Those Q's, Some A's: Part I
5/2/2005 (updated 5/3/2005)

Don Bainbridge wrote:
Richard, two questions. I worry the much anticipated songbook will be geared to the more accomplished and dedicated musicians in your fandom who will be keen for note to note transcriptions to play it like Richard. Will allowances be made for lesser talented fans such as myself and chord diagrams be shown as well? Also, how much extra hassle is it for you when you have gigs in places like Ann Arbor or Upper N.Y. to cross the border for some gigs in Canada that would seem logical given geographic distance? Thanks.

The song book will be a mixture of transcriptions with tab and chord diagrams, and where that seems unnecessary, top line and chords. The plan is to release it in three volumes, volume one due perhaps by August this year. We’re always looking to pop over the border into Canada, and it is less time-consuming than it used to be. We were hoping to have had a Canadian tour this Spring, but it fell through. Soon, I trust.

Kay Brown wrote:
I heard somewhere (?) that your song "Did She Jump or Was She Pushed?" was about the 1938 "suicide" of socialite and former Ziegfeld showgirl Dorothy Hale, depicted in a rather disturbing way by painter Frida Kahlo, and allegedly having something to do with a political advisor of then President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Before you say the song is about anything I want it to be :), what person or event were you thinking of when you wrote it? Is the Dorothy Hale affiliation accurate?

I didn’t write it about anybody in particular, and for me, the jumping and pushing are of a more metaphorical nature.

James Kneubuhl wrote:
Hi Richard, Forgive me if you’ve been asked about this many times, but here goes my Fairport question: Was the material from “Liege & Lief” ever performed live by that lineup of Fairport before Sandy and Ashley both left? Do any recorded or filmed performances exist? Saw you in Hawaii this past November – great shows both nights! Jim

I couldn’t say exactly how many shows we played, but I think it was around a dozen, including The Festival Hall in London, and a short tour of Denmark, which were the last shows with Sandy. I doubt any video footage exists.

Dr DJ Chase wrote:
Is there any chance of a tour with a small band, incl. Danny Thompson?

How small a band would you like? Would a duo suffice? Danny will be joining me on select gigs for the rest of this year, and into next Spring. Danny is recuperating from a couple of operations, so we’re still calculating his workload, and a few travel logistics…We’ll try to indicate on the tour date page which performances he’ll be at, when that becomes clear.

Mark Somers wrote:
hello there, I'd like to know how RT got to meet or find out about fabulous drummer Michael Jerome. I feel together with DT he forms the best rhythm section for Richard and hope they'll be doing some more work together.

I’m grateful to my old Manager, Donnie Graves, for recommending Michael. Right now, Michael is fairly busy playing with Pleasure Club, but I hope his schedule allows us to do some work together in the future. He is a great drummer and a great human.

Hello, Last January (2004) I was leaving NYC and listening to WFUV FM on my radio when I heard a song that I think you, Richard Thompson, were singing. The song was about the crazy behavior of the commuters leaving NYC into New Jersey (I think) who were slowed by a disabled bus. When they got past the bus they were so angry that they sped so fast that ultimately they all plunged into a river or over a bridge and all were killed. Meanwhile, the bus was driven by a nun with a group of elderly or disabled persons and when the bus was repaired she was able to proceed to the church unhampered by any traffic, for which she was very grateful. I loved the song and want to find a recording of it. If it was you who were singing it or if you know who it was I would very much appreciate your emailing me with the information. Thank you so much for your time. Sincerely, Janice Bernard

Whoa!! Nothing to do with me…perhaps our readers can enlighten you?

Ken Bigger contributes: Richard Shindell, "Transit" from Somewhere Near Patterson (Signature Sounds, Richard Shindell Recordings, 2000).

Wondering if Richard was a fan of the late Clarence White's playing. Best, Ray Robertson

We first heard Clarence on the Byrds’ ‘Time Between’ track, playing electric, and then of course he joined them, and I saw him with the Byrds at the Fillmore East, must have been 1970. I got to meet him a few times in LA that same year, and he was the nicest man, and a phenomenal acoustic guitarist. I got a little tired of the string-bender thing, but he was a consummate artist, and his death was a tragedy.

Lori Mortimer wrote:
Richard, Last evening, my six-year-old daughter and I were listening to "Best of the Capitol Years" in the car. After the fifth song, she asked, "Why does this guy have a *problem* in every song?!" So I thought I'd go right to the source

Dear Lori and Daughter,
You can’t write a Country song if you don’t have a problem, but you can write a Julie Andrews song. I’m normally somewhere in between, but the Capitol compilation obviously highlights my troubled side, something I should have been rather more vigilant about.