|GasTank has long been unavailable in any format for years. Includes many great guests.
Format: CD / Cat No: MFGZ20DVD / Released: 03/03/2017
More information: The year is 1982. Popular music has gone through several tumultuous years, an understatement for artists of the time. Classic and progressive rock musicians are at that moment reimaging themselves, their sound, and their stagecraft, in light of new influences, and the tremendous impact of music videos via the juggernaut called MTV. Punk has come and mostly gone, but continues to influence a host of bands, all plying slightly different musical territory, be it goth, ska, “new wave” dance or one of any number of increasingly eclectic musical styles.
The most able and successful bands of the 1970s are weathering the storm, making changes to their style and stagecraft and often their lineup. Genesis for example was then approaching mega-stardom with Phil Collins at the helm. Yes in particular were continuing to change at least one member with nearly every new release. Wakeman himself is exploring new styles and approaches to his solo work, having struck gold in the 1970s with such epic releases as The Six Wives of Henry The Eighth and Journey to the Center of the Earth he ended the decade with the more varied releases Criminal Record and Rhapsodies. It’s fair to say that in the early 1980’s Wakeman was in search of a new direction. He recorded a soundtrack for cult favorite The Burning, and the well-received 1984.
Rick Wakeman joined partner Tony Ashton, establishing a new television show called GasTank. Produced by Paul Knight with associate Ralph Tobert, Directed by Gerry Mill and recorded in a pub setting with stage and small studio audience, the show aired in the U.K. on channel 4 in 1982-1983. It featured Wakeman interviewing a host of musical artists as diverse as Steve Hackett, Ian Paice, Andy Fairweather Low, John Entwistle, Eric Burdon, and Godley and Crème, then joining these musicians for a few live numbers with stalwart co-host Tony Ashton and friends.
The show was beloved by fans of rock and prog music who had the chance to see some well established rock ‘n’ roll heroes, along with a few overlooked artists of the era, play classic and new songs live in an intimate setting.
As an example, GasTank #1 kicks off with a couple of pieces by Ashton and Wakeman, then features friends Rick Parfitt from Status Quo, a reggae band The Cimarons, then legends Alvin Lee and Eric Burdon. Ashton brings a sense of humor, honky tonk bar-band blues piano and gritty vocals to his featured songs. Wakeman is, well, the man and musician we’ve come to know over so many years in the business – funny, disarming even, and as always brilliant on the keys. The house band includes long time Wakeman drummer Tony Fernandez with Chas Cronk and Jerome Rimson on bass. The rest of the crew play their parts whether an original tune from their catalog, or a suitable cover, such as when Eric Burdon introduces a long time Elvis Presley favorite. It’s intimate and thoroughly enjoyable for any fan or interested viewer.
GasTank has long been unavailable in any format for years.