I learned from Van Morrison and BB King that the first take is the best. It's about capturing a moment. It's the same as love's first kiss. If you try to do it again, it doesn't work so well.
Without the piano my life would be a disaster - nobody would hold me in any regard. It's the thing that saved me.
I have realised how exciting and easy it is to be a time traveller by looking at paintings and films and architecture and playing music or listening to it. I don't think you necessarily have to live in the present all the time.
My love is new music, I tend to go and see a lot of bands, while [co-producer] Mark Cooper spends his time reading the press. It's often the new acts that strike a chord, because they aren't seen on other shows.
I love Yamaha Clavinovas. I have them at home, in the studio and on tour with me. I find them ideal for all sorts of things: silent practice with headphones at home; writing; arranging and... just playing the blues!
As a bandleader, I try to pass on the same family values that I grew up with: help people, hang on to your sense of humour, be tolerant and keep your judgments to yourself.
Due to my work, I tend to stay in hotels a lot of the time, and I generally prefer smaller hotels, as you tend to get better service than in the larger hotels.
It would be great to have Bach in one corner, Bessie Smith in another, John Lennon in another. That's what I'd ideally like. A studio of the dead.
'The Tube' was the first time the plebs had gone on the television. The lunatics taking over the asylum.
I've met the Queen a couple of times, and she's been delightful. In fact, I often find myself thinking: 'What would the Queen do in this situation? Write a thank-you note? Yes, I'll do that.' She's all about courtesy.
I do so much travelling in my work that my suitcase is always packed, with my passport ready. I rarely unpack, as I am constantly on the move.
Amy Winehouse and Paul Weller are examples of poets, I think.
A good example of the modern world is the Eurotunnel. And mobile phones - I like them.
Naggers always know what they are doing. They weigh up the risks, then they go on and on and on until they get what they want or until they get punched.
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