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Are These the Greatest Rock and Roll Quotes of All Time?

Jerry has been playing guitar and singing solo and with bands for several years.

It's only Rock'n'Roll...

It's only Rock'n'Roll...

Turn On, Tune In, Rock Out

Rock stars are often notorious for the bizarre words that sometimes spill from their lips, here I’ve put together some of my favourite Rock’n’Roll quotes. The Good, the Bad and truly Bonkers. Are these the greatest Rock’n’Roll quotes ever?

Sex, Drugs and Rock’n’Roll

Unlike some of the great and good that are often reverentially quoted; the likes of Benjamin Franklin, Winston Churchill, Bugs Bunny etc. - rock star quotes tend to be a little more ‘earthy’.

Here’ s what some of our leading musical luminaries have to say about Sex, Drugs and Rock’n’Roll:

“If everything the press wrote about me was true, I’d never be out of bed.” - Tom Jones

“We believed that anything that was worth doing was worth overdoing.” - Steven Tyler

“A kid once said to me ‘Do you get hangovers?’ I said, to get hangovers you have to stop drinking.” - Lemmy, Motorhead

“Just because I cut the heads off dolls doesn’t mean I hate babies, I just hate dolls.” - Alice Cooper

“I like to go the graveyard, lay down on somebody’s grave, take a bottle out there, dance around naked, y’know?” - Tom Waits

“The only black magic Sabbath ever got into was a box of chocolates.” - Ozzy Osbourne


Who is the Mega-Mouth of Rock?

Deep and Meaningful

Of course, some of our favourite rockers can be quite eloquent when not under the influence of booze or barbiturates. Some of these quotes show the more introspective and tender side of some of Rock’s greatest performers.

"Hating people isn't a productive way of living. So, what's the point in hating anyone? There's enough hate in the world as it is, without me adding to it." - Ozzy Osbourne

“Don’t you love the Oxford Dictionary? When I first read it, I thought it was a really, really long poem about everything.” - David Bowie

“When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’.” - John Lennon

“As soon as you start talking about mystique, you have none.” - Neil Young

“Rock 'n' roll never sleeps it just passes out.” - George Thorogood

“Let's just say I was testing the bounds of reality.” - Jim Morrison

“If you think you are too old to rock 'n roll, then you are.” - Lemmy

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“Rock music is important to people, because it allows them to escape this crazy world. It allows them not to run away from the problems that are there, but to face up to them, but at the same time sort of dance all over them. That's what rock and roll is about.” - Pete Townshend

"I'm not claiming divinity. I've never claimed purity of the soul. I never claimed to have the answers to life. I only put out songs and answer questions as honest as I can. But I still believe in peace, love, and understanding." - John Lennon

“The first day I can remember looking into a mirror and being able to stand what I saw was the day I had a guitar in my hand.” - Bruce Springsteen

“Religion is for people who fear hell, spirituality is for people who have been there.” - David Bowie



The Rock’nRoll Hall of Fame has produced some very outspoken personalities, if there is an opinion to give - you’ll get it - both barrels.

“One time we saw some hookers but when we got closer, we realised it was Motley Crue.” - James Hetfield of Metallica

“Ever since the beginning of rock and roll, there's been an Axl Rose. And it's just boring. It's totally boring to me.” - Kurt Cobain

"There are areas of music that are more compassionate, more tolerate, more open, more accepting and more aware. What I think I've done is destroy the myth that heavy metal bands don't have that capacity." - Rob Halford

"I like girls. That’s the only reason I’m in the music business - I discovered you could get women to take their clothes off if you had a guitar. And they come off a lot faster if you can play it." - Lemmy Kilmister


It’s All About Me

However, pop and rock personalities seem to be most eloquent and witty when they are talking about their favourite subject: themselves (big surprise, uh!), or better still somebody else…

“I think we’ll be the most important band in the world. If time is on our side, and there’s not so much bad s**t and none of us dies, then we’ll be the new Beatles.” - Liam Gallagher

“I am your American Caesar. I am the coolest guy in the country.” - Iggy Pop

"I won't be a rockstar, I will be a legend." - Freddie Mercury

“I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.” - Dave Lee Roth

“I fly airliners and in my spare time I sing a bit” - Bruce Dickinson

“Society has traditionally always tried to find scapegoats for its problems. Well here I am.” - Marilyn Manson

“My interest in music dissipated during the ‘80s as I realised that I was more important.” - David Bowie

“I’m not God but if I were God, ¾ of you would be girls, and the rest would be pizza and beer.” - Axl Rose

“It’s amazing how many people I see in London who look like me. Even girls!” - Grace Jones

“Protect my voice? From what? Vandals?” - Tom Waits

“Course I don’t know how much the bloody tube fare cost, I don’t have to.” - Mick Jagger

“You don’t have to, y’know, prance around and run five miles round a stadium in a poofy football suit to prove anything. There’s no point pretending to be Peter Pan,” - Keith Richards (on Mick Jagger)

“I don’t see Culture Club and Duran Duran being any role model for kids. They’ll give you the incentive to go out and buy a blow dryer or a synthesizer.” - Joey Ramone

You can't kill Rock 'n' Roll. It's here to stay - Ozzy Osbourne

The Only Boss I Listen To

I’ve saved the best quote till last, here’s one from The Boss, direct and honest as usual..

“We're here to re-dedicate you to The Power, The Passion, The Mystery, and The Ministry of Rock and Roll.” - Bruce Springsteen

These are my favourites, but maybe not yours, so why not drop a comment if you disagree or have got your own favourite.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Jerry Cornelius


Jerry Cornelius (author) on May 25, 2019:

Yes, I imagine a quite a few of these 'off the cuff' quotes were in fact 'manufactured' to boost media coverage - I guess when you are in the spotlight it's human nature.

Liz Westwood from UK on May 25, 2019:

This is an interesting compilation of revealing quotes. I wonder how many were said in the knowmedge that they might grab the headlines and sell a few more albums.

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