In lieu of new text, here instead is a compilation of things I've written about Richard Thompson over the past decade--something every rock critic could do, since we write about Richard Thompson as often as we use the word "the." This is Thompson's stock in trade--the crafty and bitter pop songwriter on one side who doesn't get much love because he can't seem to give it, and the vengeful folkie on the other who hangs his doleful voice in a noose made of guitar strings. (From April 18, 1996, review of you?me?us?) Thompson's an acquired taste, like absinthe and snails, but also worthy of the acclaim and adoration bestowed upon him by the sect since the '60s, when he proved himself a far more durable guitar god than Jimi Hendrix as founding member of Fairport Convention. (From May 15, 2003, interview with Thompson.) "You either know who he is or you don't," says Thompson's drummer Michael Jerome, who once played with locals Course of Empire and joined Thompson's band in June. "He's the extreme in artistic value." (From August 26, 1999, feature on Mock Tudor.) Teddy Thompson, Richard's son, is the heir to more than three decades' worth of giddy accolades and piss-poor sales. (From August 31, 2000, review of Teddy Thompson.) In November 1977, Thompson guest-hosted The Tonight Show during the three weeks Johnny Carson was off on a ski trip with his wife and three girlfriends. The adoring crowd, consisting mostly of teenage girls and their kid sisters, screamed so loudly during Thompson's Tonight Show appearances, it was decided guests were irrelevant. (From March 29, 2000, concert preview, which was a joke.)
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.