Say It's Your Birthday: Yes' Rick Wakeman

Today is the birthday of Rick Wakeman, keyboardist for Yes. Wakeman

was born

in Perivale, London on this day in 1949. A former student of the Royal

College of Music, he went on to construct some of the most

commercially

successful fusions of classical and rock music in the '70s. After

session

work and spells with the Strawbs and Yes, he launched a series of

ambitious

solo works in 1973 with The Six Wives Of Henry VIII , inspired by

the

BBC television series. Journey To The Center Of The Earth ,

released in

1974, involved keyboards, orchestra and narration by David Hemmings of

the

Jules Verne story. Even more grandiose was Myths And Legends Of

King

Arthur in 1975, which premiered on ice at Wembley Pool. That same

year,

Wakeman also wrote the score for Ken Russell's Lisztomania. The

last we heard of Wakeman's doings was in 1991, when he teamed up with

his old Yes cohorts, and recorded an album titled Union.

It is

also the birthday

of Wreckless Eric, as well as George Alexander, the exceptional bass player

in that legendary cult rock & roll outfit, the Flaming Groovies.