Part One- Report from America
This year is regrettably shaping up to be Rick's worst musically for nearly eight years, and subsequently the future is being carefully looked at.
At the time of going to press Rick, Tony, Adam and Alan are still on tour in America doing the last final couple of shows.
Whilst the reaction to the Wakeman with Wakeman show has been absolutely
tremendous, the tour has turned into an absolute financial disaster due
to the following unexpected happenings.
1/ Total failure to get any record company in the USA to release any product, past or present, which culminated in the radio stations being totally unable to support the concerts.
2/ Failure to have shows 9 days out of 10, which was the financial break even point.
3/ Loss of the merchandise deal at the 11th hour, culminating in no sales of Tee shirts, CD's, programmes etc., at any of the shows.
Over the last few years trying to tour profitably has not been easy, in fact it has been almost impossible, but this Us tour coupled with the European tour earlier this year has forced Rick into the sad position of announcing his retirement from public touring by the end of next year at the very latest.
Tours are already a long way down the line for South America in August and the UK at the end of this year, as well as some Gospels shows. Next year Japan is on the cards and undoubtedly there will be a farewell UK solo tour.
Rick is looking at recording a "keyboard rock" album to coincide with events of 1994. Who will release it, and where, has not yet even been thought about, but it should be ready by the middle of next year.
Everybody is still hoping that a live album form the Wakeman with Wakeman tour can be made, as the time is nearing an end when father and son play together and it would be tragic not to have it recorded for posterity at least on disc. (Video would be nice)
Judging from reactions though, Adam certainly appears to have a good future ahead of him. Its tragic that his Soliloquy is also unavailable in the USA to coincide with the Wakeman tour as the lads have seen numerous imported copies form which cassettes galore are being made, as indeed is happening with the Wakeman with Wakeman album.
So what else for the next eighteen months? and what of Rick's that. Well the next year and a half looks a little like this, ( although not necessarily in the right order)...
JUNE meeting with some of the YES band members to reach a decision one way or the other regarding Rick's participation, or non participation, in future YES recordings and tour.
JULY further discussions with Fish regarding the prospective joint recording "Half Fish, Half Man", which is looking quite promising. ( Nigel Kennedy has expressed a sincere desire to guest on a track or two, which really would make these particular pieces interesting to say the least!)
AUGUST South American tour with Wakeman with Wakeman
SEPTEMBER and OCTOBER will hopefully be dedicated to the Gospels. Five or six shows are already either booked or earmarked, and Rick is desperate to re-record it with new instrumentation and four new pieces ( with Ramon Remedios of course). To this end Word records have been approached to finance the new recording, An answer should be quite quick in arriving in order to have it ready by Christmas. If Word records decline assistance, Rick has a couple more areas to try, but time is very much against him on this. He is however quietly hopeful that Word will help out as the initial reports from them as regards "Prayers" are excellent with the disc already in re-pressing.
NOVEMBER and DECEMBER will be the UK tour of Wakeman with Wakeman, which will be more rock orientated than shows of the past, which indeed has been the basis of the performance on the Us tour. The Christmas party in Tenerife has become a non starter and it now looks unlikely that there will be an " RWCC Xmas Mad day" although Candy is very keen to hold it again this year somewhere in the UK, so speak to her if you're keen!
Hoped for releases for the remainder of 1993 will be the new recording of "The Gospels", the "Heritage Suite" which will be on President, and a possible live album from the Wakeman with Wakeman tour.
The Heritage Suite is completed, as is the "Wakeman plays Yes" recording which was commissioned by Tring Records.
A live video of Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe is due for imminent release, also with a possible live CD.
There is talk of a budget "3" package of the "Chronicles" CD: Wakeman plays Wakeman, Wakeman plays Yes, and the live 1975 Journey video. This could well be available by the end of the year.
JANUARY and FEBRUARY will be a mixture of Adam in the studio commencing his second solo album, and hopefully the Wakeman with Wakeman tour in Japan. Also during the first three months of the year it is hoped that Rick and Fish will have put a lot of their joint album together. Also during this period Adam intends to put his own band together and start doing club dates around the UK in preparation for the near future when he and his dad cease performing together.
The rest of the year will be made up of Rick recording a "keyboard classical rock" project, (as yet untitled) and any other recording work that comes in, hopefully a film as well if all goes well some show with Fish could be on the cards. The end of the year would then be Rick's final solo tour of any length or significance.
