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Performing Quotes

"Until you're ready to look foolish, you'll never have the possibility of being great." — Cher

"It's different than being an actor, where you call up sources from your own experience that you can apply to whatever Shakespear drama you're in. An actor is pretending to be somebody, but a singer isn't. He's not hiding behind anything." — Bob Dylan, quoted by Robert Love in "Bob Dylan Does the American Songbook His Way," AARP The Magazine, February/March 2015

"I started out as an actor but decided on the security of folk music." — Tom Paxton

"If you stumble, make it part of the dance." — unknown, Facebook meme

"Look 'em in the eye. Make a gesture of inclusion, which he did all the time. And above all, have a chorus. So I learned from Pete [Seeger] to have something for them to sing." — Tom Paxton, contributed by Walt Lofstrom

"Both [law and comedy] are heavily focused on thought and viewing all angles. To write a good joke, you have to look at a premise every way possible. And with a good legal argument, you have to see all sides to get the best line of argument for your client. Law school made me a better comic, and comedy has made me a better public speaker." — Troy Walker, quoted by Doug McPherson in "Jester with a JD," University of Denver Magazine, Winter 2014

"When I sing for myself, I sing in a more free, athletic way. When I face an audience, there is always some fear that makes me put the brakes on a bit." — Andrea Bocelli, "What I Know Now," AARP Magazine Feb/March 2013

"California (Berline, Crary, Hickman, Spurgin, Moore) will be doing some reunion shows at Wintergrass 2013. Come watch us forget all our old material live on stage." — Steve Spurgin

"For many skilled athletes, the movements they execute in an athletic event have been practiced so much, they occur with little conscious thought. However, when athletes don't perform well under pressure, they may focus too much on their movements which causes their performance to decrease even more. Right handed athletes who squeezed a ball in their left hand before an athletic event were more able to perform under pressure. It's thought that clenching with the left hand helps activate the right side of the brain that is associated with automated behaviors, such as those used by athletes to dribble, kick, shoot, swing, etc." — American Psychological Association, September 2012, contributed by Dr. Tom Close

"The students immediately began to perform better in the new halls. It’s a psychological thing in the performing arts that you live up to the venue. There was an immediate sense of seriousness and excellence transmitted by the building itself.." — Prof. Ricardo Iznnaola, quoted by Greg Glasgow in "Banner Years," University of Denver Magazine, Fall 2102

"Slim ... informed Elmer that, with the Shepherd Boys, musicianship was a lost cause. The way Wendell hammed it up, you couldn't tell the difference between 'Old Rugged Cross' and 'Into a Tent Where a Gypsy Boy Lay,' it was all the same to him, and since Wendell sang almost everything in the key of F, Slim used the same fingering and the same licks on every song—it was like cutting two-by-fours at a sawmill. Well, Elmer said, if that was how he felt, there were plenty of sawmills up around Ruseau where he could get a job." — Garrison Keillor, WLT: A Radio Romance

"The majority of people mistakenly feel like they don't need a live musical experience."  — Reggie Workman, quoted by Washtub Jerry in "The Low Down on the Down Low

"The public hears, but it also sees.  So it is very important that what the public sees is in the correct relation to what it hears."  — Fernando Grillo, quoted by Washtub Jerry in "The Low Down on the Down Low

"Ray Brown [bass player] ... entrusted [his fellow players] with the space to explore their ideas without his intrusion.  There is as much to be learned from holding back as there is from showing off great chops."  — Joshua Kline, quoted by Washtub Jerry in "The Low Down on the Down Low

"You've got to have fun playing.  It bothers me when players don't seem to be enjoying themselves, even when they play an incredible improvisation."  — Rufus Reid, quoted by Washtub Jerry in "The Low Down on the Down Low

"I got up on stage and said, 'This song was written by a guy named Gene Michaels from the Midwest' and started to sing 'A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall.' The entire audience went like this [jaw drops, eyes bug out]. After I'm done, everybody jumped up and was applauding. I'm trying to get to the basement, to the dressing room, to get the hell out of there as fast as I can, when this guy corner shoots me. He's like cryin' and sayd, 'That was the best version of that song I ever heard.' As I get to the door, [Dave] Van Ronk says to me, 'Do you know what that was? He's the guy who wrote that song!' That was a helluva way to meet Bob Dylan." — Richie Havens quoted by John Kruth in "Richie Havens' Mixed Bag: From the Basket Houses to Yasgur's Farm and 40 Years Hence," Sing Out! Autumn '09 / Winter '10

