First of all from everybody here, Suzie, Jane, Frank and the Wakeman family. A very happy Xmas and a very prosperous new year to you all.
Coming to you in December will be the long awaited, as before unpublished, personalised colour photograph and Xmas card. These wonderful items have a multitude of uses for those of you who do not wish use these in the normal display fashion. Lighting the fire with either or both is recommended, although of course this can only be done the one time.
The photograph when stuck to a wooden background may be a good substitute for a dartboard. Various parts of the body indicating the score, doubles etc. The bull's eye obviously best left to the imagination!
Anyway we're sure you've probably got better ideas of your own and maybe if you write and tell us we'll print some of them in future issues.
In this issue we'll be tidying the year up and also having a look back at the successes and not so successful in 1991, plus some predictions for 1992.
The Classical Connection Tour
We know we printed the dates in the last bulletin, but there have been a few changes and so we thought it easiest just to print them again with the up to date changes.
November 1st...Oakengates Town Hall.... Telford.
November 2nd...Lancaster Grand Theatre.
November 3rd...Glasgow Mitchell theatre.
November 4th...Ayr Gaiety Theatre.
November 5th...Southport Civic Theatre.
November 6th...Camberley Civic Hall.
November 7th...Oxford Playhouse.
November 8th...Coventry Butterworth Hall Warwick University.
November 9th...Cambridge Lesley Kerridge Sports Centre.
November 1oth..Derby Playhouse (2 shows, 2nd show sold out)
November 11th..York Barbican.
November 12th..Warrington Woolston Leisure Centre.
November 14th..St Albans Arena.
November 15th..Birmingham Town Hall.
November 16th..Hebdon Bridge.
November 17th-.Barrow Forum 28.
November 18th-.Wigan Pier Theatre.
November 19th..Whitehaven Civic Hall.
November 20th..South Shields Temple Park Centre.
November 21st..Kirkaldy Adam Smith Theatre.
November 22nd-.The Maltings Berwick Upon Tweed.
November 23rd-.Doncaster Civic Theatre.
November 24th.. Chatham Central Hall Theatre.
November 25th.London Astoria.
November 26th..Malvern Festival Theatre.
November 27th..Bangor Theatre... Gwynedd
November 28th..Thameside Theatre.-Ashton Under Lyne.
November 29th..Winsford Civic Hall.
November 30th..Blackburn Windsor Suite.
December 1st...Swindon Oasis Centre.
December 2nd...Worthing Assembley Halls.
December 3rd...Ipswich Corn Exchange.
December 4th...Sutton Secombe Centre.
December 5th...Travel Day
December 6th... Port Erin Arts Centre... Isle Of Man.
To coincide with the tour, Ambient Records are repressing Classical Connection 1 and Classical Connection II will be available from the first week in November. Also available on the tour will be The Private Collection and two of the Aspirant series in CD format.
A new programme has been put together for the tour as well as a vast selection of new merchandise. Musically there will be some pieces performed that Rick has never played live before, for example keep an ear open for "Birdman of Alcatraz" which was originally recorded on the Criminal Record album.
Rehearsals are well under way for the tour with final touches being put to the music as well as the p.a. system which has been carefully designed almost to be the world's biggest hi-fi system!
The crew consists of Ian Barfoot who is in charge of the p.a. and sound and Stuart Sawney looking after Rick's keyboards. Frank Fallows has the unenviable task of keeping Rick and Alan Thompson in some semblance of order and look after the merchandise.
Also available at the concerts will be videos of the Classical Connection show, plus hopefully The Word and the Gospels, if they are delivered in time.
Television and radio
Watch out around Christmas for the odd fleeting shot of Rick during BBC2's transmission of guitar legends. Which was recently shot in Seville, Spain.
Rick was invited out by Brian May of Queen. And the band consisted of Rick and Mike Moran on keyboards, Nathan East and Neil Murray on bass, Cozy Powell and Steve Ferone on drums, Maggie Ryder, Miriam Stag, Chris Thompson and Paul Rogers on vocals, Brian May. Joe Satriani, Joe Walsh and Steve Vai on guitars.
