When you have a song on the radio your career and your life changes maybe for the better and maybe for the not so good depending on how it's going that day.
I guess I can be surprised I'm alive. I'm taking a little better care of myself than when I was a young person. My father died when he was 63. My mother made it to 74. My grandparents, God, they were dropping like flies.
I wasn't in a lot of rock and roll bands. I was in jug bands and things when I was in school.
I've never really suffered complete and utter writer's block, really. I equate it with sex: in the beginning of my career, I was writing five songs a week; now, I occasionally write a song. But it's an exciting moment when it happens!
You always want to break away from your parents, and you always think, 'I'm never going to be like that guy.' What I've discovered is you kind of wind up becoming your parents, which is also a cliche in itself. My father, despite the fact that he's been dead for over 25 years, he's been a huge influ
Displaying a bland, even an eerie, disregard for what appeared to be the facts of the situation, he fell back on an old habit of looking ahead to the next defeat.
If you're 28 and singing about being over the hill, you're pretending. When you're 67 and singing about it, you know what you're talking about.
Geoff Muldaur was and is one of my musical heroes. When I listen to him sing and play, I can hear the coal mine, the cotton field, and last, but certainly foremost, the boy's boarding school.
I've been writing about growing old for some time, really from the beginning of my career. It's something I'm apparently hung up about and now that I am old, hopefully I speak about it with some authority.
As it turns out, three of my four kids are professional singers. And they're really interesting, good singers.
I don't claim to be a particularly good father. I'm flawed, let's say. I've certainly been affected by the experience of having kids... trying to be a father, at least. It's an amazing process. It's like songwriting: it's a complete mystery to me. I don't understand it - but I've certainly written a
When my mother died, and when my father died, it's big. Our parents are giants; they're titans of our lives, so of course it's going to be a big deal.
When you make a record, you listen to it literally hundreds of times. When it's done and you can't do anything else, I never listen to my records.
I think I'm the oldest new Bob Dylan around. I predate Bruce Springsteen, Steve Forbat and John Prine. I was probably the first of the new Bob Dylans.
I wasn't in a lot of rock and roll bands. I was in jug bands and things when I was in school. Loudon Wainwright II
I studied acting and there's certainly an element of performance. I think that the songs are in many ways written to be performed. I think about what it's going to be like to sing them on stage rather than what it's going to be like to have someone at home listening to them on a CD. I guess in that
If I had five minutes to live, I don't think I'd be bothered singing a song. I'd be dead, so it won't really matter. I'd have a glass of wine and a cigarette.
I hated the idea that I would be like my father. Which is one of the reasons I decided I didn't want to be a writer and wanted to be an actor instead. I wanted to go in a total different direction. But, of course, I ended up being a writer anyway.
I always wanted to be an actor, even as a little kid. So I went to drama school in the late '60s at Carnegie Mellon.
When you start your career, you have to figure out a way to separate yourself from the pack. So I went for a kind of preppy, psycho-killer look: I had short hair, grey flannel pants, and a button-down shirt. I think it worked, because nobody else was looking that way at that time.
I don't write about anything I don't want to write about. I like to think I could write about anything pretty much that I chose to. I have been asked to write songs about specific things, and I've always been able to come up with the goods.
After a war, after a concentration camp, I find it's not too difficult to be happy.
I think I'm great. I mean, I might as well come out and say it. Like most people, I have an ego and I'm in show business, so you have to have kind of a healthy, conflagrated ego to a degree. On the other hand, I'm consumed, like a lot of people, with self-doubt and loathing and guilt.
It's nice when people say, 'God, I've been listening to you since 1963 or 1985, or whatever.' I appreciate anybody who goes out and buys music these days.
I don't think of myself as a folk singer per se, but I really like blues and string-band music. When I started listening to records when I was a teenager, the folk boom was going on.
When you start performing, you realize that you have to separate yourself from the pack. So I would never wear bell-bottoms, which everybody else was wearing. I had short hair - and to see a 21-year-old guy walk onstage without longish hair was, in itself, weird. Every entertainer needs a shtick.
It's hard for the modern generation to understand Thoreau, who lived beside a pond but didn't own water skis or a snorkel.
Doomsday is quite within our reach, if we will only stretch for it.
My music comes from country music. Merle Haggard is God, and I do believe that. I'm not too tuned in to country music. I don't know who Brooks and Dunn are. I like Shania Twain, though!
Why kill good people just to get a bad man?