Notes from a Bindle Stiff

Bindle Stiff:  (bundle man, hobo)   Jack London in a 1901 letter, ”Wyckoff only knows the workingman, the stake-man, the bindle-stiff.”

girl airplanes

Come live in my tent and pay no rent.


Appreciation makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.


Don’t play what’s there. Play what’s not there.


A good education will show you how little you know.


If you understood everything I say, you would be I… or me.


Mistakes in improvised music?  There are none.

glen farg

Probably the main duty of the young is to challenge the received notions of the old.

james gurley 1966

A jest is a truth with a melody.


I sometimes wonder if Americans aren’t fooled by our accent into detecting brilliance that may not really be there.


When are you going to figure it out about guns?  How many shootings is it going take?  They are occurring almost daily now.

jimi 17 sept 1970

People see the past as better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be

noah peter

It says “extinguisher,” but it looks more like “stinker.”


Anything is possible as long as you keep working at it.  Don’t back down.


Common sense is not so common.


You can’t leave yourself out of that mix. You have to be honest enough to say, I’m the messed-up one in the family.


I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.

mari photo

The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.


Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.

marty kerry

God gives us nuts, but she doesn’t crack them.


Take a deep breath after any outburst of vanity or complacency.


It wasn’t Don Quixote’s madness that bothered him. It was Sancho Panza.


You Greeks are god driven crazy! One of the most beautiful peoples of the kosmos.


A stairstep not worn by footsteps is only a boring something made of wood.

mari photo 1

Begin with what is right rather than what is usual.


Women dress for women.


I’d rather they all hate it and I like it, than vice versa. I make music to please myself first, and if the audience likes it, all the better.


My father wouldn’t get us a TV, he wouldn’t allow a TV in the house.


Kindness and politeness are not overrated at all. If anything, they are underrated.


I’m always happy to have a job.


Interviews are all right with me. I don’t pursue them. When the people I work with deem them appropriate, I’m perfectly willing to serve.

Chaplin 27

Characters with no integrity are just as interesting as characters with lots of integrity.


I think that no matter how much you don’t like yourself or the drama of your life you can still find some comedy in it.


The proper union of vodka and vermouth is a great and sudden glory; it is one of the happiest marriages on earth, and one of the shortest lived.


The mind and the heart have their own logic but do not often let others in on it.



It’s scary to wake up one morning and discover that your university class is running your state.

Lincoln inaugural 1861

Watch out how you see yourself, because how you see yourself may be what you are.


Growing old is an interesting process. There’s no cure for it. The best medicine may be laughter, if laughter is any kind of medicine at all.


I’ll play it and tell you what it is later.


The universe is truly large. From here to Alpha Centauri is an unimaginable distance, and that is just a tiny, tiny corner in this whole universe, almost imperceptible. So, now, what were you worrying about again?


The feeling about a soldier is he wasn’t really going to do very much with his life anyway. The example usually is: he wasn’t going to play music that would be as ravishing, enlightening and as impassioned as there ever was, but how do we know this?  History is full of examples of people who were almost going to die, and yet, because of some unlooked for miracle, survived and went on to do such great things that benefited us all. What a narrow escape, and think of those who didn’t escape. Anyone who reads biographies will be very conscious of this.  There is only the most tenuous thread between life and death for us all.  Accidents play a much larger part in life than we are willing to recognize.  What if Jimi Hendrix had been killed in Viet Nam?  Who WAS killed in Viet Nam?

mari photo 3

I wanted to write about a normal young girl whose only difference was that she behaved in the way a boy might, without any sense of guilt on a moral or sexual level.

hippo cart 1924

If you’re feeling strong and emotional when you’re creating something, it will come out that way.

mari photo 2

Whiskey is by far the most popular of all remedies that won’t cure a cold.


Name me an emperor who was ever struck by a cannonball.


I don’t really want to control anyone, to be honest.


Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.


May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing views. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

Saipan 1944

I speak Spanish to god, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my goat.


Abolition of a woman’s right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsive maternity, a form of rape by the state.


