Lone Wolf Sullivan is a writer, songwriter, and studio musician.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) * * * *

In 1861 on the eve of the American Civil War, Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) is an egotistical Southern Belle living an idyllic lifestyle on Tara, a sprawling cotton plantation with her two younger sisters and father Gerald (Thomas Mitchell) and mother Ellen (Barbara O'Neill). Scarlett is very popular with every young man in the county, except for Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard), whom she wants to marry.

First Title Card: "There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South... Here in this pretty world Gallantry took its last bow... Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair, of Master and of Slave... Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered. A Civilization gone with the wind..."

(first lines) Brent Tarleton: "What do we care if we were expelled from college, Scarlett? The war is gonna start any day now, so we'd have left college anyhow."
Stuart Tarleton: "Oh, isn't it exciting, Scarlett? You know those fool Yanks may actually want a war?"
Brent Tarleton: "We'll show 'em!"
Scarlett: "Fiddle-dee-dee. War, war, war; this war talk's spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream. Besides... there isn't going to be any war."
Brent Tarleton: "Not going to be any war?"
Stuart Tarleton: "Why, honey, of course there's gonna be a war." Scarlett: "If either of you boys says "war" just once again, I'll go in the house and slam the door."
Brent Tarleton: "But Scarlett..."
Stuart Tarleton: "Don't you want us to have a war?" (she gets up and walks to the door, to their protestations)
Scarlett: "Cathleen, Who's that?"
Cathleen Calvert: "Who?"
Scarlett: "That man looking at us and smiling? The nasty dark one?"
Cathleen Calvert: "My dear, don't you know? That's Rhett Butler. He's from Charleston; he has the most terrible reputation."
Scarlett: "He looks as if he knows what I look like without my shimmy."

At a barbecue, she is courted by Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), a handsome rogue who has been disowned by his Charleston family and expelled from West Point. He believes there will be a civil war and the South will lose to the industrial North. An announcement is made that the Civil War has started and men rush to enlist. Scarlett marries Charles Hamilton (Rand Brooks), but he soon dies of pneumonia. Ellen O'Hara sends Scarlett to their Atlanta home, and at a charity ball she dances with Rhett, who says he will marry her.

Scarlett: "Rhett, don't. I shall faint."
Rhett: "I want you to faint. This is what you were meant for. None of the fools you've ever known have kissed you like this, have they? Your Charles, or your Frank, or your stupid Ashley."

During the Battle of Atlanta, Rhett takes Scarlett to safety on the road to Tara. He says, "Take a good look my dear. It's an historic moment you can tell your grandchildren about - how you watched the Old South fall one night." Scarlett finds her mother is dead and her father is cracking up. She vows, "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again." The family and servants pick cotton in the fields and Scarlett kills a Union soldier and takes his money. Gerald O'Hara dies when he is thrown from a horse.

Scarlett cannot pay the taxes on Tara and visits Rhett for help. He has no money available, so Scarlett marries Frank Kennedy (Carroll Nye), a prosperous merchant. Soon Frank is killed in a fight with Union troops. Rhett tells her, "Now that you've got your lumber mill and Frank's money, you won't come to me as you did to the jail, so I see I shall have to marry you." Scarlett marries Rhett Butler. A daughter Bonnie Blue (Cammie King) is born. Scarlett becomes pregnant again, but falls down the grand staircase and has a miscarriage. Young Bonnie dies in a fall from a pony. Ashley's wife Melanie (Olivia de Havilland) also dies, and Scarlett realizes that her unrequited love for Ashley is in vain.

Rhett packs to leave his wife. As he goes Scarlett asks, "Where shall I go? What shall I do?" He answers, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." and walks away into the fog. Scarlett cries, thinks about Ashley and her father, then her face lights up. "Tara!" she says, "Home. I'll go home, and think of some way to get him back. After all... tomorrow is another day."

GONE WITH THE WIND is adapted from Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel of the same name. The movie is an all-time classic, a masterpiece. It is one of the greatest motion pictures ever made and one of the best examples of storytelling on film. An epic Civil War drama on the grandest scale, it has a romantic story, strong characters, and impeccable production. With a runtime of 222 minutes, it maintains our interest for almost 4 hours.

Some of the highlights include the burning of Atlanta scene, which required most of the MGM lot to be razed. There is a great crane shot of wounded Confederate soldiers, and a train depot scene required hundreds of extras. A restored version of the film at 231 minutes is available, but the pseudo-widescreen version produced in the late 1960's should be avoided. The composition and colour have been ruined.

GONE WITH THE WIND is the highest grossing film in box office history and was nominated for 13 Oscars. It won 8 Academy awards and 2 Special Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Screenplay, an Honorary Award, and a Technical Achievement Award.

Others in the cast include: Barbara O'Neil (Ellen O'Hara), Evely Keyes (Suellen O'Hara), Ann Rutherford (Carreen O'Hara), George Reeves (Stuart Tarleton), Fred Crane (Brent Tarleton), Hattie McDaniel (Mammy), Oscar Polk (Pork), Butterfly McQueen (Prissy), Victor Jory (Jonas Wilkerson), Everett Brown (Big Sam), Howard. C. Hickman (John Wilkes), Alicai Rhett (India Wilkes), Marcella Martin (Cathleen Calvert), Laura Hope Cres (Aunt Hamilton), Eddie "Rochester" Anderson (Uncle Peter), Harry Davenport (Dr. Meade), Leona Roberts (Mrs. Meade), Jane Darwell (Mrs Dolly Merriwether), Ona Munson (Belle Watling), J.M. Kerrigan (Johnny Gallagher), Jackie Moran ( Phil Meade), Mickey Kuhn (Beau Wilkes), Ward Bond (Tom), Mary Anderson (Maybelle Merriwether), and many others. Sidney Howard wrote the screenplay with help from Ben Hecht, David O. Selznick, Jo Swerling, and John Van Druten. Music is by Max Steiner with help from Adolph Deutsch and Heinz Roemheld. George Cukor began the direction, but was removed at Clark Gable's homophobic insistence. Sam Wood also did some directing, but the direction is credited to Victor Fleming.

