Friday Five: The Wisdom of Todd Snider
Equal parts biography and cautionary tale, Todd Snider’s hilarious new book, I Never Met a Story I Didn’t Like, includes most of the stories you’ll hear at one of his live shows as well as a few other highly entertaining tales, like the time Hunter S. Thompson shoved him and the time he saw Jerry Jeff Walker’s balls (just say no to coke, kids). It’s like having a lengthy, winding conversation with a perma-stoned friend and/or weirdo at the bar, depending on your particular social circles. Here are a few of the life lessons I picked up while reading the book.
5. Todd Snider knows how to win any debate: “If you try to argue with me, I will reply with a fart.” (p. 243)
4. Todd Snider on songwriting: “When they say that the greatest singers are broken hearted, there’s a reason: you are going to be breaking your heart. You can’t just make up a song about some car you saw when you were driving down a road; it’ll be like carrying a piano up a mountain when you have to sing it live, and no one will give a shit.” (p. 155-156)
3. Todd Snider’s idea of concert etiquette is different from most artists’: “If you pay that money to come into the show, you can do whatever the fuck you want to do. If the police come up to you, maybe you’ve gone too far, but only too far for the police, not too far for me.” (p. 242)
2. Todd Snider’s advice on opiods: “Any morphine is probably too much morphine. When you say to someone, ‘I think I am taking too much morphine,’ you are without a doubt taking too much morphine. If you live outside a hospital room and you have any idea how to obtain morphine at all, you are taking too much morphine.” (p. 24)
1. Todd Snider to aspiring songwriters: “If you’re trying to work on a song for profit, you should think again, because there are a million better ways to get what you’re wanting to get. Work in an office, and you’ll definitely get money for what you do.” (p. 80)
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- Arlene: Sorry. I meant to give the link for "Supper Time." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ58Kfe41kI
- Arlene: Another song sung by Ethel Waters: Irving Berlin's "Supper Time"
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- Ron: Sky Above, Mud Below by Tom Russell is another.
- Jack Williams: Another Othis Taylor song from White African is "My Soul's in Louisiana."