Not a bad band, huh?
The show was sensational and Rick recommends is watched by all. Everyone enjoyed themselves so much that all they talked about at the airport was doing it again... So who knows?
For those of you in the Border region of the television world, you can spot Rick in the 7th Heaven series which runs about 10.40 on a Thursday evening. We believe Rick's bit is about the third week although we have yet to have this confirmed.
You may also have caught Rick on TVAM on Tuesday the 29th of October, plugging the tour, and anything else he could get in!
Over the next few months Rick will be doing considerable radio interviews, so all we can say is...keep your ears open and tour radio on.
What a year!!!!
What a year indeed, the reformation of YES, which included a boxed set album on Atlantic Records and a somewhat dubious offering (Union) on Arista. Along with this, 85 shows in Europe and North America. Does this mark the end of ABWH?....don't rule anything out at this stage!
Rick recorded, amongst other stuff, the first of the two classical connection CDs along with 15 concerts. Such was their success, that Classical Connection II is on the way along with the tour which you are all aware about.
The English Rock Ensemble goes on ice for the umpteenth time but undoubtedly will re-appear again in the hopefully not too distant future. Reports from the lads all indicate they are doing well. Ramon Remedios is actually now appearing for the next six months in Phantom of the Opera in the West End of London. Amazing when you think that he is probably the only artist ever to have worked on two totally different 'Phantoms'. Rick however feels a little disappointed that his phantom didn't make quite the success of that of Andrew Lloyd Webbers!
Davy Paton leaves to join Fish and also has a slice of good fortune with the Rolo advertisement using "Magic" which of course the wee Scotsman wrote. The record was re-released and charted. Does this mean that one day in the not too distant future Davy might buy Rick a drink? (non alcoholic of course).
Rick's music is performed at the Rochester Dickens festival and the album "Softsword" appears to accompany it. Chrissie Hammond does a great job on vocals and a single is released from the album, a double A side...After Prayers and Don't Fly Away.
Journey almost makes Russia but is scuppered by the abortive coup and once again bites the dust...or does it? (see the article further on in this newsletter).
Outside of music, Rick's golf severely suffered through too much touring, (he put this bit in), although he finished off the season by winning the last two celebrity competitions. (he put this bit in as well). Handicap still 16 though. (Rick didn't put this in!).
On a sad note we offer our sincere condolences to Frank Fallows who lost his mother in the middle of October. Frank was very close to his mother and we wish him many happy hours with memories of the times they spent together.
Also earlier in the year Stuart Sawney lost his father and these two losses really brought home to us all the sad ending of life. We know of some of our friends in the RWCC who also suffered their own losses and to them we wish you fond memories and peace of heart and mind for the future.
Regular readers will know of the venture with Rick producing and part writing the music based on James Herbert's books. Well this has now reached the "go" position and work is due to start early next year - John Entwhistle, Neil Murray and Cozy Powell are already on board for some tracks as are of course the "old" English Rock Ensemble with Ashley Holt doing one track negotiations are under way at present for the involvement of Kate Bush, Brian May, Kim Wilde and Dave Gilmour amongst others.
The executive producers of the project are looking at possible live performances to accompany the release of the album. However, as you can well imagine, raising the money for an album is one thing, the money for a show of this possible magnitude comes more in the region of raising the Titanic, so who knows....they said YES would never get back together!
Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Will it? Won't it? What a frustrating couple of years for this project! But we really believe we have positive news on the horizon for next year.
Russia seems to have been put on ice, mainly due to the abortive coup in the summer and spiralling costs.
Never daunted, Rick started looking at the UK again and it looks 99% certain that the necessary sponsorship has been found.
The package "seems" now complete, with Beckman Video in charge of the filming (they have already done a superb job on The Word and the Gospels and Classical Connection).
We are not going to go on about it anymore now until contracts are signed and these are being set up for a joint announcement sometime in January. Please keep your fingers crossed!
The World of Wisdom is finally completed and out. For those of you who would like to add this little piece of history to your collection, we will hopefully have some on sale on the tour and also via mail order. It is available on cassette and CD only - Norman is currently on tour around the UK and so grab the opportunity to see the great man in action if you get the chance.
