Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Ralph McTell (2) and hols
Mr FP took this picture at the weekend, sitting outside the Ferryboat at Helford. Now sadly not much of a pub but a lovely spot to sit and watch the world go by.
We're off to Fowey for a week shortly. Brother in law is house sitting the dear, fearsome Thug so he will be well tended to. And now back that interview....
Ralph McTell takes up a lot of room, not because he's tall and solid, but because he is full of the passion, the sensitivity and the ideas that flow into his music.
I particularly liked his description of waiting to go on stage at a gig. The lights go down, “and then you walk the longest walk in the world,” he said.
What impressed me about Ralph was his modesty, his quiet sense of humour, and the fact that he makes friends very easily – because he really cares about people. “My level of involvement with people is quite high – every concert I go to, I know so many of them by name and there's a lot of them,” he said.
Ralph's music appeals to so many people because he writes about things we can all relate to – loneliness being one. “If someone you love has gone out of your life, there will always be that gap there,” he said. “Loneliness is probably one of the biggest fears we have. It's hinted at in other songs but not so graphically or as simply as in Streets of London.”
We covered a lot of ground, from sharing notes on giving up smoking, to how the music business has changed since the '60s. But it was his philosophy on life that I liked. “Give people hope,” he said, “you've got to keep hope alive, Jesse Jackson said. Not retire into a cotton wool drug-induced stupor. Try and do the best you can. I think it's criminal to waste time when there are so many people that didn't have these opportunities.
Not to do things to the best of your ability is a waste of your time and probably those around you: those to whom you can have an affect upon. So do it the best you can. If you go at things half cock you can expect to fail, but if you fail when you've done your best then that's OK. It might sound Victorian but I think it's a worthwhile thing.”
What a good role model. Thanks, Ralph. And here's to his tour starting next month.
Affairs of the Heart - a 4 CD compilation of Ralph’s love songs with introduction by Rory McGrath
Somewhere Down the Road - pre-order from www.ralphmctell.co.uk
Ralph is performing at Hall for Cornwall on Wednesday 10th November 2010.