Sadly, the internet allows anybody to spread stories however incorrect and even purport to be written by people other than themselves. Therefore we can highly recommend the RWCC newsletter as being accurate in every way! (our website is also 100% accurate so between these two outlets you should be able to get an accurate account of the situation at all times.)
Yes, Rick has left YES. He is sad about this but feels that there are too many problems as far as he is concerned to enable him to continue working with the band. He is refusing to get drawn into arguments or discussions as to the whys and wherefores of why the situation has arisen as he still has a very fond love for both the band and all the guys. The internet has already been littered with various surmising from all quarters and everything we have seen so far is inaccurate, some wildly!
Rick wishes to wish the band much success with whatever line up they choose to tour and record with and hopes that "KEYS II" does get released as it is a fitting tribute to the work they did together over the last year. He also hopes that a lot of missing material will also see the light of day. This includes video and audio recordings of the UNION tour which Rick still considers to be a very important statement of YES history.
Rick will not go as far as to say that they will never work together again with this line up, or with any of the guys individually as strange things have happened, but at this juncture it does seem unlikely.
As regards the tour scheduled for June onwards Rick has no news as to what YES plans are, it should be noted that Rick never signed the agency contract as he was unhappy about certain areas and consistently stated that he would not agree to the tour unless certain political elements were put right. These areas are private to the band and management and Rick will not expand any more except to say that the tour should never have been put on sale using his name without his name being on the contract. As those of you who read Rick's interview with Mike Tiano will know, Rick had high hopes that things would get sorted out as he felt there really was a good future for the band, but sadly this was not to be.
Finally, please don't write to Rick about the situation or send emails, as Rick will not reply even if goaded by false accusations. He feels that Yes should be allowed to get on with their future without any hassle and so should he.
So what has happened so far this year?
Rick started off the year doing so many television's that they may as well have given him his own programme!
Another series of the Alphabet Game at the BBC in Manchester and a promise of more later on in the year. "Pull the Other one" for Carlton Select came next (B programmes), followed by a couple of Call My Bluffs.
Live at Jongleurs re appeared with Rick hosting another fifteen programmes and we have just been informed that they are going to be shown on ITV as against UK Gold who hosted the last series.
Other televisions are coming in thick and fast, including Songs of Praise, a hosting number for Paramount Television, and some more quiz programmes. Talks are also well advanced for Rick to host his own music based programme later this summer. More news about this in the next newsletter.
It's a lovely instrumental album that has been extremely well received and well reviewed. The launch was quite a high profile event on the Lundy island boat which cruised up the river serving drinks and food through to the early hours. The CD is available by mail order if you wish to purchase it at £9.50 plus p&p;. It is highly recommended and is beautifully packaged with a booklet not dissimilar to that of the Heritage Suite. Like father like son huh!
Adam meanwhile is about to put pen to paper with President Records for both Jeronimo Road and himself as a solo artist. This would mean that the first Jeronimo Road album should see the light of day as early as this summer. Also Adam's trilogy, "The Real World" should also be out very shortly, this is a beautifully played three CD set of top class instrumental music of the "new age" style.
The really fabulous news is that it very much looks as if Rick has negotiated successfully for the release of No Earthly Connection , White Rock and Criminal Record for CD release later this year. Many thanks to Al Cafaro who is the president of A&M; Records who has been instrumental in helping this to actually happen. With luck each product will have the original artwork as well and will be remastered without losing any of the original analogue quality which really gives album of that era their uniqueness.
Fields of Green is to be released in the next few months on Rick's own label, Music Fusion. This was previously only available on import but the company who released it in America, Griffin have sadly gone into liquidation.
This means that negotiations are taking place in order to get back other recordings that are licensed through agreements with Griffin and their UK subsidiaries.
Negotiations are also going on as regards The Piano Album and its return to Rick in order to get it released on Hope Records or Music Fusion. Again details of the outcome of these talks will be in the next newsletter.
The second signing is that of a very talented female singer/songwriter by the name of Marianne Velvart. Both Frank Rodgers and Rick met with Marianne after being very impressed with the tapes that she sent the label and hopefully her debut album for Hope should be ready by the summer.
Nite Lite are a New York based hand that are quite stunning in musicality and Rick has no hesitation in inviting them to join the fold. Although details are yet to be finalised, Rick is confident that discussions will culminate in a "happy ending".
Ajalon should be back in the studio at the end of the year to record their second album and it is hoped that in 1998 all of the artists on the label will be seen in the UK in a live situation.
As regards Rick and his recordings for the label, Origins is his big project that will have on board the English Chamber Choir as well as at least two guest vocalists one of which is likely to be Ramon Remedios.
Hope is also launching a publication and television arm to go alongside the video set up. First books to be released are likely to be "He Intends Victory" by Dan Wooding and a re-release of Rick's own "Say Yes" of which the rights return to him in a few months.
The television production company is not far off and more details of this will be in the next newsletter, this will be to produce both secular and Christian programmes for both television and radio.
