News over Xmas over here is pretty straight forward on the domestic front. Rick's dishwasher caught fire and took most of the kitchen with it! No serious casualties, although Rick and 17 year old son Adam were checked over at the hospital as a precaution after smoke inhalation.
Apart from that Suzie went to Wales, Jane and Frank spent theirs at their respective homes, and the crew got legless (nothing unusual there).
Now it's back to business and what we all hope will be a busy year.
First the sad news. Due to family commitments, Jane is sadly leaving the fold, although being married to Rick's best friend and living next door, does mean that they'll probably still be seeing rather a lot of each other.
Sometime in the first quarter of the year Suzie is also off back to the UK, also for personal reasons, and both the girls wil be sadly missed.
We have a new girl in the punishment block who obviously doesn't realise what she has let herself in for! Her name is Karen (pronounced "Kairen", get it wrong at your own peril!) and I expect a lot of you will quickly get to know her and vice-versa.
As we go to press a lot of changes appear to be about to happen and so we will fill you in with the various stories up to date and will obviously continue the various sagas in the next newsletter.
Ambient Records / MusicDue to serious problems with distribution and getting paid by distributors, the company is about to be licensed out to a third party. The deal will be signed within the next seven days.
This will mean new distribution and management for the company and hopefully better service for all concerned in the coming five years.
We will still continue with mail order and sales at concerts as well as having complete artistic control over product and choice of music.
The only grey area at this present moment in time would appear to be Ambient Records getting involved with new artists and so new discussions will obviously have to be re-opened with those being talked to before the new company set-up.
At present recording plans are somewhat up in the air for 1992 as confirmation has yet to come through regarding the performance of Journey to The Centre of the Earth with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and should this hopefully happen then it would necessitate considerable work in preparing the new recording to accompany the concert.
Should this not happen however, the following contingency alternative plans are ready to roll. Some of course will happen anyway.
Sunarts, (the YES management) have secured a deal for an album with Rick and Jon Anderson, which should also be signed, sealed and delivered this month. As mentioned in previous newsletters, it would be very much along the lines of "The Meeting" from the ABWH album, and would be very "acoustic" orientated.
Providing all goes well here recording could start as early as the beginning of February on this project, with a tour tentatively planned for November later in the year around similar size theatres that Rick performed the Classical Connection in.
Whilst still on the subject of recording, Rick has agreed terms with second eldest son Adam, to record a joint album in the early summer, around June/July. Given the working title of "Father and Son", it will contain music written by both Rick and Adam and some co-written material as well. Expect this project to be somewhat flamboyant both in music and presentation.
Obviously if the album is received with any modicum of success, then it would be toured wherever possible.
It is also possible that one or two further "relaxation music" recordings may be made, although this would very much depend on overseas demand, as without these sales this area of music is not financially viable.
There will also be the re-recording of the Gospels but this is covered more fully in this bulletin within the Hope Records section.
Other recording projects already confirmed include the new advertising music for Manx Airlines which is being recorded in January for immediate use. Also Rick is doing the music for a new television series entitled "Ideas Unlimited" which we understand is being made by TVS.
Contracts have been drawn up at last on the James Herbert album and these have been signed and so things should move quite quickly now in this area. Rick has kept in constant touch with James and all the other people involved and by the next newsletter we should have a "full cast list" of all those taking part. At the moment on the musician side of things it includes Cozy Powell (drums), Neil Murray and John Entwhistle (bass) and confirmation is hoped for quite soon on Brian May, Kate Bush, Tan Gillan and Trevor Rabin amongst others.
The main financiers are also planning live concerts to accompany the release of the music, but it is thought that until the recordings are finished no firm decision will be made in this area.
Tour ReviewThe November/December Classical Connection II tour was overall pretty successful. In all the medium size venues the attendance was excellent, 85% of these halls selling out. The larger arenas were not successful and will be phased out for future tours.
One or two of the hall promoters were also not quite as honest to deal with as hoped and this also will remove a couple of towns from future tours.
Overall though it was a thoroughly enjoyable tour full of the usual silly happenings which has given Rick a wealth of stories to choose from for his anecdotes for the next tour.
Special thanks has to go of course to all of you who came to see the show, (some of you came more than once, some masochists came six or seven times). It was lovely to see some of you even make the Isle of Man concert of which a major highlight had to be the timely appearance of Frank Fallows as a Christmas Fairy.
It is rare that Rick is speechless and unable to carry on but on this occasion the fairy won! It was a great night and a fabulous send off for the Classical Connection.
We have collected about a dozen reviews so far, all of which we are pleased to say are favourable, a couple of which we actually notice were written by RWCC members themselves!
Bryan MayThose of you who live in the London area may well have heard an "over the telephone" interview by Rick regarding working with Brian again on tour.
When Capital Radio phoned Rick they appeared to know even more than he did!
Apparently there was an article in one of the tabloids stating that Rick would be working with Brian later this year in live work based on the guitar legends concert held in Seville last year.
