First of all extreme apologies for the very late arrival of the January newsletter, the main reason being that we were waiting for the YES contracts to be signed so that we could confirm dates for you.
We hung on and on, and in fact at one stage just two weeks ago the whole thing looked very "off", however two weeks is a long time in show business as they say and subsequently we now have much to report.
The contracts, (hundreds of pages of them), are now all signed and whilst not satisfactory in every detail are certainly far enough down the path in agreements for everybody to have said "YES".
The tour will comprise of eight musicians. Tony Kaye and Rick on keyboards, Chris Squire on bass, Alan White and Bill Bruford on drums, Steve Howe and Trevor Rabin on guitars and Jon Anderson on vocals.
It is highly unlikely that all eight will appear together all the time throughout the show, in fact at this juncture it is expected that they will appear in the form of whatever piece of music they are performing. It is possible, if not expected, that they will all appear at some juncture, playing what though, is anybody's guess! Lay money on a Starship Trooper type of "jam" if you're a betting sort of person!
All eight have not as yet met up but conversations have taken place between the two sides of the Atlantic and Jon Anderson has spent the last few months over in California talking to Chris, Alan and Trevor, which after quite a few years of silence is a "concert" in itself!
Rehearsals for the tour are set to start mid-March although Rick and Bill have commitments that do not permit them to arrive until nearer the end of the month.
The tour list is not 100% finalised, but printed in this newsletter is the very latest, hot off the press, up to date, tour itinerary! As usual you get the facts first with us!
It may be of interest to some of you that the 18,000 tickets for the Philadelphia show sold out in three and a half hours and the Atlantic City show of similar capacity sold, via ticket agencies and box office in 35 minutes!
The first part of the Classical Connection tour is now over and it has to be said that it has proven to be far and away the most successful of Rick's solo ventures to date. Eight of the twelve shows were complete sell outs and reviews and receptions were excellent. Fifteen shows have already been booked for November/December and it is hoped that this will reach 25 minimum. The album/CD/cassette....The Classical Connection also proved very popular, so much so that Ambient Records have brought the release date forward, (to now!), and so you should be able to find it in your local friendly store. If not, you can always phone our mail order line at the shop...... 0624 844138 and we'll dispatch one off to you right away. We are now also geared up for Access and Visa over the phone. For those of you who missed the show, there are a few bits of merchandise left available by mail order....... T-shirts, sweat shirts, programmes mainly, but please call for more details if you're interested.
A new album CLASSICAL CONNECTION II, will be available in October, in preparation for the second Classical Connection tour. Once again David Paton will be joining Rick on this little soiree which will once again cover most of the United Kingdom. A full date list will appear nearer the time.
It is interesting, and encouraging to add that The Classical Connection recording has completely sold out in its first pressing in under six weeks.
The music is now near completion and the festival which takes place during the first week of June is not to be missed by anyone who can get there. Sadly Rick will not be there as YES will be somewhere in Europe.
The album should be available early May on Ambient Records and will feature some additional vocals from that of the actual festival. In fact the album is quite different and contains six songs, as well as four instrumentals, sung by Chrissie Hammond, who first appeared you may recall on the Phantom Power soundtrack.
A real mixture of news here, unashamedly not all to do with music! At the recent Sunway Golf Classic in Tenerife, Rick came second, belying the appalling form that befell him during the televised pro-celebrity tournament on the TV over Xmas! Rick currently has a comedy script being viewed with considerable interest by a major TV network, who are also unaware that it is Rick's writing, as it is being done under a pseudonym! We will let you know who and what it is if it all comes to fruition. Ambient Music have virtually completed a deal with Central Television to buy the rights for the video of the WORD, which some of you may recall was the TV programme on the Gospels that was done in Israel. This we desperately hope comes off as it is of genuine concern to Rick that the work is treated with the reverence it deserves. Rick also plans to rerecord the entire work before the end of the year with Ramon Remedios, Robert Powell and a huge Manx choir. There will also be additional music, and additional narration. The arrangements will be expanded, and all in all Rick feels he is at last in a position to justify the work with a recording it deserves.
Sadly the same cannot be said of Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
It seems that as soon as a door opens, about six slam shut on us! Sponsors come and go as do record companies and promoters. The Russian orchestra are still with us though and Rick still has hopes that eventually one day it will be re-done, obviously now though we are looking at 1992 at the earliest.
