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Richard Thompson Stage Banter.

11-16-72.6-5-92. CRAWLEY 93

The wit and wisdom of Richard Thompson onstage is legendary,especially in the early years, almost anything seemed possible, whereas now he is perhaps more predictable. Contained within is some of the stage banter I have transcribed from my RT collection, I'll drop more into the page as I have the time to do them.If you have any items of your own you want to add here ,Contact email

11-16-72 Durham University. Linda & Richard .

The Great Valerio.

Rt" This ones called the Great Valerio, its about the man in the circus you know, the Flying Valerio, something like that . The Great Valerio, he's the old man with the white hair he's up on the tight rope with the big pole you know, you've seen them. People walking across like that you know.And everythings dead silent, not even a drum roll, it's just Valerio ( laughter from audience at comment from aud member )

Rt: What ! boring!. Yes , yes he's quite right, we wont do this

Yes we will. You can just close your eyes and go back to when you were five year old at Chipperfields .

Linda: Its all about how good it would be if everyone was as good as what they were doing ,as him >

Rt: incomprehensible remark , audience laughter 

Rt: at the end of this piece there's a little piece by Eric Satie, he's a classical musician but don't be frightened, don't leave your seats. Its a little thing from er Eric Satie called ( incomprehensible remark)..Diversions. He's a maniac Eric Satie. i don't know if you know about him , he's a nut case, he never wore the same shirt twice and when he died they went into his room and found all these shirts. Thousands of shirts all piled up in the corner . And he never changed his bed sheets for 20,years , so it wasn't anything to do with being clean . Amazing ,and he used to collect umbrellas as well, they found hundreds of umbrellas in his room. Wonderful man though, fine composer. Anyway..... (laughter from aud,Rt addresses aud member

Rt :Stand up, take a bow... a fine decomposer he said.

Dragging the River. 11-16-72

Rt:"Um, if you're frustrated like I am , only in certain areas of course, certain spheres of life, its very nice to work out your frustrations in a song. Now ah, some of you must have contemplated doing people in sometime or other you know, ah putting strychnine in grannys cocoa or something like that. you know. This is a song about possibly dealing with your nearest and dearest in that way, its called dragging the river"

Royton 6-5-92.

Rt was in fine fettle for the first half of the show, and included all manner of banter. It is whilst tuning up that he had a go at the Grateful Dead."

It'll be worth it, you'll rather I did this really. All folkies do that. Some of them do it for hours, The Grateful dead do it for weeks! (cheers from audience). i can't put the Grateful Dead down as much as I used to cos their legion of fans is growing. I have to be very careful I don't get shot.Used to be very....uh.unfashionable you know, suitably apposite to say rude things about them. I'll think of some more later actually ".

However , he doesn't., but he does get into some madcap stuff.

'we'll get to the jokes in a minute the sing along's the happy stuff the Ken Dodd stuff any minute now. I'm just going through a psychopathic phase here you see (cheers from audience members) 

Rt reacts " Oh yes, Royton, the famous clinic. Day passes is it lads? ( I believe there is a psychiatric unit at Royton, can any more recent UK residents confirm ?

"This is the last psychotic song, all right. no no you know ,easy listening portion coming up next ,all your favourites. Eddie Calvert. Side Saddle by Russ Conway (cheers) In fact this is Side Saddle by Russ Conway my own unique version (plays rough side saddle version ) I'll come back next week. (noodles a bit, then plays folkish version of side saddle, which segues into "I Feel So Good") 


RT introduces the song on "Live at Crawley 1993":

"When I was growing up there were a lot of car songs coming in from

America: you know Chuck Berry and Jan and Dean and all that sort of stuff.

It was really hard to understand, cause it was all about bits, bits of

metal that all have names, and unless you've actually taken a car to

pieces, it doesn't mean very much. But anyhow, it's a jolly rollicking

melody and it sounds all right. So what we've done...this is our revenge on

American music, this is our English car song; and you won't understand any

of it either, unless you've restored an MG (clears throat). This is called

"MGB-GT"...(tunes)...Buy British...doing our bit for the economy... Queen's

Award to Industry...To make it even more catchy, we've coupled these

remarkable lyrics to, ah, an unwieldy little fifteenth century dance

tune....Did another song about a motorcycle a couple of years ago--perhaps

we'll do that next--and, ah, didn't sell many, disappointing sales, cause

they only made twenty-seven of that particular model. The MG they made a

quarter million, so we're hoping for a comparative boost! (plays)"


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