"Don't get me started on Rick Wakeman!" Rick Astley's never gonna give prog up!

Rick Astley Wakeman
(Image credit: Getty Images)

He's a chart-topping pop star, Internet sensation, friend of Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters, and now Rick Astley, has revealed he's a big prog fan as well. Speaking to Prog Magazine for the latest issue, Astley reveals “I listened a lot of prog when was growing up in the early 70s because my older sister was into it," before going on to details his findess for the likes of Rick Wakeman, Yes, Camel and more,

"[My sister] took me to see Camel play at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester when I was about 10 and it was pretty life changing. They played some of Mirage and some of The Snow Goose, and they had this huge screen behind them with the camel and the pyramid projected on it, and then The Snow Goose cover as well. I don’t even think I’d been to a gig before that, apart from maybe Supertramp a little while before, and I’d never even seen a screen that big. I remember something in me changing when the lights went down [and thinking] ‘I don’t know what this is – I want to be part of this world, because it’s absolutely amazing.’

"Yes’ Tales From Topographic Oceans was another big one for me. I loved the Roundabout single, it’s one of my all-time favourites, especially the bass playing on it, but this was something completely different. It was like some sonic adventure where anything goes. If they wanted to do 32 bars of weird intricate acoustic guitars while everyone else waits to just slam into it, they’d do it. I’ve got distinct memories of listening to it in someone’s bedroom – I can’t remember exactly whose bedroom it was, but I remember thinking, ‘What is this? What’s going on? Where are we?’

"And don’t get me started on Rick Wakeman. His solo albums in the 70s were just brilliant – Journey To The Centre Of The Earth, The Six Wives Of Henry VIII and The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table. My sister actually went to see him play at Wembley Arena [the former Empire Pool] when they turned it into an ice rink. That gig was just mythical to the 10-year-old me. When he announced he was doing The Six Wives Of Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace [in 2009], I went online and brought 12 tickets. [It was] me, my wife, my sister and her husband… pretty much everybody. I watched the whole thing and I thought it was just brilliant. I could see my wife thinking, ‘What the fuck is this?!’”

You can buy the brand new issue of Prog Magazine here.

Dave Everley

Dave Everley has been writing about and occasionally humming along to music since the early 90s. During that time, he has been Deputy Editor on Kerrang! and Classic Rock, Associate Editor on Q magazine and staff writer/tea boy on Raw, not necessarily in that order. He has written for Metal Hammer, Louder, Prog, the Observer, Select, Mojo, the Evening Standard and the totally legendary Ultrakill. He is still waiting for Billy Gibbons to send him a bottle of hot sauce he was promised several years ago.