Plenty to report, in spite of the fact that the year has only just begun. This can easily be put into perspective by pointing out that Rick has managed just three games of golf since Xmas!
Well, we very nearly managed to move offices in January, but were thwarted by a lease that was obviously drawn up by a survivor of the Third Reich, and subsequently are still at 41 Circular Road, although the building is no longer called Carrera House. So please drop that from any correspondence.
We are at present looking at alternative premises, and of course will inform you all when the change finally comes, which in all probability will be closer to the middle of the year now. Rick is at present negotiating to buy premises in Peel here on the Island. This will either complete in mid March or collapse! Should it go through however there is considerable building work to be done on the property and so in this situation we would probably be looking at a June "move-in".
A couple of appearances so far, as mentioned in the last bulletin. Firstly the Derek Jameson Show, where Rick suffered at the hands of one of the earlier guests on the programme. who will remain nameless, but rabbited on way over his allotted time, leaving the producers no choice but to cut down the planned 2 minute showing of an extract of Phantom Of The Opera, to just under eleven seconds! but it still allowed Rick enough time to play a track, (The Pirate) from SEA AIRS, and secure an invite for later in the year.
In mid January DAYTIME LIVE showed the filming that Rick did on the life of Tolkien last year, and also invited him onto the programme where he even did a bit of juggling!
Again THE PIRATE had an airing, along with the golden oldie GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN. The BBC seemed suitably happy, and apart from collaring Rick for a live radio interview immediately after the programme, have since written spelling out plans for part two of the Tolkien story to be filmed hopefully later this year in Oxfordshire.
THE RELUCTANT COOK is up for a repeat showing, although the date has not yet been given us.
Channel Four has been experimenting with the LANDSCAPE channel of New Age type music, and WATERFALLS has been given regular airings. We hope they progress with this idea and maybe discover some more of Rick's New Age stuff.
Whilst on the subject of New Age music, Rick would like to point out very strongly that the term New Age that has been given to his ambient type instrumental music, has absolutely nothing to do with the New Age sects that are currently hitting the headlines in America. These sects tend to be anti-Christian, and Rick being a Christian does not wish to be thought to be linked to any such organisations.
As you may well be aware, Rick signed with President Records to do six albums in a New Age Collection. Four have been completed - THE FAMILY ALBUM, ZODIAQUE, A SUITE OF GODS AND SEA AIRS, and NIGHT AIRS is written and complete, leaving one further album to go. Rick has every intention of continuing in this type of music vein, as well as other areas, but after this collection has been completed intends to call the next collection THE AMBIENT MUSIC COLLECTION. It is planned that it will contain music more intricate and diverse (if that's possible).
For those of you who are night birds and caught the European Skating Championships, you may well have noticed the British entry using a large portion of White Rock amongst his choice of music. Sadly it was during Rick's music that he fell over! We sincerely hope this does not influence him in his selection of music for future competitions. For those of you in the London area, and who are the sporty type, then you may have heard that Rick was to have appeared live on LBC radio on February 10th at 1 o'clock and then to have reported on the Millwall Manchester United game. Sadly, due to the fact that LBC couldn't get tickets for the match! (No, we couldn't believe it either), Rick had to pull out. Nevertheless, as it was number three son's birthday (Benjamin), the pair of them duly hopped onto a Manx airline flight to Manchester and were the guests of Rick's golfing chum Howard Kendall at Manchester City. It ended in a one all draw, with Wimbledon (the opponents for the day), displaying unsportsmanlike skills before only seen in ice hockey and the House of Commons.
The friendliness of everybody at Manchester City endeared Rick greatly to them, so maybe there is still some hope for soccer. This should have been Rick's second appearance at LBC this year, the first being back in January when he was a guest on the Mike Allen show with an old acquaintance from TV-AM days, Gordon Honeycombe. Mike Allen also played a couple of tracks from SEA AIRS.
Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe became such a mouthful for everybody last year, that the lads have decided to drop the complete name, and just refer to themselves as ABWH.
