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Having my son on drums has made a huge difference. I can't stress this strongly enough, in terms of the groove space and style that Joachim gave me to instinctively play what I felt in a more free way, rather than feeling constricted. That's true on record and on stage.
I give up on pop music. As far as a commercial entity, as far as pop music goes, I quit; I absolutely throw in the towel. I can't handle it. I can't do it. I can't be what they need you to be.
When I made the first album, I was 24, and at that age, you have nothing to say. I just played the music I loved and tried to do it justice.
A microphone has a certain range. It's not as good as your ears, but it will capture an enclosed space, the harmonic content in a room. Nice old tube mikes do that pretty well. And that's a good sound.
After all is said and done and institutions fail, people still have some ability to care for each other.
All I know is, I play the guitar, beat it out, and sing a song that has some damn resonance that we feel as musicians. We send it out and people get it, and that's a good thing.
How many BMWs do you need? How many Rolex watches you gonna wear in your lifetime, for crying out loud? What is it about that kind of desire? I don't understand it.
I can't help what people write or think. If somebody thinks I'm a serious archivist, they're wrong. That's been a problem. It's a shame people take that attitude, because it affects how they listen to the music. It's a big mistake to treat any pop music that way.
I just feel that music is a great life because it's very rewarding. It's a gratification. You do this for yourself, and you also do this for other people.
I keep my mind on track, and I don't get mad, and I don't get frustrated. Well, I do... but creative work, it's a way of controlling all that.
I like classical music. I especially like the French composers: Ravel in particular. Debussy. That's so soothing in a nervous world.
I like the idea that something happens to everybody who comes to L.A. - whether they are Mexican, Irish, black, or hillbillies. You come here, and you leave all your traditions behind. And since there's no traditions here, you just make one up.
I think I'm more relaxed; I think I'm more philosophical. I don't get worried as much as I used to about things.
I'm not interested in making folkloric records, but I like to push the traditional format around so that familiar patterns get knocked on the head.
I'm used to music as a tool, taking the various elements and then making something completely new out of them. And writing film music is the perfect opportunity to do that, because you can look at the film and then just let your imagination soar.
I've done a fair amount of commercials. I did a bunch of Champion spark plug ads and Levi's and Molson Beer. You wouldn't know it. But some of it's damn good.
I've tended to look at my albums as research and development. I was just trying to get someplace new on each one.
If you're taught to hate and fear a people or a country, and it works, it's because of your ignorance of that country. You have no contact with it, nor do you know what you're hating and fearing.
If you're white working with non-white people, you will be branded as a colonialist by some people, regardless of your efforts or intentions.
It all started back in '69 when I worked with Jack Nitzsche on 'Performance.' That was my first experience of doing soundtracks, and I've enjoyed doing them ever since.
Music is all starting to sound alike in the modern era. Afro-pop sounds exactly like L.A. pop - there's no difference, no ambience, no real resonance.
People have all sorts of expectations which you can't meet. Me, I'm so reclusive I stay away from such things as much as I can. I never go anywhere.
People who aren't as interested in recorded music as they used to be will say, 'Oh, 'Buena Vista?' Loved it.' And I'll say, 'Well, how about any of my other recent records. I've been doing some pretty good ones. You like those?' And they go, 'Huh?
R&B and all that stuff was always very spare and spontaneous. Nobody made those records under solid gold situations. It was just in and out, and you didn't labor over the thing. I like music like that.
Some people have career plans, long-range career plans. I don't know anything about that. I'm no good at it.
The blues is so expressive - nostalgic but not sentimental, mournful but not pathetic, so humble and close to the earth. It's a nuance-filled thing.
The thing I always found about the gospel music was that it reached further into your being if you like, your mind. It takes hold of you - especially if you sing it and play it.
What kills music in films is when it's done as performance, drawing attention to the fact that someone's in the background playing it.
With country, it's hard to penetrate the thick layers of commercialism that have been applied like shellac coatings over the real thing.
You have to be able to improvise and respond to what's going on around you. Then you might get a good piece of work done.
I toured around for years, but the road was always a drag for me. I never made a dime. In fact, I lost a lot of money - it was horrible.