Coming to Montreal on September 28 for one special night, Rick Wakeman’s Grumpy Old Rock Star Tour combines spellbinding piano music with sidesplitting jokes, and reveals insights into his 50-plus-year career. Expect an evening of superb musicianship, featuring music from YES, Rick’s own solo epics and early Bowie hits, plus fantastic arrangements of Beatles’ tunes, and much, much more, interspersed with knockabout (and sometimes bawdy!) typically British humour.
Professional musician, keyboard player, songwriter, broadcaster and raconteur, Wakeman’s career started as a much-in-demand session player, who performed on recordings by David Bowie, Elton John, Lou Reed, Al Stewart and hundreds more artists. His big break came in 1971 when he joined YES, who went on to become the most successful prog rock bands in the world, but Wakeman has also always gone his own way outside the framework of that group.
In the Seventies, he achieved chart-topping success with solo albums such as Journey to the Centre of the Earth, The Six Wives of Henry VIII and The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, which cumulatively sold over 10,000,000 copies in North America alone.
He has written several film scores, amongst them two for director Ken Russell (Lisztomania and Crimes of Passion) and two ‘Harry Palmer’ movies starring Michael Caine (Bullet to Beijing and Midnight in St. Petersburg), and in the UK, has built up an impressive reputation as a witty guest and host on shows like Grumpy Old Men, Countdown, Watchdog and the comedy cabaret show Live at Jongleurs. His wickedly irreverent acceptance speech when YES was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, nearly brought the house down!
That same year, he made British chart history when his Piano Portraits became the first solo piano instrumental album to enter the UK’s Top 10 on release – a feat he then repeated with last year’s Piano Odyssey. Both records feature tunes that have a special connection with Rick’s personal musical journey and his subsequent tours, in which he performs a selection of tracks accompanied by hilarious memories and anecdotes.
- Saturday, Sept. 28 8 p.m. at L’Olympia, 1004 Ste-Catherine E,
- Tickets: $90.00, $70.00, $60.00 (taxes included / service charge extra)
- Call 855-790-1245 or visit www.olympiamontreal.com
—Arlene Slavin | Rubin Fogel Productions