The Best 30 Jimmy Iovine Quotes

For anyone who saw the HBO documentary, The Defiant Ones, the now-70-year-old, Brooklyn-born Jimmy Iovine has become a point of conversation.

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The record producer, known for his early work with Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen, has gone on to shape the music industry, through partnerships with artists and moguls like Dr. Dre (the two invented Beats By Dre headphones).

Iovine is a record exec, a businessman and high up in seemingly every musical outpost, from Apple to Universal, and more.

So, his is the perfect mind to take a deep dive and found out what he has to say about life and love, his business, and the world at large. What are his thoughts on perseverance, taking a chance, and more?

Without further ado, here are the best 30 Jimmy Iovine quotes.

1. “Just because you go to Burning Man doesn’t make you Hunter Thompson.”

2. “I wanted a label that reflects the times… a center for artists who want to express themselves. That’s what makes Interscope unique. It’s about freedom.”

3. “If you follow the lead of the artists, they will take you places that you could never go on your own.”

4. “What I saw in the record industry is it’s just getting more restricted, more restricted, more restricted to where everyone’s trying to figure out what kind of song to make to get on the radio: that’s researched and where advertisers are telling you what to play.”

5. “Curation is everything.”

6. “Over four or five years, I did six albums with three people: John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, and Patti Smith. I felt that if I could care as much about their music as they did, I could be useful to them. I really cared about their music and their lives.”

7. “You have to think, ‘What can I do to help my team develop, grow, and become better performers?’ rather than, ‘What’s in it for me?'”

8. “I really think that education is ground zero for fixing anything.”

9. “Diversifying, to me, is the product of having an idea and knowing to say, ‘Let’s do it.'”

10. “I feel open to anything.”

11. “Interscope Records has always been a heat-seeking missile when it comes to shifts in popular culture, whether inciting them or reacting to them swiftly.”

12. “There are geniuses, savants; I’m not one of them. I work hard, I see where popular culture is going to move, but I’ve gotta keep having information pumped into me. I look under every rock.”

13. “My relationships are helped because of all the success I’ve had, but I’m only as useful as the idea I have today or tomorrow. Otherwise, I’m just a trophy.”

14. “To get people to pay for something that you built, it has to be of service. It has to make somebody’s life better.”

15. “If you are not frightened, you are not original.”

16. “When I feel fear, I train myself to move forward.”

17. “Bob Dylan enabled rock & roll to grow up and survive. He injected the power of language and ideas into the music.”

18. “I’m interested in listening to the people who walk in the door. If your ego and your accomplishments stop you from listening, then they’ve taught you nothing.”

19. “I came from Brooklyn. My nickname was Moochie.”

20. “You should try and fail and not be afraid. Get up again.”

21. “I’m good at snap decisions. But if you let me, I will chew something to death.”

22. “Bruce Springsteen gave people faith in rock & roll and in themselves again.”

23. “Nobody wanted to be in business with Death Row because, unfortunately, they felt there was an element there that could be dangerous. But I just knew they had great music and that they were a bunch of guys who wanted to make it out of the ghetto. That’s something I can understand.”

24. “I have a gift: I’m very lucky to be able to spot when a person is special.”

25. “If you’re great, that means you’re freaked out that the next day you’re not going to be great. You keep trying.”

26. “I don’t have a rear-view mirror.”

27. “I can’t learn in school, but I can learn from somebody who I think is cool and great.”

28. “Life is a balance of fear and overcoming it.”

29. “I knew in my heart that I wasn’t cool, but I figured I could at least be cool by association.”

30. “My proudest thing in my career is that I was able to change it three times. And I’m happy about that. I couldn’t have done the same thing my whole life; I would’ve gone nuts. I couldn’t do it, because I do things based on impulsive excitement, and I’m just not that guy that can do something for 50 years and be excited about the same thing.”

Photo by Amy Sussman/WireImage

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