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Rick Wakeman's "Grumpy Old Rock Star"

David Emm

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I stumbled over this book and thought I'd recommend it. Its a jovial recounting of many of Ricks's road adventures and various mishaps over many years. There was a great deal more spectacle, cash and booze flowing than I'd thought! It recounts some amusement surrounding the first live "King Arthur" show, on ice, no less. He was once invited to do a special show at a university and due to having had a lengthy stop at the pub beforehand, ended up "parking" right on the chancellor's prize rose garden. From the sound of it, he was making breweries work overtime, with a prodigious capacity for slurping it down. He alleges to have caught a fellow bandmate in a closet naked with an equally naked young woman in Brazil. You get the idea. There are no tedious incriminations or exposes, just the operational and rollicking parts. It earns its keep.


It has two fun picture sections, one featuring him surrounded by numerous keyboards on end. The note underneath states "I sure wish I still had all of these lovely vintage synthesizers. Many went 'walkies' and never came back!" There is a second volume I think I'll buy. Its been the best bathroom-library book of the month. Recommended.



Well well well, if it isn't the consequences of my own actions.
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The trumpet player and the white satin jump suit had me laughing aloud for 5 minutes. Still makes me smile every time I think about it.



Setup: Korg Kronos 61, Roland XV-88, Korg Triton-Rack, Motif-Rack, Korg N1r, Alesis QSR, Roland M-GS64 Yamaha KX-88, KX76, Roland Super-JX, E-Mu Longboard 61, Kawai K1II, Kawai K4.
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I'll pick this up. When I read Ozzy's autobiography, which was hilarious, there were some brief parts about Wakeman, whose sense of humor Ozzy appreciated. He said he was rolling with laughter talking to Wakeman about the latter eating his dinner on occasion while playing a gig. Something about eating a chicken vindaloo hidden under his cape while soloing cracked me up when I read it.


Thanks for the recommendation.

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I recounted this on an earlier thread, but here's the skinny from the man himself...


When I interviewed Rick a few years ago for a newspaper, he told me it was actually a misunderstanding between him and his keyboard tech. The guy asked him: "What'll you have to eat tonight, Rick?" Thinking he was talking about after the show, Rick replied: "Oh, I'll probably have a chicken vindaloo and a few chapatis."


Next thing he knew, mid show the tech started putting takeaway cartons on top of his Hammond. Rick told me: "Well, I wasn't enjoying the [Topographic Oceans] tour much and since he had brought it, I thought 'what the hell' and got stuck in..."

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Rick is permeated with British-style sense of humour, which most of times I appreciate, except when it becomes too silly... :)


Also - I've enjoyed reading the Keith Emerson book, "Pictures of an Exhibitionist" quite a bit, except for a couple of details:

- The story stops at 1974 or so;

- Very rarely the music itself is discussed.


So - does Rick's book talk about music as well? Or is it just a collection of funny memories? (Nothing wrong with the latter, of course)



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Both are books of funny stories. Plenty of drinking, flatulence, brushes with authorities in various part of the world, the famous curry incident, and at least one trumpet player shating himself on stage, but don't expect any major insights into the music.

It is a very good laugh though!

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Home: Korg Kross 61, Yamaha reface CS, Korg SP250, Korg mono/poly Kawai ep 608, Korg m1, Yamaha KX-5


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