Rick Wakeman's Caped Crusades

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Rick wonders if there really is an age limit to rock.

A very sexy blonde wearing a skimpy mini‑skirt and minuscule top enters Dicky Pickle’s office at Urging Records. The high-flying executive is famed for his success in the 70s by breaking artists such as Spike Oldmeadow, The Humanoid League and Vulture Club with Come Here, Leon (Your Dinner’s Ready).

“Ah, Tracey, listen to this band I’ve just signed. They really get you bouncing, don’t they?”

“Yes, Mr Pickle… Can I get off your lap yet?”

Her boss ignores her and continues. “Now listen, Tracey, there’s a famous band coming in soon. I signed them back in ’64 and they’re after a new deal. Urging are the company they need to be with, so tell me: is everything in place for their arrival?”

“Yes, Mr Pickle. The stairlift has been installed and we’ve got some of those chairs that electronically lift you out after you’ve sat down.”

“What about catering? Has that been sorted out as well?”

“All in hand. The food’s been puréed and we’ve ample straws for the drinks. We also have two nurses on hand to assist their carers.”

“Excellent. I feel a deal coming up here, Tracey.”

“Yes, and I feel something coming up too, Mr Pickle, so may I please get off your lap now?”

Their conversation is interrupted by an extremely loud buzzer. Tracey opens the door to reveal three 80-somethings supported by walking frames and their carers.

The bald-headed one in the middle shouts, “I don’t think your buzzer’s working! I’m Thrust Upwards and we’re here to sign a deal with Urging Records.”

Tracey gestures for them to come up and one by one, they climb into the stairlift. Twenty minutes later, they’re tucking into a puréed vindaloo curry in Dicky Pickle’s offices.

“Wow, you guys have really aged well since you launched as Anyone’s Daughter more than 50 years ago,” says Pickle, adjusting his comb-over.

“Thanks,” replies Thrust, putting his dentures back in. “You know, when we relaunched in ’84, we had to modify our name. We couldn’t chase daughters any more, so we became Anyone’s Mother… Now we’re just called Anyone!”

“Great stuff,” Pickle says, handing them a magnifying glass and a pen. “Now, if you’d all just sign where I’ve marked, we’ll get you guys back on the road to success in no time.”

After signing, Tracey helps them out the door and returns to the office where Pickle has another song for her to bounce up and down to.

“A good day’s work, Tracey,” he pants. “They’ve signed all their catalogue and life assurance polices to me. Once they pop off, I’ll get all the proceeds… and hopefully I won’t have to wait too long either. Now be a good girl and turn off the stairlift, will you?”

“Already done, Mr Pickle.”

“Well done. Now just keep bouncing…”

“This is a very long track – who is it?” Tracey asks. She’s already feeling a bit dizzy.

“It’s Yes… and this is only the intro!”