Once again it's been a really busy period since the last Newsletter and it really doesn't look like easing up much before Christmas. This is excellent news for Rick and his music, but appalling news as regards his golf, which he claims has reached an all time low. For those of you that are even remotely interested in his golf game, his major problem at this current moment in time, is standing too close to the ball. (Mainly after he's just hit it!)
Six days at Ronnie Scotts in Birmingham was a lot of fun for all concerned, and the five piece band; consisting of Chrissie Hammond, Tony Fernandez, Adam Wakeman, Phil Laughlin and Rick, played as well as ever. The Friday and Saturday nights were particularly "hot" and apart from the fact that; due to an administrative error, (Rick totally to blame here), the week managed to lose a lot of money: everything went according to plan!
(Rick hastens to add that sadly, for many reasons, the five piece is unlikely to happen at Ronnie Scotts again)!
Much as Rick loves the five and six piece line up, in the current economic climate it is just not practical and is pretty much guarantied to lose money, and so in the foreseeable future is unlikely to perform again....... unless some half decent promoter somewhere, finally sees the value in the larger set-up.
Prior to going into Birmingham for the week, the band rehearsed in Rotherham before doing a one off concert for the Classic Rock Society in their new venue, which it has to be said is one thousand times better than the gymnasium that used to house the concerts. (Everybody agreed that it was lovely not to have to change behind a black curtain and perform without the odour of stale feet wafting about)!
The new venue really is terrific and we recommend you check it out at one of their forthcoming events if you are in the area. More information can be obtained by writing to Martin Hudson at 47 Brecks Lane, Rotherham, Yorks S65 3JQ, if you want to know what concerts are coming up.
There are also a considerable amount of new dates coming in for the remainder of the year, most of which you will be able to attend if you so wish! Some however, are private functions and unless you work for the company concerned, then your only way in is to become part of the crew, and sadly there are no vacancies at this present time!
There is a list of all the dates, both those confirmed and those pencilled in, printed later in this newsletter. BDA are once again putting the November dates together and any spare dates currently showing on the list WILL be filled.
As regards the line-up, Rick dearly would have liked to have had the five or six piece out on the road, but as you are all aware, even the three piece only just breaks even, and so guess what's going out on tour in November? That's right! The three piece. Rick, Adam and Fraser.
There are already numerous working titles for the tour, and for a first, we are going to list all the working titles here so that you can see if you can guess which one ends up on the front of the programme!
What we can tell you though is that there will be some new music performed and also a new twist as regards the merchandising. On top of the usual new T shirts, sweatshirts and programmes etc., there will be a really unusual element entering the merchandise stakes which is that of the sale of some of Rick's gear. By this we mean as well as equipment and keyboards, there will also be on sale some past stage clothing as well. (Sorry no capes left though as they've all been auctioned off for charity over the years).
Just to whet your appetite though, amongst the clothing there are all of the costumes from the 1984 tour in mint condition, plus the fantastic spider costumes from the tour of the same name. There are many other surprises in store and all will start their "saleable life" as part of a silent auction on the internet. Don't panic though if you're not on the net as all RWCC members will have a chance to join in by requesting by writing a list of what will be available (For all those patiently waiting for the Garage Sale details, this is one and the same, and YES I do have your details still on file!) and the residual will be printed in the next newsletter.
Three interesting possibilities here.
First there is a performance in Greece in September. Nobody seems to know the line up yet though!
There is also a possibility of Rick performing at a festival in Germany in September although as yet this has only a 50/50 chance of happening.
What is very likely however , is a concert in Japan in December with Tomita, who actually flew to London in July especially to have a meeting with Rick and to discuss the very substantial project he is involved with in Tokyo and of which he has invited Rick to be a part of.
We know very little at this stage, but a full report of progress in this area will be covered in the next newsletter.
