Much has happened during the first three months of the year varying from controversy with new Yes album, (which we are not going to join in on), to Rick's numerous and ever growing television appearances.
Firstly though a recording report. The Live Bootleg album should be available in the UK within a month or so and around the same time will be available elsewhere in Europe as well as America.
We note here in the office that "Classic Tracks" has found it's way into the shops in the UK. Whilst in no way interfering with the freedom of the individual as to what he or she has the right to buy, we would like to point out that Rick was never paid for his studio work on this project was never sent the mixes for approval or even rough mixes, has never been paid a penny, receives no royalties and was left with the bills for the UK side of the recording. If you still want to buy it go ahead!
Rick Wakeman's Greatest Hits is still available and seems to be holding it's own as is the video. The ABWH CD is doing well as expected.
The Castle Communications Rick Wakeman Live video is now no longer available. We are doing our best to clarify the situation and we'll update you in the next issue.
Negotiations are still going on with various companies as regards Hope Records and we are confident that although it will be a long haul, it will eventually reach fruition.
A possibility has also arisen for Rick to record a one off Christian album for a large American company. Initial talks are quite well advanced and decisions should have been reached one way or another by the time of the next Newsletter.
Negotiations are also going on with Beckmann Video as regards the future of the Gospels and Classical Connection, again we will give you the result of these talks in the next Newsletter.
Return to the Centre of the Earth is coming along tremendously in Demo form, although the first seven minutes is very high studio quality. It is hoped that more of the work will be completed over the next couple of months culminating in a firm proposal as regards it's recording in Brazil and subsequent
There was a planned release for Sattva Arts of a new meditation based product but Rick and representatives from Sattva Arts could not agree, (even closely), on the style and production of the product and the intended recording will now not take place.
Live performances could number a few more than previously planned. Firstly there is an outdoor event planned on May 21st in Newcastle accompanied by a massive fireworks display during the last piece.
Rick has written a new piece for the event entitled "Light up the Sky" and it is hoped that a CD of the same name will be available on the day. It should be a great event, well worth travelling to, but as the site has a capacity limit we strongly recommend that you book your tickets in advance if you possibly can.
The full Wakeman with Wakeman line up including Chrissie Hammond will be involved, although Bass will be played by DAVY PATON, as (Alan Thompson is away in Europe on tour with Long John Baldrie), so providing we can stop Greasy Wop from looking at the Fireworks, Davy from looking at his wallet, Adam from looking at the girls and Chrissie from looking to see if she can see anything three feet in front of her. It should be one hell of a night! The organisers of the event have also said that if the evening is successful then they would seriously consider taking the show to other outdoor venues around the country.
Rick Wakeman fans from all over the country are sure to be travelling to Newcastle this summer for the Wakeman concert of the year.
In a one-off UK date, prior to his South American tour, Wakeman teams up with top Newcastle-based pyrotechnicians, A.Alan Hillary Events, for a music, light and firework spectacular featuring re- arrangements from classic albums such as The Six Wives of Henry VII[ and Journey to the Centre of the Earth, plus some of his most exciting new material and a specially written fire-work finale piece, 'Light Up The Sky'.
The fireworks - a dazzling two tonnes of them - will be designed and fired by the team who thrilled nearly a million spectators at last year's Tall Ships Race fireworks display on the Tyne.
In a masterpiece of synchronised sight and sound, the half hour display) will be choreographed to Wakeman's songs providing a stunning climax to this musical extravaganza;.
The concert was the idea of events expert and pyrotechnician, Alan Hillary;
"I approached Rick Wakeman for the concert firstly because of the excellence of his music but secondly, because the rock music he will be playing lends itself beautifully to a fireworks display.
"It will be a great show which can be enjoyed by everyone. This concert should be very exciting even for people who don't know Rick's work and we're expecting lots of families to come along just as you would see at any firework display - only, of course, this won't be just any fire- work display!"
Newcastle band Brendan Healy who wrote and performed the 1993 Tall Ships Fireworks Music, supports Wakeman, and jugglers and street performers will add to the festival atmosphere.
The concert, which is being promoted in association with Metro FM, will take place on Saturday 21 May 1994 at Gosforth Park Race Course. Gates open at 7pm with the support on stage at 7.30pm and Rick Wakeman on stage at 8.30pm. The show finishes at approximately 1O.30pm.
South America is now confirmed for June and July for Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Mexico, other countries are hopefully in the process of being added.
