RT Answers your March Questions
4/5/2010 (updated 4/5/2010)

Have you considered appearing at Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble? I'd love it if you could, that's right near me. It's a fantastic show, and seems like the musicians are having as much fun as the audience. Thanks. PS. I'm one of those who owns "Henry the Human Fly" on vinyl.  Thomas J. Herling.

I have an invitation to do Midnight Ramble if I’m in the area, and schedule allows. Sounds like fun.

Always nice to hear from one of the handful who bought ‘Henry’, brave souls who risked the mockery and humiliation of their peers to buy something so counter-counter-cultural it was almost counter-counter-counter-cultural. If you follow my drift.

Never mind all these music questions.  Let's get to something really!  Opinions on the Olympic tournament?  How about that Ryan Miller?  Sorry, you can't have him for the Kings.  Finals prediction? Scott, PS: hope to see you again soon in Buffalo

Olympic hockey is my favourite form, and a shame it was not on the wider ice – however – a fantastic tournament, with some stunning games. I was rooting all the way for Slovakia, which had 5 past and present Kings players – Palffy, Stumpel, Visnovsky, Demitra, and Handzus. Demitra was brilliant. The best team won in the end. Buffalo are a not bad team with a goalie in great form. Hope he can keep it up in the playoffs. Kings are finally strong in net, with Quick and Bernier, so we don’t need him, thanks. It’s a tough year to predict the final (I got it right last year), but I’ll say Chicago v New Jersey.

Richard: first of all, thanks for all the music.  In your recent Q&A, you sort of set this one up. What are your desert island albums?  Books?  Movies? Mike Ile

I get asked for lots of lists, and I dislike them because things change – things can jump up or slide down the list very easily, almost on a daily basis. Desert Island Discs on BBC radio was always 8 gramophone records, so on that basis, and bearing in mind it could be different tomorrow, off the top of my head, non-definitively:

Film (not in order):

Seven Samourai
La Strada
Top Hat
Pulp Fiction
Zazie Dans Le Metro
Parapluies de Cherbourg
North By Northwest

Books (fiction)

Les Miserables
Our Mutual Friend
Count Of Monte Cristo
Master and Commander etc.
Gulliver’s Travels
Grub Street
Diary Of A Supertramp
Road To Wigan Pier


Boum! – Charles Trenet
Largo and Rondo – Presti/Lagoya
String Quartet #8 – Shostakovich
Look Mummy, No Hands – Camille O’Sullivan
Big Blond Baby – Jerry Lee Lewis
Blue Again – Louis Armstrong
Barterers and Their Wives -  Left Banke
Money – Flying Lizards

One of my very favorite albums of yours is the wonderfully eclectic "Strict Tempo." Any chance we'll ever see an all-instrumental project like that again? Best regards, Paul Green, Tempe, Arizona

I have no plans just now. It is a possibility in the future.

1) The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago offered a Richard Thompson class (I begged them to add it to the curriculum). Also, you have performed there several times including two glorious 1000 Years shows. Several artists, including Steve Earle, have taught classes or given workshops there. Would you consider doing something like that.

If anyone needs to go to that RT class, it’s me. I need to find out who I am, and quick. Could I give a class? Maybe, when I retire.

2)  Have you ever performed Restless Highway live? Is there a chance of adding it to some future set list? Regards, Joshua J. Nathan

I’m not thrilled with that song.

I apologize in advance if you've ever answered this question before. I was wondering: You often say in interviews that old Scottish songs are a major influence on your songwriting. Have you ever considered recording a whole album of covers of your favorites (beyond what you've done with "1,000 Years of Popular Music"? Think about all the death, darkness and dismay you could sing about! Thanks very much, Chris 

I’m not as good as Gaughan on that stuff, or Jeannie Robertson, or Enoch Kent.

What do you think of the 2010 F1 season thus far? (I imagine you’re quite happy about your boy Jenson Button winning at Melbourne!)  I’m especially interested to hear your thoughts on: the new rules, including no refueling stops; Button teamed with Hamilton at McLaren; Vettel, Webber and the quickness of Team Red Bull; Schumacher’s return; Alonso at Ferrari; the return of Lotus. Any early season predictions?

I’ve missed it all so far, and haven’t had time to catch up, so no insightful comments from me. I like the Maclaren team a lot, though.

I have read that you enjoyed trainspotting as a lad. Did you prefer steam or diesel? Do you still get a kick out of seeing trains?

Steam all the way for me. I was at the end of the steam era, very sad. They really were living entities. I’m still a sucker for a steam day out, or a tour of Didcot. Yes, I remember Adlestrop…

I have always been amazed at how much energy you expend during a show, especially during a solo performance.  You seem to have more energy onstage than artists half your age.  How do you prepare for a performance?   Cheers, Douglas Alan Feinstein

Drugs, and more drugs. Just kidding…the music is very energizing, and I get a lot from the audience too. I try to stay healthy, and don’t drink, smoke, or do caffeine. And I only think clean thoughts.