Johnny Cash was like Abraham Lincoln to me.
I started out in the folk music world only because of the way my songs were written and performed, with just an acoustic guitar, but I always related to the rock n' roll lifestyle.
I always had an affinity for older people. I had a job delivering newspapers, and one place I had to go was an old people's home. Some people would introduce you to their neighbors as if you were a nephew or grandson. They didn't get many visitors, so they acted like you were coming to see them. And that stuck with me for a long time.
I feel basically good about my career because it's remained constant. What I do has never been especially in vogue or gotten high on the charts. At the same time, I haven't had to stop performing any of my music because it aged in style.
I never gave up on 'Archie.' I started picking up 'Archie' comics when I was in my thirties, and then I started subscribing to them.
Yeah, early '71 is when I got my record contract. I had a record come out by August of '71. Things happened really fast.
There is a certain comedy and pathos to trouble and accidents. Like when a driver has parked his car crookedly and then wonders why he has the bad luck of being hit.
I thought I was grounded. I thought from my kinda blue-collar outlook on life that I would call myself a grounded person. I was not. I was like a balloon flying around in the air. And as soon as our first child was born, boom - my feet came right down to the ground.
I'm kind of like the Lone Ranger or Batman. I can just go to my mansion and jump out in my uniform and sing on weekends.
I think of the Bible as an unauthorized biography.
I used to read a lot of Steinbeck, and I admired Roger Miller and Bob Dylan.
Man, I hated school. I'd stare at the buttons on the teacher's shirt the whole class.
When I turned 40, I invited Johnny Cash to my party, even though I knew there was gonna be 200 people roasting a pig and wild as can be. He didn't come, but the next day, I got a bowl of chili he'd made and a note that said, 'John, I'd love to come to your party, but that would mean I would have to leave my house.'
Soon as I could play one guitar chord and laid my ear upon that wood, I was gone. My soul was sold. Music was everything from then on.
I like doing chores.
I had a year-round Christmas tree with nothing but colored vinyl 45s hanging on it, like, old Elvis records and stuff.
The best way to write a song is to think of something else and then the song kind of creeps in.
I'd rather get a hot dog or a doughnut than write a song.
I was in the Army in the 1960s. I didn't go to Vietnam. I went to Germany, where I drank beer. But I did have an empathy with the soldiers in Vietnam.
I think the best duets are those where there's a dialogue back and forth, and then the two singers go into a thing together.