I'm from Fort Worth, Texas. Fort Worth has
lots of what are known as "cowboys."
I wasn't so interested in being paid. I wanted to
be heard. That's why I'm broke.
The only thing my mother would say to me about my
music — I'd say, "Mom, listen to this," and she'd say, "Junior,
I know who you are."
There were always lots of musicians in my
hometown, and I found some guys, main man named Thomas Connors, called Red. Red
Connors in Fort Worth was an amazing player, like Sonny Rollins before Sonny
Rollins. I liked to go to his house. He came from a holy church. And that
became my church.
I didn't need to worry about keys, chords, melody
if I had that emotion that brought tears and laughter to people's hearts.
The Jim Hotel. In my hometown, the rich, the
blind, the prostitute — everybody would come there after midnight. There'd be
some violence, of course. But that's a place you'd go to get yourself a room
and get laid at the same time. You get there, and before you know it, you're on
your way to the room. Do you understand? All the musicians from the rich hotels
would finish work and go jam at the Jim.
How is it that something that you care for would
not let you love it?
I'll try any instrument. If
you're doing something you've never done before, it's easier to feel more
relaxed about it. When you're doing something you have done before, and you
can't make it any better, then it starts the worry.
Most people think of entertainment as getting
your girl and taking her out to eat, which is not too bad. My idea of
entertainment is a little different.
People like to make people feel jealous.
The human experience is a simple struggle to get
in charge of the things that are seen as valuable.
How can I turn emotion into knowledge? That's
what I try to do with my horn.
It's not that I reject categories. It's that I
don't really know what categories are.
You take the alphabet of the English language. A
to Z. A symbol attached to a sound. In music you have what are called notes and
the key. In life you've got an idea and an emotion. We think of them as
different concepts. To me, there is no difference.
It's easier to copy someone else than to find
out how to avoid sounding like someone else.
The violin, the saxophone, the trumpet: Each
makes a very different sound but the very same notes. That's pretty heavy, you
know? Imagine how many different races make up the human race. I'm called
colored, you're called white, he's called something else. We still got an asshole
and a mouth. Pardon me.
I don't try to please when I play. I try to
When I was coming up and would go see someone
play, he'd always say, "Don't watch my hands, don't watch my
fingers," and I'd think to myself, Why?
I never thought about being famous or rich.
I just thought, Oh, I'll get a nice little girl and go and play every night,
and I'd be happy. And that worked for a while. But the little girl's mother
didn't trust a guy with a horn.
Dog spelled backward
is God. That's pretty heavy.
Talk of God is most often in church. Is there a
God outside of church? I hope so. But how should I know? How does anybody know?
Difference between sex and love? Well,
you're not always sure you're in love. But when you're having sex, there's
really no mistaking it.
It was a large room.
Full of people.
And they had all arrived at the same buidling at more or less the same time.
And they were all free.
And they were all asking themselves the same question:
What is behind that curtain?
You were born.
And so you're free.
So happy birthday.