Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Songwriters on Songwriting

Songwriters on Songwriting by Paul Zollo/Da Capo Press, 1997

Since I was weaned on the Beatles I always looked at songwriting as the most accessible and yet challenging form of artistic expression I could potentially undertake.  I got this book in Ann Arbor around 1997 or '98 when I wanted desperately to be a songwriter but was apparently too scared to actually try it, so I instead obsessed about craft.  Still, it's become might be the most valuable book I own, the closest thing I have to a personal artistic bible.  Every interview, whether it's Bob Dylan, Jimmy Webb, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Randy Newman, is such a window into the creative process, revealing everything and nothing.  It affirms for me there is no one right way and just like any other form of writing, you do whatever it takes to 'deliver the payload' as Cohen put it.  I was fortunate enough to be able to do my own version of 'Songwriters on Songwriting' years later in the form of a creative writing interview series called On the Fly.

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