Answers to Jan/Feb Questions, Part IV
3/6/2010 (updated 3/6/2010)

Hi Beekeeper, I have some questions abou the lyrics on the rt site -  and elsewhere -  for 1952 Vincent.  The first verse lyrics usually say Boxhill,  but I wonder if this is a misheard version of Vaux Hall  - the location of the original Vanity Fair -  often pronouced foxhill  or foxhall.

Second, the Ariels in the final verse should probably be aerials - the proper British and American spelling of the antenae things on old motorcycles. Jon Dash

Wrong, wrong, and wrong! Box Hill is a famous hang for bikers – fast as you can down the hill, round the roundabout, back up the other side, dying optional. Tobias Smollett was right about Vauxhall:

‘Vauxhall is a composition of baubles, overcharged with paltry ornaments, ill-conceived and poorly executed’.

I could not bring myself to mention it in song. And Ariel was a brand of motorcycle, named after the lion-headed angel. The company produced bikes from 1901 – 1967, through various incarnations and takeovers, and I believe from the 50s was owned by BSA.

On the BBC web site you say that, for the "Solitary Life" documentary, you "borrowed someone else's house for the shoot" - really? Was that just for the interior? Was it your house on the outside? Your garden? Or all somebody's else's? Just nosy. Loved you in Portland. Tina

It was all the house across the street. You don’t think I’d use my own house, and have people commenting on my wallpaper and towels?

I saw you recently in Portland, OR, and was blown away by your performance.  Thanks!  Question - do you ever play guitars live or in the studio that contain humbucker pickups?  Or are you strictly a single coil player?  If so why? Dan Sekerak, Oregon City, OR

I have a humbucker or two, but I seem to prefer single coil. No real prejudice against them.

Would've loved to have attended the recent 'recording tour', but had health issues to contend with. Wondered if the venture turned out the way you'd hoped, and if not, what would you have done differently? An article I saw said the CD was tentatively titled 'Alive, Alive, O!'. Is this accurate? When is the proposed release date? Best always, Diane

I forgot how hard it is to get everything right – that’s why we go to the studio! The big trade-off recording live is energy versus accuracy, so we make a few sacrifices to get the feel. The title is up for debate at the moment.

US author/journalist, Joan Didion said, "I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means." Do you feel the same way, as if writing is a way to tap into your subconscious, or do you sit down to write with a definite idea of subject matter/message?  K A Brown

What a great writer she is. And she’s on the money as usual. That doesn’t mean that you have to know consciously what you’re thinking, what you’re looking at, what you feel up front, but you can find out in the process. I have a definite idea to start, and it changes as I do it, or no idea, and just go through the process, and realize that I had an idea, but it was buried in my subconscious, and now I can see it.