On January 24th Rick joined Jon Anderson in the South of France, where they pieced together most of the music for the new album, which will be recorded from the end of April through to about the end of June, for a possible September release. This will not interfere with Rick's solo concerts as June will be allotted to the mixing of the album.
Reports from Rick, biased as he is, (although he has never been known to mince words on his musical feelings as some of you may recall regarding the recording of Tales from Topographic Oceans), suggest that the music is much stronger than that of the first album and at present they are selecting material from over two hours worth of music.
The band leave for rehearsal in Spain on the 18th of March, and travel on to Japan and then into Canada and America before returning home on the 24th of March. The full itinerary which may suffer a few changes before the band leaves is as-follows.
18th,19th,20th March - Rehearsals in Barcelona
21st March - Barcelona. Palacio Municipal de Los Deportes.
22nd March - Madrid. Palacio de Los Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid.
23rd March - Zaragosa. Palacio Municipal de Los Deportes
24th, 25th, 26th - Free
27th March - depart for Japan.
1st March - Tokyo NHK.
2nd March - Tokyo NHJ
3rd March - Tokyo NHJ.
5th March - Osaka Festival Hall.
7th March - Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan.
8th March - Tokyo Sun Plaza Hall.
9th March - travel to Vancouver / possibly via Hawaii for a concert on the 11th March.
12th March - Vancouver. B.C.Pacific Coliseum.
13th March - Spokane - WA. Opera House.
14th March - Portland. Oregon University.
15th March - Seattle. WA. Paramount Theatre.
17th March - Radio City Music Hall. New York. Aids Benefit Concert.
19th March - Philadelphia. PA. Spectrum.
20th March - Boston.
21st March - Albany.
23rd March - Madison Square Garden. New York.
The band then return to their respective homes before travelling to the South of France where they will begin recording a new album / CD for release if all goes well, around about September.
If the recording goes well, and keeps to schedule, it has been proposed that the band return yet again to America at the end of the year, (October / November) for a further set of concerts to launch the new album.
There is a VHS video apparently on the market containing the three videos the band made, BROTHER OF MINE, ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE and I'M ALIVE, (a re-recorded version), plus HEART OF THE SUNRISE which was taken from the television special the band recorded last September in California.
Digressing slightly, it may be of interest to some of you to know that the new Jon and. Vangelis album is due out around Easter time (on Arista Records), and Bill Bruford is planning some concerts for the summer with EARTHWORKS. Steve Howe is at present completing a solo project but as yet there are no prospective dates for release.
B.D.A. in Manchester who are Rick's agents for concert performances, are piecing together a set of UK dates for periods of June and July. These are not ideal touring periods, but it seems to be the only period Rick has available, and so it remains to be seen how many shows can be booked.
Offers have come in for Italy (11 shows) for the beginning of September, and these could coincide with some other offers also on the continent from Spain and Austria.
June the 10th sees a charity concert at Blackpool Opera House for the Sharon Allen Leukaemia appeal, and it is hoped that a full house can really secure the charity a lot of money, so if you live in the area, please pass the word around, and of course come along yourself. The show will be slightly different, and as well as Ashley on vocals will also feature Chrissie Hammond, and possibly one of the last appearances of Davy Paton before he emigrates to Australia. If this is the case, then it surely is an evening not to be missed. Do not even mention August to Rick, as he is going on holiday!
There is a small possibility that Good Friday may see a performance of the Gospels at Salisbury Cathedral. Negotiations are well under way, but lack of time to prepare could prove a stumbling block. Regardless, Rick intends to do his usual three or so performances of the Gospels during December. The Isle of Man and the Isle of Wight are 99% certain already. Sadly the concert performances this year will not include D'zal Martin, as originally planned, as unfortunately D'zal has some other commitments that clash and cannot be altered. (Wop says he's washing his hair!). It looks now virtually certain that Rick's plans to do Journey to the Centre of the Earth again will be have to be held over for yet another year, as 1990 is already full! At the time of going to press the following solo concerts have been confirmed, with shows still under negotiation marked accordingly. Complete venue details will be given in the next newsletter.
