I’m reading the expanded edition of Paul Zollo‘s book, Songwriters on Songwriting. It’s a thick book of wisdom from some iconic songwriters like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Madonna, Yoko Ono, and Willie Dixon, amongst others.
I read the Willie Dixon interview with particular interest because of how important he was to some of my rock heroes. The Rolling Stones, Cream, and most famously Led Zeppelin, all owe a great deal to Willie Dixon, and the guitar rock of the British invasion is a direct result of Willie Dixon touring England in the fifties.
In the interview Dixon talks about how “all blues are happy blues” because they speak to facts. Whether the subject matter is evil or good has no influence, truth always has redemptive qualities that will resonate with people.
“The reason I put them (facts) into the type of songs that I put them in, is so people can remember these facts. And when you remember a fact, whether it’s good or bad, it gives you encouragement to live a decent life, one way of the other.” -Willie Dixon
You probably don’t even realize how many Willie Dixon songs you know because they’ve become so classic. Dixon put truth behind every song he wrote and his truth still resonates with people today and most likely the best songs that you’ve ever written were the ones where you speak from your truth.