And my dad wanted me to play the trumpet because that's what he liked. His idol was Louis Armstrong. My dad thought my teeth came together in a way that was perfect for playing the trumpet.
I'm sensitive, you know, about some things, and as some of my partners could attest to, incredibly insensitive.
I told my father I wanted to play the banjo, and so he saved the money and got ready to give me a banjo for my next birthday, and between that time and my birthday, I lost interest in the banjo and was playing guitar.
Like, What is the least often heard sentence in the English language? That would be: Say, isn't that the banjo player's Porsche parked outside?
People know more about baseball players' contracts than they do about the policies that govern the fate of our children's lives in twenty years. Think about it. People used to say, the whole time I was growing up, 'Do you want to bring a child into this world?' That's pretty dire.
The biggest influence? I've had several at different times - but the biggest for me was Bob Dylan, who was a guy that came along when I was twelve or thirteen and just changed all the rules about what it meant to write songs.
I've also gotten to play in front of a million people in Central Park when there was a grass roots movement calling for nuclear disarmament - it was about 1982 - they called it Peace Sunday.
Right around the end of the fifties, college students and young people in general, began to realize that this music was almost like a history of our country - this music contained the real history of the people of this country.
If someone said, 'You can go live in this little town in Costa Rica for a couple of weeks and all you've got to do is sing for us,' I would do that. That's more exciting to me than the prospect of going on some national tour, where you're going to play arenas or sheds every night, because of the crushing repetition of that kind of line.
That's maybe the most important thing each generation does, is to break a lot of rules and make up their own way of doing things.
I get some heat for what English people call 'overproduction.' I don't think my older stuff was overproduced, but I do think that sound has dated.
English people are so trapped in this class paradigm.
That folk music led to learning to play, and making things up led to what turns out to be the most lucrative part of the music business - writing, because you get paid every time that song gets played.
When I really started liking music was when I could play some of it myself, and after a couple of years of playing folk music, I kinda rediscovered those hits that were on the radio all the time when I was a kid.
Music itself is a great source of relaxation. Parts of it anyway. Working in the studio, that's not relaxing, but playing an instrument that I don't know how to play is unbelievably relaxing, because I don't have any pressure on me.
Also, right at that particular time in the music business, because of people like the Beatles, people began owning their own publishing. I'll just say this really quickly - they used to divide the money for the music that was written in two, just equal halves.
Very often it's really inconvenient - who you fall in love with. You can't really control it.
I grew up reading Shakespeare and Mark Twain.
We have an open society. No one will come and take me away for saying what I am saying. But they don't have to, if they can control how many people hear it. And that's how they do it.
It was a great time to be born, because I got to have my own publishing company right from the beginning, so I made more money than somebody would have doing what I did ten or fifteen years before.