This newsletter comes in the midst of the YES European tour and subsequently zones in mainly in this area, with inside information you won't get anywhere else!
Also in this issue, news of Rick's forthcoming solo tour and plans for the future. News also of the Atlantic Records box set of the history of YES and reports on Ambient releases.
All has not run quite as smoothly in Europe as it did in the United States. It makes you realise that we are about as well prepared for a United Europe as the Sahara desert is for a thunderstorm.
It commenced with a series of five concerts in Germany, ail of which went with the usual German efficiency, which at times can be quite infuriating. (This was later to be far surpassed by the Swiss).
Whilst Rick was there he did numerous interviews for Sattva Arts, who have released the Aspirant Suntrilogy series and The Classical Connection in Germany, Portugal, Belgium and Switzerland.
The band then moved on to Paris, which meant most of them taking out additional mortgages on their houses in order to cover the cost of breakfast in the hotel!
The show was a typical "capital city" show with numerous "liggers", (a polite term for hangers on back stage who nobody knows, but have managed to obtain back stage passes by knowing the man who cuts the lawn for the chauffeur of the man who makes the suits for a friend of Jon Anderson or something as obscurely similar), backstage, eating all the band's food and generally doing other Parisian things such as trying to look trendy and stealing things.
Vangelis came along which broke the monotony nicely and the sold out show was a tremendous success. The interval has now been scrapped, allowing the show to run non-stop. although one or two venues insist on it still being in so that they can sell soggy sandwiches, warm beer and cold coffee!
Mulhouse was cancelled due to the fact that the crew were unable to get the larger pieces of equipment through the stage doors! There's nothing like good planning...and this was nothing like good planning.
Rick hastily flew home, using the quickest available route which happened to be via Dublin. (There should have been an Irish joke here, but the airport was so efficient clean and a million times better than Heathrow, that it was felt unfair to print something like.. "Rick's flight from Dublin was delayed for three hours, whilst they cleared the runway of Irishmen who were throwing bread at the aeroplanes!" ), so we won't!
Rick then flew back to France to meet up with the band most of whom had also gone home, and the tour continued in Grenoble, which is France's answer to Toxteth. Then the excitement started. The band, by now cheesed off with airports and long drives, voted to go by train.
Wrong. Big mistake.
French trains are jammed packed like a permanent rush-hour, (and with mostly French people wearing Eau de Garlic) the food makes a slice of British Rail gravy seem palatable and your favourite keyboard player (at least we hope he is), threw up.
Following two relatively forgettable shows in Marseille and Toulouse, the band returned to the air and flew to Zurich. where Swiss efficiency took over. The hotel was brand new and Rick's room was nearly finished. The restaurant will be nice when it's fully open, and due to the fact that the hotel is situated miles from the airport, and in fact miles from anywhere, it was felt that if they had either a shuttle bus or access to taxis that will go to the airport, it would alleviate considerable panic in the mornings.
On the 11th of June, we were due to fly to Rome.
For the reasons stated in the paragraph before last, we spent most of the morning panicking, but we did finally make the airport, albeit the wrong terminal and finally reached Rome.
Rick has now got a camcorder which drives everyone potty, and films everything that moves, and if it doesn't move then Rick does with the camera. Most of the 11th was taken up filming.
On the 12th YES played Rome and the 13th Milan, both of which were great shows and then the fun started!
The-next four shows were Athens, Belgrade, Zagreb and Budapest. It must be said at this juncture that these were four cities that Rick has never been to and was really looking forward to visiting.
Unfortunately, there seems to be some sort of war going on in Yugoslavia and so it was "pulled". Sadly the other shows were with the same promoter, and so all were linked in as much as YES could only do all four or none at all.
Rick flew home via Manchester.
There are shows still left in Europe to do, which are Brussels. Rotterdam, Birmingham and London, before returning to the USA for the final leg of the tour which finishes on August the 9th.
Jane Collister, who has been working in Wakeman's Music Emporium, has now taken over the responsibility for the RWCC, as Suzie is somewhat snowed under trying to keep track of the Ambient group, plus the comings and goings of the "guvnor".
The numbers and address stay the same of course but you just ask for Jane in future. She is also in charge of all the mail order and the mailing out of the newsletters. She also has some great ideas on how the club should progress in the future. (Jane wrote this bit). A lot of you have been asking for photos, heaven knows why unless you've worn your dart boards out, and so in August upon Rick's return we are having a photo session and we'll send out the result to you probably in the November issue at the latest.
If you work for a big company, own a big company or are very rich, or even reasonably rich, then read on. If not, move on to the next section.
Funny that, I thought you'd be inquisitive enough to read.
As you are aware, Rick and Nina, run the Lord and Lady Taverners on the Isle of Man, and are at present heavily involved in fund-raising in order to build a playground for able bodied and disabled children. The Target is £200,000.
Many events take place through out the year this is probably the silliest.
