First of all may we wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year and hope that you had a tremendous Christmas. We apologise profusely for the late arrival of this newsletter but are sure that most of you are aware of the reason, which is that Rick's mother being taken seriously ill during the UK tour culminating in Rick returning home before the European performances.
Please find enclosed in this edition your Christmas Card! You can treat this as a very late card for 1994 or a very early card for 1995. Whichever you choose we thank you for your continued support throughout our annual escapades and hope that you'll stick with us throughout 1995 and we give you much to enjoy, discuss and listen to.
For obvious reasons a lot of events have been put on ice, the Christmas Party being one. It was felt by all that it would not be the right thing in the circumstances. Rest assured though the party will happen sometime in this year, giving us two parties! (AAGGHH!!!!! I want danger money..C.) We will probably keep the back to school theme for the Christmas revels and do something a little different for the rearranged party. (Incidentally I do hope that everyone who had purchased tickets received their refunds. I also hope that you had no problems with Stoke Moat House when cancelling your room reservations: I had reason to send a rather pointed fax to their Party Organiser, as after I had told them why we were having to cancel the booking called me back later that day, to say that the full cost of £3,000 for cancellation would be payable. My fax pointed out that we had never received a booking contract from them and therefore I felt that this was slightly incorrect... Funny I haven't heard any more from them... But I don't think we will be going to Stoke Moat House for the rerun!)
The full band concert schduled for December in Bergdorf in Switzerland has been moved to January.
Please note that as from now we will be having a page in the Newsletter for free classified ads, i.e swaps, sales, wanted etc. The only rule is that they must be Rick related in some way. All advertisements printed will be at Candy's discretion.
Obviously we can't stop anybody buying what they want to, but Rick would like to point out that he does not endorse the following products in any way as they have either been obtained by the distributors or label by false means or they are being misrepresented:
The current video release of The Word and the Gospels and the CD Classic Tracks.
We will inform you if the situation changes as regards any of the above.
The New Gospels
The New Gospels is so different from the initial version that it is almost impossible to relate the two together, but strangely enough whilst becoming unbelievably difficult to perform now it has lost none of it's simplicity.
Two performances of the New Gospels were performed in 1994, one in Edinburgh and one in Liverpool.
It is quite astonishing that every performance of either version of the music has been fraught with pre concert difficulties and neither of these two performances were any different.
The rehearsals went very well and Rick was delighted with the success of the new line up. Rick and Adam used full compliments of keyboards in order to give a much fuller and varied sound, Davy Paton returned on bass and Richard "Hud" Hudson came in on percussion.
The percussion areas was an interesting one. Tony Fernandez had warned us that he was unavailable for either concert due to prior bookings with Ruthless Blues and so it gave Rick a chance to analyse the overall set up and after discussion with Ian Barfoot who engineers all of Rick's concerts, decided to move away from drums which were always a problem in cathedrals and churches to keep under control.
For the last twenty years it has also been very difficult to keep Tony Fernandez under control!
We therefore decided to go down the percussion route of cymbals, tambourines, congas etc. which would be much more controllable.
Ramon Remedios flew in from Amsterdam where he is currently starring in the Dutch version of Phantom of the Opera and the narrative was superbly handled by Garfield Morgan who has pretty much taken over the "hot seat" from Ian Lavender who has been unavailable due to theatre work and of course pantomime...... Stupid Boy!
A new programme was prepared outlining the history of the music and those who have been instrumental in it's creation and for the rerun of this brochure additional material will be added including a complete transcript of all the words both sung and spoken.
The Edinburgh performance was a tremendous musical success in spite of the original church letting us down very badly at the last minute forcing us to change venues. The attendance was disappointing as well, but there is no doubt that those who witnessed the performance gave the new version a genuine seal of approval.
The second performance was at Liverpool Cathedral and once again the team were beset with problem after problem prior to the performance.
Sound checks were happening whilst the equipment was still being set around the performers at 7.30pm when the concert was due to start.
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral is huge, probably holds in excess of two thousand people in fact. The organisers, who to put it bluntly could not organise a foul smell competition in a sewage farm, were expecting about seven hundred. Therefore the equipment was faced sideways toward the main annex which seated about eight hundred, leaving fifteen hundred or so seats empty in the main part of the Cathedral on the right of the stage.