Around '65, [Dino Valenti] went out to California and had surgery for a brain tumor. He had the surgery, but it was music, his music, that actually healed him. He was so passionate. So he was still looking for the perfect bass player. One night he went to see these two bands playing in a club and, as he was watching the second band, he goes, 'There's my bass player!' He goes over to talk to him after the show and discovers it's his son! He hadn't seen him in years! He'd left him when he was just a child!" — Richie Havens quoted by John Kruth in "Richie Havens' Mixed Bag: From the Basket Houses to Yasgur's Farm and 40 Years Hence," Sing Out! Autumn '09 / Winter '10

"We had dedication. We had, we were positive, enormous talent. What we needed was a captive audience.
"And what more captive an audience could one ask for than the permanent inmates of the Northhampton State Hospital?
"...I mentally ran through our repetoire. Blondie's 'Heart of Gall' might cause somebody to have a flashback. 'Enough is Enough' was good, but we really needed percussion to make it work. Plus there was always the danger it would hit a nerve and spark a riot. 'Somewhere' from West Side Story? No, that would just remind them that they, too, wanted to live somewhere else.
"'What about You Light up My Life?' Natalie suggested.
"...And that is how it came to pass that Natalie and I performed 'You Light up My Life' live, in front of a captive and highly medicated audience." — Augusten Burroughs, "Running With Scissors

"Our 3-year-old daughter loves to sing. She'll sing along to songs on the radio and blurt out the artist, and she'll even make up her own songs.
"My husband played piano and violin growing up, and we'd like to spark her interest in music. So, one day we were watching an orchestra play on television, and I asked if sh'd like to play the violin lik the man on television.
"She said, 'No, I want to play the microphone.'" — Audrey Kopperud, "Funny Stories," Colorado Country Life, August 2009

"So the story goes: There was a good piano player, part of a trio, who performed at a bar. People came out, just to hear him play. One night, a patron told him he didn't want to hear him just play anymore.
"He wanted him to sing a song.
"The player said he didn't sing. but the customer was persistent. He told the bartender, 'I'm tired of listening to the piano. I want that guy to sing!' The bartender told the piano player that if he wanted to get paid, he'd sing a song for the patron.
"So he did. The piano player who had never sung in public did so for the first time. And no one had ever heard the song Sweet Lorraine sung the way it was sung that night by none other than Nat King Cole.
He had talent he was sitting on. He may have lived the rest of his life as a no-name piano player in a no-name bar, but because he had to sing, he went on to become of the best-known entertainers in America.
"There's a lesson here for all of us. We all have hidden talents." — Harvey Mackay, "Outswimming the Sharks / Don't be afraid to fly; you might find hidden talents," Rocky Mountain News, Sept. 11, 2008

"Wandering around back stage at a willie Nelson concert is a bit like being the parrot on the shoulder of the guy who's running the Ferris wheel. It's not the best seat in the house, but you see enough lights, action, people, and confusion to make you wonder if anybody knows what the hell's going on. If you're sitting out front, of course, it all rolls along as smoothly as a German train schedule, but as Willie, like any great magician, would be the first to point out, the real show is never in the center ring. As Willie always says, 'Fortunately, we're not in control.'" — Kinky Friedman, "Kinky Friedman's Guide to Texas Etiquette"

"[Performing] is a whole lot easier when you have an audience." — Duncan Tuck, May 3, 2008, at Sheabeen Irish Pub

"Charlie Parker and Thelonius Monk are the two people who I think are the most important [for interesting me in playing and writing music], because, when you listen to their music, you hear such feeling in what they're doing. emotion has always been far more interesting to me than technique, because no matter what people say, we're all working with the same notes and the same scales. It's what you do with those notes that count. I can show you on a transcription sheet how a piece of music looks, and you can read it...but that doesn't really say anything. It's the attitude that you bring to that music, the way you play those notes and the things that you do with them that's important. ... The music that people like to call jazz is much more about feeling than about formality, though you certainly have to know and respect the music in order to play it successfully." — Ornette Coleman, quoted by Ron Wynn in "Ornette Coleman / The Language of Sound," American Songwriter, January / February, 2008

