November/December Answers, Part I
1/15/2010 (updated 1/15/2010)

Rumor has it that “Now Be Thankful” is in a hymnal somewhere. Whose hymnal? I tried asking the brain trust at the RT list, but I’ve had no luck. It’s not in the Unitarian Universalist hymnal Singing the Living Tradition or its supplement Singing the Journey; those would have been my first guess.

Sorry, I don't remember the name of the collection, and although I was given a copy, I can't seem to find it.
Those NYC request shows were amazing. We retrieved some items for an upcoming charity auction, soon as my partners in crime and I can sort out when to do the auction, we’ll let you, the Beekeeper, know. Pam (checking in on her lunch break at work)

Good for you.

There has been quite a few accusations of musical plagiarism recently (e.g. Satriani v Coldplay).   I wondered whether you have ever thought that a song has been ‘over inspired’ by one of your own or indeed whether you have ever written a tune and later thought that maybe it was too similar to something else?  I think this happened to the Stones who credited K D Lang as a co writer retrospectively.

Hmm that new song ‘She Likes You Yeh Yeh Yeh’ its somehow familiar but I can’t put my finger on it……. It must be tricky though – there just aren’t enough notes to go round! Peter Driver

As you say, this happens all the time, often subconsciously. In the old days before copyright, Mozart could 'borrow' a tune from Haydn, do his own variations, and nobody seemed to mind. Many artists I know make a point of never playing demos sent to them by fledgling artists for fear of ripping them off later (others I know make a point of ALWAYS playing demos, to see what ideas they can steal). There are a few instances where I have been borrowed from, but I can't discuss them for legal reasons. One I never pursued, and never got to the bottom of, was the opening riff from The Great Valerio, which was used, in a different version, as a link on NPR for many years. Now, it is possible that I stole the riff from somewhere, or we both stole the riff from somewhere; because it only ever quoted a few bars, it didn't seem a big deal, and I would not wish to fleece the worthy NPR in the courts. In the UK, you can quote, I think, 2 bars of anything, free of copyright, and something similar may exist in the US. Friends accused me of stealing the riff to Cinnamon Girl by Neil Young for The Sake Of Mary, but this was a deliberate quote, and hopefully different enough to avoid legal proceedings.  The Bee Gees must have been very, very shocked to lose their case over How Deep Is Your Love, but there is little doubt it was the other geezer's song.

As a longtime RT fan, I've wondered why he's never recorded certain songs in his live repertoire for release on an official album? Galway to Graceland  and Push and Shove are just a couple that come to mind. I know these and others are older songs, but it seems a shame that he's never released studio versions. Steven More

At the time those songs were written, they did not seem to be ready, or worthy, to go on the appropriate albums. Because they snuck out through live recordings, they have achieved some kind of life, and Galway is an often-requested song. To do studio versions now would seem a chore. I think their time has passed. I don't think the listeners would be that impressed with the inclusion of an oldie on a record of new songs, either.

Due to more pressing financial commitments, I'm forced to say goodbye to one of my two beloved guitars (a Tom Anderson Cobra and a Gibson Les Paul Custom), but I'm unable to choose between them. Firstly, do you get this attached to guitars, and secondly, which one should I allow to flee the nest? The Custom has gold hardware.........have I answered my own question there? Marty, Staffs.

Any guitar that has gold on it is being taken far too seriously. Gold is an adornment for women, but mere ostentation for men - would you wear a gold chain? Wear gold lame underwear? Have the metal bits on your Mercedes gold-plated? If you must adorn your guitar, do it in the spirit of Art, not about a copy of Magritte's 'Time Transfixed' over the front? I've never heard of Tom Anderson, but then I don't get out much, so you'll have to figure this out yourself. I do get attached to guitars, but after you've flown United a few times, you become rather philosophical about these tools of the trade.

As a long time fan, I am looking forward to your upcoming shows at Montalvo near San Jose. My question concerns the "charm" that adorns your Beret. I know it is in the shape of a Sheriff's Star. However, last year at Montalvo, I swear I remember you wearing a Scorpion shaped "badge" (or at least that how it appearred from the back row).

I'm guessing this was a sly reference to your run in with a scorpion during your Mexico holiday. However, I have not seen it since. Will we see the scorpion again? Or will it be like the Phil Ochs song title; "The Scorpion Departs, But Never Returns"? Katy Barr

I would dress with far more care if I knew that any slight adjustment in style was going to expose me to such comment. These small accessories keep me amused, i suppose. I tend to change them when something better comes along. I had a Russian Army badge, A Celtic FC, and the current is a Los Angeles Police Dept. Sheriff's badge, miniature version of course, given to me by an officer of the same - his girlfriend was in the FBI, but they don't hand out the hardware quite as readily. The scorpion was a gift from a fan after my close encounter with one, a bit pointed a comment, I thought. I keep it for special occasions.