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The biggest influence? I've had several at different times - but the biggest for me was Bob Dylan, who was a guy that came along when I was twelve or thirteen and just changed all the rules about what it meant to write songs.
That's maybe the most important thing each generation does, is to break a lot of rules and make up their own way of doing things.
That folk music led to learning to play, and making things up led to what turns out to be the most lucrative part of the music business - writing, because you get paid every time that song gets played.
So what I do, more than play any instrument - I mean, I love to play - but more than that, I write songs. Songs that are about living, about what it's like to be going through all the things that people go through in life.
So I had a couple of years of playing trumpet. I really enjoyed it, but it was not the kind of instrument you could whip out at a party. Let's face it.
Right around the end of the fifties, college students and young people in general, began to realize that this music was almost like a history of our country - this music contained the real history of the people of this country.
Now, guitar was pretty cool. Everybody knew something on the guitar. So I wanted to play guitar, but I told my dad if he wanted me to keep studying something, I'd like to study piano.
No matter how close to yours another's steps have grown, in the end there is one dance you'll do alone.
Musician jokes are a kind of joke that usually have to do with how much money someone makes. Musicians are always starving, so they're really mean to each other about who makes what.
Music itself is a great source of relaxation. Parts of it anyway. Working in the studio, that's not relaxing, but playing an instrument that I don't know how to play is unbelievably relaxing, because I don't have any pressure on me.
Like, What is the least often heard sentence in the English language? That would be: Say, isn't that the banjo player's Porsche parked outside?
It was a great time to be born, because I got to have my own publishing company right from the beginning, so I made more money than somebody would have doing what I did ten or fifteen years before.
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.
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