June 1st - Margate
June 2nd - Milton Keynes
June 3rd - York
June 4th - Cardiff
June 5th - Watford
June 7th - Bradford
June 8th - Lincoln
June 9th - Greenwich
June 10th - Blackpool (this is a charity show in aid of the Sharon Allen Leukemia Trust)
June 11th - Colnes, Lancs.
June 14th - Winsford.
June 16th - Wolverhampton
July 5th & 6th - Austria.
July 3rd-15th - Italy.
July 20th - Northampton (neg ).
July 21st - Kendal.
July 28th - Weston-Super-Mare.
July 29th - Clacton
Sep 29th - Telford (neg).
Either 27th July or 28th Sep - Canterbury
So far at home and abroad 23 dates are now confirmed, and it is hoped to take the final tally to around the 40 mark.
Due to there being 48 hours between the Spanish dates of ABWH and their departure for Japan, we are able to report that all three shows (Barcelona, Zaragossa and Madrid), all played to extremely enthusiastic sell out crowds and apart from a rather hair-raising trip round the mountains with sheer drops all around, in a slightly less than new coach which stopped occasionally on one in four gradients with the Spanish driver muttering words like "Hydrolico" as he attacked the rear engine of the vehicle with a spanner encouraging a similar kind of confidence in the band as Manuel has on Basil Fawlty.
A reception was held at the Pal Joey club in London to launch the Sea Airs album, at which many celebrities turned out to support the evening. Also there was a good sprinkling of friends and media personal. In fact everybody was there who was supposed to be, with the exception of Rick and Nina, who were stuck on the M4 with a blow out on the front offside tyre of his Bentley!
Rick and Nina, along with Oliver and Adam, Rick's two eldest sons, finally arrived at the club at half past midnight, approximately one hour after everybody had gone home.
This really completed their day as they had set off from the Island by ferry at 8.30 that morning, driven from Heysham to Bideford in Devon to pick up the boys and then were steaming along the M4 to London when the tyre blew. The problems didn't end there either as the spare-tyre went flat on them shortly after!
The bad news I'm afraid is that any of you wishing to continue subscription to the Rick Wakeman Communication Centre will have to fork out once again for their yearly "subs". No increase in price. Still £5. This covers membership from May for a further 12 months. Please try and get your cheque / postal order off before the beginning of May to ensure a prompt execution of your May bulletin. Cheque should be made payable to Bajonor Ltd. and the envelope marked RWCC attention Carla Brown.
Quite a bundle of questions have appeared over the last few months, quite a few asking the same things, and so we will do our best to try and answer what we can. There are no more "Black Knights in the Court of Ferdinand IV" left, but it is hoped that Rick will be able to bring another batch back with him after the Italian tour in September. Those orders already in are ok, but any that arrive in the next few weeks will sadly have to be returned until "supplies" arrive. The 20th Anniversary album was released by A&M records, and to the best of our knowledge was a limited edition. Anybody wishing further information should contact A&M records direct on 01 736 3311.
Hans-Josef Teuwsen is trying to get hold of two records "Piano Vibrations" and the Strawbs "Just a Collection of Antiques and Curios". If any members have spare copies for sale could they please contact Hans-Josef at [address deleted]. Either cassette or album would be fine.
Still on the International front, Simon Macdonald from Australia asks about the CD catalogue and what is available to buy. Basically all the President collection is obtainable with the exception of Crimes of Passion. On A&M records all except No Earthly Connection and Listzomania are on CD, although some can only be got on import or part of the 20th Anniversary CD set. None of the Charisma/Virgin catalogue have been produced on CD. We have tried to get information from Virgin records who now own Charisma, but they have not been very helpful (a polite way of putting things). Rock and Roll Prophet which was originally on Moon Records, but is owned by Rick, would be on CD if the masters could be located! Sadly though, they seem to be lost. The Gospels is available, mail order only, from the RWCC. Country Airs is available on Coda Records.
A few of you have asked about Rick's equipment. Later in the year we will be doing a thorough stock check, and when that is done we'll print the lot!
