JANUARY 18, 2007
WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE CARRIED YOU THROUGH THE TOUGHEST TIME IN YOUR CAREER? WHO GAVE IT TO YOU? HAVE YOU PASSED IT ON TO THE ELIMINATED CONTESTANTS?
Two people had a really big impact on my career when I was starting out. My CD had been out for almost a year and only sold about four copies, so I was starting to doubt myself and my style.
I was about to start recording a second CD that was more in keeping with what was happening on radio, which was more rock/grunge at the time.
I got a call to tour with Bob Dylan (and took it, of course!) but never expecting to meet him. I got on stage every night, and after a week or so he called me down to visit. He had seen my show and talked to me a lot about my lyrics, he even quoted some of my lyrics back to me - I almost fainted.
We talked about books and what I was reading, etc... I told him about my failed record sales and he told me just to keep touring solo acoustic like I was and telling stories. So that's what I did.
After the Dylan gig, I got to tour with Neil Young, who was playing huge venues and stadiums with his rock band Crazy Horse, and here I was playing solo acoustic ... and it was hard!
One night we were playing the famous Madison Square Garden. I was ill, and facing someone else's crowd solo was intimidating.
I must have looked green because Neil came up to me in the hallway and said, "You look nervous. Why are you nervous?" And I said something about the fact that this was the GARDEN and he was NEIL YOUNG and I had no band.
Neil looked me square in the eyes and said, "This is just another hash house on the road to success - you go out there and show them no respect!"
I'm a fan of musicians, and I'm a fan of every contestant on this show. I have been told "no" countless times, but also encouraged at critical times. I am here to encourage the musicians on this show whether they win or not, because each of them are talented and, in my opinion, will all be just fine.
They will find their way.