Here are replies from Rick to a series of questions put to him during April 2000 whilst on tour in the UK.
  • Jon Hinchliffe in the UK
    • Album by album
      • What Inspired him to do the album or how did it come about.
      • What does he think of the album in retrospect.
      • How did he choose the musicians
      • Does Rick tend to incorporate new sounds with each batch of recording?
      • Album covers anecdotes?
      • Much as I'd love to, I just haven't the time to go through my entire catalogue, you're welcome to pick out a few specific examples if you like.
    • WwW had the WwW gimmick all over it. He doesn't normally go for Gimmick sounds.
      • What happened there?
        • Don't understand what is meant by the WwW gimmick?
      • What influence did Adam have on him?
        • To be honest , Adam has not had any influence on what I have done or what we have done together.
      • What influence did Rick have on Adam (Adam's solo stuff is very different except on Vignette. I wonder why?).
        • I don't think I have had much influence over Adam either.
      • What inspired such a shift to a rock album for a change.
        • Albums are driven by what you have most recently written stylewise and also what is fiscally available!
    • Chrisse Hammond
      • What makes him use Chrissie on a song?
        • I love Chrissie's voice and subconsciously I suppose songs that have a female slant I tend to write with her in mind.
      • Why does she almost never appear on a full album?
        • I suppose the reason that Chrissie has not appeared on a full album is simply because I have never written an entire album with her in mind.
      • Does Rick write in a particular style for her.
        • Yes I do write specifically with her in mind , but I always do that regardless of whoever the singer is.
    • Phantom Power
      • Wrong era, but on Phantom Power why did he use vocalist on a silent movie?
        • The brief with Phantom Power was to produce a brand new sound track for the original film. I therefore took the three main characters from the film and had each part "played" in the sound track by Ramon Remedios, Chrissie Hammond and Ashley Holt.
      • Again how did he choose who to use?
        • I wanted three totally different styles , hence a female vocalist , a male rock vocalist and an operatic tenor.
      • Was a pleased with the results. It is one of my favourites and watching the Video is like being at a concert for me. It seems a very strange still for general public though.
        • I'm happier with the film than I am with the soundtrack CD. I think the film works really really well. The album turned out too bitty for my liking but however hard I tried I couldn't cure this to my satisfaction.
    • Does Rick's sounds in general change with the keyboards? e. g. it is interesting comparing the sounds on the Italian albums.
      • Don't understand this question
    • Every tour he seems to learn a new lesson in finances, does he think he will ever manage to get things to work? Or is the industry too cut throat?
      • Good question. Quite simply , the industry is cut-throat and the "artist" is always the one expected to take all the risks and be the last to get paid after everybody else has , and providing there is anything left over. This is unlikely to change , unless my fortunes take a massive sudden upsurge !
    • Does he get frustrated at his lack of money?
      • Yes. I have some dream projects that I would love to get my teeth into , but I am like most other people and have mortgages , bills and wages to pay which means I don't have the financial back-up to take months off here and there in order to produce all the things I would really like to, before it is too late.
    • Does Rick feel each of the Trilogies still has their own style?
      • Sort of. they are all written to a formula that we know works as regards relaxation and meditative moods and so there will always be a similarity with them.
    • Does he still write with a mental image in mind?
      • Everything I write has a picture. Some are "stills" , others are almost complete "movies".
    • Lyrics
      • How does he cope with Lyrics?
        • I love doing lyrics. If however I find I can't make it work the way I would like , I get a lyricist on board , normally one I really like such as Tim Rice.
      • Is he always considering lyrics or is it something he has to force himself to do?
        • I am always working on the lyrics whilst recording and sometimes whilst writing the song.
      • Which comes first the music or the Lyric?
        • Mostly the music comes first although more often than not I have the chorus line lyric or a major line in the song from the outset.
      • Does he prefer song format or music if he listens to something?
        • Music if the truth be known.
      • Which does he prefer to write?