Whilst we have had to admit that there is no possibility of a band tour at the end of the year due to sever financial restrictions, Adam and Rick have been discussing the possibilities of doing a Classical Connection type of show except with two keyboard players as against keyboards and guitar. This is looking extremely likely to happen and would be in the usual time slot of November and early December, leading up to the inevitable Christmas Party... Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggghhh
One of the projects under discussion with President records is that of a two keyboard album with just Rick and Adam to accompany the proposed tour. The plan would actually be to get it out a couple of months before the t actually starts which would be one hell of a novelty I
The television side of things is looking healthy at the moment. Already this year Rick; has appeared on or recorded for later showing, Masterchef, Home Truths, The Biz, Bygones and The Comedy Store.
For the Comedy store, the well known and long running American series, Rick was the compere, something that he really enjoyed. Home Truths was hilarious and helped enhance Rick's sojourn into television. Masterchef was Rick's chance to be a judge and sample titbits of food. Unfortunately instead of having little tastes of each dish, Rick ate the lot!
The Biz was an interview programme on which Rick talked seriously for once. Rick found this quite difficult to control and was consistently reminded to keep it straight and avoid quips and anecdotal chat. Basically Rick couldn't find much to say.
Buygones is really exciting. Its a new quiz programme hosted by Rick's mate Danny Baker. There are six programmes in all and Rick is in all them. Starting date is Friday 13th May BBC1 at 7.00pm. If the series proves successful then they will run some more and hopefully Rick will keep one of the coveted positions as Team captain,
Finally negotiations are a long way down the line for Rick to be given the chance to host a new series later on in the year. All we can say at this stage is that it involves a major television Network and a huge television production company. Rick is very excited about this as television is a great love of his and if this comes off it will mean Rick could become a regular on the small screen which could possibly lead on to other things. Isn't it amazing though out of all Rick's numerous television appearances, not even one has required him to play any music! Are they trying to tell him something!
Granada television are preparing to do a huge documentary on Chernobyl and are going to use Rick'6 music for the sound track. As you have probably guessed, it will all be based around the track ''Children of Chernobyl" from the No Expense Spared CD.
"Gone but Not Forgotten" achieved third place in the Winter Olympics with the help of a Chinese skater which was really nice. It was amazing the number of calls we got on this.
Adam has been writing new material with a guitarist friend and is also looking forwards to putting his own band together before the year is out.
He also wishes to inform those interested, that he is in his local pub's pool team and is playing quite well. Shame he can't beat his Dad yet though.
Rick has been on the after dinner speaking circuit and has met with some considerable success. For obvious reasons we cannot name the companies that Rick has spoken to, but they have been as diverse as a major car company, (which Rick really enjoyed), to a major banking institute dinner! Which Rick thought was really hypocritical after the events of the last few years on tour. Rick has also done a couple of "Freebie" personal appearances for friends which he really enjoyed. one was at Fulham Football Club for his great friend Jimmy Hill for the launch of their Fulham 2000 Campaign. Rick has attended Fulham a few times this season as Jimmy's guest and says that it is the friendliest club he has been to for as long as he can remember. Fulham have struggled a little this season and it was a strange situation for Rick when Fulham beat his old team, Brentford, to virtually secure safety. Rick was in fact really pleased and sent a fax off to Jimmy accordingly.
Rick has also been involved with Huddersfield Town and their new Kirklees Stadium. They have all been very friendly towards Rick and gave him an invite to the Autoglass Cup Final at Wembley Stadium where they play Swansea in the Final. Huddersfield have also been struggling in the second division this year and so Rick has found a soft spot for them also and would like to see them steer clear of the relegation zone as well as winning the final. Brentford have sadly missed the play offs. Manchester City are struggling and Rick has not been picked once for the Showbiz XI this season.
The other personal appearance was at Premier Ford in Newport on the Isle of Wight. Rick has had quite a long relationship with this garage who have supported Rick tremendously over the last couple of years whenever he has performed on the Island. Robert Le Brecht, the service Manager there has also become a close friend of Rick's and was instrumental in providing a van for the last UK tour which helped Rick keep the losses down a bit. The Garage were launching a new Rapid Fit Exhaust and Tyre Centre as well as launching the new Ford Probe which Rick had great fun driving around the Island without getting nicked for speeding. Unfortunately Premier Ford did not give him one to go home with, but it was a day full of fun especially with the Isle of Wight Radio.
Rick and Adam did a fun presentation for Korg keyboards in Leicester earlier this year, which was most enjoyable, organised by Carlsboro, it was held in a night club and Rick and Adam played a pair of OlW Pro X's and told the usual ludicrous stories. The planned forty minute performance lasted around two hours, but nobody seemed to mind!
Rick was recently in America to do some charity performances for the ASSIST charity. This was a wonderful experience for Rick who just played a grand piano and chatted in his usual inimitable fashion. All proceeds went to the charity with just Rick's air fare and hotel rooms provided. Rick met many wonderful people and had many meetings concerning Hope Records as well as looking at secular music possibilities.
