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Rick Wakeman and Gordon Giltrap


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Rick Wakeman and Gordon Giltrap Biography

Richard Christopher 'Rick' Wakeman (born 18 May 1949) is an English keyboard player and composer best known for being the former keyboardist in the progressive rock band Yes. He is also known for his solo albums, contributing to the BBC comedy seriesGrumpy Old Men and for Rick's Place, his former radio show on Planet Rock that aired until December 2010.

Wakeman was born in West London. He purchased his first electronic keyboard at 12 years of age. In 1968 he studied the piano, clarinet, orchestration and modern music at the Royal College of Music before leaving after a year in favour of session music work. He went on to feature on songs by artists including Black Sabbath, David Bowie, T. Rex, Elton John and Cat Stevens. Wakeman joined the folk group Strawbs in 1969 and played on three of their albums. He first joined Yes in 1971 to replace Tony Kaye, and left the group in 1974 to work on his solo career. He returned in 1976 before leaving with lead vocalist Jon Anderson in 1980. Wakeman was part of the side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, a group of ex-Yes members formed in 1989, and the eight-member Yes line-up that followed until his third departure in 1992. He returned for two years in 1995 and once more in 2002, where he was part of the band's 35th anniversary tour until its end in 2004.

Wakeman began his solo career during his first run with Yes. His perhaps most known records being his first three, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1973), Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1974) and The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (1975). He has produced over 100 solo albums that have sold more than 50 million copies. In November 2010, Wakeman was awarded the Spirit of Prog award at the annual Marshall Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards.

He is the father of keyboardists Adam Wakeman and Oliver Wakeman.

Gordon Giltrap (born 6 April 1948, Brenchley, Kent) is an English acoustic and electric guitarist and composer, whose musical styles cross several genres, including folk, blues, folk rock, pop, classical and rock.

Giltrap started to learn the guitar at the age of twelve. Never receiving any formal tuition on the instrument, he gradually developed his own style and technique.

His musical career started to take off in the 1960s, when he played the folk scene in London alongside contemporaries such as Bert Jansch, John Renbourn and Mike Oldfield. Giltrap cites Jansch as a great influence.

At the age of eighteen Giltrap signed to Transatlantic Records and between 1968 and 1971 released a folk album (guitar and vocals) every year. While popular on the folk and university circuit, Giltrap reached a turning point and received much greater recognition during the 1970s. During this time Giltrap started to concentrate on more purely instrumental pieces, and in 1976 released the album Visionary, based on the art and poetry of William Blake.

The success of this album prompted Giltrap to move on from the singer-songwriter approach and to form the Gordon Giltrap Band, which toured extensively in the UK at that time. A follow-up album, Perilous Journey, consolidated his success, being named one of the best albums of 1977 by The Sunday Times. It peaked in the UK Albums Chart at #29. A single taken from the album, Heartsong received extensive airplay and reached #21 in the UK Singles Chart. The track was later used as the signature tune of the BBC TV series Holiday. Giltrap's next album, Fear of the Dark, was released in 1978.

By the end of the 1970s he had been commissioned to write a number of notable pieces, such as the classically inspired The Brotherhood, based on the art of the Pre-Raphaelites, and The Eye of the Wind Rhapsody, an orchestral work celebrating the exploration of the New World by British sailing ships. In the 1990s Giltrap played a key role in Cliff Richard's Heathcliff musical, playing the musical narrator. He also composed a number of pieces for the show.

In late 2009, Giltrap started Three Parts Guitar, a four-date world tour with the classical guitarist Raymond Burley and the jazz guitarist John Etheridge.

For two years Giltrap wrote a regular acoustic column for Total Guitar magazine. An anthology of 26 articles is published in Total Giltrap, a book with an accompanying CD on which Gordon plays the studies and pieces.

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