The missionaries go forth to Christianize the savages, as if the savages weren’t dangerous enough already.


The tragedy of war is that young soldiers die fighting each other, instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals.


A drink a day keeps the shrink away.


The trouble with returning to a place where you once were is that you can never repeat the same experience.

Jesse James 16

Our neoconservatives are neither new nor conservative. They’re as old as Babylon and evil as Hell.


Ignorance, apathy, hate, fear, greed, as long as these things are in human nature the Republicans will get some votes.


Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity for the human spirit.


It’s not the equipment, it’s the operator. It’s the singer, not the song.


I think when I practice, but feel when I play. The playing occurs ahead of my ability to understand it.


Some parts of my solos are OK and other parts I can’t stand. You have to live with that.

bookstore London 1940

I keep reading between the lies.


I was born lucky. I’ll be the first to admit that.

Back Camera

TV = Terrible Vaudeville.


If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do a  job, wait until you hire an amateur.


A person’s intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting points of view she can entertain simultaneously on the same topic.


Forgiveness is good for your health.

London 1940

Aeschylus said that it is in the character of very few men to honor without envy a friend who has prospered, but I think I have this quality. Several of my friends have gone on to fame and glory and I very seldom want to kill them.


OK, I’ll give Brooke back her underwear.

silvia sf

There are a lot of people in the phone book, but very few ideas.

Back Camera

Not one of the first six Presidents of the United States was an orthodox Christian.


The best time to buy something is a couple of years ago.


We all think we’re going to get out of debt.

space chimp 1961


I would have answered your letter sooner but you didn’t send one.

skip spence

Much better to desire than to have.


I’d better say I belong to myself and the world rather than belonging to one nationality or another.



Nothing is ever the same as they said it was.

Princeton students 1893

You gotta have swine to show you where the truffles are.

veronica f

The best cure for hypochondria is to forget about your body and become interested in someone else’s.


The thing that’s important to know is that you never know. You’re always sort of feeling your way.



Artists don’t retire. They stop when there’s no more art in them.


We might be be the holographic image of a two dimensional structure.

vittoria silvia franco

Tell me about yourself, your struggles, your dreams, your telephone number.

Hitler's men Xmas 1941

I consider your conduct unethical and lousy.


There are some people that if they don’t know, you can’t tell them.


All my life my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name.


I consider myself more of a visual comedian than a physical one.


People look for happiness as a drunk looks for his house: he can’t find it, but he knows that it exists.



If you get the quality right, then the marketability or whatever; your ability to sell videos or your ability to earn money or whatever, will follow naturally. But try to be creatively lead rather than market lead.

Liberty 1885

I’ve been so liberated it hurts.


Tokyo to Nagoya.


One of the most attractive things about writing your autobiography is that you’re not dead.


While I have never been a regular churchgoer, I’m anything but immune to the power and the majesty of a spiritual experience.


I swear, if you existed I’d divorce you.



In those days, boxing was very glamorous and romantic. You listened to fights on the radio, and a good announcer made it seem like a contest between gladiators.


The marvelous thing about a double entendre is that it only means one thing.


He won’t, won’t he? Then bring me my boots.


If Attila the Hun were alive today, he’d be a music critic.


I am the the type to have a personal experience with a celebrity, but I’m too classy to bring that up.


I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. She said that I was being ridiculous… everyone hasn’t met me yet.

report card

If ten was the perfect score, he needed help in French.


My wife was afraid of the dark. Then she saw me naked and now she’s afraid of the light.


The way my luck is going, if I were a politician I’d be honest.


Nossa! Quanto tempo!


One of the fundamental truths about marriage. The wife is in charge.  Fine by me.

Back Camera

There is hope for the future because god has a sense of humor and she thinks we’re funny.


When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.


Do you ever really look at people in a health food store. They are pale, skinny and look half dead. In a steak house you see robust, ruddy people. They’re dying, of course, but they look great.




Old is always fifteen years from now.


There are no authorities on love, just those who have had luck with it and those who haven’t.


May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.

Russia 1941

Death is caused by being born.


