A's to March Q's - Part I
4/3/2006 (updated 8/22/2006)

Hi Richard! Can you tell me the individual gauges of the strings on your acoustic guitar? I use to play with Elixir strings,(012, 016, 024, 035, 045, 056), and I would like to deliver your beautiful sound (as far as my fingers make it possible!) :-) Thanks a lot

Well. I also use Elixir strings with the same gauges. Having a different guitar would be far more significant in terms of tone, volume and response.

I was wondering about a Video that Richard did many years ago called Across A Crowded Room which included Clive Gregson and Christine Collister in the band. This video was on VHS and Laser Disc but as far as I know it has never been on DVD. Is there a chance that this video could be released on DVD??? Does Richard own the rights to this video???

I regret I don't own the rights, and have no influence on getting this re-released.

Very sorry to see you arenít going to be dropping over to New Zealand around the time of your Australian concerts. But, a couple of your kiwi fans will be in the US around the 8-20 August Ė will you still be touring in the US then, and if you are where will you be? (Arizona would be a great answer BTW!)

We almost got to NZ Ė there was a last-minute squeeze in the schedule. Sorry, but Iíll be in the UK around the 8th-20th August, and will miss you in Arizona.

Leonard Cohen just had 5 songs entered in the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Are you a fan of his music/poetry? There would seem to be similarities between the two of you. Both of you write strong lyrics, your's perhaps a little more story-like than Leonard's poetic musings but both very literary. Lots of references to the human spirit. And, both of you seem to have a strong spiritual side - Sufism and Zen Buddhism. Granted, his guitar playing isn't quite as good! Also, both of you draw raves from critics and fellow artists and have loyal fan bases while playing outside (avoiding perhaps?) the mainstream. Is there a musical kinship?

I think Len's a terrific writer, absolutely one of the best, and a great poet Ė his collected verse is really very impressive. A nice thing about being a novelist/poet/songwriter is that when you write a song, it really is a song, and not novel/poem/movie hidden in a song. I don't know him, but I know he spends a lot of the year on retreat. Musical kinship? I donít really see that. Styles are very different.

I'm wondering whether the acoustic seen in the studio film of "Grizzly Man" is the Lowden. It has a wavy headstock (the horizontal line) and an absolutely fantastic, food-grade tone! I'd really like to know what it is. This is not the smaller (single-0 or so) Martin or Washburn-type guitar, it's the other one that he seems to use more often.

I wasnít able to take an acoustic to the Grizzly Man sessions, so I borrowed one or two from Henry Kaiser. The one I played the most was about a hundred years old, I donít think it had a name visible, but it could have been a Washburn. It recorded great! There was also an OM-sized all-koa wood guitar, but Henry mostly played that.

My name is Ryan and I am 15. I play the piano and I compose all my music and I just wish that I could ask him some questions about music. I am curious of what he thinks about while he plays the guitar. I watched the music making of the movie "Grizzly Man" and it inspired be because he made beautiful music on the spot when he saw what and where the music would go in the film.

I think when we are playing music, part of the brain takes care of the mechanical stuff Ė which scale, which chord, how many beats, etc., and the other part, the intuitive part, gets out into the Ďzoneí Ė or it does if we are lucky. On the Grizzly Man sessions, I had Werner Herzog on one side, and a camera crew on the other, so I had to concentrate furiously on the music, and not be distracted/intimidated! I found that situation, and having to compose cues spontaneously to a tight time frame, to be quite exhilarating and inspiring. The answer to your question is probably, I donít know what Iím thinking about when Iím playing, and I donít believe anyone does.