Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Words of Wakeman and Wisdom

Rick Wakeman's explanation for deciding not to tour with Yes this year offers wisdom I feel applicable to any of the numerous aging, well established rock bands out there who are still touring:

"Over the years, I have had my fair share of "narrow escapes" when it comes to health and I felt that I simply could not do months and months of touring each year anymore and I expressed this to the other guys from the outset. I'm absolutely fine at the moment, but want to stay that way, so I suggested to the new management that we perhaps limited the shows we would do and make each show something special, but this was rejected with the management feeling that lengthy touring was the answer for the band.

It was therefore with an extremely heavy heart that I had to say to the guys that I could not be part of a massive long term touring schedule as I did not feel it right for the band musically and also for the band member's health. We are a democratic band and I accept that I was a sole voice in this thinking."

I'll most likely see Yes in Chicago this summer but I think it would be a much better experience if Rick were playing with them and they had followed his advice. I know there is a financial factor involved here but many of the older bands that are still touring don't seem to need the money.

From my experience going to concerts I think older musicians put on a much better show when they are well rested and in good spirits. I've often checked the posted tour schedules to see where they are at in the grind to see how it might appear to effect their performance. Reading some of their messages posted on group sites offers insight as well.


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