And I saw the sax line-up that he had behind him and I thought, I’m going to learn the saxophone. When I grow up, I’m going to play in his band. So I sort of persuaded my dad to get me a kind of a plastic saxophone on the hire purchase plan.
As you get older, the questions come down to about two or three. How long? And what do I do with the time I’ve got left?
But I’m pretty good with collaborative thinking. I work well with other people.
But I’ve got to think of myself as the luckiest guy. Robert Johnson only had one album’s worth of work as his legacy. That’s all that life allowed him.
Confront a corpse at least once. The absolute absence of life is the most disturbing and challenging confrontation you will ever have.
Fame can take interesting men and thrust mediocrity upon them.
Frankly, I mean, sometimes the interpretations I’ve seen on some of the songs that I’ve written are a lot more interesting than the input that I put in.
Funk, I don’t think I have anything to do with funk. I’ve never considered myself funky.
Heathenism is a state of mind. You can take it that I’m referring to one who does not see his world. He has no mental light. He destroys almost unwittingly. He cannot feel any Gods presence in his life. He is the 21st century man.
However, there’s no theme or concept behind Heathen, just a number of songs but somehow there is a thread that runs through it that is quite as strong as any of my thematic type albums.
I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human.
I believe that I often bring out the best in somebody’s talents.
I don’t have stylistic loyalty. That’s why people perceive me changing all the time. But there is a real continuity in my subject matter. As an artist of artifice, I do believe I have more integrity than any one of my contemporaries.
I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.
I don’t profess to have music as my big wheel and there are a number of other things as important to me apart from music. Theatre and mime, for instance.
I felt I really wanted to back off from music completely and just work within the visual arts in some way. I started painting quite passionately at that time.
I had to resign myself, many years ago, that I’m not too articulate when it comes to explaining how I feel about things. But my music does it for me, it really does.
I never could get over the fact that The Pixies formed, worked and separated without America taking them to its heart or even recognizing their existence for the most part.
I rate Morrissey as one of the best lyricists in Britain. For me, he’s up there with Bryan Ferry.
I re-invented my image so many times that I’m in denial that I was originally an overweight Korean woman.
I realized the other day that I’ve lived in New York longer than I’ve lived anywhere else. It’s amazing: I am a New Yorker. It’s strange; I never thought I would be.
I suppose for me as an artist it wasn’t always just about expressing my work; I really wanted, more than anything else, to contribute in some way to the culture that I was living in. It just seemed like a challenge to move it a little bit towards the way I thought it might be interesting to go.
I think it all comes back to being very selfish as an artist. I mean, I really do just write and record what interests me and I do approach the stage shows in much the same way.
I think Mick Jagger would be astounded and amazed if he realized that to many people he is not a sex symbol, but a mother image.
I wanted to prove the sustaining power of music.
I went through all the musicians in my life who I admire as bright, intelligent, virtuosic players.
I wish myself to be a prop, if anything, for my songs. I want to be the vehicle for my songs. I would like to colour the material with as much visual expression as is necessary for that song.
I’m always amazed that peole take what I say seriously. I don’t even take what I am seriously.
I’m an instant star. Just add water and stir.
I’m in awe of the universe, but I don’t necessarily believe there’s an intelligence or agent behind it. I do have a passion for the visual in religious rituals, though, even though they may be completely empty and bereft of substance. The incense is powerful and provocative, whether Buddhist or Catholic.
I’m just an individual who doesn’t feel that I need to have somebody qualify my work in any particular way. I’m working for me.
I’m looking for backing for an unauthorized auto-biography that I am writing. Hopefully, this will sell in such huge numbers that I will be able to sue myself for an extraordinary amount of money and finance the film version in which I will play everybody.
I’m not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with potential of a superman. I’m living on.
I’m very at ease, and I like it. I never thought I would be such a family-oriented guy; I didn’t think that was part of my makeup. But somebody said that as you get older you become the person you always should have been, and I feel that’s happening to me. I’m rather surprised at who I am, because I’m actually like my dad!