Rhett Butler to Scarlett quotes:
"I can't go all my life waiting to catch you between husbands." "I've always thought a good lashing with a buggy whip would benefit you immensely."
"You go into the arena alone. The lions are hungry for you."
"Don't flatter yourself. I'm not a marrying man."
"I believe in Rhett Butler, he's the only cause I know."
"You're like the thief who isn't the least bit sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he's going to jail."
"It seems we've been at cross purposes, doesn't it? But it's no use now. As long as there was Bonnie, there was a chance that we might be happy. I liked to think that Bonnie was you, a little girl again, before the war, and poverty had done things to you. She was so like you, and I could pet her, and spoil her, as I wanted to spoil you. But when she went, she took everything."

Scarlett O'Hara quotes:
"Great balls of fire. Don't bother me anymore, and don't call me sugar."
"Ooh, if I just wasn't a lady, what wouldn't I tell that varmint."
"Marriage, fun? Fiddle-dee-dee. Fun for men you mean."
(to Ashley) "You'd rather live with that silly little fool who can't open her mouth except to say "yes" or "no" and raise a passel of mealy-mouthed brats just like her...Dreams, dreams always dreams with you, never common sense."
"Now I didn't come to talk sillyness about me, Rhett. I came because I was so miserable at the thought of you in trouble. Oh I know I was mad at you the night you left me on the road to Tara and I still haven't forgiven you...Well I must admit I might not be alive now, only for you and when I think of myself with everything I could possibly hope for, and not a care in the world... And you here in this horrid jail, and not even a human jail, Rhett, a horse jail!"
"Oh, no! No, you're wrong, terribly wrong. I don't want a divorce. Oh Rhett, but I knew tonight, when I... when I knew I loved you, I ran home to tell you, oh darling, darling."
"As God is my witness, as God is my witness they're not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this and when it's all over, I'll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again."

STAR TREK TV (1966-1969) * * * 1/2

(opening narration) Captain Kirk: "Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its 5 year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before."

STAR TREK is a science fiction TV series created by Gene Roddenberry which aired from September 8, 1966 until September 2, 1969. It is a well-crafted series that dramatizes important social issues, can be enjoyed on several levels, and helped make serious sci-fi respectable. Only 79 episodes were produced, plus the 1964 pilot (starring Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike). The pilot "The Cage" was converted into the two-part STAR TREK episode "The Menagerie".

Set in the 23rd century, STAR TREK follows the adventures of the Constitutional Class Starship USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) and her crew. The spaceship, shaped like a frisbee with 2 flashlights glued to the bottom, is a combination scientific and military vessel that explores and protects our region of the galaxy run by the United Federation of Planets. Romulans and Klingons are the major enemies of the Federation. The Enterprise has warp drive, enabling it to travel faster than light, and a matter transporter that enables people and objects to be "beamed" from place to place.

The racially mixed crew is led by Captain James Tiberius Kirk (William Shatner), an unpretentious, passionate and often aggressive American from the Midwest (Iowa). He looks very much like Buster Crabbe from the 1930's FLASH GORDON serials and says, "Well, this is an Enterprise first. Dr. McCoy, Mr. Spock and Engineer Scott find themselves in complete agreement. Can I stand the strain?" Kirk appears in all episodes except for the pilot.

Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) is the Science Officer, half-Earthling and half-Vulcan, although his Vulcan heritage dominates. He is all logic, and suppresses his human emotions. Vulcans reputedly cannot lie, but Spock is almost a pathological liar. He lies, "exaggerates", and deliberately gives false impressions in virtually every episode. His pointed ears are derived from "The Sixth Finger" episode of THE OUTER LIMITS TV show. He says, "Fascinating is a word I use for the unexpected. Interesting shall suffice here." Spock appears in all STAR TREK episodes, including the pilot.

Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley) is the ship's doctor, a warm traditionalist from the Old South (Atlanta). Kirk nicknamed him "Bones", short for "sawbones", an old pejorative for doctors. He says, "I'm not a magician, Spock, just an old country doctor." Dr. McCoy appears in 76 episodes, replacing the original Dr. Piper (Paul Fix).

Montgomery Scott (James Doohan) is the Chief Engineer, a traditional hard-drinking Scotsman. He has a reputation as a "miracle worker" for his technical skill, knowledge, determination, and resolve. He says, "On Earth, we have a saying: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." and "I canna' change the laws of physics. I've got to have thirty minutes." "Scotty" appears in 66 episodes.

Chief Navigator Hikaru Sulu (George Takei) is an Oriental technocrat with an inscrutable smile. He is helmsman with the rank of lieutenant and has many interests, including botany, fencing, and ancient weaponry. Sulu asks, "Can you give us a status report, Captain? Temperature's still dropping. Now 41 degrees below zero." He appears in 51 episodes.

Assistant Navigator Pavlov Chekov (Walter Koenig) is an impulsive and erratic Russian who was added to the show after the second season to provide representation from America's chief rival. Chekov believes most things originated in Russia and says, "Scotch was invented by a little old lady from Leningrad." He appears in 36 episodes.

Communications Officer Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) is a 1960's black stereotype, highly proficient at her job. She avoids personal revelations and romance to sidestep any race mixing. She doesn't have a first name on the show, but Roddenberry used "Niota" for her character. Both names are Swahili: "Niota" means star, and "Uhura" means freedom. Nichols said about her costume: "Well I hated the colour, that was all. It was kind of a pea green. Gene hated the colour also, and so he called Bill Theiss in and told him he wanted to change that costume, and um, so I think I wore that pea green thing for a couple of episodes and then they changed to that beautiful red." Uhura appears in 68 episodes.

Nurse Christine Chapel (Majel Barrett) is a competent blonde nurse. Majel Barrett played the brunette First Officer in the original pilot. Her acting is OK, but let's face it, she is only in the show because she was the wife of Gene Roddenberry. She says, "Oh, I'd be very happy to do that, Mr. Spock. I came to tell you that we are bound for Vulcan. We'll be there in just a few days." She appears in 33 episodes.

General Order 1 of the United Federation of Planets is the Prime Directive. It dictates that there can be no interference with the internal affairs of other civilizations. Kirk says, "A star captain's most solemn oath is that he will give his life, even his entire crew, rather than violate the Prime Directive." However, Kirk and his crew routinely violate the Prime Directive in almost every episode. But it's like Spock's lies, the audience is somehow not expected to notice.

