14 I firmly believe if you want to be a guitar player, you better start on acoustic and then graduate to electric. Don’t think you’re going to be Townshend or Hendrix just because you can go wee wee wah wah, and all the electronic tricks of the trade. First you’ve got to know that fucker. And you go to bed with it. If there’s no babe around, you sleep with it. She’s just the right shape.
15 If you’re going to kick authority in the teeth, you might as well use two feet.
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15 There’s something beautifully friendly and elevating about a bunch of guys playing music together. This wonderful little world that is unassailable. It’s really teamwork, one guy supporting the others, and it’s all for one purpose, and there’s no flies in the ointment, for a while. And nobody conducting, it’s all up to you. It’s really jazz – that’s the big secret. Rock and roll ain’t nothing but jazz with a hard backbeat.
17 But I’m not here just to make records and money. I’m here to say something and to touch other people, sometimes in a cry of desperation: “Do you know this feeling?"
18 Preaching is tax free. Very little to do with God, a lot to do with money.
19 I was husband for a week. Changed the baby’s diapers. There’s somebody in a suburb in Melbourne who doesn’t even know i wiped his ass.
20 I can sustain the impetus over the long tours we do is by feeding off the energy that we get back from an audience. That’s my fuel. All i’ve got is this burning energy, especially when i’ve got a guitar in my hands.
21 That was the biggest fear. I’d rather clean up before I went on the road. It’s bad enough cleaning up by yourself, but the idea of putting the whole tour on the line because I could’n make it was too much; even for me.
22 All the contortions we go through just not to be ourselves for a few hours.
23 And you listen to some of that meticulous Mozart stuff and Vivaldi and you realize that they knew that too. They knew when to leave one note just hanging up there where it illegally belongs and let it dangle in the wind and turn a dead body into a living beauty.
24 You’re sitting with some guys, and you’re playing and you go, “Ooh, yeah!” That feeling is worth more than anything. There’s a certain moment when you realize that you’ve actually just left the planet for a bit and that nobody can touch you. You’re elevated because you’re with a bunch of guys that want to do the same thing as you. And when it works, baby, you’ve got wings. You know you’ve been somewhere most people will never get; you’ve been to a special place.
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25 In fact, I take the view that God, in his infinite wisdom, didn’t bother to spring for two joints – heaven and hell. They’re the same place, but heaven is when you get everything you want and you meet Mummy and Daddy and your best friends and you all have a hug and a kiss and play your harps. Hell is the same place – no fire and brimstone – but they all pass by and don’t see you. There’s nothing, no recognition. You’re waving, “It’s me, your father,” but you’re invisible. You’re on a cloud, you’ve got your harp, but you can’t play with nobody because they don’t see you. That’s hell.
26 But I’ve always felt very comfortable on stage, even if I screw up. It always felt like a dog, this is my turf, piss around it. While I’m here, nothing else can happen. All I can do is screw up. Otherwise, have a good time.
27 What is it that makes you want to write songs? In a way you want to stretch yourself into other people’s hearts. You want to plant yourself there, or at least get a resonance, where other people become a bigger instrument than the one you’re playing. It becomes almost an obsession to touch other people. To write a song that is remembered and taken to heart is a connection, a touching of bases. A thread that runs through all of us. A stab to the heart. Sometimes I think songwriting is about tightening the heartstrings as much as possible without bringing on a heart attack.
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