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I don’t do live things.
– Robert Wyatt
I don’t find the business easy. The moment you start talking about the business, you start sounding like someone in Spinal Tap.
If you’ve never felt that you quite got a hold of it, you just feel that before you die, you’ve got to try and get it right once. And hope that the experience you have makes up for the some of the diminishing energy.
When I lost the use of my hi-hat and bass drum legs, I became basically a singer. I was a drummer who did a bit of singing, and then I became a singer who did a bit of percussion.
In theory, I’d like to work in a group. But the group I’d like to work in, all the musicians in them are long since dead.
I’m not, by nature, a collaborator. My biggest influences were people like painters and poets. These are solitary workers.
It just doesn’t mean anything to me, the high-profile, big money side of things. I just want enough to live on, and to be able to get on with what I do, and hang around my friends.
Being big and famous doesn’t get you more freedom, it gets you less.
I’ve always liked pop music. There was a bit of a misunderstanding with the avant-garde rock scene, because I think I was sort of swimming the wrong way, really.
I think the people who did well, or are happy, in a youth industry, they define themselves out of the business after a decade or so.
I prefer the mystic clouds of nostalgia to the real thing, to be honest.
People are quite shocked when you remind them that Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra never wrote a song that they recorded in their lives, as far as I know.
There are people I would like to work with. It’s a bit harder, because I live out in the sticks anyway, and plus being in a wheelchair means that I can’t really circulate. So I tend to stick to my own thing.
Anybody who thinks pop music’s easy should try to make a pop single and find out that it isn’t.
I really liked them, not just Syd, but all of them. Roger was very important, I thought, his contribution. And so was Rick’s organ playing. It was a good band. It became something else completely, obviously.
The things that I draw on, and the world that I feel part of, aren’t particularly youth culture.
Love is blind. My politics has been, too. I think you can fall in love with ideas, and you can fall in love with people. It’s a very subjective experience. And I’m loyal to that experience.
People say, oh it’s a shame, you’re not nostalgic about the ’60s. Well actually, it’s quite good, when you think of it. Wouldn’t it be sad if I was sitting here wishing it back?
I know people who grow old and bitter. I want to keep making a fresh start. I don’t want them to defeat me. That would be suicidal.
I’m not full of malice, but I do dislike Neil Diamond a lot, and I’m sorry that I’ve done a Neil Diamond song.
There’s no field of music which doesn’t have good ideas.
I would like to think that the singer is the butterfly, and the drummer was just the little grub in the ground, working to become a caterpillar.
My heroes are people like Picasso and Miro and people who at last really reach something in their old age, which they absolutely couldn’t ever have done in their youth.
What keeps me going is a constant sense of disappointment with what I’ve already done.
I think that pop, and to some extent rock, are like sport and fashion industry in that they’re about the exuberance of youth. That’s the sort of subliminal ideology.
This constant pressure from record companies to come up with a hit single or something like that, I find completely tiresome.