Western Reserve Folk Arts Association

RICK WAKEMAN – The Final Solo Tour

All Ages
Sunday, October 13
Doors: 6:30pm
$70 to $85
As a much sought after session musician in the late sixties and early seventies, he played on more than 2,000 records, including such hits as Cat Stevens’ Morning Has Broken and David Bowie’s Space Oddity and Life on Mars, and worked with a real eclectic mixture of other notable artistes, such as Donovan, Cilla Black, Marc Bolan, Black Sabbath, Lou Reed, Mary Hopkin, Dana, Al Stewart, Elton John and John Williams.
In March 1970, he joined Strawbs. His first album with them, Just a Collection of Antiques and Curios, paved the way for ‘folk-rock’ and reviews from their concert at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on July 11th of that year did much to take Rick’s career to a new level.
He joined YES in August of 1971 and has been in and out of that band on quite a few occasions! 
Both as a solo artist and with YES, he has sold more than 50,000,000 albums, although he says that only past management would be able to tell you where the royalties went!
He has written two film scores for Ken Russell, (Lisztomania and Crimes of Passion), two scores for Harry Palmer films starring Michael Caine, (Bullet to Beijing and Midnight in St Petersburg), and the award-winning White Rock, as well as Gole, Hero, A Day After The Fair and two horror films, Creepshow 2 and The Burning.
He has also carved out quite a television career, appearing on every single episode of the Grumpy Old Men series and on Countdown just under 100 times. He has also accepted numerous invites for Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Have I Got News For You, and is now in his fifth year as a regular presenter on Watchdog. On Radio 4, he can be regularly heard on The News Quiz, Just a Minute and It’s Your Round.
He has two books currently available – Grumpy Old Rockstar and Further Adventures of a Grumpy Old Rockstar – both of which made the bestsellers list. The third in the series is due for release shortly.
Rick still finds time each year to perform concerts around the world, which can range from his extremely popular one-man show to extravaganzas with symphony orchestras and choirs.
In 2019, Rick celebrated his 70th birthday with two sold out performances of his epic Journey To The Centre Of The Earth at London’s Royal Festival Hall, complete with band, choir and orchestra, as well as embarking on his first solo tour of the USA in 13 years in September. 
In June 2020, he returned to his prog roots, releasing The Red Planet, which was recorded with his touring band The English Rock Ensemble, but embryonic plans for some live shows to accompany it were scuppered due to lockdown.
However, Rick had an additional special reason to celebrate the easing of Covid restrictions in June 2021 when his outstanding career in music was recognized by Queen Elizabeth II, who named him a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to music. 
At the start of 2023, Rick released a new album, The Gallery of The Imagination, and also performed with the English Rock Ensemble and the English Chamber Choir at the prestigious London Palladium theatre over two nights: The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (Weds 22 Feb) and Classic YES and Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (Thur 23 Feb). The works were performed in brand new concert arrangements for band and choir, and captured for his Live At The London Palladium 4-CD set. The album and sold-out concerts were so well-received that the band toured the UK in February 2024, reprising the second concert, and Rick hopes to do the same with the first night repertoire in 2025.