To say this year has been busy is somewhat of an understatement, and the remainder of 1991, (only one hundred or so days to Xmas!), look just as chaotic.
The YES tour finally finished on August the 8th, in San Francisco, California. Yes, to the amazement of many skeptics, the tour actually went ahead, and completed the number of contracted shows without any serious injury or internal murder! (Although it is Early days yet!)
To answer many letters regarding recordings of the tour, there were numerous shows recorded for both video and live recording. These will be sifted through over the next twelve months or so, and judging at the speed YES works at may even see the light of day sometime in 1998!
Some of you may have seen some of the clips for the KURDISH relief concert that was shown on the television. We all felt it was a shame that the camera work didn't show the reality of the revolving round stage, but nevertheless the reaction seemed favourable from most people.
As expected quite a few ideas came up during the somewhat lengthy (too long) tour, which included Jon Anderson and Rick laying down the format and plans for an album together that would very much be along the lines of the song "The Meeting" that was on the ABWH album.
The recording would be very much piano and voice and could possible have an accompanying tour sometime next year. Jon and Rick spent many hours putting ideas together on this and this could actually see the light of day sooner than later.
Trevor Rabin and Rick, who some of you may have read struck up quite a friendship both on and off stage, also talked at length about doing a solo (duo) album together. Again this could well come to fruition as early as late 1992. Finally to answer a lot of your questions as to whether the band will stay together, only time will tell. Rick has certainly pledged allegiance to YES in whatever format it decides to continue which at this juncture looks like being another "eight piece" effort
Quite a lot seems to be happening in the video world as regards Rick and YES these days, which Rick finds absolutely astonishing, but there you go!
There are two YES videos currently for sale. One the now famous (infamous?) YESSONGS, which Rick is still plucking up courage to watch again! Even more amazing to Rick was that it got to number 7 in the video charts.
Then there's YES Greatest Video Hits. Well Rick didn't expect to see himself on this at all, but surprise surprise he seems to be everywhere even if he was a little younger! Would you believe, this charted as well!
A video was done of LIFT ME UP from UNION. (Rick's pronunciation of this is Onion. He was asked by one American interviewer why he called it the Onion album and he replied "Because every time I listen to it, it brings tears to my eyes!) Rick found performing on this video somewhat ironic, as in fact he didn't play on the track itself. As he pointed out to a bystander at the video session...." Stupid really, I began my career performing on other people's records, and here I am miming to one of the band that I'm in, but didn't play on!" Strange old music world!
On the solo front, Castle Communications have just issued RICK WAKEMAN LIVE. This, some of you may recall was the television programme that Rick did at Central television and will be a bit of a landmark in as much as it will almost certainly be the last time that that particular line up of the English Rock Ensemble will be seen, as Davy Paton has now moved on, and the next ERE line up, will undoubtedly be larger, and that won't be for some time when finances permit.
The Gospels, which has now been renamed THE WORD AND THE GOSPELS, is now finally owned by Ambient Music and a licensing deal for the video has already been done with Beckman Video. Release of the video will be at Xmas and a new cover has been designed by Rodney Mathews. The artwork is nothing short of a masterpiece and will also be used for the cover of the re-recording on CD / cassette and album.
The video is that recorded with the Haifa symphony orchestra in Israel and features Robert Powell, the Eton Chapel choir and Ramon Remedios. The sound is stereo and quality high. As we have said it will be available for Xmas and in the next bulletin we will tell you which stores will be stocking it. It may well be available in time for the Classical Connection II tour.
Would you believe the video sagas don't end there. A Classical Connection video is being shot at Poole Arts Centre on Sunday the 7th of September, so if you live in the area please come along to the concert as a full house will really help the taping. It will also be somewhat historic as it will be Davy Paton's last performance with Rick before going off full time with Fish (formerly Marillion), and therefore should be a mixture of nostalgia and gentle ribbing from Rick. (More details on this show can be obtained by ringing Suzie or Jane on 0624 844138).
