First and foremost, congratulations are well and truly in order for my great friend and webmaster Wayne, who has come through his kidney transplant operation with flying colours and is making excellent progress. I am really looking forward to seeing him when I get to Seattle. It’s been a massive strain on the family and all of us who know them are so relieved and happy that all has gone so well.
On with the news!!! Christmas Portraits is finished, and I unashamedly have to say I’m thrilled with the finished product. A total of 14 tracks utilising 22 different Christmas classics have now been delivered to Sony and the release date is November 29th. A ton of promotion is being lined up and this will also coincide with the UK Christmas tour.
As is my choice, Christmas Portraits was recorded at The Granary on my favourite Steinway Model D piano with Erik Jordan at the recording helm in his dual role as engineer and co-producer. It’s been said quite a lot that I have a bit of a weird twisted pattern of thought when it comes to arranging existing themes into piano variations but it does seem that Erik has somehow caught this bewildering brain oddity as he really does seem to second guess what I am about to play! I have spoken to his wife and recommended medical help for him!
There are a lot of loose ends to tie up before I leave for America on the 15th for a week’s worth of promotion before starting the Grumpy Old Rockstar Piano Tour and these include a day of filming for the TV series Car SOS on the 4th, a programme that I am addicted to and which I love doing and will be appearing in a couple of the new series.....on with the overalls!
On the 5th I will be having my biannual trip to the hairdressers to have the locks shorn in preparation for the tour. I want it short as it’s easy to manage, my mother in-law likes it as long as possible and my wife Rachel likes it somewhere in-between lengths. I suspect her decision will be the outcome.
On Sunday the 9th I am going to a memorial lunch to celebrate the life of my dear departed friend Les Reed. Les was a great friend and we did quite a lot of music together including the Creepshow films. He will of course be mainly remembered for writing all the great Tom Jones and Englebert Humperdinck hits like Delilah, Green Green Grass of Home, The Last Waltz, It’s Not Unusual and so many more. A truly great songwriter. I shall miss him as will all the music industry.
On Thursday 12th I will be recording an interview for Radio 3 followed by some fun and games at Talk Sport and straight after that it’s off to the Prog Rock Awards at the Globe. I have missed the last couple of years because of touring with ARW so am really happy I can make this year. It’s always a great evening and truly honours prog rock in all its many forms.
....and then it’s off to America for the Grumpy Old Rockstar tour.
I have been putting together the music that I hope will be enjoyable and equally, stories that I hope will appeal. I have been asked a few times if I will be adapting the stories for American audiences and I have said I won’t be.....but I will be including stories about things that have happened to me in America and Canada.
I love American comedians and comediennes and when I see them perform over here I don’t want them to try and be British, I want to hear them deliver their comedy in their way. Similarly with the music. As Frank would say...I need to do it My Way......mainly because I don’t know any other way!!!
Here are the September dates and I will do an October GORR from America which will include a report of what has happened on the tour during the first month.
I hope to see a lot of friends on the tour and as mentioned in a tweet a little while ago.....it’s extreme diet time whilst on the American and Canadian tour so expect me to be extremely grumpy!!!