The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table – Rick Wakeman

I am excited to hold in my hands an autographed CD edition of Rick Wakeman’s The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I collect autographed CD covers and this is truly a gem for the collection.

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It was sharing of you Rick Wakeman to allow us fans to help support your recording project on Pledge Music.

I can’t wait to have the symphony of sound wash over my senses.

Thank you Rick. I hope I get to hear you play a selection or two of this recording this fall on the Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman tour.

Until then be well and Excalibur Sir.

The Zombies – Still Got That Hunger

Reunited, The Zombies are back with a U.S. tour underway and a new album, Still Got That Hunger that drops next Friday October 9th.  Still Got That Hunger features a new version of their 1965 single “I Want You Back Again” along with nine brand new songs!


A centerpiece of The Zombies tour is the performance of the superlative album, Odessey and Oracle in its entirety. I’ve seen The Zombies play pieces of this cult classic live in concert before but not with the four original members and a backing band.

Enthusiastic to see them live on Oct 13th, in Ridgefield, CT at The Ridgefield Playhouse. Hopefully I will be able to buy a couple of autographed recordings that night for my collection 😉

Classic Quadrophenia

Pete Townsend has that unique talent to reinvent himself with his music. Imagine you write, score and deliver two major rock operas in your life. That is an amazing feat. The evolution of Quadrophenia into “Classic Quadrophenia” adds dimensionality and superb texture. For the last three years Townshend has worked closely with his partner Rachel Fuller on brand new arrangements for orchestra, soloists and choir. The results add a greater meaning to our existence through love, sea and life’s epic journey.

Classic Quadrophenia will be released by the esteemed classical label Deutsche Grammophon. It features the London Oriana Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The world premiere will take place on July 5th, 2015, at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Would love to attend that event.

Here is the first taste of the bountiful summer harvest, “Love Reign O’er Me”. British tenor Alfie Boe is stellar as lead vocalist!

Rick Wakeman – Journey To The Center Of The Earth

 

Rick Wakeman’s Journey To The Center Of The Earth celebrates the 40th anniversary of the release of his landmark concept album

Based on the novel by Jules Verne, which also marks its 150th anniversary in 2014, the album is one of rock era’s pioneering achievements. This record sold 15 million copies and rewrote the rules of symphonic rock, adventure novels all rolled into one magnificent concept performance.

The MP3 edition of Rick Wakeman’s Journey To The Center Of The Earth will be available via Amazon and iTunes on June 24th. There are also multiple editions of the recording including unique collectors editions available from the Rick Wakeman’s Music Emporium.

Earlier this year Rick Wakeman staged a series of Journey to the Center of the Earth concerts in England, Scotland and Wales. Here is an excellent review from The Doughnut.

“This is the start of a new Journey,” says Rick Wakeman“the original score for the album had been lost for so many years, making any new performances impossible. but after it turned up without warning , we managed to restore it and add previously missing music that was not included in the original performances.  It has taken another half decade to develop it into this tour, but I can’t wait to take Jules Verne’s magnificent story on tour again.”

 Prog Rock

For those of you who seek an in-depth article about Rick Wakeman and the Journey To The Centre Of The Earth I suggest getting a hold of the Prog Rock Back Issue #45. (Hard copy ). I read my edition on my Apple iPad

Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson Next Album – Homo Erraticus

I have been a fan of Jethro Tull since the début album, This Was in 1968. Jethro Tull and Traffic were my favorite bands from 1968-1970. They both hailed from England. I played the This Was vinyl LP daily on my hi-fi phonograph. I hung out with a group of Tull fans in 1969 my senior year in high school. We all went together to see Jethro Tull perform Stand Up at The Fillmore East July 3, 1969.

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I have seen Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson perform live eight times these past 46 years. Our last Jethro Tull concert was at Mohegan Sun Casino Arena in 2012. They performed the Thick As A Brick 1 & 2 show that evening. Here is my review from their October 4, 20102 concert.

