Q&A October, Part III
11/11/2010 (updated 11/11/2010)

Would it be possible at seated venues to have the promoter of the gig make a pre show announcement in this vein..."For the listening enjoyment of all, please be respectful of those around you." ? In the past few weeks, I have seen Allan Holdsworth and Pat Methany understandably "lose it" on a patron who either whistled or talked so loud that it was a distraction to them playing and to the audience at large. I understand in a bar or with a louder full band, crowd noise is expected. As a person who appreciates music and is at a gig to actually "listen" I'm just finding the ignorance of some sadly distracting and seems to becoming worse as the years pass . I just feel if the promoter makes the announcement instead of you, they will take any "heat" and hopefully create a better atmosphere for enjoying the gig. Thank you, Dan

Announcements don’t seem to help much, in my experience. I’m always amazed that people will spend money on a ticket, and then talk all through the show. The best way to shut people up is to humiliate them in front of the whole audience, and that works a treat, unless they’re drunk, in which case, ply them with more drinks till they pass out.

This is, well, a rather "delicate " topic, but after listening to your fine new record, I noticed the rather wicked line, "the benefit of my plan." Weirdly enough, I was reminded of the book "Papillon," by Henri Charriere. In the story, the prisoners would store their money or other belongings in what they called a "plan"-- a small metal container that was hidden deep inside the...rectum. Er..... does this give new meaning to those now-immortal lines in "The Money Shuffle ,"or is this a bizarre coincidence? If I am wrong then I am sorry and slightly embarrassed, but you are after all a well-read fellow! John from Stuyvesant

This rather messy idea had not crossed my mind. Although I read the book, I don’t remember this particular storage facility having a name. I must now expunge the image from my mind, before I sing the song again.

I was listening to a live version of "Hard on Me" (great, great track by the way) and was wondering, when writing a song, do you sometimes go into it thinking something along the lines of - "I'm ready to write a barn-burning rock 'n roll track." Or does your approach differ from this? Does the "muse" arrive in a different form?

I have to say after listening to Mock Tudor again recently - man - well done! One of my all-time favorites right there with the new material. -Dan Sekerak, Oregon City, OR

Any thought can be the starting point for a song, including ‘I need a mid-paced rocker with a riff’.

Just wondering why you never come to Nova Scotia? Thanks Frank

Not my strongest market, judging by my appearance in Halifax back in the 80s. Nice place though.

I was wondering if Richard had any views on the Mumford & Sons album? Are they a new direction in English folk? Also, how about Seth Lakeman? I love his stuff, but wondered if Richard had a view. Cheers, Peter

I like the Mumfords a lot, and Seth Lakeman. I think they definitely bring new flavours to the British folk scene.

Will you be stoking up "Big Chimney" for the UK Tour? Not many of them left over here now. Mike

It’s a song that really needs a couple of saxes to make it work. I like the song, and I’d love to play it more. Shame about the chimneys.

Can you comment on your recent experience recording w/ Don Henley? Anything insofar as what to expect in terms of the sound and when we might get to hear it? Thanks, Glenn (Hawaii)

I did some overdubbing on ‘Dry My Tears And Move On’, which is a song of mine that I’m very honoured Don Recorded. Hopefully I made the cut! I did a whole bunch of solos to give multiple choices. Don, as far as I know, is busy on the Eagles tour, and has been in the studio in the downtime, so I’ve no idea when a release would happen.

I've fallen into the chasm between songbook availability and songbook vol 2 becoming "out of print" for North American merch orders. With Vols 1&3 on the way, should I try to order via the UK (which still shows availability), or expect an eventual restocking? As it stands, I must live another 146 years to hope to absorb something from the other two volumes, but there are some very important songs in vol 2 I'd like to study before passage.

We are reprinting volume 2.

Did Richard ever cross paths with The Mac when Danny Kirwan was playing? Peter Green? I feel a sense of loss listening to Danny's work because he had so much potential.

Fairport played some shows with the Mac. I thought Peter Green was wonderful – great touch and tone. I can recall a show at LSE in London, and one of the big shows in Hyde Park, and there were others. I wasn’t paying much attention to Danny Kirwan – he was very young at the time. Strangely, I ran into Jeremy Spencer at the South Bank this summer – nice to see him back after a long hiatus.

I was also wondering if Richard has read any of the polar explorers? Shackleton, Scott, Bob Bartlett, etc. The restored 1919 movie "South" with Neil Brand's score is quite stunning. best regards, -Chris Timmons

We read extracts of Scott and Shackleton at school. I saw the film ‘Scott of the Antarctic’ with Vaughan Williams music, and enjoyed that. I liked Kenneth Branagh’s made-for-TV ‘Shackleton’. Haven’t seen ‘South’.

I was just wondering: Band of Joy (Robert Plant) covers "House of Cards" on their album. But I don't see it included in the Richard Thompson songbook. Did I just miss something? Is it in there somewhere? If not, how come? Thanks, Chris

I didn’t think this was a popular song, so it was omitted. It could go into a future compilation.