Being on a boat that’s moving through the water, it’s so clear. Everything falls into place in terms of what’s important and what’s not.
The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
A concert is always like a feast day to me.
I collect hats. That’s what you do when you’re bald.
I find it a lot healthier for me to be someplace where I can go outside in my bare feet.
That’s the motivation of an artist – to seek attention of some kind.
People should watch out for three things: avoid a major addiction, don’t get so deeply into debt that it controls your life, and don’t start a family before you’re ready to settle down.
Television news is now entertainment, and the stories are being written by the people that have a special interest in them.
You have to choose whether to love yourself or not.
I believe musicians have a duty, a responsibility to reach out, to share your love or pain with others.
When I cleaned up some 17 odd years ago, I felt terrible for about six months. The only thing that gave me any real relief was strenuous physical activity.
If you’re an addict, it controls your life and your life becomes uncontrollable. It’s boring and painful, filling your system with something that makes you stare at your shoes for six hours.
I don’t take compliments very easily. I think most musicians suffer from low self-esteem to some extent.
If you think my music is sentimental and self-absorbed, I agree with you.
Time will take your money, but money won’t buy time.
We all have to face pain, and pain makes us grow.
If I were to try to identify a turning point I’d say that was it – getting clean.
It is the most delightful thing that ever happens to me, when I hear something coming out of my guitar and out of my mouth that wasn’t there before.
There’ll come a writing phase where you have to defend the time, unplug the phone and put in the hours to get it done.
I’m glad about what’s happening to the music business. This last crop of people we had in the 90s, who are going away now, they didn’t like music. They didn’t trust musicians. They wanted something else from it.
I think that American music, for me, it’s a synthesis of a lot of different things. But for me growing up in North Carolina, the stuff that I was listening to, the things that I was hearing, it was all about black music, about soul music.
Knowing when to quit is probably a very important thing, but I just am not ready.
If you feel like singing along, don’t.
I’m trying to look at my blessings and how amazingly well against all odds things have turned out for me.
To me, very much of what is artistic is people’s very creative and inventive ways out of impossible situations.
I started being a songwriter pretending I could do it, and it turned out I could.
Americans work a long away ahead of themselves because of the size of the place. To make any impact at all you have to promote yourself with live performances ages before a release.
Certain things in life are more important than the usual crap that everyone strives for.
Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to have made a lot of difference to my audience that I’m as bald as a billiard ball!
I am myself for a living. I don’t animate a character.
I believe 100 percent in the power and importance of music.
I can take criticisms but not compliments.
I don’t know much about God. But if everything does originate with God, then certainly songs do as well.
I don’t read music. I don’t write it. So I wander around on the guitar until something starts to present itself.
I don’t think anyone really says anything new.
I think people are isolated because of the nature of human consciousness, and they like it when they feel the connection between themselves and someone else.
I think that we’re all totally isolated beings and always will be.
I was a functional addict.
I was in chemical jail.
I’m very unstable; there’s no stability in a musician’s life at all. You live on a bus or on the road hand to mouth and you don’t know where your money’s coming from.
If the gig’s going really well, I’m incredibly happy on stage and really feel good about my life and things.
It is a process of discovery. It’s being quiet enough and undisturbed enough for a period of time so that the songs can begin to sort of peek out, and you begin to have emotional experiences in a musical way.
It’s hard to find a way forward. When you’re 18 it happens in huge chunks every day, but after 20 years, growth is much more costly.
It’s probably foolish to expect relationships to go on forever and to say that because something only lasts 10 years, it’s a failure.
Music is like a huge release of tension.
Once you get that two-way energy thing going, everyone benefits hugely.
Sobering up was responsible for breaking up my marriage. That’s what it couldn’t stand.
Somehow it helps just to take something that’s internal and externalize it, to see it in front of you.
Things started to get out of control when I began reading that I was a superstar.
Photographers and reporters are mostly after me. They want to know what I read and what I’m like and I don’t really know myself, so how can I tell them?
Music is my living. I enjoy selling my music.
I don’t get into heavy political numbers because I don’t find them lyrical.
I tend to write out the first iteration of a lyric here and then go over here and make variations on it, on the page opposite.
When you write a song, it may come from a personal space, but it very seldom actually represents you. It comes out of a sort of mood of melancholy, somehow. It’s almost theatrical.
I played the cello from when I was ten, and then I bought a guitar from the father of some friends of mine and played that for a while. And then when I was fourteen or so, I bought a guitar – a real nice one – in Durham, North Carolina, that I worked with up until I was about twenty-five.