62 Quotes of Tom Petty About Music

” I feel sorry for kids these days. They get so much homework. Remember the days when we put a belt around our two books and carried them home? Now they’re dragging a suitcase. They have school all day, then homework from six until eleven. There’s no time left to be creative. “
” Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There’s not some trick involved with it. It’s pure and it’s real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things. “
” As time goes by, you seem to weed out the things that were making your life hard. “
” I’m not exactly a guy who makes new friends easily. “
” Go after what you really love and find a way to make that work for you, and then you’ll be a happy person. “
” TV does not care about you or what happens to you. It’s downright bad for your health now, and that’s not a far-out concept. I think watching the TV news is bad for you. It is bad for your physical health and your mental health. “
” Do something you really like, and hopefully it pays the rent. As far as I’m concerned, that’s success. “
” If you’re not getting older, you’re dead. “
” What I’ve learned about marriage: You need to have each other’s back; you have to be a kind of team going through life. “
” Sometimes, giving up your privacy is a little like going to the dentist and we have let him have access that no one’s ever had. “
” A good song should give you a lot of images; you should be able to make your own little movie in your head to a good song. “
” When I decided to be a musician I reckoned that that was going to be the way of less profit, less money. I was sort of giving up the idea of making a lot of money. It was what I loved to do. I would have done it anyway. If I’d had to work at Taco Bell I’d have still been out at night trying to play music. “
” When my record company rejected ‘Full Moon Fever’, I was hurt so bad. I was pretty far along in my career at that point. I’d never had anything rejected; I’d never really even had a comment. So when that happened, it was really just a board to the forehead. But then, finally, I picked myself up. “
” I’m barely prolific and incredibly lazy. “
” Making a record? You’ve got to have the song, then you create a record. I think it’s the same with a live performance. If the material is strong, you’re already 90% there. I always tell young people it’s all about the music, the songs. Work on the songs, work on the songs, work on the songs. “
” I don’t think it’s a good attitude in your life to feel that you have to be rich to have self-esteem. “
” I like to be an optimist, but I like to be a realist, too. “
” We don’t really make bad records, though some people might like some more than others. And we have never really done a bad show. So I think in a way maybe we’ve been taken for granted. “
” You get into your late fifties, people start falling like flies all around you. I don’t take life for granted any more. I’m really glad to be here. “
” Most things I worry about never happen anyway. “
” It’s hard for me… If I don’t have a project going, I don’t feel like I’m connected to anything. I don’t even think it’s that healthy for me. I like to get out of bed and have a purpose. “
” I think if I’d quit years ago, I’d never have known what I was capable of doing. “
” I could come home, and I would spend the rest of the night just lying on the floor or the sofa listening to albums. It was like a movie to me. I still do, really, and doing the radio show ensures that I’ll be sitting there listening. “
” When I was a kid, we didn’t have any blues stations. I never heard Howlin’ Wolf or Muddy Waters or any of those people until the Stones had come along, and I took it upon myself to find out who these people were that they were covering. “
” There’s nothing like that feeling of having just written a song that you know is ‘the song,’ and you know it’s really great, and you can’t wait to share it with people; you can’t wait to record it. “
” I don’t know, my music has always just come from where the wind blew me. Like where I’m at during a particular moment in time. “
” When I go to see people, I always kind of hope they are going to play some kind of songs I know. So you’ve got to know your audience. It’s kind of something that is a blessing and a curse in a way. You’re obligated to play some of that stuff that people know, but I don’t think that’s all you have to do. “
” When I met Elvis, we didn’t really have a conversation. I was introduced by my uncle, and he sort of grunted my way. What stays with me is the whole scene. I had never seen a real mob scene before. I was really young and impressionable. Elvis really did look – he looked sort of not real, as if he were glowing. “
” Rock n’ roll was one thing, and then they chopped off the ‘roll’ and called it ‘rock,’ which became a sort of umbrella term for anything with a guitar in it. Like hair bands. How could we possibly believe that? It’s just gotten downright silly, to the point where now it’s sort of become like professional wrestling. “
” ‘Southern Accents,’ I think that’s one of my best, really. That would have been 1984, and I wrote that on the piano in the studio at home. I had a studio, and I just happened to be down there in the middle of the night. It was quite late, probably early morning, and I just started to play, and a song just started to appear. “
