However many forward plans we try to put into place, the pandemic seems to continually rear its ugly head and put a stop to them all. So many of my friends in the entertainment business are suffering the same fate and it's tragic that so many areas of the music and acting industry that I love so much, has been largely ignored. I hear of theatres closing almost daily and friends in the business who are going under and, adding insult to injury, for artists to be told they should retrain in Information Technology, is nothing short of insulting…

Well I've had my mini moan and that's the last I'll be saying on the subject. Let's just all hope and pray for a vaccine so that life and our wonderful shared world of music, the arts and entertainment, can return to some semblance of normality before too much else disappears.

Online performances are not the same as live concerts, we all know that, but I suppose in many cases, it's better than nothing at all. I have also been immensely proud of many of my musician friends who have produced online music to help so many people who are suffering, when they too are feeling the pinch. We all believe, it will get better and there is a bright future ahead.

Workwise, 2020 has been almost a complete write off. I thrive on playing on stage and meeting people and to lose this year of being able to do this has been like my lifeblood being drained from me and I'm sure I'm not alone in this, but it hasn't stopped us trying to prepare for the future and when we've been knocked down, getting up again and making new preparations.

The Palladium show sadly disappeared the moment the new lockdown was announced and some shows in the early part of the year that are pencilled in, are likely to be rubbed out.

I suspect until there is a vaccine of sorts, lockdowns in some form or another will continue and live music will continue to suffer, so I am hopeful we are near to a vaccine being available.

As I mentioned, we haven't been idle here. I've been writing more music for the musical I am doing with Sir Tim Rice plus the music for a new school's project that I have been working on for quite a few months. I also had the great pleasure of performing on a track on a new album by my friend Jools Holland and what a fun day of recording that was. As soon as I have details of the release we'll let you know.

Filming for the Ricks' Plaice series was completed and I am really pleased with how it went… in fact here's a sneak preview, but missing the theme tune which has driven everybody mad!!!

There are 6 programmes all 40+ minutes long and we are already planning for series 2 and some "on the road" specials where the show will be recorded live.

We originally planned a Rick's Plaice Xmas Special but with the lockdown we decided to go for a Rick's Plaice New Year's Special in order to put a positive spin on the future ……very little grumpiness!!!

I have a series of online interviews lined up for both Rick's Plaice and also a triple album called Rockdown, made up of classic rock from the 1970s which I "front" as part of a TV campaign. Some really classic music on this 3CD set and if it wasn't for the fact that I get one free, I'd certainly buy it ……just like listening to Planet Rock when I was there!

I will be writing a more comprehensive GORR for December but will wait until after the 2nd when the current lockdown will hopefully be eased ……

In the meantime, we are about to launch the special box set of Return to the Centre of the Earth. I was always very proud of this album and all who took part and so to see it being given a special presentation means a lot to me.

That's it for now …..stay safe and keep well and to quote a famous saying….

"Don't let the bastards grind you down!"

Rick


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