When Rick and the lads walked out to perform the place was heaving and they played sideways on to over two thousand people!
The performance was a wonderful experience and greatly enhanced by the security in having shipped the choir from Edinburgh down for the performance as the Liverpool organisers had been unable to get this area together!
All the profits went to the very worthy Roy Castle Cause for Hope appeal and it was lovely to welcome Fiona Castle to the performance.
There are just one or two tiny little areas Rick wishes to change and then the definitive performance is ready. one area that needs looking at is that of an "encore". It is obviously not possible to hold a piece back but perhaps a collage of a few of the pieces could be the answer.
Discussions this year are already underway for more performances and it is hoped to do at least twelve.
Rick has firm plans for the work now and they include "forcing" the publishers to release the music as a manuscript package for both schools and professional performances and also to have a new recording out before Easter.
Rick has decided that the recording will be a studio version, using the choir from Edinburgh, Ramon, and Garfield Morgan. it will definitely appear on the HOPE RECORD label as Rick never again wants to lose control of the music.
Negotiations are along way down the road as well for six performances in California for the ASSIST charity. More about this in the next newsletter at the end of March, but if it is does take place then it would be videoed which would enable the new version to be seen on tape replacing the current version which everybody is extremely disgusted with because of the way the distributors are handling it after obtaining it by false pretences.
There is no doubt though that The New Gospels has entered a new era which after so many years is a tribute to all those who have stuck by it.
First there was Crossroads, then coronation Street, Brookside, Emmerdale Farm, Eastenders, Neighbours and Home and Away, but nothing can compare with the on running musical soap opera... YESSAGAS
For those of you who have not followed this wonderful tale of musical folk over the last twenty five or so years, we'll just bring you up to date with some of the main characters and what they're up to. It is an international story, with most of the main actors living in America. They are lovingly called the American Yes: They are made up of: Jon, a happy go lucky character who loves red Indians. He has a beautiful high tenor alto voice which is the trademark of the band. Then there is Chris who a bit like Ken Barlow in Coronation Street has been in the series from the beginning. He is one of the world's most unique bass players and recently got married to an actress.
On guitar there is Trevor Rabin. He was South African but as Nelson Mandela did not send him a Christmas card decided to become American. Finally there is Tony Kay who doesn't play in too many episodes.
In England there are some of the earlier members of YES now doing their own things with the exception of Bill Bruford who no longer makes music as he has a jazz band called something like Earthworm.
There has always been an argument between the YESANORAKS as to what the right line up of the band should be and subsequently there will never be a situation when every fan will be satisfied.
But what of Rick I hear you cry?
This bouncy little character has been in and out of the series more time than Adam has said "I love you".
Well we can secretly reveal that talks have opened up yet again to open the door for Rick to return to the series.
All parties concerned have expressed their desire to see this happen and an announcement could be made early in the New Year. (N.B. Please do not all phone the office to try and bribe me to find out what is happening... we will let you know as soon as we know!)
BooksRick has had several requests from three different sources to collaborate in books about YES and he has declined all of them. He feels very much that the time has not yet arrived for the story to be told and when it does it should be written by an insider as against an enthusiastic fan. It should also have the backing of everyone who has participated in the Band's history and not just a few selected people. Rick also feels that the book should be factual as against emotional and should show no bias.
On the autobiographical side of things *check*, Rick's autobiography is now finished and delivered to Hodder and Stoughton who appear delighted with the transcript. (and not to say somewhat relieved, as the deadline was very tight!)
It is entitled "Say Yes" and is full of anecdotes as yet unheard or placed in print prior to this publication. It is due to hit the shops around May and knowing Rick's luck the bargain bins by about June!
Seriously though it is not your usual run of the mill autobiographies and should be a "jolly good read" for all those who like his style of story telling.
Television and Radio
What a great year for television and radio. In the last three months of 1994 Rick hosted Radio One's Art of Noise, and also contributed to the Locker Room on Radio Four with a piece on gluttony.
