A Conversation with J.J. Cale ➶

PM: It seems that in your well-deservedly lucky career, you got all the best stuff, the success without the grind and the glitz that you really wanted no part of.

JJC: Yeah. I started doing that early on. I had played guitar for famous people in the early part of my life. And being famous, it’s great for your ego–I mean, hey, “Everybody loves me!” But I noticed if you got real big, man, you don’t have a real life. It affects the way you look at life. So when I started making records that went outside my hometown, and went, “Whoa, they know who I am in Paris, France,” that kind of thing, I kind of laid back on the publicity. And they’ve called me a recluse because of that. I’m not a recluse, or whatever.

PM: Yeah.

JJC: But I kind of laid back on the machinery that elevates you into the super big time, for the simple reason that I went, “Well, if I live long enough, I’d like to play music and have enough people to listen to it when I want to do that, or I’d love to make records and have enough people to buy the records to where it pays for making the record and putting it out without having all the”–so early on I had that kind of thing. I’ve backed it off a couple times when I thought it was getting out of hand. “Well, do you want to be on The Jay Leno Show?” And I’d say, “Not really.”

PM: [laughs] “Not really.”

JJC: You know what I’m saying? That way I can have my music, it doesn’t get real big, but I still make a profit, and I don’t have to jump through hoops, man, and be something I’m really not.

PM: That’s beautiful.

✶ Sunday, 24 March 2024

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