It is generally believed that a high IQ and a rational analytical left brain are required for creative discovery. That belief may be wrong.
In an extensively researched 306-page study, Grant Cameron shows where creativity really comes from. The book will show that creativity does not require high IQ or luck, but rather a quiet mind that can tap into a non-local source of knowledge that contains the answer.
In Inspired: The Paranormal World of Creativity Grant Cameron takes the reader through stories of where many of the great creations of the world really came from, and what non-human intelligences seem to live in the world that supplies the ideas and inventions. The books looks at the mechanism that allows the inspiration, and some of the messages that come with the mechanism.
Some creative states that are explored include,
· Inspirations in music including dreams and spontaneous composition
· Inspirations by serendipity which question a random world view
· Inspiration by biomimicry where nature itself did the creation
· Inspirations that show the paranormal nature of many inventions
· Inspirations that were the source for many Nobel Prize ideas
· Inspiration from aliens
· Inspirations behind scientific discoveries
· Inspirations that triggered books, movies, and art
· Inspirations that were given to savants and prodigies
· Inspirations from psychics and mediums
· Inspirations from a third-man factor.
· Inspirations from aliens and channeled entities
· Inspirations from the ancients
· Inspirations through automatic writing and meditation
· Inspirations for the dying and the grieving
· Inspiration from psychedelic compounds
As Mark Twain stated, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.” As Grant Cameron will point out the truth behind creativity is often very strange.
I ain't never wrote nothin. Those songs was float'n in the air and I just pulled them down. Bob Monroe, the father of modern bluegrass music.
If I knew where the good songs came from, I’d go there more often. It’s a mysterious condition. It’s much like the life of a Catholic nun. You’re married to a mystery. Leonard Cohen
In spiritual literature, there are many claims that there is a hall of music where earthly musicians get musical downloads. Henry Edwards (1893-1976) for example described that music was telepathically transmitted from the music room in the Hall of Learning into the minds of musicianal artists.
This idea may seem far-fetched until one realizes that most of the greatest musicians of the 20th century could not read or write music. The list of musicians include Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, All four of the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Jerry Garcia, Jimmy Page, Pete Townsend, Kurt Cobain, Tori Amos, Thom Yorke, BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Irving Berlin, Famed composer Danny Elfman, Kanye West, Phil Collins, Tom Moello guitarist for Rage Against the Machine, Tony Ionni of Black Sabbath, Marvin Gaye, Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden, Angus Young from AC/DC, Eddie Van Halen, Slash of Guns and Roses, Kurt Vile and Indi legend, and Jackie Gleason whose orchestra produced 20 record albums. Music was therefore not something that they were trained to create via music lessons.
Edgar Cayce stated that music in the material world was a reflection of the music of the spheres. When a musician begins to compose, he taps into these realms of nonlocal consciousness. Cayce recommended music for deeper meditation stating it was a bridge from the finite to the infinite.
Leaving out where the music might be coming from, there is absolutely no doubt that musicians get downloads of music from somewhere. If it were not for the music claimed to have been downloaded, some of the most popular music of all times would not exist.
Here are a few examples of the inspiration behind the writing of some of the favorite songs of all times. Many of these came in dreams, which is significant because dream music appears to be the only element of dreams that is not distorted by the dreaming process. The music heard is clear without the usual fragmentation, chaos, or incoherence commonly associated with dreams, indicating that they may have been lucid dreams.
As the following list shows (a fuller more complete list will be part of a book just on music), the occurrence of inspired music goes back for centuries and includes professional and non-professional musicians alike.
Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman - from the British band Yes wrote the song "Madrigal" about UFOs. The lyrics and melody came in a few minutes in a "flow of consciousness."
Jon Anderson - Asked if he had ever had a song come in a moment of inspiration, like during a dream, Anderson replied, "Yes, it happens all the time actually. I remember vividly in 1971 I woke in the middle of the night. I always kept a cassette machine next to the bed, and I just sang the song into the cassette machine. We were actually on tour. I sang this song, and I put the tape away and forgot about it for a couple of years, and then I found it and listened to it and the words were word for word exactly correct. I didn’t have to change a thing. The words were pure and correct. It is the song I called "O’er." It’s on a record somewhere – over the green mountains and over the green valleys."