Although this is not one of the "three interesting possibilities" mentioned earlier, and also some time in the future, we still felt adequate warning should be given to you all as regards Rick and his annual Christmas carol Concert on the Isle of Man in December for Hospice. As many of you are aware, Hospice is an Organisation very dear to Rick's heart. All those wishing to make the trip and wanting to know more, please call Candy, who has a plethora of cheap and cheerful B&B's awaiting your arrival!
Finally Rick and Adam have been invited to perform at Howard Keel's private function after the Howard Keel Golf Tournament at Mere Golf Club in Manchester on the 7th of September.
Even though you won't be able to hear the lads perform, you are all cordially invited to go along to Mere Golf Club during the day, pay your £l entrance (or however much it is), and watch Rick and other celebrities, (who really believe they can play golf) make absolute fools of themselves!
Its all in a very good cause though: the NSPCC and a cheque is expected to be handed over in the evening for around £40,000.
Not to be outdone on the touring stakes, Nina is going out on the road in September and October. The dates are listed in this newsletter.
The tour is entitled Beauty from Within and is a mixture of an extremely unique beauty demonstration coupled with Nina talking about her life, her faith and why she looks half her age and Rick looks twice his!
It's very much one for all you females, and comes highly recommended. Please phone the Connections agency for more details 01371 874544.
Rick has been very active on the television front recording another fifteen of Live at Jongleurs. These were once again recorded at the famous Jongleurs club in Camden Lock in North London.
Apart from UK Gold, ITV has started showing them, although they are lagging a long way behind UK Gold, as there have been 45 programmes recorded so far and ITV have only reached number 6!
For the record, the series is also show in Australia and is about to make its debut in America.
Providing you didn't blink, you also may well have caught Rick in a cameo presenter's role on BBC television's Kung Fu Night! (His appearance lasted all of 20 seconds).
Other televisions either already recorded or due to be filmed soon, include 'My Favourite Spot' (no it's not about a small boil), and 'My Tune', both of which were for the BBC and have yet to be shown.
My Favourite Spot was recorded in early August on the Isle of Man, at Glen Helen, where Rick, Nina and the kids love to walk the dogs.
Some of "My Tune" was recorded with Rick at the piano at his friend Guy Protheroe's house, where Guy kindly allowed Rick to use his beautiful old grand piano. (Guy is the conductor of the English Chamber Choir).
The remainder of the filming for "My Tune" was done walking around Little Venice in North West London and the end result should be lovely. Well worth looking out for when a broadcast date is set.
Rick is performing one of his hymns with the Howard Prior Choir on Songs of Praise in September and will also be spending a week on Countdown, something he is really looking forward to as he is an ardent viewer of the programme.
Tom O'Connor has invited Rick onto Crosswits, although a date has yet to be set. The two old friends met whilst they were commentating for Sky Sports at the Roxburgh Golf Challenge in Scotland in July.
At the end of August Rick is being filmed with the Antiques Inspectors, (a spin off of the Antiques Roadshow), visits the Isle of Man. His role is that of "host" to the visiting experts as they travel around the Island.
in September and October Rick will be hosting 26 programmes for Yorkshire Television, (for the entire ITV network), entitled Run and Scream. This should be very funny and a lot of fun both to make and watch when the series is finally screened.
September again sees Rick record for television a new quiz programme entitled "Don't Drink the Water", (don't ask us what it's about, it's a new series, so nobody seems to know)!
Rick is hosting the Big Band Gala for Radio 2 on August 17th and has also been invited to take part in a documentary on the mellotron. An instrument which Rick now has a reasonable loathing for!
Back in July Rick was a guest at GLR in London and also did numerous radio interviews "plugging" both the Fields of Green and Tribute CDs. on the 19th of September he will be recording the Genesis 2 programme for Radio 2 in London.
All in all, if the television appearances keep coming in at the rate they are at present, you should manage to catch Rick on something almost every day between now and the New Year! (He's actually said he'll read the weather report if asked).
