Most rock stars are very good at one thing, and no disrespect to that. But I would have been bored in five minutes if that was all it had been about.
I was working in Italy on an American air base, and I got very friendly with a lot of the black guys there. And that was when I first heard Charles Mingus. I immediately realised that that was what I wanted to be: a bass player who composed. I knew that I wanted to write, but I hadn't put the two things together. As soon as I heard him, that was it.