This newsletter is a little shorter than our usual bumper issues which is mainly due to the fact that not a lot of new happenings have appeared on the horizon as we have been going hell for leather in getting the tour xmas party and numerous recordings in the studio finished.
Also we wanted to bring this newsletter out a little earlier than usual in order to update everybody with the as complete a tour schedule as possible. The latest update is printed a little later on.
The tour is now coming together quite nicely. A lot of work has been done and a lot more has still to be done. Frank Fallows has been very busy on the promotional front and in organising the second van for additional equipment and merchandising.
Ian Barfoot has been rebuilding the PA system in order to accommodate the additional equipment that it will have to cope with, as apart from the Greasy Wop's kit and Alan's bass and guitars, Rick and Adam have ten keyboards between them! (Quite a considerable difference from the Classical Connection set up).
A special logo has been designed for the merchandise and the programme, the latter moving back slightly to the more "humorous" variety that was Rick's trademark back in the seventies. Musically it should be quite revolutionary at times, as the new music from the "Wakeman with Wakeman" album has been carefully put together with two keyboard players in mind and should sound tremendous in a live situation.
We are reliably informed that advance ticket sales are general very good. Derby has already sold out the evening performance and an additional show has been added.
Rick is also re-arranging a couple of the most popular pieces from the Classical Connection set, "Eleanor Rigby" being one such example for performance with all four musicians.
A few old favourites will still be there, although again in new arrangement form, but more than enough surprises to keep both musicians and audience on their toes.
At least five brand new pieces will be performed, one of which is another "cover version" which the lads think will be even more popular than the introduction of "Eleanor". To date, Rick and Adam have completed over eighty interviews for both radio and press and plan to do at least another fifty during the tour.
Rehearsals are somewhat unusual with Adam and Rick having locked themselves away in the studio on the Isle of Man and Alan and Greasy Wop working individually with pre-prepared tapes.
Full band rehearsals start one week before the first show in Scunthorpe.
At the time of going to press we still have two dates as yet unconfirmed. November 23rd and December 6th. It is sincerely hoped that both these dates will be filled very soon.
Finally, a whole new batch of new photos have been produced to accompany the promotion of the tour. (Rick is not overwhelmed by them as he reckons Adam looks too young).
At present there are four projects under way in the studio. Although by the time that this issue hits the streets, most if not all will be completed. The first and most poignant is the "Wakeman with Wakeman" album, which contains more than fifty minutes worth of classic keyboard playing from both Rick and Adam.
Serious midnight oil was burnt in order to meet the deadline required for a release prior to the tour, which has just been confirmed as October 29th. We have been promised by Polygram, who distribute the ambient product, that copies will be available for sale at the first show in Scunthorpe on the 30th of October.
A special deal is also on offer to anybody who attends a concert during this tour. It is from Tring records who will be offering a very special deal on the album that Rick was commissioned to do for them containing re-recordngs of some of the best known music that Rick has done over the years.
We can give you a sneak preview of the titles recorded.
Firstly there is a thirty six minute instrumental version of "Journey to the Centre of the Earth", which contains new sections as well as new solo areas within the basic framework.
Sea Horses has a brand new opening section, Merlin the Magician is unlike any version you"ve ever heard. Gone but not Forgotten is based on the Classical Connection version, but with percussion and additional keyboards, as is Catherine of Aragon - all in all over one hours worth of classic re-recorded material for under half the price of a normal CD providing you pick up you mail order form at a show. Seems a pretty good reason to come along we think!
Early next year Rick will also complete a similar project for Tring records but this time performing instrumental versions of classic YES compositions. A deal has also been struck to produce on video the only known version that exists of the original Journey to the Centre of the Earth. We are not allowed to tell you any more at present except to say that it was recorded in 1975 and it is not the Crystal Palace concert. That should get some of you thinking )!
Tring records are also about to purchase and release at a very special price the live recordings from the ABWH tour and also they are negotiating for the only known live video tapes that were recorded in America.
Under a pre-existing contract with President Records, Rick has delivered to them a newly recorded Country Airs. All the original ten tracks have been re-recorded with slightly new arrangements, plus a further four previously unheard tracks have been added. Hopefully this will help alleviate the problem a lot of people have had as regards getting hold of the original Coda Records release.
We do not have an actual release date yet from President Records, but will let you know as soon as we have some copies for mail order.
We are also reliably informed that African Bach is about to appear on Rio Digital/Ambient Records and that Rock and Roll Prophet Plus is not too far behind.
Word Records have informed us that they are in the last throws of putting the cover together in order to satisfy the American end of their company and will let us know as soon as they have a release date. Wwe obviously were hoping it would be out for Xmas, but that looks exceedingly unlikely at this juncture. It is still not confirmed as to when Rick will be travelling to America to play on the new YES album. Dates will have to be confirmed soon, as Rick has a sixty day solo tour of the USA waiting in the wings with the American rock ensemble to promote the Classic Tracks release in the USA which has now been confirmed as January 10th.
Tickets for the bash in Manchester have nearly all gone. At the time of going to press there were just thirty places left as response has been phenomenal, with people attending from as far afield as America, Israel and Germany!
The cabaret for the evening which will include Rick, Adam and the lads also has some surprise guest friends of Rick's and the evening promises to be somewhat outrageous and a party to remember, so if you haven't already booked, phone Candy quick, or else you'll be sure to regret missing the night of the year.
If you can't make the party though, Rick and all his family plus Candy and all associated with him wish all of you a very happy Xmas and a new year full of all the nice things in life that we wish each other.
No newsletter is complete for Rick without a golf report and this one is no exception although after his appalling performance at Bolton in the celebrity tournament, the clubs were nearly up for sale as Rick played the worst golf of his entire life with no birdies or eagles, only the odd par and lots of very very naught words.
But out of disaster comes triumph they say, and it came in La Manga, Spain during the week of the Henry Cooper Classic when Rick came second in two of the tournaments played on what are considered two of the toughest courses in Europe.
Bolton still haunts him though!
We have decided not to make it too over the top as regards difficulty this time around, as Rick got most of the questions wrong himself the last time! The prize will be a piece of rare "Rick" memorabilia - closing date for entry will be January 1st with the winner being announced in the second issue of the year.
Question one. How many different lead vocalists have performed with Rick live on stage, in his solo concerts? Do not include backing vocalists
Question two. Where was the very first performance of The Gospels in its entirety and how many people were in the band on stage?
Question three. What was the first piece of music that Rick ever recorded that he wrote himself?
Here is the latest tour schedule, which supersedes that of the last newsletter. If you are in need of any further information or think you can help in any way, please phone either the halls direct or Candy here at the office or Phil or Brian at BDA.