Sadly we do not have much more to report on the YES front since the last newsletter although it now looks likely that YES in some format or another will continue but not with Arista records.
Offers are on the table, but in what format nobody knows at this juncture.
Most of the management now takes place in Los Angeles as Brian Lane has now become chairman of China Records which effectively disassociated Sunarts with individual members of YES, more specifically Rick and Jon.
Rick met up with Alan White in London during the last week of April and discussed various options that were floating about, but on his return Rick has yet to expound upon this meeting and announcements now seem certain to come from the west coast of America, and when they do we will give you the true facts first, of that you can be sure.
During Rick's meet up with Alan, Alan also kindly agreed to guest on the forthcoming "Wakeman & Wakeman" album (Rick and Adam). This now looks set to go into the studio early July and should be completed by the end of august.
Other guest musicians are being invited to take part in what could be a very exciting project. Demo tracks have already been laid down, mostly of Adam's composition and the quality and direction of this recording may well come as somewhat of a shock to a few people!
The last few weeks have been full of "on-off" situations. First there was Russia. Rick was invited to play at a big festival in St. Petersburg and do some promotion in Moscow, but then it was discovered that there were no flights that would get him back in time for the Classical Connection concert in Aylesbury on the 22nd of June, and so Russia disappeared! Then there was Norway who wanted Rick to headline a festival on the 20th of June and then they didn't! After that came the offer of a week in the far east but they couldn't actually decide which week!
So in the meantime, Rick has been plodding on in the studio finishing off the Prayers recording which is now reaching the mixing stage. The choir were recorded during the first week of May which had quite a party atmosphere with the barbecue going and it rounded off a very successful bout of recording.
In the middle of May, Ian Hamilton from Word Records came to the Isle of Man in order to listen to the first set of mixes from the Prayers album, which Word Records will be releasing later this year.
Considerable discussions were had as to the marketing ploy both for here and the rest of the world and Ian has immediately set the art work in motion as well as the publicity side of things.
Rick is pre-recording a radio interview with Good Morning Sunday which will appear sometime in June. It is hoped that they will be able to play a track off of the new prayers album.
A special Promotional CD with edited versions of the songs, plus an interview is also planned but will not be available for purchase but we'll do what we can to get hold of some!
Ian and Rick also discussed future projects and it is hoped that a long lasting relationship may well build out of the Prayers recording.
Also whilst in the studio, work has commenced on a music book of piano pieces that should appear on the music shop shelves sometime in the summer. The book will contain pieces such as Gone But Not Forgotten and After The Ball, as well as another ten or so piano orientated compositions.
A new synthesiser based album has also been started and should be completed this year, but release dates are no longer in our domain and so we will relay them to you as we get them.
It is nice to note that since gaining distribution through PolyGram, Ambient product is now filtering through to the record shops in much higher quantities, especially in the Our Price chain.
Should you require any details on releases either current or future please call Rio Digital Records/Westcoast on 0932 828715 or fax them on 0932 828717. Good news on the video front. Both Classical Connection and the Word and the Gospels are with Beckman video. And guess who their new head of sales and marketing is?....Our great friend Frank Fallows!
Frank informed Rick last week that sales are picking up everywhere and more and more shops are now stocking both titles.
The Gospels has now been confirmed as being performed at Rochester Cathedral on the 24th of July, with a huge choir plus Ramon Remedios, Rick, a narrator and band. Rick always enjoys performing The Gospels and other Gospels performances are in the pipeline, two in fact could happen as the result of brainwaves, (or storms as the case may be) from two separate RWCC members.
If you live in the Glasgow region and want more information about the proposed Scottish performance of the gospels or would even like to get involved, then please contact Alan Waddell on 041-771-7706 evenings and weekends, he would love to hear from you. The venue will be at Mure Memorial Church in Garrowhill and will be either in late October or sometime in November amidst the classical connection tour.
It will be in aid of the church restoration fund and Alan already has sponsors interested in the performance although he is searching for more. Please give him a call if you think you could be of any help at all.
Lyn Candy in Leicester is also checking the situation out at her church, so if you're in the region and would like to help please get in touch with Karen at the office and she will put you in touch.
The office is now back to full strength with the arrival of Candy who takes over as Rick's full time personal assistant and secretary, a job that has been compared in difficulty with that of filling a supermarket trolley in Moscow with meat.
Candy has already got off to a flying start and has described it as well and truly being thrown in the deep end, without a lifebelt and the combined weights of Frank Fallows and Ian Barfoot pulling her under.
