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Rick Wakeman 'regrets' ditching David Bowie for Yes

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Rick Wakeman 'regrets' ditching David Bowie for Yes

Rick Wakeman had "some regrets" about not joining David Bowie's Spiders from Mars.

The 66-year-old musician had been a session player on a number of the late singer's early tracks, including 'Life On Mars', 'Changes' and 'Oh! You Pretty Things', but turned down the chance to be part of the backing band he put together in 1971 in favour of joining Yes as he felt he could express his own musical style better with the prog group.

However, looking back, he admits he always wonders how his career would have turned out if he had continued working with Bowie.

Asked if he had any regrets about not joining the Spiders from Mars, he said: "I probably did in some respects, I was asked to join Yes and Spiders from Mars with Mick Ronson and David on the same day and I talked to David and the problem was that if I joined Spiders from Mars, yes I would be playing all of David's music which I loved dearly and working with David, who was the best person I ever worked with, but if you're part of a band you get a chance to actually contribute a lot more of your own style and what you want to do.

"And I spoke with David about it and he said, 'Absolutely that's the right decision'... but I often wonder what might have been."

Elsewhere, Rick hailed the late music icon - who died on Sunday (10.01.16) following a secret 18-month battle with cancer - as a "musical genius" who not only "changed" his life, but the landscape of music, fashion and art.

Speaking to Piers Morgan on ITV's 'Good Morning Britain, he said of Bowie: "Yes I would [call him a genius], but it is a word that's bandied around a lot and it is misused a lot.

"David was unbelievable, he had great musicality. You can quite honestly say he changed fashion, he changed art, he changed musical styles and he certainly changed my life."