Taking drugs on a recreation level is one thing. But taking them while you're working on a stage is, I don't think it was that great. It's the control factor. And the thing about being on stage, you really want to feel that you're sort of in control a lot. It's not a place where you want to be out of control.
One song isn't going to ever change things, but I suppose it's the accumulation of music generally [that is]. If you can imagine a world that has no music in it, it would be a very different world, so music does change the world by virtue of all the music in it. Cumulative music of every kind, from banging a drum to playing a flute or recording symphonies, or singing 'War, what is it good for?' All those things change the whole way we live.
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Thousands of years people have taken drugs, whether it's alcohol, which was invented about 5,000 years ago. People have been using that. And all kinds of marijuana and all these things, tobacco. So all these drugs have been - it seems to be the propensity of human beings to want to use them.
I used to play Saturday night shows with different little groups. If I could get a show, I would do it. I used to do mad things - I used to go and do these shows and go on my knees and roll on the ground - when I was 15,16 years old. And my parents were extremely disapproving of it all. Because it was just not done. This was for very low-class people, remember. Rock & roll singers weren't educated people
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Rock 'n' roll and playing live is very addictive. But you have to really be careful, because you don't want to do it all the time. It's like when you are young and you think if you are not having sex you're wasting your time. But as you get older you realise everything has its place. It's the same thing with performing.... Performing is a great thing to do but you don't want to have to be doing it every night.
I'm interested in feedback and learning what people want. It's a tricky thing for me when I do a set list. You get bored doing the same songs. Let's say we do one ballad in two hours, and it's "Wild Horses." If you say, I'm tired of that, let's try something less well known, and then you're out there stumbling through this song you just relearned at sound check, and you realize people probably want "Wild Horses" instead of this (laughs). You do need to do some songs that aren't so well known. The question is how many? I'm open to people posting their requests.
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I liked John a lot. He was the one I really got on with the most. We weren't buddy-buddies but we were always friendly. But after the Beatles and the Stones stopped playing clubs, we didn't see each other that much until he separated from Yoko, around 1974. We got really friendly again. And when he went back with Yoko, he went into hibernation ... when I went to visit someone in the Dakota, I'd leave him a note saying: 'I live next door: I know you don't want to see anyone, but if you do, please call.' He never did.
I would hate to say as a non-African-American person that it would be wrong for a black person to direct white people in a movie. Wouldn't that be awful of me to say that? The only sympathizing thing I might say for people that want to [grumble] is that a filmmaker should have an understanding for the place where the people you're portraying are coming from.
There is something I like about talking to journalists that really goes beyond promotion because you aren't just talking to the journalist, but you are talking through them to people who presumably are fans of the Rolling Stones. The interviews give you a chance to say a few things and maybe clear up some of the things people read about the band.
Writing a song is like - you're writing a song all the time. It's just when it pops out. It's been there all the time. It's not something that suddenly you do it. It's always there. Suddenly, it's in the right mixture inside you to come out. Usually when you're writing on the piano or a guitar, you don't write in lyrics, on their own. To me it's very boring.
They're so boring. They're so pathetic, all those journalists. Most of them are. Most of those kind that write gossip stuff, and most of it's gossip. Things are just invented about your personal life and you just have to take that. It's bullshit. People believe it, though. They just believe everything they read.