Rick is an iconic figure in the music world, and possibly the most gifted keyboardist of the past 30 years. Last year I had the good fortune to interview Rick. He cut his teeth with The Strawbs and then Yes, he has also had a very productive solo career. Recently he branched out into TV as part of the hugely successful British made Grumpy Old Men comedy series.

Grumpy Old Picture Show captures Rick on tour, in part concert and part stand up comic mode.  He walks us through the trials and tribulations of everyday life.

Rick has an interesting and unique way of presenting the music portions, it is a one man show but by using video segments he is able to play with a number of different bands and artists.

What I find amazing is how the technology of electronic keyboards has advanced in recent years. You can hear this in Judas Iscariot, using a Korg as the mainstay and various other weapons with ivories on them, we are transformed into a world of huge cathedral pipe organs.

The Wakeman’s are a very musical family, all six of his children are musicians, son Oliver has just released a DVD Coming To Town, and his  daughter Jemma has created a name for herself with her wonderful voice. On this DVD she joins her dad in a fabulous version of Amazing Grace.

The sign of a great musician is being able to take a well known piece of music and put your own mark on it. Eleanor Rigby is a tune that everyone knows, but as Rick puts it “Ever heard it played by Prokofiev”? It certainly is an interesting arrangement.

If you are a Rick Wakeman fan, this is a DVD that is an absolute must have. In the unlikely event that you are not familiar with Rick Wakeman this DVD is a good place to start, and I can guarantee you will be seeking out more of his music as a result.

You can get your own copy of Grumpy Old Picture Show from MVD.

Simon Barrett


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