1: RT List Q & A - July
7/6/2007 (updated 7/6/2007)

Here we go. Richard's answers to our questions.
Thank you for contributing, you're wonderful! (and so, of course, is our man).
Regards, Flip - @ Richard Thompson For Completists

Foreign Affairs:

Flip Feij:
1. What's your wish for Gordon Brown?

RT: A strychnine sandwich? In British political terms, he's a capable
politician and financier. He's also the City's lapdog. Will he be
withdrawing troops from Iraq?

Sweet Warrior

Joyce Lionarons:
2. I'd like to ask about the genesis of "I'll Never Give It Up" - would he
talk a little about what inspired the song, what he envisions the situation
as, and what the speaker is so adamant about not giving up?

RT: Some songs involve real people and real life, and I'm not able to

3. Tom in Massachusetts , Robert Renton, Jesse Hochstadt, Ken Donald
(all in their own words):
"Guns Are The Tongues" has attracted a lot of positive comment, yet you
don't seem to have taken it on the road. As the tour dates go forward, can
you bring it into the regular setlist (so Ken will be able to experience
this at The Roundhouse and Cropredy?)

RT: I'll say something further down (question 11) about the unique problems
of material on this tour. It is on the list of songs to be worked up, given
the opportunity. Cropredy, I don't know; the Roundhouse, definitely on the
short list.

Andrew Waller:
4. You employed another guitar player, Michael Hays, on almost all of Sweet
Warrior. Would you ever consider adding a second electric guitar player to
your live band?

RT: We have had various electric players in the band over the years, the
last of whom was Teddy Thompson, so obviously I'm open to the idea. I don't
feel we need it currently.

Arie Euwijk:
5. Some have suggested Too Late To Come Fishing with Tin Pan Elly has
something to do with the music business. Is this true and what major offered
you a fat contract lately?

RT: See answer to question 2 - this is not, in my view, about the music
business, but is of a more personal nature - therefore the professions and
the identities had to change a tad.

6. It is not often that a guillotine pops up in a song (like in Take Care
The Road You Choose). I immediately heard an echo from It's Alright Ma in
it, but "reversed" Instead of "they" in the following, it's "myself". Did
you have Bob Dylan in mind when you wrote these lines? (and I already hear
you say "I have always Bob on my mind")

RT: I did not, and rarely do, have Dylan in mind. The word 'guillotine' is
still, I believe, out of copyright.

Scott Miller:
7. What inspired the lyrics for "Francesca"?

RT: America on the brink of Fascism. Human Rights, Civil Liberties, Habeas
Corpus, all out the window in the name of 'Freedom' and 'Democracy'.

8. How do you select the order/sequence of the songs on a CD/record{as you
so quaintly refer}? Sometimes I find the contrast between one number to the
next rather jarring- is that on purpose?

RT: My intention on this waxing (even quainter) was to have smooth
transitions from track to track, so that the whole experience would unfold
in a story-like manner, leading to the denouement (Guns Are The Tongues) and
the valediction (Sunset Song). Shout Factory Records felt that the sequence
should be a bit more front-loaded, to grab more attention in the
marketplace, and the current sequence has more pace and punch at the front.
When the dust settles, I'll print the original order, and folk can choose
for themselves (or may prefer their own sequence anyway).