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Richard Christopher "Rick" Wakeman is Born

Today in Masonic History Richard Christopher "Rick" Wakeman is born in 1949.

Richard Christopher "Rick" Wakeman is a British musician.

Wakeman was born on May 18th, 1949 in the west London suburb of Perivale. He attended local schools and at the age of 7, his father started him with piano lessons. His music teacher entered him in a variety of contests and competitions. He won a variety of awards and certificates. By the age of 14 he had begun playing with local bands in a variety of genres. He also formed a band called Curdled Milk, a joke based on the album "Fresh Cream" by the band Cream. The band Curdled Milk was put together to play the annual school dance. Unfortunately the band had to forfeit the fee when Wakeman drove his car across the lawn and destroyed rose bushes.

In 1968, Wakeman secured a place at the Royal College of Music in London. Initially he was focused on his studies. Before long though he became bored with school and spent much of his time at Musical Bargain Centre, a local music shop. While in the shop he was picked up as a session musician for members of the Ike & Tina Turner band. After that he left school and became a session musician. As a session musician he played on David Bowie's "Space Oddity". He also played on a variety of tracks on Bowie's second album.

By 1971, Wakeman had joined the band Yes. At the same time he was also working on solo albums which did cause some conflicts since Yes and his solo work were with two different record labels. Later Wakeman would lament the fact that some of his work was uncredited and equated to a sizable amount of money. He felt at the time that it was about the music and was willing to let to slide. In 1973 he left Yes the first time after they made the album Tales from Topographic Oceans. It was claimed that Wakeman hated the album, he would later set the record straight by saying there were some really great musical moments on the album, it was filler that they had to add to stretch the music to two albums which he did not like.

Wakeman continued his solo career with the album The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table which took him on tour to Rio de Janeiro where he met Ronnie Biggs who was involved in the 1963 Great Train Robbery. The two went drinking together and allegedly exchanged gifts of shirts, including one that Biggs had worn during the robbery.

In 1976, Wakeman rejoined Yes before leaving again in the 80's for further solo projects. He rejoined Yes a third and fourth time in 1990's and a fifth time in 2002.

Wakeman is a member of Chelsea Lodge No. 3098 in London, England. Chelsea Lodge has membership made of those in the entertainment field.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.