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Leo Kottke's Quotes

Leo Kottke profile photo

Born: 1945-09-11
Profession: Musician
Nation: American
Biography of Leo Kottke

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The bulk of my set is instrumental and you have to give yourself and the audience some relief because a performance is not about great guitar playing it's really about entertainment.

Tags: Give, Great, Yourself

The principle element in a performance is risk, and if you're losing interest then by scaring yourself to death the audience will feel it and boy it'll wake them up.

Tags: Death, Losing, Yourself

We spent a lot of time on that record with the sound and recorded it on the Paramount sound stage which is this huge room where the sound is reflected but the reflection is so late and comes from so far away that it doesn't blur the music but gives you a room nonetheless.

Tags: Away, Music, Time

When a record company looks at me I'm very hard to market, I don't really fit anywhere, It's hard to get me on the air, and I'm hard to demography, but! because of that I'm not subject to trends like you pointed out.

Tags: Company, Hard, Looks

When the audience is awful you can still have a great night and people will walk out thinking they had a great time even though there was loads of loudmouths and the sound was terrible.

Tags: Great, Thinking, Time

Yeah I do and I don't mind, in fact that is one of the real encouraging things about this whole career of mine is that there are tunes I wrote almost thirty years ago that I will still play in front of an audience and I still like the old tunes.

Tags: Career, Mind, Real

Yes and for two reasons: one, I couldn't find anything to imitate at the time, and secondly because what I heard on the radio didn't bear any resemblance to what I wanted to hear on the guitar.

Tags: Guitar, Time, Wanted

I don't spend a lot of time thinking of what they'll do musically, I try to imagine being locked into a windowless room with this person for twelve hours at a time. If you can look at that and think it might be fun then maybe you've got the right musician.

Tags: Fun, Thinking, Time

I will literally open my mouth not knowing what is coming out.

Tags: Coming, Knowing, Open

I'm not subject to their rise and fall because I'm not accepted by them, so I have my own little curve going on. A lot of it is because of how much I play, I think I connect like when all you had was Vaudeville, I think I have an audience by performing a lot!

Tags: Audience, Fall, Rise

There are nights when you can feel stale because you've fallen into a pattern by touring too much, but it's easy to get out of it by deliberately getting in trouble and playing yourself into a corner to then see if you can get out of it.

Tags: Easy, Getting, Yourself

I am evidence that you don't have to sell a lot of records or succeed in the usual way to have a big audience and a job.

Tags: Big, Job, Succeed

I had been playing single note instruments and I wanted to hear a guitar played as a piano.

Tags: Guitar, Single, Wanted

I have always thought of myself as a performer first and way down the line as a recording artist.

Tags: Artist, Line, Thought

I was two and a half and my folks would put it on the record player and I would run around the house screaming, but I haven't been that hip since.

Tags: House, Put, Since

It depends on the time of the year and who I've been talking to, I try to put people in the studio I like.

Tags: Put, Time, Try

The first music I was exposed to was Stravinsky and I loved it but I don't remember it.

Tags: Loved, Music, Remember

We had a day off here yesterday and I just sat in my room and played.

Tags: Here, Off, Yesterday

Yeah, the first thing that comes to mind is not to try too hard.

Tags: Hard, Mind, Try

You can't really tell what the audience wants but you can tell what will keep everybodies attention in the same place.

Tags: Keep, Place, Tell

I do have a library of events I can talk about and I always expect to find a different point of view on it so even if I talk about the same event in the same town it's fresh.

Tags: Expect, Point, Talk

I seem to find different material every four to six months and I frequently forget it which is a shame because it would be nice to have a bigger library.

Tags: Forget, Library, Nice

I think if you are writing an instrumental you are dealing with more of an aesthetic in a sense but a lyric is more of a putting yourself on the line and a much more expensive exercise.

Tags: Sense, Writing, Yourself
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Much more quotes by Leo Kottke below the page.

I think that open tunings are a trap really because it's really hard not to sound like an open tuning when your using one and that gets old as well as what you learn in one open tuning is going to stay there.

Tags: Hard, Learn, Old

I was required by Capital to release one every six months and the fastest I could do with all my touring was every nine months, and it would spook me every time because I never had what I needed and I really didn't want to do covers.

Tags: Months, Needed, Time

I was taking a nose dive somewhere between eleven and twelve because my sister had died and I was practicing something that siblings do which is follow in their footsteps and die as well.

Tags: Between, Die, Sister

I would say that if you don't feel like talking to the crowd something is wrong and if you force yourself to talk to them things will happen and to that extent things aren't choreographed.

Tags: Happen, Wrong, Yourself

It is not a mystical thing, however, it is obvious and practical and I think that what the performer does is to try to get to that point with every choice you make from the phrasing in a tune to the choice of tunes.

Tags: Choice, Point, Try

It was a kind of paralysis you would get from tendonitis and I would last about five to ten minutes into the set and it would set in and I really couldn't play.

Tags: Five, Last, Ten

It was almost two years after I left Capital that I put out the first one on Chrysalis and that was really instructive because it was no better in particular than any other record I'd done.

Tags: After, Done, Put

It's true that the more you put in the more you get out and that has to be there I think, If you aren't really hooked on your instrument this job would be a hell on earth but if you are, it's the best.

Tags: Best, Job, True

That was when I found out that you could talk to them and it was a whole other way to blow your stack, and it's so much fun to perform that you want to do it again and the more you get out of it the better.

Tags: Again, Fun, Talk