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Weird interview style, but great answers from Bruce Cockburn

November 3rd, 2006 | No Comments | Categories: Musing on Music |

Just found this via the ‘Humans’ discussion list (Bruce Cockburn email geekfest, a lovely bunch of people) – it’s taken from www.canada.com, and is a very odd way to publish an interview, just as a series of soundbites on topics, but Bruce Cockburn has always been great at one liners, so here’s the list –

On recording and performing at age 61: “It’s not so much wondering
how I could be doing this at this age as [the fact] I’ve actually
lasted this long. When I started out I had no idea where I was going
to go.”

On pop and songs that appear in TV advertisements: “Once I hear a
song in a commercial, I don’t want to listen to the record again.
It’s ruined for me.”

On songwriting: “It’s just that bloodhound hunt for the perfect piece
of writing.”

On artistic restlessness: “There’s a kind of feeling I have of
wanting to get onto the next thing. Sometimes even before I’ve
finished the thing I’m working on.”

On being prolific (Life Short Call Now is his 29th recording): “Every
album I’ve made has always felt like it might be my last.”

On mortality: “Once you’re past 50, the odds are you’re looking at
the downward slope . . . Almost everything I’ve written is about
death and hope. In some way I’ve written my own obituary dozens of
times, you know.”

On the cosmos: “I kind of feel like every speck is significant. And
I’m certainly a speck . . . Perhaps I owe this to experiences with
LSD way back when, but it seems to me that everything touches
everything, and everything is in an constant state of flux. And that
flux has an order to it.”

On why it’s not so bad to be a speck: “I’m also as essential to the
cosmos as anything else in it.”

On God: “I don’t have much of a definition of God these days. I like
the kabbalists’ way of referring to God as ‘the boundless who is not
really accessible.’ You have to approach God — in their view —
through angels or through imagery that doesn’t reflect the
boundlessness, because it’s beyond comprehension… I kind of feel
like that.”

On why his parents bought young Cockburn a guitar only after he
solemnly swore not to wear sideburns and a leather jacket: “They were
worried about rock and roll and teenaged gangs with switchblades.”

On being frequently summoned to support good causes: “Sometimes I get
frustrated. I’m not the only guy out there. Call up Avril Lavigne,
for cryin’ out loud. She’s going to get to a lot more people than me.”

On the phrase “tattoos done while you wait” which appears in his new
song, Life Short Call Now. (Cockburn was inspired while driving
through Missouri): “All of a sudden there’s this big white billboard
with small print in the middle of it, that says, ‘Mike’s Tattoos,
done while you wait’ and a phone number. I thought, ‘That’s gotta be
in a song.’ “

And now I’m off to get ready for my gig near Newport in Wales tonight. See you there!

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