I know February only has 28 days and maybe it’s an age thing, but the months seem to be disappearing at the same rate that days used to when I was a kid, but that doesn’t mean to say that life isn’t interesting.

The television appearances in Rome were as interesting as ever. My Italian is pretty non existent and I’m never really sure that they understand the answers to their translated questions, but it’s always fun, especially when you are asked to mime to an all electronic piece that has about 4o keyboards on it, and you are sat at a piano.

There was a press conference at Salerno in the Teatro Verdi, one of the most beautiful theatres I have ever seen. Unfortunately the translator never showed up and I’m not convinced that everything was that clear in the translations. I happened to mention that my father was stationed there during the 2nd World War, which had obviously not been fully understood as when I returned to perform there later in the month, people were congratulating me on my father having single handed liberated Italy. (Spike Milligan eat your heart out).

A few televisions appeared during February, including The One Show, which I love doing. We had pre-recorded a short piece about the first record I ever bought, which actually turned into a Russ Conway tribute which was wonderful.

Two days later I was on the Politics Show, but sadly my contribution was only shown in the BBC regions in the East of England, which was a shame, but it was very enjoyable all the same.

Planet Rock is as much fun as ever and Tuneadversity Challenge has returned, much to the bewilderment of my new compatriot, David Jensen!

Also we have started a new Friday Night after the watershed version of the show which is slightly more “naughty”, but no f’ing and blinding so it’s still listenable to by most people…it’s just not very PC that’s all !

On Friday 5th I appeared at The Newark Palace Theatre with the now established mixture of piano and silly anecdotes. It was a really lovely night and thanks to all of you who came along.

On Tuesday 9th I opened a part of the Music College at Great Yarmouth College with Dave Greenslade, and very impressive it was too. The facilities are absolutely tremendous and Dave and I were shown round plus treated to some fine performances by the musicians there. This is a facility for students to die for. Dave and I couldn’t help but recall our own school days of the 78 record player and a blackboard with music staves on it ….and if you were luck, an upright piano in the room!

On Sunday 21st, I appeared at the Hexagon in Reading for Steve Rawlings annual charity show in aid of the charity for Autistic Children. Richard Digance was as brilliant as ever and the show was a sell out raising lots of money for this really deserving cause.

Just a further reminder from last month that there are two new audio releases available, (please check on the Voiceprint website) …they are the triple piano CD entitled PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE and ALWAYS WITH YOU, which as I mentioned last month, has already been featured on The Sunday Morning Show with Aled Jones on Radio 2.

On the 26th I flew to Naples and met up with Rob Townsend and Nick Beggs before driving to a rehearsal studio in the hills overlooking Naples Nick set up his bass and stick bass and Rob prepared his woodwind instruments. We actually played for about 8 minutes before Mario Fasciano came out with the immortal words …”We eat now”.

…and we did.

In fact we ate every twenty minutes.

The following day we rehearsed, (and ate), again, before doing the show at the Teatro Verdi, and it was extremely enjoyable. Both Rob and Nick are fine musicians and really nice guys, so a good time was had by all.

We were finally put in the cars to leave the theatre around midnight. We seemed to be going a very long route to Naples and I questioned the driver. “I look for place to eat”,  he said.

“We have a very early leave in the morning”, I replied, “and I think the 14 meals we have had today are probably sufficient”.

He seemed upset, but took us to the hotel anyway, with the parting words ….

……… “I see you at breakfast”.

March is going to be a very interesting month. It’s very much a preparation month for things to come.

I will be doing quite a lot of recording with Erik Jordan, some of which will be at The Granary on my favourite piano. I will also be recording piano on a pre-recorded piece by my good friend Gordon Giltrap.

There has been much rumour and speculation about what Jon Anderson and myself are up to and other ex YES members have also been mentioned.

What I can say is that Jon and I will be performing some shows later in the year, probably in the last two weeks of October in a short tour entitled The Anderson Wakeman Project.

There will be some new music in the shows as well which Jon and I are currently putting together.

As regards the other rumours that are coming back to me at regular intervals, at this juncture, all I can really say is that “there is no smoke without fire” and if the discussions that Jon and I have had recently come to fruition, which I think are extremely likely, then next year is going to be potentially mind-blowing ……now that should set the tongues wagging for sure!

On Sunday 14th I will be doing the one man evening at Buxton Opera House, which is one of my all time favourite theatres in England.

On Tuesday 23rd I will be giving a short talk for the WI in Norwich.

That’s right, I’ll repeat that for you ….

On Tuesday 23rd I will be giving a short talk at the WI in Norwich.

My late mother was a long standing member of the WI and said to me shortly before she passed away that I was never to turn the WI down as regards help whenever possible, and you always have to do what your mum says, so …………..

………….On Tuesday 23rd I will be giving a short talk for the WI in Norwich.

The year is certainly shaping up to be extremely interesting, which is just how I like it. ….all I’ve got to do now is get more exercise in, and as regards that, I’m booked in for 2 hours of racquetball a week, one hour in the gym and at least one round of golf a week…….so I might just be sylph-like in time for my birthday in May!

Cheers,
Rick


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