RT with Hugh Cornwell, then and now...
3/20/2011 (updated 11/30/2011)

photo: Robert Kenney

March 30th, 2010, Richard Thomspon sat in with Hugh Cornwell and his band at Spaceland in Silverlake, Los Angeles. Richard and Hugh were at school together, and were in a band from about 1964 to 65. Hugh went on to great success with the Stranglers, and then with his solo career. Richard and Hugh played Tobacco Road - which they last played on stage 45 years ago!

Hugh Cornwell and Richard Thompson pose with their first band Emil and The Detectives in 1964. The band was formed by guitarist Richard Thompson (on the far right of picture) who went on to Fairport Convention, while Cornwell found fame as frontman with The Stranglers. Cornwell talked about this early snapshot in the Telegraph Magazine:

"I remember getting the violin bass guitar I'm holding here, I was about 15 and had saved up £50 for it. Before then I'd been playing a homemade version with a neck the thickness of a plank of wood. Richard Thompson suggested I learn to play bass because he was forming Emil and the Detectives and he needed a bass player, so he taught me. We were good friends from school and we played each other music that we had discovered, like the Rolling Stones and the Who. Richard's older sister, Perri, who was the social secretary at the Hornsey College of Art in north London, would book us to play parties and pay us £30 per gig. Our biggest claim to fame was supporting Helen Sahpiro at the Ionic cinema in Golders Green. But after we took our O-level (exams) we lost touch. The next I heard he was the lead guitarist in Fairport Convention…

"...In August 2008 I was doing a festival outside Madrid and the promoter said, 'If we hurry we can catch the end of Richard Thompson's set.' I couldn't believe it. I hadn't seen Richard in 30 years. We had a big huggy reunion and now we're back in touch it's really lovely. When I played in LA last year he came to watch and I suggested that we play a song together. I chose Tobacco Road by the Nashville Teens, which was a number one hit in the 1960s and was one of the first songs we learnt together."

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