        • Music, although occasionally I come up with some lines that I really like or complete songs that I feel have a really good balance of music and lyrics. "Return" is a good example of this.
    • Why do follow up's rarely have the same feel to them?
      • Don't really understand this question.
    • Oliver Wakeman
      • What does he think of Oliver's albums.
        • I am very proud of Oliver and what he has achieved. He is brilliant at persuading people to work on his projects for little or nothing ! Good for him. I wish I had had the same fiscal tenacity when I started out, and even today! I liked a lot of Jabberwocky. I also like his piano playing and think he should do another album in that style at some time.
      • Why has he never worked with him? (Except to narrate Jabberwocky)
        • If a suitable project ever arose it would not be out of the question. The same goes for Oscar (drummer) and Jemma (vocals and piano).
    • When were the Merlin lyrics written and why?
      • The Merlin lyrics were written after a dream. I was putting a show together and often go to sleep still thinking about the set which invariably turns into a dream. Ashley sang Merlin in the dream. I remembered most of the lyrics when I awoke and wrote them down immediately. Ashley sang Merlin on the tour that followed.
    • Have you ever tried to get the 1987 BBC Gala concert released on CD?
      • I don't know which concert this is. Any clues ?
    • When I am criticising other bands set lists you tend to be the standard I am criticising them by. Not only do you tend to change the set, you even change the arrangements a lot. (A friend asked me to put all the released Merlins on one CD-R and amazingly it is a good listen!). I still have complaints about your sets though. It is very rare you play current songs in a set. When you do add something for the fans it is nearly always from the 70's. Would you like to be able to include songs from the 80's or 90's? Do you feel you have to have things like Eleanor and Bowie tracks in the set in order to appeal to the large public audience that only know you as "a funny bloke from TV".
      • Interesting question this. I always change arrangements of pieces in order to keep them fresh for all concerned. I do always try and put in at least one track from whatever is the current album. Big problem when there's 90 odd albums to choose from though! I can honestly say I don't put any piece in that I don't want to play or enjoy playing. Certainly playing Bowie stuff and Eleanor does help the show as regards new friends in the audience who don't know any of my music. I really don't mind this as I am able to arrange the pieces in my own style.
    • How did Rick find Chrissie? I think you first used her on African Bach but again this is before my detailed level on knowledge on Rick.
      • Chrissie was recommended by Ashley Holt when I was looking for a female singer for Phantom Power.
    • The original version of Hymn has quite a long start with little going on. Rick solos on it on later versions and that really makes it for me. I wonder if Rick decided the same and what his original thinking was.
      • You've pretty much hit the nail on the head here. The Battle Hymn or Hymn of Hope as it is sometimes called , has certainly developed over the years. When I heard the original version , mixed and pressed , I really liked it but always felt it could have been more powerful as regards the backing for the vocal and so when the opportunity arose I added mini moog and choir and additional guitar, and was very pleased with the final result.
    • Finally we might as well ask Rick - I wonder if anyone here ever saw the performance of Softsword at the Dickens 1991 Festival at Rochester? If so I would like to hear any memories. What was it etc. ?
    • Sadly I missed it. Friends who were there said it was chaotic , with thousands , or seemingly thousands , of men dressed up in various uniforms firing various things off at each other whilst the music struggled to be heard !
    • I hope you will do whatever you have to too keep touring it is great being a British Rick Wakeman fan!
      • I do enjoy touring but it is becoming physically more and more demanding and after the last tour I now own up that I am not the man I physically once was.
    • Can we have a list of what the pieces on the Private Collection are. i. e. their reason for writing, era, and reason for inclusion etc. Basically the notes that should have been put on the album in the first place.
      • I actually don't have a copy of the album ! I'll get a track list and I'll answer the question!
  • Jacintho in Brazil
    • The soundtrack of "Bullet to Beijing" and "Midnight in Moscow" belongs to Rick? Is there any chance of it being released on CD?
      • We are currently trying to find out who actually owns these soundtracks. there is the possibility of one album being made up from the music of the two films , but ownership has to be sorted out first, a very difficult subject this.