Give Kids the World
Probably the craziest journey made this year was when Rick was invited to perform for 20 minutes in Orlando, Florida for the above charity which is connected to the "Make a Wish Foundation" which grants the last wishes of terminally ill children.
Give Kids The World is a village built especially to look after these children and their families when they arrive at Disneyworld because amazingly the last wish of 85% of these children is to see Mickey Mouse.
They are expanding the village all the time and this concert was to raise some more money as well as awareness.
It was put on by a man called Mike Franklin who is a great personal friend of Ricks, and as it happens is a great musician. The only problem was that it came right in the middle of a ludicrously busy schedule, so Rick flew to Manchester on the Saturday morning, then flew to South Carolina and then on to Orlando late that evening (time change 8 hours back of course) and went straight into rehearsals. Bed for a couple of hours, a visit to the village to meet the kids, more rehearsal and then the concert followed by a massive reception....two hours sleep Sunday night, Monday morning flight to New York, afternoon flight to Manchester arriving 6 am connecting to the flight back to the Isle of Man.
It makes the upcoming tour seem like a Sunday school outing by comparison!
Well here we go with a few forecasts. We are however going to put a percentage figure after each prediction, mainly because we're chicken!
Journey to the Centre of the Earth is performed at the end of the summer with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (75%) and is given rave reviews by the music press (1%).
A video and television show from the performance as well as a new recording for CD comes from the concert (75%) and these are given fabulous reviews by the press (1%).
YES tour South America and Japan (85%) and talk about recording a new album (1%).
YES argue about recording a new album (98%).
Frank Fallows and Ian Barfoot lose weight (-34%).
YES record a new album (70%).
Rick does a solo tour with a "new" Classical Connection Three (85%). (Rick has actually said that there will be just the three in the classical connection series).
Rick reduces his golf handicap (50%).
Adam Wakeman leaves school and embarks on his first tour with a band to considerable acclaim (70%). The press also mention that they like his dad (1%).
Ambient Records gets its first success somewhere in the world by having an album or single that "charts" (50%).
Rick does joint albums with the following........
Jon Anderson.... (75%)
Trevor Rabin.... (50%)
Adam Wakeman.... (80%)
Saddam Hussein... (0%)
New recordings in 1992 will include "The Word and the Gospels" (95%), Classical Connection III ( 75%), The James Herbert album (85%), Journey to the Centre of the Earth (75%).
There are two other large recording projects which Rick wants to do next year, but these are being kept under wraps for the time being.
Predictions outside of the music industry include Brentford finally getting promotion to the second division with West Bromwich Albion. (Birmingham make it on the playoffs). Liverpool only finish fifth in the First Division, Manchester United win the championship. Wimbledon sign a new supporter - in tennis the British number one, ranked 793rd in the world is narrowly beaten 6-0 6-0 6-0 in the first round.
A general election is held and Britain ends up with a hung parliament....which is really what should happen to all of them!
What we can be sure of is that the year will flash by, some things will happen as predicted and others won't, but they will be replaced by a few surprises and a lot of music both live and on record.
Ambient Records has expanded a lot during its small time in existence and to this end has signed to release on CD the first three Sky albums in the form of a compilation on CD. None of the material has never been available on CD before and includes their top ten hit "Toccata" which is being re-mixed especially along with selected other tracks and previously unreleased material. The release date will be around Easter 1992.
Ambient are near completion in the signing of Annie Haslam formerly Renaissance) for her last American release, plus future releases.
Two other artists are also being chased for later in the year and as the music industry climbs out of recession it is hoped Ambient will secure its place as a forward thinking label dealing in "shelf-life" quality material.
Once again, a very happy Xmas and New Year to you all, and thanks very much for your support. I'm sure we'll meet a lot of you again during the tour and throughout the new year. The RWCC has grown considerably larger than we ever thought and with a dozen countries represented by you is getting truly international. Here's to a great 1992...
In music and in health
Text scanned, OCRd and checked by Jon Hinchliffe