If you’re writing anything decent, it’s in you, it’s your spirit coming out. If it’s not an expression of how a person genuinely feels, then it’s not a good song done with any conviction.
I never thought of myself as being a good songwriter. There are a ton of other people that are good songwriters, but I don’t think I’m in the club. What I do well is perform, sometimes sing pretty good, and accompany myself well and arrange fairly well.
I guess that my life has been a series of flukes in the record business. The first thing I ever did was the biggest record that I’ll ever have.
I spent a few years here in Memphis, in the late ’70s and early ’80s, where I was studying a lot of country blues players and their styles. So it seems like every record I’ll do, I will appropriate these blues styles that I remember.
Sometimes I’ll come up with a lick that I really love, and I’ll try to put the right words to it for years. Suddenly something comes to me that works just right.
The more alone I am, the more focused I can get. I’ve written things with people, some of which I liked and others I think are total travesties. Collaborating is trying to make a piece of music and get someone else to come up with the ideas. What’s the fun of that?
It’s been like a bad dream I never woke from.