    • Why does Rick Manage himself? Or does he?
      • I do to a certain extent because every manager I have had in the past fifteen - twenty years has just collected their percentage and brought in no new areas of musical work. I use agents where necessary and pay them their percentages accordingly , but I feel "why should I pay 15% to a management company when I get the work directly and do everything necessary to obtain it". If a manager came along who was willing to collect a percentage of the work he actually obtained , then that would be a different matter , but that is unlikely. I don't like managing myself , it is unsatisfactory in almost every department.
    • Doesn't Rick think that he would better to concentrate on the music composition only and leave other professionals to do the work like mixing, saying what should or shouldn't appear on this or that album, to sign contracts, distributors, etc. . .
      • I do leave the professionals to do all the mixing. I use lawyers for contracts, but as regards what appears on albums. If that decision isn't left to me then I might as well not be involved at all ! If my name's on the cover then I stand or fall by what music is on the CD.
    • Don't he think that he should keep to the Epic or Symphonic style, which most people know him for (like he did with King John!) even not having an Orchestra and Choir available, meaning that he could use keyboards and have layers and layers of instruments producing this kind of music we were used to hearing in the past?
      • I would certainly like to do more "epic" work , but everything is fiscal driven. Big epic works take time and cost money. If the budget is not there then they don't happen. You have to tailor your suit according to what cloth you have.
  • Robert Everton
    • What does he think of Liquid Tension Experiment?
      • Never heard of it. Sounds like a description of a bladder complaint.
    • Would he ever consider a project like it?
      • As I don't know what it is I can't really answer the question at the moment I'm afraid. I'm intrigued now !
    • Would he consider adopting a "Virgil Fox" sort of role in bringing classical music into the lives of today's musically narrow-minded youth? By that, I mean one-man touring concerts with fancy lights, lasers, effects, and classical music. Some variations rocked up, some traditional.
    • No , not with classical music anyway. I like the idea of an over the top one man production show though !
  • Paul Collins
    • Has Rick any plans, or considered, issuing sheet music for his piano work (Airs, Preludes, Heritage Suite, etc. ), or maybe doing some sort of tutorial book or video for keyboardists?
      • I would love to have the stuff available on sheet music. The problem lies with the publishers. They claim it is not an earner for them. Anything before 1994 I'm not allowed to do anyway. This means anything published by Rondor Music is a non-starter. Both publishers who have dealt with my music since then have expressed a minor / moderate interest but want me to produce all the music on manuscript for nothing. There is about two months worth of solid work to produce a good quality music book with say 30 titles in it and I just can't afford to do it either time wise or financially. It is a very frustrating area.
    • Any developments in the plans for a Wakeman/Emerson tour?
      • It is moving ahead. the music for the album is written and Keith and I are very happy. Touring plans are moving very slowly though.
  • Mark Schult
    • Can Rick tell us of any conceptual themes he might be saving for future albums?
      • Don't have any , if the truth be known. have to say , I doubt whether I would let the cat out of the bag if there were though !
    • Has Rick ever considered putting together an instructional video (or multimedia presentation) keyboard tutorial?
      • I have been asked to do this many times and turned them all down. Once I have offloaded my "secrets" then I lose my individuality. Heaven knows the business is difficult enough without having to compete with other musicians who know exactly how I work! If "lottery" money were offered though , I would have to seriously reconsider this view !
    • What keyboard and recording hardware would Rick recommend for an beginning musician/composer or hobbyist?
      • Tricky one this. It's like trying to tell someone what car they should have. I always suggest they visit a large keyboard store and try everything and pick the one that suits them personally the best.
    • Why isn't Rick invited to do more soundtracks? It seems such a missed opportunity for filmmakers.
      • There are a couple on the table at the moment, I do get offered quite a few, but of course the deals have to be right.
    • Why hasn't 2000 AD Into the Future been more highly promoted this year? The music is fantastic and is obviously relevant.
