Library Rock's Backpages

Richard Thompson: A New Light

Steve Burgess, Dark Star, December 1978

I HAVE THIS adrenaline-fueled, hyper-hallucinatory recall of the first time I saw Richard Thompson away from club stages and makeshift podiums in Hyde Park. He was sitting on a bench under slate-sickly London skies across from the ludicrously misnamed Country Club, Belsize Park, hands in pockets of a chewed afghan, staring eyes-front, obviously totally wired-up for Fairport Convention's almost pulse-regular Sunday gig. Behind him the other band members were nudge-winking, half-in and half-out of the local parade caff, but Richard was lost who knows where, in chord progressions, daily dissentions, the future, the past, whatever. I remember I spoke to him; he was local hero guitarpicker numero uno and I, intoxicated by the presence of titans and nailbitingly panicky, forget the details. We were both painfully shy.

Total word count of piece: 4148


Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.