Q&A July 2011, Part III
8/4/2011 (updated 8/4/2011)

As a passionate cricketer, what is your opinion of baseball? I ask because while watching a Yankees-Angels telecast this spring, I noticed an Angels relief pitcher named Rich Thompson! Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions! Cheers, Douglas Alan Feinstein, NYC

Baseball is of course an English game, first mentioned in print in 1727. The English generally preferred its superior cousin cricket, which was widely played in the US until the end of the 19th century. Don't really get baseball myself...

hello, are there any plans for a US tour in the works? possibly swinging by nebraska? - Chris Snyder

Please see Tour Dates section of this website from time to time. Nothing near Nebraska at the moment.

Re: Dublin gig
Just want to say the gig in Dublin was the best gig i've ever been to, you should come to Cork the next time your in this part of the world. Is there any chance you'll be releasing a recording of this tour? Best regards, John Long

No plans for a recording just now.

In 1977 your live set list at times included songs that slipped off the radar very soon. Or at least I have never heard recordings of any of them. Songs like "The madness of love", "Rescue me", "The fire in the garden", "Take me to my own country" and "The king of love". I kind of expected some of them to turn up on the RT box set, but they didn't. Does this mean you now disown them completely? All the best from Thor-Rune Haugen in Oslo

Some songs deserve to slip off the radar.

I'm listening a lot to Michael Chapman's wonderful 'Trainsong' album at the moment and, even with the tunings listed and my copy of his 'Playing Guitar The Easy Way' to hand, I know I'm never going to get anywhere near what he's doing. The same pretty much goes for whenever I see a great player like yourself, Martin Simpson, Martin Carthy and so on - I told Martin Simpson that I didn't know whether to go home and practice until my fingers bled or just throw the thing out of the window.

Is there anyone around who you've seen or listened to, and wondered 'how does he do that ?', or does your knowledge of and skill on the instrument mean that you can pretty much pick up what they are doing ? - Jim Howard

I feel that about everyone you mentioned. Some of those jazz players make me scratch my head a bit. Some players I can figure out what they are doing, but it's how they do it that's so good - Chet Atkins would be a case in point.

Now that Leonard Cohen is included in Norton anthologies of poetry, why not you? While reading "When We Were Boys at School" to a friend over the phone, I was struck by how well it worked all on its own. Have you ever written poetry with no intention of adding music? Or, if you do this, do you end up adding music much later anyway? And, finally, as I imagine these volumesĀ  of RT poetry on a shelf, do you ever paint or draw? I would love to see some cover art. Thanks. - John Bosquet-Morra, Stuyvesant, New York

As I've said before, lyrics are not poetry, although there is an overlap. If I write any poetry, or do any painting, it's for me, and I don't want it out there. Leonard Cohen is probably included because he is a very good poet as well as a songwriter.

Greetings from Kentucky,
1. Obviously, you and Teddy have worked together a lot. Has there ever been discussion of something like a co-headlining tour? Obviously, your styles are different, but I have to believe there's a fair bit of overlap in your audiences (my wife and I, to start). Of course, there's the parent-kid dynamic, but I'm just curious.

I'm not sure that associating with old farts like me is in the best career interests of young TT, but if he were game, I would look at the possibilities.

2. Have you ever had meaningful contact with "famous" fans? I know, for instance, that Michael Chabon is a pretty big fan of yours. Do you have any friends who are active and well-known in non-musical arts?

I am reluctant to name people who fit the category you mention, because they might hate to be named, and it might seem like I'm boasting or crawling - so yes, but no comment.

3. Any plans to be near Kentucky soon? For a while you hit Lexington and Cincy fairly regularly, but it's been a while now. I can't remember when you last played Louisville.

Would 26th October be OK?

4. T-shirt suggestion - Use the "RT" guitar logo small on the left breast and the dragon logo large on the back. I would buy that in about two-seconds.


5. Thanks for doing these Q&As. Not many artists take the time. They're always lovely to read. - Jason Linden