Harry Nilsson Quotes

The following is a collection of quotes from (or about) Harry Nilsson.

Harry Nilsson on Performing Live
Performing is another occupation. Sometimes it is inviting. I like the idea of spontaneity. But you can't change anything in a concert. I may leave my socks on the floor but I'm something of a perfectionist. I can stop the tape in the studio. If I went on stage and things didn't work out I'd probably say let's do it another time and walk off.

-- Harry Nilsson (1972) [1]



  • [1] "Pop Pagliacci" Newsweek (1972-01-10) (Volume: 79 Issue: 5)
Harry Nilsson on John Lennon
The most important thing I learned from him was to follow through, to finish what you start. If you say you’re going to send someone a postcard, send a postcard. He always followed through.

-- Harry Nilsson (1980)[1]


We were good friends. We were roommates twice, once in New York and once in L.A. But all those stories you hear, they were a little blown out of proportion.

-- Harry Nilsson (1981)[2]


  • [1] "Harry Nilsson's Remembrance" Songwriter (1981-01)
  • [2] Los Angeles Times, Steve Pond (1981-11-27) "Nilsson Battles Handguns"
Harry Nilsson on Songwriting
I'm not a musician. I manage to write music using the guitar and piano to get chord structures that I put on tape. Someone who knows how transcribes them. That's how it works.

-- Harry Nilsson (1969)[1]

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