July was a very varied month with the European Festivals, some more Piano Portraits concerts and TV filming for some rockumentaries, but a poignant highlight was the Keith Emerson Memorial Concert in aid of Care After Combat at the Birmingham Symphony Hall organised by my great friend Jim Davidson, who did a fantastic job.
On stage was a cast of hundreds, which I know Keith would have loved and included a symphony orchestra and many of Keith’s family who showed that his talent certainly lives on through the genes.
I played a piano piece based around themes from Trilogy, Lucky Man and Nut Rocker.....the final piece being one that both Keith and I loved -the B Bumble and the Stingers version from the 1960s and both vowed to record it....and he beat me to it!!
It was a fine and fitting send off, but his music will be around for ever.
The end of July also saw the release of My Labrador Eats Poo...the first book to be available as part of HaGaTaS, our new publishing company. It’s already selling well and the audio version should be available by later this month.
Already in August I have pre-recorded My Vintage for Vintage Television which will be aired on the 29th of this month. I picked quite a variety of music which might surprise some of you. To be honest, it surprised me as well!
Also this month I will be recording some idents for radio for the upcoming North American tour. These consist of the very imaginative wording...."Hi, this is Rick Wakeman and I’m looking forward to seeing you all with Jon and Trevor at....(insert venue)...on...(insert date)"
I have also sorted out a keyboard which is winging its way to the Hall of Fame as part of the YES display. I have chosen the Promega 3 which is a pretty rare instrument that I really liked and used in my rig from 2002 until 2006......I now use the new Promega in the current rig, but there was something about the “3” that I truly loved in every way including its unique look and design.
During this month I will be travelling to Tintagel in Cornwall for another site visit and to firm up details for King Arthur in Tintagel which is looking like being held either the 2nd or 3rd weekend of September 2018. It’s all looking really good and will fulfil a long held dream of mine
I also had a visit to Wolterton Hall, the former home of Lord Walpole which has been bought by a friend of mine and who is restoring it to it’s former splendour. It is extremely likely that I will be performing an event there next year. The setting is absolutely sensational.
Then it’s off to America for the YES / ARW tour which starts with West Coast rehearsals followed by lots of concerts.
I will send reports as part of my GORRs for September and October whist I am away along with some very interesting news about events in December and next January.
On my return from America I have some additional Piano Portraits shows which were added after the first set of shows earlier this year went so well, which really was amazing.