North America Tour Oct/Nov 2003

Just wanted to write 
a few things about the RT gig 

I attended last night in Nashville at the 12th and Porter. Solo acoustic show and RT seemed, as always in mighty fine spirits. I'll give you as many songs as I can remember and some titles may be a little rusty, but I am someone who does not own many records, just love the live experience. He started off the evening with Bathsheeba Smiles then went to, Waltzing's For Dreamers, Cooksferry Queen, Uninhabited Man, joked about going to see the Barbara Mandrell store and how it must have been the most boring time of his life,continued with a Fairport song that I did not know except that he said Sandy Denny sang it originally, he did a tremendous version of The Who's Legal Matter, The Ghost Of You Walks, Hokey Pokey, Wall Of Death, Persuasion, I Feel So Good, 1952 Vincent Black Lightning, Keep Your Distance, Dry My Tears And Move On, Crawl Back, Down Where The Drunkards Roll, A Love You Can't Survive and I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight.

No specific order, just tried to remember everything that was played. There were more, but just can't recall right now. I did, as always get the chance to speak to RT, Flip your email has been sent to you, as he did answer your question. No one else sent me any questions, which was fine because I chatted with him more of what I wanted to ask. He signed his biography for me and I asked him about The Who song he did and said he a huge fan of their early stuff and he used to sneak off to the Marquee Club when no one would notice he was missing from school. 

Great evening. More lurking now.

Robert Martin [ ]

Yes, there seemed to be 
an inordinate number of Bozos

in the crowd, didn't there? I think the very low stage at 12th and Porter and the very close proximity to the performer (I was about 10 ft away from RT and not even on the front row) encourages "conversation". RT's first comments about being back at 12th&P, in fact, seemed to reflect his perception that playing to a packed in, standing crowd at almost eye level feels a bit odd. Out of the 8 or so indoor venues I've seen RT play, 12th&P is at the same time the most intimate and the most peculiar. Not that I'm complaining....

Here's what I heard:
Bathsheba Smiles
King of Bohemia
Cooksferry Queen
Outside of the Inside
A G Bell
A Love You Can't Survive
Crawl Back
Ghost of You Walks
Genesis Hall
Legal Matter
Uninhabited Man
Keep Your Distance 
Hokey Pokey (I loved hearing this for the first time live!)
One Door Opens 
Dry My Tears 
Bright Lights
encore 1: Wall of Death and Word Unspoken
encore 2: I Feel So Good and Down Where the Drunkards Roll

Wed 10/29/2003 10:21 AM

RT at Nock

RT gave what was (IMO) one of the best solo performances I've seen, last night at the world-famous Nock Middle School venue(!). Credit must be given to Simon T for making the sound so great in a school auditorium.

I didn't take down a set list (but others on both sides of me did). One thing I hadn't heard before was the melody to Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon" inserted into the middle of "Crawl Back"....has he done that before?

As my brother commented after the show: "Well, I guess he hasn't peaked as a guitar player yet."

Martin J Fioretti [ ]
Fri 10/31/2003 8:13 AM

Newburyport comment/query

Last night at Nock was a great show but somewhat of a surprize, so I thought maybe I'd write and ask for feedback. It's ~5 years since I've seen OH and about that long since my last post (sorry, been busy). We all know the usual adjectives -- heck even the acoustic shows get called electric; but I'm wondering if last night's show was unusual or if maybe the times have changed -- not for the worse, or for the better, just changed. (If this has been worried to death before, apologies, swaths have digests have I'm afraid gone unread.)

In my experience OH comes out and does one song at least before he talks to the audience, but last night he didn't say anything until after the third song, which seemed uncharacteristic at first but turned out to be the way things went; any song needing an intro (AGBell, Genesis Hall) got it, else RT pretty much moved directly from song to song with only the usual shy smile/nod/thank you to bridge the coming and going of the capo. The audience took the cue and were conspicuous in their relative silence; very few attempts to start a conversation with him, and even the usual spontaneous claps at the start of a chestnut were limited-- and not out of some finally-learned politeness-- the chestnuts (and there were more than a few-- the usual ones from the recent setlists) only got slightly more applause than the current or recent songs-- none of the thankful "O, Brave We!" type outbursts one usually associates with the end of an old fave. and it felt odd. You know, I don't think I heard more than one or two whoops all night long.

There was of course the usual banter but it was muted and to my ears infrequent.

