March/April Answers, Part II
5/16/2008 (updated 5/16/2008)

Richard, do you watch Antiques Road Show? Last night there was a clip from Minnesota where a guy brought on a hurdy-gurdy that his father had bought on an overseas trip. The appraiser believed the instrument dated from the 1700s, and was quite impressed this gentleman had such an item, especially in Minnesota. He valued it at $4000-6000 if memory serves. Maybe you should take yours to the next Road Show for an appraisal, eh?

Mine isnít old, unless you consider 1985 the age of the dinosaurs. I built it from an EMS kit, and itís enough of a pig to keep running as it is Ė on the last 1.000 Years tour, I was taking it to bits every day. Older ones are usually too warped to perform well, but look great on the wall.

OK, now down to businessÖAre you going to tour with the group or solo in the Midwest this year? I took a couple of friends to your 1000 Years of Music show in Cincinnati, and while we all quite enjoyed it, it made us want to see you perform your own songs even more! Come back to Ohio! And do you remember playing at the Stuart Opera house in Nelsonville, OH in 2006? (Small town about two hours SE of Columbus). That was a great place to see you all-acoustic. Lancaster, OH would be even better (my hometown, centrally located for folks all around Ohio). John

We did tour the Midwest with the band last year, and I know the coverage wasnít comprehensive, and Iím sorry we didnít get to your neck of the woods. Iíll be acoustic this year, and hopefully back to electric in í09. Yes, we love Nelsonville!

Are you coming back to Saratoga CA this winter? I know Montalvo is a bit of a strange gig but I will muster the troops this time. Is there a venue large enough to hold you in Santa Cruz instead? We are the faithful, the funky and the brave. JOE and the Santa Cruz Ukulele Club.

Ukulele players tend to deserve whatever they get of lifeís disappointments, yet I am happy to report we shall return to Montalvo in December for three shows, two of which (at least) will be all-request. Santa Cruz is a different animal (more like an ocelot) and Iím sure weíll be back at the Rio, or such, soon.

If I found a copy of the CD reissue of Henry the Human Fly and bought it would you see the royalties? If you do not gain from the sale is there another album that I should consider that might have some of the same songs?

Iíll get something at some point, donít worry. Newer albums I probably earn more. That should not influence your choice. Hell, just buy the lot.

Also I have been thinking of learning a couple of your songs such as The Sun Never Shines on the Poor and Mole in the Hole. Are there songs you would rather not see covered? I don't play professionally but in addition to asking you if I can cover a song, is there some legal person I would have to ask as well? Eric

You can cover whatever you want. If it gets to the point of a CD release, you can contact my publisher or manager, contact info on this website.

I loved your responses on your website to the quotes from The Huffington Post. I was wondering what your thoughts were on the recent U.S. government bailouts or attempts to bail out corporations and banks like Bear Sterns. It seems to me the U.S. is headed toward some perverse form of communism with government subsidized corporations.

Wall Street seems to run the US government, so itís no surprise to see them bail out their pals, and keep the whole rotten system of selling on liability rolling. Of course if they donít bail out Bear Stearns, all the small investors get it in the neck, but the crooks who run these companies should be in jail.

And as far as the music business goes, do you feel young artists are so focused on the internet that they are neglecting the live performance of music? Maybe this is a lack of skill for playing live, or could the internet be the new shared experience of music? Thanks - Helen Barahal

I think more young bands are playing live now than they were in, say, the eighties, and the internet is the big promotional tool. I think as the business changes, live music will have to be the focus again for everyone.