” It’s funny how the music industry is enraged about the Internet and the way things are copied without being paid for. But you know why people steal the music? Because they can’t afford the music. “
” I think that if people realize that with an mp3, you’re only getting five percent of the sound that’s there. But when you hear the entire thing… I think it would save the music business. It’s such a drastic change. “
” I don’t eat fish and chicken and all that. But I will have some eggs. So I’m not technically a vegan. But I eat pretty sensibly, and before a tour, I will usually work out a lot. I’ll get a trainer, or I have a guy I’ve known a long time. “
” When I was 15 or 16 playing in groups, we used to sit in the car and try to write the lyrics down as a song was playing, and we’d assign each person a verse, you know: ‘I’m going to do the first one. You go for the second one.’ And then sometimes you’d wait an hour for it to come on again so you could finish it up. “
” When you get on the back side of your 60s, most people aren’t working. “
” I think, in America, for a long time you had groups that wanted to be stars more than they wanted to make music. “
” When you get older, your health becomes important to you, things start breaking down, you’ve always got a different ache or pain. “
” There used to be this real sense of community integrity in rock. It has really eroded. Everyone seems to be on their own now. “
” I tend to write on an acoustic guitar or the piano. I have kind of a rule: if I can’t sit down and play this and get the song over, I don’t take it to the band, because most any good song, you can sit down and deliver it with a piano or a guitar. “
” I have turned down a lot of money for things that would have made me feel cheesy. “
” The music business looks like, you know, innocent schoolboys compared to the TV business. They care about nothing but profit. “
” It’s very easy to be cynical about the hall of fame. But on the other hand, it’s really a beautiful thing for someone like me. I dedicated my entire life to this music. “
” I think television’s become a downright dangerous thing. It has no moral barometer whatsoever. If you want to talk about something that is all about money, just watch the television. “
” The energy of the crowd is insane. Twenty thousand people. It’s the biggest jolt of adrenaline. It’s very hard to explain. You know the old story about the woman lifting the car off her kid? It’s in that realm. You can actually hurt yourself and not know it. “
” I developed a problem with authority. Any time that authority was what I interpreted as being unjust, I stood up to it, and that became my personality. “
” The first time I tried to write was when I was 14, after I got an electric guitar. I put a song together, and it wasn’t that bad! The writing came natural to me. “
” I love history, doesn’t matter what era, I’m fascinated. “
” I would never put my songs in a commercial. “
” I’ve never had any idea that what I like would resonate with the audience, and I’m pleasantly surprised when it does. “
” I don’t treat the band like I’m above them or that they’re a hired hand for me. We’ve never worked that way. So I’m a team player. I would be very uncomfortable having to do this alone. “
” The great thing about the Wilburys was that none of us had to take the heat by ourselves. I was just a member of the band. Nobody felt like he was above anybody else. We had such a good time. “
” ‘Free Fallin’ is a very good song. Maybe it would be one of my favorites if it hadn’t become this huge anthem. But I’m grateful that people like it. “
” I love doing my ‘Buried Treasure’ show. “
” It’s kind of a lonely work, because you just have to keep your pole in the water. I always had a little routine of going into whatever room I was using at the time to write in and just staying in there till I felt like I got a bite. “
” I’ve been more and more into production lately, and I really, really love that. I love recording. “
” My hours get kinda backwards. Most of the time, we’re basing out of one town, flying out, doing the show, then flying back. And it’s a pace that no one would believe, really. Unless you’ve done it, you really can’t understand what it is. And if you’re not really experienced and know how to do it, you will fall. “
” An average show is two hours. And that’s usually right up to the curfew or the union triple time. I always feel like I could have played a little longer or something, but it’s hard for me to pay attention to anything for longer than that. “
” My family wasn’t involved in the college. They were more of just your ‘white trash’ kind of family. And so I have that kind of background, but I always kind of aspired to be something else, and I made a lot of different friends over the years that were passing through. “
” In the mid-’60s, AM radio, pop radio, was just this incredible thing that played all kinds of music… You could hear Frank Sinatra right into the Yardbirds. The Beatles into Dean Martin. It was this amazing thing, and I miss it, in a way, because music has become so compartmentalized now, but in those days, it was all right in one spot. “
” I didn’t think you could just become a rock and roll singer. “
” Rock isn’t a young music anymore. I don’t think it’s necessarily even a youth-oriented music. “
” The radio has so many rules, and songs don’t. You don’t necessarily write to a rule book unless you’re, like, just doing it professionally, which has never been my thing. “