Now, it may just be that RT was in one of those moods we're all entitled to, where we just want to get our jobs done with little or no fuss, and I don't want to imply -- at all!-- that the show was in any way substandard or mailed-in, or that he appeared hurried or nonchalant-- on the contrary he seemed very involved in the process of making the music, and doing it right without flash or unncessary filligree or even bodily movement; the show was 2 hours, there were encores aplenty (for a moment I thought he was going to close after 2nd encore/2nd song-- End of the Rainbow ... good god-- can you imagine? Anyone know if he's ever ended a show that way?).

I've been wondering how to describe what I felt and I guess it was a lot like watching a craftsman at his bench; ever visit a glassblowing factory where there's a railing for the guests to watch the master at work? You can talk to them while the work goes on, and there may be a pause while they turn from the furnace to make a point, but you're aware that while you're not exactly a distraction, the person on the stool is fundamentally concentrating more on the work at hand than they are on you, and would still be doing the work, for its own sake and for their own satisfaction, whether anyone was there to watch or not; last night there was no brinksmanship or moments (ok just a few moments) of awe, and the fun of being there came more from having the privilege of simply seeing the craftsman at work-- seeing great tools being put to exactly their full intended purpose -- sorry for the cliche but the Lowden really did seem "an extension of the man" -- it was like he was unaware he was holding it even when he was making it do the most extraordinary things (the guitar's got a wear mark from his right forearm-- since when? and does anyone else bless that matte finish every time they're not blinded by spotlight-reflection).

But you know what? It also struck me that last night's vibe might have had very little to do with RT-- for all I know he was raring to go and we weren't-- I'd looked around the audience beforehand and the first thought that struck me was, Man, would I love to have the head-buffing concession here tonight (hey, I'm bald too). The average age of attendees was very likely 10 years (or less) younger than the average age at a given opera (in the US only the elderly go to the opera). So, I wonder: has our fanbase passed some bourne? Has the core of guys and gals who follow RT turned, during the five years, from the sort of folks who fee the need to shout "PLAY LOTTERYLAND" at least four separate times and whoop at the 1st chord of a favorite song to being the sort of folks who smile quietly to themselves and applaud appreciatively at the proper times?

btw, RT's other tool is of course his voice, and while I'm amazed he still somehow continues to improve on the guitar, I'm really most impressed by the Mock Tudor-and-since improvement in vocal range and power; as the current mix of songs seems to "span the career" in an unsually satisfying way I can't help wondering if Genesis Hall etc are in rotation precisely because he can hit them with a force he lacked 10 or even five years ago-- that he's vocally grown into the songs 30 years on, and that he's singing Genesis Hall these days simply because he's having a blast belting it out? Hope so.

Silly moment: online outside beforehand, a plume of ruby aurora borealis erupted nearly directly overhead, filling a good quarter of  the sky, tinged with green and white; the subsequent snapping of cell phones to various heads all up and down the line was as if the aurora had shouted "pre-sennnnt ARMS!" to a drill team.

Michael Maddalena [ ]
Fri 10/31/2003 4:54 PM

The Wedding (and Newburyport show)

In one of today's digests, Pam suggested: <<He's coming across as lighter, but definitely not lightweight.>>

At last night's show in Newburyport, Mass., RT seemed to be as comfortable on stage as I've ever seen in dozens of encounters over the years, to the point that it was clear throughout the show that he was really enjoying the evening. The set was typical of recent solo shows with plenty of dark stuff, but not only was he chattier than usual, he seemed to flash more between-songs smiles at the crowd than usual. At the end of the second encore set, after having done (among other things) the extremely dark "End of the Rainbow", he walked to the edge of the stage and held up his hands in what almost seemed to be a benediction to the audience, then walked very slowly of the stage while looking back.

It's hard to explain beyond that. It was a nice little hall with great sound and a full house crowd that was clearly comprised of mostly longtime fans. I'm sure RT always appreciates his audience. But last night, for whatever reason, there seemed to be some special connection. Maybe it was due to the incredible flaming red aurora that was lighting up the northern sky outside when I arrived -- something we rarely see here in Massachusetts. 

Playing spot the celebrity: local drummer Dave Mattacks was in the audience and enjoyed himself as much as those of us who haven't seen RT from the stage who-knows-how-many times.

Happy Halloween to all, and remember to play "Tam Lin" from "Liege and Lief" tonight.

