Rick Wakeman's Caped Crusades: 59

Stagewear has always been very important, but as rock musicians age, their bodies change quite considerably, which means there’s a need for adaptations. I’ll explain this by creating a fictitious musician called Dick Huge. (Any resemblance to musicians alive or dead is extremely likely.)

It’s 1970 and Dick Huge is 21. He’s already making a name for himself with his unique rock band called Orchestral Dick. He is thin and lithe, but to his disappointment, seems to attract an audience that is 95 per cent men. However, he does his best to lure women by wearing extremely tight trousers that outline very clearly what he’s got – and he’s quite proud of it as well.

Sadly, it’s not a successful manoeuvre and as the decades pass, Dick gains more than a few pounds thanks to his consumption of vast amounts of alcohol.

The 1980s and 1990s are so appalling for progressive rock, and Orchestral Dick in particular, that he sells his pad in Surrey and moves to Grimsby. There he spends the next ten years eating curries, drinking vast amounts of alcohol and writing his epic concept album, The Myths and Legends Of Captain Arthur And The Fishing Trawlers Of The Round Table Harbour. The album is a huge success and in 2007, Dick Huge goes back out on the road with said epic concept album. It’s a massive undertaking using a 400-piece orchestra, 280-piece choir, 92 dancers dressed as plaice and six naked women in a tank with 12 electric eels. The accompanying ‘scratch and sniff’ programme comes with a scallop as a cover-mount.

He does his best to lure women by wearing extremely tight trousers.

Alas, the years have taken their toll on Dick and it’s no longer just his surname that’s Huge. He has put on a massive amount of weight and new stagewear is needed as his tight trousers are now of no use at all. In addition, the parts they used to ‘display’ so enchantingly are now hidden by his large beer gut.

A solution is found and the beer gut is cleverly used as the basis for his new stage costume – it becomes the hull in his new on-stage guise as a traditional sidewinder fishing trawler. The addition of an anchor hanging from his dangly bits adds both sparkle and stability.

It would have been a tremendous shock for Dick’s few female fans to see how he has enlarged in all the wrong places, but thankfully, most of them are now in their late 80s and have failing eyesight. These days, their enjoyment is exclusively limited to music and smell.

By the end of the tour, Dick Huge’s expansive beer and curry rider mean he’s reached the proportions of a whaling boat and discussions are held at management and record company level. It’s decided that for the final performance, Dick Huge will be sunk, live on stage.

He is now part of a coral reef just off the coast of Whitley Bay.