Apart from all the confirmed appearances we have mentioned, there are also many other proposals on back burner that may well come to fruition.
The major one of these concerns Rick hosting a new American television music programme. Basically, the programme is based around music written by established artists, who talk about and perform their classical tracks live in a "concert setting". It's not quite as straightforward as it sounds, as there are lots of other areas to the programme that are planned and will give it quite a unique feel as regards it's presentation.
The plan would be to get the series shown here once it has been shown in America.
More meetings are due in September so hopefully there should be more to report in the next newsletter.
Both the TRIBUTE and FIELDS OF GREEN albums are now available through mail order and the Internet if you are experiencing difficulties at your local CD outlet.
In order to try and create something different, 800 limited edition edited single CDs with four tracks on board, have been pressed up. Each one has been individually signed and numbered by Rick. They first appeared at the Rock Society concert and are going fast.
There will not be a re-pressing under any circumstances, so if you haven't got yours yet, get in quick!
Can You Hear Me? is still available and may well have to be repressed in the next few months. Fields of Green will be into a second pressing by the end of September.
Sattva Arts are about to take for world wide release the two trilogies that Rick recorded last year (The Natural World and Art in Music).
Their plan is to initially release two compilations followed by the full three CD sets at a later date. It is expected that the first compilation should reach the shops later this year. Sattva Arts now have distribution in the UK and so we are not expecting to experience too many difficulties as regards any of you finding the product in the shops, although as usual, Candy will have it available for mail order!
An album based on the music from the three Winter Olympic films Rick has been writing the music for should be ready for an October release. (more details about this later in the newsletter). The album will be released on the Music Fusion label.
Both Origins and The Christmas Album have again been put on hold, which means that Hope Records may not have another release from Rick this year, although circumstances may well change. Whatever happens though, you'll be the first to know. The label is still suffering from the bad debts left from the Easter concerts in California, (as explained in the last newsletter) and until it is in a position to move forward again, it will remain very much on the back burner in the UK.
Having said all this though, new sales have been achieved in Germany and the chance of exporting to Japan is looking very promising and so it may well be overseas sales that kick start the label again in the UK.
Nic Caciappo, who is looking after HOPE in America, is working hard on bringing us close to the major distribution deal that is desperately needed to really get the company off the ground there. once again we should have something to report in the next newsletter.
A whole new restructuring programme is taking place with HOPE and that will include a change of distribution in the Christian marketplace. In the secular market, Pinnacle are doing a tremendous job in getting product into the shops and we will be working with them very closely as we lead up to Christmas both with HOPE and MUSIC FUSION.
What will be appearing soon though, is the music book of songs/hymns written by Rick and Howard Prior, which is specifically aimed at churches. (songs of Praise have actually already used two of Rick's and there are plans to use more in the near future.
Oliver's CD "Heaven's Isle" has been selling very well, and there are only about 50 copies left from the first pressing, of which I still have about 10, If you would like a copy, (and it is very good) please send cheque payable to Bajonor Limited for £9.75 plus appropriate p&p.
Oliver is also busy working on other projects due for release later this year, so watch this space and we will keep you up to date.
Apart from propping up his dad, Adam is currently also working with a band called NUMB, and if you're in the Bedfordshire area, you can try to catch them in action.
Adam has also finalised his record deal with President Records and his trilogy, The Real World, will shortly be available (see price list). It comes highly recommended.
The current situation as regards Rick and YES is as confusing as ever.
He has had correspondence from their new management in California but nothing has been resolved as regards past affairs and future plans. Certainly Rick has no plans whatsoever to return and as this now seems to be accepted by the other remaining members, they are moving ahead in their direction and Rick is continuing along his.
We hear as many rumours as probably everyone else, and so slightly tongue in cheek, we thought we'd print some of them. It's up to you to decide.
This is a very busy time at the moment with no fewer than two major projects on the go.