Distribution is now set up in America on both the secular and Christian level. Nic Caciappo has been instrumental in putting all of this together and for that we are all extremely grateful. Nic is very much our USA arm of Hope and we look forward to it's continued expansion with Nic very much on board.
A distribution deal is almost complete with Japan which is really exciting and also negotiations are way down the line as regards Germany.
Rick and Nina flew in for the Mean Fiddler show and the Greasy Wop and Chrissie Hammond also turned up to give moral support. The band were on fine form and played a very tight and controlled set that was very well received.
Rick had his golf day at Stockley Park on the 24th of April and nearly £14,000 was raised for the Sparks charity. All the credit must go to Graham Slocombe who organised the day fantastically and also to Evans Halshaw, the Volkswagen dealership, who sponsored the day.
For the record, Rick played pretty well although his team were not in the frame for the prizes. Thanks must also go to Adam and Fraser who turned up after the event to join Rick in performing for the teams who had so kindly paid large sums of money in order to take part.
Next year it has been decided to hold a gala dinner afterwards and tickets will be available to RWCC members and their guests in a limited number according to availability . The evening should be outrageous with Rick hoping to have his full band available plus other guests performing. The date is liable to be around the beginning of May and the cost is as yet unknown but rest assured, as soon as we know we'll let you know.
Apart from RWCC members, old friends from school showed up as well as footballers from Rick's past and even the minister who baptised him. The son of the Sunday school teacher that Rick locked in a wardrobe once, also showed up, (mainly to inform Rick that his father had been let out), and Rick also collected numerous tapes to listen to from potential Hope recording artists! ( Hope now receives over 50 tapes and CDs each month now, most, it has to be said are high on enthusiasm and low on potential!)
It is expected that a few more of these evenings will be performed before the end of the year, and once again we'll give you details as soon as we have them.
Candy is currently booking a Wakey Wakey tour for the end of September into October. This will have at least Adam and Fraser on board. Rick would dearly like to repeat the six piece show that he did at Ronnie Scotts but sadly this is just not viable possibly as attendances are just not high enough to merit this.
Having said this , if advance tickets sales look to be higher than normal then Rick has said that he will keep his options open and so you may see the Ronnie Scott show in your area. For the record, Rick claims that the Saturday night was the finest performance by any band he has ever played with. From the amount of mail we've received, a lot of you felt the same as well.
At the end of October there are three very special New Gospels concerts booked. The venues are provisionally Lincoln Cathedral, Guildford Cathedral and quite possibly St Pauls Cathedral.
The reason that they are special is that for the first time the performance will include The English Chamber Choir at all three concerts. There should be close to ninety in the choir and this is very exciting for the production.
There was talk at some stage of Rick doing pantomime this year but that has now been put on ice. (No this doesn't mean he's doing a panto on ice....... although it sounds like something he would do.)
Instead now, it looks as if Rick will try to continue the Wakey Wakey tour and do a part two in late November into December with Japan coming as a "works outing" in the middle!
First of all, as regards the performances, Rick felt that they were sensational and possible the best so far. The choir were absolutely brilliant although the number of singers was far less than had been hoped for as the venues were quite large.
The total number of people who saw the five performances was just below the 14000 mark which everybody was thrilled with and each performance was met with a standing ovation at the end. This was particularly pleasing as virtually nobody in the audience had ever heard the music before. Ramon became quite a cult hero out there and was in fact brilliantly impersonated by one of the tenors in the choir before most performances. The only way to tell them apart was that Ramon's impersonator was in fact black! Mind you, so was Ramon after five days by the pool.
So what's with the speculation about the financial aspects of the shows? Well quite simply Rick was led to believe that the performances were all underwritten. This turned out to be not correct. There were no charges to see the performances but people were asked to make an offering which would cover the expenses and all further profits would go to Assist. Rick was making no charge, just his expenses were to be covered.
If everybody who had attended had given just $5 then the performances would have broken even. To everybody's amazement the offerings fell way short of this figure. The underwriters failed to materialise and sadly Rick has been left in an extremely difficult financial predicament.
Rick feels that the trip has to be looked at in a positive manner, It was successful musically and we now know that it works as a concert performance in the USA. If it is ever to be done again though, it would have to be done as a ticketed event and not linked in any way to any outside charity or fund raising. This means in essence that unless a promoter appears who fancies putting the production on, it has probably been seen in the USA for the last time. This is pretty sad for Rick and the rest of the crew but neither Rick nor Hope is in a position to be caught short financially as another set back such as has just happened would probably render both Rick and Hope in a non recoverable position.
Does Rick want to do it again in America though?......... only very much!
It is part of a trilogy that Rick hopes to record later in the year with them on a single CD. The other tracks are David and Goliath and Jonah. The performance at Southwark included a large orchestra and Rick as well.
Finally we hear that Chrissie Hammond fell off the stage during Smokey Joe's Cafe and broke her leg. We are saying nothing about her eyesight but wish her well again very soon!