As human beings, we need to know that we are not alone, that we are not crazy or completely out of our minds, that there are other people out there who feel as we do, live as we do, love as we do, who are like us.
Don't make music for some vast, unseen audience or market or ratings share or even for something as tangible as money. Though it's crucial to make a living, that shouldn't be your inspiration. Do it for yourself.
For whatever reason, not all people are born with the particular gift of being able to express ourselves through music. And, believe me, it is a gift.
Have you listened to the radio lately? Have you heard the canned, frozen and processed product being dished up to the world as American popular music today?
Historically, musicians know what it is like to be outside the norm - walking the high wire without a safety net. Our experience is not so different from those who march to the beat of different drummers.
I am, as I've said, merely competent. But in an age of incompetence, that makes me extraordinary.
I can't think of one person I've ever met who didn't like some type of music.
I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music.
I'm a history nut.
I'm probably writing music now for the same reason as I started writing songs when I was 14 - to meet women.
I've crashed my car three times.
If you make music for the human needs you have within yourself, then you do it for all humans who need the same things. You enrich humanity with the profound expression of these feelings.
In an age of incompetence, I've been able to last in this crazy business. I actually know how to play my ax and write a song. That's my job.
Like family, we are tied to each other. This is what all good musicians understand.
More than art, more than literature, music is universally accessible.
Most people are satisfied with the junk food being sold as music.
The whole world loves American movies, blue jeans, jazz and rock and roll. It is probably a better way to get to know our country than by what politicians or airline commercials represent.
We are living in a time when American popular music is finally being recognized as one of our most successful exports. The demand is huge.
When I look at great works of art or listen to inspired music, I sense intimate portraits of the specific times in which they were created.
When I was 19, I made my first good week's pay as a club musician. It was enough money for me to quit my job at the factory and still pay the rent and buy some food. I freaked.
When I was a young musician, the only option available to pursue secondary education in music was to attend a classical conservatory.
Why do musicians give so much time to charitable causes? The most humanitarian cause that we can give our time to is the creation and performance of music itself.
You want to give people a reason to hate my guts more? I'm making more money.