GK: Chris Thile is with us, a recent recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the so-called genius award, the award you cannot apply for, it is bestowed on you like in a fairy tale, buckets of money for five years to squander any way you want and there are no requirements at all.
Chris is the fourth person I've known who got the MacArthur Fellowship and for the other three it was the beginning of the end, they sank into chronic depression and drug dependency and now they're living in group homes and trying to learn rudimentary social skills and learn how to take public transportation and have service-sector jobs and get their lives back on track, so I certainly wish Chris the very best. You look older, I must say. Older and tired.
CT: I am feeling fantastic. I've never felt better. Since I won the genius award, I learned Mandarin Chinese in two weeks. I'm golfing in the low 70s. I'm able to do the Saturday New York Times crossword in about 20 minutes. And ----- would you mind if I talked about sexual potency?
GK: You look drawn somehow, sallow, your color isn't good, you have some sort of a tremor.....
CT: You know, I was playing Bach's Mass in B Minor on the mandolin the other day and it suddenly occurred to me what Einstein meant about mass and energy being two forms of the same thing and I came up with a grand unified theory of the mandolin ---- it's a string theory ---- can I tell you about it? It only takes about fifteen minutes.
GK: You look tired. Take care of yourself, Chris. We're worried about you. Welcome to the show.
Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).