You Shoulda Been There: When Hell Freezes Over Book Launch

Rick SigningOkay, we're very late getting this page up, but things have been piling up in Rick's Inbox for several months while he worked on his next book. That's now complete (for the moment), so he's had time to go through all the photos that were taken by his great friend, Andre Leduc. Here are the best of them.

Oh yeah, you need the particulars: the launch was held at the Chick'n'Deli here in Toronto on November 9, 2006. This was a very special party for Rick. Why? Because he figured it was time for some live music at one of his launches. In this case, that was an easy decision. When Hell Freezes Over has, as one of its elements, a mellotron, a really big mellotron, and Rick has one of those. Coincidence? Hmmm... So he put together an all-star band to play some of the tunes mentioned in the book. Onstage with Rick and his MkII were ace drummer, Paul Delong, Craig Collett of Coll Audio on guitar (who also generously supplied every bit of the backline equipment) and Allister Thompson, not only a master of guitar, but also the editor of Rick's RendezVous Crime books, plus master of the 6-string bass, Eric Soostar. But the really special part of the event was the first appearance on a rock and roll stage of Rick's gorgeous and talented classical flute playing wife, Vicki Blechta who stunned the audience with her improvisational prowess on tunes such as King Crimson's "In the Court of the Crimson King". Believe us, Ian McDonald would have been proud.

Rick's comment to everyone who didn't make the scene? "You missed your chance to be personally deafened by me." (Yes, the band was loud -- but it was a good loud, and suffice it to say, the mellotron sounded absolutely magnificent. (Special thanks to Streetly Electronics and Noel Gallagher of Oasis for their help.)

Stay tuned, we're hoping to supply a soundtrack, so you can hear how good it sounded.

All Singing

ABOVE: The whole ensemble performing one of the ultimate mellotron anthems, King Crimson's "In the Court of the Crimson King", L-R Allister Thompson, Rick, Vicki Blechta, Craig Collett and Eric Soostar. Paul DeLong's left wrist can be seen between Vicki and Craig, the drummer's lot, sadly. For once, Rick got to be at the front of the bandstand, but after all, it was his gig. BELOW LEFT: Rick looking (sort of) like a Rock Star. BELOW RIGHT: a good shot of the mellotron with some modern keyboard "upstart" on top of it.

Rick looking like a rock star. MKII
Allister Thompson
Craig Collett

ABOVE LEFT: Craig Collett who appears as Michael Quicksilver in all the photos for When Hell Freezes Over and also owns Coll Audio which was the inspiration for Michael's rental business in the book. ABOVE RIGHT: Allister Thompson, the young pup in the band who loves this music as much as the rest of us, crunching a guitar chord in "Nights in White Satin", in which he also sang lead vocal. BELOW LEFT: Vicki doing what she does best: playing the flute. BELOW LEFT: The fabulous Paul DeLong, one of Canada's finest drummers, a fellow "Devotee" and all-round great person. Sorry none of the photos show more of his good looks!

Vicki playing flute
The Fabulous Paul Delong!
Vicki Singing

TO THE LEFT, ABOVE: Vicki again. Rick actually talked her into doing some background vocals. LEFT, BELOW: In an "artful" photo, Eric Soostar who came in as a last-minute replacement and did a fabulous job. He seemed somewhat bemused at this style of music. BELOW: Craig rocks out!

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