Tom Nelligan [ ]
Fri 10/31/2003 5:45 PM

Newburyport comment/query

Your comments on last night's Newburyport show were extremely well expressed, Michael. I happen to agree. It was almost a flawless performance, one couldn't help but admire it to death and know that you'd seen the master at work, really at the top of his game...but I do miss the days when Richard was looser and capable of letting his guard down to make a mistake or two while taking on an unexpected request, or less programmed in his repartee with the audience. I did think he had a warmer presence than when I saw him with the band in Northampton in the spring...but he now seems to have forsaken some spontaneity and personal charm in his live persona for the comfort zone provided by what is unfailing technical excellence. Or that's how it feels to me.

Saying that, I went with a first-timer last night and he left a true believer...and far be it from me to even suggest to him that there was a dimension missing for me in the night's performance.

I do continue to be really grateful that this Thompson fellow walks the earth and continues to build on a body of work that I think is second to none.

Robert Dubrow [ ]
Fri 10/31/2003 8:37 PM

Newburyport Setlist/travelogue

I didn't see that anyone had posted the setlist. Apologies if they did, I'm never sure if I get all my eMail or not.

I Misunderstood
Walking on a Wire
Cooksferry Queen
Outside of the Inside
Alexander Graham Bell Song (title?)
A Love You Can't Survive
Crawl Back
Unihabited Man
Genesis Hall (I used to be in a band...)
52VBL (Rudges, Nortons, Triumphs)
Ghost of You Walks
One Door Opens
Hokey Pokey
Keep Your Distance
Dry My Tears And Move On
I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight

I Feel so Good
Wall of Death

The End of the Rainbow
Word Unspoken, Sight Unseen

It was an awesome show and my first (trucked over from Albany, NY, walked into the auditorium just as the lights went down). Earworm? The chord change in 'Gethsemane.' So hoody, so laden with implication. Close second: the turnaround in 'I Misunderstood.' Most moving moment overall, for me, was 'A Love You Can't Survive.' Absolutely spellbinding. I'm still sitting there listening.

Great town, too. Went down and diligently closed 'The Grog' after the show. Gotta love that 1 am Massachusettes closing time. 'Off to bed, children.' Blueberry flavored Wachusett beer. Something you want to have one of at a sitting. Sort of like drinking Yoghurt. (Although we did seek it out and bring some home.) I do wish they'd keep kitchens open later, though, we didn't really have time to eat before the show. Even some cheese or something. Explored Plum Island the next morning. Beautiful, sunny warm day by the ocean. On Halloween! Just fab being back on the coast.

Guitar technique questions: what tuning does RT use? Is it just dropped D and then capo to wherever for key changes? I didn't notice any actual re-tuning going on. And, God, those lightning fast right hand fingers!

Wilson, Jeffrey [ ]
Sat 11/1/2003 12:17 PM

RT (solo/acoustic)

Thursday, October 30, 2003
Richard Thompson @ The Nock Middle School Auditorium
Newburyport, Massachusetts
opening act: Joyce Anderson with Harvey Reid

RT (solo/acoustic)
started ~8:20 pm

1. I Misunderstood
2. Walking On A Wire
3. Cooksferry Queen
4. Outside Of The Inside
5. intro / Alexander Graham Bell
6. A Love You Can't Survive
7. Crawl Back (Under My Stone)
8. Uninhabited Man
9. "I used to be in a band..." intro /
Genesis Hall
10. Gethsemane
11. 1952 Vincent Black Lightning
12. The Ghost Of You Walks
13. One Door Opens
14. Hokey Pokey (The Ice Cream Song)
15. Persuasion
16. Keep Your Distance
17. Dry My Tears And Move On
18. I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight

- 9:48 pm
19. Beeswing
20. I Feel So Good

- 9:59
Encore 2:
21. Wall Of Death
22. End Of The Rainbow
23. Word Unspoken, Sight Unseen

Brian A. Miller [ ]
Sun 11/2/2003 8:08 AM

More Newburyport Comments 

It seems to me that there is a number of different takes on RT's performance last Thursday. I finally have a bit of time to add my own observations. 

Some people have been commenting on the lack of spontaneity in the show. How RT's technical wizardry is uncompromised, but their past experience of him seems to have been looser, more human. Others seemed to feel that he was relaxed and connected with the audience. 

It's interesting to me to find both of these comments in the same digest post. It's as if people are describing two different performances. My take was that both these reports were true. RT was quieter, less chatty. But that doesn't mean he was less connected with the audience. In fact it seemed to me without the conversation, he had more room to focus, to bring the music more fully into the room. It brought a much deeper and richer experience to the audience. I think that the audience was in reverent awe, which took the place of the more chattier, almost self indulgent conversation. You know, the "notice me" or "what about me and what I want to hear" mentality that often takes place during RT shows. 

