Grumpy Old Rockstar and Other Wonderous Stories

Narrated by: Rick Wakeman
Length: 6 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (81 ratings)

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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

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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..

3 people found this 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 person found this helpful

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good listen

Great for long trip with lots of LOL moments. Even had husband asking to put the book back on

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Great stories (that have nothing to do with music)

It is a pleasant listen if you do not expect the book to be an actual autobiography. Rick Wakeman is outrageously funny about himself being outrageous, has no mercy for anyone starting with himself, and the book is a long, amusing, but rather random a collection of stories. The reflections on the music and musical career are scarce and so short that they are usually finished before you ended musing "oh, he is finally talking about music!". Apparently, it was not supposed to be an autobiography at all. So, if you consider buying the book to get insights into the music - drop the idea. Buy it for the stories, though! I would say, it is a nice read even if you are not a fan.

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Love Wakey!

Really an enjoyable romp thru such a fantastic career
Read by Rick himself makes this a fantastic treat!

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Rick Wakeman: Office Bloody Rocker

Rick Wakeman delivers a collection of anecdotes from his amazing 50 year career that at times had me wiping tears from eyes but those were tears of laughter because these are some of the best unfiltered rock stories I've ever heard! Wakeman has no axe to grind here and his tales are full of folly,fondness and admiration for the many of the colorful characters he has encountered and how he has seen the world change from his days playing gigs behind the iron curtain to 100,000 seat arenas with Spinal Tap inspired stage sets.

"Rocky Wigwam" as one promoter called him is a complete 180 from how I had perceived him (snooty art rocker) but in turn is quite the affable english rascal one would expect to find at the neighborhood pub captivating the crowd with his hilarious tales, which after a year of Audible listens about serial killers, post apocalyptic worlds, monsters, killer robots, endless tragedies and scientific wonders were a breath of fresh air... unless of course you were in YESes dressing room...(get the book)

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Love this, such a great telling of his experience.

Such a great telling of his experiences. The production quality made it easy for me to hear.

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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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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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  • 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.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • trixie
  • 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 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-10-19

What a man.

What a man and what a fantastic life and time Rick has had . I enjoyed every minute of this book, the ups and downs, when he tells a story it's like you are right by his side. Totally BRILLIANT. Cheers Rick.

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  • D. A. Brown
  • 07-16-19

Wondrous Stories

A fantastic ride along with one of England's finest musicians. Loved every minute, the highs and lows are dealt with in equal measure and the result is a fascinating insight into the world of the travelling performer.

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  • STEVE SLAVIN
  • 06-21-19

wonderful!

Excellent entertainment. A great story well told by Mr Wakeman. A book I didn't want to end!

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  • D T Davison
  • 02-09-19

very funny and true stories I believe

i couldn't put it down, listened while I was decorating made the job a pleasure.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • The Commander
  • 01-28-19

Best Audio book so far

Rock has definitely been there and done it all
.. And his adventures are funny and interesting. He tells a story as well
as he tickles those keys. Brilliant.

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  • Nick Toale
  • 01-01-19

Beer, Curry & Flatulence plus a Nuclear Sub

Brilliant, a great book made better when read by Rick. If you wonder where some of the ideas in Spinal Tap come from listen to or read this book.

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  • Harold Hughes
  • 11-06-18

Wanted to like it more than I did

I like Rick Wakeman and I have enjoyed seeing him on occasion tell a funny story or two so when I had the chance to get his book read by himself I thought I'd enjoy it. Sadly, apart from a couple of genuinely funny stories and a couple of interesting situations he describes getting into, the majority of it is fairly juvenile. Lots about drinking to excess and farting and one or two questionable stories that border on cringingly inappropriate. As I say in my title of this review - I so wanted to like it more than I was able to - maybe a second volume might have more substance.

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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 not 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.