Former David Bowie Keys Player Rick Wakeman Releases Piano Version of Life on Mars in Aid of Macmillan
“It was obvious from the listeners’ response to Rick playing ‘Life On Mars’ on Radio 2 Drivetime last Monday, that they wanted to own a copy of this beautiful piece of music, as well as make a contribution. With Rick releasing this new recording it’s a perfect way to do that.” Simon Mayo, BBC Radio 2 presenter, told us.
Following the overwhelming response to Rick Wakeman’s piano tribute to David Bowie, Rick has recorded new piano versions of both Life On Mars and Space Oddity with royalties going to Macmillan Cancer Support. The tracks are now available from Amazon, as well as iTunes and Tesco.
Rick, a close friend who worked with Bowie, was the pianist on the original 1971 release of Life On Mars and appeared on BBC Radio 2 last Monday (11th January) on the day of Bowie’s death, to play his own tribute to the star. The video of his emotional performance has since been viewed over 2 million times on the BBC Radio 2 website and after receiving thousands of requests from fans, Rick headed back into the studio to re-record the tracks which include Life on Mars, Space Oddity and Always Together.
Rick said: “I feel extremely fortunate to be able to release my piano version of David Bowie’s Life On Mars and Space Oddity, both of which I performed on the original releases. I think it’s very apt for the proceeds to go to Macmillan, a charity that is so crucial to so many people. I witnessed this first hand when I lost my mother to cancer and the work they do comes from the heart and is truly priceless.
“Whilst some amazing advances in medicine mean that some form of cancers have a very high survival rate and indeed prolonged life in others, with all cancers it is a very tough time for both the patient and their loved ones. Hopefully the songs will not only be a fitting tribute to David, but will also raise some money to help Macmillan with the wonderful work they do, ensuring no-one faces cancer alone.”
Jane Maher, Chief Medical Officer at Macmillan Cancer Support, says: “We were so very sad to hear the news about David Bowie and our thoughts are with his family and friends. Sadly the number of people with cancer in the UK is growing rapidly and half of us will face a cancer diagnosis at some point in our lives, so it has never been more important that everyone gets the emotional, practical, physical and financial support they need. We want people to feel comfortable talking openly about what they’re going through with friends, family and experts or – through our online community – other people whose lives have been affected by cancer.
“We know that music is something that not only brings people together, but also helps them through difficult times and so we are deeply grateful that Rick has decided to donate the proceeds from these tracks to Macmillan. The money raised will help us to continue to offer a range of support for anyone affected by cancer.”
Please visit macmillan.org.uk