Rick took part in a TV special for Jimmy Perry and David Croft who wrote Dad's Army and It Ain't 'Arf Hot Mum which is due for screening early 1995.
Some of you may have spotted Rick as a guest on Danny Baker's This is your Life which was lots of fun to say the least. Rick was also booked to appear on another This is your Life but had to cancel because of his mother's sudden illness. For obvious reasons we can't tell you who it was.
The only disappointment television wise was that Rick had been booked to appear as a guest on the Fry and Laurie Christmas Night with the Stars but was mysteriously cancelled a couple of weeks before it was due to be filmed. Rick would like to be able to say that he couldn't care less because he doesn't like Fry and Laurie, but he can't because he really likes Fry and Laurie!
The high spot or the year was the appearance on the Jimmy Tarbuck "An audience with" show. Jimmy and Rick have been golfing chums for many years and it was nice to see Rick on stage with Kenny Jones, Hank Marvin, Justin Hayward and John Lodge.
Work has already begun on the score for the new Michael Caine movie and this should be completed by mid February at the latest. Rick really hopes to do a lot more film work in 1995 and that this could be a good stepping stone toward that aim.
It has to be said that in spite of Rick's misgivings before the tour started, it was an unqualified success. With the exception of about three concerts attendances were excellent the show was well received. There is still the age old problem in a couple of places of "Apathy Rules OK". Scunthorpe has to be the king at this. Up until two weeks before the lads were due to appear any calls to the Scunthorpe Baths went through to the kitchens! The shows was also not listed on the computer.
The other amazing thing was the amount of posters that Rick and Adam signed. They were all sent to the various halls to display around the town but most of them were seen in piles in various foyers!
Having said all that, the tour broke even (just), and renewed Rick's faith a little regards live performances which he really enjoys.
It is unlikely though that there will be a tour this year due to the "circus" performances which are talked about later on in this newsletter.
This is because Rick is still only allowed a certain amount of days in the country of days in the country and also to put it bluntly although 1994 broke even touring wise breaking even doesn't pay the mortgage and so unless the promoters are willing to increase their paltry offers to our beloved Fuhrer! (However there may be some one off dates which we will try to keep you posted about... please don't all phone, as soon as anything is definite I shall whizz a letter to everyone with dates.)
There is absolutely no doubt that 1995 will see the official launch of the label. Rick has about four different option routes to take as regards distribution both in the UK and abroad and expects to have everything finalised by the time of the next newsletter.
Interestingly, Rick has been bombarded with tapes from "Christian" artists all of who feel they have a divine right to have a record of their work available to the general public. Rick hasn't heard one that would be even acceptable in an euthanasia clinic!
In case you have any aspiring Christian musicians as friends PLEASE tell them not to send Rick cassettes as the label will not even be considering material other than Rick's for at least two years.
Life has been busy in the studio over the last few months. Romance of a Victorian Age was released to excellent reviews and actually made the play list on Radio 2 which delighted all concerned. Adam's new CD, "100 years Overtime" has also had super reviews and is far outselling his first release which is good news. Currently Rick is in the studio working on a new synthesizer album, The Seven Wonders of The World. This should be completed late in February for a mid year release.
During 1995 Rick intends to continue his current mode of "mass production" throughout the spectrum of all his varying styles and intends to produce at least eight hours worth of recorded music in a solo vein in one capacity or another.
Return to the Centre of the Earth
Yes we're sick of it too!... but things are progressing. There is actually an offer on the table from a major record company who are going to put it in writing in the third week of January.
They have had a synopsis as well as hearing some of the demo tapes that were made and seemed very enthusiastic....but we've heard it all that before so don't get too excited! Should the project reach fruition then watch out for the odd guest appearance of the likes of Justin Hayward and John Lodge amongst others.
A performance at the new Huddersfield Stadium is also on the cards if the recording actually happens. What does Rick think the real odds are of it all happening? 60/40 in favour.
Obviously if all the things that are in the pipeline happen then Rick will need about eighty three days in February alone and so something will have to give. only time will tell how things will turn out as regards this.
