Book Nook: Beeswing-Losing My Way and Finding My Voice 1967-1975 by Richard Thompson
When I was in high school there were three record stores clustered together near Drake University in Des Moines. We would make weekly trips down there to all three stores, usually on Tuesdays, when the new releases came out. I was into progressive rock back then, King Crimson,
Emerson Lake and Palmer, Yes, and my favorites were Genesis when Peter Gabriel was still their lead singer.
One day my older brother came home with a big stack of new LPs. He had been shopping at one of those stores when the owner approached him and asked if my brother could help him out with an unusual project. My brother agreed to do it. Here's what it was: the record store owner was
really upset because there had been quite a bit of shoplifting going on and his clerks were not apprehending any of their light-fingered customers. My brother was a regular customer and the owner told him that he wanted my brother to start stealing records to see if any of his employees would notice what he was doing. Mark grabbed a handful of records and walked out to his car. Then he went back in the store and stole another batch of albums and dropped them off in his car. As he was walking out of the store with his third stack o' wax the owner came storming out of his office and declared that his clerks were worthless for not noticing my brother's repeated transgressions then he proceeded to fire them all on the spot. He told my brother to keep all the records he had stolen as payment for his assistance.
On the top of his pile there was a record by "Fotheringay." I had never heard of them. When I played it I instantly swooned over their vocalist Sandy Denny. I was totally hooked-I had to hear more of her. My investigation of her career revealed that she had formed "Fotheringay" with Trevor Lucas, her Australian boyfriend, another great singer, after she had left a group called "Fairport Convention."
I found Fairport's records and they were fabulous. Here was more Sandy Denny and they had a guitarist who completely blew me away. He was fantastic! This was Richard Thompson. He has had an incredible career. I was absolutely thrilled to talk to him about his memoir.
After I had found Fairport I became a total British folk freak. And it all began with a little petty larceny.
The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public Library, Clark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.