Rick Wakeman's Caped Crusades: The Prog Awards... 2052!

cartoon of two old men with ear trumpets
(Image credit: Kevin February)

The year is 2052, prog is having yet another revival and the Progressive Music Awards are in their 40th year. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Prog editor Jerry Ewing has the task of putting together a classic rock supergroup for the awards dinner.

The event, sponsored by First Responders, is fraught with problems. For a start, the catering has proved to be a nightmare as less than half of those attending have their own teeth and only 39 per cent have gums. Never one to shy away from difficulties, Jerry has arranged for a magnificent three-course meal consisting of soup through a straw, followed by a main course of puréed chicken vindaloo, with melted diabetic ice cream for dessert.

There’s no shortage of survivors from the classic rock era and Jerry has put together a true supergroup for the finale. For obvious reasons, all names have been changed so as not to cause any embarrassment.

On vocals there’s Mick Shagger, aged 109, who is still the frontman for the Crumbling Bones. He’s attending the awards with his new three-year-old daughter. On guitar is Eric Clappedout, aged 107, who has recently reformed his classic band Curdled Milk for a one-off show at the Milk Marketing Board. John Splodge from The Moody Shoes is playing bass. He’s 107 years young and still has his own hip!

Finding a drummer was a bit more of a challenge, but Jerry eventually managed to secure the services of 103-year-old Roget Paler, formerly of King. And finally, keyboard player Rock Wankman was persuaded to leave the band No for the 17th time at the tender age of 103.

The band are given the name of Not Long Now and there’s no road crew, just carers. The stage has to be lowered so everyone can get up there with their mobility scooters.

The set contains three extremely carefully chosen songs: I’m On My Journey To The Centre Of The Earth by Rock Wankman, (I Still Get A Moderate Amount Of) Satisfaction by Mick Shagger, and King’s The Shoe Must Go On. That might not sound like a long set but it’s been scheduled for just over an hour. This is because everything is now played incredibly slowly and everyone’s deaf, so they’re all having to rely on visual cues.

We have been reliably informed that they’re unlikely to tour.