"That afternoon in the ward I played 'Lady of Spain,' and as I played, my fear passed away. In its place came a strange elation. The men listened, and their listening was of a different order from what I felt at recitals. They too might have played the tune, the sentimental quality of it giving way to a passion that went into the depths of all music and included my mother in it, drew her into it. Lady of Spain! When I saw her, that gray lady, that dark-eyed Nazarene atremble in the shadows of shades of men, it was as if I saw all the women I would love. This was music, this was the life within, this was the love I would sell my soul to possess. The air that set the reeds to quaver, God help me, might have been my own breath." — Robert Taylor Jr., "Lady of Spain," The Best American Short Stories 1987

"Rockin' Out In Kansas
"In a Kansas City ballpark, 1721 people rocked out and raised their instruments to the heavens to set a new world record for largest guitar ensemble. What song did they play? Deep Purple's anthem 'Smoke on the Water,' of course." — Parade, December 30, 2007

"What I remember best from those times is the music itself. When it succeded, we took hold of the audience's attention, working it from a distracted, unshaped mass into spun beauty, passing the fine strands back and forth until we wove together something grander, not only music but memory, too—the particulars of past and present, stretched taut across a loom of timeless ideals. Harmony. Symmetry. Order." — Andromeda Romano-Lax, "The Spanish Bow"

"We've always liked staged Events." — Wells Fargo ad

"There's the most resistance to an actor singing. It's like I'm being disloyal to my industry." — Kevin Bacon, answer to Celebrity Cipher, The [Colorado Springs] Gazette, Jul 20, 2007

"What you heard in its performances was 'a number of approximations of how the piece should be played,' and that they collectively amounted to beautiful music." — from the NY Times article on the Very Terrible Orchestra playing the fringe in Edinburgh this year, contributed by Judy Ganchrow

"When creativity comes to life others are inspired to follow." — SRP ad

"True artistry often demands not only individual virtuosity, but also collective brilliance." — Steptoe & Johnson LLP ad

"It was like being in the eye of a hurricane. You'd wake up in a concert and think, 'Wow! How did I get here?'" — John Lennon, answer to Celebrity Cipher, Colorado Springs Gazette, Dec. 8, 2007

"You can't be a sexy person unless you have something sexy to offer. With me, it's my voice." — Tom Jones, answer to Celebrity Cipher, Colorado Springs Gazette, Dec. 6, 2007

"Maybe it's wishful thinking, this snaggly faith of mine, or maybe it's Miles Davis saying, 'Don't play what's there, play what's not there.'" — Anne Lamott, "Traveling Mercies"

"...the last song was so deep and raw and pure that I could not escape. It was as if the people were singing in between the notes, weeping and joyful at the same time, and I felt like their voices or something was rocking me in its bosom, holding me like a scared kid, and I opened up to that feeling—and it washed over me." — Anne Lamott, "Traveling Mercies"

"There came a moment in the middle of the song when he suddenly felt every heartbeat in the room & after that he never forgot that he was part of something much bigger" — Brian Andreas, "Trusting Soul"

"...but now, with the last two years of touring and being on the road, I've learned that a live show should never sound like a record; a record should sound like a live show." — Brandi Carlile, quoted by Robin Aigner, "in the studio With Brandi Carlile," American Songwriter, November / December 2006

'"There's a certain sense of ownership that the fans have over you....The thing is, it's all good. You just have to get used to it. If somebody comes up to you while you're eating dinner or something, it's kind of like, 'Well, I asked for it.' It's much better than the alternative—nobody caring and nobody buying your music. The point is to try to just realize that these people are really excited, and that's a good thing. You want them to be that way." — Carrie Underwood, quoted by Jame Kaplan in "Small-town Girl to Big-time Star", Parade, Oct. 22, 2006