      • Good point. Can't give you a decent answer. I believe President Records have it , so maybe the question should be redirected to them.
  • Bruce
    • What is your current opinion regarding the Internet, and its use as a marketing tool for your work? Wayne Smith is hosting some great sound samples at www. rwcc. com and it is a wonderful method of promoting your latest release!!
      • I think that the Internet will be crucial to people like me. It already is in so many ways. I can see it's role growing even more over the coming years.
    • Do you have any plans to release something with Oliver? With the whole family? - You, Adam, Oliver, Nina (marvellous speaking voice!! )
      • Heading for the realms of self-indulgency here ! One for the hard core supporters for sure , but a sure fire loser with the rest of the world. I am planning some tracks with Jemma though who has one hell of a voice.
    • Will you ever be able to own the rights again to any of your earlier works?? ( the A & M years) It seems a shame that your hands are tied in regards to doing anything with these treasures, which many people seem to be so interested in.
      • I own not even 1% or earn one penny from anything pre-1995. No chance of getting any of it back either. I appreciate how important all this music is to me as it is what has enabled me to keep working , but I have to try and look ahead as I have overdrafts and mortgages and wages to pay just like the next man and so it is product after 1995 that I am looking at in order to keep my family fed and watered !
    • Take a minute to mention some of the charities that you are involved in. . . I have noticed SPARKS mentioned at RWCC. . .
      • Sparks, Clatterbridge Hospital, Sight Savers, Roy Castle Foundation, Variety Club, Grand Order Of Water Rats. The first two are my main ones.
    • What would you like to be best remembered for?
      • I'd be amazed if anyone remembered me within a month of my (hopefully) meeting my Maker.
  • Daniel Earnshaw
    • Over the years, many amazing Yes rarities that you composed and played on have been heard about, but not released. Are there any plans for a Yes archive release, that might cover some of the many studio and live pieces, as yet not officially available on any album or the YesYears box set ?
      • I think it's sadly highly unlikely. YES is fuelled by individual greed as regards pieces that appear on all YES product. I think it is highly unlikely that any of my "lost" YES stuff will ever see the light of day. I have even heard that certain members of the band who will remain nameless have actually had some stuff erased. Certainly that is the case with Keys 2.
    • In past interviews, you have expressed an interest in returning to the material created during the aborted Golden Age sessions. Have the original master tapes reappeared yet, and might such a return be a band or solo effort ?
      • Heaven knows where the tapes are and even if they're still in a usable condition. I would like to finish the Paris tapes of with Jon for sure , but Heaven only knows where they are.
    • During your time with Yes, there were thousands of concerts performed, but only a handful of live releases. Are there any plans for more live album(s) from the years you were with the band ?
      • Bane of my life this band ! There are loads of footage about , including the UNION tour. Some is fantastic. Problem is , nobody can agree in the band as to who owns what. It's all rather pathetic. I never seem to see any money from any compilations that appear anyway !
    • In recent years, especially since the creation of cdrs, there has been a growing interest in bootlegs. What is your opinion of unofficial recordings, that bear your name but are not endorsed being available to fans?
      • Tricky one this. If the record company's won't release the stuff and the fans want it , then you can't blame them for buying bootlegs. The answer's obvious. Get the stuff out officially.
    • It was reported that you were unhappy with the versions of the studio songs on Keys To Ascension 2, and that one recording had been omitted from the final release. Are there any plans for the release of the original versions with the missing piece ?
      • Not that I know of. I was very unhappy with the way that keys 2 finished up , but if you're not in the band , you don't have a say.
    • According to the pre-release postings about your recent album, Preludes to a Century, it was to be called Preludes to a Millennium. Why did you change such an apt name ?
      • This was President's idea, and I think a good one. People may well tend to think of this year as being the only one associated with the Millennium and so would "date" the recording. I have left the title track as Prelude to a Millennium though.
    • When you are recording albums, how do you choose when to make the releases 1CD, when to make them 2CD, or even 3CD ?
      • Quite simply , it depends on the amount of music that I have.
