Richard Thompson can write a tale of wayward romance like no other, and “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” features two of his most well-known, tragic characters. My mom worships Thompson, and so Red Molly and James became the badass Bonnie and Clyde of my childhood, two figures who will always remind me of her which is pretty gnarly considering what happens to them. The two fall in love clad in black leather and then James, the outlaw incapable of staying out of trouble, goes and gets shot in the chest for attempting to commit armed robbery. He leaves poor Red Molly with his 1952 Vincent Black Lightning motorcycle to remember him by. It’s a great story, and it still sounds great when Thompson plays it over 20 years after it was released in 1991. Watch him perform the classic on Conan, as well as “All Buttoned Up” off of this year’s Still below.
Still is out now via Fantasy Records.