From Scotland, Mr Robertson queries release of Strawbs material,
including Dave Cousin's "Two weeks last Summer" and ABWH live recordings. To deal with the latter first, there is a live performance master of ABWH live, but it will not be due for release until late next year. As regards Strawbs, we suggest you write to Dave Cousins direct at Devon Air Radio, Exeter, Devon. Dave would be delighted to hear from you, he still keeps Strawbs "running" albeit in a "semi-professional" mode. He and Rick remain good friends and manage to get together once a year or so.
Also at the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Robertson, the groom kindly sent Rick an invite, which went to the wrong address and never arrived! Mr. Robertson has requested a back-dated "Pillock of the Year" award for 1985 for this.
All members please note that "Pillock of the Year" for 1985 was Mr. Robertson from Falkirk! Our good friend John Denne has come up with some fascinating information and questions, some of which even Rick himself can't answer!
John spotted an album by a group called SHOGUN who credit Rick with performing on their album. Rick has no recollection of the band or the album. He reckons it must be fairly old as the last proper sessions Rick did were way back in 1972. Anybody out there know about the album? The remake of "Welcome a Star" will happen, but at the moment it is a matter of finding the time to record it!
For those wishing to help a very good cause, Rick participated in a charity record for Leukaemia, which also features Cliff Richard and Justin Hayward amongst others and is called "Everybody has a crisis in their life". If you wish to help raise some money for the charity by buying the record, then please contact Simon Cummings at County Sound Radio in Guildford, Surrey. The Songwriters of Distinction, which Rick mentioned on Daytime Live, is a society of songwriters who have sold in excess of 10,000,000 versions of their songs, either with their own recordings or with that of other artists. It has a limited membership of 50, meets four times a year for dinner, and generally is an excuse for a lads get together! Other notable members include Lionel Bart, Les Reed, Tony MacAuley, Roger Greenaway, Justin Hayward, Mitch Murray, Tim Rice and Guy Fletcher.
We have no idea what happened to the music that Rick wrote for the film "SHE". An album was produced from the soundtrack and given to the film/video company. What happened after that is anybody's guess.
Finally, Rick only played on the one Cat Steven's track, Morning has Broken.
Francis McDonnell from Glasgow asks what we have available on mail order? EVERYTHING, probably the office as well if the price was right! Seriously we have posters, brochures and all President releases plus the Gospels. We're out of T-shirts at the moment, but new ones are being designed for the upcoming tour later this year.
Ms. C. Walker asks about videos. Rick has made some, but sadly none are commercially available, in fact we don't know where any of them are. For the record they are Merlin the Magician, I'm So Straight I'm A Weirdo, Julia, It's a Lovely Life. IT is also believed that there is a video existing from the Gole film and also there is a three minute promotional film of sections of the Gospels.
Yessongs apparently is available on video, but as YES sold off the rights to the film many years ago nobody seems to have kept track of its life.
Many of you write complaining of difficulty in getting hold of records in shops. We are aware of this frustrating situation and really are at a loss to know what to suggest. One guy we know of has now waited three weeks for Sea Airs to appear in a large record shop in South Harrow. In defence of President we have to say that distribution is not down to them but to a company called Spartan, who are meant to "sell" Rick's records to the shops. Sadly record retailers we have spoken to throw their hands up in despair at the mere mention of their name and so all we can say at this juncture is sorry. Rick has a good relationship with President who have released eight of Rick's albums, and are gradually getting releases in other countries around the world who happily do not use Spartan as distributors!
Sheet music pops up time and again, and to Steve Rogers amongst others who have been bombarding Rondor music, don't blame them for their lack of product it's Rick's fault! Until he supplies them with the manuscript for his compositions, they can print nothing! Rick hangs his head in shame and promises faithfully that this will all be rectified in 1991, when things calm down a little. (I think we have heard this somewhere before!).
Shaun Cross asks about an ABWH video given to him by a friend in the USA. We reckon it must have been taken direct from the television as it is not on official release. Hope you manage to find an American TV system on which to watch it!
Back on the international front, Jurgen Meurer from West Germany asks about solo videos of Rick's live performances. Well there are bootlegs around, but as yet we have failed to get hold of any copies. Hopefully something will appear in the next couple of years or so.
