“My friends and I were wild and we liked to joy-ride.”

Quotes by Aaron Neville

  1. ‘Yellow Moon’ was a poem. My wife at the time, Joel – she’s dead now – it was our 25th anniversary. She had the chance to go on a cruise with her sister. And I’m home with the kids and looking up, and I saw the big moon, and I just started writing.
  2. A lot of my solo albums were produced by different people who had their idea of what songs I should do, and they had me doing a lot of ballads.
  3. Age and numbers are a concept made up by man.
  4. Ain’t no place like New Orleans. It’s one of kind.
  5. Be honest, be nice, be a flower not a weed.
  6. Being at the Apollo, I was always starstruck.
  7. Beyonce is cool, and she can really sing.
  8. But I knew if I ran I’d never be able to sing, so I had to take my punishment.
  9. Don Was is a friend of mine; we’ve done projects together over the years.
  10. Doo-wop is the true music to me, man. Doo-wop was what nurtured me and grew me into who I am, and I guess even when I was in school, the teacher probably thought I had ADD or something every day, because I’d be beating on the desks, singing like the Flamingos or the Spaniels or Clyde McPhatter or somebody.
  11. Every day, some act of kindness comes my way, even if it’s just someone opening the door. It happens every day if you keep an eye out for it. Keeping an eye out, that’s the key.
  12. Every morning I wake up and thank God.
  13. God is waiting for us, to forgive us all, and what is broken, he’ll fix.
  14. Growing up my mother played Sarah Vaughan and Nat Cole in the house regularly.
  15. I always feel I’m blessed, you know. I thank God for letting me use his voice. That’s how I see it.
  16. I always loved Sam Cooke, because he seemed very versatile. He sang gospel, soul, blues, pop music.
  17. I always tell people I want to see the world through His eyes, and I want people to see Him in me.
  18. I am very honored and excited to have ‘Devotion’ released as the first DVD Audio disc… surround sound is amazing… The music comes alive and is so vibrant – it’s unlike anything you’ve ever heard before!
  19. I balance with prayer and music. I sing every day.
  20. I buried Joel on our 48th anniversary. I had been with her since I was 16.
  21. I didn’t just get to 75 years by tiptoeing. I had to work hard sometimes.
  22. I dig Steve Harvey: he’s the suit man. I be checking him out.
  23. I don’t want to be on the road all my life.
  24. I eat a lot of fish to stay healthy.
  25. I even done a doo-wop version of the Mickey Mouse march.
  26. I feel it was just a few years ago I was running around in short pants.
  27. I grew up singing Ray Charles and Jimmy Reed.
  28. I just sing what I feel in my heart. I ain’t trying to prove nothing, and I don’t think I ever did.
  29. I just sing. You have to use it.
  30. I know that God is good, and he saved me from hell and damnation.
  31. I know the fact that I was born means I have to die, so my only aim is to reach out and help someone along the way.
  32. I might see something on TV and get inspired to write about it. I can’t sit down and plan to write. It has to come to me in my head like someone telling me the words.
  33. I never left doo wop.
  34. I never really got paid for ‘Tell It Like Is,’ but I look back at it and say God knew what he was doing; he probably figured that if I had got money back in them days, I wouldn’t be here now. That’s okay. I’m here. And I’m still singing the song.
  35. I owe it all to Jesus.
  36. I really like listening to music in my car.
  37. I remember going up and doing ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ with Paul Simon, Santana playing up there with us.
  38. I sing around the house, in the shower.
  39. I started listening to gospel when I was a little boy and my grandmother used to rock me on her lap.
  40. I think St. Jude helped me achieve some miracles in my life – that’s why I wear the medallion in my left ear and never take it out.
  41. I think the Creator renews me.
  42. I think things happened the way they did for a reason.
  43. I used to always sing my way into the movies and the basketball games or whatever. I’d sing for whoever’s on the door, and they’d let me in. I used to think I was Nat King Cole back in the day, you know. So I’d sing something like, ‘Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa, men have named you,’ and they’d let me in.
  44. I was raised Catholic, but my father’s people were Methodist, so we went to both churches.
  45. I was very surprised when I heard that I had been chosen to receive the James Cardinal Gibbons Award.
  46. I worked with the Neville Brothers for 40-some years on the highway, and up and down since I can remember – funk from New Orleans.
  47. I write poetry on my iPhone. I’ve got about 100 poems on there.
  48. I’ll be singing with The Blind Boys of Alabama, which is a great joy to me. I’ve done some work with them before, and they truly are amazing.
  49. I’m here now because of my faith. That’s what got me singing and what has kept me singing. That is what I have: what has kept me doing right and has provided me with the chances and the attitude and the skills to do this.
  50. I’m waiting for them to come up with a ‘Star Trek’ thing so they can beam me from my house to the gigs and back.
  51. I’ve been into every doo-wop there is. I think I went to the university of doo-wop-ology.
  52. I’ve done all different kinds of genres – doo-wop, pop, funk, gospel, country, jazz, you name it.
  53. I’ve had problems with my throat over the years, playing with loud bands for years, and I’ve had bruised vocal chords and nodules.
  54. If we were poor, we didn’t know it ’cause I guess you don’t miss what you never had. So, you know, we made do with whatever. We used to make our own toys, and we used to play with spinning tops and marbles. A pocket full of marbles, and you were rich – you didn’t worry about no money.
