If you don't know who the subject of this book is I can only assume that you have been living in a cave since the mid-1960s. Okay. Rick is the long-time keyboard player with the group `Yes', although he has produced many solo works in his own right. He is now often seen and heard on prime-time television and radio programmes.
Starting at the end of the book, Rick borrows from a prayer and says that "I am, among all men, most richly blessed". This sums up his approach to an extraordinarily varied and rich life encompassing his family, his music lessons - and subsequent career, his religious influences, heavy drinking and smoking - which led to serious health problems. Many (or most) of these episodes are well documented elsewhere, but NOT FROM RICK'S POINT OF VIEW. Rick is undoubtedly one of rock music's most talented keyboard players, having served some time at the Royal Academy of Music in between jamming with pub rock bands and recording with the likes of David Bowie, Marc Bolan and Cat Stevens.
Although I own a few RW biographies (or, at least, books purporting to tell his story), I've found this to be the most intimate of them all - well, Rick was largely responsible for writing it, after all. Other books: "The Caped Crusader", "Grumpy Old Rock Star" and "Further Adventures of a Grumpy Old Rock Star" are all very informative, inevitably funny in parts and - fair enough - do contain a certain amount of information overlap. However, if you're a Wakeman fan, I'd try to get them all. They shouldn't break your bank and there are stories related in the "Grumpy" books that aren't repeated here, but are guaranteed to have you chuckling at the very least. Unless you've had your sense-of-humour surgically removed. To give only the barest of outlines, there are stories of smuggling military uniforms from Moscow and being presented with the earth from Che Guevara's grave by Fidel Castro (!) I know that this isn't a review of the "Grumpy" books - but read them and giggle.
I admit that "Say Yes" did make me groan at times, mainly because Rick does GO ON about being a Christian. Remembering that his first solo album was "The Six Wives Of Henry VIII" (and a fine album it was, too), he looks like he's trying to exceed Henry's target considering how many wives and fiancées he's had. Isn't there something in the Christian marriage vows about taking the one spouse "for as long as you [both] shall live"? I don't know. I don't pretend to be a Christian.
What's more, he seems to revel in tales of drunkenness when he was younger, and is not backward about recounting tales of driving when drunk. He's even written songs about it! There's "The Breathalyser" from the album "Criminal Record" and "One For The Road" from "Cost Of Living". Sorry, Rick. Not even slightly funny. You've got an international audience. Ask the family and friends of one of those killed by a drunken driver somewhere in the world every 30 seconds.
On balance, a very enjoyable book and one that will be greatly appreciated by Rick's many fans. I think that he's a very musically talented guy who can be just as talented as a "stand-up" comic". I just wish he'd cut out the evangelising.