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Publisher's Summary

Around about September of 1948, Mr and Mrs Cyril Wakeman had an early night. And some time later, at Perivale in Middlesex, Mrs Wakeman produced a bonny baby son. They named him Richard, but he quickly became known as Rick.

Rick was a likable little fellow who had a talent for the piano (and for making trouble), and music became his life. Later, he joined a popular music group called Yes and became a legend.

Much later, he became a Grumpy Old Man who appears on Countdown, hosts a hugely popular radio show on Planet Rock and performs a one-man show telling stories about his rather extraordinary life.

That's where this book you comes in. Mr Wakeman is simply one of the great storytellers of our age - let's face it, he has some fabulous material. It seemed a shame that some of the funniest yarns should not be more widely known. So he accepted some cash and here we are.

Curl up by the fire with a Grumpy Old Rockstar and your nearest and dearest. We defy you not to listen and laugh.

©2008 Rick Wakeman; (P)2008 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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This Curmudgeon's favorite "Grumpy Old Rock Star"

Would you consider the audio edition of Grumpy Old Rockstar and Other Wonderous Stories to be better than the print version?

Absolutely! Why would anyone NOT want to hear Rick's own voice reading the book rather than hearing some silly professional narrator or random VIH (Voice in Head) stumble through such a flavorful text?

What does Rick Wakeman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Didn't you read my answer to your first question?!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not really "laugh"-- more like "chortle." An occasional "guffaw."

Ok, maybe more than once I ended up like Uncle Albert (from Mary Poppins... not the Paul McCartney one), splitting a gut and gasping for breath. Not for the timid, this book

Any additional comments?

As the "Corner Office Curmudgeon," if not a "Grumpy Old Entrepreneur," I'm at least known as a "snarky Uncle Horace" to many a tech start-up founder and the VC community. And yet I found virtually NOTHING to complain about!

Well, get off if my lawn anyway!

I'm a proud, if a bit gruff child of the 70's and prog rockaholic myself, Rick Wakeman has always been an enigma who in his later years has been reborn as a radio/TV etc. celebrity and has ended up yes (no pun intended) reminding me of snarky Uncle Horace indeed.

Settle in for a spider web of interconnected quirky stories delivered by a grand storyteller and legendary contrarian non-conformist who always seemed to be at the center of near mythical calamities and bizarre going-on associated with the excess of the time and place. I imagine many, many a late night pub outing (non-alcoholic, of course) could be filled with his banter. Should be good for three or four more books, at least.

Can't wait for the audio version-- nothing else will do-- of the author reading the sequel. Until then I guess I'll just have to be satisfied to follow the Premier League and catch another ARW gig.

But if that fat ol' geezer chick with the faded Strawbs T-shirt that was "sitting" in front of me at the last show is there again and spends the night on her feet dancing (more like shuffling) and blocking my view of the "stout" fellow wearing a cape playing keyboards, I'll have to thump her boney head and tell her to squeeze back into her seat. Same with her reed-thin middle-aged companion (who despite all logic, reason and conceivable imagination appeared to be her daughter with a permed, slightly less gray hairstyle) wearing a Union tour tee tied into a halter top.

Sheesh. No respect for elderly, let alone the music. Kids these days..

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic

Great read/listen, grew up in the 70s when the music business was a powerful industry. Rick Wakeman is not only a super talented musician but equally talented story teller. Highly Recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Unbelievable

Rick Wakeman is an excellent story teller without a doubt. And that's all you'll get here, hence the subtitle. If you're looking for ANY biographical information about Rick Wakeman, any of the musicians he's worked with or any of the music he's made, look elsewhere. This is a guy recounting tales of thoughtless, narcissistic man-children on tour. Many of the stories I find unbelievable. And when most of the author's life has been soaked in alcohol to an extreme level, how can you believe him? How credible is his memory? Great reader, tedious stories - most of which aren't even that "wild."

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Great fun form the golden age of rock and roll.

Rick's narration really brings these stories to life.I am so glad that he did not use a professional narrator, it would have ruined the stories and lost half of the fun. If you like rock and roll and especially if you are a yes fan this is a must listen.

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  • Arthur
  • Simi Valley, CA, United States
  • 09-24-16

A real hoot

Quite enjoyable this one was, and an entertaining presentation in the reading by Mr Wakeman himself. I wish there would be another installment on Audible by Wakeman at some point.

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  • John
  • South River, NJ, United States
  • 04-20-15

Wasn't a Rick Wakeman fan, until now!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. This is one of the funniest books I have ever "read". Rick's life and bizarre experiences are beyond belief. What a life! And his storytelling style is spot on for the material.

What did you like best about this story?

Drinking airplanes dry.

Which scene was your favorite?

Probably smuggling Soviet captains uniforms out of Russia.

Any additional comments?

This is a book that anyone would enjoy. Even if you aren't a Wakeman fan, even if you don't like Yes, or prog rock, you will love the craziness of a life beyond anything you could imagine. Booze, money and a Keith Moon-like personality make for some interesting moments. And yes, Keith Moon does thrash a restaurant in this book.