  55. If you had told me I’d be making 62 tomorrow, I’d say you were lying.
  56. In New Orleans, music is part of the culture. You’re raised with it, from the cradle to the grave, and all in-between.
  57. It’s a 360-degree sound experience. Like you’re in the middle of the band. A lot of people have the technology to play the format, so why not put it out there. It sounds great.
  58. It’s one of the greatest festivals in the world. New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest is the best all-around… It’s an honor to be closing it.
  59. It’s up to God to do the judging. You haven’t walked in my boots, so how are you going to judge me?
  60. Man, I was scared. I didn’t know what to think. All of a sudden, I got a record climbing the charts, and I’m out in the streets. You know, workin’ on the docks. And the first week, it sold something like 40,000 in New Orleans.
  61. Me and my partners had been stealing cars for a while.
  62. My brother Art was a doo-wopper. He had a group that sat out on a park bench in New Orleans and sang harmonies at night, and they’d go around and win all the talent shows and get all the girls, you know.
  63. My brothers and I would sit out on the park bench and harmonize.
  64. My dad and my mom were big Nat King Cole fans, so they had everything he did.
  65. My drummer, bass player, and guitar player sing backgrounds. They play and sing. I can sing all the harmonies, but I can’t do it alone.
  66. My favorite prayer is Footprints in the Sand. You know that prayer? I know the times that he carried me, you know? I kind of wore him out.
  67. My friends and I were wild and we liked to joy-ride.
  68. My mother turned me onto St. Jude back in the days when I was wild and crazy. She took me to the shrine on Rampart Street.
  69. New Orleans will always be in my heart. New Orleans raised me – it’s in my blood.
  70. People are living a lot longer these days and not preparing for it. I’m in the gym and, you know, using my voice.
  71. Singing is a prayer to me.
  72. Singing is my entire life. I nearly lost that. I am so blessed to be able to do this. It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do.
  73. So I went in front of the judge, and I had my St. Jude prayer book in my pocket and my St. Jude medal. And I’m standing there and that judge said I was found guilty, so he sentenced me to what the law prescribed: one to 14 years.
  74. So now I have a collection of poetry by Aaron Neville and I give it to people I want to share it with. I’d like to publish it someday.
  75. Sometimes in the middle of the night, I wake up with a song in my head, and I have to finish it so I can fall back asleep.
  76. That’s one thing you hear in my voice today. I could yodel from one octave to another octave. It always fascinated me.
  77. The extras are a nice bonus feature, but the main incentive is the musical experience.
  78. The first time I recorded without Allen Toussaint, I wanted to do doo-wop. Everything I’ve done since then has got some kind of doo-wop essence in it.
  79. The gospel music and doo-wop is what has informed me personally.
  80. The music of the Clovers and Spaniels and the rest was like candy to me. I couldn’t get enough; my teachers probably thought I had attention deficit disorder.
  81. There are so many songs in my heart and in my brain. I wake up at 2 in the morning, and I have to get up and sing them. There are so many of them, it’s ridiculous.
  82. Through the years, I found we had Native American blood in us. My great-grandmother came from the island of Martinique, and they hooked up with the Native Americans of Louisiana.
  83. Until I went to rehab, I didn’t understand what it did.
  84. We lived together as kids, and now we’re taking care of each other as men.
  85. We used to play football on the levee, with no shirts on in the summer – August in New Orleans – and my skin would turn red. They’d call me Redskin, Red Apache, then it turned around to Apache Red.
  86. When I first went out on the road with Larry Williams, there was also, like, The Coasters, The Drifters, and The Flamingos.
  87. When I get down to Louisiana, I get to have a taste of some of that great food.
  88. When I record something, I’ll take a drive and just listen.
  89. When I sang, I couldn’t help making those little curves. People would say, ‘Why don’t you sing straight?’ But I have always had to put something in.
  90. When I was growing in the Callope project, we had an oval parkway. Pavement ran around this whole thing. We’d skate or ride bicycles. There were benches and trees out there. It was paradise to us. They finished building it the same year I was born.
  91. When I was living in the projects, I had a mop stick for my horse. I wanted to be Gene Autry or Roy Rogers, so I would ride my mop through the projects.
  92. When I’m singing, I connect the dots with notes.
  93. When I’m singing, it’s a mixture of my innocence in the projects, my mom and dad. It’s all the good and the bad, the laughs and the frowns that I went through and seen other people go through. Then you be trying to write it. Whatever’s coming out, you try and make it all cool.
  94. When you were a kid, a day was a long time and a year was a long time.
  95. Without faith, I don’t think I’d be here.
  96. Working with the brothers can put pressure on my voice, so I choose to do my own solo thing so I can save my voice. I couldn’t do both now. The Neville Brothers is a funk band; they play loud, and I have a strong voice.
  97. You never know how much time you got.
  98. You try to do what you can to bring harmony wherever you go.
  99. You’ve just got to sing, do some kind of singing every day. Early mornings and cold weather can mess with that. I drink special teas with cayenne pepper, but I think you’re psyching yourself out, really.

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