Why did Yes want Oliver Wakeman? Part 1 – 589

Produced by Joseph Cottrell, Ken Fuller, Wayne Hall and Jeffrey Crecelius

Contrary to what I said last week, we are going to continue with our Why did Yes want series this week as we turn back slightly in time to Oliver Wakeman after we inadvertently got Benoit David in the wrong order last time.

It was one of the most confusing periods of the band in terms of personnel so I have turned to interviews and accounts from those involved to try and get as close as possible to the truth – see if you agree with what Mark and I discuss in a few moments.

  • Did Oliver know any of the band before he joined?
  • How did they know he was any good?
  • Was it just nepotism?

Let us know if you agree with us!

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  • Joseph Cottrell
  • Ken Fuller
  • Jeffrey Crecelius and
  • Wayne Hall


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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 “Why did Yes want Oliver Wakeman? Part 1 – 589”

Oliver was the obvious choice to me to replace Rick in Yes in ’08, as he had worked with Steve, among others prior to that. Now if Patrick, Tony, Geoff or Tom were available and interested instead, it would have been quite an interesting period!

Oliver was a great choice. As well as having obvious similarities with his dad’s style, he is also able to replicate the styles of the other Yes keyboard players better than his dad. (Tom Brislin and Igor were also excellent like that.) From A Page also showed he could contribute with the songwriting, and he’s also an all-round very decent bloke, causing no friction within the band. All great reasons to keep him in the band. For me it was a travesty that he was let go. Yes would be a better band if Oliver was still there, in my opinion. And I like Geoff, but in terms of Yes music it’s Oliver who’s the better choice.

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