What you hear from Cassandra Wilson and Robbie Robertson on CBS News Sunday Morning is just the tip of the iceberg. Their long conversations were edited down to an eight-minute story. Below are more of his inciteful comments.
On Embracing Rock and Roll As A Youth
"When I got into music, when I got serious about it, it was at the same time I reached puberty. Rock and roll came along, and I was already playing guitar. So I'm standing at the crossroads, right? Rock and roll comes this way. You know, my age, my hormones are catching up with me coming from this way. It was almost like I didn't have a choice in the matter. It was a calling. It was definitely something that just wasn't a fluke for me."
On Discovering Southern Music
"At a pretty young age I learned there was this stuff that they kinda fed you musically on most radio stations, like pablum they fed it to you. And then, when you looked around some corners and behind some curtains, there was this other music that actually was the source of where this other stuff.
I became much more interested in where the inspiration was coming from than what was the most obvious. And the more that I looked at it, the more I realized that this stuff was coming out of New Orleans, it was coming out of Mississippi, it was coming out of Tennessee, it was coming out of Arkansas.
When I went there, when I was 16 years old, I got it like that. Everything was musical. Everything had rhythm to it. It was like all the stories, all the sounds you ever heard -- all of a sudden you could say, "I know why." Everything has to have a rhythm to it, or the people just don't take to it. And it did feel to me like music grew right out of the ground."
On Rebelling Against Rebellion In The 60s
"When we made our first record [ed. note: Music From Big Pink, in 1968], everything was going in this very angry, very hostile, very anti-family, anti-parent, it was anti-government, anti-everything. And we made music that was the opposite of that. Not that we were trying to say, 'Oh, everybody's doing this, so we'll go in that way.' This is just what this is all that we knew to do, really. We did what came the most natural to us.
So when we were making our record and learned from those things as well, everybody said, 'Holy smokes, where did this come from? This is like, the opposite. This is like rebelling against the rebellion, you know? Which I thought was pretty healthy too. 'Cause when everybody just gets on the same train and rides in the same direction with the same attitude, that just usually come out as interesting."
he Band, Robertson's first group, seen here in the late 60s. Robertson is second from left. (from "Woodstock Vision: The Spirit of a Generation," by Elliott Landy)
On Breaking New Ground In Native American Music
"There are all kinds of musicalities that I used in making this record... I want to have tremendous respect for what's been given to me, this gift that's been given to me through my heritage, but at the same time, I want to do this with no rules and no boundaries, outside of what we're talking about, the sacred grounds, that I just will not tread on. But I want to do this in today's light. I want to do it in regard to what's affects me the way I hear it right now. I want to take those liberties."
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produced by David Kohn