January just seemed to vanish! Is this something that happens when you get older? If that’s the case then I need 36 hours in every day!

Recapping January, it was extremely busy. Erik Jordan and I spent many days in the studio producing a specially commissioned 3 part CD of library music - all piano based but each piece having three definitive versions with added instrumentation. Nearly three hours worth in total it will be available not as a commercial release though, in early March. With adaptations it will appear as a commercial release sometime in late 2015.

And whilst on the subject of releases, OUT THERE finally gets a “proper” release on Esoteric on 31st March. Check their website out for more details.

I am personally extremely happy about this as it never ever received a proper release after its initial completion which saddened me greatly. The Out There tour suffered for many reasons, which are all water under the bridge now and so for it to finally see the light of day as I always wanted it to, is very special. My eldest lad Oliver is actually re-jigging the original cover and doubling the size of the booklet so that’s pretty special for me too and also thanks to my great friend Scott Vangen at the Kennedy Space Station, we have access to pictures we weren’t able to use on the original, so it does seem that timing in all things is crucial and certainly this seems like the right time for OUT THERE to be released.

One month later on April 14th, the DVD of the live piano and orchestral show in Lugano will be released and then throughout the coming months, other stuff will start to appear. This is also very pleasing as I am very against some of the big companies who delete albums just because they lose interest in them. It’s a disgrace especially in this day and age where at least everything that’s ever been produced should be available to download...........and legally too!

In April, just before the tour starts, the new Journey to the Centre of the Earth will be released through Warner ADA and the packages being put together are truly magnificent.

There will be a box set containing both Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Return to the Centre of the Earth plus 12x12 multi page booklets and other memorabilia.

There will be various versions including a deluxe limited edition, numbered and signed certificates of authentication included.

There will be separate releases of both the new Journey and also Return plus downloads of the individual tracks which will have been especially mastered for this purpose.

Sticking to the subject of Journey and the UK tour, all preparations are coming together really nicely. All the musical templates are with all the participants and rehearsal times are set and in place.

There’s a really good team emerging from all this and it’s going to be absolutely amazing for us all. The only change to the cast that was on the album is that of our narrator. Sadly Peter Egan was being “held” for a play at the Old Vic of which the producers have taken up the option but we are all absolutely knocked out with our new “Story-teller”, Philip Franks, who is a friend of Peter’s and indeed was Peter’s recommendation. A great actor, a great voice and keen to be a part of the revelry!

You can google Philip Franks if you want to know more, plus visit his narrative skills on clips of him as the narrator for The Rocky Horror Show, but in the meantime, here’s a little bit to be getting on with of some of his TV work...

Moving back into January, I had the most wonderful trip to Israel and somehow managed to squeeze an awful lot in to my short stay and so thank you to all who made the trip so very special.

A very enjoyable time was had in the studio with Susie Dent as we put together the basis for our first podcasts which we hope will start seeing the light of day around Easter. We laughed nonstop and even Erik, who was engineering, said he would subscribe!!.....praise indeed!

Hopefully by mid March the new on-line shop should be open and for this I have resurrected the shop name I had on the Isle of Man........”WAKEMAN’S MUSIC EMPORIUM”.

There will be a vast array of old CDs available including the new re-releases from Esoteric and also those from Warner ADA.

We also expect to be selling the Grumpy books plus new books as they are released.

There are plans already in operation to reproduce classic programmes and memorabilia from the past as well as tee-shirts and sweatshirts  and posters.

There will also be related product available from my various musical siblings.

We intend to do special offers and special packages too so all in all it should be a very busy shop. We are also looking at producing special downloads every now and then so all in all WME should be well worth a visit.

I recorded the most enjoyable radio show for Radio 2 at the beginning of the month and that gets broadcast on Monday 17th February on Radio 2 and is called “The Art of Artists”.

The rest of February is taken up with loads of interviews for the Journey shows so keep your eyes open for those.

Finally, and I know this is a long way away, but as I have mentioned numerous times over the last few weeks, I have the great honour of being King Rat in the Grand Order of Water Rats this year and our big event of the year is the GOWR Ball which this year is going to be at The Roundhouse in London and is going to be very much geared around live music. Already it looks certain that a large number of both The Orion Symphony Orchestra and the English Chamber Choir will be performing with me, plus Adam Wakeman where we’ll be doing Eleanor Rigby and Help for the first time as a duet with both the orchestra and choir.........a true one off.

Also Roy Wood and his fabulous band will be playing and with less than 4 weeks to go before Xmas, you can guess what he’ll be playing as well......with rather a lot of people joining in I suspect.

There is a limit to the number of tables that can be had. Tables are of 10, but individuals and couples can book with no problem. The evening also includes a reception, great meal, wine, comedy and lots of other stuff you might not be expecting!

Tickets will go on sale next month and full details of where to get them for this very unique event will be in next month’s GORR.

Well that’s about it for February.............where does the time go to??

Cheers,
Rick


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