“Songwriting is about counterpoint. Counterpoint is the key. Putting two disparate images beside each other and seeing which way the sparks fly. Like letting a small child in the same room as… I don’t know… a Mongolian psychopath or something. And just sitting back and seeing what happens.Then you send in a clown, say on a tricycle. And again you wait, and you watch. And if that doesn’t do it… You shoot the clown”.
“The first time I saw Susie was at the Victoria and Albert museum in London, and when she came walking in, all the things I had obsessed over for all the years, pictures of movie stars, Jenny Agutter in the billabong, Anita Ekberg in the fountain, Ali MacGrow in her black tights, images from the TV when I was a kid, Barbara Eden and Elizabeth Montgomery and Abigail, Miss World competitions, Marilyn Monroe and Jennifer Jones and Bo Derek and Angie Dickinson as police woman, Maria Falconetti and Suzi Quatro, Bolshoi ballerinas and Russian gymnasts, Wonder Woman and Barbarella and supermodels and page 3 girls. All the endless impossible fantasies, the young girls at the Wangaratta pool lying on the hot concrete, Courbet’s Origin of the World, Bataille’s bowl of milk, Jean Simmons’ nose ring, all the stuff I had heard and seen and read. Advertising and TV commercials, billboards and fashion spreads and Playmate of the month, Caroline Jones dying in Elvis’ arms, Jackie O in mourning, Tinker Bell trapped in the drawer. All the continuing, never-ending drip-feed erotic data came together at that moment in one great big crash-bang. And I was lost to her, and that was that.”
“It’s your limitations that make you the wonderful disaster you most probably are.”
“All of our days are numbered. We cannot afford to be idle. To act on a bad idea is better than to not act at all, because the worth of an idea never becomes apparent until you do it.
Sometimes this idea can be the smallest thing in the world – a little flame that you hunch over, and cup with your hand, and pray will not be extinguished by all the storm that howls about it. If you can hold on to that flame, great things can be constructed around it that are massive, and powerful, and world changing. All held up by the tiniest of ideas”.
“In the end, I'm not interested in that which I fully understand. The words I have written over the years are just a veneer. There are truths that lie beneath the surface of the words...Truths that rise up without warning, like the humps of a sea monster... and then disappear. What performance and song is to me is finding a way to tempt the monster to the surface, To create a space...Where the creature can break through what is real and what is known to us. This shimmering space, where imagination and reality intersect... this is where all love and tears and joy exist. This is the place.This is where we live”.