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8/21/2007 (updated 8/21/2007)

When RT performed ‘1000 Years of Popular Music’ in Boston at the Berklee Center, the show included a ravishing little carol. I've been patiently keeping an eye on releases and hoped it would be featured in the DVD or some other source. I did get the equally gorgeous ‘Bonnie St. Johnston’ but . . .will there be a second ‘1000 years’ type album that might feature some of the (lovely, exquisite, desired) songs that show up in the live performances but haven't been released in album form to be revisited? Jylene Livengood?

I think you mean ‘Remember O Thou Man’. This carol is in Ravenscroft’s Melismata of 1611. Some believed it was the source of the British National Anthem. It is reprinted in Chappell’s ‘Popular Music Of The Olden Time’. I hope we will have an updated CD or DVD of the ‘1000 Years’ show, as we intend to slowly evolve the repertoire.

While you are one of my favorite artists, the world at large seems to not know a good thing when they don't hear it (?) - umm, you get it, right? Another of my favorite artists, Dave Edmunds, seems to suffer the same fate: many fans and much press, but not so many record sales.

Are you familiar with his song "A1 on the Jukebox," which says it perfectly: "I see my name in black and white, but words don't pay the rent." (this would be a great cover for you to do, btw)? Also, do you know Dave? Thanks for it all...~Theron Neel


I don’t know him, but I love his voice, and I think he’s made some great pop records. He’s also had hits, so how bad is it, really? I’m I’m doing just fine too…

Hi Richard,
I'm working my way through the 5-CD set "Life & Music of..." and am sure that you must use a special tuning for "Meet on The Ledge" - or maybe it's just mere ability...? In any case can you let me into the secret please (if there is one)? I sung it out loud in a blizzard halfway down a mountain in Switzerland in Feb., but somehow it was not a truly convincing reading of the piece... And when playing it with conventional tuning I always have problems with the fill between the verse and the chorus - can never make it really work.

Anyway kind regards and thanks for the music for all these years (you won't of course remember but you shared a 100 partnership at Cropredy a few years ago with my son James - does that give me an inside track to stardom...?!) Good luck with the new CD. Richard Holman


On the box set, I play it with a drop D, capoed, I think, to 2nd fret. This gives you a bit more ‘twang’ on the run into the chorus. Just think Duane Eddy. Back when Sandy and Iain sang it, it was in A, which is, of course, less Duane.

I played many cricket matches for and against your son, Jimmy, and given the choice, I’d rather have him on my side. He ran me out once with a ridiculous throw at Limpsfield once.


I have what may seem a curious question, concerning autographs. I wonder what your attitude is towards signing autographs for fans, or the like? I'm inspired to ask because of two things - 1) King Crimson is also one of my very favorite bands, and Robert Fripp is rather against things like concert photography, autograph requests, and the like, and I'm always curious to know other artists' experience. The second reason is that, thanks to the kind generosity of yourself and your website I won one of the personalized copies of ‘Sweet Warrio’r from the recent contest for pre-orders of that album. I always imagine myself in others' shoes and I can't help thinking that personalizing items for people you've never met in your life must be kind of odd, or tedious. I don't know how many winners there were, but frequently you hear of famous people signing 8000 autographs for some promotion. I wouldn't have been surprised to see written on it something along the lines of, "Dear Customer #24601, This is the 800th album I've signed just today. Wearily, Richard Thompson". That of course is a joke, I appreciate very much that you would put yourself through the tedium in order to make some customers very happy people indeed.

But it still brings me back to the main question which is, how do you feel about signing autographs? Necessary evil? Happy to do it? How about when people stop you on the street (insert wry RT joke about "no one recognizes me on the street" here)? Thanks and sorry for the length. Adrian Loder


I would be glad to never sign another CD, but this would probably be interpreted as ‘What a stuck-up bastard, he’s too precious to sign my record’ rather than ‘Oh, he’s really not into the cult of personality, I completely understand’. So, on balance I think it’s better to do it – it’s also a way to meet the public, and get some feedback. I also think that if people have have spent their $16.99, or whatever it is, they deserve a bit of customization. And I get stopped on the street about as often as a member of Pink Floyd.

Could you give an update on your current pedal set up for electric guitar? You rattled off a few things to me post show: red repeat, hum debugger, mojo something...many thanks. Paul McCray

A picture is worth a thousand words in this context, I think. I’ll put a snap of the board up on the gear page of this site, with notes. Give me a week or so, my pedal board is in storage somewhere.

Richard, the band playing on ‘Sweet Warrior’ is exceptional, and I particularly love Michael Hays' guitar playing. What guitars did he use? Stephen, Ireland

I’m glad you can tell who’s who, I’m not sure I can! On acoustic, he used my walnut/cedar Lowden L32FC. On electric, a Fender Strat, and I can’t remember what else.

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