Keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman will embark on his first solo tour of America in 13 years in September. Wakeman's "The Grumpy Old Rock Star Tour" will combine spellbinding piano music with sidesplitting jokes and revealing insights into his 50-plus-year career. Expect an evening of superb musicianship, featuring music from YES, Rick's own solo epics and early David Bowie hits, plus fantastic arrangements of BEATLES tunes, and much, much more, interspersed with knockabout (and sometimes bawdy!) typically British humor.
The 25-city tour will kick-off Saturday, September 21 in Annapolis, Maryland at the Maryland Hall For The Creative Arts and continue through November. Tickets will be going on sale starting next week in select markets. Check Rick Wakeman's web site, www.RWCC.com, or the theatres' sites for specific on-sale information.
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 band 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 U.K., 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" record became the first solo piano instrumental album to enter the U.K.'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 have been instant sell-outs in the U.K.
"The Grumpy Old Rock Star" North American tour dates:
Sep. 21 - Annapolis, MD - Maryland Hall For The Creative Arts
Sep. 22 - Derry, NH - Tupelo Music Hall
Sep. 23 - Boston, MA - The Wilbur
Sep. 24 - Huntington, NY - The Paramount
Sep. 25 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere
Sep. 27 - Quebec City, QC - Palais Montcalm
Sep. 28 - Montreal, QC - Olympia Theatre
Sep. 29 - Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall
Oct. 02 - Harrisburg, PA - Whitaker Center
Oct. 04 - St. Charles, IL - Arcada Theatre
Oct. 08 - Allentown, PA - Miller Symphony Hall
Oct. 10 - Englewood, NJ - Bergen Performing Arts Center
Oct. 11 - Collingswood, NJ - Scottish Rite Auditorium
Oct. 13 - Ridgefield, CT - Ridgefield Playhouse