65 Immortal Brian Eno Quotes for His 65th Birthday

Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno turns 65 today. He’s been one of the most erudite, intelligent, fascinating (and quietly, delightfully batshit crazy) people in the music industry for the best part of 45 years, and so to celebrate his birthday, we thought we’d do what we’ve done for John Waters and Michael Caine, and round up the most illuminating, interesting and occasionally bewildering things he’s said over the years. Enjoy the collected wisdom of the great man after the jump!



“Rationality is what we do to organize the world, to make it possible to predict. Art is the rehearsal for the inapplicability and failure of that process.” [via]

“I’ve always thought that art is a lie, an interesting lie. And I’ll sort of listen to the ‘lie’ and try to imagine the world which makes that lie true… what that world must be like, and what would have to happen for us to get from this world to that one.” [via]

“I started my life as a painter… I didn’t leave the experience of painting, which was probably always my biggest inspiration, I was more interested in painting, I suppose, than music. Gradually, I started making a kind of music that was more and more like painting.” [via]

“The idea is to produce things that are as strange and mysterious to you as the first music you ever heard.” [via]

“If you say that meaning and value — they’re rather similar terms in the way I’m using them — are generated by a process, then you can also say, that process can stop. For instance, Duchamp’s urinal, the famous piece, I’m sure was a very important work of art in 1914, and it is now not: this is my opinion. It has only a historical position in the chain of how things came into being. It doesn’t live now.” [via]

“This is my problem with Tracey Emin: who fucking cares?” [via]


“My definition of culture, which I’ve used for quite a few years now, is culture is everything you don’t have to do. So, you have to wear clothes, … but you don’t have to wear these particular clothes.” [via]