American blues musician, singer-songwriter and film composer. Born 1942.
As a youngster, I looked at the world and was disappointed. Adults were out on destroying it. Few set positive examples – among them my parents and Mahatma Gandhi. His non-violence stance signaled: if you are strong as a person, you can change anything. And then there were those magic stories and tales from India and the Taj Mahal – one of the wonders of the world. So, in 1959 I thought, if I want to be creative, I don’t want a common name anymore.
The Japanese are more knowledgeable. Germany and The Netherlands come second. The Japanese are also much more respectful towards artists. They might not be very demonstrative during shows, but then they express their appreciation so much more at the end.
I listen to music all the time. Sometimes I don’t touch the instrument for 2 weeks when I’m off the road, but music is nevertheless in my head all the time. Since1970 I played 200 gigs a year.
It doesn’t matter with whom I play. The question is, can they play what I play. I don’t have auditions. They come straight to the session and if a guy is not up to his job he’s out and gone. You are only as good as the people you are working with.
As an artist you must be (an activist). Just think of the military industrial complex. Crazy! What is the matter with these guys? With all the beauty around us. But if they have the choice between atmosphere, people, animals, plants, farm, jungle – they’d rather kill all that before losing money made off weapons. You have to be pro-active to counterbalance. This will not be over soon. We are in for a rough ride.
You can find Taj Mahal on Spotify and Apple Music