As time passes, it seems that RT is becoming, as Pam commented, lighthearted but not lightweight. He's becoming more connected with his audience and his music by daring to go to the deeper, more divine places that exist in all of us. In my limited experience, he is one of the few musicians that can do this consistently. It seems that just about every song he played last Thursday brought us there. The last 3 songs in the last encore were especially intense. Going from taking chances (Wall of Death), to deep despair ( End of the Rainbow) to a hopefulness that left you fully satisfied (Word Unspoken).

I'm still reeling from this show. 

Aren't we all so lucky and blessed and fortunate that he just keeps getting better and better! 

Enough rambling,
back to lurking.

Celia Mackinnon 
Sun 11/2/2003 9:26 AM

Wow Wow Wow!!! 

Although I have not seen RT many times (okay tonight was my second time) I was blown away by this evening's performance. He seemed very relaxed and said he wanted to do something a bit different and proceeded to play songs in a rough chronological order. I don't have a set list- I'll leave it to the more knowledgeable on this list but I enjoyed every number including some amazing guitar work. I appreciated all the information about the venue and had great seats to the side. We had pleasant company at our table which filled up rather slowly. My dh is a complete convert and greatly preferred the Birchmere over the 9:30 club where we saw RT and Band. We even bought tickets for a show later in the month. Still get the chills when he plays Word Unspoken, Sight Unseen. 

Patti [ ]
Mon 11/3/2003 10:52 PM

I second those "wow"s

--y'all won't believe the set list, which I know was jotted down by at least one member of the Greater Capital Area Richard Thompson Appreciation Society and Pesto-Eating Guild (GCARTASPEG)--and ask here: OK, does anyone have extra tickets to Princeton anymore? 'Cause I'm about ready to cave in and hit the road after tonight.

Mon 11/3/2003 11:15 PM

RT at the Birchmere

Patti wrote: <<Wow Wow Wow!!!>>


I quickly started thinking of it as "40 Years of Unpopular Music." He started with two (new?) songs "about growing up," then did "Jack of Diamonds" and explained that he had played it in his school band about 1965, then recorded it while in Fairport. Then he played "Meet on the Ledge" and on from there, heavy on the early part of the catalog. "Nobody's Wedding," "Bright Lights" and another from the same album, "I'll Regret It All in the Morning" and "Hokey Pokey," then skipped on (IIRC) to something from "Shoot Out the Lights" (I'm going blank here, but others will fill in), then skipped again to much more recent stuff. I finally got to hear "Alexander Graham Bell," which had a few lines that reminded me a bit of Tom Lehrer.

The audience was intensely involved without (IMO) being obnoxious about it. When he played "Beeswing," I got the impression that audience's enthusiasm in requesting it actually did influence him to play it, which he did with good spirit.

<< I don't have a set list- I'll leave it to the more knowledgeable on  this list but I enjoyed every number including some amazing guitar work.>>

I even actively enjoyed "1952VBL" because of the guitar work. But what I was most impressed with (also in at least the last band show I saw during this year's tour) the way he's playing with vocals. Then finale of "Crawl Back" was otherworldly. "Howl" is too harsh a term and too unvarying for what he was doing--I haven't come up with one that conveys the right feel.

<<I appreciated all the information about the venue and had great seats to the side. We had pleasant company at our table which filled up rather slowly. My dh is a complete convert and greatly preferred the Birchmere over the 9:30 club where we saw RT and Band. We even bought tickets for a show later in the month. Still get the chills when he plays Word Unspoken, Sight Unseen.>>

I was in great company too--some old fans and friends and some new ones. After "Crawl Back," one new friend who was seeing RT for the first time exclaimed, "That man brings me to my knees!" That was the quote of the night, as far as I was concerned.

BW [ ]
Tue 11/4/2003 12:38 AM

Why these songs?

I had a theory about the songs RT was playing last night at the Birchmere--especially the new and obscure ones.

It seemed to me that RT took great relish in choosing these particular songs and tunes because of the opportunities they provided for his fingers to dance on the strings.

(I've worked on the last half of that sentence for a while--I'm normally a spontaneous writer, all first drafts--and I'm still not happy with it. It's more than just his fingers, you know? But I'll move on.)