"I'm not in a situation where you get a thousand scripts. You want to make a living, you want to put your kids through school. I'd rather do three bad films that pay well than do one good film every three years that doesn't pay well. ... To me, if you can get a steady check in this business, you're doing okay." — Eugene Levy, on acting in movies, "Seriously Funny", AARP, Sep&Oct, 2006

Bob Hope on his career:

  • ON PRESIDENTS " I have performed for 12 presidents and entertained only six."
  • ON WHY HE CHOSE SHOWBIZ FOR HIS CAREER " When I was born, the doctor said to my mother, 'Congratulations.You have an eight-pound ham'."
  • ON HIS EARLY FAILURES " I would not have had anything to eat if it wasn't for the stuff the audience threw at me."

— contributed by Bob Turner

"Clubs treat musicians like royalty—royalty from a nation that they are at war with." — John Achuff

"For many years I thought I couldn't even sing. But if you can talk, you can sing. It's just that we think we have to have these voices like Mariah Carey. We all can sing." — Katherine Dines, as quoted by Janna Widdifield, "Hunk-ta Bunk-ta, Boo", University of Denver Magazine, Jan. 2006

"But the music, you know—there's just so much competition. You have to start and get your name built up and it takes a long time, really, for people to be secure in this business. It is a God-given talent that someone has to love to stick with it. Some day, you'll start getting the dividends, you know." — Art Stamper, "An Interview with Art Stamper" by Paul Brown, Old-Time Herald, Winter 2000/'01

"A little applause never did anyone any harm. I'm still into that. It's a great thing. If someone compliments me, I'm lucky enough to not be jaded...I think 'Wow, thank you.' That's what it's all about for me — the feedback on tour of the audiences and the buzz from the crowd, together with the joy of making music with the band, the two-way traffic of emotion, it's very special. I'm not above a complement. I hope to never be above one." — Paul McCartney, The Rocky Mountain News, Oct. 29, 2005

"I do it because I still get a kick out of it. I still love performing. It keeps me young." — B. B. King, quoted by the Los Angeles Daily News, as shown in AARP Bulletin, Oct. 2005

"We want to thank the sound crew. They know just when to put the CD in and we know just when to start lip syncing. We're not Milly Vanilli; we're Hillbilly Vanilli." — Ken Pabst of High Plains Tradition, Oregon Trails Wagon Train Bluegrass Festival, Bayard Nebraska, August 2005

"'Being a musician means ...getting to the depths of where you are at,' Dylan told Playboy in 1966. 'And most any musician would try anything to get to those depths, because playing music is an immediate thing....Your spirit flies when you are playing music. So with music, you tend to look deeper and deeper inside yourself to find the music.'" — Nadine Epstein and Rebecca Frankel, "Bob Dylan The Unauthorized Spiritual Biography", Moment, August 2005

"THERE AIN'T NOTHIN’ NICE ABOUT TRUCKSTOP HONEYMOON. They play banjos and wash tubs. They sing hell-bent songs about adultery and oil refineries. They sing from their stomachs. Katie Euliss learned guitar, piano and bucket bass in the streets of New Orleans. She scammed enough money from tourists to buy Lucky Strikes and smoked oysters for six years. Then she met Mike West. Part entertainer, part snake oil salesman, Mike lived by pickin’ banjo and selling CDs that he claimed were a curative for hangovers and small mindedness. Together they began a perpetual tour of North America and Europe. They spent their wedding night in the Tiger Truck Stop, somewhere between Lafayette and the Atchafalya swamp. Truckstop Honeymoon was born. Truckstop Honeymoon plays break-neck breakdowns or waltzes. Their music is like a Dodge with a burnt out clutch: it has two speeds and no reverse." — promo material for Truckstop Honeymoon, from Dan Willging

"It's important to tune for this song. It's not like the other ones." — Austin Lounge Lizards, Swallow Hill, July 15, 2005