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Entertaining vignettes from a charmed life.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes

If you???ve listened to books by Rick Wakeman before, how does this one compare?

Only book I've read by Rick

Which character ??? as performed by Rick Wakeman ??? was your favorite?

Rick

Any additional comments?

Wakeman does a fine job narrating bringing his autobiographical stories to life. Some insights into the Yes years but mostly a series of short stories about his career. Fun stories from another era.

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  • susan
  • Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
  • 11-07-12

No comparison with Keith or Eric

I was so looking forward to this listen as it came highly recommended;however I think my friend had read it rather than listened to it. Rick does himself a huge disservice by reading it himself. He isn't a natural reader and his delivery is irritating. He also is just not funny when he's reading passages he obviously thinks should have us rolling in the aisles.I gave up after His Russian escapade.Rick should have kept to his day job.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Donald
  • 05-30-09

Slow car trips to hear more of this

A great and funny listen, mostly in fairly short chapters that are ideal when driving to work. I find myself driving slower in order to listen a little longer.
Rick narrates his life that could have gone so wrong like many other talents have but so far has come out on top. Long may it continue.
I am not a fan of his music but this book makes him a favourite author, let's hope for more.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Justin
  • 12-06-09

Hillarious !

One of hte best books ive downloaded, made me crack a few belly laughs as well as some seriously interesting stoaries about ricks life !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Joan
  • 08-24-09

a great storyteller

Rick Wakeman is good value! You're always in for a great time when he shows up on radio and TV. This was one of the most enjoyable author-read audiobooks I've heard in a long while. Sequel, please!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Morris
  • 11-23-17

Anecdote packed !

Great listen. Some highly amusing anecdotes. Jack (or Rick?)-anory style story telling " are you sitting comfortably children? then I'll begin. What a life ( and near death)!

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  • G. Smith
  • 09-02-17

Wonderous Stories

Wonderfully read and very, very funny. What a life. Rick Wakeman a national treasure. Follow him on twitter for a daily smile.

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  • Mark
  • 07-25-17

Funny Old Rockstar

Rick is a national treasure and most of the time this memoir is a hoot.
True or not it's worth your time even if Rick's biggest fan is probably his good self!

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  • Paul
  • 06-26-17

Wondrous Tales

Excellent book, funny, couldn't stop laughing in places. An absolute must listen for anybody who likes tales of drunken revelry and rock stars of the seventies and eighties. So many of these so-called rock biographies let down. This one certainly doesn't.

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  • Di
  • 03-27-17

Absolute Gold

A think it's a case of truth being stranger than fiction. Rick Wakeman has certainly had a mist extraordinary life. This was published in 2008 so there is even more to add, he certainly is still adding to life experiences.
If you were ever a fan of "Yes" or have seen Mr Wakeman in any of his musical performances this is a real treat! So many of his stories are so funny but that's him. A great sense of fun comes through in his words. Even better that he narrated the book himself. You are right there as a fly on the wall watching the ridiculous things he got up to, which almost cost him his life. Great for us that he stepped back from the abyss and is still creating great music and no doubt mayhem wherever he goes. There is no one else like him. A really enjoyable listen. Loved it.

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  • steve Charles
  • 03-24-17

Read by Rick

Loved it, you can't beat autobiographys read by the person him or her self, this one, Tony Robinson, etc, brilliant.

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  • Willy Mismot
  • 01-16-17

Yesterdays

Would you listen to Grumpy Old Rockstar and Other Wonderous Stories again? Why?

Yes, I would definitely listen to Rick's stories again because my family love them too; they're great driving stories.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked his frank and funny memoiries since catching him on Grumpy Old Men. Just seems a very personable and normal person who could have been even more well-known for his incredible talent as well as his keyboard playing. The fact that he isn't better known doesn't seem to bother him in the slightest.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

That's the one thing I though might have been better if he'd got a professional narrator in. Ricks voice was a bit samey and I think I know why he doesn't sing.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me laugh out loud in parts. The story about the stadium venue tunnel is brilliant.

Any additional comments?

Can't wait for more of Wakeman's books to become available on Audible. He's a national treasure only one you'd like to go to the pub with . . . orange juice all round, of course.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-11-18

Must Listen Book

Rick’s Stories and the way he explains them brings everything you want from a rock biography.
Very enjoyable listen which is highly recommended.

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  • Paul
  • 02-28-17

Rick Wakeman is the best (I never give 5 stars)

Very funny very moving. If you are a fan of Rick Wakeman when you start the book you will be by the end.

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  • Thesle
  • 12-19-14

An hilarious riot from start to finish

Rick Wakeman has certainly not led a dull life and has many interesting stories to tell. This book will have you laughing repeatedly and is well worth a listen and a re-listen.

As Rick Wakeman narrates the book you get to see his eagerness for life, even as he recounts circumstances that could have brought an end to it for him.

You don't have to be a fan to enjoy the book but every fan will find it a purchase they wouldn't be without.