June/July Qs, Part III
9/22/2009 (updated 9/22/2009)

Are there any plans to make old live albums like 'Celtschmerz' and 'Live At Crawley available as lossless audio downloads? At the moment they're freely available via various illegal torrent sites but not from RT's own website, which seems crazy. Cheers, RG, Sydney

We are slowly adding to our available downloads. Don’t go to those illegal sites, they are evil and you will catch terrible diseases from them. Spotify in the UK offers free or subscription – free and you put up with the ads – but they seem to pay musicians, which is hopefully the model for the future.

Do you know why Richard has never recorded Hots for the Smarts. I saw him perform it a couple of years ago at the Barbican and it’s a great song. James J. Foley

I’m not sure it fits any particular album. At some point, we’ll make it a free download on the website.

My son owns an Ipod Touch. It's an amazing little device. It has the capacity to hold every RT song and video clip every recorded. I think fans, especially the older ones who started with Fairport and have eagerly awaited each new release, would appreciate having the entire collection in the palm of their hands. The CD boxed sets are nice, but kind of quaint now. Have you considered an all-inclusive project like I'm suggesting? There aren't many artists who can fill an 8-gig ipod with quality stuff--maybe only one! I'm placing my order now, in advance, in case this ever happens. Ken Price

We are always looking to the future, and generally speaking, if people want it, we will try to supply it.

Many belated years later, I have now obtained the In Their Own Words CD. Since you provided guitar backing to both Barrett Strong and Dave Alvin (at least for the items offered on that CD), and the three of you must have performed around 15 songs total... well, seems as though there could be a whole unreleased Richard Thompson album lurking there! Also, you and Dave Alvin do seem a good fit. (I am much taken with his Blackjack David CD in particular, but his songwriting has been brilliant for decades now.) Now that you and Loudon Wainwright are an unmatched set these days, what about Dave and his Guilty Men (now Women) as future tour mates? Your similar Southern California connections could make it even more feasible. Best regards, Ed Leimbacher

I love Dave’s music. He’s a bit more Americana than I am, if we’re talking style.

What is your relationship with Eric Clapton like? Has he asked you to play at his guitar festivals? If so, why did you miss them? Cheers, Kane

My relationship with Eric is minimal – I met him once at a Fender Guitars dinner for Hank Marvin. Seems a nice lad. I was asked to do his guitar festival, but was unavailable at the time. And of course we were both married to Patty Harrison – just kidding! I did sit next to her once at dinner – does that count?

Any idea as to why RT seems reluctant to play Dublin, Ireland of late. He played a festival in the midlands a couple of years ago but hasn't played in Dublin for years and years at this stage. Thanks for your time. Mark

I have no reluctance, it just hasn’t worked out. Soon…

Richard, have you ever considered making a 180 turn from your current guitar sound to a totally different one? Like Les Paul with PAFs and a Marshall? If not that, then maybe another LP with P-90s? - Patrick, the ever nagging.

I’m thinking of not being me on an upcoming release.

Would it be possible to buy the BBC documentary ”Solitary Life” on DVD? It’s not available, and it’s impossible to get anything out of the BBC for independent release. In the documentary you sing a song, ”Kids” perhaps?, and you sing ”they suck out your brains like toothpaste”… What song is that? Is it available somewhere?

I don’t think so. It’s called ‘Kidzz’. It fell off the radar.

Do you know when Kamila’s album will be released?

I’d say her first record should be available in the next few months. Please check with her website/MySpace.

On ”So Ben Mi Ch'a Bon Tempo” for example, do you also use your right hand little finger?

No. I never use it.

Will the 2009 "1.000 years…” show be released on CD/DVD? I loved the show!

Could be – I’ll see if it was recorded.

Will the songs you sang on the Thompson Family X-mas show be released or available?

That would be up to Teddy – I don’t know if it was taped.

What kind of pick do you use when you play acoustic?

Teardrop shaped Gibson/Fender/Guild medium

What kind of thumbpick and what size do you use? My thumb tend to feel a bit strangled sometimes…

The little white Nationals – my favoured brand are out of business.

My tribute band Thompson Convention had it’s first gig recently in Stockholm, Sweden. It went well and was well received! We played: Bright Lights, Genesis Hall, Hard Luck Stories, Withered And Died, When I Get To The Border, Farewell Farewell, Keep Your Distance, Walking On A Wire, From Galway To Graceland, Wall Of Death.

Favourite Michael Jackson song?

Hate them all.

I’m still sad John Martyn left us. Any fond memory you’d like to share? Best regards, Linus Johnson

Sitting in John’s flat in Hampstead, drinking tea and jamming. What, no more questions?

a) When does he plan to honour his promise to bring that wonderful 1000 Years of Popular Music show to the Princess Pavilion in Falmouth?

Please pester the promoter of the Princess Pavilion

and also,
b) Dare we ask him when the long-awaited songbooks are going to appear? Best regards, Bob Seymour

Songbooks on course for November.