RT Discussion List Q&A - One
1/11/2007 (updated 1/12/2007)
Brought to you by Richard Thompson For Completists
Paul Woods/Keith Turner:
- Each year around December the fun-loving folk on the RTList compile lists
of their three most-enjoyed albums of the past twelve months. I think that
the year of issue of the album is not strictly adhered to (i.e. it can be
"New to me in 2006"), and despite warnings to limit choices to three, many
people find this so hard that they include quite a few "honorary mentions".
Judy Smith compiled a spreadsheet of _all_ this year's choices (Top 3s AND
Honorary Mentions), the logic being that it's often illuminating/interesting
to see what other music is enjoyed by fellow fans of yourself. The list is
So I hope you don't mind a Desert Island Discs sort of question:
- What would you say were your top three CDs of 2006 (in any order)?
- Any Also-rans?
RT: I'm guessing these are 2006, but I'd go for:
Geoff Muldaur - Beautiful Isle Of Somewhere
Jerry Lee Lewis - Another Place, Another time (reissue)
Waterson/Carthy - Holy Heathens and the Old Green Men
Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better
- Did the all-request shows bring up any songs that you particularly
enjoyed performing, and will the list of songs selected affect your future
RT: It was fun, as well as hair-raising and strange, and I did make a couple
of memos to self, to work up better arrangements of a couple of things. I'd
been meaning, for instance, to revive Missie, and suddenly there it was,
forced upon me. Not sure I got the bridge right...
- By list reckoning, "Row Boys Row" is the only song from "Front
Ballads" not to have been performed live. Is there any particular reason for
RT: No, except it's tough to sing. I enjoy the tune, and maybe this is
another song I should get in shape to perform.
- Uncut reports that you and Teddy perform on the forthcoming Rufus
Wainwright album. Do you turn down a lot of invitations to guest on other
artists' work and what affects the decision either way?
RT: I mostly work on the records of friends. I'm not doing it for the money,
and I don't want to end up on a session with people I don't know, spending
hours on some tiny piece of anal music. Rufus' record sounded great - I
particularly liked his string arrangements.
- There are now approximately 200 performance and interview clips with
you on YouTube now, ranging from early Fairport to last year. All of the
deleted "Across A Crowded Room" video (my favorite concert film) can be
seen, as well as many TV appearances. What do you think of the YouTube
RT: The great thing about YouTube is - they can't shut it down, Wonderful
for political stuff. The bad thing about it is - they can't shut it down,
All that freedom of information is good up to a point, and if you're a music
fan, it's a treat to see a bunch of stuff that might otherwise be
obscure...but it does cut into the livelihood of musicians. Everyone who
wants to see Across a Crowded Room, for instance, has probably already seen
it, so there's less point in commercially releasing it. Universal shouldn't
have kept it deleted for so long, of course, but they are a huge company,
and don't notice everything in the catalogue.
I've enjoyed watching the YouTube recordings of the Joni Mitchell tribute
you participated in. I was especially enamored with your rendition of
"Woodstock". You seemed to reach into the song and pull out parts that
weren't there before. Any chance of you performing this at a show in the
RT: I think I've mentioned this before, but I had one hour only to prepare
to sing Woodstock - the singer from the Stone Temple Pilots cancelled at
very short notice. It was so short that I didn't have time to worry about
it, and just played it off the cuff. Thank Heavens for autocues! If there
was a virtue in all that, it may have been that I was coming to it fresh,
and was reacting in real time.
Also, I was very excited to hear that you played my favorite Nick Drake song
"Time has told me" at your recent all request show. Any chance of hearing
this one again? It would be heaven!
RT: It might hot be! I only got as far as the bridge, and then foundered on
the rocks of some half-remembered tricky chord changes. I could learn it up,
but is that really what people want to hear? I know I was there, and all
that, but I'm not Nick, and no-one sings or plays it like him. So maybe not
Heaven - more like Hendon (a London suburb).
Back when you wrote "Roll Over Vaughan Williams", would you ever have
imagined that "live in fear" would become the official government policy of
the U.S. and the U.K.?
RT: I was onto their tricks pretty early, wasn't I, Condy and Rummy and
Dubya? Even in the 70s, I could feel the stirrings of the Neocons from my
lowly bedsit in Tufnell Park (continued page 94)