Wakeman, Wetton and Bruford has also been resurrected by a few of you, which was a band formed in the mid seventies, (1976 to be exact), but sadly fared no better than the rehearsal stage due to contractual difficulties. Some pieces were written between Rick and John Wetton, although where the demo tapes are who knows.
Yes it's true in response to the much asked question, Rick did do a tour of Australia with SKY, and yes, it was the same Kevin Peek from that band that Rick worked with on "Beyond the Planets".
Our, president, John Bollenberg in Belgium has sent a great letter to us which Rick has pointed out answers a previous query as regards the SHOGUN records. It was actually recorded in the mid eighties at Herne Place Studios in Surrey whilst Rick was being managed by Brian Adams. Shogun were an associated act of Brian's and Rick "guested" on a few of the tracks. It is with bitter memory Rick recalls the recordings as his payment never materialised!
John has a spare copy of the very good quality bootleg recorded live in Canada "Unleashing the Tethered One" which he would like to swap with something interesting on the Wakeman memorabilia front. John's address is [address deleted].
In the next bulletin we intend to print some of John's record, collection which is nothing short of astonishing.
Frank Fallows wants to know what is said at the end of the track "Do You Believe in Fairies?" Interesting piece of trivia coming up now, did any of you know that John Inman of "Are You Being Served" fame, recorded this song! Rick has the only cassette in existence as to the best of anybody's knowledge no record deal was ever done with the recording!
Well Frank the "gnome" conversation on the record goes like
"Get that bloody gnome off the piano, two glasses of nectar and he's all over the place".
Second gnome..."I'm alright"
First gnome..."Come on mate, time to go home. Can somebody help me?"
Second gnome... "She loves you, yeah yeah yeah'.
There is a final sentence that is virtually inaudible as it was felt wise to fade it out! But if you listen very carefully you may be just able to make out the second gnome who is slightly inebriated to say the least singing..."I've got a willy in my pocket".
The choral bits on the Rock and Roll Prophet album were done by Rick with the tape being sped up for recording and slowed down to normal speed for playback. Frank also asks what inspiration was used to be honest at that time large quantities of lager and calvados.
Finally, to complete this segment for this newsletter, Rick wanted to include word for word part of 'a fabulous letter he got from Mark Ingle in Wales. We really hope you don't mind Mark, but it was too good not to share and we quote "Did you know I seem to have competition, as after the Walthamstow concert my wife told me she really thinks Ashley is gorgeous, and a real hunk. Now don't ask me why she is driven to this sort of insanity, but would it be possible for him to send her an autographed photo? (There's no accounting for taste), and does he have any LP's available with him singing apart from the RW band? Well to deal with the first part, a message will wing its way to the fat man of pop, and I'm sure he'll send Julie a photo, and just to show some appreciation our end we'll also send her some white paint for her stick and a tin of PAL for her guide dog! Yes, Tubs does have solo stuff floating about. He sang in the seventies with WARHORSE which was a DEEP PURPLE spin off with the former Purple member Nick Simper on bass. They had a top 50 single with Show me the way to St. Louis, and produced one album on Vertigo records.
I know it was said in the last bulletin that we would be announcing the competition winner this month, but due to a lot more entries than we anticipated (we're not complaining and Rick was really surprised how many of you knew more than he did!), but due to Rick's schedule he is still wading through the last 25 entries that arrived the end of January and so apologies, but results, plus a new competition will be in the next issue.
In the next issue there will be a full report on the Japanese, Canadian and USA tour, plus more complete dates for Rick's solo concerts. Hopefully also a new address at last plus new telephone and fax numbers, although any mail or calls-will be automatically redirected for quite some time on the old numbers and addresses.
Finally, on the back cover is a picture of Rick in his football days at Camberley Town Football club prior to a charity football match. Loads of celebrities if you feel like playing spot the face, although admittedly the quality is not that good on a photocopier.
PLEASE don't write in asking who they are!!
'til the next time
Text scanned, OCRd and checked by Jon Hinchliffe