January/February 1993

Well it's hard to know where to start really as such a lot has happened over the last couple of months but kicking off with the tour report seems the most logical.

Overall the tour was pretty successful - attendances varied from tremendous to seriously disappointing, reaction was great everywhere and financially it was "not clever", as they say in theatrical areas.

This has caused a major rethink as regards touring in future and there is no doubt that it is highly unlikely that a tour of the UK will be taken on in the same vein in 1993. This is not to say that there will not be a tour in 1993, there certainly will, but watch for a whole different approach.

There were many highlights on the tour and it was lovely to see familiar faces amongst new found supporters. Adam certainly helped in this area and by the end of the tour he had certainly gone quite a long way in attracting some pretty young followers (they seemed young to the rest of us anyway).

The reviews, at least all those we have seen, have been excellent and it is nice to see Adam getting such rave notices. Great also to have the Greasy Wop back on board and to see how well he and Alan blended together, even when engulfed in smoke!

Thanks for all of you who came along to see us. Without your hardcore support it would never have happened.


The Party

I think it can safely be said that the party was a rip-roaring success. Full marks to Candy for all the organisation in putting it together. Judging from your phone calls and letters it looks like being an annual event now and who knows what may happen between now and Xmas to keep us going until then!

Thanks for all the cards and gifts that came flying our way it's lovely to know that Santa Claus is alive and well in the RWCC.


The Gospels

What an absolute delight it was to perform the gospels in Glasgow during the tour - it really is very moving for us to do and this year will certainly see more performances of the work, with possible shows in Leicester, Saffron Waldron and Glasgow lined up already.

A new recording will also be made which will include about four new pieces as well as some slight adjustments to some of the original arrangements.

There is a choice of labels at the moment to put it out on, although the favourite must be Word Records as they are totally Christian orientated and therefore ideal for worldwide distribution.

Almost certainly those taking part in the recording will be those who have most recently performed the work live i.e. Ian Lavender and Ramon Remedios.


Prayers

Prayers has still not got a release date and a meeting is planned in Nashville with Word Records early this year.

There has been a take over of the record company and this has been the major cause for the delay.


Ambient Records

Considerable changes afoot in this area which we'll try and summarise as best as possible.

In early 1992, Ambient Records suffered very badly financially due to the liquidation of AMT, the company that distributed all the product on the table. This led to Rick being forced into a position of leasing the product off to a third party, namely Rio Digital Records, in order to keep the music alive. This did not prove to be the most successful of moves for the music and this culminated in Rio Digital selling on the licensed product to President Records for a much longer term.

As was common with our "luck" in 1992, this happened during the release of Wakeman with Wakeman, which can only be described a shambolic "balls up" on behalf of the record company and distributors. President are in fact redoing the cover, freeing it of spelling mistakes etc. and altering the writing.

Very soon we should have a guide of President's plans for product as yet unreleased such as Rock and Roll Prophet Plus and African Bach.

The deal with President Records is to produce product from Bajonor Studios and so Rick still remains a free agent although of course he will be putting through quite a lot of music of his own through this outlet. We will keep you informed!


Country Airs

A new version of Country Airs, including some new tracks, has been recorded for President Records, completing the trilogy on one label.

The recordings were done on digital piano as against using a "natural" piano, which a few people have already criticised, Rick feels unjustly as it would have defeated the object to record identical versions as the original version - it's all a matter of taste we suppose.


Tring Records

Tring Records have become quite heavily involved with Rick over the last few months and to this end a super relationship has built up and Rick has no less than eight different projects with them, either actually up and running or on the waiting list so to speak.

Two of the projects you already know about, those being the rerecorded "Best of" album and the video of Journey to the Centre of the Earth from 1975, (through Foxbridge). Incidentally apologies all round for the late delivery of the special offer price video but to be perfectly honest, nobody expected the quite massive response that literally came flooding in and hasty new pressing arrangements had to be made in order to accommodate the situation.

This month sees Rick completing an instrumental album of "YES" classics which should see the light of day relatively early on this year.