I’m well past the age where I’m acceptable. You get to a certain age and you are forbidden access. You’re not going to get the kind of coverage that you would like in music magazines, you’re not going to get played on radio and you’re not going to get played on television. I have to survive on word of mouth.
I’ve made over 25 studio albums, and I think probably I’ve made two real stinkers in my time, and some not-bad albums, and some really good albums. I’m proud of what I’ve done. In fact it’s been a good ride.
I’ve never responded well to entrenched negative thinking.
It amazes me sometimes that even intelligent people will analyze a situation or make a judgement after only recognizing the standard or traditional structure of a piece.
It would be my guess that Madonna is not a very happy woman. From my own experience, having gone through persona changes like that, that kind of clawing need to be the center of attention is not a pleasant place to be.
Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity. So it’s like, just take advantage of these last few years because none of this is ever going to happen again. You’d better be prepared for doing a lot of touring because that’s really the only unique situation that’s going to be left.
Nearly all the synth work on Heathen is mine and some of the piano.
On the other hand, what I like my music to do to me is awaken the ghosts inside of me. Not the demons, you understand, but the ghosts.
Once I’ve written something it does tend to run away from me. I don’t seem to have any part of it – it’s no longer my piece of writing.
Pixies and Sonic Youth were so important to the eighties.
Questioning my spiritual life has always been germane to what I was writing. Always. It’s because I’m not quite an atheist and it worries me. There’s that little bit that holds on: ‘Well, I’m almost an atheist. Give me a couple of months.’
Radio in England is nonexistent. It’s very bad English use of a media system, typically English use.
Since the departure of good old-fashioned entertainers the re-emergence of somebody who wants to be an entertainer has unfortunately become a synonym for camp. I don’t think I’m camper than any other person who felt at home on stage, and felt more at home on stage than he did offstage.
Sometimes you stumble across a few chords that put you in a reflective place.
Strangely, some songs you really don’t want to write.
That’s the shock: All cliches are true. The years really do speed by. Life really is as short as they tell you it is. And there really is a God – so do I buy that one? If all the other cliches are true… Hell, don’t pose me that one.
The absolute transformation of everything that we ever thought about music will take place within 10 years, and nothing is going to be able to stop it. I see absolutely no point in pretending that it’s not going to happen. I’m fully confident that copyright, for instance, will no longer exist in 10 years.
The humanists’ replacement for religion: work really hard and somehow you’ll either save yourself or you’ll be immortal. Of course, that’s a total joke, and our progress is nothing. There may be progress in technology but there’s no ethical progress whatsoever.
The truth is of course is that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time.
There, in the chords and melodies, is everything I want to say. The words just jolly it along. It’s always been my way of expressing what for me is inexpressible by any other means.
There’s a good television programme called ‘Disco 2.’ It’s quite good but again it’s average, average. It’s all on a down play. You know we’ve got this thing in England to be hip is to speak very down – like John Peel. And that just about sums up England. They don’t realize when they talk like that, then that is what they represent – absolutely.
There’s a schizoid streak within the family anyway so I dare say that I’m affected by that. The majority of the people in my family have been in some kind of mental institution, as for my brother he doesn’t want to leave. He likes it very much.
To not be modest about it, you’ll find that with only a couple of exceptions, most of the musicians that I’ve worked with have done their best work by far with me.
Tony Visconti and I had been wanting to work together again for a few years now. Both of us had fairly large commitments and for a long time we couldn’t see a space in which we could get anything together.
What I do is I write mainly about very personal and rather lonely feelings, and I explore them in a different way each time. You know, what I do is not terribly intellectual. I’m a pop singer for Christ’s sake. As a person, I’m fairly uncomplicated.
When I heard Little Richard, I mean, it just set my world on fire.
When I’m stuck for a closing to a lyric, I will drag out my last resort: overwhelming illogic.
When you think about it, Adolf Hitler was the first pop star.