    • Over the years, you have composed hundreds of different songs. How do you successfully compose so many unique songs when there must be thousands of tunes by other people inside your head ? Under what circumstances do you find you can compose the easiest, and how do you arrive at such magnificent pieces of music ?
      • No idea. You have inspiring moments and days , sometimes weeks when no inspiration comes. I don't look for it , question when and why it appears and never try to analyse how I write. That is searching for the x factor and the x factor cannot be found and analysed.
    • There have been some releases where you have re-recorded Yes music, solo music and other artists, such as Greatest Hits, The Classic Tracks and Tribute. How do you decide which tracks to re-record, and have you received any comments by the members of Yes or the Beatles on the music that you have covered ?There has been a belief among fans (including myself until recently) that your first solo album was The Six Wives of Henry VIII, but looking at your discography, Piano Vibrations is listed as your first album. Why is this album not mentioned much and are there any plans to make it more available since many fans find it difficult to obtain a copy ?
      • I simply pick what appeals to me. I have never had any comments back from either the Beatles or Yes as regards my arrangements of their compositions. Piano Vibrations was not my first album , the 6 wives was. Piano Vibrations was a session where I played piano on an album that was meant to be for a male vocalist , who's name I can't remember. When I started doing quite well with Strawbs , PYE records took his voice off , bumped up the piano part in the mix , which was mainly accompaniment anyway and put it out with my name (in very small letters on t he back). A&M sued them and it was eventually withdrawn. For the record , I was paid £9.
    • After the Guitar Legends concert at Expo, there was talk of a album being made by the performers, how far did these plans get and might the concert become available in the future ?
      • I thought an album did appear ? Obviously not. I know there were a load of contractual difficulties.
  • Graham Johnson
    • I enjoyed the performance of "Noah" and was hoping it would one day be recorded and released. Rick has expressed a similar desire in the RWCC newsletters and also mentioned another couple of choral pieces. So...
      • Is there any realistic prospect of a recording?
        • I loved Noah too. there are two other pieces waiting to be finished with choir etc. in order to complete the album. It will be done one day, when finances allow !
      • Have the other pieces been written or were they just concepts?
        • See above
      • The ECC seemed to enjoy the performance of "Noah". To me this was probably because it gave the entire choir lots to do instead of playing second fiddle to a few soloists. Have they performed it much? Has anyone else performed it?
        • I believe the choir have performed it two or three times since with a back track that I prepared especially for them.
      • Before the performance I was talking to Happy Holden and he was saying that the concert was originally pencilled in for the Barbican and Rick was working on another piece with a more secular theme (something to do with Circus perhaps?) that didn't seem so appropriate in a cathedral. It also featured more keyboards which was why Adam was initially listed as appearing. Is that a completed piece?
        • Absolutely correct. The circus piece was never completed and it doesn't look likely that it ever will.
      • Any other choral works in the pipeline?
        • Only those to complete for the Noah album
  • John Holden
    • I have thought the a "Christmas album" by yourself would be a welcome addition to your catalogue. The idea is not a new one I accept but few actually carry it off successfully I am sure you could. Keith Emerson has recently done something along these lines. Maybe a "festive" collaboration ?
      • It's purely for financial reasons that the Christmas Album has never been completed. Keith and I are unlikely to do a festive collaboration. He has already done one , and when I've done mine, that will be it.
    • Have you ever thought of doing ". . an audience with. . " type TV show. With your friends in the entertainment world it could be a great show. Maybe a celebrity band !!!
      • Love to! The offer has to come from a TV network though.
    • You have often spoken of your wish to play with Trevor Rabin again. Would you ever consider participating in a "special" YES concert/festival including numerous current and ex-YES musicians, or are all bridges burnt?
      • Never say never ! If Trevor were involved I would have to say I would certainly think about it. I'm not sure that Trevor would be keen though as I think there weren't just bridges burnt - more blown up with terminal destruction the order of the day!
