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Db Remembers Rick Wakeman And Hunky Dory

Total Blam Blam's picture
on July 27, 2003

Rick Wakeman is a perfect example of how Care In The Community can really work.
David Bowie trusted this man enough to let him play keyboards all over Hunky Dory!

With your long blond hair...

Those of you that took our advice (07/25/03 NEWS: LISTEN TO THE J R SHOW ON SATURDAY MORNING) and tuned in to the Jonathan Ross radio show on Radio 2 on Saturday, will already be familiar with this news. But even if you did listen in, keep reading, as we have an exclusive comment from David regarding Rick Wakeman's thirty-plus-year-old memories of his first meetings with David... But more of that in a moment.

Jonathan announced the wonderful news that he has the world-wide exclusive first play of New Killer Star, and a live phone-in from David next week. Expect the phone-in during the last hour of the show. The announcement went something like this, proving that our story on Friday was such an exclusive that JR didn't even know about it himself:

(Life On Mars? plays) - We dedicate that to my friend Blammo. Blammo, Total Blam Blam, who runs one of the Bowie websites, and he told us that we've got something coming up next week. He knows more about what's going on here than we do. Next week we are going to be playing, exclusively I believe, a new David Bowie track from his next album which is going to be out later in this year, and the track is going to be called New Killer Star.

Jonathan went on to mention David's phone-in too. You can listen to the whole thing by clicking on the image above and forwarding to 40:30 minutes. As I said, Rick Wakeman closed the show with a brief interview that included this bit:

JR: Well that's incredible, and then Hunky Dory of course is one of THE greatest rock 'n' roll albums of all time and you played the keyboards on Life On Mars?.

RW: He invited me...(wow) ..I did the whole of the album. He invited me around to his house which was in Beckenham - which I nicknamed the original "Beckenham Palace".

JR: This was the white house he had in Beckenham.

RW: Yeah it was beautiful. I went in there and there was a big gallery and I went upstairs and there was a grand piano and he'd got his old battered 12 string. He said 'I want to play you some songs, I want you to learn them and then I want you to play them from a piano point of view'.

He said, 'I've always done stuff from an acoustic guitar point of view so I want to do all these songs from a piano point of view'. He said 'so I want you to play them in the style you play and I will make the band and everything work round it' - and one by one he just kept playing these songs like, you know, Life On Mars?, Changes and I'm going......

JR: Can you imagine sitting there hearing it for the first time.

RW: And it was astonishing and I said 'David most albums have got one decent track and you've got some blinders here' I mean every track was a blinder!

Of course, David remembers things a little more accurately. Here's his exclusive response for BowieNet:

"Lovely fella, Rick, however his memory is as loopy as mine in some places. Several songs on Hunky Dory were written on piano, e.g. Life On Mars? and Changes for starters, not guitar. I played my plodding version and Rick wrote the chords down then played them with his inimitable touch."

You can listen to the whole of Rick's interview by clicking on the image above and forwarding 2 hours and 36 minutes into the programme. If you just want the Bowie-relevant part of the interview, forward further to 2 hours and 54 minutes.

Apart from Hunky Dory, Rick also mentions David and "Brewer's Droop", the recording of Space Oddity and more. Susans has very kindly transcribed the whole thing for those of you who'd rather read the interview, and you can view that transcript by going here.

  • 27 July 2003
    Db Remembers Rick Wakeman And Hunky Dory

    Rick Wakeman is a perfect example of how Care In The Community can really work.
    David Bowie trusted this man enough to let him play keyboards all over Hunky Dory!

    With your long blond hair...

    Those of you that took our advice (07/25/03 NEWS: LISTEN TO THE J R SHOW ON SATURDAY MORNING) and tuned in to the Jonathan Ross radio show on Radio 2 on Saturday, will already be familiar with this news. But even if you did listen in, keep reading, as we have an exclusive comment from David regarding Rick Wakeman's thirty-plus-year-old memories of his first meetings with David... But more of that in a moment.

    Jonathan announced the wonderful news that he has the world-wide exclusive first play of New Killer Star, and a live phone-in from David next week. Expect the phone-in during the last hour of the show. The announcement went something like this, proving that our story on Friday was such an exclusive that JR didn't even know about it himself:

    (Life On Mars? plays) - We dedicate that to my friend Blammo. Blammo, Total Blam Blam, who runs one of the Bowie websites, and he told us that we've got something coming up next week. He knows more about what's going on here than we do. Next week we are going to be playing, exclusively I believe, a new David Bowie track from his next album which is going to be out later in this year, and the track is going to be called New Killer Star.

    Jonathan went on to mention David's phone-in too. You can listen to the whole thing by clicking on the image above and forwarding to 40:30 minutes. As I said, Rick Wakeman closed the show with a brief interview that included this bit:

    JR: Well that's incredible, and then Hunky Dory of course is one of THE greatest rock 'n' roll albums of all time and you played the keyboards on Life On Mars?.

    RW: He invited me...(wow) ..I did the whole of the album. He invited me around to his house which was in Beckenham - which I nicknamed the original "Beckenham Palace".

    JR: This was the white house he had in Beckenham.

    RW: Yeah it was beautiful. I went in there and there was a big gallery and I went upstairs and there was a grand piano and he'd got his old battered 12 string. He said 'I want to play you some songs, I want you to learn them and then I want you to play them from a piano point of view'.

    He said, 'I've always done stuff from an acoustic guitar point of view so I want to do all these songs from a piano point of view'. He said 'so I want you to play them in the style you play and I will make the band and everything work round it' - and one by one he just kept playing these songs like, you know, Life On Mars?, Changes and I'm going......

    JR: Can you imagine sitting there hearing it for the first time.

    RW: And it was astonishing and I said 'David most albums have got one decent track and you've got some blinders here' I mean every track was a blinder!

    Of course, David remembers things a little more accurately. Here's his exclusive response for BowieNet:

    "Lovely fella, Rick, however his memory is as loopy as mine in some places. Several songs on Hunky Dory were written on piano, e.g. Life On Mars? and Changes for starters, not guitar. I played my plodding version and Rick wrote the chords down then played them with his inimitable touch."

    You can listen to the whole of Rick's interview by clicking on the image above and forwarding 2 hours and 36 minutes into the programme. If you just want the Bowie-relevant part of the interview, forward further to 2 hours and 54 minutes.

    Apart from Hunky Dory, Rick also mentions David and "Brewer's Droop", the recording of Space Oddity and more. Susans has very kindly transcribed the whole thing for those of you who'd rather read the interview, and you can view that transcript by going here.