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Beesweb Guest Q&A
5/23/2004 (updated 5/23/2004)

Does RT pre-plan his encores? This is my impression after the recent Melbourne concert and hearing what people yelled out for, what he said in response, and ended up playing.

I write down encores in case there are no screams from the crowd...in fact I write a set. and may or may not play it, depending on the situation. I quite enjoy doing it scripted or unscripted. In Melbourne, the crowd seemed a little quiet, so I rather ploughed onward...there are songs that get requested that I really can't remember, or perform without a band.


In your song "Beeswing", you mention a 'steamie', and 'Cauldrum Street'. What is a steamie, and is Cauldrum Street a real place?

There used to be a steamie, or laundry, on Cauldrum Street in Dundee, Scotland. Steamie because it was a steam laundry. and I assumed that cauldrum was synonymous with cauldron - but that is an assumption.


Would you mind running through a couple of your recent tunings? I thought I saw you do a drop D and drop D&G tuning, though I think you did a few more than those.
BTW, you played Shoot out the Lights in response to my request at Byron Bay. It made it a memorable birthday. Thanks.


Glad the request worked. At Byron Bay, I probably used drop D, DADGAD, and CGDGBE. I'm trying to use less.


You must have a very well developed calf muscle on your left leg! For virtually the full hour and 45 minutes you were perched on the ball of your left foot - an admirable physical feat (no pun intended) in itself. Is this something you are conscious of? Do you ice it for an hour afterwards? I presume it provides some reactive force for the pressure of the guitar against your abdomen/hip? Or am I wrong and it's merely a postural affectation? :)

I don't know how that developed, but I find myself doing it and wish I didn't. I haven't noticed any adverse physical reaction to a lifetime of standing on one leg. Perhaps I should see Ian Anderson's physio...


Will Richard ever confess to writing "Gypsies Tramps and Thieves" for Cher, and will he be including it in his set list any time soon?

Okay, I admit it! It's going in the set right now.


Can you confirm whether RT will be making any appearance at this year's Cropredy festival (12 - 14 August)?

Regrettably, no.


Are you ever going to release a book of transcriptions of some of your more popular songs? I'm especially interested in Rumor and Sigh. Divorce and all. You know.

Yes, it's coming - I might recruit help to get it moving along a bit quicker. Having planned a massive opus, I don't want it to become an albatross, so I think I have to divide up the labour.


It puzzles me how an artist of Mr. Thompson talent has not become one of the more popular and wealthy music figures! He reminds me of Ry Cooder in many ways (Ry, IMO is the american version of Richard Thompson), Mr. Cooder hit it big w/the Cuban music (Buena Vista Social Club). So, here is my question:
Do you make any money doing what you do?


I doubt Ry Cooder is exactly rolling in it! Yes, I do make a living, income in this business fluctuates wildly, but it probably averages out to about the same as your branch bank manager (without having to wear the suit).


Can you tell us anything about the DVD release we'll see in the fall of 2004? What's to be included, etc.?

It will contain the band concert from Lupo's, in Rhode Island. In addition, some footage from various sources - I think it's all 80s and 90s - I don't know exactly what ended up making the cut. More news as the release date nears.