Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Midweek interlude

Another busy week - not much time for profundity. Completing the Fairport Convention trifecta, I give you some Richard Thompson. "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" is one of my favorites of his. It's one of his best-written songs, and a fine example of why Thompson is a genius guitar picker.

Thompson says of "1952 Vincent Black Lightning":

"That song grew out of my frustration that it's hard to find contemporary British mythology, because American culture has been so dominant," Thompson says. "The mythical places are Laramie and Cheyenne; 'Going Back to Lancaster' just doesn't have the same ring to it as 'Going Back to Memphis.'

"But it's important to make music that incorporates elements from where you come from, so you're contributing something of yourself into the music. If you're from England and you're writing about the Mississippi Delta, there's something missing. You can be a good imitator, but what are you bringing to the process? Bands like the Kinks didn't really come to life until they stopped doing covers of American songs and started doing original tunes.

"A 1952 Vincent Black Lightning, which is an English motorbike, sounds mythological and British people can relate to it. But I'm surprised that it has become such a popular song because it's a ballad with eight verses. I didn't think people had that much attention span anymore. 'Vincent' is my most requested song, and 'Beeswing' is the second, which is another story song with lots of verses. I guess people are still hungry for stories."