Joan Baez - "It seems to me that those songs that have been any good, I have nothing much to do with the writing of them. The words have just crawled down my sleeve and come out on the page…"
David Bowie - In 1972 Bowie had a dream in which his father appeared to him telling him that he only had five years to live. The message was that there was to be an environmental disaster such as shown by aliens to experiencers. At that point, Bowie produces the song "Five Years." It becomes the opening track to the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. In the song, there is an aired announcement that the world will end in 5 years’ time because of a lack of natural resources. The song then proceeds to describe the frenzied aftermath of the announcement.
Bradford Cox - Front man for band Deerhunter stated, "I'm basically the audience for my own music. Because I don't write things consciously, I don't set out to write things, it's all automatic writing, like the music and the chords and the lyrics and everything. So when I listen to it, I'm sort of analyzing it the same way that somebody who gets the record and listens to it for the first time.
Karyn Crisis - Front woman for the experimental metal band Crisis has much to say about the inspirational process in music. "On tour, I always had premonitions about how shows would go…and I always felt this sensation when I was singing, whether it was on stage or in the studio or in rehearsal where there was something bigger than myself, moving my voice through me. I would call it summoning, and it would be very frustrating for my band mates because whenever we had to write songs, I felt like I have never written a song in my life. I don’t know how to write the lyrics or write vocals. But once I sort of got my mind out of the way which for me taking a word out of a thesaurus and get into it. The singing became what happens in a meditative state. My vocals would write themselves in my mind…they would be created in my clairvoyance clairaudient space and I would have to figure out how to sing that live. So often I was writing material that was right out of my vocal range, but when it came time to sing them, the range was there…I was very aware of these forces that I considered bigger than myself, more knowledgeable and more talented than myself."
Burton Cumming - Cumming was the lead singer of the Canadian band The Guess Who - Cummings talked about how their greatest hit "American Woman" came to be. The song went on to be # 1 on the US charts for three weeks.
The date was 1968. Burton Cummings was backstage in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada during a break in the show and was negotiating with a fan for some old records from another band. As they are talking, the rest of the band begins the second show with a riff. Cummings raced back on stage.
"I run inside," said Cumming, "and run up onto the stage and just grab a microphone and started singing whatever came into my head. It was all stream of consciousness at the moment stuff … all that stuff about war machines and ghetto scenes, colored lights can hypnotize …it was all just spur-of-the-moment. And nobody would have ever heard it again, but there happened to be a kid bootlegging the show that night…So it was all an accident; I guess the music Gods were smiling on us. The music Gods probably sent that kid with the cassette machine."
During the show they see the kid with the cassette tape recorder, seize it, and when they play the tape, there is the song "American Woman." Without the tape, there would never have been a song that was #1 for three weeks in the USA."
Donovan (Donovan Philips Leitch) - Scottish songwriter and singer stated: "With songwriting, it all comes out in one flash. Then you work it, and then you craft it." Later Donovan made a claim, "I believe I’m a reincarnated poet from an old tradition."
Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan once said he was struggling to channel consciously what formerly came to him subconsciously. Listed as the # 2 musical artist of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine, Dylan wrote his 1962 song "Blowing in the Wind" in ten minutes one afternoon. This quick creation is a common characteristic of many of the greatest songs of all times. Michael Des Barres, a member of Led Zeppelin and many other bands, stated that anything he ever wrote that became successful was always written in under five minutes.
Dylan is on record as saying that the protest song, which he insisted wasn’t a protest song came out of "that wellspring of creativity." Speaking of his early song creations, he stated that they "were magically written." The first time he performed them, he couldn’t read his personal handwriting and ended up have to adlib new lyrics.
In an interview with 60 Minutes Dylan was asked about the writing of his 1964 song "It All Right Ma." "It came out of that wellspring of creativity I would think," Dylan stated, "Try and sit down and write something like that. There’s a magic to that, and it’s not Siegfried and Roy kind of magic. It’s a different penetrating kind of magic. I did it. I did it at one time." He added he doesn’t think he can do that kind of magic anymore. "I don’t know how I got to write those songs…those early songs were like almost magically written."
Asked why he still does the tours, Dylan said, "I don’t take it for granted. It goes back to the destiny thing. I made a bargain with it a long time ago, and I am holding up my end." Asked what the bargain was, Dylan replied, "To get where I am now."
60 Minutes asked with who he made the agreement. Dylan chuckled and said, "With the chief commander in this earth and the Earth we can’t see."
