25th Anniversary Update
It hardly seems possible but yes, June 19th 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of RWCC.COM being fully online. It has been an amazing twenty five years, during which the internet has changed beyond all recognition. Whether you consider the changes to be good, or in some cases bad, the fact remains that throughout those years the site has had to change and adapt to the changing technologies, and of course the changing expections on how a site should be built. Many of you have been with the site from the very beginning, especially those that were former members of the RWCC, from which the site gets its name. When news of the site was first mentioned in the written newsletter, more and more people came online and slowly the site's following grew, eventually replacing that newsletter, the achives of which are still on the site. So what have the recent changes been?
Well during the early part of 2021, we had another change to the underlying framework, with the site being re-written in Bootstrap 5. We also tried to make sure that we are conforming to the Web accessibility guidelines as much as possible. For those that don't deal with building websites, it basically means that the site is compatible with assistive technologies like screen readers, so the site can be enjoyed by those with disabilities. As part of the rebuild, we did a slight redesign, most notably on the discography pages, including a tiled view, adding filtering to make things easier to find and Spotify links where available. The site also works better on mobile devices.
Talking about design, we'd also like to acknowledge the feedback we get from time to time, which usually takes the form of "the site looks rubbish". As previously mentioned, the site replaced the written newsletter which Rick wrote to be as informational as possible, with few if any photographs. When the site started, we agreed that the website should also carry forward that ethos, informational, almost encyclopedic in nature. So yes, the site does not look like a lot of other musician websites, but for all the critics out there - that is by design!
Rick and the website staff thank you for your support and contributions through the past 25 years and finally, if you cannot remember what the web was like in 1996 (including young fans who may not have been born!), here's an entertaining video introducing people to the Web back then, courtesy of the Internet Archive…
2020 PHP/mySQL rewrite
With a site as old as RWCC.COM, it's inevitable that technology changes along the way. The first site in 1996 was completely static of course, because that's all that you could do. Because I was heavily into data driven desktop publishing (automatically building books in QuarkXPress from data), as soon as it was possible to build websites the same way, I did the same. The technology changed, but the site was built using classic ASP and driven by Microsoft Access databases. Over time, better things came along like ASP.NET but I just stuck with ASP and the databases because it worked and why fix something that isn't broken? Well of course, the main reason is that it does break! Service providers start to deprecate older technologies and you start to see the writing on the wall. So with a free weekend to spare, I completely rewrote the site in PHP and changed the database from 3 Access, to 1 mySQL instance. This meant I could also move from Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 to CC2020. I also took the time to upgrade to the latest version of the Zurb's Foundation framework. I realize none of this is of any interest to Rick's fans, but we do get the occasional question about the site!
2018 Responsive Site
2018 sees the relaunch of the site rebuilt using Zurb's Foundation framework. The new site has been extensively tested on a range of devices and browsers and we're fairly confident that it should work well everywhere. However this is 2018 and "everywhere" now implies modern browsers, so I'm afraid you will need to be on something reasonably up to date.
20th Anniversary Update
Well it hardly seems possible, but on the very day that Rick debuts the newly re-recorded Myths at the O2 in London, the website turns 20 years old. The web was a very different place back in 1996, social media wasn't a thing and when the site was launched, we had no idea that it would still be alive and well in 2016.
We certainly don't intend to make a big thing about it, but we certainly believe it's one of the longest running sites in support of a musician. But the very fact that it's survived is thanks to the support of all the loyal fans out there, so to you, each and every one of you, we send our thanks for your support!
Rick and Wayne
About This Site
This site has been created and is maintained by Wayne Smith as a thank you to Rick Wakeman for a lifetime of listening pleasure.
I have been a fan of Rick since the early days, including the Strawbs and have been fortunate to be present at a number of memorable occasions along the way, including seeing "Journey" live at Crystal Palace, The Old Grey Whistle Test recording at the Maltings in Farnham, and I've done my fair share of queueing to get albums signed.
Nothing can repay the pleasure that Rick's music has given to me over the years, but hopefully this site has taken a step down that road. Please continue to support Rick's musical endeavours and ensure that the pleasure goes on!. Thanks are due to many people who have contributed to its creation, especially Rick himself, who I'm delighted to say has become a close friend over the years and is now Godfather to my youngest daughter Alana.I'd also like to thank the following people for their valuable contributions over the years:
- Sidônio Pacheco Alves
- Paul Chapelhow
- David Charlap
- Ceri Davies
- John Forster
- Julia Rai
- Jon Hinchliffe
- Graham Johnson
- Brian Neeson
- Eugene Poliakov
- Karl Sarkozi
- Liz Shave
- Arturo Toledo
- Don Tyler
- Eduardo Valle and his son Guilherme Sotto-Maior
- Bill Verstege
- Lee Wilkinson
The RWCC site isn't finished though, and never will be! If you have anything that you feel you can contribute, by way of information, local press reviews of shows, anecdotes or photographs of your meetings with Rick, please contact the site.