Rick has been working very closely with Philip and Carol Gandey of Gandey's Circus fame as regards putting the music together for what will undoubtedly be the most fantastic circus ever staged in the UK. Now before all you animal rights fanatics start jumping up and down and screaming, this circus has no animals, not even a mouse! (You may already be aware of the Gandey Organisation, they brought over the Chinese state Circus, and the Russian State Circus on ICE!)
We cannot reveal any more at this stage except to say that Rick has been to Germany with Philip and Carol to see some of the acts and was quite literally gobsmacked.
The circus will run from May onwards for at least three months and Rick and the band will be performing live at some of the performances, hopefully a week at each venue if not more.
An album will be produced of the music and a video is also a distinct possibility.
Full details of the circus will be printed in the next newsletter when announcements will have been made and towns to be visited will have been confirmed.
Rick's Review of 1994
(In order to make things easy to distinguish we have printed the highlights in capital letters and the low points in standard text.)
JAPAN. THE CONCERT AND TRIP WAS FABULOUS. REALLY HOPE A RETURN IS NOT TOO FAR AWAY. The constant arguments over YES, what it should be doing and who should be in the band doing it. BYGONES AND ALL OTHER TELEVISION THAT CAME RICK'S WAY AND CERTAINLY HELPED THE GENERAL PUBLIC TO REALISE THAT HE IS NOT PHYSICALLY DEAD....(JUST MENTALLY) Bank Statements...THE TRIP FOR THE TRAVEL SHOW TO INDIA. ABSOLUTELY TREMENDOUS. Rick having to sell his beloved Rolls Royce and Nina her beloved Jaguar in order to cover the losses on the 1993 UK tour. BUYING A 1962 VAUXHALL CRESTA ESTATE...Finding out the Vauxhall needs a substantial rebuild. ATTENDANCES ON THE UK TOUR. Realising that everybody on the tour, especially the agency made decent money....except me! THE NEW GOSPELS
Many thanks to you all and a special thank you to Nina and candy who both deserve medals!
And finally, Rick's New Year forecasts and suggested resolutions for those near and dear!
- Rick will buy another set of golf clubs
- Adam will buy his father dinner
- Chrissie Hammond will finally ask who is in the band and owning up that she can't actually distinguish who's on stage at any given time
- Alan Thomson will produce a book entitled "How never to spend any money, and other adventures of John Martyn"
- Tony Fernandez will cut his drinking down to licensing hours only
- Ian Barfoot will have another 30 waistcoats made
- Doom will buy a load more fifties junk and get engaged
- Adam will send his Dad the bill for the dinner
- Mike Holden will go on a diet
- Candy will tell everybody what they should do and what will happen to them if they don't
- Everybody will do what Candy tells them
- Mike Holden will quit his diet
- Rick will buy at least fifty antique fountain pens
- Adam and Alan Thomson will go out for a meal together and starve to death
- Nina will somehow put up with another year of Rick.
- RICK - to make things happen. (i.e somehow earn enough money to pay the mortgage!)
- ADAM - to get his band on the road. (i.e find out what it's like to pay out the wages for a change)
- DOOM - to laugh all the time, be positive. (i.e to laugh all the time, be positive!)
- IAN BARFOOT - to eat only good food (i.e eat anything)
- ALAN THOMSON - to enjoy life to the full (i.e pay for nothing)
- TONY FERNANDEZ - to work hard to shake off the Greasy Wop tag.(i.e attempt the impossible)
- CANDY ATCHESON - to bully(?) and be domineering over men (?!) (i.e run the office)
- CHRISSIE HAMMOND - to have a proper eye test (i.e learn braille!)
New Year's Neurosis
Brian Dixon from Basingstoke obviously went to see one show too many during the last tour, as he has sent me the following Quiz for all you diehards out there...who are upset that Rick was not on Christmas Night with The stars with Fry and Laurie as they wanted a girlie, (and Rick wouldn't put a skirt on... First time for a refusal!)
The Chronicles of Rick WakemanAt the dawn of time, long before the lone star, a child with no name was born. There was little for him to do other than listen to the Night owls. The night airs at this time of year were cold, and Jack Frost was a regular visitor. One night, the sleeping child again had the dream sequence. He realised it was time for him to undertake the voyage of his destiny. He must journey to the centre of the earth. Before setting off, young Rick packed his Pandora's box with a few essentials. In went some Bombay Duck, his macintosh and tins and tins of Swan lager. Finally Rick consulted the oracle, O'Bilianco for advice. He said "If you see Catherine Howard, ask her to make me a woman". Confused young Rick set off.