On top of this, Rick is half way through producing two classical CDs for Mirana Milic the renowned Serbian pianist, both CDs are also due for release early this year.

Future projects with Tring include one that has Rick considerably more than excited and with luck we will be able to report in the next newsletter exactly what is planned.


Sheet Music

We are constantly asked about sheet music and we apologise for it's unavailability - as many of you may be aware, Rick has been with the same publisher for 21 years and in the early days much was printed, such as the Six Wives of Henry VIII, Journey, Arthur and Criminal Record - all are long since unavailable.

Unfortunately company policy dictated that Rick's stuff was not included in sheet music availability for the last fifteen years or so despite as much pressure as we could possibly muster aimed at them.

The situation as regards all future stuff should improve drastically as Rick's agreement ran out on the 31st of December 1992, leaving Rick a free agent to to new deals wherever he wishes - rest assured that clauses regarding sheet music will be included.

We appreciate that this does not help availability of the old stuff and we will continue to try and persuade Rondor to release a "Best of" sometime in the not too distant future. We have manuscript all ready and waiting for them as well.


Europe

A full European tour is already half booked for the months of March and April.

This will be the Wakeman with Wakeman show and will cover at least 30 shows all over the continent. Specific dates are not yet available but we are aware that countries already participating are Germany, Austria, Belgium, France and Scandinavia.

The tour is being organised by Sunarts/Brian Lane, the former YES management who now handle Fish amongst other bands and solo artists.

It has become increasingly obvious to Rick over the last couple of years that in order to venture into Europe on the correct footing, a "heavy" management was needed and subsequently following four show attendances by Brian during the Wakeman with Wakeman tour, an offer for Europe arrived on the table shortly after Christmas.

A full list of dates will be sent to all our overseas members as soon as we have them. Those interested in seeing the lads in Europe should contact either Candy here on the island or Diane at Sunarts (0171 727 2791), but not before February please.


YES

It's been a little difficult getting information as Rick didn't finish the tour until December 12th, was then in the studio up to Xmas and was away immediately after Xmas until the 5th of January. (Hence also the slight lateness of the newsletter).

However he did manage to have a great conversation with Alan White in Seattle, who informed Rick that Trevor and Jon have pieced together some great stuff from collective sources and that Rick's keyboard work is looking pretty imminent. Hopefully February as planned as this will tie in very nicely with all Rick's other commitments which are growing daily!

The line up ? Rick knows now... But isn't telling.


Bill Clinton

Rick has had some off the wall offers in his time but never one more strangely flattering than the offer to play solo piano at the inauguration of the new American president Bill Clinton, on January the 18th.

Unfortunately Rick's schedule is so crammed full that there just wasn't the three days spare in order to take part, still better to have been asked than not asked at all we suppose.


Brian Lane

As touched upon in the "Tring" section, Brian Lane has taken over Rick's sole management rekindling a relationship that spans 24 years. With the exception of the smaller events, The Gospels and most television work, which will still be handled by the office here on the Isle of Man, all future tours and agreements will be handled by Brian's company, Sunarts.

This we all feel is an excellent move forward for Rick's music and future.


Rosser and Davies

For those of you who were lucky enough to see Rosser and Davies perform at the Xmas party or those of you even luckier who saw a much longer set at the Gaiety on the Isle of Man, will fully understand why Rick rates them so highly and has signed them up for both management and recording.

They spent a few days in the studio before Xmas completing vocals and piano for the new CD and Rick is adding the "orchestral" stuff this month. Tony Fernandez will be adding percussion and Stuart Sawney engineering. (Stuart seems to spend more time on the island than he does in his own flat these days)!

The CD should be completed early February at the latest and a release around early May is expected on the President label. We will also have copies available by mail order.

Very shortly we will be organising dates for them which hopefully will include a summer season, and looking further ahead pantomime Rick is desperate to do panto but nobody will have him!

Candy will be heavily involved in their promotion and we all feel that they are too talented not to be due and fine and assured future we will keep you informed in all forthcoming newsletters.