"Emily Allred ... Hutchison is a stunt woman ... black belt in karate ... a dancer, a singer and ... booking manager and backup singer in a group ... which logged 40,000 road miles and 8,000 air miles on tour last year. This year she plans to record her own music demo... Hutchison says she likes the adrenaline rush when she performs stunts, but the pay is unpredictable...she's recording the music demo because singing gives her more opportunities to perform.
"'It's a performance thing. I've had that bug since I was 17. I think there is a voice inside all of us that, when we hit 35, we say, Naww, I can't do that! I say that's baloney. I started listening to my voice, and I never stopped. It tells me, -This is the way to go now,- and I do it.' " — Janalee Card Chmel, University of Denver Magazine, Summer, 2005

"[David] Garrett says he avoided being labeled a geek in high school by being involved in sports and playing in a rock band." — Jack Cox, "Smarter than 99.9% of the rest of us", The Denver Post, June 21, 2005

"...'The Star Spangled Banner' is an odd choice for a national anthem. Francis Scott Key set his 1814 lyric, commemorating a single incident in a war now nearly forgotten, to an English neoclassical drinking song, 'To Anacreaon in Heaven,' composed by one John Stafford Smith to showcase his own vocal prowess. This demanding melody was never meant to be a 'song of the people' but the province of trained singers.
"...'The Star Spangled Banner,' though, holds challenges even for the well-trained voice. But perhaps it's the lessons we learn in navigating those challenges that give the song its lasting value: to be conscious of your limitations, yet dare to aim high. To stay flexible if your plans go awry—and if all else fails, to charge ahead with your fingers crossed." — Jack Feerick, "Oh Say Can You Sing", Better Homes and Gardens, July 2005 (after hearing a local singer attempt to sing the national anthem a cappella)

"Nice to be in front of folks with a low entertainment threshold." — Ron Thomason, CBMS Bluegrass Jamboree at Swallow Hill, April 2005

"... and they practice beforehand, which ruins the fun!" — Flanders & Swann, c.1960, from Stuart Tarbuck

"There is an apocryphal story told of Arthur Rubenstein in his declining years. He went into the studio and recorded an album and the producer went away with the tapes to edit things together. A few weeks later they were listening to the playbacks and the producer leaned over to A.R. and said,
'Don't you wish you could play like that?' I wonder if it's true?" — Stuart Tarbuck

"One of the reasons my father ... became a dentist was so he could always be home for dinner and spend weekends with his family. At one point he had thought about being a musician, but he said, 'I'm not going to do that because I'd be on the road all the time and I wouldn't be with my family.'" — Dean Ornish, M. D. in "Top Pops", AARP Magazine, May&June, 2005

"I heard [trumpeter] Clark Terry on the radio [KJAZ] recently talking about practicing. He said he tells his students its like a bank account — you make deposits when you practice and you make withdrawals when you perform. You don't want to try for something on stage and find you have insufficient funds in your account. [Just in case your not up on jazz trumpeters, Terry played with Doc Severensen on the Tonight Show and had a distinguished career with many other bands. He had a great nest-egg for his chops.]" — Bob Dolan

"Not content to have the audience in the palm of his hand, he goes one further and clenches his fist." — Kenneth Tynan on Frankie Laine, contributed by Stuart Tarbuck

"Never look at the trombones, you'll just encourage them." — Richard Strauss, on conducting,
— contributed by Stuart Tarbuck

"We got a lot of wild-eyed looks at some of the bluegrass shows doing Journey's song 'Don't Stop Believing' in bluegrass style, but it turned out to be a very good song for us." — Bill McBee [Pine Mountain Railroad], "Bluegrass tradition gets modern twist" by Ed Will, The Denver Post, Feb. 18, 2005

"I knew when I was in high school that I wanted a job where they'd applaud if I showed up." — Cheryl Wheeler, according to Patricia Eichhorn

"Music is your own experience...your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn." — Charlie Parker, from "Celebrity Cipher", Rocky Mountain News, Feb. 19, 2005

"I thought [A Prairie Home Companion] would be an interesting thing to do for a summer or so. Public radio was just seven years old in 1974. It was a tiny organization in which a lot of things got started simply because there was all this time to fill. If you wanted to do an hour on Lithuanian folk dancing, you probably could have done it." — Garrison Keillor, "Keillor Instinct", AARP Magazine, March&April, 2005

"Playing what you want, where and when you want, is what being a musician is about. It's trying to do things that are meaningful." — Yo-Yo Ma in "We Are the World" by Gerri Hirshey, Parade Magazine, Jan.30, 2005

