Ray Davies is the singer/musician I am most enjoy listening to, even though he's neither the best singer nor the best musician I can think of. It's also kind of hard to separate him from the Kinks. He is definitely my favorite songwriter.
Mark Knopfler is my favorite pure musician.
2. What one singer/musician can you not stand? Why?
Prince. Overhyped and pretentious. Get a real name, damn it. Unpronounceable symbol, my ass...
3. If your favorite singer wasn't in the music business, do you think you would still like him/her as a person?
I have no idea. He had a reputation for bitchiness in the old days, which I got to witness the one time I saw the Kinks play back in the seventies. He does seem to have mellowed in his old age, because he was very open and friendly when I saw him on the Storyteller tour a few years ago. Maybe it's because he doesn't have to hang around with his little brother anymore.
4. Have you been to any concerts? If yes, who put on the best show?
I have to pick one? Billy Joel at Edwards Auditorium at URI in 1978. Small venue, four encores, tremendous energy, just an amazing show and totally unexpected. Other favorite shows - The Strawbs at the Capital Theatre in Passaic in '76, Joe Jackson at URI in '82, Dire Straits at the Providence Civic Center in '85.
5. What are your thoughts on downloading free music online vs. purchasing albums? Do you feel the RIAA is right in its pursuit to stop people from dowloading free music?
I do both. I have bought albums of artists whose stuff I've first found on-line, and quite frankly I probably wouldn't have bought the albums if I hadn't been able to download the songs first. Radio around here sucks, so there's no way to listen to anything that isn't on a ClearChannel playlist. Don't get me started on the RIAA.