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Author Topic: Richard Thompson deserves a knighthood  (Read 798 times)

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Offline Rivers

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Richard Thompson deserves a knighthood
« on: August 10, 2018, 09:27:20 PM »
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2010/apr/11/richard-thompson-faith-feature

The article is 8 years old but is probably is the best semi-recent interview I've read with Richard Thompson and is well worth your time.

RT ruined my life (in a good way) after I attended a Fairport Convention gig at the Country Club in West Hampstead, London in 1968. I would have been 16, probably the first time I was able to escape the house and see a truly great live electric band. Everyone following Fairport at that time will always miss Sandy Denny. What a tragic loss to music.

Richard is still with us thankfully. We just got tickets to his gig in Albany NY in November.

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Richard Thompson deserves a knighthood
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2018, 07:16:50 AM »
When I moved to London in early 1970, I saw the Fairports at the Country Club in West Hampstead a number of times. I sort of lost interest when Richard left the band, but still used to go see him perform with Linda in folk clubs, etc.

I've got tickets for Bexhill-on-Sea in November when he plays with his trio. Support is the excellent Joan Shelley and Nathan Salsburg.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Rivers

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Re: Richard Thompson deserves a knighthood
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2018, 02:26:26 AM »
My memory was faulty, reviewing the timeline on wikipedia my Country Club visit would have been around 1970, based on personnel; it was after the accident that ended Martin Lamble's life but not by much. I might have bumped into you there Simon!

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Richard Thompson deserves a knighthood
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2018, 02:24:40 AM »
Were you at the gig where they were too drunk to play their regular set and entertained the audience with old rock 'n' roll songs, etc.? Swarb was allegedly being sick in the toilets so couldn't play. It was actually good fun, especially Richard's guitar solos. At the end, Simon Nicol tried to give me his glass of whisky, but ended up spilling it down my coat. (Speaking of Simons - I'm Michael. Maybe you were thinking of Norfolk Slim?)
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Rivers

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Re: Richard Thompson deserves a knighthood
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2018, 07:10:36 PM »
Sorry Michael, got it.

I've had to do some research to get my dates straight, it was a long time ago.

No, Swarb was not in the band that night. It was before he joined permanently, after playing on Unhalfbricking, so maybe '69. I think I remember Iain Matthews was in the band that night, I (think I) remember his distinctive vocal on Meet On The Ledge. I'm pretty sure they also played Matty Groves, Fotheringay, Deserter & Tam Lin. So it was likely just before releasing Liege & Lief, which wikipedia tells me was in December '69. Sandy left/was fired in November '69

I didn't see them again until a gig at my local college gaff, Reading University Union, with Swarbrick, Richard, and no Sandra. Like you, I faded away after Sandy and then RT left. Good on the others for keeping it going all these years and making it an enduring institution.

Anyway, nostalgia's not what it used to be. I'm tempted to approach Richard each time I see him these days which is pretty often at his concerts in North America, and say "Hey Richard, I saw you guys at the Country Club in the late Sixties....".

But I don't, he might think I'm a stalker and write a song about me :P

Offline Rivers

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Re: Richard Thompson deserves a knighthood
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2021, 01:25:29 AM »
For the RT fans out there Cheryl & I just spent a short week at RT's Frets & Refrains camp in the NY Catskills. We followed it up by attending his gig at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock on Saturday.

The camp was an all around positive experience. Richard was his usual funny and educated self and extremely open about what he does and how he does it, both from songwriting and guitar playing perspectives. I learned a lot, and recorded a lot of audio as he workshopped his approaches to guitar and songwriting.

As a sidebar, since the original posts on this thread I realized that I saw Fairport at the Country Club in 1969, just before Liege & Lief came out, and before Sandy was fired. Pretty great timing on my part.

The Levon Helm Studios gig was full on, RT working very hard and the audience responding accordingly. RT played solo for most of them, with backup from Zara Phillips on vocals on a few songs, and guitar backup for a few from Bobby Eichorn. Songs played, as I remember them were, in no particular order:

Walking On A Wire
Who Knows Where The Time Goes
Bones Of Gilead (maybe I imagined that one, it's been going around in my head recently)
Beeswing
Vincent Black Lightning
Valerie
Keep Your Distance
Bathsheba Smiles
Don't Sit On My Jimmy Shands
Put It There Pal
My Rock, My Rope
If I Could Live My Life Again

...plus several more, some of them new-ish, some I just can't remember the titles. It was a very long and satisfying set.



Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Richard Thompson deserves a knighthood
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2021, 02:18:38 AM »
I'm half-way through Richard's autobiography, "Beeswing". I can recommend it, especially for those of us who followed Fairport from the early days on. As I said above, I used to go to Richard & Linda's gigs in London in the early 1970s. One of my dubious claims to fame is that on one occasion in the Shakespeare's Head pub in Carnaby Street, Richard introduced me to (great singer/songwriter/guitarist) Steve Tilston who had just wandered in.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Rivers

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Re: Richard Thompson deserves a knighthood
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2021, 11:43:05 PM »
I concur Michael, Beeswing is a great read especially for early Fairport fans. Or 'listen' in my case. I downloaded the audio book, narrated by RT, from Audible.com

Richard is a real mensch. I really hope we can get back to Frets & Refrains again next year. Made a lot of new friends. Weather was fairly shit but everything else was totally excellent!

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