Four-time Grammy Award-winner Lyle Lovett is an American songwriting treasure.
Lovett, who released his latest album this year, 12th of June, is a skilled writer, beloved crooner, and an all-timer when it comes to his impact on Americana and folk music.
To date, he’s released 13 albums and a few dozen singles and his legacy is lasting as a result.
But what did 64-year-old, Houston, Texas-born Lovett have to say about the world at large? About life, love, family, work, and his craft outside of the songs he wrote and albums he released?
That is the purpose of this exercise here today. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the best 28 Lyle Lovett quotes.
1. “One of my favorite things is when people will ask for a song that I hadn’t planned to play. It is really fun to see if you can remember something, and you don’t always. I mean, sometimes it’s just crash and burn.”
2. “It’s really a lot easier to write about things that are problematic. Who wants to hear how happy you are?”
3. “My first performance was in second grade with my friend Rodney Fisher, and we worked up versions of ‘Long Tall Texan’ and ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand.’ It gave me a little early confidence that I could actually do this music thing.”
4. “You don’t have to have anything in common with people you’ve known since you were five. With old friends, you’ve got your whole life in common.”
5. “The first time I toured with the ‘Large Band’ in 1988, I got so tired. If I just stood still anywhere, I could go to sleep. I was that tired. But I had to perform. And I did, and after that tour, I was much less fretful about going out onstage.”
6. “The idea that we humans are good-natured, politically correct, nonjudgmental beings is pure fantasy. We are, at the very least, judgmental.”
7. “If you forget the words to your own song, you can always claim artistic license. Forget the words to the national anthem, and you’re screwed.”
8. “Somehow you can tell the difference when a song is written just to get on the radio and when what someone does is their whole life. That comes through in Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and Willie Nelson. There is no separating their life from their music.”
9. “I sort of cringe when I hear myself say the word ‘work.’ Getting to do something you love to do never really feels like work.”
10. “I’ve been lucky to be able to make the records I’ve wanted to make. The record company has never pressured me to cut certain songs.”
11. “Wear what you want to wear. Do what you want to do. Be who you are. Pick out your own clothes. Be a man. And if that’s too much to ask, as it almost always is for me, think of someone you consider to be a man and pretend to be like him. I pretend to be like my dad.”
12. “If someone gives you a belt buckle, it’s like a piece of jewelry. It has the same sort of emotional significance. It would be something you would intend to keep forever.”
13. “Never guess a woman’s age. Never guess a woman’s weight. Never even talk about weight in front of a woman. And never, ever ask a woman when she’s due.”
14. “Tipping your hat to a lady is good form. If you’re at a dinner table, you’d most certainly take your hat off—cowboy hat, baseball hat, or otherwise.”
15. “Both my parents worked, so I was home alone a lot, and I would listen to their records. They belonged to the Columbia House record club, so they had records!”
16. “In school, I didn’t speak up often in class. I was never the person to yell out an answer. If I knew it, I might whisper it to my buddy and let him answer. I kept quiet.”
17. “Horses teach you patience and how to do things the right way so you can get the right result.”
18. “I’m not really a competitive person, and I’m not naturally comfortable in front of people.”
19. “I don’t feel like I’m on a mission. I’m trying to play music that I like to play and like to listen to.”
20. “The most important thing you can do as a performer is to be yourself or be an onstage version of yourself. If you’re not being true to yourself, and somebody likes that other version of you, you’re kind of stuck.”
21. “Records are very powerful promotional tools to go out and be able to play on the road, but you do have to think about it as a way of sustaining itself at some point.”
22. “You can’t second-guess your audience. You can only do what you think is right. If you do that, your audience will appreciate you.”
23. “Songwriters aren’t always performers, and even performing songwriters aren’t always the kind of show-biz performers you think they’d be.”
24. “You can’t second-guess your audience. You can only do what you think is right. If you do that, your audience will appreciate you.”
25. “Every crowd is different. But that’s something that I enjoy, and you can feel it in the first few seconds when you walk out on stage. You know, how a crowd is.”
26. “It’s important to be successful enough to be able to keep doing what you love.”
27. “It’s difficult to get started when it comes to dealing with an unknown quantity, people are reluctant to trust their own opinion. It helps if two or three people give you a boost.”
28. “I’ve always thought that writing isn’t really that hard. It’s having a good idea that’s hard.”
Photo: Curb Records