As you may have gathered, Candy is perfect for the job. On the 8th of May, Rick and Nina flew to Florida where they were the guests at a huge charity ball which raised over $1,5000,000 that will go toward expanding a huge village which is dedicated to housing young children with terminal diseases who have made a last wish to go to Disneyworld and meet Mickey Mouse. Some of you may remember that Rick did a piano recital in aid of the charity last October.
The evening was a tremendous success and humbled all concerned.
Whilst in America, Rick tied up the loose ends on the American tour that he has been offered. This looks likely to be in late August/September and will be quite unique in as much as it will be with an American band.
At the moment the band looks like being called the American Rock Ensemble. An album with them is to be recorded prior to the commencement of the tour and will consist of re-recordings of Rick's earlier material as this is very much what the Americans want to hear as it is such a long time since Rick has performed there as a solo artist, and it is also made more important due to the fact that Rick won both major categories as keyboard player of the year and rock keyboardist of the year in the major American keyboard magazine poll for 1992.
The album will be released in the USA on August 1st. We have arranged for a limited number of copies to be made available here at standard prices, not import prices, and as soon as we have them, first offers will go to RWCC members who want them.
It is also very possible that some European dates with the American Rock Ensemble may take place at the Montreux Jazz Festival and also in Germany. It is not yet known whether or not a showcase UK date can be arranged.
If this transpires then the shows will be during the first two weeks of July.
The Classical Connection dates in so far, are as follows. Time has been very tight to get the amount of promotion in that we would have liked, but we hope that word of mouth will spread enough to make the shows well attended enough to be enjoyable for all who give up their evenings to watch what Rick does in the evenings when the golf course is closed.
21st May Octagon Theatre Yeovil
22nd May Cornwall Coliseum St. Austel
3rd June Charnwood Theatre Loughbourough.
4th June Opera House Buxton
5th June Civic Theatre Oswaldtwistle
6th June Carnegie Theatre Workington
7th June Arcadia Theatre Llandudno
9th June Grand Pavilion Porthcawl
12th June New Theatre Hereford
13th June Poses Theatre Tewksbury
14th June Key Theatre Peterborough
15th June Theatre Cwmtawe Pontardawe.
22nd June Civic Civic CentreAylesbury
23rd June Fairfield Halls Croydon
A few other points of interest that have come to light over the last week or so include Rick's appearance at a special presentation of the new Korg digital piano range in Windsor on the 27th of May.
Literally in the last few hours another offer to take Rick to Russia has appeared, this time for the 20th and 21st of June. It looks like this one will go through and so a full report will appear in the July issue of the newsletter.
Rick sends sincere thank-yous to all who kindly sent him birthday cards - they varied from artistically sensational to hilariously unshowable to anybody under the age of thirty five!
A one off performance of the Classical Connection has been booked for the Gatehouse Theatre on August the 7th in Stafford.
Rick will shortly be embarking on a new project with The Marcher Lords who were the instrumental factor behind the whole king john project in Rochester from which the Softsword album was produced.
The project looks right up Rick's street and is based upon the Wars of the Roses.
The whole performance is to be at the Stafford festival later this year around the time of Rick's Classical Connection concert it is possible that an album may be produced based upon the music composed for the event, but it is not as yet known exactly how much music is needed for the open air performance.
Looking quite a long way ahead, we are seriously considering a private Xmas party concert purely for all RWCC members.
Ideally we would hold it in a club somewhere in the UK in December and have the evening as a Xmas dinner followed by a cabaret in which Rick would obviously take part.
The problem obviously really lies in where it is to be held as UK members alone literally stretch from Cornwall to the very tip of Scotland. Overseas members also stretch from Australia to Poland.
Probably the fairest way would be to hit the middle of the UK and look at somewhere like Manchester. What we will do for the next issue is try and put a package together which could include overnight accommodation, for those who wanted it and then ask you to just give us a ring at the office if you would be interested in attending. This will indicate to us whether or not there is enough people to make it worth while.
If we do manage to pull it together with your help, you could be reasonably certain that the evening would be somewhat over the top to say the least!
Finally, we get lots of enquiries from people looking for old memorabilia which we can't help them on and so we thought it might be a good idea to give space in the newsletter for any of you who are either looking for something or trying to get rid of something.
Just drop us a line with your phone number and whatever it is you really would like or want to get rid of, what it will cost or what you want to spend etc and we'll start putting them in forthcoming newsletters.
Here are a few from us to start the ball rolling...........
Needed to get rid of urgently-5 stone....apply Ian Barfoot
Skeleton key to open wallets of Alan Thomson and David Paton required by well meaning road crew
Text scanned, OCRd and checked by Jon Hinchliffe