Quotes About Musical Influences

  • Jack White on Loretta Lynn

    Loretta used to say, 'To make it in the business you had to be great, different, or first.' And she thought that she was just different, and that's how she made it. But I think she was all three of those things, and there's plenty of evidence to back that up too.

    Jack White's Official Instagram

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  • Glyn Johns on Laurence Olivier

    He was to read the most important and emotive speech in the whole piece—[Lord] Nelson's letter to Lady Hamilton the night before he died at the Battle of Trafalgar. His transformation into character was extraordinary to watch. Those of us present being stunned into silence by the end of the one and only take. Later that morning he was joined by a group of young actors who had to play a scene with him. It was quite obvious from the start that they were all in awe of him, but within minutes he had them completely at ease in his presence. A true professional. His personal problems left at the door, his concern for others and the job at hand taking precedence.

    Sound Man

    This quote appears in Glyn Johns' autobiography, Sound Man, when he's describing the first session he got to run as an engineer. Here's Glyn setting the scene: “In 1960 I got my first opportunity to actually sit at the console as an engineer. I was the assistant on the recording of a Son et Lumière production about the Battle of Trafalgar staged on Lord Nelson's ship the Victory in Portsmouth Harbour. Lord Nelson was played by Sir Laurence Olivier, who wanted to work on a Saturday, and the engineer, Ray Prickett, refused to work on weekends, so I was given the job. I was petrified. Fortunately, the director, Peter Wood, was a charming and kind man and did his best to put me at ease, knowing that this was my first session in charge. Just the idea of being in the presence of the great man was bad enough. It only involved one microphone, so not a lot could go wrong. Pathetic really. Unfortunately, the news of Olivier's intention to divorce Vivien Leigh and marry Joan Plowright had broken in the press that morning. So when he burst out of the elevator on the third floor and into studio B with a flurry of agitated entourage, there was steam coming out of every orifice.”

  • Glyn Johns on Ian Stewart

    It was through the window of the Harlequin that I was to catch my first sight of Ian Stewart. He would ride by on his racing bike, cutting a very athletic figure in his leather cycling shorts, his exaggerated chin thrust forward from the exertion of pedaling up the hill on Cheam High Street. He was three or four years older than me and we were not to meet until I was seventeen or eighteen, and boy did that change my life.

    Sound Man

    This quote appears in the "Early Years" chapter of Glyn Johns' autobiography, Sound Man. The Harlequin was a coffee shop that Glyn would frequent as a teenager. Here's how he describes it: "Sometimes smaller groups of us would meet in the Harlequin coffee bar in Cheam, making a round of toast and a cup of tea last until we were asked to leave by the owner, Mrs. Hughes. Little did I know then that twenty years later she would become my mother-in-law."

  • Glyn Johns on Lonnie Donegan

    Les Paul's records almost paled into insignificance when I heard "Rock Island Line" by Lonnie Donegan for the first time on the radio. I had heard nothing like it and rushed out and bought it the next day. This was the first record I ever owned, and it and the 10-inch album Donegan released shortly thereafter became my staple diet for the next few months. He started the skiffle craze, which led to a fairly short-lived dominance of the charts by several other bands that copied him, and led me to American folk music and on to the blues.

    Sound Man

  • Glyn Johns on Les Paul

    My sister Sue had a portable record player and, being three years older than me, found me to be nothing more than an annoyance throughout our youth. Therefore the record player was strictly off-limits, with very rare exceptions. I remember she bought a 78 of "Little Rock Getaway" by Les Paul and Mary Ford. It was a completely new sound. Les Paul was the first artist to use multitracking. He would record a guitar part on a mono machine, then play it back and record it onto another machine while adding a second guitar, repeating the process until he had the arrangement he wanted. Then he would do the same with Mary Ford's voice, adding her three or four times in harmony with herself. This was some years before the advent of multitrack recording as we know it today. Along with every other punter, I knew nothing of this and just thought it was a great sound. His innovative approach to recording led to the formation of the Ampex company, who produced the first multitrack tape machines with Les being given the second one off the line.

    Sound Man

  • Glyn Johns on Jimmy Page

    I stayed on at the church as a server and started going to the church youth club on Wednesday nights. Among other delights, we would have discussion nights and play table tennis and were taught ballroom dancing, which didn't appeal to me at all, but at least you got to put your arm around a girl legitimately. One evening we had a talent night. I remember a boy in his early teens no one had seen before, who sat with his legs swinging over the front edge of the stage and played an acoustic guitar. He was pretty good, he may have even won, but I don't think anyone in the hall that night had any idea that he was to become such an innovative force in modern music. This was to be my first meeting with Jimmy Page.

    Sound Man