Ian Anderson has given us several concept albums over the decades. His first and most famous “alter-ego” was the character he developed, Aqualung. The rock press perceived Aqualung as a concept album. Ian Anderson insists it is merely a collection of rock songs.

Aqualung was followed by a more curious concept album, Thick As A Brick in 1972. This record featured a rock first: one continuous song on both sides. The second major alter-ego that Ian Anderson forged was that of an 8-year-old boy Gerald Bostock.

Ian Anderson has returned twice since to the fictional Gerald Bostock personna, first with Thick As A Brick 2 (2012). (Whatever happened to Gerald Bostock?)

TAAB2 focuses on Gerald Bostock, the fictional boy genius author of the original album, forty years later. “I wonder what the eight-year-old Gerald Bostock would be doing today. Would the fabled newspaper still exist?”[1] The follow-up album presents five divergent, hypothetical life stories for Gerald Bostock, including a greedy investment banker, a homosexual homeless man (shades of Aqualung..), a soldier in the Afghan War, a sanctimonious evangelist preacher, and a most ordinary man who (married and childless) runs a corner store; by the end of the album, however, all five possibilities seem to converge in a similar concluding moment of gloomy or pitiful solitude.[2] In March 2012, to follow the style of the mock-newspaper cover (The St Cleve Chronicle and Linwell Advertiser) of the original Thick as a Brick album, an online newspaper was set up, simply titled StClevewww.stcleve.com. – Courtesy of wikipedia

Ian Anderson will be re acquainting us with Gerald Bostock when he releases his next album Homo Erraticus on April 14th. “As Gerald Bostock says, ‘We’re all from somewhere else – get over it.’”

Homo Erraticus marks his return to songwriting, and it’s based on an unpublished manuscript by amateur historian Ernest T. Parritt (1865-1928).

In Homo Erraticus Parritt examines key events of British history with a string of prophecies stretching to the current day and the future; visions of past lives caused by the delirium of malaria generate the characters through whose eyes the stories are told, including a nomadic Neolithic settler, an iron Age blacksmith, a Christian monk, a turnpike innkeeper and even Prince Albert.

Written earlier this year, commencing 09.00 hours on January first, it chronicles the weird imaginings of one Ernest T Parritt, as recaptured by the now middle-aged Gerald Bostock after a trip to Mathew Bunter’s Old Library Bookshop in Linwell village. Bostock and Bunter (sounds like a firm of dodgy solicitors) came across this dusty, unpublished manuscript, written by local amateur historian Ernest T. Parritt, (1873 -1928), and entitled “Homo Britanicus Erraticus”.

The illustrated document summarizes key historical elements of early civilisation in Britain and seems to prophesy future scenarios too. Two years before his death, Parritt had a traumatic fall from his horse while out hunting with the Vale Of Clutterbury Hounds and awoke with the overwhelming conviction of having enjoyed past lives as historical characters: a pre-history nomadic neolithic settler, an Iron Age blacksmith, a Saxon invader, a Christian monk, a Seventeenth Century grammar school boy, turnpike innkeeper, one of Brunel’s railroad engineers, and even Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. This befuddled, delusional obsession extends to his prophecy of future events and his fantasy imaginings of lives yet to come….

Bostock has returned once again to lyric writing, basing his new effort on the Parritt papers and I have had the fun and frolics of setting all to music of Folk-Rock-Metal stylings.

But you can call it Prog.(Copyright © 2014 – Ian Anderson Group of Companies)

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Honoring the 20th Anniversary of Frank Zappa’s Passing

I have thought about Frank Zappa tonight. It was 20 years ago, December 4th, 1993 that Frank Zappa died at the age of 52.

Howard Kaylan says it best. He was Frank Zappa.

I am drawn to the Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention period with Flo and Eddie. What better way to honor Frank’s music genius than listen to the classic track, “Billy The Mountain“, from Just Another Band from L.A.

The musicians on this recording:

Pink Floyd In Concert 1973 – The Dark Side of the Moon Tour

Bootleg concert t-shirt logo, now sold as official Pink Floyd merchandise

One of the most historic concerts I have seen over the decades was the original Pink Floyd performing Dark Side of the Moon on tour. The date for that concert was March 18th, 1973. The venue was the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut.