STAR TREK is supposedly an inspirational positive view of the future. Huh? In reality, the series should be called "Nazis in Outer Space". It is highly militaristic with a hierarchical chain of command. What it portrays 300 years in the future is not much different from Earth society 2,000 years ago.

Typically the Enterprise travels millions of light years to a distant planet. What do they discover? A "Class M Planet" that is just like Earth! The people and society are exactly like those on Earth. It is explained as Hodgkin's Law and the theory of Parallel Planet Development. Sorry, I cannot suspend my disbelief about this silly ongoing scenario.

Of course the main reason for this astonishing nonsense was budget constraints. It also accounts for the overall cheapness of the show. With some exceptions, the sci-fi costumes, sets and makeup are generally cheap! And everything gets recycled from episode to episode. For example, the plastic dome on Lazarus' space ship in "Alternative Factor" (episode 26) is the dome covering the brains in the "Gamesters of Triskelion" (episode 44). Fortunately, they created a half-decent Enterprise Bridge, where most of the action takes place.

Countless actors appear on the show, including Sally Kellerman, Gary Lockwood, Ricardo Montalbalm, and Joan Collins. There were 20 writers, with Gene Roddenberry contributing to all episodes. Of the 13 directors, Marc Daniels worked on 15 episodes and Joseph Pevney on 14. The theme music is by Alexander Courage. Roddenberry, without consulting Courage, added lyrics to the music strictly to get 50% of the royalties. The lyrics have never been sung, but they are quite good. Initially there was a vocal "ahh" on the theme music, but it was removed for financial reasons, even though everbody agreed it was superior. Fred Steiner, Gerald Fried, Sol Kaplan, George Duning, and Jerry Fielding also contributed music to the show. The award-winning special effects are quite good for their time, but in September 2006, CBS Paramount TV began syndicating a high definition version of the series with new computer generated visual effects. No thanks. I'll watch the originals.

STAR TREK is a classic, familiar to virtually everyone. The best thing about it is all the characters are very charming. After this show, William Shatner seems burnt out in all his roles and his acting style is flat in comparison. Only dispensable characters ever die on STAR TREK, the original franchise. It is quite dated in some ways and not all the moralizing has aged well. But nonetheless, I must admit that it is my all time favorite and I enjoy it more than any TV show or movie I have ever watched.

Spock: "That sound was the turbulence caused by the penetration of a boundary layer, Captain." Kirk: "What boundary layer?"
Spock: "Unknown."
Kirk: "A boundary layer between what and what?"
Spock: "Between where we were and where we are."
Kirk: "Are you trying to be funny, Mr. Spock?"
Spock: "It would never occur to me, Captain."

Uhura: "Mr. Spock, sometimes I think if I hear that word frequency once more I'll cry."
Spock: "Cry?"
Uhura: "I was just trying to start a conversation." Spock: "Well, since it is illogical for a Communications Officer to resent the word frequency, I have no answer."
Uhura: "No, you have an answer. I'm an illogical woman whose beginning to feel too much part of that communications console. Why don't you tell me I'm an attractive young lady or ask me if I've ever been in love? Tell me how your planet Vulcan looks on a lazy evening when the moon is full."
Spock: "Vulcan has no moon, Ms Uhura."
Uhura: "I'm not surprised, Mr. Spock."

Dr. McCoy: "He's dead, Jim."
"I'm a doctor, not an engineer." "I'm a doctor, not a mechanic."
"I'm a doctor, not an escalator."
"What am I, a doctor or a moon shuttle conductor?"
"I'm beginning to think I can cure a rainy day."
(to himself) "If I jumped every time a light came on around here, I'd end up talking to myself."
"I signed on this ship to practice medicine, not to have my atoms scattered back and forth across space by this gadget."
"In this galaxy, there's a mathematical probability of three million Earth-type planets. And in all of the universe, three million million galaxies like this. And in all of that... and perhaps more, only one of each of us."

Sulu: "What a terrible way to die."
Kirk: "There are no good ways."
Sulu: "Once in Siberia, there was a meteor so great that it flattened whole forests and was felt as..."
Kirk: "Mr. Sulu, If I'd wanted a Russian history lesson, I'd have brought along Mr. Chekov."

Kirk: "Mr. Spock, you'd make a wonderful computer."
Spock: "That is very kind of you sir."
Kirk: "Spock, give me an update on the dark area ahead."
Spock: "No analysis due to insufficient information."
Kirk: "No speculation, no information, nothing? I've asked you three times for information on that thing and you've been unable to supply it. Insufficient information is not sufficient, Mr. Spock! You're the Science Officer. You're supposed to have sufficient data all the time."

Kirk: "Those of you who have served for long on this vessel have encountered alien life-forms. You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, and irrational fear of the unknown. But there's no such thing as the unknown, only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood."

STAR TREK BLOOPERS is the most famous of "blooper reels", a collection of cast cut-ups and blown scenes. The short Blooper film made its way around STAR TREK Conventions in the 1970's where Gene Roddenberry charged a $5 admission fee. Eventually it became available on home video as 25 minutes of flubbed lines, props that malfunction, and on-the-set antics by the cast. The picture quality is watchable but not good. It's only amusing at times, and basically disappointing. Shatner and the others often break out in hysterical laughter. Everybody is having fun on the set at all times. The fragments are nicely packaged, and one sexy scene with Kirk and Shana from "Gamesters of Triskelion" (episode 44) is looped. Some other astonishing clips should also be looped, such as the cast go-go dancing on the revolving platform in "What are little girls made of?" (episode 7). We get to hear Kirk say "s**t" and in another scene Spock puts his hand on Kirk's shoulder and says, "It's alright, baby. I made a mistake this morning." Supposedly some of the out-takes were obtained from dumpsters outside the STAR TREK editing facility. But on some clips you can hear Shatner say "Save it please" after amusing mistakes, so obviously some of the scenes came from the cast, crew, or Roddenberry. It's fascinating if your expectations do not include entertainment, and is required viewing for all Star Trek fans. This is our only video behind-the scenes peek at the making of one of the best TV shows ever produced.

Quotes from the Best Songwriters

Lone Wolf Sullivan's

Irving Berlin: "Listen kid, take my advice, never hate a song that has sold half a million copies."
George Gershwin: "Out of my entire annual output of songs, perhaps two, or at the most three, came as a result of inspiration. We can never rely on inspiration. When we most want it, it does not come."

Cole Porter: "My sole inspiration is a telephone call from a director."

Richard Rodgers: "It took about as long to compose it as to play it." (said about "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning", the opening song in "Oklahoma!")

Oscar Hammerstein II: "I hand him a lyric and get out of his way."

Stephen Sondheim: "Clever rhyming is easy, anybody can do it...Oscar Hammerstein II taught me that a song should be like a little one-act play, with an exposition, a development and a conclusion; at the end of the song the character should have moved to a different position...Cole Porter wrote a valid but entirely different kind of song, in which you take a particular idea and play with it and develop it in terms of cleverness, wit, intellectual or romantic intensity...The fact is popular art dates. It grows quaint. How many people feel strongly about Gilbert and Sullivan today compared to those who felt strongly in 1890?"

Jule Styne: "I thought he might hit me over the head, knowing that he wanted to do the whole show. He was young, ambitious, and a huge talent. But he was also very gentle, and we got along fine." (On meeting Stephen Sondheim while working on "Gypsy")

Kurt Weill: "I have never acknowledged the difference between serious music and light music. There is only good music and bad music."

Andrew Lloyd Webber: "I think it's probably, musically, probably the most sophisticated. ("The Woman in White") There's a lot more daring harmony in it than in some of my pieces...If you know what you want to do, as I always loved musicals, and then to have been lucky enough to be successful with them, I think that's all you can ask, isn't it?...Sondheim is absolutely wonderful and Alan Jay Lerner was wonderful."

Alan Jay Lerner: "You write a hit the same way you write a flop.”

Frederick Loewe: "It won't be long before we'll be writing together again. I just hope they have a decent piano up there.”

Burt Bacharach: "Music breeds its own inspiration. You can only do it by doing it. You may not feel like it, but you push yourself. It's a work process. Or just improvise. Something will come."
Hal David: "I tended not to be concerned about whether a song was going to be a hit when I wrote it. Because it became evident that none of us knew what was a hit and what wasn't. So I thought if I just write what I like, why shouldn't people like what I like?"

Leonard Cohen: "I wish I were one of those people who wrote songs quickly. But I'm not. So it takes me a great deal of time to find out what the song is. I am working most of the time."

Neil Diamond: "Performing is the easiest part of what I do, and songwriting is the hardest...Songwriting is different from music, although I don't deny now that it would be nice to have a little more background in music theory."

Hank Williams: "If a song can't be written in 20 minutes, it ain't worth writing."

Donovan: "With songwriting, it all comes out in one flash. Then you work it, then you craft it."

Joan Baez: "It seems to me that those songs that have been any good, I have nothing much to do with the writing of them. The words have just crawled down my sleeve and come out on the page...People don't want to hear anything that they don't want to hear...You have to package it in a certain way so that it can break through the wall people put up."

Willie Dixon: "People have been brainwashed into believing that it's got to be down or it wouldn't be blues. But it's not so. It's got to be a fact or it wouldn't be blues."

Dolly Parton: "Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams...all of them are different styles, but those are the songs that make the times...they're the songs that last through time."

Johnny Cash: "I start a lot more songs than I finish, because I realize when I get into them, they're no good. I don't throw them away, I just put them away, store them, get them out of sight...When I record somebody else's song, I have to make it my own or it doesn't feel right. I'll say to myself, I wrote this and he doesn't know it."

Kris Kristofferson: "Johnny Cash's face belongs on Mount Rushmore...I don't write as much as I did back when I was writing songs every day. I've come to know when I've got a good one, although sometimes it takes the world awhile to catch up with me...If you're in it because you love it and you have to do it, that's the right reason. If you're in it because you want to get rich or famous, don't do it."

Sheryl Crow: "A song that sounds simple is just not that easy to write. One of the objectives of this record was to try and write melodies that continue to resonate...Everything that happens to you influences your writing...The writing process for me is pretty much always the same--it's a solitary experience...I have yet to write that one song that defines my career...Beck said he didn't believe in the theory of a song coming through you as if you were an open vessel. I agree with him to a certain extent."

Ray Davies: "I think that songwriting changed when groups started spending more time in the studio...I've written so many songs about Englishmen, I have to go elsewhere."

Stevie Nicks: "It was my 16th birthday--my mom and dad gave me my Goya classical guitar that day. I sat down, wrote this song, and I just knew that that was the only thing I could ever really do--write songs and sing them to people."

Lou Reed: "You can't ask me to explain the lyrics because I won't do it...I always believed that I have something important to say and I said it."

Ozzy Osbourne: "I didn't think anything we did was spectacular. I remember we thought, 'Let's just write some scary music.'"

Joe Strummer: "I have a weird life because I live on songwriting royalties, which are a strange income. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it doesn't."

Warren Zevon: "But there's a thin line between songwriting and arranging."

Valerie Simpson: “When we came up with something, we always thought we could make more money out of it with someone else--so we never cut it ourselves!”

Paul Anka: "I had this talent for these stupid little teenage songs. I just couldn't get anyone to sing my songs, so I had to sing my own tunes."

Smokey Robinson: "I always try to write a song, I never just want to write a record. Originally I was not writing songs for myself. Songwriting is my gift from God."

Mark Knopfler: "Each song has its own secret that's different from another song, and each has its own life. Sometimes it has to be teased out, whereas other times it might come fast. There are no laws about songwriting or producing. It depends on what you're doing, not just who you're doing."

Lamont Dozier: "I don't think about commercial concerns when I first come up with something. When I sit down at the piano, I try to come up with something that moves me."

Kate Bush: "When I'm writing I've been playing something for a couple of hours and I'm almost in a trance. At two or three in the morning you can actually see bits of inspiration floating about and grab them...I think probably the only thing that is around in these songs is that I was really lonely when I wrote a lot of them. But it was really by my own choosing because I was devoting myself to songwriting and dancing and I wasn't really going out and seeing people."

