Connect with us

Rick Wakeman explains why David Bowie was a genius

Classic Rock

Rick Wakeman explains why David Bowie was a genius

The keyboardist and pianist Rick Wakeman was born in Perivale, Middlesex, England back in 1949 and started his musical career in 1969. He not only was part of incredible bands like Yes, but also had the chance to work as session musician with many legendary artists.


He was part of the recording of famous tracks by Black Sabbath, Elton John, Marc Bolan, Cat Stevens, Lou Reed and David Bowie. Wakeman recalled in an interview with Classic Rock his time with Bowie and explained why he believes the late artist was a genius.

Rick Wakeman explains why David Bowie was a genius

“The man was an absolute genius. There’s no other word for it. I learned more from David Bowie in the studio than from anybody else that I’ve worked with, ever. The thing about David was that he knew his own mind. He liked to have people around him who he felt had something to offer, people who he thought would understand what he wanted and help deliver it, and more.”

“(Bowie) had little or no respect for the attempted input of record companies and A&R men. He could not understand why these people, who didn’t know a hatchet from a crotchet, would try and come in and dictate to him what he should do. That is undoubtedly the secret of David’s success, because everything he did was on his terms,” Rick Wakeman said.

During the same conversation, Wakeman said that Bowie gave him “amazing freedom”. For example, when they recorded the album “Hunky Dory” in 1971, the musician told him to play like he wanted.

The first two songs Wakeman recorded with Bowie were the hit “Space Oddity” and “Wild Eyed Boy from Fleecloud”, both in 1969. Then he worked together once again, but this time in the entire “Hunky Dory” album in 1971.

In 1972, Wakeman would again play with Bowie, but only in the track “It Ain’t Easy”, from the album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”.

They would only work again in 1986, when Bowie invited him to play on the album “Absolute Beginners”.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

To Top