Prog-rock legends Yes were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame last night. And, as Rolling Stone reports, keyboardist Rick Wakeman delivered quite the acceptance speech, starting things off with a joke about erectile dysfunction before moving onto strip clubs and prostate exams:
Does this thing go up? [Points to mic] Story of my life. [Laughter] Ah, forget it. I’m very happy here for a couple of reasons, to be inducted. One is the fact, obviously to be a part of Yes and getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the other is something I really probably shouldn’t tell you is that, less than half a mile away from this very building is where I had my very first meaningful sexual experience. [Applause] No. No. No. Please. It wasn’t very good. [Laughter] Anyway, as Steve said a thank you to his wife, I will say a thank you to mine. Unfortunately, she’s not here tonight. When I left her this morning, I think she was in a coma actually… the sex was still the same but the washing was piling up.
I’d like to thank, apart from all the guys in Yes that I work with, my father, who played a massive part in my career. Like my family, we were all in the entertainment business. We generally were very, very poor. My father was an Elvis impersonator. But there wasn’t much call for that in 1947. [Laughter] He taught me a lot. I remember he sat me down once, he said, “Son,” he said, “Don’t go to any of those really cheap, dirty, nasty, sleazy strip clubs because if you do, you’ll see something you shouldn’t.” So, of course I went. And I saw my dad. [Laughter]
I’d like to thank the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame very much for inducting Yes. The only thing I would say, I’m glad that we’re actually out third because as you get older, the old things like the prostate start acting up a bit. What I would like to say quite seriously is how important it is to have the odd examination, which I had indeed on Monday. You ladies, you don’t know, it’s really tough. You have to get in the old fetal position, you hear the old plastic glove go off or the rubber glove. And then it’s like the gopher going on holiday inside. Whilst I was having my examination, the doctor said to me, he said, “Mr. Wakeman, there’s no need to be embarrassed. It’s not unusual to get an erection with this kind of procedure.” I said, “I haven’t got an erection.” He said, “I know, but I have.”
Watch Wakeman’s speech below at the seven-minute mark.