So where did January go?

It’s amazing when free time becomes non-existent how time just vanishes and January certainly disappeared under a pile of stuff and a pile of snow as well!

February looks to be heading for an equally speedy disappearance but before I write the monthly plan I would like to say a few words about a dear friend who sadly passed away in January.

Tony Clarke was probably best known for his work as a producer with the Moody Blues, but he did also work with “yours truly” for a couple of years back in the mid ‘80’s. At that time he was living on a boat, a converted Royal Navy frigate of sorts and had built a small studio below deck… (I’m sure there’s a nautical term for this area , but not being at all nautical I have no idea what it is , {although it is a dream of mine to one day have a small boat on the Norfolk Broads)

The beginnings of TIME MACHINE started in that studio with ICE being the first track recorded. I can recall the late, great Vicki Brown coming along to do some backing vocals and bringing her young 14-year-old daughter along for her first session. The daughter had an amazing voice, (as indeed did her mum) and we were all blown away with her range and quality. It was of course Sam Brown and we’ve remained friends ever since.

The other main project that was done on the boat was that of THE GOSPELS. This was the forerunner to the re-write, which then became THE NEW GOSPELS.

I have vivid recollections of Ramon Remedios singing the tenor parts up on the deck in the open air in freezing temperatures with ice blocks actually floating past us on the river at Walton on Thames. I think somewhere on one of the takes you can clearly hear Ramon using words not actually in the Bible , mentioning that certain areas of his body were about to drop off !

Tony eventually took the boat down to Brighton where he was living up until he passed away quite unexpectedly. He gave a lot to music and didn’t always get the credits he deserved. He embraced music, but the industry perhaps didn’t embrace him back as maybe it should have done . I shall remember him fondly.

Moving on ……I have a dreaded 6am flight on Monday the 1st to Rome , which means not bothering to go to bed on the Sunday night as check in is at 4 which means parking up at Heathrow at 3.30 , which in turn means leaving home at 1am . Once in Rome there is a television programme to do with Mario Fasciano and then two further interviews for radio and television.

On Tuesday 2nd, I go to Salerno for a press conference for the concert there on the 27th and then travel to Naples for another interview before boarding a flight to Rome and then the last flight to London getting on at midnight ….home at 2.30am if I’m lucky!

Wednesday 3rd sees me in London all day for meetings concerning the planned concert of the three different Journey to the Centre of the Earth performances and also to pre-record my Planet Rock show with my new compatriot, David Jensen. For those of you who have listened to the show over the years, February also sees the return of “Tuneadversity Challenge”

There will also be a new side to the show. A poll was taken some months ago amongst listeners who said that liked the risqué element to the show and felt that it had been taken away …and they were right, and so now on a Friday night there will be an “After the Watershed” version ….so perhaps lock up your mums for this one!

On Friday 5th I will be appearing at The Newark Palace Theatre with the mixture of piano and silly anecdotes. I must admit to really enjoy doing these as one-offs as each one seems to have an identity of its own now which doesn’t happen when it’s part of a tour.

On Tuesday 9th I am opening a part of the Music College at Great Yarmouth College and then recording some special collages for Planet Rock for the Tuneadversity Challenge section.

Wednesday 10th sees me back at Planet Rock as indeed I am every Wednesday now.

Moving ahead to Sunday 21st, I will be appearing with a host of others at the Hexagon in Reading for Steve Rawlings annual charity show in aid of the charity for Autistic Children. He always has great names appearing and I’m proud to be amongst such illustrious company.

All the other days in the month are taken up with recording new music and new radio productions which will hopefully see the light of day by the summer.

Two audio releases are now available, (please check on the Voiceprint website). They are the triple piano CD entitled PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE and ALWAYS WITH YOU, which has already been featured on The Sunday Morning Show with Aled Jones on Radio 2.

On the 26th I fly to Rome and drive to Salerno where we rehearse prior to the concert the next day at the Teatro Verdi, one of the most beautiful theatres I have ever seen. Then I travel to Rome for the concert on March 1st. As soon as I get a copy of the poster of both shows they will be up on the site giving full details.

I really feel the year is actually well under way now and the diary is filling up, perhaps more than I had intended, but every day is an adventure of sorts and I rather like it that way!

Cheers,
Rick


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