Songwriter Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 201 quotes )
I built a reputation as a songwriter in the industry before my own hits. People were used to coming to me for songs. There were songs like 'Clown' and 'Mountains' that were my songs that I wanted to keep. But the record labels saw me as a songwriter. It was hard to get people to believe in me as an artist.
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.
People are going to say, ‘Well, it’s not very truthful.’ But a songwriter doesn’t care about what’s truthful. What he cares about is what should’ve happened, what could’ve happened. That’s its own kind of truth. It’s like people who read Shakespeare plays, but they never see a Shakespeare play. I think they just use his name.
Every work of art is one half of a secret handshake, a challenge that seeks the password, a heliograph flashed from a tower window, an act of hopeless optimism in the service of bottomless longing. Every great record or novel or comic book convenes the first meeting of a fan club whose membership stands forever at one but which maintains chapters in every city -- in every cranium -- in the world. Art, like fandom, asserts the possibility of fellowship in a world built entirely from the materials of solitude. The novelist, the cartoonist, the songwriter, knows the gesture is doomed from the beginning but makes it anyway, flashes his or her bit of mirror, not on the chance that the signal will be seen or understood but as if such a chance existed.
Bruce is still my friend. We don't talk much. We don't have to. He is great and in his own league. I'm not him and he is not me. But we are on similar paths, writing and singing out own kind of songs around the world, along with Bob and a few other singer/songwriters. It is a a silent fraternity of sorts, occupying this space in people's souls with our music. Last year, I lost my right-hand man, the pedal steel guitarist Ben Keith. This year Bruce lost his right-hand man, the saxophonist Clarence Clemons. It's time for another talk; friends can help each other just by being there. Now both of us will look to our right and see a giant hole, a memory, the past and the future. I won't play with another steel player trying to recreate Ben's parts, and I know Bruce won't play with another sax man trying to play Clarence's. Those parts are not going to happen again. They already did. That takes a lot out of our repertoires.