Yelena Eckemoff - Eckemoff spoke about dream inspired music saying, "I often hear music in my sleep. Many times I woke up hearing the tune that I liked, and several times I made myself get up, find a pencil and notepaper and write it down. Some other times I was too sleepy to get up and was trying to memorize the music I heard, but most likely I would not remember in the morning. There are several compositions on my CDs that I borrowed from my dreams. One, in particular, comes to mind. I woke up like at two in the morning hearing some persistent tune, got up and went to my piano room where I remained the rest of the night and wrote the entire piece (it was "Quasi Sonata" from my CD Forget-me-not). Another memorable encounter was when I clearly heard the tune in my dream that I still remembered when I woke up, but I did not have time to write it down in the morning, and then I forgot about it. To my surprise, I dreamed about it again the next night, and the next day, I sat at the piano and played it as if it was already done. This was the tune "Pep" from my latest CD, A Touch Of Radiance."
Kevin Estrella - Estrella is the man behind the Instrumental Rock band Pyramids on Mars. His song "Dream Division" came to him in a dream. American instrumental rock guitarist Joe Satriani was playing the song. "Or at least," said Estrella, "he was playing it though the soundboard already pre-recorded." When he awoke, Estrella realized that Satriani had never played the song. He quickly recorded the song.
Patty Griffin - Grammy award-winning folk singer and 2007 Americana Music Association's "Artist of the Year" award winner Patty Griffin said, "It’s always amazing to me that songs show up (laughs). I’ve practiced writing songs for a long time. I still am practicing writing songs. I’m not really sure how it works. That’s a very good way to put that; it is amazing (laughs)…You know there is something mystifying about it. When I sit down to write, I try to feel what I want to sing. That’s how they show up. When they’re really strong and written quickly…the words and music arrive together. That’s very strange, but that’s how it works."
Harlan Howard - Howard, a country and western singer thought he could not take credit for his hit song "The Blizzard." "The pencil kept on moving, and I didn’t know where it would end. Did some great songwriter in the sky use me as a medium?"
Jimi Hendrix - Hendrix got the idea for his song "Angel" from a dream he had where his mother came down from heaven to take him with her. He recorded the piece on July 23, 1970 - just a few months before his death on September 18, 1970.
Michael Jackson - "The songwriting process is something very difficult to explain because it's very spiritual. It's, uh...You really have it in the hands of God, and it's as if it’s been written already - that's the real truth. As if it’s been written in its entirety before you were born and you're just really the source through which the song come. Really! Because there is...they just fall right into your lap in its entirety. You don't have to do much thinking about it. And I feel guilty having to put my name, sometimes, on the songs that I - I do write them - I compose them, I write them, I do the scoring, I do the lyrics, I do the melodies, but still, it's a... it’s a work of God."
Michael Jackson - "I wake up from dreams and go, "Wow, put this down on paper. The whole thing is strange. You hear the words; everything is right there in front of your face."
Jay Greenburg - The young musical prodigy who had composed five symphonies by age five and had the London Symphony record the fifth stated, "the music just streams into my head at lightning speed, sometimes several symphonies running simultaneously. My unconscious mind directs my conscious mind at a mile a minute."
Billy Joel - Billy Joel got a lot of song ideas in his dreams and often struggled to remember them when he woke up. For his song, "A River of Dreams" however, he woke up with the song in his head but tried NOT to write it down. He explained on The Howard Stern Show in 2010: "I thought, who the hell am I to try to pull off this gospel song, so I took a shower to wash this song away. I sang it in the shower and knew I had to do it."
Bill Joel added, "Many of my songs I dream fully realized. I dream that I am in the control room, listening to something on the speakers, and it is this piece of music that I have not written yet.... This has happened so frequently that I can wake myself up and remember substantial parts. I don’t know whether my subconscious has been working overtime writing these songs without my help and then revealing them to me, or whether they’re transmitted to me by some kind of muse or angel, or whether there is a difference between the two.... They’re lucid to the extent that I realize I’m dreaming and wake myself up to write the song down."
Carole King - King was a prolific singer-songwriter with over 25 solo albums in 50 years. Her highlight album was the 1971 masterpiece Tapestry, which was one of the bestselling records of all time. It outsold The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album and included the iconic "You’ve Got a Friend." Speaking of that song Kind said, "That song was as close to pure inspiration as I’ve ever experienced. The song wrote itself. It was written by something outside of myself through me… It happens from time to time in part. That song is one of the examples of that process where it was almost completely written by inspiration and very little if any perspiration."
