June/July Elucidations
8/22/2006 (updated 8/22/2006)

Any chance for a concert in Portland, Maine?  Please?

I hope we’ll get there next Spring with the band.

Your love of Scottish balladry is well known. Please settle a silly debate: Is Paul McCartney's "Mull of Kintyre"a worthy modern addition to the canon, or a tasteless mockery? Would you ever perform it?

It’s not much of a ballad, but in the realm of Scottish popular song it’s no worse than ‘A Scottish Soldier’ or ‘Bluebells of Scotland’. I could sing it if I knew the verse! Doesn’t this still hold some records? I seem to remember at the time that it was the biggest-selling UK single of all time…also the only number one of the modern era in waltz time.

Loved  'oops I did it again' - Reading earlier this year when you responded to a rather loud request from a man seated behind me. - you didn't perform it at Northampton. I wondered how you decide what you are going to perform and is it set before your performance or are you flexible depending on the audience and is this the best way to request a particular song?

I have songs that I think of as ‘current’, songs that are played in, and that I think offer a range of styles, techniques, and recording eras. I think of these thirty or forty songs first when planning a show. I always, or nearly always, write a list. In more formal settings, I might do most of it, just adjusting here and there for pacing, audience mood, etc. If people shout requests and I can hear them, I’ll do ’em If I know ‘em, and sometimes if I don’t know ‘em. Sometimes I abandon the set and go in another direction. Obviously the closer I am to the audience, the more interaction there is, and the more I can be fluid.

Many years ago now I saw you live in Crawley (I think) and during an instrumental passage in one of your numbers you asked the audience to call out famous guitarists' names and you played a short lick or two in the style of said guitarist.  I (rather predictably, I admit) called out Hendrix and Clapton and you obliged. I have seen you many times and had never seen you do it before or since....was this a spontaneous thing or have you actually done it on a number of occasions. Furthermore, had you ever practiced  copying another player's style or were you just (bees)winging it on the night? 

I don’t remember doing this at all – sounds like it needs reviving. Everybody starts out copying, so I can impersonate up till the sixties, but I get lost trying to do Joe Satriani onwards.

There's a song you performed on a couple of your solo tours in recent years that I can't find on the Song-o-matic. The lyrics contain something about "Johnny" and "on the rolling sea."  Have you recorded that one anywhere?Your Nelsonville, OH  show was fantastic! Will you be adding "Purple Haze" to your 1000 Years performances? Is "Dad's Gonna Kill Me" from an upcoming release?

The full title is ‘Johnny’s Far Away’. This is earmarked for the next band recording, due Spring 2007.

Can’t believe I really played ‘Purple Haze’ – what was I thinking?

‘Dad’s Gonna Kill Me” Is also earmarked for the same upcoming release.

Will you be doing your 1000 years of popular music concert in the UK anytime in the near future? It would be great if you did, especially anywhere in the Midlands (Birmingham area would be lovely)!

 We are hoping for a 1000 Years tour in the UK in 2008, sorry to keep you waiting. 

The first time that I saw you perform was in the late '80s; it was a solo gig in the now defunct Old Del Mar Cafe in San Diego.  I requested "Ghosts in the Wind" and you said that you played that in the last set.  I whined and complained a bit and you called me a twit.  It was a thrilling experience.

Since that time I've reproduced a number of times and have noticed that my 5, 6, and 8 year old kids have seemed to inherit my tendancy to whine and complain.  Of course, I would like them to have the same opportunity that I had to be singled out in front of your audience and was wondering if you still had plans for a kids' album or a possible tour with songs for the whole family?

How these offhand moments on stage come back to haunt me…for the sake of your kids, I will endeavour to finish up the songs for the kids’ record ASAP. Thank you.

Enough with the equipment and tuning questions; Where do you get your berets?

Mostly from Supply Sergeant, Santa Monica. My preference is for Czech army surplus, but these are getting harder to find (like members of the Czech Army).