Well, lots of news, all of a varying sort. It's a little difficult to know where to start but probably with the disaster and move forward so that by the time you've finished reading this newsletter you have a smile on your face.
The New Gospels planned performance at Sheffield City Hall was nothing short of an unmitigated disaster. On discovering that tickets had only been put on sale three weeks prior to the performance and that posters were only available at the same time we had no option but to cancel. To say Rick was fuming would be akin to saying that Churchill was a little upset at Hitler invading Poland.
This fiasco now makes it extremely unlikely that any more New Gospels performances will ever take place as there will now have to be so many conditions placed on prospective charities that wish to promote the event that it will undoubtedly end up putting most of them off.
The thing that annoys everybody concerned is the fact that there is a fail safe way of promoting the performance and guaranteeing a very good profit for the charitable cause concerned. Sadly on the odd occasion people putting on the event think that they know better and then to coin a hackneyed phrase, Rick gets left "holding the baby".
Thankfully there have only been three appallingly handled performances, two of which never took place, (the Boys Brigade fiasco in Manchester and this Sheffield City Hall performance), and the third, Tewkesbury Cathedral, which not only ignored all our advice and help but had the nerve to refuse to cover all the expenditure.
These three have placed a serious financial burden on Rick's Gospel resources and subsequently this cannot be allowed to happen again. This is a tragedy really for all prospective good charities in the future that wish to stage the New Gospels, which for the record has raised over £100,000 for very worthy causes. Also it has to be said that Rick, Ramon and Garfield especially enjoy performing The New Gospels and disasters such as Sheffield do little to improve their "passive natures"!
Finally if you think that Rick is mad, then we vehemently suggest that you steer well clear of Ramon Remedios for a few weeks as he wishes to personally maim all those concerned with the disorganisation on Sheffield. This would also involve the use of long broom handles and piano wire.
Ramon is closely followed by Garfield Morgan (and Candy!!)
Anyway still on the New Gospels, but on a happier note, the performance at Peel Cathedral was sensational. The Manx choir under the leadership of Howard Prior were nothing short of exceptional. A total of £4,000 was raised for the Bishop's fund.
It is already in the pipeline to repeat the performance around Easter time next year in Douglas at St George's Church which holds just under a thousand people. We also have two genuine enquiries in from both England, Ireland and also one from the west coast of America, but whether these two parties will go ahead after hearing of the new enforced guarantees that will be placed on them is anybody's guess. We can but keep our fingers crossed.
Border Television completed their filming of The New Gospels at Peel Castle and everybody concerned has great aspirations that we are going to get a Christmas showing. we also understand that CBN in America are very keen to take it not only for USA but also for thirty other countries around the world in which they have licenses to broadcast. Again we all have our fingers crossed.
The double CD and double cassette are both now available on Hope Records, but by mail order only. The 2xCD is £18.00 plus P&P; and the 2x cassette is £11.50 plus p&p;. Both contain a beautifully produced booklet with the entire text.
The music is also being featured in a two hour outdoor pageant which is being staged by a gentleman by the name of Rob Frost. More details of this will be given in the Christmas newsletter.
The release of the Piano Album by Alliance Records has been put back to November. The reason for this is that the master was somehow damaged during the initial pressing which culminated in Rick and Stuart having to remaster about eight or so minutes. It is understood that the record company concerned are preparing a pretty extensive promotional campaign so lets hope that unlike many other releases the Piano Album does not become one the world's best kept secrets!
More details of the actual release and availability should be available in the Christmas Newsletter and talking of Christmas we feel that perhaps the Christmas should be reinstated. Candy will be checking out venues, (Rick will be putting in his two penneth for what its worth, odds are it will be near a golf course). It is UNLIKELY to be very close to Christmas though as the lads are not due to return from South America until well into December. The general plan from Candy at the moment is to hold it in February.
Yes, we fully understand you all scratching your heads and saying "February?"
but Candy has decided that Christmas will be in February this year. None
of the lads wish to argue with Candy. RWCC members do so at their own
Actually this is because Rick is going to be away in America, South America and America throughout November, December and January, and I felt that it would be safer to move it to a month when I could try to guarantee that he would be able to join us! It also means that we are in plenty of time for Christmas '96!
Whilst on the subject of South America, at the time of going to press we still do not have any confirmed dates to announce, but it has to be said that it is unlikely that any of you will want to travel to the Southern Hemisphere in order to hear the six piece deafen their friends and supporters in South and Central America!
It still looks like rehearsals will take place on the isle of Man as a lot of equipment will be needed for the rehearsals and it is just not cost effective to ship it all to the UK and back. It is also likely that there will be a dress rehearsal concert somewhere on the Island. For obvious reasons we don't know where yet so if any of you are interested in an RWCC works outing around the third week in November, pleas let Candy know a little nearer the date and we would love to see you.