"I was worried about my appearance, so I put in one." — Founders:
                      Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers,
                      Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers,
                      Entertainers, Musicians, Places to Hear Acoustic
                      Music, Locations, Venues, Clubs, Festivals,
                      Business and Services Supporting Acoustic Music,
                      Music Stores, Musical Instruments, Music Teachers Sandy Reay Sandy Reay: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo
                    Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers,
                    Entertainers, Musicians

"What I perform is up for grabs... I just walk onstage and see what happens. A lot of it depends on the vibe I get from the audience.
"The audience is like my instrument. It's not just me up there, it's collaborative." — Bobby McFerrin, quoted by Sabine Kortals in "Be Happy", The Denver Post, Jan. 24, 2005

"They're still in good shape, but I'm not flashing them anymore. I'm an old lady. I leave all the flesh to the kids." — Tina Turner, 65, talking about her legs in an interview with the London Sunday Express, as reported in BulletinBoard, AARB Bulletin, Jan 2005

"I'm going to the lobby to sign babies and kiss CDs." — Tom Rush at Swallow Hill, Jan. 15, 2005

"I saw a sign in Boulder. It said, 'Live Music and Darts.' Chicken wire isn't going to help at all." — Tom Rush at Swallow Hill, Jan. 15, 2005

"I wanted to do a set of love songs for Valentine's Day so I went through my old material. I found myself scraping around the edges of good taste." — Tom Rush at Swallow Hill, Jan. 15, 2005

"Marlon once said to me about being an actor: 'Can you imagine going to work every day and pretending to be someone else?'" — Mike Medavoy, Life, December 17, 2004, "My Favorite Picture"

"An amateur variety show performed on a thumpy old stage with poor lighting, framed with crepe-paper streamers, creates its own kind of energy, a camaraderie sadly missing from our society that values personal space so highly that we shut each other out.
"It's the kind of thing that can even make elephant jokes funny." — Francis Shrum, "Makes Sense to Me! Fish in a Bowl", in Tidbits of Northern El Paso County, November 8, 2004

"Cher continues her battle with KISS for the longest-running good-bye tour of all time. She is closing in on 300 concerts since she started her 'farewell tour' in 2002. Her stop in Colorado next year will be the fourth time she has visited the state to say so long." — "ON SALE HOT TIX", The Denver Post's Weekly Entertainment Guide, Nov. 19, 2004

"Nothing wrong with lip-syncing if you've got the actual talent to start with. The problem is, so many 'singers' don't have that talent." — Mark Brown, Rocky Mountain News, October 30, 2004

"In O Brother Where Art Thou, music director T Bone Burnett told me one of the toughest parts of the movie was Chris Thomas King's short acoustic performance. It was one of those rare cases where the performance you're seeing on the screen is an actual live performance." — Mark Brown, Rocky Mountain News, October 30, 2004

"...ask [Anthony] Hopkins how he makes his characters come to life and he just shrugs. 'I don't know. If I knew, I wouldn't be able to do it. As they say: Where ignorance is bliss it's folly to be wise.'" — Larry Eisenberg, AARP the magazine, November / December 2004

"We suffered for our music. Now, it's your turn." — Sam Bush, at taping of etown, November 16, 2003

"Discovered that the Chapman boys are startin' to get above their raisin'. Don't acknowledge the existence of other musicians. Tell them 'Nice job', they pretend not to hear you. Never meet your eyes onstage or backstage...look right past you like you aren't there. Charge folks $20 to join their fan club. I guess success does that to some people. (Ken Sager says he's gonna start his own fan club and charge FIFTY dollars to get into it. I may do the same, only I'll charge a hundred. Why be cheap?)" — Bangs Tapscott, Intermountain Acoustic Musician, November 2004

"To me, getting up every single night and trying to reach out to an audience, and trying to dig deeper and further in the play to serve the writer and to understand yourself in that context is how you continue to grow and learn." — Kevin Spacey, in "One Life to Give", AARP the Magazine, September / October 2004

"Some days you feel like you've had the greatest ego massage, then the next day you've been trampled on." — Judy Woodruff, in "DroppingBy: Gritty Woman" by Mark Matousek, AARP the Magazine, September / October 2004

