Date Published: 15 Jan 2013 – Classic Rock Radio (UK)
Uncle G’s FUN CD Collection
Spotlight: Wakeman With Wakeman – Wakeman with Wakeman Live (1994)
By Gary “Uncle G” Brown
American Correspondent for Classic Rock Radio (UK)
Greetings from Space City y’all. I once overheard one of Houston’s finest (cop) back in the 1990s explain to a young lady he was trying to hit on, how the nickname for the fourth largest city in America came about; “They call it Space City due to the large amount of empty room between most of its citizen’s ears.” Not that I ‘liked’ that explanation, but I seemed to have never forgotten it.
In the city’s defense, we do get a lot of folks from places all over the World, who come here to live, learn, and try to become prosperous. In and around Houston’s boundaries (east to west Baytown to Sugar Land) we got about 6 million people. Most of them are out there daily just trying to make a name for themselves and survive. In the process and when behind the wheel of a moving automobile, they shoot over three lanes of traffic going right, when the blinker on their car meant to communicate with those they share the road with, is signaling left. Here comes the frustration, and even doubts about intelligence. Hopefully, I’ll do better than the way our twentieth-century cowboy put it; Space City because the word HOUSTON was the first word uttered on the Moon. A guess as good as any other guess, but I’m sure I’m in at least the right ballpark (soccer field for those of you in other parts of the globe). If not, good enough bullshit to make even the biggest bullshitter, not bat an eye.
I started with a story. If anyone has ever had the pleasure of being at a Rick Wakeman performance, then the memory would trigger a smile thinking back to Rick’s stories. Hard better than mine, by the way. The in-between song banter Mr. Wakeman maintains between himself and the audience is at times priceless. It’s been said that people who don’t know Rick is a professional musician, would think he’s a professional comedian.
I only wish America, the land I call home, would have had more access to Wakeman’s other endeavors besides those behind the keyboard. Like what we all missed that was/is on the British telly. Now because of advanced television technology or YouTube, one can re-live several of these if not anything else, entertaining programs; Gastank/Grumpy Old Men (series). Not that I keep up, but these two and several other programs Rick is on or involved in, could all very well be on DVD by now. In my opinion, anything he’s done as long as it’s officially being offered is worth having/spending time with.
Many music styles over the decades as far as Mr. Wakeman’s output is concerned. Back in the 1990s, I was seriously trying to keep up with all the CDs that were out there bearing Rick’s name. I would need a hefty increase in disposable income to even attempt it. It’s a vast catalog that became a pleasurable hobby of collecting Rick’s work. I still have a vivid memory of buying Wakeman’s Myths And Legends when it came out, for the whopping cost of $2.99 (on sale) at a retail department store called, Two Guys. They have since closed down and went out of business. Rick keeps on going. Good for us! Especially good for Rick.
In the year 1993, was released a studio CD called; Wakeman With Wakeman. Not by just Rick, but together a recording project with one of his sons. It was a self-titled CD. Eleven studio songs total. A small selection of this was later on performed on the road. A four-piece band, they were a wall of beautiful sound. So well-rehearsed one gets the idea all four gentlemen could play with such skill and expertise, in their sleep. This included Rick’s son Adam by the way.
Wakeman With Wakeman – Band Members:
Adam was young enough that there were problems with him getting into the venues they were playing, due to having to be of legal age to enter the premises. BIG FINES if busted. Young customers trying to get over ALL THE TIME. A business could lose its liquor license if caught serving anyone underage. The cops would arrest you, and close down the business, and that would be just the beginning of a HUGE nightmare for the one who OWNED the business. Bartenders are fined as well. But enough of that who-hah. In the case of the Wakemans on this road trip, things just seem to work themselves out. Out of what must have been an eye-opening road trip for the young Mr. Wakeman, was spun a very fine live recording that I’m lucky enough to have in my collection; Rick Wakeman – Wakeman With Wakeman Live (1994 Serious Music LTD).
Rick Wakeman is a lot of things to a lot of people. A keyboard shredder to me. My ears think that this is what he does best. Check out the last movement in the Yes song; Starship Trooper. After Mr. Howe’s infectious grove, Wakeman lets it rip (read like a fart joke reference when I first was proofreading it — oh well). Defiantly the real shit !!! Gives me eargasms every time I hear it. Towards the end of The Revealing Science Of God – Dance Of The Dawn, Rick comes alive, his fingers I have always imagined effortlessly flying across the keys as if it was no one’s business. So many examples. Matter of fact, on the Wakeman With Wakeman studio album; Lure Of The Wild. The live version on here; SMOKES !!!
Tony Fernandez: One of my FAVORITE all-time drummers. He also played with, The Strabs. Knowing Tony is behind the kit, makes the experience of hearing Wakeman’s music, so much better. Playing style akin to another drummer Rick Wakeman played with; Alan White. Tony’s there providing what’s needed while letting others get the main spotlight. One of the best guys behind the kit in progressive rock, fer sure.
The double CD, Rick Wakeman – Wakeman With Wakeman Live, is a jewel in my YesRelated CD Collection. Hopefully some reading this have access and can rock out to some of the best instrumental electronic rock that’s been factory manufactured on a plastic disc. I never get tired of hearing it, and do so at least a couple/few times a year. With the volume on; 11 !!!
Wakeman With Wakeman – WWW Live – The Backside of Japan Double CD
Bonus – Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (live WWW version)
End of Story
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