Keyboard player, composer and songwriter Rick Wakeman was born 18th May 1949). He is best known for being the former keyboardist with progressive rock band Yes. He has also written many solo albums and hosted a radio show on Planet Rock called Rick’s place, that aired until December 2010.Wakeman was born in West London. He purchased his first electronic keyboard at 12 years of age. In 1968, he studied the piano, clarinet, orchestration and modern music at the Royal College of Music before leaving after a year in favour of session music work. He went on to feature on songs by artists including Ozzy Osbourne, David Bowie, T. Rex, Elton John and Cat Stevens. Wakeman joined the folk group Strawbs in 1969 and played on three of their albums. He first joined Yes in 1971 to replace Tony Kaye, and left the group in 1974 to work on his solo career. He returned in 1976 before leaving with lead vocalist Jon Anderson in 1980.
Wakeman was part of the side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, a group of ex-Yes members formed in 1989, and the eight-member Yes line-up that followed until his third departure in 1992.He returned for two years in 1995 and once more in 2002, where he was part of the band’s 35th anniversary tour until its end in 2004. Wakeman began his solo career during his first run with Yes. His perhaps most known records being his first three, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. He has produced over 100 solo albums that have sold more than 50 million copies. In November 2010, Wakeman was awarded the Spirit of Prog award at the annual Marshall Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards, and
Wakeman’s former bandmate Bill Bruford, Who was Drummer, percussionist and composer with Progressive Rock Bands Yes & King Crimson was also born 17th May 1949. He was the original drummer in the band, from 1968-1972, who achieved worldwide success with their progressive music, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, live stage sets and symphonic style of rock music. They are regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre. They were Formed in 1968 and released two albums together but began to enjoy success after the release of The Yes Album and Fragile, which featured new arrivals Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. They achieved further success with the albums Close to the Edge and Tales from Topographic Oceans.Bruford began playing the drums when he was thirteen, and was influenced by jazz drumming, which manifested itself on early Yes albums and remained an influence on his style throughout his career.
During his time with Yes Bruford played on their first five albums including the LPs The Yes Album,Fragile, and Close to the Edge. Bruford has also performed for numerous other acts as well, including a stint as touring drummer for Genesis in 1976. Following his departure from Yes and at various times until 1997, Bruford was the drummer for progressive rock band King Crimson, But moved away from progressive rock to concentrate on jazz, leading his own jazz group, Earthworks, for several years. He retired from public performance in 2009, but continues to run his two record labels and to speak about music. His autobiography, Bill Bruford: The Autobiography, was published in early 2009. Yes continue to perform to thisday, more than 40 years since their formation.