Q&A August 2012, Part III
9/14/2012 (updated 2/11/2013)

How did you enjoy the Olympics? Were you impressed with Danny Boyle's handling of the opening ceremony.

It was great to be in London at the time - such positive energy. I loved the opening ceremony, they really focused on some excellent and quirky aspects of UK history and culture. The National Health Service? Take that, Mitt!

Which soccer games did you see? Did you attend any other events? I'm especially curious to know if you managed to catch the men's cycling road race, either on TV or in person, during which the riders had to climb Box Hill NINE times? Overall, were you pleased with Team GB's showing?

I saw GB v UAE at Wembley. What a nice stadium! The Missus saw the cycle road race outside Buck House, but apart from that it was very hard to get tickets - and I was working a lot.

Speaking of biking, you mentioned that you ride back home in LA. What kind of bike do you own? Do you ride the hills above Malibu, Topanga Canyon, etc.? Pretty challenging!

I have an old Shwinn mountain bike. After falling off and landing on my head a couple of years ago, I just cycle down the beach (15 miles of bike path) or down to the shops.

Do you think there's a fundamental difference between classical musicians and jazz musicians in the way their brains function (right-brained jazz players versus left-brained classical players)? Playing jazz and classical seem to require different skill sets.

No question they are different. I'm not sure it's right brain/left brain so much as everything is coming out of the music centre of the brain, but it all depends on how you start and how you train from there. There are a few Winton Marsalis types who do both brilliantly. It's easier to start out by ear and then train than the other way round.

What is your favorite Monty Python sketch?

It changes a bit - today, seeing as you ask, I'd go for Upper Class Twit Of The Year.

Your gardening passion is well documented here. Aside from tending the gardens, do you handle other household "chores"? Do you consider yourself handy around the house?

Fame and fortune mean that I can have a cleaner come in once a week. I don't cook particularly well, so I tend to do washing up, emptying dishwasher, and if asked politely, can do all domestic chores. I was trained in my youth to be handy, so I hang pictures, put up shelves, change fuses, etc.

How many iterations of the Frets & Refrains T-shirt and bag did you attempt before you were pleased with the results?As always, Richard, thank you for providing As for my Qs! Cheers, Doug

Never totally pleased. I probably did 30 or 40 versions. Never easy to come up with a rendition of a guitar that hasn't been done to death before.

I caught you in Portsmouth NH 2 years ago at Prescott Park. I walk over the bridge from my house on Badger's Island. It was spectacular. I think one of the greatest "guitar songs" I have ever heard, is "Treadwell no more". I am unable to discern if it is one or 20 guitars playing. I don't suppose that you would ever consider playing it live? Is it even possible? I look forward to seeing you here in the future. Sincerely, John C. Roukes

That is just solo guitar, if I'm thinking of the right piece. I could play it live, I think.
Treadwell No More.mp3

What's your take on the Mayan Prophecy and the fabled planetary shift on December 21, 2012? Does disaster await us? Kay Brown

The end of the world already happened. Did you not notice?

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