Ed King - Saw Solo 1 and Solo 2 in the song "Sweet Home Alabama" in his dream. He recorded note it for note. Producer Al Kooper did not want it in because it was in the wrong cord, but the band members wanted it in saying "he saw the solo in a dream." The whole Southern mysticism thing really kind of fell in, said King, "played in my hands, because I'm not that big into Southern mysticism, you know? I'm from Southern California. But I figured, well, it meant enough to them that I saw it in a dream that it has to be used."
John Lennon - "When the real music comes to me – the music of the spheres, the music that surpasses understanding – That has nothing to do with me because I am just the channel. The only joy for it to be given to me and to transcribe it, like a medium."
John Lennon - 1974 - The song "Dream #9" came in a dream. Lennon stated, "I just sat down and wrote it, you know, with no real inspiration, based on a dream I’d had." Lennon’s one-time girlfriend May Pang said, "This was one of John’s favorite songs because it literally came to him in a dream. He woke up and wrote down those words along with the melody. He had no idea what it meant, but he thought it sounded beautiful. John arranged the strings in such a way that the song really does sound like a dream."
John Lennon - "I felt like a hollow temple filled with many spirits, each one passing through me, each inhabiting me for a little time and then leaving to be replaced by another."
John Lennon - "There was something wrong with me, I thought because I seemed to see things other people didn't see. I thought I was crazy or an egomaniac for claiming to see things other people didn't see. As a child, I would say, ‘But this is going on!’ and everybody would look at me as if I was crazy. I always was so psychic or intuitive or poetic or whatever you want to call it, that I was always seeing things in a hallucinatory way."
"It was scary as a child because there was nobody to relate to. Neither my auntie nor my friends nor anybody could ever see what I did. It was very, very scary and the only contact I had was reading about an Oscar Wilde or a Dylan Thomas or a Vincent van Gogh -- all those books that my auntie had that talked about their suffering because of their visions. Because of what they saw, they were tortured by society for trying to express what they were. I saw loneliness…Surrealism had a great effect on me because then I realized that my imagery and my mind wasn't insanity; that if it was insane, I belong to an exclusive club that sees the world in those terms. Surrealism to me is a reality. Psychic vision to me is a reality. Even as a child, when I looked at myself in the mirror or when I was 12, 13, I used to literally trance out into alpha. I didn't know what it was called then. I found out years later there is a name for those conditions. But I would find myself seeing hallucinatory images of my face changing and becoming cosmic and complete. It caused me to always be a rebel. This thing gave me a chip on the shoulder; but, on the other hand, I wanted to be loved and accepted. Part of me would like to be accepted by all facets of society and not be this loudmouthed lunatic musician, but I cannot be what I am not."
Ray Manzarek - Manzarek is a founding member and keyboardist of The Doors from 1965 to 1973. He stated, "when the Siberian shaman gets ready to go into his trance, all the villagers get together... and play whatever instruments they have to send him off [into trance and possession].... It was the same way with The Doors when we played in concert.... I think that our drug experience lets us get into it... [the trance state] quicker....It was like Jim [Morrison] was an electric shaman, and we were the electric shaman’s band, pounding away behind him... pounding and pounding, and little by little it would take him over....Sometimes he was just incredible. Just amazing. And the audience felt it, too!"
Paul McCartney - McCartney wrote about the writing of his 1984 song "No Values." I dreamt this song. I dreamt that I was with The Rolling Stones. They were all there, Mick; Bill, Charlie, Keith. Mick was up front. I woke up and said to myself, 'I really like that song that they do.' Then I thought, 'Hey, wait a minute, there is no Rolling Stones song called No Value. They don't do that song.' My brain just created it. So I thought, 'Well, there it is. I've got this new song called "No Values." But I won't be telling Mick; he'll probably claim the copyright."
