Stars and their eyes… Rick Wakeman

British keyboardist for 1970s rockers Yes and David Bowie, Rick Wakeman recently admitted his many health woes now include macular generation in his left eye.


“I wake up in the morning now, throw off the duvet, see if anything has dropped off and if it hasn’t, I get up,” he told Express. Wakeman, who turns 74 this month, also has arthritis in his hands and feet and type-2 diabetes, but suffered a series of heart attacks aged just 25, which he attributed to his rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. Having quit alcohol and cigarettes by the mid-1980s, he found alternative thrills in the form of being arrested three times while on tour in Russia – once for walking around without a KGB chaperone, once for illegally buying a KGB uniform and again for illegally buying a Russian admiral’s uniform and trying to take it home.


The Russian military garb never made it into his stage wardrobe, but his ostentatious capes remain his trademark and Wakeman has vowed to keep performing while he can. “But there’s going to come a time I’ll have to stop. I’d never want to walk on stage and hear someone say, ‘he used to be good’.”


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