I don't like listening to records a lot after they're done. There's just no real nourishment there for me.

For a songwriter, you don't really go to songwriting school; you learn by listening to tunes. And you try to understand them and take them apart and see what they're made of, and wonder if you can make one, too.

There's not much difference between what I appear to be on stage and what I am. I think people like that, that I'm not trying to pull a caper.

I think I have an adrenaline addiction, no question about that.

If you record the sound of bacon in a frying pan and play it back, it sounds like the pops and cracks on an old 33 1/3 recording. Almost exactly like that. You could substitute it for that sound.

As a kid, I did want to be an old-timer, since they were the ones with the big stories and the cool clothes. I wanted to go there. Now, I guess I want to bring that with me and go back in time.

But then I'm one of those guys that is still a bit afraid of the telephone, its implications for conversation. I still wonder if the jukebox might be the death of live music.

When you're a kid and you're trying to find your own voice, it's rather daunting to hear somebody like Howlin' Wolf, because you know that you'll never achieve that.

If people are a little nervous about approaching you at the market, it's good. I'm not Chuckles The Clown. Or Bozo. I don't cut the ribbon at the opening of markets. I don't stand next to the mayor. Hit your baseball into my yard, and you'll never see it again.

Don't you know there ain't no devil, it's just god when he's drunk.

I have an audio stigmatism whereby I hear things wrong - I have audio illusions.

The piano has been drinking, not me.

I knelt at the altar of Ray Charles for years. I worked at a restaurant, and that's all there was on the jukebox.

The blues is like a planet. It's an enormous topic. You can't ignore the impact that it has had and continues to have on the whole musical culture. It's a tree that everyone is swinging from. Without it, I don't know where I would be. It's indelible and indispensable.

Somebody said I sound like an old lady, and I was really insulted by that. I'm trying to sound like Skip James and Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye.

If you are recording, you are recording. I don't believe there is such a thing as a demo or a temporary vocal.

Their memory's like a train: you can see it getting smaller as it pulls away And the things you can't remember Tell the things you can't forget that History puts a saint in every dream.

You hope people are going to be listening to you after you're gone. And they like you better after you're gone.

I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.

George Bush is a fan of mine, he came to see me in the Seventies. His coke dealer brought him.

I used to imagine that making it in music - really making it in music - is if you're an old man going by a schoolyard and you hear children singing your songs, playing jump-rope, or on the swings. That's the ultimate. You're in the culture.

I hate Disneyland. It primes our kids for Las Vegas.

Oh, I got a beautiful 1959 Cadillac Coupe DeVille four-door. No one will ride in it with me.

Music has generally involved a lot of awkward contraptions, a certain amount of heavy lifting.

Mostly, I straddle reality and the imagination. My reality needs imagination like a bulb needs a socket. My imagination needs reality like a blind man needs a cane.

I do like books on anatomy. I have to say I'm an amateur physician, I guess.

I'm one of those guys that is still a bit afraid of the telephone, its implications for conversation. I still wonder if the jukebox might be the death of live music.

I think all songs should have weather in them. Names of towns and streets, and they should have a couple of sailors. I think those are just song prerequisites.

Sometimes words are just music themselves. Like 'Chicago' is a very musical sounding name.

I didn't really identify with the music of my own generation, but I was very curious about the music of others.

I'm so horny the crack of dawn better watch out.

I have a Chamberlain I bought from some surfers in Westwood many years ago. It's an early analog synthesizer; it operates on tape loops. It has 60 voices - everything from galloping horses to owls to rain to every instrument in the orchestra.

I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy.

All records are riddles, and whatever you may want people to think it's about, it may just be throwing them off. And you don't want it to get in the way of what someone else's understanding is. It's not really about anything. At the same time, it will find some meaning.

I always had a great appreciation for jazz, but I'm a very pedestrian musician. I get by. I like to think that my main instrument is vocabulary.

Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends.

I guess I've always lived upside down when I want things I can't have.

You almost have to create situations in order to write about them, so I live in a constant state of self-imposed poverty. I don't want to live any other way.

I don't like the word 'poetry,' and I don't like poetry readings, and I usually don't like poets. I would much prefer describing myself and what I do as: I'm kind of a curator, and I'm kind of a night-owl reporter.

I saw a crow building a nest, I was watching him very carefully, I was kind of stalking him and he was aware of it. And you know what they do when they become aware of someone stalking them when they build a nest, which is a very vulnerable place to be? They build a decoy nest. It's just for you.

It's hard to win when you always lose.

I don't really like listening to the radio so much.

Sometimes the magnetism of a song is impossible to ignore, and it demands that it be sung in a certain way.

Most songs that aren't jump-rope songs, or lullabies, are cautionary tales or goodbye songs and road songs.

Songs really are like a form of time travel because they really have moved forward in a bubble. Everyone who's connected with it, the studio's gone, the musicians are gone, and the only thing that's left is this recording which was only about a three-minute period maybe 70 years ago.

You know when you throw a party, you think people will show up and no one will like each other. It's like that with music - parts of your musical psyche have never met other parts. You wonder if you should get them together.

You know what I really love? The CD players in a car. How when you put the CD right up by the slot, it actually takes it out of your hand, like it's hungry. It pulls it in, and you feel like it wants more silver discs.

When you're writing, you're conjuring. It's a ritual, and you need to be brave and respectful and sometimes get out of the way of whatever it is that you're inviting into the room.

I think this whole division between the genres has more to do with marketing than anything else. It's terrible for the culture of music.