Rick Wakeman Biography 'Caped Crusader, Rick Wakeman In The 1970s' with Foreword by Elton John Now Available!
5/3/2012 - London,
UK – Gonzo Media Group has just released 'Caped Crusader, Rick
Wakeman In The 1970s' by veteran author, broadcaster and journalist,
Dan Wooding, with a foreword by Elton John.
book, the authorized biography of Rick Wakeman, who is arguably the
world's greatest rock keyboardist, is lavishly illustrated with
dozens of photos from Wakeman's extraordinary career which includes
the time his career took off when he joined the folk group, Strawbs,
in 1969, and played on three of their albums.
the ultimate accolade - the biggest break of Rick's career at that
time - came shortly afterwards when a giant picture of Wakeman filled
the front page of the Melody Maker in London, England, with the
headline, "Tomorrow's Superstar?"
article said: "This is the man Keith Emerson hired a box at
London's Lyceum to hear. Since the twenty-one-year-old keyboard
virtuoso joined the group [Strawbs], along with Ford and Hudson,
[and] they've evolved into one of the most exciting bands of the
book also includes fascinating descriptions of his several excursions
with the British super group, Yes, and his many themed solo albums,
including The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1973), Journey to the Centre
of the Earth (1974) and The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the
Knights of the Round Table (1975).
Christopher Wakeman (born May 18, 1949), was trained at the Royal
College of Music in London, where he also went on to feature on songs
by artists including Ozzy Osbourne, David Bowie, T. Rex, Elton John
and Cat Stevens.
has produced over 100 solo albums that have sold more than 50 million
John, in his foreword for the book, said, "Rick's mastery of
electronic instruments only adds to his abilities, and I think it is
fair to say he was one of the reasons I stuck to the piano. I also
admire his attitude to stage shows - always willing to take a gamble,
but never sacrificing his musical ideals. Just as important, never
losing his sense of humour and his sense of the ridiculous. Anyone
who can put on an ice show at Wembley must be all right. I must add
that Rick loves cars and is a fanatic when it comes to soccer.
Therefore, he and I have an unbreakable bond.
has become fashionable to knock musicians who have been around a
while, and who are still determined to persevere in what they believe
in. It is very easy to be misunderstood along the way, but it is
vital to ignore trends and get on with what you want to do. Rick will
always do this because, quite simply, he's that much better than
71, founder of ASSIST and the ASSIST News Service
and the author of 45 books, was the first journalist to ever write a
story about Rick Wakeman. It occurred more than 40 years ago while he
was working on a local newspaper in Ealing, West London.
was looking for stories for the paper and had just called in on a
shop called the Musical Bargain Centre in South Ealing Road, and it
was then that I heard someone playing amazing keyboards at the back
of the store," said Wooding. "I waited until he had
finished and then talked with him. That person was Rick Wakeman and
he told me that he was then a student at the Royal College of Music
in London and was also doing sessions with different musicians. He
told me had had just played piano on and arranged Morning Has Broken
for Cat Stevens and also played Mellotron on Space Oddity for David
Bowie. Both went on to become number 1 hits both in the UK and the
told me that he had never been interviewed before, so I wrote up the
story for the paper and we became best friends. He invited me to his
home in Northolt and I sat there spellbound as he played for me on
his home piano. I had never heard anything like it.
shared with him a little about my background, explaining to him that
I was born of missionary parents in Nigeria, and it was then that
Rick told me that he was also a Christian and had been baptized at
South Harrow Baptist Church and, at that time, was also a Sunday
School teacher there.
his career blossomed, I went on to write his authorized biography,
and this latest one, which contains some updates, has been reissued
along with Elton John's foreword, and the three of us even had our
picture taken together at Brentford F.C. for the back cover of the
who now lives in Southern California, added, "Rick and I have
remained close friends for all these years and he has also performed
several concerts for ASSIST in the United States.
am delighted that his incredible story, or at least the earlier part
of it, can be told again for those in this new generation, who
possibly don't know too much about the 'Grumpy Old Man' that they see
on British TV, will be able to learn about his incredible talents as
a keyboard player, composer and songwriter."
the title? Wooding says it comes from the fact that the blond figure
of Wakeman would wrap his glittering shimmering cape around his giant
frame and head on stage at arenas around the world to start another
incredible performance on his battery of electronic keyboards.
even today, the "Caped Crusader" continues to push back the
limits of music with his extraordinary talents.