I remember thinking: “I’m not leaving Soho, Soho is leaving me.” When I go back now I’m very homesick for what it was. I don’t know where you go to find bohemia now. I asked one of my young friends and she looked at me and she asked me seriously: “Have you tried online?”
I have a theory that deadlines are responsible for most good art. Deadlines are good because they stop you overcooking something. Albums that take years to make are like bad French food, where it has been so long in the preparation that everything is dead by the time it reaches you, whereas my dream of how to make music is like they make food in a busy Italian restaurant. They have fantastic ingredients and they do as little to them as possible. They just get them hot, put them together and give it to you.
I once took a band that I was about to produce, after they had made a laboured and complicated album, for dinner in a very good Italian restaurant, and I arranged with the restaurant manager to take them into the kitchen. So I sat them down to dinner and said ‘Now I want to show you how we are going to make your next record’, and I took them all into the kitchen and it was just chaos with flames, and cooks and waiters doing things really quickly. It was exciting.
It is nonsense
It is what it is
It is calamity
It is nothing but pain
It is hopeless
It is what it is
It is ludicrous
It is foolish
It is impossible
It is what it is
The two things I hope for now are to do more pictures and an easy death. All the rest is marginal.
I always love the story of the great American amateur golfer Bobby Jones who, in the 1925 US Open, called a penalty on himself when he accidentally touched the ball as he prepared to hit it out of the rough on the 11th hole. No one except him was aware of the infringement; there were no cameras then to record players’ every move. The penalty cost him the title, and afterwards spectators congratulated him on his honesty. “You might as well praise me for not robbing banks,” he said. The idea of not being scrupulously honest had never crossed his mind.
Promised myself I would not let exercise be the first thing to go by the wayside when I got busy with Girls Season 5 and here is why: it has helped with my anxiety in ways I never dreamed possible. To those struggling with anxiety, OCD, depression: I know it’s mad annoying when people tell you to exercise, and it took me about 16 medicated years to listen. I’m glad I did. It ain’t about the ass, it’s about the brain.
A tortoise and a hare started to dispute which of them was the swifter, and before separating they made an appointment for a certain time and place to settle the matter. The hare had such confidence in its natural fleetness that it did not trouble about the race but lay down by the wayside and went to sleep. The tortoise, acutely conscious of its slow movements, padded along without ever stopping until it passed the sleeping hare and won the race.
A naturally gifted man, through lack of application, is often beaten by a plodder.
I first ran for Congress in 1999, and I got beat. I just got whooped. I had been in the state legislature for a long time, I was in the minority party, I wasn’t getting a lot done, and I was away from my family and putting a lot of strain on Michelle. Then for me to run and lose that bad, I was thinking maybe this isn’t what I was cut out to do. I was forty years old, and I’d invested a lot of time and effort into something that didn’t seem to be working.
But the thing that got me through that moment, and any other time that I’ve felt stuck, is to remind myself that it’s about the work. Because if you’re worrying about yourself — if you’re thinking: ‘Am I succeeding? Am I in the right position? Am I being appreciated?’ — then you’re going to end up feeling frustrated and stuck. But if you can keep it about the work, you’ll always have a path. There’s always something to be done.
At the time, Apple was getting like school, where we had to go and be businessmen: ‘Sign this’ and ’sign that.’ Anyway, it seems as if winter in England goes on forever, by the time spring comes you really deserve it. So one day I decided I was going to sag off Apple and I went over to Eric Clapton’s house. The relief of not having to go see all those dopey accountants was wonderful, and I walked around the garden with one of Eric’s acoustic guitars and wrote Here Comes the Sun.