Why rock out when you can speak out? Join us in revisiting the most notable quotes about rock 'n' roll from the genre's favorite icons.
"Everyone talks about rock these days. The problem is, they forget about the roll."
"Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can't help but move to it. That's what happens to me. I can't help it."
Publicity photo by Alfred Wertheimer
"When I first heard Elvis' voice, I just knew that I wasn't going to work for anybody, and nobody was going to be my boss. Hearing him was like busting out of jail."
"Elvis may be the king of rock and roll, but I am the queen."
"When I heard Little Richard, I mean, it just set my world on fire."
"I can't talk about my singing; I'm inside it. How can you describe something you're inside of?"
"My songwriting is like extending a hand to the listener."
"The late '60s and early '70s were kind of a breeding ground for exciting new sounds because easy listening and folk were kind of taking over the airwaves. I think it was a natural next step to take that blissful, easy-going sound and strangle the life out of it."
"If I don't terrorize, I'm not Pop."
"I'm completely vulnerable to music. I'm seduced by it."
"Rock and roll—the most brutal, ugly, desperate, vicious form of expression it has been my misfortune to hear."
"There's an edge to real rock and roll. It's all that matters."
Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images
"If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry."
Photo: Getty Images
"The Big Band Era is my era. People say, 'Where did you get your style from?' I did the Big Band Era on guitar. That's the best way I could explain it."
"My guitar is not a thing. It is an extension of myself. It is who I am."
"My vocal style I haven't tried to copy from anyone. It just developed until it became the girlish whine it is today."
Jerry Lee Lewis
"If I'm going to hell, I'm going there playing the piano."
"Rock music is important to people because it allows them to escape this crazy world. It allows them not to run away from the problems that are there, but to face up to them, but at the same time sort of dance all over them. That's what rock and roll is about."
"The best music is essentially there to provide you something to face the world with."
"Anyone who tells you they got into rock and roll for reasons other than girls, fame and money is full of s***."
"All rock musicians are deaf—or insensitive to mellow sounds."
"To me, John Lennon and Elvis Presley were punks, because they made music that evoked those emotions in people."
"Rock and roll is dream soup. What's your brand?"
"Every time you pick up your guitar to play, play as if it's the last time."
"I play every show like it's my last. Fortunately, that's never turned out to be the case."
"Rock music is not meant to be perfect."
"Music inflames temperament."
"I don't like old people on a rock and roll stage. I think they look pathetic, me included."
"When I die, just keep playing the records."
"[Rock] needs a new generation to come out and kick everybody. I'm not going to do it myself. I've done my bit for society."
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