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Q. When are White Rock, Criminal Record, No Earthly Connection and Rhapsodies being re-released on CD?
A. Unfortunately, none of these earlier albums are widely available on CD, nor is there any likelihood of them being issued. The rights to these works are now owned by Seagrams in the USA who took control of Polygram in 1998 and thus the A&M Records label under the company name Universal Music Group. They have gone on record as stating that they have no interest or intention of releasing these titles. Having said that, we are pleased to note that Criminal Record, White Rock, No Earthly Connection & Lisztomania were released in a limited edition card sleeve format in Japan. Whilst they were snapped up fairly quickly, they appear fairly frequently on ebay. These releases are listed as being remastered but I can only assume that this is from vinyl though I'd be pleased to hear otherwise from UMG. Any releases you see originating from Russia are just bootlegs, whatever they claim. There have not been any licenced releases other than the Japanese ones noted above.
Update - Criminal Record has been rereleased again by a subsidiary of UMG Hip-O Select
Q. Can I get the lyrics for a track?
A. This site does not contain any lyrics, mainly for copyright reasons, but also because I haven't got transcripts of any. If you check the Links page, you may find some other sites that have lyrics. Alternatively, try a search at Bing or Google.
Q. When is Rick going to play at [insert your country/town here]?
A. If there is nothing on the website on the Live page, then there isn't anything planned. That isn't to say that there won't be, but we only publish and discuss tours that are absolutely definite. We will not enter into discussions about anything else. Rick is always pleased to receive proposals regarding tours, which can be sent to us here at the website. To save unnecessary work on your part, we would stress that the only proposals that are considered, are those which have complete costings, and financial guarantees in place.
Q. Can I get free tickets or backstage passes for shows?
A. We cannot arrange for tickets or backstage passes for shows - travel arrangements permitting, Rick always appears after shows to meet fans and sign autographs. This applies to everyone regardless of who you are!
Q. How can I meet Rick? Will he appear after concerts to sign?
A. As many will testify, Rick is always delighted to meet his fans and often spends hours after shows meeting and greeting and signing all manner of things. Having said that, his ability to appear is always governed by two criteria. Firstly if he is immediately travelling to another location, the meet might be short or may not happen at all and secondly believe it or not, Rick actually gets tired and he always gives 100% at every performance so simple fatigue might prevent him appearing. For these reasons, we can never guarantee that he will appear at any venue after shows, nor can we make special arrangements in advance to meet people.
Q. Can Rick play your request at a show? Can Rick dedicate a song to my friend/relative? Can Rick read out a greeting at a show?
A. The answer to all these questions is no. Rick's shows generally run to a predetermined running order and schedule which is often dictated by the complexity of sound settings and the need for the sound engineer to know what is happening. Also Rick feels that if he started reading out dedications, then the floodgates would open. The answer therefore is always, with no exception however worthwhile, no.
Q. Can Rick send someone a card, or play at a family gathering etc.?
A. Please do not request Rick to send birthday cards, Christmas cards, wedding cards or personal messages to folk, however worthy. Also he does not play at family gatherings, weddings or other such events. Finally, he does not provide any kind of financial assistance to individuals, he only works directly with charities. Please respect the fact that Rick is a professional musician.
Q. Can I send something in the post for Rick to sign?
A. Rick does not sign items via the post (he is delighted to sign things in person of course!) and cannot provide personal items signed such as photographs - basically if it's in person, then yes - otherwise no. Just to confirm, we do NOT send signed photographs.
Q. Can Rick donate an item such as a signed CD for a charity event?
A. Rick works extremely closely with a number of charities covering a range of causes and has been overwhelmed in recent months with requests for items to auction. Reluctantly therefore Rick is no longer able to provide items.
Q. Can Rick support or be a patron of my charity/school?
A. Rick is always flattered to be approached by so many charitable organisations, together with schools and colleges, all of whom have very worthy projects. He is often asked to become president, open events or attend music workshops etc. Rick is already heavily involved with many charities and educational establishments and really cannot undertake anything further without one of his existing commitments suffering.
