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Oliver Wakeman’s Tales – 508

Produced by Wayne Hall and Jeffrey Crecelius

It was a great pleasure to welcome back to the show former Yes keyboard player and prolific solo artist, Oliver Wakeman.

We asked him about some of his latest releases including Dark Fables, Tales From Gaslight and his soundtrack to Yendor.

It was particularly interesting to hear recollections of working with original Yes guitarist Peter Banks and Oliver also shared some remarkable tales from his Yes days including what happened when he first joined the band in Canada, what Chris Squire said to him and something to do with sellotaping two keyboard pedals together…

  • Was Oliver’s entry to the band smooth and straight-forward?
  • What was Peter Banks like to work with?
  • Why does Oliver keep coming back to epic structures and story-telling in his music?

Listen to the episode and let us know what you think!

Yes concert 2010-12-01 (5253576415)

Oliver’s links

Oliver’s website:

The multi-award winning soundtrack to Yendor:

Tales by Gaslight Box Set:

Burning Shed store:

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Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from:

2 replies on “Oliver Wakeman’s Tales – 508”

Wonderful conversation. Oliver is always a joy to listen to: articulate, self-effacing and thoughtful. I especially enjoyed hearing how he prepared to play some quite different Yes keyboard parts live. His take on (three of) the other keys giants from the band illustrated their different styles and strengths well. It would have been interesting to hear how Oliver might have approached tackling Patrick Moraz’s rather demanding contributions to the Yes soundscape on ‘Relayer’, had he been asked to. A question for next time, perhaps!

It was also good to hear details of the collaboration with Peter Banks, who remains a hugely underrated guitarist. What a legacy he leaves – his solo albums are true gems, and I was pleased about the passing reference to Harmony in Diversity. The Cherry Red 6-CD HiD complete boxed set of that material is a treasure house for anyone interested in high quality improv with diverse influences – jazz, electronica, avant, post-rock and more. Pleasing also to hear more of Steve Howe’s praise for Peter, too. He also mentioned him regularly on the 2018 tour. (What happened with the Union debacle involving PB will perhaps remain forever unverifiable, but SH has strongly denied stopping him playing an encore. I’ve always suspected the then management, for various reasons.)

Anyway, best wishes to Oliver in his musical continuing musical adventures, for which he has obvious and infectious passion and enthusiasm. Great to see and hear.

Always great to hear Oliver of course! Strangely, the live show with Gordon Giltrap he refers to was one that I not only promoted, but I actually compered! Oliver and I have been in touch about it already. Also, as I was heavily involved last time he played live with a full electric band – again, with Gordon – I’m ‘working on him’ to get that From A Page show out there somehow. His call in the end, though, but fingers crossed!

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