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What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?

Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

THE NEW RICK WAKEMAN BIOGRAPHY

Yes, boys and girls. It is finally available, and here (modelling the first ever copy) is my lovely wife Corinna who edited the thing (I did the designing, but can't spell for toffee).

It is a slightly updated version of the book that Dan Wooding first published thirty years ago, and whilst putting it together, I discovered all sorts of interesting things.

For example, did you know that Rick Wakeman once wrote the foreword to a book about one of the most notorious super-grasses ever to have inhabited the British criminal community.

Dan writes:


While in London in October, 1978, for the four Yes Wembley shows which attracted some 80,000 fans to the Empire Pool, Rick met up with another extraordinary criminal - Maurice O’Mahoney, nicknamed King Squealer. A villain from the age of ten, he turned Queen’s evidence, informing on more than 200 crooks who had been involved in crimes totalling more than two million pounds. Now a £20,000 underworld ‘contract’ is out for his life.

Rick had agreed to write the foreword to O’Mahoney’s book ‘King Squealer’ (W. H. Allen). So the ex-gangster wanted to thank Rick personally for his endorsement of the book. He did some detective work of his own and found Rick had checked into a London hotel under a false name (as usual). This time, O’Mahoney discovered it was as ‘Hugh Rinal.’ (Sometimes he uses ‘Ivor Biggun.’)

Rick was so pleased to meet him that he became an honoured guest for the shows and Rick let him travel around as a VIP in his Rolls-Royce. ‘It’s a pity I didn’t meet you before I recorded ‘Criminal Record’,’ he told the Mo, ‘I could have done a track about you.’

Well, it so happens that I had a copy of King Squealer kicking about my voluminous and ever expanding library. So I checked it, and yes, Rick W did, indeed write the foreword. So, for the sake of completeness, here it is:

Foreword
BY RICK WAKEMAN
There have always been certain ‘careers’ that have fascinated the punter, newspapers, and the media in general. These include musicians, actors, sportsmen, police and the people who give the police their employment: the criminal.


For the man in the street, all these careers have one thing in common: they are seemingly out of his reach and his only association can be through the media of newspapers or television.

The police, however, require the services of the grass, squealer, call him what you will, to quicken their investigations, arrests etc.; and this is the area that seldom gets written about.

An old friend of mine, a jolly slightly rotund Birmingham chap by the name of Dan Wooding, has collared the King of the Squealers and for the first time in print you can read the sad, serious and sometimes hysterical life of the middle man - Maurice O’Mahoney - the King Squealer.

And whilst on the subject of Rick Wakeman's Criminal Record (one of his most under-rated in my opinion) here is a track played live by Rick on a recent DVD:




HERE is the Gonzo artist page for Rick Wakeman upon which there are lots of lovely Wakemanesque goodies that you can purchase...

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