Something you probably didn’t know about me – I like rock music. More specifically, prog rock, and that’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea ;). I’ve got my dad to either thank or blame for it as I grew up with him listening to Yes, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and other obvious rock legends such as Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple just to name a few. My earliest memory is watching Yes music videos and being mesmerised by the piano virtuoso Rick Wakeman and his unreal handling of multiple keyboards.
I’ve recently rediscovered prog and I think I appreciate it more now. I take the time to acknowledge how diverse and complex it is, created by some of the most talented musicians the world has ever seen (heard). It can also be quite overwhelming and doesn’t suit everyone’s musical palate. Take my husband, who asks me to switch to something more mainstream when I listen to Yes or Rick Wakeman on iTunes. Now, I admit it, even I cannot stand the whole genre, especially the psychedelic side of it. At times it becomes a total cacophony and I switch off.
The funniest story I have is how my dad took me to a Yes concert in London in 1998 and how I struggled to stay awake… I had a few favourite songs but to sit through the whole concert was a bit too much for me at that time. For years I didn’t tell him, afraid of insulting his feelings, but now it’s become a bit of a joke in our family. When I agreed to join my parents at Stone Free Festival two weeks ago he remarked that I should try to not fall asleep this time. :P.
Not a chance, he had been educating me on Steve Hackett’s repertoire and I had religiously listened to the best-known hits so I kind of knew what to expect. But to hear Genesis’s “Firth of Fifth” and “Shadow of the Hierophant” live was obviously a completely different experience! It was a seated concert but I even saw my dad jump up, fist pump the air and applaud. He’s normally a rather reserved gentleman ;). It was an added bonus to see Steve after the concert and tell him that I’m now convinced… That it was absolutely brilliant.
The last act was Rick Wakeman, one of the headlines of the festival, performing the extended version of “The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table” with orchestra and choir included. He masterfully demonstrated his keyboard artistry and got a standing ovation. I’ve been following him on Twitter and this is what he had to say:
thanks to everybody who came to StoneFree. A very emotional & amazing night for us on stage fuelled by the warmth from everybody there.
And a song I’ve been playing on a daily basis since the concert: