I don't know, man, but I've listened to a lot of music, and I reckon that
my records are definitely better, more stimulating, and more carefully
constructed than any others. I've studied the melodies and lyrical forms
of many artists, but no-one else quite seems to sustain the burning
intensity of my own work.
* * *
(Roy is) one of those people who never want to compromise anything.
He often takes things a lot further than I personally would, in the way
he performs, but I like it. I like and admire the way he does things: his
courage, getting up there and doing it that way... his honesty and openness
in the way he puts over his own life on stage. I think he's very much more
talented than a lot of people who've been more successful than he has;
maybe because people are frightened of that sort of thing he does and the
kind of honesty he puts over. I think it scares a lot of people off.
(David Gilmour, An Introduction To Roy Harper, Chrysalis Records, 1976)
* * *
I think he is a very English poet. I mean, I think Roy is a poet,
I really do. And for me, Roy is one of the greatest English
songwriters we've had, and people just don't realise it. And I really think
that when they do we're going to have another top songwriter up there.
(Kate Bush, BBC Radio interview by Paul Gambaccini, 30th/31st December 1980)
* * *
Roy Harper is a terrific songwriter, a bit crazy like all the best
people. The great problem for him was seeing all these people who'd nicked
his licks doing so much better than he did. People like Jethro Tull,
Led Zeppelin, to some extent Roger Waters.
(Peter Jenner, unknown interview, 1988)
* * *
Just before I moved to London, this beatnik character up in Blackpool called Jeff the Cake told me, "Look out for Roy Harper. I used to hang around with him, and he's down in London now being a folk singer." So when I did stumble across Roy Harper the following summer, I went and got his record. I was in a bedsit and it was my only record. I had bought my first record player - it was mono but you could buy this add-on bit to make it stereo. I couldn't afford that, so I connected the first bit to a Vox AC30, and played Roy Harper's record until bedtime.
Harper's style forms a lot of my personal influence as a guitar player and to some extent as a song writer. I eventually met him in a very crowded van where he and John Peel and the early Jethro Tull found ourselves doing folk clubs and university gigs together. I always rather envied him. He played the same circuit as us but I was in a band with amplifiers and equipment and roadies and things and I just loved the idea that this guy arrived hitchhiking, or on the train, with his guitar case, and no money and no nothing and played a gig - and the next night he was there again, and you though, This is wonderful.
(Ian Anderson, Q Magazine, 1995)
* * *
Isn't he an English ... er ... Yeah, years ago, I heard his records and
I liked them.
(Bob Dylan, interview by Karen Hughes 1st April 1978, published in Rock Express No. 4, 1978)
* * *
John Peel's (1939-2004) radio commentary from 1977 on Roy's songs played on March 1974 session:
2010-10-27 20:44:34 UTC - GNU/Linux (i686)