Meet Your Guide – Rick Jones (“I danced to Norwich in nine days”)

London Walks has arguably been more creative during the Covid pandemic than at any other time in its long and colourful history. That creativity has borne all kinds of fruit. These podcasts, for example. Ditto the London Walks Virtual Tours – there are now over 300 of them. But perhaps most significant of all, our “signings” – the half-dozen or so superstar guides who’ve joined the London Walks team in the last 12 months. This podcast interviews one of those signings: Rick Jones. One hardly knows where to begin with Rick: he was the chief music critic for the Evening Standard for a decade, he plays the lute and the piano, he speaks several languages, he’s a leading Blue Badge Guide, he’s danced, in Elizabethan costume, from London to Norwich, he’s a master raconteur… well, you get the idea.


“I thought I’d be a great performer, I thought I’d be one of the leading stars of the classical music stage”

“I was ten years the music critic of the Evening Standard

“you’re scribbling in the dark”

“I’m the Secretary of The Critics’ Circle”

“it was all sort of puff and rather less substance”

“she did a tour which I described as limping like a three-legged dog onto the stage – they took great exception to it…it made a bit of a smell around the place”

“music is the only one of the arts which has not yet managed to fuse the popular and the classical forms”

“it’s a much broader and more expressive language than words”

“there isn’t a language problem in a concert hall”

“Jack Flood and the Inputs”

“entertainment London of a seedy nature”

“there is no darkness but ignorance”

“there is no sin but ignorance”

“he claimed that Jesus and John were bedfellows – you can’t get more blasphemous than that”

“Shakespeare contains some 200 songs”

“he was a spy”

“he mixed in very high circles”

“it’s like the History Channel”

“I became Will Kemp”

“I can dance to Norwich and I’ll do it in nine days”

“I danced whenever traffic was passing”

“I did it for a piece in the BBC Music Magazine”

“I also managed to arrange a horse for me”

“I was nearly arrested…somebody had reported me”

“I looked round and there were two policemen coming toward me”

“We’ve had a report that there’s someone dancing along the motorway, a man in a costume”

“We thought we were going to have to make an arrest of a man who had escaped from a mental hospital”

“I did the same thing in Germany as J. S. Bach”

“costumed journalism”

“police car, siren blaring”

“you are the only guide who’s able to guide in blank verse”

“blank verse that you’ve written”




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