His eyes so dim, so wasted each limb, that, heedless of grammar, they all cried, that’s him!


I have one day today, and I’m going to be happy in it.

Das Städel

Anyone who says he understands women is missing a lot.


Just because you got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean that the circus has left town.


Timmy from Lassie.


Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do.


Bella questa.  Che stelline che siete!   What stars you are.


I wanted to improve my looks at The Body Shop, but now I’m improving them at the Photoshop.


I’m shy, but I’m not clinically shy. I don’t have social anxiety disorder or anything like that. I more have a gentle shyness. Like, I have a little trouble mingling at parties.


One way to find out if someone’s honest. Ask. If he says yes, you know he’s not.


In the beginning there was nothing. Then god said, “Let there be light.” So then there was still nothing but you could see a lot better.


Aim high. That way you won’t shoot yourself in the foot.


People think because I can make them laugh on the stage, I’ll be able to make them laugh in person. That isn’t the case at all. I am essentially a rather quiet, dull person who just happens to be a performer.


Hello Kitty will never speak.


Marriage is a mistake every man should make.


As I get older, I get smaller. I see other parts of the world I didn’t see before. Other points of view. I see outside myself more. I was one meter and eighty-five centimeters when I lived in Paris in my twenties and now I am one meter and eighty-three centimeters, so I’m smaller that way too.

Tasmanian Tiger 1933

Better to burn out than to rust out.


Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.


Partnership is the way.


Sam Andrew Lisa Battle

When we talk to god, we’re praying. When she talks to us, we’re schizophrenic.


Journalists were so unkind to me. They said I knew only three chords, but they were wrong. I knew four.


Sometimes the best songs come all at once in twenty minutes or half an hour. Chords, words, melody, everything.


Everything that used to be a sin is now a disease.

hit parader

Multitasking?  I can’t even do one thing at once.


Who’s your real friend? The person who tells you the truth.


If you think your life is tough, read a bit of history.


Karl Rove said that if Arnold Schwarzenegger’s father weren’t a Nazi, Arnold wouldn’t have any credibility with conservatives at all.


The advantage for the snorer is that he is the one who’s sleeping.  (Merci à toi, Thomas.)


The word “privacy” does not appear in the Constitution.


I want the world to be better because I was here.


Everybody’s nuts. Enjoy the ride.


If you hear me saying, “I’m a serious artist,” please slap me.


“Republican party” is an oxymoron, isn’t it?


People take comedians seriously and politicians as a joke.


Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. Believe in what you are doing.


Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.


You can learn by travel, by reading or by associating with people who are smarter than you.


Advertising can convince you to spend money you don’t have to buy something you don’t need to impress somebody you don’t like.


Crime does pay… if you’re a lawyer.


Things aren’t what they used to be, and that’s a good thing.


There is nothing that will get your mind off everything like golf. I’ve never been depressed enough to take up the game, but they say that you can become so angry with yourself that you forget to hate your enemy. Actually, I doubt this very much.


A holding company is a guy you hand the stolen goods to when the police arrive.


Marriages are made in heaven. So are hurricanes.


Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.


Don’t just do something, sit there.



If you love someone, say so.

Lisa Dave Tom 1996

What if, at this very moment, we were living up to our full potential?



People who complain about President Obama should consider how things would be if Romney and Ryan were running the country.


Not everyone in Hollywood is on the left.  Just the smart ones.


Strength doesn’t have to be boastful, belligerent and loud. Quite the opposite, really.


Every musician knows that a melody can come to you that is so beautiful, so universal that it’s not yours but god’s. You’re just a conduit.


That’s what show business is, sincere insincerity.

black swan sampler

The harder you work, the luckier you get.


Such is life and life is such, and after all it isn’t much, first a cradle then a hearse, could’ve been better, could’ve been worse.



I started school in Okinawa, Japan, and have never really stopped.


Steam punk can be scary.


Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.

linda paul

I always wanted to be a physicist, but it seemed that I was doomed to be nothing more than a very silly person.

Sam Andrew motorcycle Lisa Battle

Thank you for being here and we’ll see you next week.