    • In the creation of your music do you use sounds (digital/analogue) as part of the creative process itself? Could you mention any tracks that have been "sonically" inspired by a particular sound or instrument.
      • No. Everything is written on the piano and then I consider the sounds to use once in the studio.
  • Monique Yvette
    • Does Rick think that his church organ solo in the "Judas Iscariot" piece from his "Criminal Record" album (Summer 1977) influenced Andrew Lloyd Webber in the composition of his "Phantom of the Opera" done 10 years later and on stage for the first time in October 9, 1986? Sounds soooooo alike that makes me wonder if fragments of Judas were not later incorporated in that famous opera.
      • Very very good point. It has been mentioned before. The publishers at the time looked long and hard at it but apparently there was not quite enough plagiarised in order to make a definitive case. having said that , I have often thought that the power wielded by the Really Useful Company certainly played a part. As it happens I wouldn't have received a penny anyway as I don't get any royalties pre 1995 for anything I wrote.
  • Tristan Batory
    • Was the piano intro on Awaken recorded in real-time?
      • IT CERTAINLY WAS.
    • Why was Morning Has Broken recorded in D flat Is that your favourite key ?
      • It certainly wasn't ! It was recorded in C. Must be a problem with the CD somewhere !
  • Ken Holland
    • To what extent did Trevor Rabin contribute ( if any) to the composition of "Never is a Long, Long Time"? He's quite a genius.
      • He had nothing to do with the composition of the piece. Obviously the guitar solos are all his own ideas. I also think he has a touch of genius about his playing.
    • Since I've lost the cover to Yessongs, I'd love to know what gear you used for your "Six Wives'" excerpt.
      • Not a clue ! certainly there was a mellotron or two and the mini moogs were linked to a very early sequential circuits sequencer. A crumar electric piano would have been around along with a Hammond C3 and a Yamaha Grand Piano, which is now in my house. There would also have been at least thirty beer bottles on top of the equipment.
  • Martyn Collier
    • What was the extent of Rick's involvement with the BBC "Classic albums" show. Did he:
      • Help select the albums?
        • No
      • Help write the programs?
        • No
      • Did he simply "voice over" the program?
        • Yes
      • Is another series planned?
        • Yes
    • Has Rick any interest / plans to write a purely orchestral or orchestra/piano album?
      • Yes , but it will take time and would need commissioning. There is a trickle of interest out there so it may happen. I am currently in conversation with the powers to be at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and their orchestra.
    • Has Rick any plans to do a piano album with or without an orchestra of classic pieces? Items such as "Pachebel (Cannon in D major)" , "Claire de Lune", "The Day Though Gavest Lord, Hath Ended " from the current tour spring to mind but there must be many others.
      • This has also been suggested by a few other people recently and is certainly worth looking into.
  • Paul Adams
    • When you signed with EMI Classics was it just a 1 album deal or are there any possibilities of any more releases through them?
      • Just a one album deal. I would imagine that until EMI have recouped the cost of RETURN that there would be no possibility of any more releases by them. I thoroughly enjoyed working with them and they were fabulous people throughout.
    • Do you know anything about the American releases of the central TV gig & The Classical Connection on DVD & if so are they legit ? (or is it a "Classic Tracks" style rip-off?)
      • The release is legit. I have no control over it.
    • When will the DVD of the Marlborough concert be released? & will it contain all the "banter" hope so :-)!!!
      • About June. There will be at least four versions , some will certainly include the banter.
    • Whatever happened to the proposed collaboration with Fish (Half man half fish)?
      • Just never happened I'm afraid. It was on the cards whilst we shared the same management. Always a possibility I suppose for the future. I love his voice.
    • Do you think that it would be worthwhile organising a petition either through the RWCC or the website to push for Charisma/Virgin Records to release The Cost Of Living, Gole, The Burning & 1984 on CD in the UK? (I'd be happy to help arrange it, if it's worthwhile hassling Mr. Branson's empire)
      • Not really to be honest. I might have a try though and see if they'll license the stuff back to me. Not a bad thought that - Watch this space !
