Lyle Lovett’s 28 Best Quotes
Four-time Grammy Award winner Lyle Lovett is a treasure trove of American songwriting.
Lovett, who released his last album this year, June 12is a gifted writer, beloved crooner, and stalwart of his impact on American and folk music.
To date he has released 13 albums and a few dozen singles and his legacy lives on.
But what did Lovett, 64, born in Houston, Texas, have to say about the world at large? About life, love, family, work and his job outside of the songs he wrote and the albums he released?
That is the purpose of this exercise here today. So, without further ado, let’s dive into Lyle Lovett’s 28 Best Quotes.
1. “One of my favorite things is when people ask me for a song that I hadn’t planned to play. It’s really fun to see if you can remember something, and you can’t always. I mean, sometimes it’s just crash and burn.
2. “It’s really a lot easier to write about problematic stuff. Who wants to know how happy you are?
3. “My first performance was in second grade with my friend Rodney Fisher, and we worked out versions of ‘Long Tall Texan’ and ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand.’ It gave me a little bit of confidence at first that I could actually do this musical stuff.
4. “You don’t have to have anything in common with people you’ve known since you were five. With old friends, you have your whole life in common.
5. “The first time I toured with the ‘Large Band’ in 1988, I was so tired. If I stood still anywhere, I could fall asleep. I was so tired. But I had to perform. And I did, and after that tour, I was a lot less anxious about going on stage.
6. “The idea that we humans are good-natured, politically correct, and nonjudgmental beings is pure fantasy. We are, to say the least, critical.
7. “If you forget the lyrics to your own song, you can always claim artistic license. Forget the lyrics to the national anthem and you’re screwed.
8. “Somehow you can tell the difference when a song is written just to play on the radio and when what someone does is their whole life. It comes across in Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Willie Nelson There is no separation between their life and their music.
9. “I cringe when I hear myself say the word ‘work’. Doing something you love to do never really feels like work.
10. “I was lucky enough to be able to make the records I wanted to make. The record company never pushed me to cut certain songs.
11. “Wear what you want to wear. Do what you want. Be yourself. Choose your own clothes. Be a man. And if that’s too much to ask, as it almost always is for me, think to someone you think of as a man and pretend to be like him. I pretend to be like my father.
12. “If someone gives you a belt buckle, it’s like jewelry.” It has the same kind of emotional significance. It would be something you intended to keep forever.
13. “Never guess a woman’s age. Never guess a woman’s weight. Never even talk about weight in front of a woman. And never, ever ask a woman when she’s due.”
14. “Tipping your hat at a lady is good form.” If you are at the table, you will definitely take off your hat – cowboy hat, baseball cap or whatever.
15. “Both of my parents worked, so I was home alone a lot and listened to their records. They belonged to the Columbia House record club, so they had records!
16. “At school, I didn’t speak often in class. I’ve never been the person to shout an answer. If I knew, I could whisper it to my buddy and let him answer. I am silent.
17. “Horses teach you patience and how to do things right to get the right result.”
18. “I’m not really a competitive person and I’m not naturally comfortable in front of people.”
19. “I don’t feel like I’m on a mission. I try to play music that I like to play and like to listen to.
20. “The most important thing you can do as a performer is to be yourself or a version of yourself on stage. If you’re not true to yourself and someone likes this other version of you, you’re kinda stuck.
21. “Records are very powerful promotional tools for getting out there and being able to play on the road, but you have to think of them as a way to sustain yourself at some point.”
22. “You can’t guess your audience. You can only do what you think is right. If you do that, your audience will like you.
23. “Songwriters aren’t always performers, and even singer-songwriters aren’t always the kind of show biz artists you think they would be.”
24. “You can’t guess your audience. You can only do what you think is right. If you do that, your audience will like you.
25. “Every crowd is different. But that’s something I appreciate, and it shows from the first seconds when you walk on stage. You know, how crowded it is.
26. “It’s important to be successful enough that you can keep doing what you love.”
27. “It’s hard to get started when it comes to dealing with an unknown quantity, people are reluctant to trust their own opinion. It helps if two or three people give you a hand.
28. “I always thought writing wasn’t that hard. It’s having a good idea that is difficult.
Photo: Sidewalk Files