The same must really be said for the English Rock Ensemble for a little while as for the last few years, Rick has financed the tours as they have all run at a small loss. Rick feels that the next stage for the ERE has got to be with its own lighting rig and a considerably bigger production, and bigger band, and this at present is obviously not financially viable. Hit album/CD required urgently please!
This is certainly not to say that the band is dead. Rick will be looking all the time for ways of feasibly performing live in as many ways as humanly possible, and it could be that sponsorship in this area may well be the answer.
One of Rick's friends runs F.A.B. Promotions, who deal in finding sponsors, and they are already on the look out for us in many areas. Rodney Mathews, who for the un-initiated is one of Europe's foremost artists has designed for Rick a fantastic logo and also has done the cover for 2000 AD ( Into the Future ), which is due out sometime later this year on Ambient. Incidentally, if you have trouble getting CD's / cassettes etc, then don't forget we mail order and now take Access and Visa over the phone for extra swiftness in our dispatching.
For most of you May is the dreaded month of subscriptions being due .....Aaaaaaaaagggggghhhhhhh..... we hear you cry. Somehow, since the RWCC's formation some five odd years ago we have kept the yearly subscription down to £5 in the UK. Sadly we really can't keep it at this figure any more, as whilst we obviously are happy to subsidise, there is obviously a limit at which the balance gets somewhat out of hand, and you've guessed it....we've reached that limit!
For those of you who wish to continue in keeping up with what is happening ( first hand ) with Rick and YES and his associates, then I'm afraid it's going to cost £7.50 for the year for those of you in the UK, £10 in Europe and £12.50 for the rest of the world.
Please send your cheques, postal orders, wife's purse, children's money box or however you wish to pay! ( no visa or access I'm afraid for membership ) to RWCC c/o Suzie James, Bajonor House, 2, Bridge Street, Peel, Isle of Man, and make your cheque payable to BAJONOR LTD.
The RWCC has, and hopefully will continue-to be, lots of fun for us all, and it is of interest to note that since we have been going we have only "lost" seven members, who have not retaken up their membership, which is very encouraging when you consider that membership is now fast approaching the magic four figures!
Adam Wakeman, Rick's second eldest son ( 17 ), who has just finished grade seven piano and is turning into a pretty amazing keyboard player, will be going into the studio in September to start recording an album with his father, which will either have the above title, or that of Father and Son. The material will be jointly written and the album will appear on the Ambient label sometime in 1992 Rick's eldest son, Oliver ( 19 ) who is at art college in North Devon also has a working duo at the moment and is working hard on his keyboard playing alongside his studies. Rick has great pride in both their musical interests and hopes one day they will both earn enough to keep him in the manner to which he would like to be accustomed!
Literally as this newsletter was about to be finished, word came through regarding Journey to the Centre of the Earth. It appears that finance has been found to enable the initial production and video as well as CD recording to take place. The only bad news for most of you is that the initial concert is to take place in Moscow this coming October! It does mean though that there will be a showcase available to show prospective sponsors for this country and the rest of Europe, so we'll get it to the UK yet! As promised, the next newsletter will come direct from America and will be faxed through to Suzie for duplication during the YES tour. A full up to date report will be given along with future plans etc. Also if everybody is still talking to each other or not!
Well that pretty well raps things up as regards all that is happening at this present time. In the next issue apart from YES news we'll try and give you updates on the Journey situation as well as the Gospels/The Word projects. Also we should have some more news on the collaboration with James Herbert and also the Norman Wisdom album.
The two remaining recordings in the Aspirant series should hit the shelves soon and are shortly to be found in record outlets, as will be the Classical Connection. SOFTSWORD (KING JOHN AND THE MAGNA CHARTER) will be out by May at the latest and release dates for the remaining Ambient product will be decided at the end of May.
We will also keep you informed of our overseas license situation and their release dates. Thanks for all your letters and support. It is much appreciated by all of us and especially by Rick this year who has been knocked out by your support and interest, especially at the Classical Connection concerts.
Finally, keep your ear glued to the radio around the end of May, beginning of June, as Nicky Horne has done a radio special on the history of Advision studios, and Rick gave a fairly hefty contribution via a telephone interview as he played many classic sessions there, including Hunky Dory and the T. Rex recordings.
Lots of things happening and a pretty interesting and bright future ahead.
Remember...RWCC members get the information first, and first hand!
See you all next month!
Text scanned, OCRd and checked by Jon Hinchliffe