So far there are just three televisions for January, which let's face it is pretty poor compared with last year when most of us thought Rick was the new controller at the Beeb although it is possible that very soon they will be showing the television special Rick was invited on to late last year as a special guest to honour Jimmy Perry and David Croft who wrote Dad's Army, in which case we can up things to "four tellys".
Sky Sports invited Rick on as a Saturday afternoon guest with Steve Cram and apart from the fact that most of the football programme was wiped out due to the most appalling weather, a fun time was had by all. Most of the afternoon was taken up with playing old pub games and Rick reverted to his childhood in a big way. (You can't legally drink in pubs until you're eighteen we hear you all say, so how could Rick revert to his childhood? Lets just say Rick started drinking VERY young, an leave it at that!)
January 30th saw the recording of the Eric Sykes Special at Pebble Mill. We have not been given a transmission date yet and hope that by the time you get this newsletter you haven't missed it!
As most of you are aware, Rick and Eric are great friends and early in January Eric invited Rick to lunch at a Chinese Restaurant near to his offices in Queensway, West London. Eric had also invited Dennis Norden of It'll Be alright on the Night fame and it has to be said that Rick was in seventh heaven as he sat for nearly five hours listening to the wonderful anecdotes that Eric and Dennis told over lunch. It should also be noted that most of the restaurant strained their hearing beyond belief in order to catch as many of the stories as they could.
Whilst on the subject of comedy, Rick has joined a campaign to bring back "It Ain't Half Hot Mum" to the BBC. This was a classic comedy series written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft and for those of you not old enough to remember the programmes, it was a classic, so you should join the campaign in order to see what you missed! Anyway, if any of you feel of a similar persuasion to Rick, please sign the enclosed form and get as many of your friends to sign as well. Please return the forms back to Candy at the office as soon as possible if you feel able to help and we'll keep you informed of the outcome. Time is not on our side unfortunately so if you are with us, speed is very much of the essence.
Radio play on Romance of the Victorian Age continued through into January on Radio 2, and a half hour live appearance on the John Dunne Drive Time Show seemed to be heard by the entire population of the UK judging by the number of people who have told us that they heard it! All it needs now is for one percent of those people to buy it! It has sold quite well as it happens and Rick and Adam are discussing the possibilities of recording another album in a similar style for the end of the year.
As ever we keep hearing of people who can't find it in the records shops. All we can say is that we ' re sorry but we have no control over the record company or distributors. We always have some in stock here at the office so at worst if you're having difficulty you can purchase it through us on mail order.
Rick was also invited to appear on the very popular "Kelly" programme on Ulster Television but unfortunately the date they wanted Rick to be part of the programme was just impossible to fit in to the busy schedule. In fact it was the evening before the Sky Sports programme and it was not possible to get from Belfast to London in time for the Saturday morning run through. It is very much hoped that new date can be f ixed as Rick would very much 1 like to do the show.
Radio 3 came to interview Rick for a programme about synthesizers which was broadcast in the last week of January but we have yet to f ind the radio 3 listener to ask whether or not he listened to it!
WATCH OUT FOR
Rick once again on Masterchef, this time the Junior version...second helpings one might say. Also listen out for Rick on a new radio 1 Comedy programme called Rock.
Regardless of this we already have four pencilled in performances for the Gospels and Rick is hoping to take that figure to at least ten by the end of the year.
Sadly the opportunity to perform the New Gospels in California never transpired due to the age old problem of financing the project. Regrettably too many "organisers" expect Rick to pay all the expenditure whilst they reap the all the profit. The fact is that Rick takes no payment for himself for these performances, but they are expensive to put on with trucking, hire, musicians and crew, hotels, air fares, catering etc. all to pay for. Rick has now completely given up on the idea of performing the work in America and will now keep it as a national project as against international.
For any of you who would like further information on this literary masterpiece, please contact KAREN McNALLY at Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 338 Euston Road, London NW1 3BH.
Rick is currently ploughing his way through the proofs looking for mistakes. He says it is full of them. Most of them are mistakes he's made throughout his life!
Rick describes the book as the written equivalent to being at one of his concerts without hearing any music. (Some people describe his concerts as that anyway). The book is full of anecdotes, all absolutely true of course, (they had to be as they were in print), and will certainly throw up a few surprises for all who know him. You'll be pleased to know that non of the stories he has ever told on stage appears in the book, so await it's release with inquisitiveness!
The concert that took place early in January was in Bergdorf in Switzerland. No we hadn't heard of Bergdorf either. It also transpired that Bergdorf had a reciprocal feeling towards Rick.
As it happens it was reasonable well attended and the concert was tremendously well received. It was nice to see the five piece band in action again and after an unbelievable tough rehearsing schedule with borrowed equipment the band performed quite brilliantly.
Everybody was in fine form in spite of a few difficulties healthwise and the fact that the temperature was fifteen degrees below zero.
The Greasy Wop was suffering from a back in;jury which had in fact laid him low for a couple of months, Chrissie's eyesight is still somewhat less than 20/20, (basically she can't see) and felt disappointed that she didn't see any snow. (There was over four feet of the stuff where we were staying). Adam and Alan had serious problems opening their wallets and subsequently starved. After the performance, Rick's son Ben who lives in Switzerland, went home by train to Lausanne with Rick and Nina joining him in order that Rick could have a meeting with Claude Nobs who is the organiser of the Montreux Jazz festival. The outcome of that meeting was to pretty much ensure Rick's attendance at the festival in 1996 where he will perform a new especially written piece with his band and a choir.
