A Wishbone Christmas cassette 1988 with Keith Emerson

Supplied by Pete Prescott

Tony May… And yet ANOTHER local compilation I knew nothing about!

Kev Towner… News to me – a Wishbone Bash?

Pete Prescott… It was the brainchild of Neil Cartwright. Had fun doing my bits. I still have this and the first one (Hollycopter Christmas)

Neil Cartwright… A true Prescott special: https://soundcloud.com/neil5856/christmas-morning

Alan Esdaile… A GREAT track.

Kev Towner… Definitely gotta get this in my collection of Hastings music.

Neil Cartwright… Kev, I’ll post a few tracks on Soundcloud, then you can download as many as you like. It was a student-based project (Special Needs Dept) where students either performed, wrote, or did a workshop with a local performer. Pete came into college and he worked on a couple of tracks with the students – this being one of them. He then recorded this live with Jez Gillett (4-track Tascam).

Carlo Friggeri… What about K.Emerson’s involvement?

Neil Cartwright… Keith Emerson’s involvement? OK. Keith booked us to play at his son, Aaron’s 18th birthday party. This was back in October. It was a fantastic night. Keith brought across his then current band, ‘3’, and we all played together. Pete and I stayed behind afterwards for an hour or so – singing, dancing, playing, generally fooling around (Pete can give details), and I told him about the project we were doing, and asked if he’d like to be involved. He said ‘yes’ enthusiastically and invited us over to his studio. He said that he was also working on a Christmas album, and that his favourite carol was ‘It Came Upon the Midnight Clear’. Mine was ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’.  Anyway, when I phoned him a week or so later, it was clear that he was talking about Music Therapy, and as valuable as it would have been, it wasn’t really appropriate for the kids that I had, so we declined the offer. He did, however, send us a card with his best wishes. When the project was completed, we were lucky enough to secure an interview on Southern Sound FM (or was it Radio Sussex??), so we drove over to Brighton. We listened to the radio going across, and a total coincidence – Keith was being interviewed about his Christmas album in the slot before us. Of course, Keith’s name meant nothing to the students, but imagine the feeling in the car, when after Keith’s interview, they played our version of ‘The Coventry Carol’, saying that we would soon be joining them in the studio too. It doesn’t quite end there, because as we were walking down from the car-park to the studio, Keith was just coming away. He (surprisingly) recognised me; he stopped and spoke with us, asking the students if they’d enjoyed the project. Then he and wished us the best of luck and went on his way. And basically, that was it. No, he didn’t play on the cassette, but Jez did a great homage to his style in out version of ‘In The Bleak Miwinter’. (Anna Madge from The Mobiles did the vocal.)

Carlo Friggeri… Thanks, Neil, great story