CLEARWATER — Rick Wakeman will perform Saturday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m., at Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater.
Tickets start at $49. Call 727-791-7400 or visit www.rutheckerdhall.com.
Wakeman is halfway through his “Grumpy Old Rock Star Tour,” his first solo tour of America and Canada in 13 years. The Grammy-nominated, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member and keyboard wizard will combine spellbinding piano music with sidesplitting jokes and revealing insights into his 50-plus-year career. Audiences can expect an evening of superb musicianship, featuring music from the classic progressive rock band Yes, Wakeman’s own solo epics, some early Bowie hits and fantastic arrangements of Beatles’ tunes.
According to his website, Wakeman was born May 18, 1949, in England. He studied music in school, entering and winning a number of music festivals along the way. In 1963, he joined a blues outfit called the Atlantic Blues. By 1965, he had joined the dance band quartet the Concords, performing at weddings and birthday parties.
In 1968, Wakeman attended the Royal College of Music, studying piano, modern music, clarinet and orchestration. He left the college the following year, determined to forge a career for himself in the music industry. That same year he joined the Spinning Wheel, a pub band, and recorded “Space Oddity” with David Bowie. He also began working with the Strawbs. He would go on to play on the Strawbs’ third and fourth albums “Just a Collection of Antiques and Curios” and “From the Witchwood.”
In 1971, he left the Strawbs and joined Yes, recording the classic album “Fragile.”
Between 1971 and 2004, Wakeman served five tenures with Yes, performing on albums such as “Close to the Edge,” “Tales from Topographic Oceans,” “Going for the One,” “Tormato” and “Union.” He also toured with the band during this period and is featured on live albums such as “Yessongs” and “Yesshows.”
Over the course of his career, Wakeman has also released more than a dozen solo albums, such as “The Six Wives of Henry VIII,” “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” and “The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.” In November, he plans to release “Christmas Portraits,” the third in a series of piano-oriented albums, following “Piano Portraits” (2017) and “Piano Odyssey” (2018).