Laura Levine
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Richard and Linda Thompson
posted: January 29, 2007
I'm convinced that the world is divided into two factions: those who have never heard of Richard Thompson, and those whose admiration for his talents borders on worship. And so it should.

Back in 1982 I was assigned to photograph Richard and Linda as they were touring to promote their album SHOOT OUT THE LIGHTS, a unbelievably emotional and sad and beautiful record which deservedly won every critics poll that year for album of the year. He is an amazing guitarist (formerly of Fairport Convention); she has a voice that's otherwordly, I simply love it. They were going through a very painful divorce when they were on tour, so the session was a very intense experience for all involved. You can see it in the photos.

Years later, after I started to paint, I was asked by his record label to do the cover of his album RUMOR AND SIGH (as well as the inside photos) - they had no idea I'd worked with him before. But through that next encounter we became acquainted, and I'm proud to count Richard and his incredible wife of 20 years, Nancy, as  friends.
12 comments
Mike Moran January 29, 2007
Richard Thompson is one of my all time favorites. His a amazing guitarist,singer & songwriter. Great live shows. Rumor and Sigh is also one of my favorites. That's were I saw your art! Good post Laura.
Laura Levine January 29, 2007
Thanks, Mike. You're right about his live shows - I should mention that he is also VERY funny, and his between-song patter is not to be missed.
Mike Moran January 29, 2007
Funny is not the word... his hilarious. I saw him perform with Roger McGuinn once in a acoustic solo show.
Zina Saunders January 29, 2007
I'm in the "Never Heard of Him" faction, but your beautiful photo and painting have inspired me to search him out and listen.
rag January 29, 2007
Great story Laura. Must have meant a lot to you both when you did this cover.
laura January 29, 2007
To be honest, I don't think he remembered me from the session ten years earlier....! I chalk it up to my lucky stars that the AD at the label thought to hire me for the cover.
Marc Burckhardt January 29, 2007
In addition to all the wonderful albums he recorded, he did the soundtrack for "Grizzly Man" - one of the best film scores ever. Another great one, Laura. So cool that you know them personally.
Laura Levine January 29, 2007
Thanks, Rob. Actually, my illustration for the back cover of the album depicts that song. I'll try to dig it up and scan it. For the photo session I did for the gatefold of the CD, we built a set on a Hollywood soundstage, and we actually included a 1952 Vincent Black Lightning (that's a motorcycle, btw) as a prop in the set. For the uninitiated (i.e. Zina, et. al.) I'd recommend any tracks off SHOOT OUT THE LIGHTS. Dim the lights, pour yourself a cocktail and prepare to cry.
J.D. King January 29, 2007
Thanks Laura! Thanks Rob! I'm gonna go spin some Fairport! Aye, lads and lassies! Noon dare de-fae me! BTW, Rob Saunders: Take a look at that photo: A Strat! Aye!!!
David Goldin January 29, 2007
Shoot out the lights was my intro to him. Don Besom at Biz Week turned me on to it. Great photo Laura.
Hanoch Piven January 29, 2007
A couple of years before having any idea of your existence Laura (imagine that), in the summer of 1991, I remember a trip to Baja California on my own, staying in a Ranch in the middle of nowhere constantly listening to that tape of Richard Thompson on my brand new walkman and constantly looking at the cover. So your work ever since brings back Baja memories to me.
Laura Levine January 29, 2007
Whaddya know! Thanks, Hanoch, that's so cool to hear.......
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