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Chris Thompson: Hugo Spellman

Chris Thompson was one of the disappearing figures in the New Zealand folk scene who toured with Julie Felix, counted among his peers the likes of Bert Jansch and Davy Graham while he was in the UK, and recorded some fine albums which have disappeared into the ether.

His has recently released a self-titled double CD of a lost album from the mid Seventies along with some tracks off other albums and newer material, which is impressive in its scope and reminds you what a superb acoustic player he was on pieces such as the Indo-influenced Hugo Spellman.

Thompson, living quietly in New Zealand and still playing, responds to the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire. His song London Blues which he mentions is on the new collection.

The first piece of music which really affected you was . . .

Old Man River by Paul Robeson.

Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .

The Hamilton County Bluegrass Band

Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?

Mick Jagger

If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .


The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . .

Moon River by Frank Sinatra, I Know Love is All I Need by Rodney Crowell, London Blues by me

Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home?

Copies of my old vinyl albums (Minstrelsy, The Natural Blues) pinned up on the walls

The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .

Across the Great Divide --The Band and America. Can’t remember the author. [Ed note: Barney Hoskyns]

If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?)

Bob Dylan, guitar

The three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .325821.1020.A

Steppenwolf, Honky Tonk Man and La Dolce Vita

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include?)

Sticky Fingers, The Rolling Stones. I don’t download music.

One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you in that case would be . . .

Little Ballerina, a song that I wrote for my daughter.

The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .

A photo, taken in 1899, of Little Horse, a chief of the Oglala Sioux.

You are allowed just one tattoo, and it is of . . .

My daughter Lora’s name.

David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?

Body surfing at a nice beach

And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”

Yes, because it’s the best I can do.

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