Trans World International recently obtained the rights to all the past Winter Olympic Games films and this included White Rock. (Before you get excited though, sadly they have no plans to release the video).
What they are doing though is producing a series of programmes especially for sports television channels around the world based on each of the films. These will be about fifty minutes long each, and from what Rick has seen look excellent.
"Where does Rick fit in all this"? We hear you cry. After all, Rick is well known to be to .winter sports what Hartlepool United are to European football.
Well the simple answer is that Trans World liked the music score on White Rock very much and have asked him to write some music for the first three of their fifty minute films. This will mean Rick's music appearing on four of the thirteen films that they have and it is hoped that perhaps Rick could end up doing all of them over the next year or so.
There will be an album of the music from the first films. It will be just a single CD and will be especially prepared music based around the themes used in the films. It will be done in a very similar way to Rick's other soundtrack releases, e.g. White Rock, The Burning, Gole and Crimes of Passion.
It is hoped that the CD will be available by late October, which will be released on Music Fusion. At the moment it has the working title of White Rock II .... well why not!
Final negotiations are also taking place as regards Rick composing and recording the music for the BBC series of eight programmes leading up to the world Cup next year.
The programmes are called Lineker's Golden Boots, (no prizes for guessing who the presenter is), and traces the entire history of the competition, with some pretty amazing footage and interviews that have never been seen.
The production is by Worldmark, who ironically produced White Rock and Gole.
Once again if everything goes smoothly through the final stages, then there will be a CD release of the music around April next year. At present though it is not know which label this will be released on.
There are a few projects floating around in varying stages of reality, none more exasperating as Return to the Centre of the Earth!
Yet again we are informed of interest from a major label, (probably Marks and Spencer)l We're not going to get excited and don't expect you to either! but who knows?
Rick has been having discussions with a major guitar player as regards a joint venture. He cannot be named at the moment, for reasons which will be apparent once his name is released, which gives you all a wonderful chance to speculate as to who it is! The following is a list of who it is NOT, just to give you some help!
There, now that helps, doesn't it!
The situation as regards the release if three of Rick's old A&M albums on CD is progressing slowly and it is genuinely hoped that some agreement can be finalised before Christmas enabling releases this year. We hope that good news can be reported in the next newsletter.
Probably the most exciting possibility is that of a further joint project with Border Television.
Rick has had his twenty two minute piece "Noah" performed by the English Chamber Choir twice this year, and there are another five pieces in the planned series of works with the choir.
After prolonged discussions with Border Television, negotiations are quite a long way down the road to them filming and broadcasting two of the six in a one hour special, which it is hoped will be networked.
If this comes to fruition, then it means that all six pieces will make their way onto a double CD set which will eventually be released by HOPE RECORDS.
Watch out for Fraser on Going Live on Oct 26th .... He Sings!!!!!
We hear rumblings that Ashley Holt has reformed WARHORSE with Nick Simper. Ashley is still one of Rick's favourite male singers and Rick sadly never achieved having both him and Chrissie Hammond fronting the band at the same time on stage. Tony Fernandez is still very busy with Ruthless Blues, who have had a change of personnel, with "Trish" leaving the band to return to Dublin. We congratulate Jon Anderson on his marriage to Jane and wish them lots of happiness. They are currently on a round the world honeymoon trip. (Probably finish in about six years time)! The choir in America who performed The New Gospels with Rick over Easter, have reformed and intend to go out singing excerpts for the ASSIST charity. (We're glad somebody's performing it)! A track Rick recorded for a compilation charity album back in the 70's entitled BABYLON, is to be released on a compilation Christmas CD. more details when we have them. Rick has been commissioned to write a novel and a children's book. (once they are finished, there will be no prizes for people who can spot which is which!) Finally we have just heard rumours that Rick is to be presented with an award in October. Exactly what for, we're not sure, and so we have decided to list possibilities, although I'm sure you will have a few ideas of your own.