Q. Can I send Rick some of my music to listen to/comment on/review?
A. Rick loves listening to all kinds of music, has wide listening tastes and an open mind. Sadly there have been a number of well publicized cases of people submitting music to famous musicians and subsequently accusing them of plagiarism. We know that isn't the reason why you want to send something to Rick, but Rick's lawyers have now advised him to not accept submissions.
Q. Can I obtain a copy of the sheet music for a particular song/track/album?
A. There is currently no sheet music in print for any of Rick Wakeman's works, apart from a book of hymns called "HopeSongs". There are no plans to publish any in the near future I'm afraid. Titles that have previously been published do show up from time to time in secondhand shops, and sometimes on the internet in auction sites like ebay [www.ebay.com].
Q. Rick must know [celebrity], can he pass on a message?
A. In a word, no. If Rick does happen to have a personal relationship with someone, it's just that - personal, and it would be an abuse to use it in this way.
Q. Is "Say Yes!" being updated or reprinted?
A. Rick is certainly considering updating it, but is at present enjoying writing his series of "Grumpy Old…" books which have proved very popular.
Q. Can you tell me about Rick's personal faith?
A. As the question suggests, Rick's faith is just that…personal. In the same way as he respects all religions and faiths plus each individuals' rights to his or her beliefs, he does not believe in sharing his personal feelings with others and therefore his faith remains personal and private. We can clarify one question that comes in quite frequently though, Rick is not a "born again" Christian - his faith has supported him throughout his life.
Q. What is Rick's favourite make of piano?
A. Steinway for quality, Yamaha for value
Q. Does Rick use computer software in his music?
A. Steinberg VST is used for recording, nothing is used during the composition phase
Q. How many keys can Rick's hand span?
A. A 10th comfortably, an 11th at a push and in no comfort whatsoever!
Q. What were the fundamental differences between the Mellotron and Birotron?
A. The mellotron was a great sounding instrument that was a nightmare to play, never stayed in tune, broke down all the time and the notes only played for 8 seconds. The birotron was a great sounding instrument that was a nightmare to play, never stayed in tune, broke down all the time but the notes played for 8 minutes.
Q. Does Rick enjoy playing in a particular key?
A. Most piano stuff is actually written in flat keys, usually D flat or A flat. Most rock stuff is in keys that are suitable for guitars etc, hence the aviodance of flat keys.
Q. Are Rick and Keith Emerson going to work together?
A. A project was under discussion a few years ago, but Rick and Keith's schedules never allowed the project to materialise. Whilst neither have ruled out something ever happening, it's certainly not likely to happen in the foreseeable future.
Q. Why isn't "Dragonmere" listed in the discography?
A. This album is nothing to do with Rick whatsoever. It does however show the power of the internet. It was an album that was wrongly attributed to Rick on a music site's online store - an error. It has since become one of the site's more frequent questions! It's actually an album by Andy Stallman.
Q. Why isn't Songs of Middle Earth: Inspired by The Lord of the Rings listed in the discography?
A. This title although credited to Rick, is simply a licenced reissue of tracks from The Heritage Suite and The Seven Wonders of the World which were renamed by the issuing company. It isn't therefore regarded as a release from Rick.
Q. How do I motivate a young piano player to keep practicing?
A. As we get so many e-mails asking Rick for advice on tuition for both children and adults, and invariably he is giving the same answers, we thought it would be a good idea to produce this reply that will hopefully cover all queries as regards this.
First of all it's never too late in life to learn to play the piano or keyboard but it has to be taken into consideration that the older you are when you start will limit the standard you could eventually attain. This is because whilst the muscles and joints in young hands are still forming, they develop much better to the needs of playing the piano.
Regardless of what anybody might tell you, the more you practise, the better you will get. Obviously some people will have more of a natural talent than others.
Learning on a piano is more advisable than learning on a keyboard or synthesizer as a piano keyboard will strengthen the finger muscles more. There is no reason why you can't learn the two together.
A lot of people ask about motivation, especially with children. The simple answer is that if they need motivating, then the chances are they don't enjoy it and should be doing something else.
At the end of the day, music is for pleasure regardless of whatever standard you attain.
Q. What is the name of the synthesizer most associated with Rick?
A. For anyone stuck on the message forms, it's "moog"