Q&A April 2012, Part III
5/13/2012 (updated 1/1/1900)

Re: important question
Touch-type? Or hunt-and-peck?
Donna Upton - Springfield, NJ

Afraid I was never trained, so hunt and peck all the way.

Is the phrase "Shoot out the lights" in any way an allusion to the line "…and then shoot out the light" in the great Wanda Jackson's hit "Fujiyama Mama"? Also, any comments on Wanda? Thanks, Pam

I was unaware of this line, so maybe a coincidence. I like Wanda, the early stuff's fantastic, and the new record ain't bad either.

(1) A lot of us, myself included, discovered you in the 1980s. What are your thoughts on that much-maligned decade? Specifically, how does it compare to other decades in terms of being friendly to your music? Are there artists with whom you crossed paths in those days with whom you'd like to work again? What music did you enjoy in that decade?

It was a hideous era for pop music, excepting people like Crowded House, who might be considered more 90s anyway. So I was listening to more rootsy stuff - Beausoleil, Songhai, Brass Monkey.

(2) Have you ever considered a career in standup comedy?

I've met too many depressed comedians.

(3) Did you ever see Elvis Presley perform?

As you know, he never performed in the UK, and I never wanted to do the Vegas thing, so I missed him.

(4) Who's the biggest, brightest, knee-weakeningest celebrity you've ever met? Thanks, as always, Pam

I've met a bunch of those Hollywood celebs, and did not go weak at the knee. Some of them are disappointingly short. I suppose it's still The Queen, who may be on the diminutive side, but has presence.

Re: Your gear on "Who Knows Where the Time Goes"
Hi Richard, I have long admired your backing lead on the great Sandy Denny track, "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" . What was your rig for that session? Best. Jon Leatherwood - Smithville TX

It was a 1955 Gold Top Les Paul with p90s, through an Ampeg Reverberocket amp. Recorded at Olympic Studios, Barnes.

First off, I just wanted to say I applaud your efforts to get out and mingle and share your experience with workshops such as the Frets and Refrains.

Secondly, I wonder whether you have considered doing programs in different regions with some of the local talents who are your fans and who would enjoy performing with you?  We certainly have a lot of good musicians here in the Chapel Hll/Durham area who have their own followings, but would musically mix well with you.

Lastly, I wish you had worked NC into your schedule between the July 7 and the July 14 gigs. Best Wishes. Your fan, John Lestina

Over the years, I've done various community music programmes. It's a matter of having the time, really. The Frets and Refrains camp has 100 sign ups, so although I hope to get into the odd jam session, I can't jam with everyone, and I can't be one-on-one with everyone. I'm glad to hear of the strong musical landscape in the Chapel Hill area. I hope I get the opportunity to spend more time there someday.

Hi Richard, Just watching the Celtic Connections concert again on Sky Arts, on which you seem to have been joined on stage by Arsene Wenger, Fabio Capello and Patrick Vierra (go on, have a look! - maybe even Michel Platini too ...). It set me to thinking - do you have any particular sporting heroes? Cricket, football, whatever. Cheers, Graham Keevill

Too many to remember all of them, but let's see - Fred Davis, Andy Irvine, Peter May, Dennis Compton, Ken Barrington, Fred Titmus, Stan Matthews, George Best, Dennis Law, Jim Baxter, Danny McGrain, Kenny Dalglish, Vic Eastwood, Graham Hill, Stirling Moss, and more recently - Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick.

Are you an Arto Lindsay fan? It's a shame you didn't collaborate on the Golden Palominos record. Of course, he hadn't developed his later style yet. Patrick, Still in Awe of Your Guitar Playing

I like his playing. As with many guitarists, your paths rarely seem to cross (everybody's working)