What a year that was. The list of high-profile performers’ deaths seemed never-ending, beginning almost twelve months back with the shattering realisation that Bowie had gone, and the dreadful shock of losing George Michael on Christmas Day capping it.
Only recently, my old friend Louise had written to say “Steve, Leonard has gone” as our favourite writer of all (well, along with Dylan and Joni) joined his former lover and Muse Marianne in their celestial state. Leonard had written a eulogy to Marianne announcing, “I’m not far behind you”.
Shock came upon shock on a regular basis and we baby-boomers were being tested on our mettle, and, frankly, it was sometimes difficult to take.
But along with the losses there was at least one fantastic gain for the Nice clan: baby Cameron William came into the world in February, and he is proving to be the sweetest, brightest beacon we could have hoped for. I play with him and the fun is ridiculously rewarding for us both. We laugh and bundle across the floor in a silly playground charade which exhausts me long before it does him!
Professionally, I’ve decided to take a good look at the people and companies around me, now. I will be looking for a new agent when I’m quite ready; I will try to find a manager for the first time in many years (I am slightly unmanageable, let’s be honest); my Cockney Rebel and solo EMI catalogue is now with the re-formed Chrysalis Records, with Jeremy Lascelles, Robin Millar and Chris Wright in control, so we will be swapping ideas regarding re-issue packages and possibly new product.
I recorded some of the November Acoustic Trio concerts, so I’ll be in a studio mixing those tracks for a Live CD, probably aiming for a late Spring release date. I’ll be checking the availability of my dear friend and great engineer, Matt Butler, once Twelfth Night has passed. Bilston was wild, as always (especially so after I’d told them it was being recorded!), so I imagine most of the tracks will be culled from that performance.
There is a list of kind fans I need to thank for their Christmas cards and gifts, but I am not in the habit of naming names here. Please trust that all got through to me, and accept my thanks.
Chelsea, Skegness and Holmfirth are on the Live Dates list, of course, and we are about to announce July 22nd Parr Hall, Warrington, en route to Scone Palace, Perth, on July 23rd. A weekend caning the motorways of Britain in a Nightliner Tour Bus. I’ll need an agent pretty soon, I guess, or there won’t be many more to add, and I do love playing.
Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be (Browning).
Let’s hope so.