John Lennon: "Even in the early days, we used to write things separately, because Paul was always more advanced than I was. His dad played the piano. Usually, one of us wrote most of the song and the other just helped finish it off, adding a bit of tune or a bit of lyric..."Please Please Me" is my song completely. It was my attempt at writing a Roy Orbison song, would you believe it? I heard Roy Orbison doing "Only The Lonely" or something. That's where that came from. And also I was always intrigued by the words of "Please Lend Your Ears To My Pleas", a Bing Crosby song. I was always intrigued by the double use of the word "please"...I'd spent five hours that morning trying to write a song that was meaningful and good, and I finally gave up and lay down. Then, "Nowhere Man" came, words and music, the whole damn thing, as I lay down...Songwriting is about getting the demon out of me. It's like being possessed. You try to go to sleep, but the song won't let you. So you have to get up and make it into something, and then you're allowed sleep. "

Paul McCartney: "Somebody said to me, But the Beatles were anti-materialistic. That's a huge myth. John and I literally used to sit down and say, Now, let's write a swimming pool...I think people who create and write, it actually does flow--just flows from into their head, into their hand, and they write it down. It's simple...Lyricists play with words...George wrote "Taxman", and I played guitar on it. He wrote it in anger at finding out what the taxman did. He had never known before then what could happen to your money."

George Harrison: "We worked the medley on side two of "Abbey Road" out carefully in advance. All of those mini songs were partly completed tunes; some were written while we were in India a year before. So there was just a bit of chorus here and a verse there. We welded them all together into a routine."

Buffy Sainte-Marie: "As a teenager I started painting and playing guitar...Music has been my playmate, my lover, and my crying towel...This song ("Until It's Time for You To Go") popped into my head while I was falling in love with someone I knew couldn't stay with me. The words are about honesty and freedom inside the heart."

Michael Jackson: "“I wake up from dreams and go, "Wow, put this down on paper." The whole thing is strange. You hear the words, everything is right there in front of your face.”
David Bowie: "Strangely, some songs you really don't want to write...Frankly, I mean, sometimes the interpretations I've seen on some of the songs that I've written are a lot more interesting than the input that I put in."

Stevie Wonder: “I really do seek to create music that is timeless, ... Each project takes on its own life, and the songs from "A Time To Love" are the most appropriate for the statement I wanted to make...The most important thing is, when I do give the music, I'm satisfied with it, that it speaks for what I want to do...It is a different kind of lyric; it's very picturesque. I can see everything that I'm writing, I can visualize all those things happening.”

Henry Mancini: "Decide what kind of piece you're going to write...slow, fast, minor, major, moody, happy..."

Johnny Mercer: "I could eat alphabet soup and s**t better lyrics."

Janis Ian: "I write a lot from instinct. But as you're writing out of instinct, once you reach a certain level as a songwriter, the craft is always there talking to you in the back of your head...that tells you when it's time to go to the chorus, when it's time to rhyme. Real basic craft... it's second nature."

Freddie Mercury: "People are always asking me what my lyrics mean. Does it mean this, does it mean that, that's all anybody wants to know. F**k them, darling. I say what any decent poet would say if you dared ask him to analyze his work: If you see it, dear, then it's there."

Robin Gibb: "The Bee Gees were always heavily influenced by black music. As a songwriter, it's never been difficult to pick up on the changing styles of music out there, and soul has always been my favourite genre."

Michael Hutchence: "What we try to do with all of our albums, is live out our musical fantasies in the most honest fashion we know how...We want to include songs that lyrically cover subjects ranging from the heaviest things we’ve ever done to light-hearted experiences that can best be presented through sentimental bluesy ballads that are usually good for a chuckle or two."

James Brown: "I've outdone anyone you can name: Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Strauss. Irving Berlin, he wrote 1,001 tunes. I wrote 5,500."

Phil Collins: "You know, a song is like a kid. You bring it up. And sometimes something you thought was going to be fantastic, by the time it's finished, is a bit of a disappointment...Beyond a certain point, the music isn't mine anymore. It's yours."

Geddy Lee: That is what intrigues me: songwriting and song structure and expression."

John Denver: "We must begin to make what I call "conscious choices", and to really recognize that we are all the same. It's from that place in my heart that I write my songs."

Laura Nyro: "There are no limitations with a song. To me a song is a little piece of art. It can be whatever you like it to be. You can write the simplest song, and that's lovely, or you can just write a song that is abstract art."

Jackson Browne: "It's not like I'm looking to describe something that's only true of my own circumstances. It's beyond. It's way inside, you know. It's reaching inside to something that you have in common with many."

Van Morrison: "I write songs. Then I record them. And later, maybe I perform them on stage. That's what I do. That's my job. Simple. I don't feel comfortable doing interviews. My profession is music, and writing songs. I like to do it, but I hate to talk about it...Music is spiritual. The music business is not. Being famous was extremely disappointing for me. When I became famous it was a complete drag and it is still a complete drag.”

Billy Joel: "I consider myself to be an inept pianist, a bad singer, and a merely competent songwriter."

Randy Newman: "If getting on the radio was a major motivation, I'd be one of the worst writers of all time. I admire people who do it, and I think it's a nice way to work, but I try to do the best I can and write what I like. I don't worry about it."

Harry Nilsson: "It happens so quickly it seems like it's coming from somewhere else. It's not. It just means that you're in sync with yourself. And whatever your goal is, in terms of hearing a melody or a lyric, the closer you get to it, the faster it comes out and the easier it is to "spit it out", as it were."

Deborah Harry: "I really, really like writing songs. Capote wrote every day. He said that's the only way, you have to sit down every day and do it...Something what's written out is okay, but it's not always a clear indication of what a person means."

Little Richard: "I was washing dishes at the Greyhound bus station at the time and I said, 'Awap bop a lup bop a wap bam boom, take 'em out!'"

Bernie Taupin: "'Captain Fantastic' was the first album in history to enter the (American) album chart at number one. We did it for a second time after that. Now that's not a boast, that's frightening...The process of doing it was unique because I wrote the songs in the order they were recorded, so it was written like a story."

Elton John: "It turned out so well because it was the first album that I could identify with in terms of lyrics. ("Captain Fantastic") It was passionate...I could associate myself with every song...It's a unique album in our history. This was the story of us..."Curtains", the lyrics to that are so beautiful because it sums up our friendship so much, and our relationship."

Moby: "It just seems like musicians want to sell a few records and put out a perfume line, and I think it's so sad that there are so many musicians who don't want to change the world."

Tom Petty: "You're dealing in magic--it's this intangible thing that has to happen. And to seek it out too much might not be a good idea. Because, you know, it's very shy, too. But once you've got the essence of them, you can work songs and improve them. You see if there's a better word, or a better change."