Whilst in Nashville he met up with Robin Crowe, (for those of you unfamiliar with his work, he is one tremendous guitar player well worth checking out). The pair of them have agreed to work on each other's future projects which should be well worth listening to when the time comes.
Rick's final performance was in a three thousand seater Church in Costa Mesa, fifty or so miles south of Los Angeles. seven thousand people turned up.
They housed them in other halls and set up video screens and PA Systems and the performance went ahead, albeit a few minutes later than scheduled.
Back to the television again, and some of you may have caught Nina on the box on the programme all about life in the seventies. It would be nice to see more of Nina on the television. Producers please take note.
How can we complete a newsletter without a Golf report! Well Rick's golf has been a little wayward of late and so he had a two hour Golf Lesson with the touring professional Mark Pursey who has seemingly put him right. Apparently all that was needed was a new positive mental approach.
Rick used to think he was playing rubbish, with his new positive approach, he now knows he is playing rubbish!
Now to answer some of your questions. As a lot of questions are duplicated by many of you we will not be naming the questioners, but we're sure you know who you are!
"Will Rick be working with YES or Steve and Bill in the near future?" In the foreseeable future, no, but the last time Rick was asked that question and gave the same answer, he was made to eat his words just a couple of months later and so he is reluctant to give anything more than a politicians answer! He has worked out many possibilities with Jon and would like to do a joint production with him for one day and he really thinks this is possible. As for working with Yes, well Rick really feels that he has come and gone enough times now and that the management, record company and perhaps band have set their new course and it is not of a design that Rick can or could be part of under restrictions. Another A.B.W.H. tour or album? Perhaps, who knows really. Contractually it would be difficult, maybe it was always meant to be a one of as was the Union Tour.
"If Return to the Centre of the Earth reaches fruition in Brazil, will it be performed in the UK?" The simple answer is YES, if a promoter and agent take it on board. It will not be cheap to stage and so hopefully if it is successful in South America, the ensuing publicity will help it to get a good response over here. As everybody is well aware of attempts to get initial UK interest have met with similar enthusiasm to that of the Isle of Skye wishing to stage the next Olympics.
Why can't we buy sheet music for Rick's stuff?.... this has been a massive problem and is not progressing very well I'm afraid a.c regards the earlier material. Basically on all writing up to the end of 1992 Rick neither has any participation in earnings, royalties or say in it's management and thus has to deal with many third parties in order to get them to agree to release sheet music.
Also one or all of those third parties would have to finance the preparation involved in this as Rick is certainly not prepared to do all the necessary work,pay for the privilege of doing it and then watch all the third parties collect the residuals! So a sort of stalemate has arisen, but the table is still open for talks and we will not close any doors this end.
Since Rick's new agreement with Edward Kassner Music things have changed considerably. They are very keen on sheet music and THE HERITAGE SUITE looks like being the first to hit the street sometime later this year. Unfortunately they are not allowed to print up the earlier material that they do not publish.
I can't find No Earthly Connections,or White Rock on CD and Rhapsodies costs a fortune on import... We are trying very hard to come to some sort of agreement with A&M; over these particular recordings but again we are making very slow headway. White Rock did actually appear in the anniversary set but we know that there were only 4,000 ever mastered and we are hearing strange-stories of second hand sales of these. We know of one person who found one for £10.00 and another who paid £65.00. In America it sells for in excess of $100-150.
Will there be any Gospels performances this year?... We sincerely hope so but as yet we have no takers. As some of you aware we did four Gospels performances last year of which two were very successful and raised large sums for the charities involved. Regrettably one of the performances was run by people who ignored all our advice and subsequently in spite of doing quite well at the end welsh}- on paying the expenses for the band, crew and PA system, leaving Rick to pay the bills. Their unfortunate unbelievably unchristian approach to the Gospels and it's performance has now forced Rick to insist on official contracts to be drawn up exonerating him from future responsibilities in this area and this has naturally dampened ardour somewhat. We hope that it does not put too many people off who may be interested in using the performance to raise monies for their own charities as most in the past have been extremely successful as well as enjoyable
Is this year's party going to be on the back to school theme as announced at last year's party? Where is the party going to be held, it's about time there was one further South. As regards the venue it is a very much down usually to whereabouts we are geographically on tour at the time and availability of Hotel Ballrooms and whether Candy can bribe them to allow us in, we managed to hit a Saturday this year, I don't know whether this suited people or not, if you would like to write and tell me whether it is better on a w/e or during the week then I call start to look at places C. Also Hotels are not exactly jumping up and down with enthusiasm to stage our wondrous annual event! I wonder why? it would be nice to move it down a bit this year though and perhaps next year take it into Scotland.