We are going for the world record line of 2p pieces. We already have beaten the record (15 miles) which guarantees us an entry in the Guinness Book of Records, and BBC television are filming the actual event for their Record Breaker's programme. Basically we are looking for 2p sponsors. We have over a million 2p's on loan from the Isle of Man Bank, and basically we need people and companies to buy them. anything from a pound's worth to a mile's worth if your boss is rich! If this stupidity interests you and your company can afford a bit of sponsorship, then please call 0624 844140 and we will be pleased to tell you more.
It is with considerable sadness that we have to inform you that Davy will not be working with Rick anymore as he has taken up a full time position with Fish. At the time of going to press we are not entirely certain whether that is Fish ex-Marillion, or if he's working on a trawler in the North Sea.
Seriously though, we are all very pleased for him and wish him a lot of success. I'm sure he would love to see some of you at future Fish shows.
The real tragedy from Davy leaving is that it now looks for certain that the prospect of Rick getting a drink out of him have gone for ever.
A tour is near finalised for the end of the year, the confirmed dates are printed in this bulletin. Obviously now that Davy has gone "fishing" a new format is being sought by Rick for the show.
He has dismissed the idea of having a direct replacement, covering guitars and basses, and looks likely to tour with two additional musicians, thus presenting more variety. A slightly larger P.A. system will be in use, and Rick will be taking an extra keyboard or two, plus a more esoterically pleasing stage design.
The feel of the show though will be very much based upon the previous classical connection shows which proved so popular earlier this year.
The main difference will be with more variety of sounds, a batch of new stories of course, and a few surprises. The new line up will be announced first in the September issue of the RWCC newsletter.
A new album, entitled Classical Connection II (nothing like originality, is there?) will be on sale either by mail order. in the shops, or at shows from the first week in October. Again we will give a full track listing prior to release in the September issue
Either in record stores, or via mail order ( 0624 844138 ) the following product and formats are available. Aspirant Sunrise and Aspirant Sunset (relaxation music) on cassette. Softsword (The music based on the Dicken's Festival in Rochester) on vinyl, cassette and CD. 2000AD Into The Future. (The synthesiser instrumental recording based on the music from Great North 2000) on cassette and CD. Classical Connection (classically orientated versions of some of Rick's "known" works) on CD and Cassette. Phantom Power (music from the video of the silent movie Phantom of the Opera,) on CD and cassette. In The Court Of King Ferdinand IV. (with Mario Fasciano ) on cassette and CD.
Also available on other labels through mail order are The Time Machine (all formats), Country Airs On CD and cassette, Night Airs and Sea Airs on all formats, A Suite of Gods (with Ramon Remedios) on all formats; as are The Family Album and Zodiaque (with Tony Fernandez). There are also a few copies of Silent Nights, Live at Hammersmith and Crimes of Passion available.
Sweaters and T=shirts both for YES and Rick are available as are bugs, badges and scarves.
Jane can give you prices and a full list of what's available if you want to give her a ring.
Early members of the RWCC will remember the Intimate Evening shows which kicked off Rick's return to the solo stage seven years ago. These were performed as a trio of bass and drums accompanying Rick on the keyboards.
They weren't rock shows and they weren't like a Classical Connection show, nobody really knew what they were as it happens, but that's all beside the point as the real point is that Rick is just doing three of them as a sort of "one-off'.
The first two shows are on the same day, 6pm and 9pm at the Playhouse in Harlow, Essex on September 7th. A single show on the 8th is pencilled in for Preston.
Bajonor Ltd, on behalf of Rick has purchased the video rights for the television special "THE WORD" which was first televised three years ago on Good Friday.
The rights are for the world with the exception of America which has been procured by Gateway Films.
Negotiations are already underway for a Xmas release with Beckmann video and Rodney Mathews who did such a fantastic job for us on 2000AD Into The Future, is busy working on the cover.
It has been given a new title THE WORD AND THE GOSPELS which will be also used for the re-recording of the music which will have additional narration and music as well as new instrumentation. Ramon Remedios and Robert Powell have again, expressed a wish to take part and the choir (in excess of 100 singers ) will come from the Isle of Man.
It is sincerely hoped that this will be ready for Xmas to coincide with the video and possible some live performances in December.
Some pretty exciting occurrences have taken place in. the last few days which are very much worth mentioning.
Firstly, the much "postponed/delayed/on/off Journey to the Centre of the Earth saga now seems to have finally reached fruition.
Dates have been set for the 9th to the 6th of December this year in Moscow. There will be one filming show for video and a further three live performances of the extended work. (The new version moving up from 36 minutes to 52 minutes in length).
All the gremlins seemed to have been eradicated and we are reliably informed that all systems are definitely "GO".
AS soon as the contract is signed we will be looking at putting a package together for any RWCC members who wish to make the trip.
Whatever we manage to piece together which will obviously include tickets for the shows plus accommodation and travel will be exclusive to members and depending on what deals we can get will be on a first come first served basis and details should be available by the September issue.
Finally it appears that Rick has found the replacement he needed for Davey. He comes in the shape of Mr. Alan Thompson he's Scottish and that's all we are telling you at the, moment! We'll give you the full run down on this poor unsuspecting soul in the next bulletin unless someone warns him first!
Text scanned, OCRd and checked by Jon Hinchliffe