We now have a full itinerary of the November/December tour of which further details can be obtained by calling the venue. We have been labelled "brave" by deciding to tour this year as the recession has hurt the entertainment industry very badly this year, with promoters and agents all over the world "going under" and dragging a few artists with them! However we felt it safe to continue with our live performance plans as the shows back in February were so successful, averaging out at an 85% attendance.
A serious promotional campaign incorporating local radio and press starts five weeks before the tour commences and the new Classical Connection II album should be in the shops sometime at the end of the first week in October. The new recording is currently being recorded at Rick's studio on the Isle of Man.
A new brochure/programme is being put together for the tour, to cover the 32 shows, over which we are expecting an overall attendance of about 20,000 people.
A few RWCC members have inquired as to how they, or the companies they are associated with can advertise in the programme, and so we have decided to offer a special rate to any interested parties who have a relationship with an RWCC member.
The special price list will be as follows.
Quarter page black and white £60 + vat
Half page black and white £110 + vat
Full page black and white £200 + vat
Quarter page colour £95 + vat
Half page colour £180 + vat
Full page colour £350 + vat
For further details please call Suzie.
Well, we're nearly there! Norman flew into Manchester during August and recorded the Halle Orchestra on some of the tracks. (Norman NEVER does anything by halves!)
The tapes return to the Isle of Man during the second week in September and Rick will add some keyboards etc and then will mix the album with Stuart Sawney.
The artwork is ready and so in fact is the pressing plant and we hope to have THE WORLD OF WISDOM, as it is provisionally called, ready for Norman's tour which starts late in September. Copies can also be purchased from us via mail order.
A few newsletters back, it was mentioned of the possibility of Rick producing an album based around the work of James Herbert. This has now reached fruition and subject to time schedules will be early on the agenda for recording. More details on this in the Xmas bonanza edition of the newsletter. (Terrifying to think that the next one is the Xmas issue!)
THE CLASSICAL CONNECTION II TOUR DATES
NOVEMBER 1ST OAKENGATES TOWN HALL... (TELFORD).
NOVEMBER 2ND LANCASTER GRAND THEATRE.
NOVEMBER 3RD GLASGOW MITCHELL THEATRE.
NOVEMBER 4TH AYR GAIETY THEATRE.
NOVEMBER 5TH SOUTHPORT CIVIC THEATRE.
NOVEMBER 6TH CAMBERLEY CIVIC HALL.
NOVEMBER 7TH OXFORD PLAYHOUSE.
NOVEMBER 8TH COVENTRY BUTTERWORTH HALL ( WARWICK UNIVERSITY ).
NOVEMBER 9TH MELTON MOWBRAY ARTS THEATRE.
NOVEMBER 10TH DERBY PLAYHOUSE.
NOVEMBER 11TH YORK BARBICAN THEATRE.
NOVEMBER 12TH GRIMSBY TOWN HALL.
NOVEMBER 13TH To be arranged.
NOVEMBER 14TH ST. ALBANS ARENA.
NOVEMBER 15TH BIRMINGHAM TOWN HALL.
NOVEMBER 16TH HERDON HERDON BRIDGE CINEMA.
NOVEMBER 17TH BARROW FORUM 28.
NOVEMBER 18TH WIGAN PIER THEATRE.
NOVEMBER 19TH DAY OFF
NOVEMBER 20TH SOUTH SHIELDS TEMPLE PARK CENTRE
NOVEMBER 21ST KIRKCALDY ADAM SMITH THEATRE.
NOVEMBER 22ND THE MALTINGS. BERWICK UPON TWEED.
NOVEMBER 23RD DONCASTER CIVIC THEATRE.
NOVEMBER 24TH CHATHAM CENTRAL HALL THEATRE.
NOVEMBER 25TH LONDON ASTORIA.
NOVEMBER 26TH MALVERN FESTIVAL THEATRE.
NOVEMBER 27TH BANGOR THEATRE GWYNEDD.
NOVEMBER 28TH ASHTON ASHTON UNDER LYNE THAMESIDE THEATRE.
NOVEMBER 29TH WINSFORD WINSFORD CIVIC HALL.
NOVEMBER 30TH BLACKBURN WINDSOR SUITE.
DECEMBER 1ST To be arranged.
DECEMBER 2ND WORTHING ASSEMBLY HALLS.
