What songs have changed or affected YOUR life???

One song which changed my life and made a profound impact on me was Rick Wakeman’s solo, “Excerpts from The Six Wives of Henry VIII”.

A little background

I grew up in a family of classical music lovers and began classical piano lessons at the age of three. As a child, the only music outside of classical music we were allowed to listen to in the car was musical theater. (I still have every word to every song of Jesus Christ Superstar memorized and can still recite it verbatim even today.)

Dyanne Potter Voegtlin, 1st keyboard setup - ARP!In our free time however, we could listen to whatever music we wished. Up to that point, I had listened to what was on the radio, and the music my older brother and sister liked. I was 16 years old and had just been chosen as replacement keyboard player/vocalist in my first rock band, (it was called East Coast). Our technician, J Gordon Andrews, had toured with Genesis. He introduced me to my first Prog bands; Genesis and Yes.

I bought the Yessongs 8-track and listened to it nonstop in the Chevy Malibu my brother had generously handed down to me.

Rick WakemanRICK WAKEMAN!!!!!!! A graduate of the London Conservatory!!!!! Someone from my world! Playing rock music! On keyboards!


Up to that moment, it never occurred to me that the two separate universes I traversed between could be connected in any way. Rick Wakeman opened an entirely new realm of possibilities for me, and my excitement and enthusiasm for music revved into top gear.

I listened to his “Excerpt from The Six Wives of Henry VIII” so many times I learned to play it myself.

Royal Holloway College, University of LondonMy piano teacher at the time, Anne Vanko Liva , supported me! She even invited me to perform it at her presentation at the International Guild of Piano Teachers Association Conference at Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham. I felt like such a rebel, performing this rock ‘n’ roll piece in front of all those piano teachers! To my surprise, after the performance, many of them approached me and congratulated me, saying they were also huge Rick Wakeman fans

Life changing.

My takeaway: maybe the things we initially perceive as separate really are connected after all!


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