January is usually a fairly quiet month, as most of the entertainment industry do not seem to return to the world of the living until almost February, so it’s an opportunity to plan for the year, which is always interesting as more often than not, less than 50% of plans ever reach fruition.
This can be for a variety of reasons. Funding is always an issue and also you never know what the next phone call is likely to bring or indeed what countries you might be packing your bags to go to. That is just one of the great things that I enjoy about the business that I have been in for 50 years....yes it’s 50 years in 2019.
It’s hard to put an actual date on how many years I have been playing as an amateur, a semi-pro or a professional...and if you take it from my first piano lesson in 1954, then 2019 is my 65th musical anniversary!
My first concert was two years later....so you could say the anniversary of my first public performance would be my 63rd anniversary date.
To the best of my recollection, my first actual paid performance was in 1964 with a dance band trio and I earned £2, which was a lot in those days, especially if you were a schoolboy!.......so that anniversary would be my 55th.
The date I decided upon many years ago as the true start of my “career”, was 1969 when I recorded Space Oddity with David Bowie. True, I had done hundreds of sessions prior to that and worked with professional bands at the Top Rank Ballrooms, but it was when I was invited to play on Space Oddity in 1969 with David Bowie that I felt I was really a part of the music business and I was clear on my musical direction........
2018 also marks my 70th birthday and so it’s a bit of a double celebration year, although I’ve not totally planned how I would like to musically celebrate it........ I do have one or two dreams that I would love to see come to fruition.
But now to this month and what is already happening.
On Saturday 19th I am doing only my second show with the KGB......(and acronym for Keyboards / Guitars & Bass).
Dave Colquhoun and Matt Pegg joined me at Ronnie Scott’s last year where we had a great time and it proved really popular and there were immediate requests for us to do it again...and so we are playing at the Corn Exchange in Devizes on Saturday 19th. I’m really looking forward to this event which is quite different to the Piano Odyssey and Piano Portraits shows.
On the 24th and 25th I will be at the Granary in Norfolk for my annual Xmas concerts there, although they won’t be Xmas concerts this year as Xmas will have been and gone, so they will be “Rick Wakeman’s Not Xmas Concerts But With a Slight Mention of Xmas Here And There “.
On Sunday 27th I will be at a fund raising church event with Simon Mayo and full details will appear here very soon. It will be at St Luke’s Church, Hillmarton Road, West Holloway, London N7 9JE and it will be an evening where Simon will “grill me” in the form of a chat with two friends.....it should be a very interesting evening. They also have a piano there so I will “plonk” the odd tunes as well.
So that’s pretty much January although I have three long meetings arranged with my management in order to put some plans into action.....and if the two on the top of my list happen, then I will be a very happy old keyboard player indeed!
Have a wonderful year....love from all The Wakemans.