David Byrne: "Often I don't know what the song means until it's finished. Sometimes months later. I don't think that's bad. It implies that I don't know what I'm doing but--I think if you're able to follow your instincts, then that's knowing what you're doing."

Jimmy Buffet: "You know, as a writer, I'm more of a listener than a writer, cuz if I hear something I will write it down. And you find as a writer there are certain spots on the planet where you write better than others, and I believe in that. And New Orleans is one of them."

Angus Young: "I'm sick to death of people saying we've made 11 albums that sound exactly the same. In fact, we've made 12 albums that sound exactly the same."

Barry Manilow: "I am nervous that the craft of songwriting is taking a nose dive...And since I‘m a songwriter and I connect with an interpretative, you know, interpretation of a song, I miss it. I just miss it."

Carly Simon: "Sometimes my boyfriend would write the lyrics and I would write the melody, and other times I would start from scratch. Or sometimes I would take a local poem and put that to music...I've gone through the village of my songwriting and my artistry, and I've gone through lots of different phases, including one where it has been very quiet and abandoned me for a few years...I always sang standards because the songs I wrote for myself weren't as easy to sing."

Pete Seeger: "I write a song because I want to. I think the moment you start writing it to make money, you're starting to kill yourself artistically."

Robbie Robertson: "It would be nice to abandon the verse-chorus-bridge structure completely, and make it so none of these things are definable...Make up new names for them. Instead of a bridge, you can call it a highway, or an overpass...Music should never be harmless."

Sammy Cahn: "I don't write songs, songs write me...Writing a song can be agony or ecstasy. It can take half an hour or half a year."

Jimmy Page: "My vocation is more in composition really than anything else--building up harmonies using the guitar, orchestrating the guitar like an army, a guitar army."

Robert Plant: "The essence of my lyrics is the desire for peace and harmony. That's all anyone has ever wanted. How could it become outdated?...We are trying to communicate a fulfilled ideal...I am a reflection of what I sing. Sometimes I have to get serious because the things I've been through are serious...The way I see it, rock n' roll is folk music."

Paul Simon: "It's very helpful to start with something that's true. If you start with something that's false, you're always covering your tracks. Something simple and true, that has a lot of possibilities, is a nice way to begin."

Melissa Manchester: "Everybody wants to write a hit song, but in Nashville people want to write the best song, which was my original intention as a singer/songwriter."

James Taylor: "I started being a songwriter pretending I could do it, and it turned out I could...To be a musician, especially a singer/songwriter--well, you don't do that if you have a thriving social life. You do it because there's an element of alienation in your life...I wish I could say, 'Oh, that would be great to write a song about.' But what I'm doing is assembling and minimally directing what is sort of unconsciously coming out. It's not something I can direct or control. I just end up being the first person to hear these songs. That's what it feels like...that I don't feel as though I write them. Then there's a phase when you button it up and finish it. But it all starts with a lightning strike. A melody will suggest itself in the context of whatever I'm playing, and then the cadence will suggest words. And those words don't come from a conscious place. I typically will work on a lyric in a three-ring binder. On the right side, I'll write the lyric, and on the left side, I put in alternate things."

Tracy Chapman: "Songwriting is a very mysterious process. It feels like creating something from nothing. It's something I don't feel like I really control."

Peter Townshend: "What I took back, because of my exposure to the Jewish music of the 30s and the 40s in my upbringing with my father, was that kind of theatrical songwriting. It was always a part of my character. This desire to make people laugh...Songwriting is best. It's the hardest--finest--tightest. It also requires the most discipline."

Todd Rundgren: "I don't have the same restrictions that other people do because I never painted myself into a corner. I've always done things that didn't necessarily fit the form. I've never felt limited in that respect in terms of songwriting."

Linda Ronstadt: "I can draw with sound. That's the most useful thing I learned in terms of what my craft is...The arrangements were mine. They were little lines and stuff that I had written myself...And I was locked into this idea that vocals didn't count, melodies didn't count, songwriting craftsmanship didn't count. The only thing that counted was high arching guitar solos."

Brian Setzer: "The songwriting has never really stepped forward from the '50's."

Rod Stewart: "What I do now is all my dad's fault, because he bought me a guitar as a boy, for no apparent reason...I wrote some of my best love songs ever when I was unhappy and my saddest love songs when I was very much in love. When I wrote You’re in My Heart, which is an uplifting song, I had just broken up with…Now who had I broken up with?”

John Fogerty: "For years I walked around with the phrase "Green River" because I had seen that on a soda fountain drink when I was probably 8 or 9 years old, and I went, 'Gee, I like that.' Another one was "Lodi", which I thought sounded really cool. I got this cheap little empty plastic notebook at my local drugstore, and bought a little slab of filler paper and the very first title I wrote in it was "Proud Mary". I had no idea what that title meant."

Brian Wilson: "The idea of taking a song, envisioning the overall sound in my head and then bringing the arrangement to life in the studio...well, that gives me satisfaction like nothing else...My state of being has been elevated, because I've been exercising, writing songs...No masterpiece ever came overnight. A person's masterpiece is something that you nurture along."

Cab Calloway: "You don't think it was because a white man wrote it, a black man wrote it, a green man wrote it. What--doesn't make a difference!"

Carole King: "I'm a songwriter first...In my career I have never felt that my being a woman was an obstacle or an advantage. I guess I've been oblivious...Sensitive, humbug. Everybody thinks I'm sensitive...There is a downside to having one of the biggest-selling albums ever."

Bob Marley: "One good thing about music, when it hits--you feel no pain...My music fights against the system that teaches to live and die."

Ann Wilson: "All the songs that were written for that album are just all our first sophomore songs. So they're all from real life. Very sweet and very innocent."

Willie Nelson: "I like myself better when I'm writing regularly...I was influenced a lot by those around me--there was a lot of singing that went on in the cotton fields."

Prince: "I try not to repeat myself. It's the hardest thing in the world to do--there are only so many notes one human being can master...One of the reasons we’re going out on the road and why we’re titling this tour as "Musicology" is because we want to bring that back. We want to teach the kids and musicians of the future the art of songwriting, the art of real musicianship.”

