In the autumn of 1970 I had a job singing in the school system, playing my guitar in classrooms.
I think longevity is more important than trying to make people realize you're around every second.
I'm glad that my music has helped other people as it's helped me. It makes me glad that I did what I did with my life.
I developed this fantasy world. I found that that was much more fun and more interesting and exciting than real life was to me. Then, once I got the guitar going when I was a teenager, I set sail for the direction I've been in my whole life.
I don't relate to what's left of the music business. There doesn't seem to be any point to it anymore. The business that I grew up in and loved, we made records a different way - there were record companies, there were stores where you could buy albums.
I had asthma when I was a kid, asthma so bad that it would turn into pneumonia and I almost died several times. Nobody knew why back then, but now it's obvious.
People ask me if I left the lyrics open to ambiguity. Of course I did. I wanted to make a whole series of complex statements. The lyrics had to do with the state of society at the time.
American Pie speaks to the loss that we feel. That's why that song has found the niche that it has.
In a sense, 'American Pie' was a very despairing song but it can also be seen as very hopeful.
But I knew - in the old days, if a song was a good song, I don't care if it was 'Yellow Submarine' or, you know, or 'The Times They Are a-Changin' or 'Don't Be Cruel', you knew it, you know? You heard that song, and you were talking about it, and you knew it.
I was always just into my music and maybe into trying to save the world a little bit. I never really thought I'd have a hit record or anything like that. I was prepared to travel around all over the country, kind of like a Johnny Appleseed, and sing.
I'd listen to all the stuff that was going on around me and drift off into my fantasies about it. My fantasies have fuelled all the songs I've ever written.
I mean, I've been given a terrific life by the audiences who stuck with me all over the world.
If something comes up I might write about it, but without an outlet the whole thing winds down.
The kids today all seem to think they should be stars, but I wasn't brought up that way.
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