There is a sadness whilst I write this GORR as I have just been informed of the passing of my dear friend Norman Wisdom.

As many of you will know, Norman was a “neighbour” of mine for 13 years when I lived on the Isle of Man and we spent so many happy hours together during this time and it was laugh a minute with him.

I sat down quietly after hearing the news to reminisce over the times I appeared with him on stage, sat in his beautiful house with him, recorded an album with him, sat terrified next to him when he drove his beloved Rolls Royce, played golf with him ….(well those partnering tried to play golf but it was difficult as Norman didn’t particularly like the R&A rules and had his own. For example, if he was in a bunker, he could shout “Montgomery”, which in Norman’s rules meant he could have as many free shots as he liked to get out).

I suddenly found myself laughing out loud at all these wonderful memories… and that’s what Norman has left us… laughter encased in wonderful memories.

Rehearsals have started for the Project 360 tour and Jon is singing really well. We hope that we’ve put together a set that everybody will find enjoyment with and what we have planned is a step on from the last tour of 4 years ago. Expect the unexpected though!!!

I always set a few targets for myself when I’m out on the road and this time is no exception. A minimum of a stone and a half has to disappear from around the waist so I can get back into my favourite suit by the end of November! Ironically this is quite easy for me to do as I can’t eat before shows and don’t eat after shows, so it’s breakfast and light lunch on show days!

The album “The Living Tree” is finished and we’re thrilled with it. There are 9 songs, and what’s tremendous is that these are the nine very best songs and pieces of music from a huge choice that we had. It was like going back to early YES days for me as we simply discarded what we couldn’t make work instead of trying to find a home for it. Jon is truly back at his lyrical best and the album is full of melody and meaning.

With good fortune and a following wind, the album should be available to buy on the tour, almost from day one.

As regards projects that have been ongoing in preparation for next year, I am sorry to have to say that the proposed Australian tour of Journey to the Centre of the Earth is now a non-starter, but as always, other possibilities are now starting to appear, so some things really do happen for a reason.

Vintage Television has got off to a flying start and I am very pleased to be a part of the set up. I’ve already recorded my video show, which has been aired a few times already, plus an appearance on Me and Mrs Jones, with Lesley-Anne Jones.

Discussions are very far advanced as to my next participations on Vintage TV and I hope to be able to report on these in my November GORR.

Well, that’s about it for this month and I hope to see many of you whilst Jon and I are out on the Project 360 tour.

…and finally… I’ve succumbed. I said I never would, and indeed I have ranted on this particular subject on Rick’s Place on Planet Rock on more than one occasion..

I have slagged them off as unnecessary, slagged the people off who have them as sad individuals and indeed suggested they should all be destroyed …(the product that is, not the individuals who own them).

I glare at people on the train who use them. I even glare at people who understand how to work them. Basically I just glare at anyone who I think may even own one.

….and now I have one.

A Blackberry.

The only thing I can say in my defence though is that I have no idea how it works.

Cheers,
Rick


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