Sadly the deal fell through as regards the video that was made when the Piano Album was recorded. In spite of the quite tremendous editing and additives by a professional television and film editing unit in America. As we go to press it with another video company who have shown interest and we all hope that it will be available by Christmas.
If necessary Rick has decided that he will put it out under the Hope banner as he feels it is too good to gather dust. This is an area he hops to avoid as it is expensive enough producing CDs and cassettes in volume and distributing them so heaven only knows what large video run offs would come in at. Rick is also very wary not to fall into the same trap as he fell into with the original Gospels video and the Classical connection video, both of which he got duped into signing away on extremely bad deals.
YES continues to progress at a slightly quicker pace than that of a snail on valium. Things are progressing though. An encouraging record deal now sits on the table and agreement is close as to who and how the management should be and run and we're even all agreed on who's in the band... Things are looking up!
At the moment it looks like YES will be rehearsing for five to six weeks in October and early November, with Rick leaving mid-November to do his South American tour and then returning to rehearsals in January prior to some possible shows in February with YES. These are almost certain to be in America and could well be on the East Coast taking in New York and Philadelphia. It is also very possible that some of these shows will be filmed. No more details can really be given at this stage as the final contracts have not been signed and really it should be the responsibility of the record company to decide how they wish to make the announcements.
We can tell you that rumours that it will be an unplugged show and unplugged video are pretty unfounded although there will be a varied mixture of music played.
Many of you nave enquired on whether or not Rick would be happy to play on pieces that he was previously not involved with or disliked, ( the latter referring to Tales of the Topographic Ocean of course)... Rick's reply to all this is that he is too long in the tooth to worry about what pieces are played although he would draw the line at having to "ape" the parts of other YES keyboardists.
He very much feels that this is a last golden opportunity for the band and that internal squabbling plus outsiders, however well meaning, trying to tell the band how it should be run and what they should be playing, will simply accelerate the sounding of the death knoll for the band.
A few crazy statements are still being bandied about so we recommend you take most things that you read, see and hear with a pinch of salt... with the RWCC newsletter being one of the exceptions of course!
Adam's band, Jeronimo Road, have had their first track released on a YES tribute album of all things. Talk about keeping it in the family! They have done Starship Trooper and a very fine rendition it is too. It is available through the Road Runner label which is distributed by Pinnacle in the UK and Magna Carta in the USA. The CD is entitled Tales of Yesterday and has a Roger Dean cover.
Rick really likes the album although there are one or two tracks that raised his eyebrows somewhat. For the record his favourite cut on the CD is the last one. No prizes for guessing which one it is either!
Adam also plays with the guitarist Fraser Thorneycroft-Smith at the Piazza Piazza on a Wednesday night in Marlow on the Henley Road in Buckinghamshire. This is an event apparently not to be missed. People have been known to travel over a mile to sample the food and listen to two drunken twenty one year olds' attempt to act in a sophisticated manner.
The food is not bad either apparently.
At least three other new albums are about to hit the street in the not too distant future, (we say street as few seem to manage to traverse that small distance between pavement and the CD rack in the actual record stores.)
First there is a new follow up CD to Romance of a Victorian Age. As yet it is untitled, but contains fourteen pieces, seven performances each from Adam and Rick. The album is quite a large step forward from it's predecessor and has Fraser on classical and acoustic guitars and Phil Laughlin on bass on selected tracks. Once again for the purists, real piano has been used which both Rick and Adam enjoyed recording very much.
Apart from varying styles of music throughout the CD, Rick has succumbed to a certain amount of pressure following the Alone at last tour and included Debussy's Clair de Lune. The purists will cringe though as Rick has adapted it somewhat from the original notation and added a small string section. It is however unlikely that the Debussy fan club will get agitated and as for " Claude" himself, well he's too busy decomposing to worry too much about a re recording on a Wakeman album!
It will be recorded on President Records and we imagine that it will see light of day around November/ December. Everybody hopes it is received with the same reaction that Romance got from the media, especially radio two who kept it on their play list for fifteen weeks.
Some time ago Rick recorded another ambient type of CD for relaxation and meditation purposes. It is entitled Visions and has just been released by President records. It is a stage on from the Aspirant series but for those of you who enjoy music to help you relax, then this is another for the collection. We have them on mail order so if your local record store is not stocking it, ( surprise, surprise) then contact Candy and one will be whisked off to you at the usual speed and care!
For those of you who enjoyed the Cirque Surreal CD then keep your eyes open for a sort of sequel. The music is very much in the same vein and contains lots of tracks that weren't used in the circus or for the CD. Rick has rearranged them, added all the lads from the band with Chrissie Hammond singing on a few of the tracks and generally all had some fun in the process of putting the CD together.
