An artist I have not featured enough on my weekly radio show is the venerable musician Roy Harper, who turned 75 this year. In honor of that temporal milestone, Daniel Gumble from Music News caught up with Roy to talk a bit about his career through a short question and answer session. It is a quick read. In particular, this quote jumped out at me (see below). It not only articulates clearly and succinctly the challenges Roy faced in the late 60’s and 70’s (and beyond) finding a larger/broader audience, but speaks, I think, universally to the challenge artists of any discipline face when sharing the “the inner forces of themselves” as Roy describes:
”I’ve been thrown out of folk clubs for not sounding like whomever. What they want in those places are things they identify with immediately. What they wanted were things that had been sung by the union or by working people about their conditions - all of those things that were relevant to where the working man was at that point, or thought he was, put it that way. They didn't want to hear about the inner forces of themselves. They didn't want to hear anything about inner landscapes and I've kind of made a specialty of that over time. That would have been viewed by those kind of people at one stage as either sissy or irrelevant or not manly enough."