Banjo Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 30 quotes )
I live on an island called Ireland where most of the music is shite. I grew up listening to "Danny Boy"; I grew up hating Danny Boy, and all his siblings and his granny. "The pipes, the pipes are caw-haw-hawing." Anything with pipes or fiddles or even - forgive me, Paul - banjos, I detested. Songs of loss, of love, of going across the sea; songs of defiance and rebellion - I vomited on all of them.
After supper was over and the toasts had been drunk, the boy Pablo was called in to play for the company while the gentlemen smoked. . . there was softness and languor in the wire strings--but there was also a kind of madness; the recklessness, the call of wild countries which all these men had felt or followed in one way or another. Through clouds of cigar smoke, the scout and the soldiers, the Mexican rancheros and the priests, sat silently watching the bent head and crouching shoulders of the banjo player, and his seesawing yellow hand, which sometimes lost all form and became a mere whirl of matter in motion, like a patch of sand-storm.
When you want genuine music -- music that will come right home to you like a bad quarter, suffuse your system like strychnine whisky, go right through you like Brandreth's pills, ramify your whole constitution like the measles, and break out on your hide like the pin-feather pimples on a picked goose, -- when you want all this, just smash your piano, and invoke the glory-beaming banjo!
My grandfather played a mandolin, so I got my hands on that. Then on down to a banjo, and I found I couldn't play any kind of soft or mournful music with that so I took up the fiddle in my late 20s or early 30s - and that was far too late. But it keeps me off the streets. It has been a love of mine since I was 17 maybe.
I would get records by Earl Scruggs... I would tune my banjo down and I'd pick out the songs note by note. Learned how to play that way. I persevered. There was a book written by Pete Seeger, who showed you some basic strumming and some basic picking... And I kind of worked out my own style of playing.
When I first started doing my comedy act, I just desperately needed material. So I took literally everything I knew how to do on stage with me, which was juggling, magic and banjo and my little comedy routines. I always felt the audience sorta tolerated the serious musical parts while I was doing my comedy.