It is perfectly true that Brian and Rick, along with some of the other musicians discussed doing more shows as the initial one was so enjoyable, but Rick deliberately did not follow anything up in November and December as he felt it would have been extremely irreverent so soon after the tragic death of Freddie Mercury.
However it certainly looks like something will happen later on in the year and Rick will be contacting the Queen office in the next few weeks in order to clarify the situation and maybe firm a few details up which of course will go straight in the March newsletter.
YESA lot of things are still very much up in the air as regards YES at the moment. Unfortunately the South American tour had to be cancelled due to the unstable nature of the various currencies down there. Apparently it was getting to the stage where inflation was so bad that it was going to take a jumbo jet to bring money back worth about £7.
Japan is still on though and the band leave from their various homes on or around the 24th of February for a two week tour.
It is uncertain at this present time when a new album will be recorded, but an educated guess would say it is likely to start in the early summer. Where? Your guesses are as good as ours. Rick suggested taking various compass points from where everybody lives and trying to find some centralised point equidistant from each abode.
This has obvious flaws in as much as there do not appear to be recording studios on either the moon or Siberia!
A massive tour is being outlined for 1993 to accompany the release of the album which should be expected toward the end of this year.
Classical Connection February Tour DatesRegrettably the shows planned for February have had to be cancelled due to the very short time available to sell tickets.
This could very well herald the end of the Classical Connection as we know it as Rick regards this as somewhat of an omen telling him it is time to change once again.
There is no doubt that Rick will tour solo this year, but in what guise we will have to wait and see. Obviously as mentioned earlier, if Journey to the Centre of the Earth takes off than the live performances will be heavily geared around that, although it has to be said that Rick is very keen on keeping alive the small intimate show where a real close bond can be had with the audience.
VideosAll three videos are now available by mail order if you are experiencing difficulty at your local outlet. For the record they are "The Word and the Gospels", "The Classical Connection" and "Rick Wakeman Live".
We also have tee-shirts, jumpers and other merchandise for those interested available through the shop. Please phone either Karen, (remember to pronounce it right!) in the mornings or Marie in the afternoon on 0624 844138.
Hope RecordsAn agreement is just a few days away from completion with WORD Records who are the world's biggest Christian music record outlet.
Initially they have taken "In the Beginning" for territories outside of the USA.
For the benefit of new readers this is a recording that was made by Rick and Nina of music and Bible readings, the proceeds of which go to a wonderful Christian charity called ASSIST which is run by a great friend of Rick's called Dan Wooding.
ASSIST now runs all over the world helping underprivileged Christians and is run entirely on charitable funding.
It is also very probably that through WORD records Hope will release a further recording for Dan entitled PRAYERS and also the re-make of the Gospels, to be re-titled The Word and the Gospels.
As mentioned in a previous newsletter, both Ramon Remedios and Robert Powell have agreed to offer their talents for the remake, which will include considerable re-arrangements and new music, without damaging the original melodies or thematic elements.
If all goes according to plan, recording could start as early as April this year.
Sheet MusicAt long last agreement has been reached over sheet music and Rick is now in the process of compiling a sixty page book of a mixture of his compositions. They will be completely accurate in all of the piano arrangements as they are being done on computer by Rick himself as he is cheesed of with the inaccuracies of past music books.
It will be released around the middle of the year through Music Sales who have a wide distribution, which should mean no difficulty in obtaining a copy. (Please don't quote us on this!)
It is almost certain to contain a lot of the music performed on the Classical Connection tour and one or two surprises that people have asked about over the last few years.
If it proves successful then undoubtedly other sheet music releases will follow probably with "The Word and the Gospels".
TriviaFollowing wins in the Garfield Morgan Classic at Farthingstone in Northamptonshire, The Stage Golf Day at Foxhills in Surrey and the monthly medal at Peel Golf Club on the Isle of Man, (although this of course will be absolute Double Dutch to most of you) Rick's handicap has been reduced to 14.8.
Still on the subject of golf, Rick has been given his own tournament this year which is to be held for Independent Television's Telethon appeal.
The Rick Wakeman Golf Classic will take place on Sunday the 29th of March at the Penrith Golf Club in Cumbria, followed by a full Gala dinner and cabaret at the North Lakes Hotel.
There is also a dinner and cabaret on the eve of the tournament also at the North Lakes Hotel.
If anybody is interested in obtaining more details about this event please call Paul Gaskell from Paul Gaskell Promotions on 0624 661190, fax 0624 662444.
For the musicians amongst you, Rick has some autographed keyboards coming up for sale in February. A full list of prices and what is available will be ready by the 12th of February.
These will include instruments used on early albums, signed and with a letter of authenticity and where possible, an album of the recording on which the instrument was used also signed.
If you would like information about this, then please call 0624 844138 after the 12th of February and either obtain the information you require over the phone or ask for a price list to be sent to you.
The next newsletter will be on your doormats at the end of the second week in March, in order that we can give the FIRST report of the YES Japanese tour.