No record deal has been sought for this yet although it is expected that it could possibly appear before Christmas.
The circus itself is still running and is now somewhere in London although sadly with no live band. For economic reasons the show had to be scaled down, so for those of you who managed to see it in it's full glory in it's early stages at Brighton, then well done, you saw something quite special. It is rumoured that the circus will eventually find a home at Chessington Theme Park in Surrey next year. More on that as soon as we hear more.
On the "ongoing saga" side of things, Return to the Centre of the Earth is still a remote possibility for next year... (So is Rick playing for Arsenal)
Interest is still strong from so many quarters but trying to get it pushed that small stage further always seems to prove a stumbling block.
On the "things to look out for" area of things, watch out for YES possibly appearing at festivals around Europe in 1996, Adam falling in love in November 1995, Rick doing a New Gospels tour of the UK, Rick producing the music for a musical about the life of Picasso, Adam falling in love in February 1996, the release of Bullet to Beijing in March 1996, Jeronimo Road releasing their first album by Summer 1996., Adam falling in love in April 1996, Manchester City finishing mid table at the end of this season, Adam falling in love in June 1996, YES playing at Maine Road (Manchester City's stadium) sometime in the next two years, Jon and Rick recording a solo piece together in 1996 and finally Adam having a party for all the girls he's fallen in love with.
On the television front some of you may have spotted Rick on Masterchef as well as a rerun of both Through the Keyhole and the Reluctant Chef. On the sporting front he recorded a fifteen minute special at Manchester City football Club which was nothing short of hilarious and show on Sky Sports.
On a very sad note, it has to be recorded that due to the fact that everything Rick looks at is one huge blur, he is now forced to wear his glasses whilst playing golf. This did culminate in him winning the Pinnacle Golf Day at the London Club in November and so it is a crutch he is willing to bear.
He says it is amazing that he now sees just one ball and one hole.
On October 1st, Rick, Adam and Fraser took part in the Isle of Man's Last Night of the proms at the Gaiety Theatre in Douglas. This was a fun evening where the lads played for about twenty minutes. The evening is really a mini version of the Royal Albert Hall set up with streamers and whistles and things to wave and balloons to bounce around. Everything went pretty well up until Adam and Fraser fought over who should have a balloon. Rick burst it in the end and Adam burst into tears. Fraser sulked and in the end Rick obtained two new balloons for them which they promptly burst behind an old lady.
On October 3rd, Rick and Adam performed the Alone at Last show at the Gaiety Theatre in aid of the Blind Association. This is an Isle of Man charity that gets no government funding whatsoever and so the lads felt that this was a cause worthy of supporting. Fraser also made a guest appearance. Adam claimed afterwards that he stole the show, whilst his father stole two very nice vases from the dressing room.
At Christmas the lads are supporting the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Appeal here on the Island. (To be honest only Rick knows about this as he hasn't told anyone else about it yet!) What exactly the lads will do is unknown yet. Look for details in next month's newsletter.
Say Yes continue to sell which amazes everybody except for Rick's mum who has a garage full of them. It has not been released in the USA or outside the UK for that matter but thanks to RWCC members abroad the book has managed to reach at least a couple of hundred readers in he USA and similar amounts in other countries. Although the publishers certainly trickled into a small profit, it should be noted that Rick has not been inundated with request to write part two!
Rick and Adam recently went to Holland to appear at the music trade festival in Utrecht at the request of the main KORG distributors there. They rather thought that they would be standing at a small booth, signing things and perhaps "tinkling" for ten minutes or so. They actually ended up performing on an extremely large stage in front of five hundred people. They played for forty five minutes on instruments they hadn't seen before and were allowed eleven minutes rehearsal!
It was not perhaps one of their best performances although it was quite well received. The evening was rounded off with dinner with Ramon Remedios who drove from the Haag to see them.
Well we hope that you have had a great summer and that you aren't too disappointed that there is no UK tour this year. With a bit of luck we may be able to reinstate it next year with the full six piece line up. This coupled with a few YES shows in Europe could make 1996 quite an interesting year.
Finally many thanks for all your letters, inquiries and encouragement that pour in at regular intervals. We do try our best to reply whenever and wherever possible although as you can appreciate things are always somewhat hectic around the Bajonor House region.
Keep your eyes on the doormat for the Christmas edition which should hit your homes around mid December. Rick thought it would be a nice idea to include some Christmas poetry relating to the band and associates so feel free to contribute if you so wish. Amusing if possible, also as clean as possible please and nothing that is libelous or fraudulent!!!!
Feel free to offer them in limerick form as well if you so wish due to obvious rhyming connotations we are unlikely to include any commencing with........
"There once was a young man called Rick"