Paul McCartney - 1965 - The song "Yesterday" came in a dream. The song has the most cover versions of any song ever written and, according to record label BMI. Artists performed it over seven million times in the 20th century. McCartney stated, ""I woke up with a lovely tune in my head. I thought, 'That's great, I wonder what that is?' There was an upright piano next to me, to the right of the bed by the window. I got out of bed, sat at the piano, found G, found F sharp minor 7th -- and that leads you through then to B to E minor, and finally back to E. It all leads forward logically. I liked the melody a lot, but because I'd dreamed it, I couldn't believe I'd written it. I thought, 'No, I've never written anything like this before.' But I had the tune, which was the most magic thing!"
Paul McCartney - In 1969 as McCartney had a serious personal situation trying to keep the Beatles together he was visited by his mother, Mary, who had died in 1956 from cancer when McCartney was 14. Her words are comforting him "to let it be" became the song by the same name. McCartney recalled the dream, "One night during this tense time I had a dream I saw my mom, who'd been deceased ten years or so. And it was so great to see her because that's a wonderful thing about dreams: you actually are reunited with that person for a second; there they are, and you appear to both be physically together again. It was so wonderful for me, and she was very reassuring. In the dream, she said, 'It'll be all right.' I'm not sure if she used the words 'Let it be' but that was the gist of her advice, it was, 'Don't worry too much, it will turn out OK.' It was such a sweet dream I woke up thinking, Oh, it was really great to visit with her again. I felt very blessed to have that dream. So that got me writing the song "Let It Be." I literally started off 'Mother Mary', which was her name, 'When I find myself in times of trouble', which I certainly found myself in. The song was based on that dream."
Joni Mitchell - Mitchell was a folk-jazz artist described in one biography as having her own muse: "Joni Mitchell's own strongest creative impulses come to her in a somewhat unusual way. She deeply believes in a male muse named Art who lends her his key to what she airily calls the 'Shrine of Creativity.' I feel like I'm married to this guy named Art, I'm responsible to my Art above all else." In 1974, Joni Mitchell told the press of a male spirit who helps her write music. "Joni Mitchell credits her creative powers to a ‘male muse’ she identifies as Art. He has taken so much control of not only her music, but her life, that she feels married to him, and often roams naked with him on her 40-acre estate. His hold over her is so strong that she will excuse herself from parties and forsake lovers whenever he ‘calls."
Alanis Morissette - "A lot of the songs were written in 15-30 minutes, very stream-of-consciousness, as though it was being channeled through us."
Yoko Ono - Ono said, "I am sure there are people whose lives were affected because they heard Indian music or Mozart or Bach. More than anything, it was the time and the place when the Beatles came up. Something did happen there. It was a kind of chemical. It was as if several people gathered around a table and a ghost appeared. It was that kind of communication. So they were like mediums, in a way. It's not something you can force. It was the people, the time, their youth and enthusiasm… The Beatles themselves were a social phenomenon, not that aware of what they were doing. In a way - - - As I said, they were like mediums. They weren't conscious of all they were saying, but it was coming through them.
Jimmy Page - ‘I spent all my time listening to these records and trying to learn them, and I think it was almost like this force came out and grabbed me, and I just got pulled right into it. Playing the guitar was obviously what I was meant to do in life."
Carl Perkins - Perkins is the man who wrote the lyrics to Elvis Presley’s song Blue Suede Shoes came to songwriter Carl Perkins in a dream. In an interview with Gadfly Online Perkins stated, "I was playing at a place called the Roadside Inn. I heard this boy tell the girl he was dancing with ‘Watch out, don’t step on mah suedes’ and I looked down at his feet, and he had on this pair of blue suede shoes. It kinda stuck to me." The incident stayed on his mind all night, and when he woke up in the morning, he immediately began writing down the lyrics on an old brown paper potato sack, the only piece of paper he had around the house.
Mike Pinder - Pinder was the lead singer for the Moody Blues. In the early days of the band, Pinder spoke about the source of many of the bands lyrics; "Lyrics were placed into the public domain from somewhere else."
Reg Presley - The lead singer for The Troggs was watching a TV show featuring the Joy Strings Army band in England. Even though he was not religious, he was overcome with emotion, and the words and tune to Love is All Around started to flow into his head. He produced the song and in the days when the Beatles ruled the British music scene Love is All Around sat in the number one spot for 15 weeks. Decades later it was the theme song to the movie Three Weddings and a Funeral when it returned to the top of the charts.
Mike Reno - Loverboy lead singer talked about the writing of the song All I Ever Needed that came to him in a dream complete with music and lyrics. At the time, he was working with David Foster.
