After joining Loudon Wainwright III on stage for the last three songs, Richard played his own full set to an even less packed auditorium and even more stragglers on the lawns.
He began saying, “it’s good to see you again.”
One Door Opens
He stopped to say, “it feels wonderful to be back at Chautauqua” and that he’d been there for about twenty years.” He said he was looking around and that the “social privilege was in balance.” He said “you can sing on this one, ha ha ha,”
during which the singalong failed and he said, “you sang for that nice Loudon!”
He said, “Great singing, not!” and that “You can sing on this one,” like a “good old American Hootenanny, just very depressing.” He added that for those of us taking notes the song was from 1972. He said, “this is for the drunks in the audience,” to which a few people hooted so he said, “both of them.”
Down Where the Drunkards Roll
during which he offered us the chance to sing several times, all of which flopped.
Someone asked for a song and he said that he’d “never ever” done it live and that he’d basically forgotten it. He asked if that was “allowed” that he forgot it because he wrote it and he’d do it next time and that it needed a band. Then asked if it was “allowed to request if you’re out there?” (The requester was on the non-paid lawn) He said that he came from a “class ridden society” and that he couldn’t help it, “singing to outcasts and untouchables”
“On to happier things, the Iraq war,” he said. “It’s still going.” He continued on about the slang that soldiers in the war use and how they call Baghdad “‘Dad” and that they say things like, “‘Dad’s in a bad mood today.”
‘Dad’s Gonna Kill Me
He said that we “may have heard the expression, ‘men don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses,'” and that he thought it was sort of a put down because he “really likes girls with glasses” and “in fact I’d even go so far to say…”
Hots for the Smarts
during which he first tried to get a singalong started (again!) and when it unsurprisingly failed he said, “you guys!” and kept saying, “there’s more.”
He talked about how he didn’t get where he was today by having hits but the next song “brushed the charts” and that it “flirted with the charts.” He joked that he found the top 20s and 30s kind of “pretentious” and that he liked the more “meaty ones, you can sink your teeth into, like the top 400” where he usually found his songs at number 399. He said that the next one had been #5 in South Africa but he wasn’t sure who was buying it and they were probably racist.
I Want To See the Bright Lights Tonight
He said he’s sing something off his “most recent record” and that he was choosing his words carefully because it wasn’t new and that they had about “80 thousand in the warehouse” and it was extraordinary in some ways, “few of them musical.” He tried to tune his guitar and exclaimed, “it’s untuneable!”
Someone shouted “Cold Kisses!” and he said that after the next one he’d do it, but it was “for your own good” because he was in a weird tuning.
52 Vincent Black Lightning
I Feel So Good
She Twists the Knife Again
He thanked everyone for coming and thanked Loudon and said that he had to get tuned “before we turn into pumpkins” and that it was nice to share the stage with Loudon one of his favorite artists.
Dimming of the Day
Since he had run out of time, he simply said thank you and was off.
Photos by Nichole Wagner