cover art for Richard Thompson – “you know it’s time to go when the audience starts throwing chairs”

Word In Your Ear

Richard Thompson – “you know it’s time to go when the audience starts throwing chairs”

Ep. 622

Richard Thompson first appeared onstage aged 14 playing Beatles covers in a school group “so bad we were pelted with pennies”. Sixty years later his range of operations includes touring solo and with his band, occasional reunions with Fairport Convention, residencies on Adriatic cruise ships and running a Guitar Camp in the Catskill Mountains (along with his sons and grandson). Much has he seen and learned about live entertainment along the way and he talks to us here from his home on the American East Coast on the day of the solar eclipse. Among the highlights …  


… memories of the Marquee in 1965 – the Who, the Yardbirds, the Spencer Davis Group: “if you wanted to see both sets, you’d have to walk ten miles home”.


… seeing Nick Drake and the value of being “a silent, tortured genius”.


… life as a support act and how to “attack an audience”.


… Carl Perkins and Chuck Berry at the Finsbury Park Astoria in 1963 “when Chuck was at the height of his attention span”.


… Segovia at the Festival Hall.


… the perils of playing on sea cruises in rough weather.


… old and current album sleeves. “Dressed as a fly and now dressed as a fisherman … that’s progress.”


… how Ian Anderson and Captain Beefheart told the audience who’s boss.


… and watching the Band at the Albert Hall from a box with Fairport Convention.



Richard Thompson tour dates:


Order the new album Ship To Shore here:


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