Dark Side of the Moon was released on March 17, 1973. The album gathered momentum quickly but was not yet being played in its entirety on progressive FM radio stations. The song “Money” was an immediate hit and the crowd that night cheered loudly when it was performed.

We were fortunate to catch Pink Floyd before the updraft of chart success took them to the next level of fame in rock and roll. They were soon playing arenas and stadiums versus lesser sized concert halls like the Palace Theater where we saw them play (2,500+ seats) It was a mere two weeks later on April 1st, 1973 that Dark Side of the Moon reached No. 1 on  It then remained in the charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988. It is estimated that 50 million copies have been sold. It is Pink Floyd’s most commercially successful album and one of the best-selling albums worldwide.

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I have several specific memories of that night. The first memory is that the event was over sold. We had real numbered seat balcony tickets but Koplik & Finkel who booked this event sold way too many tickets. We ended up sitting on the carpeted stairs in the balcony. It was a definite fire code violation situation. We did end up with a great line of sight to see the band.

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My second memory was that they played my favorite Pink Floyd song, “Echoes” from Meddle. I love how that song builds to a crescendo force. They used a light display behind them that gave the impression of a darkened sun as it rose in the sky as they played. I always found “Echoes” powerful in its presentation. I became enraptured with the opus when I first saw Pink Floyd on the silver screen in Live at Pompeii.

My third memory was when they performed “Great Gig In the Sky“, the female singers stood in the opera boxes on the sides of the theater and spotlights reflected on their flowing white dresses. That section of the performance reverberates strongly in me even now, 39+ years later.

The Dark Side of the Moon Tour

Set List

  1. Encore:

I am thankful that I had the insight to buy tickets to this concert at the Nimbus Water Bed Shop in New Haven, as they were a concert ticket outlet in those days. It was a historic event that my wife and I were able to witness live. 🙂

Collecting Zappa, Step 1: Frank Zappa/The Mothers of Invention – Freak Out

I’ve decided that my next major discography buy will be to own the Frank Zappa discography. The first phase of this initiative is to acquire the 56 recordings being reissued by the Zappa Family Trust and Universal Music Enterprises this year. After some deliberation about format (vinyl versus audio CD vs digital loss less codec) I have made the decision to pursue audio CDs. Portability won out.

I appreciate that Zappa Records and Universal will release 12 reissue albums a month in chronological order between August and the end of the year. This gives some breathing room and the chance to spread the cost. I a liken buying Zappa recordings like sipping fine wine slowly. Enjoying the essence of the music, not rushing the experience.

I gained tremendous insight  from the two years it took me to find and buy the entire Santana discography on CD (40+ recordings at that time). I garnered a respect for four decades of Santana’s musical evolution. I wasn’t a professional music blogger in the years 2002-2004. Now I have an established music blog where I can document and share the Zappa music experience with those who follow my blog (1,200 strong at this juncture….) and with other music fans on the Web. I relish the excitement of discovery collecting, listening and learning more about Frank Zappa. I will have to create a Frank Zappa menu choice to organize the  research and the findings.

My understanding is that Spotify will be offering the Zappa Records recordings beginning in October (I haven’t seen this officially stated by the Zappa Family Trust but I am hopeful this digital option will come to pass.) This way I can listen to certain recordings ahead purchasing them.

When I minored in music at the University of New Haven in 1972 the first term paper I wrote was about Frank Zappa. Much of that paper was based upon the book, No Commercial Potential by David Walley. I view the Zappa collection initiative as another focused educational research effort.

I started the collection (or recollecting more accurately) today with Frank Zappa/The Mothers of Invention Freak Out. It is designated official release #1 right on the CD label itself. 😉 The music came flowing back to me as I smiled and reflected on the origin of Zappa and The Mothers of Invention working with Tom Wilson on their début double album.

Copyright Zappa Family Trust 2012