How do you feel about being formally recognized for your musical contributions?
Part of me doesn't want anything to do with it, and I could see it as just a distraction from work. Another part of me would love to go around with a large chip on the shoulder, resenting everybody else who got a medal, or a good review, or a higher chart position. So on balance, I'd choose to accept these things, or some of these things, and deal with what I would consider the lesser consequences. I am very excited about the connection to Aberdeen University, and I fully intend to take advantage of access to the music and folklore departments, and the amazing library. I also appreciate that Honorary Doctorates are part of a university's way of connecting with the community, and avoiding being an 'ivory tower'.
I was talking to Dougie Maclean the other day, who also received an OBE, and I agreed with his point that it helps to shine some light into our corner of the music world, and therefore is worth doing. I would also say that I don't necessarily feel worthy of honour, but if I am, then many others deserve the same or more.
Is this more, less, or equally significant to you as the respect and reverence bestowed upon you by fans, friends, peers, and fellow musicians?
Peers probably come first, then fans, then anything else.
What affect do you anticipate your two recent honors will have on your future? Do you anticipate new doors opening as a result?
The only advantage I can think of is getting that good table in the corner at the restaurant.
What is your official, formal title now (incorporating both honors)? But what do you want to be called?
To flaunt an Honorary Doctorate by calling yourself Doctor is to be a total dickhead, and reeks of bad taste, likewise sticking letters after your name. These things should only be used in limited, appropriate and formal situations (and when phoning the restaurant).
Any humorous faux pas experience you would like to share?
We upgraded at Hertz to a Mercedes, because we knew we'd be driving through the front of Buckingham Palace, and didn't want a repeat of our Grammy experience (the aged Honda Civic, standing out somewhat in the line of limos, stalled when the valet tried to park it, to the great amusement of the jeering crowds). Before driving in, we were sent over to security, to check for bombs, and they asked me to open the bonnet. Being a rental car, I couldn't find the damn release, and we were there for an embarrassing five minutes, to the amusement of the public.
University of Aberdeen Graduation Images - Tuesday 5th July 2011
Honorary Degree of Doctor Honoris Causa (DHC)