DECEMBER 3RD IPSWICH CORN EXCHANGE.
DECEMBER 4TH SUTTON SECOMBE CENTRE.
The CLASSICAL CONNECTION II CD / cassette / album will be available as a recording in mid-October. It will of course be available from us on mail order should you find difficulty finding it in your local record store.
For the Classical Connection tour it has been decided to make available a limited edition of some recordings that are not scheduled for release until the New Year.
The following recordings will be available on CD and cassette throughout the tour and any remaining copies will be sold exclusively via mail order only.
ANTHEMS. (Possibly renamed AFRICAN BACH). THE PRIVATE COLLECTION. Two of the Aspirant Trilogy series will also be available on CD, with new artwork.
Hope Records is a new label that has been formed by Rick especially to look ofter the religious composing and recording that he has done and wishes to pursue.
The first release will be THE WORD and THE GOSPELS, which will include the sensational artwork by Rodney Mathews. Rick has plans for four further release on HOPE in 1992.
Already much interest for this venture has been expressed by licensees abroad, which will all help Rick in his quest for putting together "large scale productions" in this area.
Due to his strong Christian beliefs, Rick will not be taking any royalty payment from HOPE record sales, and all Rick's royalty income from this area will be used for producing more music.
As many of you are aware, Rick and Nina donated an album to ASSIST in America, a Christian organisation that twins churches between poor and wealthy countries and also "pen pals" Christians in third world and "Atheistic" countries with Christians in the USA, UK and other similar nations.
This recording was called IN THE BEGINNING and contained Bible readings narrated by Nina with Rick supplying simple, but effective musical accompaniment.
It was incredibly well received in America, so much so that Rick and Nina are planning a second for ASSIST entitled PRAYERS. This and IN THE BEGINNING will be available on HOPE Records we hope, (no pun intended), late November/early December.
THE WORD AND THE GOSPELS album/CD/cassette will be completely rerecorded. Ramon Remedios and Robert Powell will both feature once again, but a new choir which will be 200 strong will this time provide choral accompaniment.
Additional music has also been written and new sounds have been programmed to give the music more variety and meaning. Some of the current orchestration has been carefully re-arranged and it is generally felt that the new recording will be light years ahead of the original recording. If all goes according to plan, it will be completed and ready for release in Easter 1992.
We just managed to pull the gun away from Rick's head during August when the attempted Communist coup looked like succeeding in Russia, but even though it failed it has put a serious question mark over the planned December performances and at the time of putting this newsletter to bed we had not heard either way as to whether or not it is going to happen this Xmas.
We have decided that if we get any news before the next newsletter, then we will write to all the RWCC members bringing them up to date with the situation.
TONY FERNANDEZ is currently working on a new album with RUTHLESS BLUES although they, like Rick have lost their long standing bass player. ASHLEY HOLT is currently working with his own soul band in the Amersham area of Buckinghamshire, if you're in the area go and see them. The band is said to be red hot. (Well Ashley says so!).
For those of you who have followed the various goings on around Rick over the last few years may appreciate the following suggested world's shortest books.
Drinks I have bought.....by... David Paton.
The Secret of my Dieting Success... by... Frank Fallows
Curries that have no effect on me....by....Ashley Holt
Reasons for not drinking...by....Tony Fernandez
The Joys of being on the road...by Stuart Sawney
The result of reading Frank Fallow's book..by Ian Barfoot
Adult Life....by....Rick Wakeman
How to be married to a normal, sane person by Nina Wakeman
How to keep an office peaceful....by Suzie James
I'm so glad I joined.... by... Jane Collister
That pretty well brings us up to date and we look forward to seeing a lot of you during the tour. Next issue will carry a biography of Alan Thompson, the new bass player, and will probably be the last time Rick will be nice to him! We will also be including for the first time a full merchandising list and a feature on the Midem Festival and the new recordings that Rick will be preparing for 1992 along with concerts and prospective YES plans.
Brian May of QUEEN, with whom Rick struck up a friendship when he came to see YES at Wembley, look like working together sometime in October in Europe. More details when available.
Text scanned, OCRd and checked by Jon Hinchliffe