All this of course is based on the premise that Rick has no further association with YES, should this situation change, then rescheduling of a lot of the above would obviously be necessary.
So what of the future after 1994? Well a lot would obviously depend on what happens over the next eighteen months, but if it goes as expected then Rick's future would appear to be that of writing and recording for specific commissioning work. Joint projects would not be out of the question, but sadly none of Rick's personal future musical dreams and ambitions will reach fruition now.
None of this means that Rick will be even remotely idle though. Specific projects take considerable work and with hopeful realignment of past product around the world, plus the unexpected,, will undoubtedly make Candy busier than she is now!
Returning to things in more detail, we start with the US tour. The only bright spots on this tour have been the audience reactions, which has been amazing. The routing has been the of any tour that any of the band can ever recall, drives of between 500 and 700 miles were commonplace and periods which included four shows in eleven days did not help matters.
Ian Barfoot, the lads sound engineer, had to put up with PA systems that didn't ever come close to the specifications asked for, which didn't help matters, but the band and crew soldiered on in a very professional manner, which says a lot for their characters.
Adam celebrated his first American tour in true style by partying all night and sleeping all day! The "crinklys" did well to stay awake for the shows! The band had renamed themselves "Dad's Army" Rick was Captain Mannering, Wop was Sergeant Wilson, Alan was Corporal Jones and Adam was... you've guessed it... Pike! but after realising that two of the four characters are no longer with us new characters were looked for. So far only one has been found... for Rick... Victor Meldrew (One foot in the Grave) Rick is not overwhelmed with this.
Part one of the newsletter was written during the American tour and this part is an update on the current situation, which includes Rick's solo projects and YES:
There is now no possible way that Rick will be appearing on the new YES album. During the tour Rick did spend a morning with Jon Anderson and also a day with Alan White.
We can tell you though that the YES album is well on its way and although we are not privy to a release date imagine it will be around late summer early autumn.
A lot of the material has been a collaboration between Jon and Trevor and although Rick did not,__ __ .__ seemed well up for what had been recorded in the studio already.
This sadly will be the last report that we will be able to give as regards any of the Yes projects, as Rick's ties with the band are now severed for the very last time.
On a solo front, this November will now almost certainly be Rick's final tour.
The financial restraints that are now in place, as well as very serious losses in both Europe and America, have basically now put a stop to his career and throughout 1994 Rick will be winding down his live performance schedule completely.
It was hoped that during the month of July, that the Gospels could be rerecorded in time for the prospective live performances of the work in October. These performances will still go ahead though, providing they are confirmed, but unfortunately we fear the chance of rerecording is now negligible. Discussions were held in America with the view to a Christmas performance there, but again this is very dependent on the record being available.
The future of the RWCC will now depend very much on what happens between now and next May, and until then we will continue to give you as much news as possible about what is happening, or not happening, as the case may be.
On the upside of things Adam is at this moment in time in the county of Bedfordshire house hunting and doing Interviews at the same time. We wish him the best of luck at both!
Nina has been commissioned to write a beauty column for a magazine as well as a full length children's story. ( Rick has read the first chapter and thinks that it's brilliant)
Rick met with various film producers and directors whilst in Los Angeles and it is hoped by the next newsletter that some news may be available as to possible commissions.
Prior to leaving on Tour Rick played on a new release from Gordon Giltrap, Steve Howe also took part along with a multitude of other guests. As soon as we have more information on a release date we will let you have it. All proceeds are going to a charity close to Gordon's heart.
Blue Oyster Cult have invited Rick to guest an their upcoming album.
And now a few helpful hints for anybody planning to visit America this year on holiday or indeed for business.
1. Don't rent from [deleted] Rental Car Hire. The lads hired a mini van six seater to drive around on tour. They were told that there would be a small drop off charge wherever they left it. The lads wanted to leave it in Los Angeles (it was hired in New York), a long way we agree, but wait for the drop off charge... $3,000!!! ([deleted] have been crossed out of our phone book).
2, Worst Hotel value? The [deleted] Hotel chain, they are as far as the band were concerned, value for money wise dearer than the other chains the lads stayed in.
Best Value... Marriot, closely followed by Best Westerns and Radisons.
3. Airlines. You pays yer money and hope it arrives on time! They flew a mixture of Continental and British Airways. Both took off late and arrive even later!
4. Choose a time to visit when Rick is playing there as he likes seeing friendly faces!
Lavender Castle is nothing short of a brilliant creation by the artist Rodney Mathews. Many of you may know Rodney's work through the cover of 2000AD Into the Future and the video cover of the Word and The Gospels.
