New RT Discussion List Q&A I
1/14/2005 (updated 1/14/2005)

Thanks to Flip: Richard Thompson For Completists

From several girls (Rosalind, Pam & others) on the list:
How tall are you?

RT: Six feet one and a half inches in my pimp-socks.

Pam: For several months now, if I recall correctly, your performances in front
of audiences have been restricted to songs by other people. Of course, I'm
sure you're playing your own compositions elsewhere--perhaps for a new
album, which I'm sure someone else will ask about. But I'm wondering how
playing the songs of others in front of audiences has affected your approach
to your own music. What are the reasons for your decision to take a break
from doing your own songs in concert--does it just come down to the needs of
this particular tour, or are there other reasons to explore other people's
creations? Do you think you will approach your own music differently the
next time you do it for an audience?

RT: I hadn't intended to take a break from my own songs, it just happened
that way. I don't think doing '1000 Years' will affect the way I play, but I
think it has broadened the way I write - looking at all those different
styles and time periods made me realize that there are some good ideas out
there that have been overlooked.

Do you anticipate doing anything unusual with the 1,000 Years DVD, which
is being filmed in San Francisco next month?

RT: Apart from the costume changes, the revolving stage set, and the
audience sprinkled with movie stars, I think it will be just a normal old
show, the likes of which you may have seen at your local palace of

Peter: I love hearing the odd hurdy gurdy, dulcimer, fiddle, accordian, etc. on
your studio recordings, but miss them in live performances. One of the first
things that struck me with the 1969/1970 Fairport recordings was the devine
interplay between electric guitar and fiddle. I was similarly impressed
with the way your guitar and John Kirkpatrick's accordion complemented one
another. Any chance of future live performances and (dare I hope!)
recordings with fiddle or accordion?

RT: I'm waiting to see what the next band CD sounds like. Then we can think
about the lineup for the tour, and what the budget will allow.

I was driving around recently when my car radio spat out a track with the
opening line "Richard Thompson on the radio, he's a singer." I later
learned it was by "La Boum." I also recall Cheryl Wheeler's song "Driving
Home" with its reference to listening to Richard Thompson on the car radio.
When you're driving around and songs like this pop up are you or would you
(a) flattered
(b) embarrassed
(c) annoyed
(d) other?

RT: Which radio station are these fortunate souls tuned in to? The answer
would be lots of (a) with a good dash of (b) and a sprinkling of (c) with
just a hint of (d)

Kelly K: Richard, your fans are really enjoying the wealth of great material you've
been releasing in CD form lately ... the Chrono Show, 1,000 Years, etc. Any
chance that you'd consider collecting your "novelty" tunes from over the
years on a single CD? Of course some of these songs have outrun their
sell-by date, but it seems a shame that they aren't available, since they
show a lighter side of your songwriting that is generally only experienced
in live performance. Must the world forever be denied a chance to enjoy
"Madonna's Wedding," "My Daddy Was a Mummy" and "Alexander Graham Bell"?

RT: I have been thinking about this, and it will probably happen, soon I

We've paid our dues and listened to our fair share of doom and gloom from
the tomb ... how about some mirth for Planet Earth?

RT: That's going to be my motto for 2005! No more Mister Miserable!
Everything coming up roses.

Flip: Does Werner Herzog's documentary Grizzly Man start or end with Timothy
Treadwell's death?

RT: Hope I'm not giving the game away by saying 'both'.

Could you give some backgrounds about how genius German film maker runs
into sixties guitarlad from the London suburbs to provide the soundtrack for
a film about bears-in-Alaska-advocate & protector aka Timothy William
Dexter, the middle class son of a Long Island phone company foreman? It
wasn't the 2003 Old Kit Bag innersleeve picture of yourself having fun
reading Little Brown Bear, was it?

RT: Really it's through my friend Erik Nelson, of Creative Differences. Erik
interested Werner in the project, and suggested a few items from Strict
Tempo as temporary track. This seemed to work well, so I was asked to create
something of the same mood for the real thing. We ended up recording quite a
lot of music in the studio, some of it improvised, and I think more than we
originally envisaged has gone into the soundtrack.