British Bluse-Rock Musician Keith Thompson
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By: Azad Karimi
Yes I am very happy. It often seemed like a struggle but I have to say that overall I have had some wonderful experiences to look back on. So much is outside of our control in terms of the business but as far as the music is concerned it has been a fantastic journey.
British Bluse-Rock Musician Keith Thompson
By Azad Karimi
Has anyone heard of copyright?
Think of a farmer who works for nearly a year and cultivates a wheat field. When he reaps his crop and wants to sell it at a good price, suddenly thieves come and steal his wheat and sell it and take the money for themselves and leave only regret and sorrow for the farmer!
Now think of the artist, musician, writer and journalist, and singer whose profiteers steal their works and make money from them. This is a very obvious theft and the rights of the artist or writer are violated.
what should we do?
In the face of this violation and disrespect for the rights of artists and writers, the Law on the Protection of the Rights of Authors has been created.
Under these laws, violators of these rights are punished. Developed and law-abiding countries enforce these laws, but in underdeveloped countries, there is no enforcement guarantee for these laws.
Years ago, I read an article somewhere in which they wrote that the high consumption of Facial tissue and soap in a society indicates the high growth of culture in that country but I would also like to add that the high enforcement guarantee of copyright law in any country is a sign of the high level of culture and high social consciousness of that country.
I wish my dear friend Keith success and happiness.
1.Please tell us about yourself.
.I am British Blues Rock musician Keith Thompson. As a solo musician and with my band I have been consistently performing in mainland Europe for 30+ years. I live in the South West area of England in the UK. I left school at aged 15 and was a printer for a while before launching out as a professional musician when I was in my teens. I have managed to sustain this career for most of my working life.
2-How would you describe your style?
.I am a blues/rock guitarist and a songwriter. I do play several instruments but the guitar has always been my main focus. Having learned my craft in the clubs of the UK, I developed my own style and concentrated on my own music and I have now recorded around 12 albums.
3- When and how did you become interested in this field of art?
.I was 5 years old when I started playing so I don’t remember a time when I didn’t play. Largely self-taught, I won a talent contest when I was young, and by the time I was 14 years old, I started getting paid to play in pubs and clubs. To start with, we were playing covers of popular bands at the time, The Beatles, The Stones, and others. I remember the first album I actually bought was “Fire and Water” by Free. As soon as I heard the opening chords I knew what I wanted to do and the aim was then to play this blues/rock style with good songs.
4- Who were you influenced by?
.As a guitarist, I was influenced by all of the original British guitarists around at the time. In particular, Eric Clapton, Paul Kossoff, Jeff Beck, Peter Green, Rory Gallagher, and other rock bands such as Thin Lizzy and Humble Pie. I also listened to the more gentle acoustic side of things, John Martyn, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Cat Stevens, Stefan Grossman. It was through them that I learned the art of songwriting and saying something meaningful.
5- What was your parent’s reaction?
.My parents were supportive but like many of their generation, they thought of it as a hobby. They were not so sure of the rock style either and they were understandably concerned with some of the things associated with the rock n roll lifestyle!
6- When did you start as a professional musician and singer, songwriter and guitarist?
.I had been working semi-professionally up until the age of about 19 and then my band got offered a chance to play full time in American army bases in Germany. So that is what we did. It was a steep learning curve. We had to play 5 x 45-minute sets each night…..longer at weekends! So we learned our craft. The band that returned a few months later was a totally transformed outfit. Unfortunately, we also learned how difficult it can be to get on with one another when you are living so closely together. It took quite a while before we could get our act together seriously. We finally joined forces with other musicians with a similar outlook to us. The resulting band was called, “Bunter” and featured Mick “Wurzel” Burston who later became the guitarist for Motorhead! We did very well but we were dealt another blow when punk music hit and in our early twenties, we were considered dinosaurs! I took a side-step and concentrated on the solo acoustic side of things which took up most of the ’80s. That turned out to be quite a smart move as I developed my own style and began touring once more and making useful contacts. I worked quite a lot as a session musician in the late 80’s and early 90’s, finally releasing my own albums on Brambus Records, which was an independent record label based in mainland Europe. This resulted in me touring across Europe in earnest.
7-Are you thankful and happy because of your activities as musician and singer, songwriter and guitarist?
.Yes I am very happy. It often seemed like a struggle but I have to say that overall I have had some wonderful experiences to look back on. So much is outside of our control in terms of the business but as far as the music is concerned it has been a fantastic journey. I am glad I followed my own route and everything I went through was a process of learning the craft.
8- What is music culture? What is music logic?
.I am not sure I know what you mean by this.
9-Why do some songs or pieces of music become immortal?
.Well, some songs do stand the test of time. I still play some songs that have lasted 20 years, whereas others fell by the wayside. I think that some songs become immortal because they find their way into the majority of people’s consciousness. They relate to it in a deep way. A good example of this would be John Lennon’s “Imagine”. I think people also recognize authenticity when they hear it. Other examples might be “Stairway to Heaven” Led Zeppelin, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, George Harrison, “Bridge over Troubled Waters”, Paul Simon. I wouldn’t have minded writing any of those!
10-How do you see the future of music and the music business?
. Music will always survive. Art separates humans from the animal kingdom! People will always want to express themselves. The music business, however, is in crisis due to the pandemic and other changes in the way people consume music. For example, free streaming of music makes it impossible for the creator to earn from it. The obvious conclusion to this is that professionals won’t be able to do this but people who play in their bedrooms can! Everything is crazy but I am optimistic that ultimately a new business will emerge. I do hope that “live” music will be part of that because it is a common language that brings people together. Humans are meant to be social/relational beings.
11-Can you become one part of the cultural movement for motivation in youth or new generation in your country?
. The average age of people listening to my form of music now is probably 40+! I know there are some exceptions but although I used to visit schools and reach younger people I think, on the whole, things have moved on. I do, however; believe that there are some younger players who are now carrying the baton passed to them by my generation so maybe it will one day go full circle.
12-How can you help our world become a better place to live?
. I believe everybody can play their part in this but just looking at music in this instance, music is a strong force for good in this world. It influences people both in a good way and sometimes a bad way. It is up to us to take our responsibility as influencers to make sure we keep it positive, whether that is highlighting injustice or just lifting our spirits. Music is a powerful force. I think it is of great value. Can you imagine a world if all music was silenced for a week? For my part, I don’t want to preach at people but I hope that my music is like a carrier of light, and darkness cannot exist in light! In fact, it is not just musicians but everyone has this potential within them to create good in this world, even if it is only within their workplace or amongst family and friends. If this pandemic has taught us anything then I think it is that we need to take a more collective responsibility for our actions and words.
13-Have you more word to say or suggest for our readers?
. If you would like to hear more of my music then please look at my website: www.densitymusic.com
Follow me on social media and youtube. Remember, we must value the arts or we lose something that is incredibly important to our well being.