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I've written many extra verses to songs that I learned to sing - an extra verse about a friend, or just add some verse - and that led to writing my own songs.
I've also gotten to play in front of a million people in Central Park when there was a grass roots movement calling for nuclear disarmament - it was about 1982 - they called it Peace Sunday.
I'd have to say that my favorite thing is writing a song that really says how I feel, what I believe - and it even explains the world to myself better than I knew it.
I wrote the song For A Dancer for a friend of mine who died in a fire. He was in the sauna in a house that burned down, so he had no idea anything was going on. It was very sad.
I told my father I wanted to play the banjo, and so he saved the money and got ready to give me a banjo for my next birthday, and between that time and my birthday, I lost interest in the banjo and was playing guitar.
I taught myself to play the piano, because I wanted to play it.
I started playing the trumpet when I was about eight.
I never was a very good singer.
I love to read. I love to stretch. In the morning, I get up, and if I'm not in a hurry, I will lie on the floor on a rug, look through some books and magazines, and maybe listen to music and try to do stretching exercises to tune up.
I grew up reading Shakespeare and Mark Twain.
As far as those kinds of things, I also played at the concert to call for the release of Nelson Mandela when he was a political prisoner in South Africa. We were celebrating his 70th birthday and calling for his release.
And my dad wanted me to play the trumpet because that's what he liked. His idol was Louis Armstrong. My dad thought my teeth came together in a way that was perfect for playing the trumpet.
Also, right at that particular time in the music business, because of people like the Beatles, people began owning their own publishing. I'll just say this really quickly - they used to divide the money for the music that was written in two, just equal halves.
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