Rock legend Rick Wakeman to travel from Diss area to pick up hall of fame award

Rick Wakeman

Rick Wakeman - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2016

He is a rock legend who played in an influential band and who also has fully immersed himself in community life in the Diss area.

And now keyboardist Rick Wakeman is preparing for a fresh accolade – being inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his part in the prog rock band Yes.

In April Yes will be inducted at a special ceremony in New York and Mr Wakeman, who lives in Scole, will be flying out to take part in the prestigious event, which is now in its 32nd year.

Mr Wakeman joined Yes in 1971 as a keyboardist, and subsequently left and rejoined on several occasions.

He is also known as a top solo artist. His 1974 solo album Journey to the Centre of the Earth made number one in the UK and he played on David Bowie's iconic track Life on Mars.

And as Mr Wakeman is inducted into the hall of fame with fellow band members Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin he will also be paying a special tribute to Yes founder Chris Squire, who died of cancer in 2015.

A special presentation will be made to Mr Squire's widow, Scottie, in recognition of his role in shaping the prog rock world.

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Originally Mr Wakeman said he would not attend the ceremony as he disapproved of how previous induction events had handled band members who had died before they had been recognised.

Mr Wakeman said: 'I am very pleased to announce that as the hall of fame have now agreed to present Chris Squire's wife with a posthumous award acknowledging his massive contribution to Yes, I have agreed to attend the induction ceremony in New York to both stand proudly with my fellow band mates Jon and Trevor and also to watch Chris's wife Scottie collect this well deserved award on his behalf.

'I also hope that this move to acknowledge members of bands who sadly did not live to receive their own honour means they can get them posthumously in the future.'

April 7's event will also see ELO, Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, Nile Rodgers, Joan Baez and Journey inducted.

Mr Wakeman has switched-on the Diss Christmas lights, opened the town's museum for its new season, campaigned to try and save his village's post office, performed in aid of churches in Scole, Billingford, Thorpe Abbotts and Brockdish and is a patron of Feline Care in East Harling.

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