EMAIL THE BEEKEEPER
April/May Q&A, Part IV
6/30/2009 (updated 6/30/2009)

First question: I'm also a singer, guitarist and songwriter (start lots of songs but finish very few - I have about a dozen songs up the web written over the last 3 years). Does Richard find it easy to start songs and hard to finish some off - I don't think there is any set pattern to writing but does he have any pearls of wisdom that might help with the back end of the song writing process? I'm completely fascinated with the process itself and the way it taunts and defeats me.

Welcome to the taunted and defeated club. To finish some songs, you have to sit down and say, whatever happens, I'm going to finish this beastie today! Š and grit you teeth and write something, even if itÕs mush at first. If it's lyrics, write dummy lyrics until the real ones come along. If it's melody, try to find a balance for what you already have.

Second question: In the mid-70's I think Robert Fripp said he had an ambition to write a guitar concerto and that, as far as I'm aware hasn't happened, but I wondered if Richard has any specific ideas about projects that he'd like to do, for example - more film music, to work with a specific musician, song writer or film maker, to write an album based on a specific theme(religion, politics, environment, education! (I'm a teacher!)), an album of covers, to work with an orchestra - is there some unfulfilled ambition or will Richard continue by writing songs on an ad hoc basic (I don't know - is that the way Richard works?) Well - it's a joy, genuine serendipity, to discover a whole body of work to investigate. Regards, Neil Turner

I have a couple of longer pieces to write, a new acoustic record and a new electric record. I can't go into details of upcoming work.

I've been a fan ever since "Henry the Human Fly" was released (I suspect I was the first, and maybe the only, person to buy it in Brisbane, Australia, and I've still got the vinyl). "Angels Took My Racehorse Away" has stuck with me as a favourite, among all the hundreds of other songs you've released since, and I wonder if there was a real-life story behind it?

It's just fantasy. The Lanark Silver Bell is a real horse race, however.