Rick Wakeman Talks New Tour, ‘Yessonata,’ on 1071 The Boss

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and iconic Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman will bring what he says is the last of his one-man solo shows to New Jersey in March with three appearances, including a stop at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair on March 20.

Wakeman will perform additional shows at The Vogel in Red Bank on March 26 and the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood on March 23.

“I always planned to stop touring by my 77th birthday,” the prog rock keyboardist said in a statement, “For those of you who wish to send me a card, it’s May 18th! — but there is so much to fit in before then that I’m having to make plans now, and so my final one-man shows will have to cease by that date.”

1071 The Boss has tickets to the show at the Wellmont in Montclair all this week until Friday (Feb. 2).

The tour will continue with a South American run in the fall, he said.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed performing the various one-man shows, but it’s time to call it a day,” Wakeman said. “I intend to throw in the best of what I have done in the past, plus a few new surprises on the way, and possibly even the odd guest joining me on the odd occasion.”

Wakeman isn’t entirely finished performing, he clarified in a statement.

“These will be the last of the one-man tours in America, but that does not mean the end of the one-man shows completely. I will also continue to appear in America at one-off events whenever invited, as I truly enjoy performing in the USA to some of the best and most knowledgeable audiences in the world,” he said. “The one-man shows will also continue as final tours in other countries through until 2027.”

He continued: “The reasons for bringing the one-man show tours to an end are twofold. Firstly, I have to admit that these days I have to pace myself so much more when it comes to travelling, but the main reason is simply because I have so many other projects lined up that I desperately want to do and as time is limited, something has to give in order to make way for these to be done.”

“I will still continue to perform shows with the English Rock Ensemble whenever possible, and also any one-off ventures that might come along, including another rock cruise and joint projects with other artists,” he promised.

Part of the show, he tells 1071 The Boss midday host Michele Amabile, is a a new piece called “Yessonata.” According to a press release, it’s a “30-minute instrumental work featuring Yes themes and melodies, woven into sonata form.”

“It’s all of the themes and melodies and tunes that I have been working with and they’ve just been thrown into a big pot and I’ve mixed them all up and put them together,” he said. “Hopefully people will recognize all of the themes and the tunes. They are not done as songs as such. I decided this time around I’d like to be a little bit different.”

Writing the sonata, he said, has been over a period of time with three pianos in his home.

“I’m never more than twenty seconds away from a piano,” he said.

Wakeman discussed his show, his sense of humor, his 2017 speech when YES was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, his work with David Bowie and more with Amabile For ticket info,  For ticket info, visit RWCC.com.

Listen to the clip below:

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