by MythofRock

Roger Newell passed away at the age of 73. He suffered an aortic aneurysm on Friday September 10, following a long battle with heart-related illness. 

Newell was the bassist of Rick Wakeman and performed as a member of Wakeman’s band in some classic prog rock classics like “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” and “The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table”. In the 60s he was a member of the cult psychedelic band Rainbow Ffolly. According to loudersound.com, Newell met Wakeman at his local pub in Buckinghamshire, where he would jam with friends for free beer. Wakeman sat in on keyboards one night and had so much fun, it became a regular occurrence. The Yes legend was so impressed by their musicianship, that Wakeman adopted most of the band for the Journey To the Centre Of The Earth gig. The recording of the concert went to number 1 in the UK album charts. 

Wakeman said about the sad loss of Roger Newell: “Roger was such an important founder member of the English Rock Ensemble and his love and understanding of prog rock and orchestral/symphonic rock, was second to none. He was enthusiastic, dedicated and a great guy to be around. He was just as happy when we all were playing in the (now defunct) Valiant Trooper in Holmer Green on a Sunday to raise money for charity as he was walking on stage at Madison Square Garden to perform “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”. Roger always deserved more recognition as a bass player and his incredibly musical input in both notation and sounds on “No Earthly Connection” is a lasting tribute to his talent”.

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