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Janis Ian's Quotes

Janis Ian profile photo

Born: 1951-04-07
Profession: Musician
Nation: American
Biography of Janis Ian

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I see interracial couples all the time in Nashville. I'm a Jew in Nashville. I'm a gay person in Nashville. It's a non-issue in most of the time. That's a huge leap forward.

Tags: Forward, Gay, Time

I started 'Society's Child' on a bus in East Orange as I was going home from school. I saw a black and white couple sitting there and started thinking about it.

Tags: Home, School, Society

I think all of us thought that by the '70s, at the latest the '80s, all the world's problems would be solved and everyone would be getting along fine. And instead we saw that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated that year, Robert F. Kennedy died. We saw that it was going to be a lot more difficult than I think we had thought.

Tags: Difficult, Problems, Thought

I think I grew up, stopped worrying about what people thought of me, and whether things were going to turn out OK. I'm concentrating on doing the best work I can do and letting it go at that.

Tags: Best, Thought, Work

I think one of the reasons musicians keep doing what they do and writers keep doing what they do, is that we're totally unsuited for anything else. And I for one am much too lazy.

Tags: Else, Keep, Lazy

I was interviewed for a Grammy television show, and they asked me about Nashville, and I talked for three minutes and when I finished, I was teared up. The whole room was crying. Nashville has given me a home, where I never had a home before.

Tags: Home, Show, Whole

I was one of I think three white girls in my school. So, I was very much an outsider. And plus I was Jewish and all of my friends were black and Baptist because they listen to the coolest music. We were all listening to Ray Charles and what was then called race music.

Tags: Black, Music, School

I've always been an avid reader. If I don't have a book in the car, I'll stop and pick one up just to have something to read. I don't even remember learning to read.

Tags: Book, Car, Learning

Of course, I have a different vested interest in the gay community, because I am gay, and I would certainly enjoy the tax advantages that straight people have, and the inheritance advantages, and things like Social Security, but I've always been a civil rights advocate across the board. That's how I was raised.

Tags: Enjoy, Gay, Social

'Society's Child' was a real hard record to start with. That's all you want is for you to put your first record out and have people screaming at you in the streets. But it taught me right away that what I was doing was valuable and important.

Tags: Hard, Real, Society

The money when you're having a hit is great, but money can be taken from you. What can't be taken from you is the talent and the effect your work has.

Tags: Great, Money, Work

When people used to call me a political writer, it was kind of confusing because I was always much more interested in the social end of things which hinges on the political, but it isn't really part of it.

Tags: End, Political, Used

At the end of the day, all you can hope for is to go on. The older I get, the more I realize that just keeping on keeping on is what life's all about.

Tags: End, Hope, Life

I think these last 10 years have seen just a huge shift in the psyche of this country as regards gay people. I think AIDS had a lot to do with it. So many families who really believed they'd 'never met one' were suddenly confronted with their sons becoming ill, and friends of sons. I think that brought a lot of it into the open.

Tags: Country, Friends, Gay

It seems to be part of the human condition to need someone you can look down on. I still don't get that one.

Tags: Human, Seems, Someone

Once you're halfway home, you know that you can probably get the rest of the way there.

Tags: Home, Once, Rest

Some people would rather stay ignorant and self-satisfied.

Tags: Ignorant, Rather, Stay

The best thing you can learn from the worst times of your life is that it always gets better. It may take a month, a year, a decade, but it will get better if you leave yourself open to it.

Tags: Best, Life, Yourself

I learned the truth at seventeen, That love was meant for beauty queens, And high school girls with clear skinned smiles, Who married young and then retired.

Tags: Beauty, Love, Truth

A radio show recently did a beautiful eulogy of me.

Tags: Beautiful, Radio, Show

Going off the road just leaves me more time to be a writer.

Tags: Off, Road, Time

I bought all my friends guitars and I had a good time with my money. But then one day the IRS came knocking.

Tags: Good, Money, Time

I feel I was born with the music coming to me, and that's not something to be wasted.

Tags: Born, Coming, Music
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I gave guitar lessons. I tried to join bands. My mom always said it was obvious that nothing was going to stop me.

Tags: Guitar, Mom, Said

I mean, I would love to have the career Joan Baez is having in Europe right now, but God knows I don't begrudge her that career.

Tags: God, Love, Mean

I played for anybody and everybody from the time I started playing guitar, when I was 10 or 11.

Tags: Guitar, Playing, Time

I want to do some fiction writing, I've had some pretty good luck with short stories, I'd like to do a couple of larger things.

Tags: Good, Pretty, Writing

It's neat to have finally reached a point where I can accept what I was and what I am.

Tags: Accept, Finally, Point

It's what I do well - I write about things that make people uncomfortable. That's probably the only thing I do better than my peers.

Tags: Peers, Write

My parents both were doing the Civil Rights Movement, were very involved with the civil rights to Congress. And my friends' parents were as well.

Tags: Both, Friends, Parents

That's an amazing moment, the first time you hear yourself on radio. It's still thrilling.

Tags: Amazing, Time, Yourself

There will always be those people who are just backward and ignorant. There will always be those people. They need somebody to feel superior to.

Tags: Ignorant, Somebody, Superior

When you're young, the goal is to have a hit. You get a little older and the goal becomes to get to make another record.

Tags: Another, Goal, Young

Artists are taught to be humble about their impact, especially in folk music. It's so ingrained that I have a hard time even thinking I had any impact other than what a normal hit song would have.

Tags: Humble, Music, Time

At the end of the day, if you don't have a record contract, a studio or a guitar, you can still write songs. You're still an artist. That's something no one can take away.

Tags: Away, End, Guitar

I had a vague idea of the song's impact in the '60s, but that was tempered by the hate mail and threats I was receiving. It was only about ten years ago, when I finally put it back in my show because so many people were asking for it, that I understood 'Society's Child' real impact.

Tags: Hate, Real, Society

I know just enough Japanese to get by if I get lost and greet an audience properly, just from having a lot of Japanese friends and being there over the years.

Tags: Enough, Friends, Lost
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