Answers Feb/Mar, Part II
5/9/2009 (updated 5/9/2009)

Hate to be so forward BUT, in the name of Jasus, when is the tab book coming out? Donal O'Hanlon

Apologies to all those waiting, but we're trying to do it right. After various setbacks, some self-inflicted, we look like having it ready for October 09. I know this is a long way off, and it's taken years, and I won't bore you with the details, but I now think this date is realistic.

I recently went over to England from Austria for a weekend (as you do) to catch 1000 Years of Popular Music in Cambridge. Richard was slagging off the Austrians (in the nicest possible way) for imprisoning Richard I during the crusades. Has he ever played in Austria at all? I know Fairport have because I was there. How did Hans Theesink (Dutch blues guitarist/singer living in Vienna) get his number to make him play on his latest CD?

I played the Vienna Folk Festival a few times in the 70s/80s, which was run by the lovely Milica, who is Hans Theessink's better half, so it's a small world.

On an unrelated topic: In the words of Basil Fawlty, "Don't mention the cricket." What's his opinion on England's performance in the first test in the Caribbean? By the way, the Austrians don't play cricket, they ski and play football (badly).

England were not great in the Caribbean, and will struggle against an Australian team even in decline. The bowling isn't there. Harmison all over the place again, Flintoff injured, Simon Jones ditto, and the rest a bit mediocre. Let's hope a couple of classic English seamers emerge in the next 3 months to exploit those classic English pitches.

I'm a teacher and have actually used RT songs in my English teaching (latest example being Dad's Gonna Kill Me). Does this meet with his approval? Thanks and see you at Cropredy this year, Wilfried

Asking for trouble - Wordsworth too good for 'em?

I've been searching everywhere to find the chords and picking sequence for Matty Groves on the Lieg & Lief everything I've read doesn't seem quite right. the closest I've got is Dm and C. Please Help! Ross Cockburn

You've got it - Dm and C. I don't think there is a set sequence on the guitar for the left hand. I've played so many versions of it, in so may keys, I play it different all the time. For fun, you could try picking the vocal melody as you're playing those Dm/C changes.

About 20 years ago I came across the words about "struggling between the immensities" - it made an impression and I made a note of it - however I did not record the source but I believe I read it in a novel based in Ireland...when I googled it I came up with your website...or at least the pdf News From Home item....and the quote is almost word for word - including the reply about life and I am wondering if you can enlightment me about the origin of this quote?? Is this simply one of the wonderful old Irish expressions? Thanks, Jean

I heard it on a trip to Galway in 1971. I was with Trevor Lucas and Sandy Denny, basically on holiday for a week, and we were visiting Trevor's friend Brian Mooney. We were out in the countryside, and met some farmer on the road, and he uttered the phrase, and the follow-up. Where it came from, I have no idea, but it's a good one. That was quite a trip - a whole novel in there.

Don't you use the whammy bar nowadays?

Less so. I have it on my new Strat though.

I read that you and Linda appeared on John Peel's show in the early 70's. Any recordings from that?

They should be out there already. If they arenÕt, theyÕve disappeared.

P.S. The RT Band Live, London 1991 (Kentish Town) would make an excellent live album.
Following on from the good reception to Madonna's wedding, and in the light of recent events, are you planning a sequel? Alan Fludgate

In the upcoming 'Cabaret Of Souls' there is a character somewhat like Madonna - but not really her, of course.

Curious...on his "Hand of Kindness" album, Richard and his band are seen busking in the streets. He also referred to the art of busking in "Beeswing." Being a huge fan of street musicians; did Richard ever busk in his earlier years, and if so, did he feel that this experience help to shape the musician he is today?

I busked a little when I was at school. Fairport famously busked in Winchester in 1969, to raise money for the milk bill. We reached the 13 quid needed rather quickly, and were soon into profit. We donated the surplus to the Cathedral archeological dig. Busking gets you used to life as a professional musician, i.e. public humiliation, being ignored, and begging for pennies.