You gotta know when it's time to hang up. But when I finally go, let me go out on stage, my perfect ending. Don't let me go when I'm sick or asleep. Let me be in motion.
You knew the difference between Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles, straight away. Now everyone sounds like each other, and I don't think that's right.
We take things for granted, and because we wake up every day, you start talking about what you're going to do next week. I said, 'Who told you you would be here next week?'
I met a zillion people through Ronnie Wood. He's been my friend since he was in The Faces, and he's still my best friend. A real person, earthy, working 24 hours a day, uplifting to be around, and he's still got that fire about music.
When I first played New York, it was with James Brown at the Apollo, and I was playing in a band under the name The Valentinos. I remember Sam Cooke saying, 'I want you to go in there with James Brown. I couldn't be as hard on you as James Brown would be.' But we came out marching like soldiers.
When I was a kid, during those days, you couldn't use instruments. It was against the pastor's religion, so all the singers would make these instruments with their voices. It was just unbelievable. I couldn't explain it.
Once upon a time, I could sing three hours. Now, when you see me say 'I'm done,' I'm done; ain't nothing left till the next night.
I know a lot of people who are not here anymore, and I wonder why I'm still here... Not a day goes by that I don't think about Sam Cooke. His presence is so strong and so convincing to me, a true artist, a true talent, who never talked down to people.
I think people like it when I tell them, 'I'm lucky to be here, because they are, too. Ain't nothing to do with age. There ain't nothing promised to you. Everybody's going to die.
I've got to be honest: I don't listen to any music now. I don't even listen to mine! I like to walk fresh into the studio and have ideas that come straight out of me.
My son's always saying, 'Pop, I ain't being egotistical, but nobody else can do it like you.' And I say it's not that I don't believe that they do it, I'm just caught up in my own little world. Not just the music, my own world of life. I say you can't write if you stop growing. What I'm writing about, maybe this generation don't want to hear it.