He asked me to come down to do the backing tracks for his solo album. And while we were there, he asked me to come over early one day and see if we couldn't write a song and that night I had a dream. I dreamt all the lyrics, and I woke up and wrote them down and I hummed into my tape recorder the melody. And I went over, and he said, "Do you have any idea what we can do?" and I started him off on this thing. And he started playing it, and it developed in about an hour into that song.
Johnny Rzeznick - Rzeznick of the Goo Goo Dolls told Katie Couric back when she was with the TODAY Show on NBC that the lyrics to the song "Better Days" came to him while he was at his house and that they seemed to "fall out the sky."
Richard Rodgers - "It took about as long to compose it as to play it." (said about "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning," the opening song in "Oklahoma!")
Todd Rundgren - Rundgren became associated with bands such as Nazz, Utopia, The New Cars, Meat Loaf, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Edgar Winter, Mark Klingman, Daryl Hall, Hello People, Tame Impala, The Tubes, Grand Funk Railroad, and The Band. Rundgren spoke about how "Bang the Drum All Day," a song featured in many sports arenas, commercials, and movie trailers, was downloaded in a dream.
When I started immersing myself in a suit of musical and conceptual ideas, I began actually to dream fully completed songs. They may be completely unrelated to everything else I'm doing. It isn't necessary during the recording process. Bang the Drum was something that just popped into my head one night I don't know how that song I dreamed I was called Bang the Drum all Day, but the musical part of it was fairly complete. The title lyrics must have been in there too. Songs like that I can't deny them. In other words, I have to finish them, & I have to put them on the record, even if they don't sound like they belong to me. If a song comes to you completely realized that it's really your muse at work if it comes you completely realize that, and you don't know what it's about, and you have to figure it out you think, where did that come from? Well, it came from inside me somewhere. So there must be something in me, yet another thing that I have to uncover and examined in order to fully understand myself
Stereophonics - Stereophonics lead singer Kelly Jones reported the song "I won’t believe Your Radio" came in a dream where Ringo Starr and George Harrison were sitting on a curb singing the song to him.
Mike Scott - Scott from the Waterboys stated, ""I was six or seven when I noticed the music in my head. It was there in the classroom, on the football pitch, at the dinner table, when I went to sleep and when I woke up. And it's continued ever since."
Ringo Starr - Starr spoke about the making the album Rain. "I feel as though that was someone else playing. I was possessed!"
Rolling Stones - Keith Richards - On May 6, 1965, Clearwater, Florida while on their first US tour. According to a St. Petersburg Times article, about 200 young fans got into an altercation with a line of police officers at the show, and The Stones made it through just four songs as chaos ensued. That night, Keith Richards woke up in his hotel room with the guitar riff and lyric "Can't get no satisfaction" in his head. He recorded it on a portable tape deck, went back to sleep, and brought it to the studio that week. The tape contained his guitar riff followed by the sounds of him snoring.
Rolling Stones - Keith Richards - "We receive our songs like inspiration, like at a séance. People say they write songs but in a way you are more the medium. I feel that all the songs are floating around, and it is just a matter of being like an antennae, of whatever you pick up. So many uncanny things have happened to us. A whole new song appears from nowhere in five minutes, the whole structure and you haven't worked at all."
Michael Stripe - R.E.M. - Some of the lyrics to "It’s The End Of The World As We Know It" came to R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe in a dream. In 1992 he revealed to Q Magazine that "The words come from everywhere. I’m extremely aware of everything around me, whether I am in a sleeping state, awake, dream-state or just in day to day life. There’s a part in "It’s The End Of The World As We Know It" that came from a dream where I was at Lester Bangs’ birthday party, and I was the only person there whose initials weren’t L.B. So there was Lenny Bruce, Leonid Brezhnev, Leonard Bernstein… So that ended up in the song along with a lot of stuff I’d seen when I was flipping TV channels. It’s a collection of streams of consciousness."
Marc Storace - vocalist with heavy metal band Krokus - "You can’t describe it [playing rock music] except to say it’s like a mysterious energy that comes from the metaphysical plane and into my body. It’s almost like being a medium...."