He got to play around with a lot of tune snippets in "Nobody's Wedding" and "Walk Awhile" and a whole trad tune in "Choice Wife." The new songs, too, seemed built on jigs and strathspeys (I was too mesmerized to count beats, though). I think he wanted to go back there to explore musical (and perhaps emotional) territories he'd left behind, places he was now ready to revisit.

He's resisted this before, you know, scorning the old stuff, chafing at Fairport connections, reticent about his youth. Very much someone who wants to look forward. And last night he not only sang about boyhood--and sang the songs of his boyhood--he even talked about that time a little bit, at least to a few people after the show.

Of course, those stories and songs, and the emotions with which they're imbued, could well be fictions. We don't know where the hair ends and the toupee begins, to paraphrase RT.

I can say that, for me and for others among my friends, this was more than just a chance to hear the oldies. This was an unusual encounter with an artist who seemed to have things he needed to say--for his sake, maybe, but certainly for art's sake.

(Sorry for the length of this message.)

Tue 11/4/2003 9:52 AM

"Regret" and "Jack" 

I think this IS the retro show. He called us "you retro people" or something like that near the end, when we acclaimed him for all the rare stuff.

Incidentally, the shocker for me was "I'll Regret It All in the Morning," which, as I told my spouse, wins my vote not only for darkest RT song (or at least one of the darkest) but for RT song that's least appropriate for a wedding.

Rob is sure he's heard "Jack of Diamonds" before. I reminded him we heard it at Cropredy the other year (with band backing), and maybe that's it, but then someone else at the show said he thought he'd heard it acoustic before. Anyone know whether/when he's played it acoustically?

Pam (who will go away now, really)
Tue 11/4/2003 10:05 AM

RT at the Birchmere 11/3 (setlist)

This "chronological evening" was an amazing and historic show, starting with two world premieres! Tony got most of the setlist, but here it is in full for completists:

Watch Me Go, or Human Cannonball (my guess on titles)
The Boys of Mutton Street
Meet on the Ledge
Walk Awhile (with mostly new lyrics!)
Nobody's Wedding
I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
Great Valerio
Hokey Pokey (more new lyrics)
I'll Regret It All In the Morning (with significant lyric change)
For Shame of Doing Wrong
Instrumental (Choice Wife or Banish Misfortune?---I knew it, but couldn't remember the title)
Did She Jump or Was She Pushed
Keep Your Distance
I Feel So Good
Beeswing (seemed to be by request)
Crawl Back
Outside of the Inside
1st encore
A Love You Can't Survive
2nd encore
Alexander Graham Bell
Word Unspoken, Sight Unseen

Many more details to follow. Very nice to meet new listmember Kat, who told RT afterward that she was seeing him for the first time. He seemed pleased.


"She shook her hips/When he kissed her on the lips."-----Richard Thompson, "Hokey Pokey"

Scott Miller [ ]
Tue 11/4/2003 10:33 AM

"A chronological evening" at the Birchmere

It was a stunning and unexpected opening to last night's show at the Birchmere: without a word of explanation, RT sang two brand-new songs and a rarity from the very first Fairport album, "Jack'o'Diamonds." Then he told us what was up. "Good to be here at the B-word," he said. He thanked all of the "repeat customers" who were showing up for both of his shows there ("I can't believe you'd do that"). This gave him the inspiration for what he called "a different kind of show," a "chronological evening" wherein he would trace his life and career in song from the very beginning.

Thus, the very first song was based on the experiences of a very young RT. I caught the title as "Watch Me Go" or "Human Cannonball," from the chorus, "Watch me go into the wild blue/I'm a human cannonball." I only caught scraps of the lyrics, including "Goodbye halls of academe, I never could respect you" and "So friends of old/I'll be halfway to the moon." After the show, I asked RT if the song was about running away from school, and he said that it was more about the sense of possibilities in youth (which, I take it, can often be explosive).

The following new song, "Boys of Mutton Street" (as I heard it), then, was about one of those possibilities: a young and exuberant gang, as indicated in the chorus, "We are [or where are] the boys of Mutton Street, Mutton Street, Mutton Street/We give no ground." Verses describe some of the escapades of the boys. After the show, RT told me that this song was about a gang of boys he was in when he was 11 years old----the gang broke up when he was 11 and a half. It was the only gang he was ever in, apparently.

