Vernal Journal, Part IV
4/22/2007 (updated 4/22/2007)

The black beret is stylish, and it has become such an integral part of your look that it is impossible to imagine you onstage without it. But do you ever consider other forms of headgear? I had a fantastic dream once in which I saw you onstage wearing one of those pointy Kaiser Wilhelm helmets, absolutely melting the fretboard of the sunburst 60's Strat ("Jack O' Diamonds" I believe was the song in the dream), grinning maniacally and looking rather Pythonesque. It was very entertaining. -lee Wallace

Michael Jackson did the Prussian officer bit up to a point, but disappointingly fell short of the headgear, which would have surely helped ‘Thriller’ to achieve more respectable sales. I can see helmets becoming an essential for all performers, especially if, as Dubya suggests, the Iraqis follow us back to the US after a premature pullout.

Hello Richard, I've been mesmerized for several months now with your haunting version of Bonny St. Johnstone on the 1000 Yrs. DVD. I'd love to know the tuning if you wouldn't mind sharing - just can't quite make it out from the video. Also, is the lyric "Stirling for-ay" or something close? -Cheers, Steve

I think I play it drop D, around capo 2 position, B minor being the first chord. The chorus is indeed, ‘Stirling for ay’.

Having an idea of the international range of your music-listening tastes, I'm curious: how multilingual are you? And if you're listening to singers singing in languages you don't understand, does curiosity motivate you to seek out translations, or are you more inclined just to appreciate on some level other than literal comprehension? -Best, Paul

I have smatterings…my French isn’t bad, Classical Arabic sketchy, bits of German, Italian…my Dad brought home a bunch of 78s from WWll, Charles Trenet, Jean Sablon, etc., and I’ve enjoyed trying to translate some of those, likewise some of the German lyrics in Comedian Harmonist songs. Sometimes with foreign lyrics, it’s better you don’t know…it can sound so beautiful, and be so mundane. By the by, does anyone have lyrics for that wonderful song that Jean Moreau sings in ‘Jules Et Jim’?