Robbie Robertson Quotes
I really have to feel a sense of freedom in my storytelling.
— Robbie Robertson
I remember from my earliest years people speaking, you know, in a certain kind of rhythm and telling stories and sharing experiences in a way that was different in Indian country than it was other places. And I was really struck by this and obviously very affected by it, because it's always come out in my songs.
I saw Ray Charles at Massey Hall.
I think that there's always great music being made. Always has been, always will be.
I think the world of Chuck Berry.
I think, some countries, you have to be dead to have your picture on a stamp.
I thought of a lot of people from the same era when I was making a lot of records that had continued making a lot of records. A lot of it didn't seem terribly inspired.
I wanted to develop a guitar style where phrases and lines get there just in the nick of time, like with Curtis Mayfield and Steve Cropper. Subtleties mean so much, and there is a stunning beauty in them.
I was a storyteller for The Band. It was never, 'Hey guys, here's a song about what happened to me.' I was always more comfortable writing fiction.
I'd always thought Cage's 'Root of an Unfocus' would be great in a movie.
I'm always optimistic.
I'm not an activist.
I'm really lucky because I found myself in a position where I can do whatever I want to do. I can make records, produce records, make movies, or I can do nothing. I'm not a slave to the dollar.
I've always been in love with that Delta-flavored music... the music that came from Mississippi and Memphis and, especially, New Orleans. When I was 14, I was in a wanna-be New Orleans band in Toronto.
I've been really fortunate that I've been at a lot of critical crossroads in my musical journey. When I look back, there are some pretty interesting things to look at.
If I can play one note and make you cry, then that's better than those fancy dancers playing twenty notes.
In a lot of groups, you can change a musician, and it doesn't mean anything.
In Americana, the facts and the dreams seem to be all the same to me.
It's a bit of a sore spot, the Thanksgiving in Indian country.
It's easy to be a genius in your twenties. In your forties, it's difficult.
It's extraordinary that revolutions taking place around the world were sparked by communication on the Internet.
A lot of people from my generation can't write songs anymore, or it's really hard and it's an unpleasant experience. I don't feel that way at all.
A lot of times when you're making a record, you put your head down and charge forward until you're done. You just hope that the ideas hold up, because you're kind of lost in your own storm.
After the 'Last Waltz' concert, it just seemed very healthy to me to put making a record as far out of my mind as I possibly could.
At a young age I thought, 'Wow, that fiddle thing, that's pretty cool. That mandolin is great. These drums, I like these drums... ' They were Indian drums. And I was saying, 'But that guitar. That guitar. Girls are going to like that guitar.'
Bob Dylan is as influential as any artist that there has been.
Boy, do I got some stories to tell.
By the time I was 13, I was the only one in London, Ontario, who knew how to play rock n' roll.
Chuck Berry told me if it wasn't for Louis Jordan, he wouldn't have probably ever even got into music. That Louis Jordan changed everything and made him want to become a musician.
Cowboys had guitars. And they sang country 'cause they lived in the country.
Do you know what a skin walker is? It's a thing in Indian mythology. There are certain people born with this gift, and they're able to actually get inside you and mess with your feelings and with your mind. And if a skin walker chooses to get a hold of you, there's not much you can do.
Everybody grows in their own way.
For years after 'The Last Waltz,' I got all kinds of silly movie offers - or, maybe, not silly, but parts that are not my calling... lots of offers to play some wonderful boyfriend.
I admire those old road dogs, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan. That's their life.
I always like to keep one hand in the tepee and the other hand in the synagogue. Wouldn't it be great if there was a combination of the two? You could go to synagogue, and it would be really hot in there.
I am fascinated by the places that music comes from, like fife-and-drum blues from southern Mississippi or Cajun music out of Lafayette, Louisiana, shape-note singing, old harp singing from the mountains - I love that stuff. It's like the beginning of rock and roll: something comes down from the hills, and something comes up from the delta.
I asked Bob Dylan to paint the album cover for 'Music from Big Pink.' He said, 'Yeah, let me see what I can come up with.'
I come from a family who prided themselves, both sides, on memory. And I was told growing up, constantly, that I was born with a really good memory.
I could never be a movie star and get up at 7:30 to be at someone else's studio.
I do not have yearnings to get back on a bus. If it means getting on a bus, I don't want to do it.
I don't know - it's a bit of a mystery of how things come about when they do. I don't have a scientific explanation for it. Sometimes when you're writing a song, you don't know where you're going.
I don't like overt traditionalism.
I don't want to be one of those people saying, 'Remember when things were better?'
I feel so lucky to have been in a group where it was a real band. This wasn't a singer and guitar player and some other guys.
I haven't been to many music events where somebody was performing and it actually made me cry.
I like to work on records when I feel inspired, not because it's expected of me.
I love the idea of having a kid who says, 'Yeah, of course I knew about Billie Holiday and Johnny Cash when I was nine years old.'
I love traditional music. But in any culture around the world, there is the historic and cultural music and everything that's been passed down and passed down, and hopefully you take that, and then you take it, you know, the next distance, and then somebody else takes it the next distance.
I never really had a teenage experience. I went from childhood to maturity, and in some ways, it short-circuited me emotionally.
I play guitar quite a bit, because I'm always in search of something. I don't play to jam, but because I'm fishing. I'm looking for something, that I hope you can never find. If I do find it, I'm afraid I won't have a need to do this any more.
I really have to feel a sense of freedom in my storytelling.