Why did Yes want…Rick Wakeman Part 1 – 542

Produced by Wayne Hall and Jeffrey Crecelius

We are back almost to normal or what passes for normal in these parts this week. After the merry mayhem of the Yes UK and Irish tour celebrating CTTE’s 50th Anniversary, this week Mark and I return to our new-ish series trying to make semi-educated guesses about why Yes wanted to add new or different musicians to their fold. This time, we turn our excited attention to Rick Wakeman and consider what he was doing to attract the band’s attention. That’ll be fun.

Before that we have the final tour diary entry from the redoutable Simon Barrow complete with a new crop of photos below:

  • What attracted Yes to Rick Wakeman?
  • What had he been doing before?
  • How does Simon sum up the latest tour?

Take a listen to the episode and then let us know what you think below!

YMP Patrons:


  • Jeffrey Crecelius and
  • Wayne Hall


Aaron Steelman

Dave Owen

Mark James Lang

Paul Tomei

Joost Maglev

David Heyden

Martin Kjellberg

Paul Wilson

Bob Martilotta


Michael O’Connor

William Hayes
Brian Sullivan

David Pannell

Miguel Falcão

Lobate Scarp

Chris Bandini

David Watkinson

Neal Kaforey

Rachel Hadaway

Craig Estenes


Paul Hailes

Mark ‘Zarkol’ Baggs

Doug Curran

Robert Nasir

Fergus Cubbage

Scott Colombo

Fred Barringer

Gary Betts
Geoff Bailie

Simon Barrow
Geoffrey Mason

Stephen Lambe

Guy R DeRome

Steve Dill

Henrik Antonsson

Steve Perry

Hogne Bø Pettersen

Steve Rode


Steve Scott

Jamie McQuinn

Steven Roehr

Ken Fuller

Terence Sadler

Michael Handerhan

Tim Stannard


Todd Dudley

John Cowan

Tony Handley

John Holden

Joseph Cottrell

John Parry

Keith Hoisington

John Thomson

Barry Gorsky

Alan BeggDeclan Logue

Robert and David

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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:

4 replies on “Why did Yes want…Rick Wakeman Part 1 – 542”

As it wasn’t mentioned on the show, I should explain (to anyone reading this, anyway!) that the aim of this particular set of photos was to show each of the eight venues on the UK leg of this tour – and a selection of ‘behind the scenes’ shots, including the mixing desks, one of the rehearsals, a signed setlist, and more. Photos on previous episodes have shown the band in action – and there are many more of those, as well as videos and sound recordings around. Those are best accessed from the encyclopaedic ForgottenYesterdays, and from social media.

According to Dave Cousins, the leader of the Strawbs, he and Wakeman enjoyed a friendship that preceeded the the keyboardist’s membership in the band, yet when Rick left he did so without a fare-thee-well to Cousins or any other member. The two former friends had no contact until two years later when Wakeman was hired to do session work on Cousin’s first solo album.

I’ve always loved ‘Antiques and Curios’ – it’s a bit of a feast for Wakeman fans, since it has his piano solo ‘Temperament of Mind’ and his extended organ solo on ‘Where is this dream of your youth’. He only plays organ and piano on the album, but makes the most of it! The extended version of the album also has the longer piano intro to ‘Song of a Sad Little Girl’, which is absolutely beautiful.

I’m not such a fan of ‘From The Wychwood’. The material is patchier from a band in transition with three lead vocalists at the time. Cousins wasn’t yet the dominating force he was to become. Rick again mainly plays piano and organ – the other credited instruments are fleeting at best, and while it’s definitely ‘him’, beyond ‘The Hangman and the Papist’ he’s very much a support player on some pretty short pieces.

Both albums are certainly worth hearing if you haven’t – but ‘Antiques’ – despite having no kit drums – is the better album.

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