March could well see Rick and the four piece band travel to the massive Frankfurt Music Trade fair where they have been asked to perform for KORG keyboards. These events are great fun and are a good opportunity for companies who Rick works with to get their two penneth of flesh!
Other private corporate events are being slotted in although it looks very much as if nothing more can be accepted until at least the middle part of the year.
There are a couple of areas which need ironing out but at this moment in time, none of them are insurmountable.
Before all you YES nuts start jumping up and down though, nothing is liable to happen until well into the second part of this year as Rick has commitments and contractual obligations that he has to honour and wants to for that matter!
If all goes according to plan it is likely that recording will take place later this year, probably stretching into the early part of 1996 and then touring throughout 1996.
What will the line up be? We can't tell you I'm afraid. There is basically only one line up that Rick is really interested in working with and that seems to be pretty much agreed amongst all the parties.
Management? Yes are still currently managed by East End Management in Los Angeles, but Chris has his own manager as does Jon. Rick would also not go in to such a situation unrepresented but all the band agree that the band must make all the musical decisions and not the management or record company as this has been very much the downfall of the band over the last few years.
Record label. Perm any one from five!
Finally please do not bombard us with further questions about YES at this juncture as we've told you all we know and certainly all Rick is prepared to tell. By the next newsletter everything should be pretty much cut and dried and you can read about it then.
Chris and Jon are coming to London in February and Rick will be meeting them at a location as yet undecided to iron out all the details and take things from there to a positive conclusion.
One area of importance to Rick is that it doesn't bring a halt to his work with Adam, the band, his film work etc., which is his major way of paying of the mortgage! Having said that, Jon also has a strong solo career and is also very busy (he's off to China in May) and so Rick doesn't foresee any problems in adapting everything so that all areas benefit musically.
It was not an easy album to complete as it had many rewrites over the years. It is certainly different in many aspects to any of Rick's recent recordings and will be released on President Records sometime later this year, although we cannot tell you exactly when.
Here's something to annoy you. How many of the Seven Wonders of the World can you name without looking up the answers. The average person gets two to three correct. The average person also guesses at least three that are wrong. (This is not a competition so please don't write in with the answers).
He has also produced a series of Ambient Music for film use which is currently in the hands of a London agent who is highly experienced in the placement of such music.
Due to the genuine success of the Romance of the Victorian Age, it is highly likely that Rick and Adam will produce a follow up of a similar nature later on in the year. Prospective titles could possible be.....
This has been produced by a Canadian company and should be ready for release some time during this year. We will keep you informed as to when.
The company concerned with the production of the Rodney Mathews CD Rom is INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS and ENTERTAINMENT. Any further information can be obtained from them at 489 Queen Sty. E. Suite 300, Toronto, Canada MSAlVI
For the film buffs amongst you, the two films can be best described as the follow ups to the highly successful Ipcress File, which created the character Harry Palmer, which Michael Caine plays. The two films are entitled Bullet to Beijing and Midnight in St Petersburg.
Recording will begin during the last week of February and delivery of the music will be early in April. This pretty much means that even if other work appears on the doorstep it will be virtually impossible to fit any more in to the schedule.
As soon as the film music is satisfactorily completed, work begins immediately on the music for Cirque surreal which we mentioned in the last newsletter. This should take Rick up to the end of April and early May sees the opening of the circus at which Rick is hoping to perform live, at least at the opening few shows.
The greasy Wop has taken up golf. His aim is to get to a pretty good standard. In the interest of job security, his aim should be to get to be not quite as good as Rick.
Rick is in buoyant mood as regards football as at the end of January, Brentford were sitting on top of the second division and Manchester City had progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a superb win over Aston Villa. Whilst on the subject of football, Rick is thinking of making an offer to Eric Cantona to record an album as he's got nothing to do until the end of the season. Rick has made a list of possible songs that would suit his style, although the odd title has had to be adapted.
Rick really enjoyed writing the Suite and recording it and has certainly placed the idea very high on his agenda of "possibilities" as regards recordings for this year.
Boring as it might sound it would undoubtedly be called The Heritage Suite Volume Two, as no other suitable title springs to mind that says so simplistically what the music represents.
There is still no further news as to the progress of Return to the Centre of the Earth, although at the time of going to press Brian Lane was in fact in America trying to finalise a deal. It never ceases to amaze Rick that every major record company that is spoken to about the project, and indeed most of Rick's projects, are all full of unbelievable enthusiasm, until they are asked to put their wallets where their keenness lies.
If the truth be known Rick has always felt that the closest he's going to come to the Return to the Centre of the Earth is when he's eventually buried in it.
The only answer would appear to be a mobile recording studio built in his trolley. Personally we think he is already off his trolley!
Finally Rick would like to thank everybody who has written to him as regards his mother who as many of you know is seriously ill with cancer. The family are very much aware that they are in many of your thoughts and prayers and it is genuinely very much appreciated. At the time of going to press, Rick's mum was hanging in well and actually telling her son off for not doing as he was told, so thing must be on the up!