Top 72 Chris Rea Quotes

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“The voice has been my joker card that sometimes has played like an ace and sometimes a joker. When you sing the way I sing, it’s impossible to get people to talk about anything else.”

― Chris Rea

“I have found out who are my real friends, thanks to the illness and hospitals.”

― Chris Rea

“I didn’t start until I was 21, and most people I know were 13 when they had their first guitar – I missed that time where you sit in your bedroom all day for years and accidentally you’re doing classical training, although you’re not thinking of it that way. It’s not as easy, as you get older, to do all that kind of practice.”

― Chris Rea

“I actually, truly do love my family. It’s not a public relations exercise.”

― Chris Rea

“To say that losing your pancreas is a sad thing is not an overstatement. They had to take my pancreas away, my duodenum, and it’s damaged for ever.”

― Chris Rea

“My daughter is 15. None of her friends know who the hell Chris Rea is, but they know that song – as soon as it comes on, they start singing it. I’ve played with everyone from Status Quo to Talk Talk, but nothing impresses them as much as the fact that I play on ‘Driving Home for Christmas.’”

― Chris Rea

“Ferraris are lovely cars, but I just don’t want to be seen in them.”

― Chris Rea

“Music is a saviour for me.”

― Chris Rea

“I bought a Hofner guitar and amplifier for 32 guineas, then spent ages trying to make a bottleneck. At that point, I was meant to be developing my father’s ice-cream cafe into a global concern, but I spent all my time in the stockroom playing slide guitar.”

― Chris Rea

“I do have this big weakness: I over-cooperate with people. People say it’s because I’m Irish-Italian from Middlesbrough, and me dad was always like that, y’know – ‘Get the job done.’”

― Chris Rea

“If the heads of all the music companies had known about music and about Chris Rea fans, they wouldn’t have worried about ‘Stony Road.’ My regular fans have always known that side of me.”

― Chris Rea

“That’s why I’ve never made a live album – I can’t bear listening to myself!”

― Chris Rea

“I was born in the overdub years. I wish there wasn’t such a thing as a multitrack tape player, because what you heard would be the record.”

― Chris Rea

“I didn’t have any aspirations to be famous at all.”

― Chris Rea

“It’s impossible for a couple to bring up two children without having lots and lots of arguments.”

― Chris Rea

“Charley Patton is the original inspiration. I didn’t play anything when I was a kid. Then, when I was 20, I went into my mam’s bedroom because she had a double mirror, and I wanted to see what the back of my hair was doing. She had an alarm-clock radio, and it came on with this old guy moaning and hollering, playing this strange guitar.”

― Chris Rea

“My heroes were gospel blues players like Blind Willie Johnson, Charley Patton, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, not whoever was number one.”

― Chris Rea

“When I came down south and was put together with big producers, I always thought that they knew best. I never thought for a minute that they might have another agenda.”

― Chris Rea

“You do some crazy things when you’re young.”

― Chris Rea

“I’d never intended to write a Christmas hit – I was a serious musician!”

― Chris Rea

“If I’m ever stuck on the M25 – the ‘Road to Hell’ – I’ll wind the window down and start singing, ‘I’m driving home for Christmas’ at people in cars alongside. They love it. It’s like giving them a present.”

― Chris Rea

“Rock n’ roll was my art school. For many people from working-class backgrounds, rock wasn’t a chosen thing, it was the only thing: the only avenue of creativity available for them.”

― Chris Rea

“When I was young, I wanted, most of all, to be a writer of films and film music. But Middlesbrough in 1968 wasn’t the place to be if you wanted to do movie scores.”

― Chris Rea

“I am in that unique little club where I went into music because I love music, not because I wanted to be rich and famous.”

― Chris Rea

“I’ve had nine major operations in ten years. A lot of it is to do with something called retroperitoneal fibrosis, where the internal tissues attack each other.”

― Chris Rea

“I made a lot of money, but you can dangerously let it lead you on. It depends what company you keep.”

― Chris Rea

“When ‘The Road To Hell’ happened, I didn’t know what I was doing. Your diary fills up, and you have no objectivity. At home, you’re trying your best to fit in. Sometimes I’d race from Heathrow to find myself sitting in a village hall watching my kids. It felt really weird. I didn’t enjoy it.”

― Chris Rea

“My ambition, a long time ago, was to be a film music writer. A compromise then was to be the guy who wrote songs for a band and played slide guitar. Then the singer didn’t turn up for an audition, and I was the only one who knew the words. That was it – bingo! Life took a different course.”

― Chris Rea

“I’m never happy with anything I’ve done! If you sat me down and played everything I’ve ever recorded, I’d just sit there going, ‘No… that could be better.’”

― Chris Rea

“Eric Clapton’s scales – when he comes off a high note and it’s time for a refrain or a little bit of a rest, he peals off scales going downwards that are so good it’s unbelievable.”

― Chris Rea

“I’d become a corporate rock musician. I worked for ‘Chris Rea.’ He felt like another person. I even talked about him in the third person.”

― Chris Rea

“In a funny way, the illness spurred me on. I thought to myself, ‘I’ve got to get through this operation to make a blues album.’”

― Chris Rea

“The operation left me very emotional. I cry a lot anyway. I’ve always been the type to feel hurt easily, but now I hit rock bottom.”

― Chris Rea

“I think I’ve lost that ability to slow things down – that ability drivers have to calculate what’s coming by you at tremendous speed. I used to have it.”