The Newsletter

Starting from July this year, the newsletter will be issued every three months. It will have more pages and will enable us to feature more in the "article" format.

We also intend to issue "in-between" type of issues should the need arise such as tour dates and earlier than expected releases.

It is also more logical to issue larger volumes four times a year as against the present six, as Rick is away such a lot and he is the major contributor after all.


Gordon Giltrap

Some of you may be aware that Gordon is celebrating twenty five years in the business this year and has decided to make a recording for charity in order to celebrate this considerable feat. (Incidentally we can think of at least six other acts that have achieved this feat, worrying isn't it)!

Those who have agreed to take part in this recording are none other than Rick and Steve Howe. More news as we get it.

Although initial news is that the charity to benefit will be aids related.


Adam Wakeman

As has been heavily reported since the tour, Adam is about to sign a two album deal, the first album of which will be recorded over the next couple of months.

He is moving off of the island to the Manchester area, (he claims for musical reasons although we know that he was very impressed with the female population in the Lancashire/Cheshire area during the Wakeman with Wakeman tour, and this we feel certainly swayed his decision)!

He will of course be on the European Wakeman with Wakeman tour and so the final move back to the mainland is liable to be sometime in May.

He has already selected the musicians he wants to use on his album but hasn't told his dad yet!


Psygnosis

The music is virtually finished for the new Psygnosis computer game "Microcosm". The game is quite spectacular to say the least and with the new CD quality available for games now, Rick has been able to go to town somewhat. He really hopes to do much more in this area. Release of the game is imminent. Watch for one hell of a press launch.


Latvia

Undoubtedly one of the high spots this year was Rick's visit and performance in Latvia for their new year's celebration.

Rick took Nina, Oscar, Jemma and Ben and the Latvian hospitality was tremendous. They were very kind and generous people who are fighting hard since their independence from communism to build a better life for their people, which is a long and difficult road.

Eastern Europe always has a profound effect on Rick which obviously also stems from his impassioned love of their music.

Trips back to Latvia, Russia and Poland are already set up for this year. Poland could be as soon as the end of this month.

Rick is also having meetings to see if it is possible to tag some Eastern European dates on the end of the European tour planned for March and April.

Rick is very keen to play live there as at present all acts appearing on television there have to mime. Rick said he felt slightly embarrassed standing behind a couple of keyboards in Latvia miming to pieces that blatantly

obviously only somebody with forty six keyboards, twenty hands, a drummer, percussionist, guitarist, bass player and the London symphony orchestra could actually perform.


Forecast

Well with fingers crossed, 1993 is already looking good with much music to look forward to, anyway for the fun of it here are a few forecasts of our own although I should imagine that yours will be more interesting! (We have left out YES predictions as they always end up getting printed elsewhere as being factual)!

Journey to the Centre of the Earth finally gets re-performed at least five times around the world. Microcosm becomes the biggest selling computer game to date. Rick manages to stick to his diet and gets down to 13.5 stone. Adam forms his own band and tries to steal his dad's keyboards. Stuart Sawney falls in love. Welcome a Star is a minor hit at Xmas. Rick reduces his golf handicap to twelve. Brentford manage to hold on in the first division finishing fourteenth. Manchester United win the title and Manchester City get into Europe. There are at least four performances of The Gospels. Rick buys and sells at least twelve cars. At least one music book of Rick's music gets published. The RWCC membership tops 1,500. Adam and Rick perform in the UK together for the very last time. Rick performs on at least three other named artists records. Rick appears on at least one comedy show on the television. Rick performs in at least two countries that he has never been to before. At least two of the YES fanzines amalgamate. An instrument is named after Rick. Rick is commissioned to finish both his opera and musical for 1994. Adam falls in love seventeen times (this only covers the first two months though). The Xmas party has so many applicants that it is in a three hundred and fifty seater function room. Rick records at least one new Christian album. Adam emigrates to a country where bigamy is legal. Stuart considers joining him.