He walked toward the Devil's Creek breakdown garage. Crossing Pont Street, Rick was nearly run over by Sir Lancelot and the Black Knight, who were on their way to see the film Capricorn I which was showing at The Palais. Rick heard the Pearls and Dean piano concerto blasting out and said "Hurry up or you'll be late". The Journey went quite quickly as Rick was reading his football magazine The Shoot. Before long he was on a path leading up to Mount Etna. His path up the mountain was blocked by a large piece of white rock. "That's nice, Rick thought, I'll take a piece for Granny". As he set about his rock pursuit he was surrounded by about maybe '80 proles who had been searching for gold in the area.
Their leader Tomasso Aniello stepped forward and said loudly "Evuje" "Er hello mate." replied Rick. "Come with us," snapped Tomasso "You will be tried by the Black Knights at the Court of King Ferdinand IV. If you are guilty you will meet the Hangman and be thrown on the fire." "You can't kill me" said Rick " I'm too young to go to Heaven. Anyway I'm the rock n roll prophet." "Then you shall play for your life" they all cried in a stream of voices. Rick played a few of his rhapsodies and watched the proles perform their traditional Steamhole dance. "Christ" thought Rick, "I hope they don't do the Woolly Willy Tango.
Unfortunately Rick had failed to spot the Robot Man spiking his drinks with Lax'x and the following day suffered from serious Montezuma's revenge. Thankfully Rick put his art and soul into the performance and the proles thought they were dancing in Heaven. Satisfied with the entertainment, the proles took Rick to the edge of the forest and set him free.
It was dark in the forest so Rick followed the Liddenbrook stream. This flowed into a large lake within a forest clearing. In the clearing, Rick saw the lady of the lake on the other side crying her eyes out. "Hey up" he thought, "I could have one night of love if I play my cards right". He walked over and turned on the voice of love "What's your name luv... Catherine Parr?". "No, she replied, Eleanor Rigby".
Rick asked why she had been crying, having noticed the shear terror in her eyes. She pointed at a man standing about lOOm away. "The rat, she blurted, he's the flasher of the Aquarius Lake". Angered by this revelation, Rick felt the pulse in his neck pound and the burning sensation returned to his throat. In the heat of the moment, Rick started the chase after him by using Mr Badger as a starting block. It wasn't long before Rick caught him.
"What's your name?" demanded Rick.
"Hansbach, replied the man, I'm half German/ half Welsh." "You've been caught doin'it, said Rick, and you will be punished." "Do you believe in Fairies?" asked Hansbach. "No, said Rick in a manly voice, I'm so straight I'm a weirdo". Rick couldn't sort him out himself due to his previous Criminal record. He took him to the room with the Painter and told him to do a painting of Hansbach doing the sand dance with Jane Seymour and Julia. "This painting will be kept on standby in case you are naughty again." explained Rick. "Sorry" said Hansbach. "If the word gets out, you'll be the loser" warned Rick before leaving.
Going back to the lake, Rick jumped into a Gemini inflatable boat and set off for home. "What do you think the dragon will say when you get back from the journey?" asked Big Ben the boatman. "I'll tell her I was playing football in a garden of music, it was my turn to go after the ball, and I got lost in time." said Rick. "I still think it'll be the last battle you'll fight and you'll be the loser." laughed Ben before Rick paid his penny's piece and got out of the boat. "I must write down my adventures before they become forgotten memories, Rick thought, and I'll call it Journey's End." " Guinevere, I'm home." He shouted before going through the door of number 26 Hercules Avenue.
Ignore the next bit!
Answers on a postcard please with the number of titles and track tities mentioned. Don't forget to put your name and address and RWCC No! All entries sent to the office to be in by February 14th 1996. The first correct card pulled will be the proud owner of a signed copy of the latest CD Romance of the Victorian Age. Our decision is final and neither Brian or his family are allowed to enter!