After I exhausted the blues thing, I got into jazz.
By many peoples’ standards, my playing is very primitive but by punk standards, I’m a virtuoso.
By then I was in Brooklyn and drank my way through that summer. I stopped when I got sick of that and got a job at the Strand bookstore, which was a little better than the tax job.
Even by the time I was four or five, I had Gene Autry records.
From ’69 til ’76, I never played in public. I would play by myself at home.
I never really followed grunge.
I quit the tax job then and decided that I was going to play in a band. I answered ads in the Village Voice and went through two days of auditioning for bands.
I really feel fortunate to have been around then because there have been good and bad years in rock but the best years were ’55 to early ’61. I got to see Buddy Holly and everybody else.
I saw Suicide in ’74 and it was pretty horrifying.
I started off with the really funky stuff like Ramsey Lewis, Milt Jackson, Kenny Burrell.
I think Blank Generation holds up pretty well. You listen to that with headphones and there’s a lot going on there with the guitars- it’s the product of a lot of fighting.
I was 12 in ’55 when rock and roll hit. It just completely transformed me.
I was coerced into taking piano lessons in the early ’50s. It was a quite unpleasant experience.
It was just like Howlin’ Wolf. Once you arrive at the point that you understand it, the emotional factor is darker than some of the saddest blues stuff.
Meanwhile after failing the bar twice, I knew some people in New York and moved here in August ’71.
My playing started to develop through the Miles Davis stuff I was listening to.
Reading music is something that’s inherently hateful to me. It makes music like mathematics.
The Stones were nasty and ugly and doing songs I was familiar with.