John Wood, a long time Nicky Hopkins fan, decided to honour the late, great Nicky Hopkins by marking what would have been his 75th birthday, 25 years after his untimely death. To this end, John raised funds for a bench in Nicky’s honour, which was erected in Perivale Park, London, near where he grew up.
The contributors to the funding for the design and building of this unique memorial to Nicky Hopkins included all four current members of the Rolling Stones, whose names, together with other major contributors, are enshrined on this very special tribute to a keyboard player like no other. Funds were also raised by John Wood to create a scholarship to London’s Royal Academy of Music in Nicky’s name, as he was an alumnus of this seat of musical learning.
To further enhance the memory of Nicky Hopkins (once described by the Rolling Stones as ‘The greatest rock and roll piano player in the world’), on 19th October 2019, a plaque was unveiled on the house where Nicky lived as a child.
When one of Nicky Hopkins’ fans suggested to John Wood that the next step in preserving the memory of ‘The greatest rock and roll piano player in the world’, was the production of a major television documentary, John approached his friend, Valentine Palmer, ex-TV actor (Dr Who), published author and screen writer. Valentine leapt at the idea of a programme about Nicky for world distribution and enrolled the services of his long-time associate, Mike Treen, an ex-BBC producer, with many years of experience in factual programming. Thus, The Session Man was born.