We have our first combo post in The 2019 PopCult Gift Guide, as we re-recommend Rick Wakeman’s Gastank DVD set, which was originally a pick in The 2017 Gift Guide. Now we can embed a sample above, the very first episode, in fact, and give you a better idea of what the show is about.It’s still available from Amazon, and it’s still a delight to watch.

Gastank was a television show that aired between 1982–1983 on Channel 4 in the UK. Hosted by Rick Wakeman and Tony Ashton the show featured a mix of interviews with 1970s musicians and impromptu performances where the guest artist would join Rick and his house band in playing re-arranged versions of their classic songs, or entirely new pieces created for the show.

The format is very informal with the setting likened to a bar where Wakeman would interview the guest over a drink or five, followed by their performance in front of a small studio audience sitting in groups at tables. Wakeman would frequently refer to the show as a bit of a drunken clubhouse with music. During its run, the show featured guests as diverse as:- Rick Parfitt, Ian Paice, Steve Hackett, Maggie Bell, Roy Wood, Andy Fairweather Low, John Entwistle, Godley and Creme, Suzy Quatro, Donovan, The Strawbs, Eric Burdon, Chris Farlowe, Frankie Millar, Phil Lynott, Alvin Lee, and many others.

Released first time on DVD in 2017,  all of the episodes of Gastank are available for the first time in the United States ever, and also for the first time since they were initially aired in the UK. Rick Wakeman explains in the liner notes, “For many years, many of you have been asking us to release this material from the show I presented with Tony Ashton back in the early 80’s. Gastank was an opportunity for iconic musicians from different bands to get the opportunity to perform live together. I hope it brings back memories and for those not around when the programmes went out, enjoy some unique performances.”

The show is a blast, with musicians having fun, talking shop and playing the music they love. The easiest way to order it is through Amazon, where the price tends to fluctuate, but is always a bargain for two DVD’s packed full of every episode of the show.