firstname.lastname@example.org Q & A, Part II
3/3/2010 (updated 3/3/2010)
11. How are you coping with these harsh economic times? Have you had to
re-finance, take out a second mortgage, or sell an early 1950's Telecaster
from your collection? Or in the best tradition of honor and valor for most
musicians, just added a few more touring dates to your already busy
RT: Just when I'd like to be playing a bit less on the road, the recording
and royalty sectors of my income are nosediving, so I need to work more, if
anything, at least until my last kid is through college.
12. In your opinion, if there was a knock-down bar room fight, who would
win: Manfred Mann (w/ Paul Jones) or The Moody Blues (w/ Denny Laine)?
RT: I never saw the Manfreds live, but my sister always spoke highly of them
when they played at Hornsey Art College. Paul Jones was a very good
harmonica player.Hugg and Mann really jazzers. I loved The Moodies with
Denny when I saw them at the Astoria Finsbury Park on a Chuck Berry show.
After Denny left I lost interest. Good drummer, good keyboards.
13. I'm sure you can't tell us everything that's in your head regarding
Meltdown, but I'd like to know more about how you select the program.
Are you totally on you own? Does some suit tell you, "OK, we need three
visual exhibits, two literary events, seventeen concerts...?"
Is there a committee or staff that gives you suggestions? Will it take a lot
of time away from you that you'd normally spend writing, practicing,
touring, etc.? Finally, might we see a remounting of Cabaret of Souls as
part of this event?
RT: This is a lot of work, but I have time for it. I sent in a list of ideas
for shows - artists, combinations of artists, themes, etc. These ideas
include film, literature, visual arts, etc. There are basically 3 concert
venues to be filled for 9 days, plus all the foyer space and outdoor space
at the South Bank. Not everything has to be filled - anything not programmed
goes back into the normal schedule. The South Bank rejected very few of my
ideas, but inevitably at least half of the wish list are unavailable, so
even some obvious names will be missing. The wonderful thing about the
process is thinking of an idea, and then having others fulfil your dreams!
Artists are contacted on a 'who has the best inroad' basis. One of the ideas
is for a Cabaret Of Souls performance - I hope it happens. The formal
announcement of the lineup should be in about a month.
14. Will a recording of "Cabaret of Souls" be released this year?
RT: If this is performed again at the South Bank, we will have an
opportunity for a fresh recording. We were unable to get the necessary
releases for the Penn State recording.
15. Did writing Cabaret of Souls require you to change your approach to
writing music, or was it a case of business as usual (or something in
between)? Has the writing of Cabaret of Souls influenced your subsequent
songwriting and/or approach to music?
RT: C of S was quite different for me - all songs are satires on the human
condition, and the styles range very widely. I think there is a small
hangover to the new record.
16. In an article about the 2010 Meltdown Festival the Guardian quotes you
as saying that you saw your first concert at Southbank in 1961. Who was
playing? What other concerts do you remember around that time?
RT: I had just started classical guitar, so my parents thought I should be
exposed to the best. We saw Segovia at the Festival Hall. My Dad also
brought home a wonderful Ida Presti and Alexandre Lagoya record, which would
still be in my Desert Island top ten. After that I saw the LSO playing a
Brahms piano concerto, and Debussy's La Mer. I got taken to the Albert Hall
for a couple of those family gala nights - Tchaikovsky's Piano concerto #1,
1812 Overture, that sort of thing.
17. Any chance of Agnes Mirren playing with John Kirkpatrick at the Meltdown
18. Can a meltdown move the mountains? (Richard Thompson: "The mountains to
be moved are the Pyrenees, the Chilterns, and the Sierras")
19. Mike Evans, bass player of Mighty Baby, later in the Habibiyya, passed
away last January. He played with you live and in the studio, some tracks
were available on the Doom and Gloom cassettes, the demo for "Layla" comes
to mind. Any thoughts or stories about him to relate?
RT: Michael Amin Evans was a great friend and fine human being, someone with
great presence and charisma, who didn't say much but musically and socially
was a real rock, a foundation to build on and collect around. He will be
sorely missed by all who knew him.
20. You're about to play with Emitt Rhodes soon. Please tell us more about
this (or is it too early?). How came this about?
RT: This happened (yesterday) thanks to Matt Malley, formally of Counting
Crows, who is involved in Emitt's new record. I played guitar on a few
tracks. Fairport covered Emitt's Merry Go Round classic Time Will Show The
Wiser back in 1967. I followed his music up till about his third record, and
then lost touch. He basically took the next 30 years off performing. It was
so good to finally meet him. He is singing great and plays beautiful piano,
and of course the songs are first rate.