Beeswing: Losing My Way and Finding My Voice 1967–1975

Richard Thompson. Algonquin, $26.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-616208-95-0
English songwriter and musician Thompson delivers a warts-and-all account of a crucial eight-year period of his life following his cofounding of the folk rock band Fairport Convention in 1967. Thompson breezes through his childhood in West London, where he was first introduced to “music that was not controlled by the grown-ups” by his older sister. By the time he was 18, he was uninterested in anything besides playing the guitar. He harnessed that passion into Fairport Convention, a band he formed with three friends. The band’s ups and downs, which included the death of drummer Martin Lamble in a road accident and decisions about replacing members, vividly detail the challenges of maintaining a joint creative enterprise. Along the way, Thompson convincingly argues Fairport Convention left a legacy by electrifying traditional English folk songs, and delineates the artistic impulses behind his decision to quit Fairport Convention to perform with his wife, Linda. Thompson extensively quotes his lyrics and isn’t shy about digging into his creative process, but even so, those less familiar with his music will have a bit of a tough time getting into the swing of things. But readers who regard Thompson as a major figure in the arts will consider this a must-read. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/02/2021
Release date: 04/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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