocre expectations, I mean, you go to hopefully enjoy it, and then you get totally enamored by it....it takes you totally by surprise.
TomS

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