Lavender Castle is all about the most wonderful collection of characters designed by Rodney and about to be put into reality by the great Gerry Anderson of Thunderbird's fame.
Rick has been asked to compose and perform the music for this upcoming television series and it is possible that work could commence in the latter part of this year ready for a 1994 production. From what Rick has seen so far he reckons it is a quality way above anything he has ever come across.
Major discussions are under way to perform a major extravaganza in Los Angeles this coming Christmas. The show is planned to last about three and half hours and would be made up of two parts plus "encores".
The first half would be made up entirely of "Prayers" the CD which Rick recorded in aid of ASSIST on Word Records (which incidentally is already in it's second pressing). Part Two would be the Word and the Gospels which would include forty minutes worth of new music. The musicians would be made up from some here in the UK with additional American players. Ramon Remedios would take the lead tenor role, ( subject to availability), narration would be shared amongst well known American actors and perhaps the odd British one as well!
The choir would be American and at least two hundred strong who would sing in both halves of the performance. Well known actors would also take some of the narrative roles in "Prayers" as well. The encores would consist of carefully selected pieces from the African Bach/Anthems album. ( Hopefully available here soon.)
All profits would go to ASSIST and already a very powerful Hollywood committee has been put together in order to try and fulfil this dream. If it doesn't happen it certainly will not be for the want of trying. The major stumbling block is the availability of a suitable venue, as Christmas is not that far away and most of the perfect venues are booked up months, sometimes years in advance.
Rick has been approached by the Chako film corporation to write some music for their production of "Spirit" which starts shooting in California sometime in August. Details are a little sketchy at this juncture as to Rick's involvement but a tentative offer has been put to him and accepted. A final agreement should be reached before the end of the month.
To Party Or Not To Party? That is the question
Thank you to everybody, all 51, who sent your forms back re Tenerife, also thank you to the 10 who sent letters as to why they thought Tenerife was a bad idea.
In the circumstances, it was decided that we could not get the best package for all concerned and we have postponed the idea.
So what shall we do... Well it is quite difficult to pin Rick down, as you will have read in previous pages. one of the problems is deciding when Rick will be available to join in. The dates for the UK tour are not yet complete, so I am still keeping the option open, especially as so many of you enjoyed the last Party. Watch this space to see what develops.
Other news from "Wakeman Associates"Ramon Remedios is still starring in the West End production of Phantom of the opera, but is taking time off to do the Gospels performances in October and has also agreed to take part in the Californian show should it reach fruition.
Davy Paton is still out touring with Fish and regularly calls up to find out how we all are and to see if we are more tired than he is!
Ashley Holt is working with his own band around the High Wycombe area in Buckinghamshire and will soon be joined by Tony Fernandez who after 44 years is moving out of London. The old greasy Dago has threatened to team up with his old pal on days when he is not working with either Rick or Ruthless Blues and form a localised gigging band. Rick suggested he called it "Wop, Wop, Wop".
John Dunsterville (Dusty), who worked with Rick in the late seventies is gigging with a keyboardist, Barry Bishop also around the Wycombe area. Roger Newell, the Bassist throughout most of the seventies is to the best of our knowledge still with Marty Wilde.
Sad to report that Steve Barnacle, rated by Rick in the early eighties as being the finest bass player he had ever worked with, is no longer working full time as a professional musician. We all know the business is very tough and cruel, but Boghead, as he was lovingly known to the band, will surely be a loss to the business.
Reg Brooks, trombonist extraordinaire throughout the No Earthly connection period, is still working non stop in west End shows and theatres as is Geoffrey Crampton, Rick's guitarist during the mid Seventies.
And Finally...Rick and Adam are off to Poland for the 26th September to Szecin (not an easy name to ask directions for!) to perform a double piano act sounds interesting!
Another TV appearance has been booked for Rick and Adam, both concerning getting up very early in the morning as they will also now be appearing on the Big Breakfast Show on Thursday 29th.
Rick and Adam have been contracted by President Records to produce a second Wakeman with Wakeman album and the two have decided to disregard the original plans they had of disbanding the set up for 1994 and have decided to promote Wakeman with Wakeman as a fully blown entity within it's own right and within their own solo careers, wherever they may take them.
The album, as yet untitled, will be ready in time for the English tour which now looks set to start in early November and full details will be given in the Bumper October issue of the Newsletter which hopefully will contain more news of the "UP" variety!