RT explained onstage that "Jack O'Diamonds" was based on a poem from the liner notes of a Dylan album ("Another Side of Bob Dylan") that was set to music by the actor Ben Carruthers. This song was in the repertoire of a school band that RT was in in 1965; he brought the song with him when he joined Fairport and thus it was on their first album in 1968. It was really a thrill to hear him sing this----I bought that first FC album when it came out, but never heard any of those songs live (the first time I heard the band was in the Sandy Denny lineup).

Both "Watch Me Go/Human Cannonball" and "Boys of Mutton Street" had references to Guy Fawkes effigies, which is particularly timely (Guy Fawkes Day is tomorrow). As an American, I was deeply touched to read yesterday that, in many places, effigies of George W. Bush as well as the 17th-century conspirator Guy Fawkes will be burned in anticipation of Dubya's state visit to England later this month (he should expect a fiery welcome). Another interesting coincidence is that 15 years ago this week, on the eve of another Election Day (today is an offyear one in the U.S.) in 1988, the tracks of what would be released this year as "More Guitar" were recorded at the now-defunct Bayou Club in Georgetown, Washington, DC.

It was a privilege to be at OH's most autobiographical show, where the new songs fit deftly in with the old. 

Scott N. Miller (there for "More Guitar" and eagerly awaiting RT's return to the Birchmere tonight) 

"You're really retro-people---we'd have to go all the way back to the beginning, then."----RT near the end of last night's show (after VBL52) when someone requested "Season of the Witch" (from 1966) 

Scott Miller [
Tue 11/4/2003 1:40 PM

RT at the Birchmere 11/3

RT said, "We like virgins!" so I guess he was happy to be building his fan base. When I told him I was going to court to get my divorce this morning, he offered to write a song about it. Unfortunately due to my court appearance and family obligations I cannot come back tonight to see if he was serious ;-/ 

It was an unreal experience over all - seeing him live a few feet away and watching the sweat roll down the guitar along with those supple fingers while performing with great intensity - I wasn't sure if I was dreaming or not. I had not heard most of the songs he played which only added to the pleasure. The bond he shared with the audience and his relaxed demeanor made it fun. I am not much of a writer, so I'll leave the that to the pros - suffice it to say that I will be in the audience for future shows! 

Meeting everyone last night and their willingness to welcome a newbie was wonderful - it made for a very special and memorable experience. Special thanks to Pam - a lovely, welcoming and helpful person! 

Enjoy the show tonight! 

Tue 11/4/2003 2:14 PM

More observations from last night at the Birchmere

He introduced "Meet on the Ledge" as an early effort of his that was "an enormous hit all over Europe" and a big winner at the Eurovision song contest. He did get an audience singalong on the chorus.

For "Walk Awhile," he had to look down at a lyric sheet, and it took awhile for me to realize that most of the lyrics were new (a la a Dylan rewrite) and seemed to be about different characters, including one with "brain cells by the dozen/and a tendency to drool." No undertakers bowed their heads in this version.

By this time, it was exciting to anticipate which album would be represented next, and sure enough, it was time to visit my favorite. OH said how proud he was to have what was reputedly the worst-selling album in Warner Brothers history, in spite of its "blindingly commercial, eye-catching cover." "Just to give you some idea of what the public missed," RT said, before launching into "Nobody's Wedding." (Hey, if Arthur Lee can sing "Forever Changes" in its entirely, why can't RT revisit the whole of "Henry the Human Fly"?)

"I Want To See the Bright Lights Tonight" was very high-spirited, maybe the best version of this classic I've heard him do.

RT observed that after he was voted in the list Top 100 Guitar Players by Rolling Stone (audience applause at this, whereup someone yelled "It was rigged!" and RT quickly replied, "It was rigged, cost me a lot") "they're clapping the solos now. Usually the solos just glide by, while they're waiting for my next sensitive lyric. Just clap for the good ones." Then he did "The Great Valerio," with very nice vocal resonance and a sensitive solo at the end.

"This is about the virtues of ice cream." It was "Hokey Pokey," of course, with the lyrics seriously tweaked in places. "Some like it icy and some like it spicy...." "She shook her hips/when he kissed her on the lips/Hokey pokey made her feel all right."

The significant change in "I'll Regret It All in the Morning" was "if I please you nearly dead" instead of "if I beat you nearly dead." When he started to sing this (which was quite startling, as it's way off the beaten track of the repertoire), I was bracing myself for that line, which is perhaps too brutal to be sung live.

There's more in my notebook from last night, but I have to go take notes on tonight's show.....

Scott Miller [ ]
Tue 11/4/2003 5:48 PM