It’s 6 o’clock in the morning UK time, but jet lag is telling me it’s 10 o’clock at night having just got off of an airplane from Los Angeles where I have spent a fabulous 8 days with Jon and Trevor and Lou and Lee rehearsing and prepping for the upcoming ARW tour. I will now try to give as detailed report as I possibly can, before I fall asleep!

Trevor, Jon and myself have been spending the last few months preparing ideas for the ARW concerts as well as the music, staging and aspirations as to what we want to achieve.

I arrived in Los Angeles on Sunday 7th of August and for the next 7 days, ARW rehearsed solidly, with ideas constantly changing, and all for the better I hasten to add. The set developed and new ideas were constantly being thrown into the pot.

One thing that became abundantly clear was that Lee Pomeroy and Lou Molino III are much more than added “sidemen”. Their contributions to all that went on were immense and ARW is truly a 5 piece band of tremendous future potential. There truly can’t be a better bass player or drummer out there for ARW.
We tried out lots of the classic YES pieces and also played around with some of the arrangements which in most case, really worked fantastically, and in the cases where the changes didn’t work, we laughed out loud and ditched them!

We now have a two hour+ set that we all think covers as many YES eras as possible and with a line up of former YES members that has not been seen before. What was very pleasing was the number of musicians who popped into rehearsals to say hello and said how fantastic it sounded - and I was only using one keyboard as my rig is in the process of being put together here in England.

The atmosphere throughout the rehearsals was incredible and the two dinners we all had together were a bundle of laughs from start to finish. Everybody is so enthused about what is happening that it just puts a permanent smile on all our faces.

Jon is singing so well and Mr Rabin is one astonishing player. Why we haven’t done this before is beyond me!!!

I left the rehearsals on Sunday to fly home and left the guys spending the coming week working on vocal harmonies and other finishing touches. Trevor has a great voice and so have Lee and Lou so Jon has a fine “choir” behind him whenever needed.

When I finish writing this GORR I am off to meet Erik and the rig, which we will finish building and then programming for the tour before my keyboards leave for Orlando on Monday morning. There will be some midnight oil burned, but all in a very worthwhile cause.
The stage set design looks brilliant and all I need is some anti ageing cream and I’ll look half decent on stage!!!

The keyboard rig will see a few changes and when it’s done we’ll take a photo and put it up on the site as I know some of the keyboardists amongst you are genuinely interested in rig.

Moving away from ARW for a moment, I have two more days of filming for the piano album for Universal and then there will be some filming in September before I leave for America which will be for the TV advertising campaign. The tracks are all sounding lovely and I am very happy with the way they are turning out - more details next GORR.

From October onwards the GORRs will very much be tour reports right up until December as that’s going to be the main focus of my life for that period. I’m sure there will be much to report as well!

That’s it for now except for the current list of tour dates, which will be extended into the first week of December.

Cheers,
Rick


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