Q&A May 2013, Part IV
6/1/2013 (updated 6/1/2013)

Are there any overused phrases or words in the media or pop culture that annoy you? Personally, I am sick of the words "iconic" and "crisis."

Freedom, gourmet, natural, diva, freegan, flag.

Judging from the plethora of postings on Beesweb since Electric was released, it appears that your visibility is higher than it has ever been. Do you think this is the result of more aggressive marketing by your management? Has doing co-bills such as the tour with Emmylou and Rodney and the Americanarama tour played a bigger role? Or a combination of both?

As always, thank you for your answers, Richard. Looking forward to Frets & Refrains 2013! Doug Feinstein

Good management finds ways to take who you are and what you are, and get them out there to a wider audience, or if you like to what is your audience, but they don't know it yet. Hence the co-bills and packages.

Just wanted to ask about the lyrics to Sally B on the Electric album. Is Sally B meant to be Michelle Bachman or Sarah Palin or have I got the wrong idea completely? I like very much the allusion to the World War II Bomber with her shake of the chassis. I heard the song for the first time at your Cardiff show of the recent UK tour but somehow I felt I knew it already.  Possibly the song structure is similar to 'Jealous Words' from The Old Kit Bag album?
PS Please keep coming back to the UK regularly - I feel like your star is rising here at the moment - you don't want to let the momentum drop. Sam W. Cheltenham - UK

I think I've mentioned elsewhere that the song was inspired by meeting someone at a fund-raiser who was potentially far more dangerous than Michelle or Sarah - someone just starting out in politics, but with the ambition and stupidity to do real harm down the road. Any resemblance to a B17 is purely coincidental.


I was wondering whether in the depths of the Richard Thompson "archive" there lurked any "official" or studio (or soundboard) recordings of the songs you and Linda performed during what has been referred to as the brief Sufi tour in 1977, just before you both recorded First Light. I have heard various, let's call them, unofficial recordings of the tour but would love to hear these songs in better quality.  I know that a few of the songs have turned up in various forms since (The Language of Love by Graham Parker, A Bird In God's Garden on Live, Love, Larf & Loaf) but I would really like to hear official versions of songs such as Rescue Me, King Of Love, Fire In The Garden etc. Do they exist anywhere? Hope to see you again sometime soon in the UK. With best wishes. Tony O'Rourke, Bristol

Some of those songs were broadcast on the radio, so that much exists somewhere. The rest of the repertoire I think was not saved for posterity.


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