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White Americans have the option of not having to think about race on a daily basis. People of color don't. Race is a major deciding factor in their lives and the histories of their families.
As I got older, I got more Victorian and morbid. I got into things that circled around death, like skulls or morgue photographs or handwritten diaries. They can be almost haunted with all this history, and you project onto it and then it gets onto you.
Fred Astaire was retired when he worked in 'The Pleasure of His Company.' They were lucky to get him to play the father part.
For 'King Cole's American Salvage,' I rode around in the wrecker with a local driver and watched him deal with customers and hook up the cars. I watched the guy who tore apart the cars in the junkyard. I also wrote poems about those guys. I loved hanging around the yard.
And then when all around grows dark, when we feel utterly alone, when all men right and left pass us by and know us not, a forgotten feeling rises in the breast.
It's better for me to go up against someone's passion with my passion and then clarifying something that he wrote. Then I know how to work around certain things.
I like Betsy Ross as a model, too, the quilting bee, sitting around with your friends making art, asking what they think, so that you get the benefit of everyone's opinions and so it's not just about you in your you-dom.
At that moment of realization I knew that I had been blind because I had wished not to see; it was only then that I realised, at last, that all these dead men, French and Germans, were brothers, and I was the brother of them all.
Having that music around us all the time, it was so inspiring. But at the same time, I was a kid. I didn't pay attention to any of it. I'd get on the drums and hit them a few times, and then go outside and play.