John Williams: Guitar Quotes


On Sky
I think that the first and second albums we did followed very much on the basis of the original idea, which came from Francis [Monkman] and myself. I think the rest was a combination of circumstance, luck and image that followed. We never sat down and said, "This is the path we want to follow". But I think, unfortunately, over the next couple of years we went off. Frankly, the last record I was on [Cadmium] I really was going through hell, only staying with it out of loyalty. 'Three' and 'Four' were bad albums, not terrible, but patchy, and the sixth was beyond the pale. I remember sitting in the studio and thinking, "This is everything that we said we would not do from the very beginning. It sounds like jingles".
Guitarist, July 1994

On contemporary music
I think that a lot of music is done and played by by people who don't understand it at all. They may be quite good at playing it. They do it because it's some kind of duty. I'm rather old-fashioned in one way. I think that people should play music because they really love that music and want to play it.
Classical Guitar, February 1985

On being Australian
Although I've lived in England for most of my life, at heart I feel more Australian than English, and more a Londoner than either. I have a more benign feeling about Australia than any other country. There is something about the Australian character that's a mixture of the best things the Americans have, of finding, discovering and building. An attitude, state of mind, I warm to. Very straight. Laconic. Australia has original voices in art and music with none of that awful doffing-the-cap to other countries. In the Fifties and Sixties, people left Australia because of the culture. Many people have made their reputations out of knocking Australia. While they were doing that, a culture has been made in Australia by those who stayed.
BBC Music Magazine, May 1999

On practice
It's kind of 19th century tradition that practice should be hard work, leftover from the Victorian thing. I think this is a totally destructive idea. The essence of the thing is that the work should be enjoyable.... When people are learning instruments, they should be encouraged and advised: if they say they don't enjoy their practice, I always say, well, FIND a way to enjoy it.
RealVideo interview at The Guitarist web site, May 1999

On his eclectic recording and performing tastes
I respond to music I love listening to. I let others search for deeper meanings for my interest in different cultures - if they must.
Irvine News, October 2002.

Eagle-eyed readers will notice that this page has barely changed since the old version. There will definitely be more soon.

Text, Design and Content copyright Richard Sliwa © 1998-2006