John Prine: “I just tried to come up with some honest songs. What I was writing about was real plain stuff that I wasn't sure was going to be interesting to other people. But I guess it was...I've never had any discipline whatsoever. I just wait on a song like I was waiting for lightning to strike. And eventually--usually sometime around 3 in the morning--I'll have a good idea. By the time the sun comes up, hopefully, I'll have a decent song.”

Ian Anderson: "Martin, Dave, and I get together and rough out a few songs and put them on cassettes for some reference...With the actual music, I'm not interested in objectivity, quite the opposite. I want a solely and totally subjective experience...A lot of pop music is about stealing pocket money from children."

Neil Young: "I don't force it. If you don't have an idea and you don't hear anything going over and over in your head, don't sit down and try to write a song. You know, go mow the lawn...My songs speak for themselves."

Eddie Van Halen: "Everything comes to me while I'm sitting on the pot (toilet)...David Lee Roth had the idea that if you covered a successful song, you were half way home. C'mon--Van Halen doing "Dancing in the Streets"? It was stupid. I started feeling like I would rather bomb playing my own songs than be successful playing someone else's music."

Boudleaux Bryant: "As far as my creative urge is concerned, I do sit down and write my own music...I'll tell you a writer who I think is a genius: Ray Stevens. He comes up with some of the most fantastic novelty ideas. Dolly Parton also writes well. I like a lot of songs, a lot of writers."

Felice Bryant: "The only style God has blessed us with is what people seem to like...It doesn't bother me if a song doesn't get recorded, because I feel somebody down the road, maybe not even born yet, has his name on it."

Janis Joplin: "I always wanted to be an artist, whatever that was, like other chicks want to be stewardesses...Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers. You can fill your life up with ideas and still go home lonely. All you really have that really matters are feelings. That's what music is to me."

Chrissie Hynde: "I've done lots of songs for film soundtracks and things like that--stuff I'm not ashamed of, but that doesn't represent my legacy with the Pretenders...I think domesticity certainly doesn't make it easy to write, you know, because you've got a lot of distractions and I think a writer is always looking for distractions."

Beck: "Originally, the lyrics to "Girl" were really upbeat, and then it didn't work for me somehow. You need the dichotomy. If you're doing something happy and light, you need the shadows."

Grace Slick: "Through literacy you can begin to see the universe. Through music you can reach anybody. Between the two there is you, unstoppable...(on "White Rabbit") I have lived her (Alice's) story, and I admired it as a little girl...I believe the White Rabbit represents her curiosity. She has no idea how that chase is going to turn out. I admire that--when people have the guts to follow their hearts, their curiosity."

Ric Ocasek: "I could never be a country person, sitting around trees trying to write a song. I would rather be in the middle of society, whether it's growing or crumbling."

Steve Earle: "Townes van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that."

Townes Van Zandt: "I don't think you can ever do your best. Doing your best is a process of trying to do your best."

Loretta Lynn: "I don't know what it's like for a book writer or a doctor or a teacher as they work to get established in their jobs. But for a singer, you've got to continue to grow or else you're just like last night's cornbread--stale and dry."

Syd Barrett: "I was sleeping in the woods one night after a gig we'd played somewhere, when I saw this girl appear before me. That girl was Emily." (on how he wrote "See Emily Play") "Chapter 24"--that was from the "I Ching", there was someone around who was very into that, most of the words came straight off that. "Lucifer Sam" was another one--it didn't mean much to me at the time, but then three or four months later it came to mean a lot."

Mariah Carey: "A lot of people are singing about how screwed up the world is, and I don't think that everybody wants to hear about that all the time."

Jimmy Webb: "I usually know what kind of song I'm after. I know what I'm trying to do when I start. I don't always get there. But I try to visualize what it's actually going to be."

Lenny Kravitz: "I never sit down to write. When I'm moved, I do it. I just wait for it to come. You just hear it. I can't really describe writing. It's in my head. I don't think about the styles. I write whatever comes out and I use whatever kind of instrumentation works for those songs...A lot of people don't listen to the lyrics, really. A lot of people pretty much only listen to the chorus."

Kid Rock: "I've just really been into melody and lyrics and songwriting. Writing a rap, to me, is easy. I could write a rap like that. But writing songs and melodies and s**t that's hopefully going to stick around for 30, 40 years is f**king hard...If you have good songs and you're talented, people will eventually come to your shows, people will buy your music."

Axl Rose: "I write the vocals last, because I wanted to invent the music first and push the music to the level that I had to compete against it."

Sly Stone: "My only weapon is my pen, I'm a songwriter."

Joni Mitchell: "You could write a song about some kind of emotional problem you are having, but it would not be a good song, in my eyes, until it went through a period of sensitivity to a moment of clarity. Without that moment of clarity to contribute to the song, it's just complaining...I can't remember anything I ever wrote...Not to dismiss Gershwin, but Gershwin is the chip; Ellington was the block."

Duke Ellington: "If anybody was Mr. Jazz it was Louis Armstrong. He was the epitome of jazz and always will be. He is what I call an American standard, an American original."
Jerry Leiber: "We didn't write songs, we wrote records."

Mike Stoller: "But if you can't, can't put the words immediately, why stay around? I have a jaundiced view of bands that can't really write but sing. We didn't write everything we produced, whoever the artist was we always went for the best song and we would bring in other writers like Doc Pomus and go for the very best songs we could get."

Doc Pomus: "I didn't want to be the crippled songwriter or the crippled singer. I wanted to be the singer or the songwriter who was crippled. I wanted to be larger than life and a man among men."

Patti Smith: "If I have any regrets, I could say that I'm sorry I wasn't a better writer or a better singer...When I was younger, I felt it was my duty to wake people up. I thought poetry was asleep. I thought rock 'n' roll was asleep...An artist may have burdens the ordinary citizen doesn't know, but the ordinary citizen has burdens that many artists never even touch."
Boz Scaggs: "My songwriting and my style became more complex as I listened, learned, borrowed and stole and put my music together."

Arlo Guthrie: "We would turn everything into songs in those days...A lot of people think "Alice's Restaurant" was an anti-war song. It's not. It's an anti-idiot song."

Otis Blackwell: "I'd hate to be a songwriter starting a career today...Al Stanton walked in one day and said, 'Otis, I've got an idea. Why don't you write a song called "All Shook Up"?' Two days later I brought the song in and said, 'Look, man, I did something with it.'"