― Chris Rea

“I played a gig at the Montreax Jazz Festival once – and on a song called ‘It’s All Gone,’ I had to do free-form slide solo. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done – because I wasn’t thinking about it.”

― Chris Rea

“You can’t have F1 without Ferrari – you just can’t have it. It’s part of the theme that is the red car, and a lot of it is to do with the colour.”

― Chris Rea

“I’ve given up my Ferrari – the idea of going through my village in a 488… You can’t drive them on English roads.”

― Chris Rea

“Nothing was ever clean enough for my father. You could never clean as good as he could; you could never clean as fast and as thorough as he could.”

― Chris Rea

“My father used to control the wholesale of many ice-cream items in Middlesbrough. He was central distributor for most of the region.”

― Chris Rea

“I remember my first day at grammar school, being the only person who was me. Everybody else was like everybody else, and there I was, tanned, in a freezing cold playground in the middle of Middlesbrough, wondering what on earth I was doing there.”

― Chris Rea

“Dad was a distant figure, autonomous, a cross between the Pope and Mussolini. He was very Italian, as were all of my uncles, although they were second generation.”

― Chris Rea

“I’m lucky to be alive. I’m one of only 40 people who have survived the surgery I had, and when you’ve been that close to dying, you re-evaluate what’s really important to you – and it’s nothing to do with fame and money.”

― Chris Rea

“None of my heroes were big rock stars, and I thought, ‘This isn’t how it’s meant to be.’ It wasn’t about making music so much as selling it.”

― Chris Rea

“Touring is easy. My wife will be with me a lot of the time. We get spoilt rotten, and all I have to do is go on stage in wonderful places and play music.”

― Chris Rea

“Being on the road isn’t hell – it’s pure pleasure now.”

― Chris Rea

“I spend as much time as I can in my garden, and if I’m not writing songs or gardening, I’m painting.”

― Chris Rea

“Back in 1997, I got to race a Ferrari at the famous Monza circuit in Italy – a dream come true.”

― Chris Rea

“My father’s family were Italian ice cream men, and the knowledge was passed on, so I ran an ice cream van while I was dating my wife.”

― Chris Rea

“As soon as I paid the mortgage off in 1988, I started racing cars.”

― Chris Rea

“The Italian side of my family were gypsies, and we are little hard so-and-sos.”

― Chris Rea

“Five times a week, I do two hours running and gym work. That’s to help with things like blood circulation. Also, it is good to be in shape in case I need to go into hospital again.”

― Chris Rea

“I will be happy if I am 60 because I was not supposed to be 60.”

― Chris Rea

“Rather than missing home when I’m on tour, I miss tour when I’m at home.”

― Chris Rea

“’Fool If You Think It’s Over’ is still the only song I’ve ever not played guitar on, but it just so happened to be my first single, and it just so happened to be a massive hit. It was in the U.S. Top 10 for seven weeks.”

― Chris Rea

“I feel I’ve had three careers in one, really. There was the ‘Benny Santini’ stuff; that came with a general sense of, ‘Who the hell is he?’ And then there was ‘The Road To Hell’ stuff, and now there’s the blues stuff.”

― Chris Rea

“I read an article about 60 being the new 30 the other week, and I think it’s very true. Our generation has not done what previous generations did and just got old and sat in a corner.”

― Chris Rea

“The record companies didn’t want ‘Stony Road,’ and it ended up being a gold album. They didn’t want ‘Blue Guitars,’ and we did 165,000 books.”

― Chris Rea

“I never had a desire to be famous.”

― Chris Rea

“I live halfway between London and the airport, which means I can operate my European career and get home every night. It costs a lot of money, but it’s worth it.”

― Chris Rea

“After I got back my career and my artistic freedom in 1982, my golden rule is the music must never suffer.”

― Chris Rea

“’Course, ‘Santini’ bombed in England, y’know. It came out at the height of the New Wave, which couldn’t have been a worse time for a solo singer trying to sell rock melodies.”

― Chris Rea

“I had to put me foot down with the first record company. It was about 1975, when singers were being given names like Gary Glitter and Alvin Stardust, so they wanted to call me Benny Santini just because me dad’s an Irish-Italian with an ice-cream business!”

― Chris Rea

“My family is the No. 1 priority. Next is the motor-racing season.”

― Chris Rea

“I think all the business stuff – the promotion, the hype, the high-power lunches, and the permanently injected smiles – is boring.”

― Chris Rea

“I’ve always felt that if people just came to one of my gigs, all would be revealed.”

― Chris Rea

“I never got the chance to put drums on ‘Watersigns,’ because the company was in a rush to release it – and me.”

― Chris Rea

“It’s bleak behind the Iron Curtain, although they do have the strongest vodka I’ve ever had in my life.”

― Chris Rea

“I love being on tour. That’s the best job in the world, if only I had a different body.”

― Chris Rea

“That is the music that I have always wanted to play: real, genuine guitar music.”

― Chris Rea

“The thing that frustrated me is that some people think success is all measured by money.”

― Chris Rea

“The first time I arrived in Hollywood for the Grammy Awards, I thought I’d bump into people who mattered, such as Ry Cooder or Randy Newman. I was disappointed to see the people I’d always thought of as pop stars. They would charge around the stage rather than enjoy the music.”

― Chris Rea

“Once I faced the fact I was going to deal with illness for the rest of my life, I got on with what I really wanted to do.”

― Chris Rea
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