"If you have any songs you want to hear, there are a lot of stores in the Denver area that sell CDs. You can buy them, just like we did." — Terry Dalton

"If there's anything you want to hear, just shout it out. We won't do it, but it helps to get that stuff off your chest." — Terry Dalton

"We were one of many college bands formed in that era [the 60's] by young men with a sincere artistic desire to attract women of the opposite sex.
"We pretty much failed at that, but we did get hired a lot, because of a distinctive quality we had, which I would describe as 'a low price.' For as little as $100, or sometimes even littler, you could have [our band] perform at you dance, dorm mixer, frat party, pagan tree-worship ceremony, livestock neutering, whatever." — Dave Barry, "Rockin' the night away", in the Denver Post, Sunday, July 25, 2004

"Evidently the teenage musician had missed the point of being young. Thirty-five years ago, Riker had been the boy beneath the arch, but his own guitar had been strung with steel, electrified and amplified, ripping out music to make people manic, forcing them to dance down the sidewalk.
"What a rush.
"And the entire universe had revolved around him.
"He had sold that electric guitar to buy a ring for a girl he had loved more than rock'n'roll. The marriage had ended, and the music had also deserted him." — Carol O'Connell, Crime School

"The only frustrating aspect was that the set list remained unchanged throughout the tour, despite the rich heritage of numbers to choose from." — Glenn Covey & Ian Russell, Pink Floyd, In the Flesh

"We tune because you care." - Herb Pedersen at Four Mile Park, June 30, 2004 (also attributed to Tim O'Brien)

"We tune because we can.." — Founders:
                    Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers,
                    Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers,
                    Musicians, Places to Hear Acoustic Music, Locations,
                    Venues, Clubs, Festivals, Business and Services
                    Supporting Acoustic Music, Music Stores, Musical
                    Instruments, Music Teachers Sandy Reay Sandy Reay: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo
                  Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers,
                  Entertainers, Musicians

"I was wrong when I said, 'if we didn't have egos, we'd be stockbrokers.' Stockbrokers have egos. I should have said, 'if we didn't have egos, we'd be insurance salesmen.'" — Butch Hause

"It seems to me that performers are to musicians as marketers are to engineers. (On these scales, I'd rate record company execs about even with infomercial producers.) " — Bob Dolan

"...there are a lot of [aspiring singers] who are not paid attention to because they don't look like a fashion model." — Linda Ronstadt in The Denver Post, June 2, 2004

"Music is a work in progress. On a record, it gets frozen in time. And it's oddly unnatural." — Linda Ronstadt in The Denver Post, June 2, 2004

"No matter what you do, it can't be perfect. I told Jack [White], 'If I'd 'a sung that song more'n twice, it might of sounded better.' He said, 'Well, it might not of. You might have took the spark out of it.' I don't know if he has a point or not. We'll find out." — Loretta Lynn, AARP Jan.&Feb, 2004

"Music, it requires more than brawn. It requires a lot of heart. You gotta put love in there." — James Brown, AARP Jan.&Feb, 2004

"The proposition was put forth in my youth that 'Clapton Is God'! Though I was never convinced, I entertained the idea and tolerated those who fervently proclaimed it. By now I think we see that this might have been a peculiar cultic phenomenon, perhaps fostered by those types of artificially induced ecstatic experiences often confused with genuine mystical revelation.
"I was moved to consider this last night while attending a performance by Bruce Springsteen at Mile High Stadium. Bruce is not God (at least outside of New Jersey), but one can certainly make the claim of some divine presence, especially when compared to any other mere performers I'm aware of." — John Backe

"'When you make a record, you draw back the bow and try to get the arrow to stick as close to the bull's eye as possible. Usually you're off, in one direction or another,' said Peter Lubin, the former Mercury executive who signed [Michelle] Shocked. — Landon Hall, The Denver Post, September 28, 2003

"...the pressures of perfection in the performing arts can produce side effects. Few of them are good.
"Musicians remain subject to all of modern life's stresses. In many ways, they're more susceptible.
"Soloists bear the brunt, since they stand (or sit) in front and center. Each missed note or smudged passage will cause a raised eyebrow or a disappointed shake of the head." — Marc Shulgold, "Stage fright can lead to tragic endings", Rocky Mountain News, August 16, 2003