  • Christian Loebenstein
    • "Vienna By Moonlight" beautifully catches the mood of this city by night. Where does the inspiration for this piece come from?
      • Quite literally from the title. I have been lucky enough to have been there in beautiful moonlit situations and so the piece was literally written with my eyes shut whilst the memories formed pictures in my head.
    • Drummers or Drum-Computers? A musical or an economical decision?
      • Ideally I like to use a combination of both on recordings as I did with RETURN. On stage , no competition - live every time.
    • "Analogue" Keyboards:
      • Does Rick still have a Mellotron and/or use it (like it?)
        • Don't have any mellotrons anymore. The company that makes mellotrons now very kindly have offered to sell me one. I have very kindly told them that if I use one which will enhance their sales , then I'm not paying for one !. Therefore I don't have one !!!!
      • Besides technical progress and its possibilities - why not record an Album using good old Hammed Organs, Clavinets, Mellotrons, etc. (the Mini Moog reintroduced was a good beginning!)
        • As mentioned above. I don't have any.
    • Glenn Hughes to appear with Emerson/Wakeman ? Emerson to appear with Wakeman? Rumour or truth? Anything already decided?
      • The Emerson / Wakeman CD will be instrumental, but there will be a bonus CD given away with the recording that will contain stuff from Keith and myself that we are perhaps well known for , We will be appearing on each others stuff on this give-away CD as well and because a lot of this will require vocals , Glen Hughes certainly seems to be the front runner having already recorded a version of Tarkus with Keith.
  • Steve K
    • I have obviously enjoyed many of your compositions incorporating some of the most beautiful sounding church, or cathedral, organs in Europe. When you introduced Jane Seymour during your 50 years, or Half-Century tour last year (I saw you in Luton and enjoyed it immensely - perfect timing that I was in the UK then), you commented about the sampling of the organ to allow you to play it for the tour. While it's necessary for your performances, I noticed a lot of controversy, while in the UK, about an organ going electronic in Oxford at that time. How do you feel about the "electrification" of so many cathedral organs? Aren't we losing a sound that can't be produced anywhere else? I understand the expenses involved in maintaining such fine instruments is considerable. But I think part of the sound of the organ is the environment it is located within. Do you favor the trend to make convert them to an electronic instrument?
      • When I hear about £500,000 being needed to restore church organs I have to admit I raise my eyebrows. If the organ is of historical significance and importance then perhaps it should be saved. Most churches are fiscally driven these days and so to go electronic does seem to be the answer.
  • Timothy King
    • What exercises do you do to get your fingers loose?
      • If I'm not on tour I simply play the piano for about 2-3 hours daily. I suffer from rheumatism badly so I have to keep them as supple as possible and regular practise is the only way.
  • Damien Service
    • Why has Lisztomania (which I picked up on vinyl a few weeks ago, in perfect condition I might add) never been released on CD (except in Japan)? And will it get a general re-release someday?
      • A&M records own it , and as A&M no longer exist it's unlikely that they will release it. I was actually unaware that it had had a CD release in Japan. Thanks for that info !
    • The music on the LP was also in a class of it's own (mainly the synth and keyboard pieces) and I'm wondering if Rick thinks whether the music on Lisztomania would have a bigger impact today (if it was re-recorded), as it did when it was first released in 1975.
      • Yes it certainly could be improved upon with today's keyboards. It would not be financially worth it though as I don't have any publishing rights and the film was not successful enough to warrant the re-recording.
    • And finally, why did the movie soundtrack lack the raw energy that the soundtrack album displayed (especially in the keyboard & synthesiser pieces which were absent in the movie)?
      • I suggest you ask the music editor on the film that !!!! (good point though) !
  • David Grover
    • Loved the appearance with Bill Bailey on 'Never Mind the Buzzcocks'. I think it could go down a storm on the comedy/cabaret circuit if developed a little. Any aspirations in this direction?
      • Not for live purposes , but would love to see it developed for television, but how many times have I said that !