Rick’s tales of mis­taken iden­tity could fill sev­eral au­to­bi­ogra­phies…

Prog - - Intro -

Over the course of my life, I have of­ten been mis­taken for other peo­ple in the mu­sic busi­ness. I al­ways pre­fer to play along with it rather than own up. In fact, my en­thu­si­asm for trains fre­quently gets me con­fused with an­other well-known hit­maker, Pete Water­man. I re­mem­ber one par­tic­u­lar guy who was quite per­sis­tent in try­ing to catch me out. “You do like trains though?” “Very much,” I replied. “In fact I learned to drive a steam en­gine at Mine­head.”

The guy smiled, and as he walked away I heard him say to his wife, “It is Pete Water­man but he ob­vi­ously wants to keep a low pro­file…”

Then there’s the wrong al­bum syn­drome. This hap­pened af­ter a re­cent con­cert.

“My wife and I love Tubu­lar Bells,” said the fan. “I love it too,” I replied.

“We can’t see it for sale here at your mer­chan­dis­ing desk though…” he added

“It’s this one… I re-ti­tled it,” I said, pick­ing up a copy of The Myths And Le­gends Of King Arthur. “Bril­liant, thanks” he said, still none the wiser. Then there’s the “I know, you don’t I?” brigade. They usu­ally follow up with a ques­tion­ing, “Who are you?” I usu­ally re­ply,“I thought you knew me.” “I do, but I can’t re­mem­ber your name.” “Thomas The Tank En­gine.”

“That’s it! I knew I knew you.”

On my re­cent Piano Por­traits tour, one of our party over­heard the fol­low­ing con­ver­sa­tion be­tween a hus­band and wife over break­fast. “Wasn’t last night’s con­cert fab­u­lous?”

“It was, al­though I wished he’d sung one of his songs. He’s got such a won­der­ful grav­elly voice.”

“Very true. I was hop­ing he’d play Fan­fare For The Com­mon Or Gar­den Man, but it was still re­ally en­joy­able.”

I don’t know who the hell they were think­ing of, but to the best of my knowl­edge, Keith Emer­son never sang Fan­fare… ei­ther!

It’s not just the mu­sos I get mis­taken for. I think my favourite case of mis­taken iden­tity was a very per­sis­tent woman con­vinced I used to de­liver her dairy prod­ucts.

“You used to work with our milk­man in Sal­ford, didn’t you?” she asked. “Yes, I knew it was you when I saw you get off the train!”

“I’m afraid not,” I replied, “you’ve mis­taken me for some­one else.”

“I don’t think so,” she added. “It is you! It’s Rod­ney, isn’t it? That’s it, Rod­ney.”

“I’m not Rod­ney!”

“You bloody well are!”

An ar­gu­ment then pur­sued which I lost. Ap­par­ently, I am now Rod­ney, a milk­man’s as­sis­tant from Sal­ford.

It was my dearly de­parted friend, Richard White­ley of Count­down fame who told me that when he walked down the street, all he would hear was, “Look! It’s ’im off the telly!”

So much that he ti­tled his me­moirs, Hi­moff! Maybe I should call my au­to­bi­og­ra­phy,

Emer­son Old­field Water­man… His Mu­sic, His Trains And His Milk Round!

“You used to work with our milk­man in Sal­ford…”

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