"I remember the first job I ever had. I was playin' in a trio in a folk club, and it was one of those days where I was just bustin' strings right and left. ...the owner ...made the first and only musical critique I ever heard from him: 'You break too many strings. If you break any more this set, you're fired. Loosen them up' " — Jimmy Buffett, Tales From Margaritaville

"The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes—ah, that is where the art resides." — Arthur Schnabel, from Family Circle, July, 2003

"Interesting little game we play with each other." — Guy Clark at Swallow Hill Music Association , May 31, 2003, returning to the stage for an encore after a standing ovation

"I hear this song and I think, 'Man, this is ... great. This is the best I ever heard this. I forget I'm the one singing." — Guy Clark at Swallow Hill Music Association , May 31, 2003

"This is a fantasy fiddle tune. The part you fantasize is the fiddle." — Guy Clark at Swallow Hill Music Association , May 31, 2003

"In my early 20s, I had this idea that I was going to front a band, like Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. I didn't just want to be the chick singing ballads about somebody breaking my heart. Everyone in the business said, 'Why don't you do what Olivia Newton-Jonn and Linda Ronstadt are doing?' But I wanted to sing as a powerful female who wasn't afraid to speak her mind or be sexual." — Pat Benatar, in Self Magazine, June 2003

"If we [musicians] didn't have egos, we'd be stockbrokers." — Butch Hause at the CBMS Colorado Bluegrass Musicians Symposium, Feb 1, 2003

"If it weren't for my knees and back, I could dance just like J. Lo." — overheard while waiting for an elevator

"... Concerning a recent performance by a jazz singer, the reviewer [from The Los Angeles Times] wrote, 'Sandra Reaves-Phillips has got a way of handing a song its hat and kicking it down the stairs.'
My first thought was, 'Wow, she must really be good.'
My second thought was, 'What the heck does that mean?'" — Don Flood, in "C'est La Vie", Southeast Tidbits, Dec. 9, 2002

"Frank, can you turn my suit down in the monitor?" — Charles Sawtelle at RockyGrass

"You want a little talent on that?" — Chet Atkins, regarding reverb

"I don't often get a chance to have a frying pan in the show." — Tommy Emmanuel on inviting Zach Bergen to play banjo with him on stage at Swallow Hill Music Association, Sept. 27, 2002

"Important notice: Before leaving stage, players must deposit their instruments in the appropriate barrel." — John Stump, "Faerie's Aire and Death Waltz"

"Ouch! Stop putting your bow there" — John Stump, "Faerie's Aire and Death Waltz"

"Pluck with dignity" — John Stump, "Faerie's Aire and Death Waltz"

"Notice: if you are a 2nd Violinist, please do not use a 1st Violin. Use the 2nd Violin you were issued" — John Stump, "Faerie's Aire and Death Waltz"

"Move those chubby little fingers" — John Stump, "Faerie's Aire and Death Waltz"

"Only felons may kill the oafish audience members" — John Stump, "Faerie's Aire and Death Waltz"

"Gradually slide from 12-bar-blues to a more Vivaldi-like cadenza." — John Stump, "Faerie's Aire and Death Waltz"

"Try to err on the side of perfection." — Jim Ratts of Runaway Express Runaway Express: Bands, Singers, Songwriters / Composers, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians, Cowboy Poets

"When I'm feeling down, I like to whistle. It makes the neighbor's dog that barks all the time run to the end of his chain and gag himself." — unknown

"Jean-Baptiste Lully, a seventeenth-century composer who wrote music for the king of France, died from an overdose of 'musical enthusiasm.' While rehearsing for a concert, he became overexcited and drove his staff right through his foot. He succumbed to blood poisoning." — Wendy Northcutt in The Darwin Awards, Evolution in Action

"How can you play a banjo in a library?" — Randy Jones

"I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve." — Xavier Cugat

"Flint must be an extremely wealthy town: I see that each of you bought two or three seats." — Victor Borge, to a half-filled house in Flint, MI


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