Cynthia Weil: "It was kind of like songwriter's boot camp. You had to produce. You had to produce fast. You had to learn...The business today is completely different and it's very producer driven, so that a songwriter needs to have producing chops, be a singer/songwriter, or find a singer to develop."

Barry Mann: "Probably most successful songwriters have an innate songwriting ability."

Jimmy Cliff: "It was the vehicle that propelled me to international stardom. ("Harder They Come") I was known as a singer/songwriter before that, but people did not know me as an actor. It showed the world where the music I contributed to create was coming from. It opened the gates for Jamaican music, internationally."

Peter Tosh: "I don't have to say I'm going to make a song. A song is always there. I just have to open my mouth and a song comes out."

Emmylou Harris: "I was the audience he wanted to reach. Gram Parsons' writing brought his own personal generation's poetry and vision into the very traditional format of country music, and he came up with something completely different."

Gordon Lightfoot: "'If You Could Read My Mind' was written during the collapse of my marriage. It's a great song. No one has any gripes about it. I wondered what my wife and daughter might think. My daughter is the one who got me to correct 'The feelings that you lacked' to 'The feelings that we lacked'."

John Mellencamp: "It's my responsibility as a singer/songwriter to report the news."

Jorma Kaukonen: "I was writing a lot of true love songs--true love almost gone wrong but saved at the last moment...Many of the best songs get written in a state of abject misery. I prefer to write fewer songs and have less cataclysmic events in my life...Some hit songs are really stupid, and who knows why they're hits. But a lot of hit songs are really good."

Bjork: "I love being a very personal singer/songwriter, but I also like being a scientist or explorer"

David Crosby: "My songs emerge unbidden and unplanned and completely on a schedule of their own...We have, all of us, over the years, written things that responded to the world as it slapped us in the face. Me and Nash, singing "To the Last Whale" and "Find the Cost of Freedom". Stills coming up with "For What It's Worth". These came right out of the news. People have accused us of taking stances and the truth is we don't."

Billy Idol: "Rock isn't art, it's the way ordinary people talk."

Frank Zappa: "All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff...Basically what people want to hear is: I love you, you love me, the leaves turn brown, they fell off the trees, the wind is blowing, it got cold, you went away, my heart broke, you came back, and my heart was okay...Modern music is people who can't think signing artists who can't write songs to make records for people who can't hear. Most people wouldn't know good music if it came up and bit them on the a**...I detest 'love lyrics'. I think one of the causes of bad mental health in the United States is that people have been raised on 'love lyrics'...If lyrics make people do things, how come we don't love each other?"

Johnny Rotten: "I don't listen to music, I hate all music...You'll find that empty vessels make the most sound."

Bono: "I have never tried to write this thing called a song that's played on radios all around the world, that window-cleaners hum, that people listen to in traffic jams. I was never interested in song: U2 came about through a sound."

Sting: "Songwriting is a kind of therapy for both the writer and the listener if you choose to use it that way. When you see that stuff help other people that's great and wonderful confirmation that you're doing the right thing."

Bruce Springsteen: "I didn't know if it would be a successful one, or what the stages would be, but I always saw myself as a lifetime musician and songwriter...I was always concerned with writing to my age at a particular moment. That was the way I would keep faith with the audience that supported me as I went along...I'm a synthesist. I'm always making music. And I make a lot of different kinds of music all the time. Some of it gets finished and some of it doesn't...The best music is essentially there to provide you something to face the world with."
Elvis Costello: "You have to face the fact that I have no reputation as a composer; I have my reputation as a songwriter and a performer."

Annie Lennox: "I knew that I wanted to be a singer/songwriter when I was much younger and, um, I've been able to, you know, to realize that dream and I'm very pleased with that...I want to branch out. I want to write. I write poetry...Music is an extraordinary vehicle for expressing emotion--very powerful emotions."

Jim Morrison: "Listen, real poetry doesn't say anything; it just ticks off the possibilities. Opens all doors. You can walk through any one that suits you...I believe in a long, prolonged, derangement of the senses in order to obtain the unknown...I like any reaction I can get with my music. Just anything to get people to think."

Mick Jagger: "A lot of times songs are very much of a moment, that you just encapsulate. They come to you, you write them, you feel good that day, or bad that day."

Keith Richards: "I don't think rock n' roll songwriters should worry about art. I don't think it comes into it...as far as I'm concerned, Art is just short for Arthur..."... I don't like to go into the studio with all the songs worked out and planned before hand...you've got to give the band something to use its imagination on as well."

Ron Wood: "There's a basic rule which runs through all kinds of music, kind of an unwritten rule. I don't know what it is. But I've got it."

Billy Gibbons: "My discussion with Keith Richards about the creative process led me to believe that there's an invisible presence of a stream of ever-flowing creativity that we overhear--all you have to do is pull up the antenna and dial it in. This presence allows you to maintain your sense of origin and move forward."

Jimi Hendrix: "Imagination is the key to my lyrics. The rest is painted with a little science fiction...All I'm writing is just what I feel, that's all. I just keep it almost naked. And probably the words are so bland...I just hate to be in one corner. I hate to be put as only a guitar player, or either only as a songwriter, or only as a tap dancer. I like to move around...Music doesn't lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music."

Eric Clapton: "The writing of the song is the therapy. The toughness is doing nothing. It's very dependent on your state of mind. And your emotional state as well. And a lot of it comes pouring out, you don't really have that much control with it. I've felt that the only way to survive was with dignity, pride and courage."

Bob Dylan: "My best songs were written very quickly. Just about as much time as it takes to write it down is about as long as it takes to write it...In writing songs I've learned as much from Cezanne as I have from Woody Guthrie...It's not me, it's the songs. I'm just the postman, I deliver the songs...I consider myself a poet first and a musician second. I live like a poet and I'll die like a poet."

Chuck Berry: "For many years I've been reluctant to make new songs. There has been a great laziness in my soul...All those m- words and f- words, don't blame me for that. I'd rather hear Tommy Dorsey or Artie Shaw any day...Look, I ain't no big s**t, all right? My music, it is very simple stuff. I told you all this before. I wanted to play blues. But I wasn't blue enough. I wasn't like Muddy Waters...I was in Australia, and I found out they wouldn't even let a black man become a citizen there. That's why I wrote that song. You know 'Back in the USA,' don't you?"

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