I realize that this Woody Guthrie quote right down here explains the difference between me and a lot of the people who I have been around in my life as a musician. I don’t need anyone to knock me down any further, if you aren’t here to lift me up than get out of my way cause I have no time for you anymore. I don’t need anyone else in my life making me feel small, to minimize my accomplishments or to engineer a failure in my life so they can say ‘see, you are a piece of shit…and you need me to do it for you cause you aint no good.’
I don’t need people who will sabotage the things I have worked the hardest on to prove that they are somehow better than me. I don’t play music to join the petty bourgeois, I play music to relate to the working people…and I play music to grow my social networks and have fun…because in the end that’s all we can really hope to achieve.
I am a folk singer and I believe that folk music is rooted in the community, so I can’t take my songs to Nashville where they would rip them up and turn them inside out and use me as a tool of oppression with an image designed to say to the common man ‘I’m a rockstar, and you’ll never be as good as me.’ Fuck that.
What if I sold out to a pop-country record label, maybe my voice would be on the radio but they wouldn’t be my songs, I wouldn’t be happy and the achievements would be meaningless ifmy community still hungered and thirsted or I still committed suicide in the end because I didn’t put my own happiness first. Success isn’t money in my pocket, success is when we all grow……joeyonly, july2011
“I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim or too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and your work.
And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind that knock you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think you’ve not any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I’d starve to death before I’d sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow.
– Woody Guthrie, 1912-1967