Pete Townshend - Townshend from the band The Who heard music in his head as a child. He wrote,
"The tide was high, and it wasn’t safe to row, so the men fitted an ancient outboard motor to the stern and fired it up. As we swept past the Old Boathouse at Isleworth once again, I began to hear the most extraordinary music, sparked by the whine of the outboard motor and the burbling sound of the water against the hull. I heard violins, cellos, horns, harps and voices, which increased in number until I could hear countless threads of an angelic choir; it was a sublime experience. I have never heard such music since, and my personal musical ambition has always been to rediscover that sound and relive its effect on me."
Townshend would later write an Internet novella called The Boy Who Heard Music which became a rock opera that would fictionalize his story.
The story takes place in 2035 and Townshend is now an older musician named Ray High, who is in a mental institution looking back on his life. It covers a period in the life of three children as they grow up to form a band based on the concepts of High.
High is the narrator of the story living in an alternate plane of existence called "In the Ether." The three young children have various gifts. There is Gabriel, who "could hear music," Josh, who "could hear voices," and Leila, who "could fly." The three live in the same neighborhood but are of different religious faiths: Gabriel is Christian, Josh is Jewish, and Leila is Muslim.
It was in The Boy Who Heard Music novella that Gabriel described the music he had experienced as a child, "Not like the music I heard in church. I heard it in the air, between the stars and the trees. It was sometimes like singing, sometimes like grand orchestras playing Beethoven’s symphonies. It was always very beautiful. There is a difference between the inspired composer and the skilled orchestrator. A good orchestrator can sit with sheets of manuscript and, as the arrangement develops, can read the notes and actually hear a phantom orchestra in his head. But an inspired composer hears music in his mind so complex, so diverting, that any attempt to write it down seems facile. What this kind of visitation produces in the subject is a desire to rediscover what has been heard before."
Tom Waits - American singer and songwriter who composed for Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, and Rod Stewart told author Elizabeth Gilbert of one instance of inspiration.
But then he got older, he got calmer, and one day he was driving down the freeway in Los Angeles he told me, and this is when it all changed for him. And he's speeding along, and all of a sudden he hears this little fragment of melody, that comes into his head as inspiration often comes, elusive and tantalizing, and he wants it, you know, it's gorgeous, and he longs for it, but he has no way to get it. He doesn't have a piece of paper, he doesn't have a pencil, he doesn't have a tape recorder.
So he starts to feel all of that old anxiety start to rise in him like, "I'm going to lose this thing, and then I'm going to be haunted by this song forever. I'm not good enough, and I can't do it." And instead of panicking, he just stopped. He just stopped that whole mental process, and he did something completely novel. He just looked up at the sky, and he said, "Excuse me, can you not see that I'm driving? Do I look like I can write down a song right now? If you really want to exist, come back at a more opportune moment when I can take care of you. Otherwise, go bother somebody else today. Go bother Leonard Cohen."
Ryan Wang - 5-year-old piano prodigy who played Carnegie Hall when asked how he remembered all the music he plays after only 18 months of playing, "It’s just in my memory. I love it, and sometimes it just goes through my fingers."
Bill Ward - Ward of Black Sabbath - "I’ve always considered that there was some way where we were able to channel energy and that energy was able to be, from another source, if you like, like a higher power or something, that was actually doing the work. I’ve often thought of us just being actually just the earthly beings that played the music because it was uncanny. Some of this music came out extremely uncanny."
Hank Williams - "If a song can’t be written in 20 minutes, it ain’t worth writing."
Gary Wright - Wright, himself, once claimed that the music and lyrics for his signature 1976 hit Dream Weaver seemed to flow out of him "as if written by an unseen source." Wright wrote the song in one hour, and it made it to #2 on the Bill Boards chart. The song featured only keyboards, drums, bass and a soaring synthesizer. Best lyric: "Fly me high through the starry skies; maybe to an astral plane; across the highways of fantasy; help me forget today’s pain." Wright described the song as 'it was a kind of fantasy experience... a Dream Weaver train taking you through the cosmos."
Angus Young - Young was the guitarist for the band AC/DC. He said, "It’s like I’m on automatic pilot. By the time, we’re halfway through the first number someone else is steering me. I’m just along for the ride. I become possessed when I get on stage."
Led Zeppelin - No one in the band knows where the song "Stairway to Heaven" originated. Robert Plant stated ‘Pagey had written the chords and played it for me. I was holding the paper and pencil, and for some reason, I was in a very bad mood. Then all of a sudden my hand was writing our words. I just sat and looked at the words, and then I just about leaped out of my seat."