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Sonny Liston is nothing. The man can't talk. The man can't fight. The man needs talking lessons. The man needs boxing lessons. And since he's gonna fight me, he needs falling lessons.
I remember hearing Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Big Bill Broonzy, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley and not really knowing anything about the geography or the culture of the music. But for some reason it did something to me - it resonated.
Sonny Liston stood up to me and actually made me give ground. No one has ever done that to me before or since.
My hero when I was 14 was Sonny Liston. No matter what kinds of problems you were having with your parents or at school, whatever, Sonny Liston would go and knock guys out, and that made it all right.
I've never really been serious about my villainy. I don't have a master plan. I suppose my philosophy is: Every villain has a mother. For every cold-blooded killer on your screen, there's a little old lady somewhere who calls him 'sonny.'
Our repertoire consisted of rhythm and blues, sort of country rhythm and blues, Sonny Terry things.
My little boy Sonny makes me laugh all the time. He has good comedic timing.
Grover Washington was my main influence, and when I went to college, I started listening to more of the jazz masters like Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, and John Coltrane.
Sonny and another Hells Angel who was at the meeting thought they were beyond a little patch so they headed down to a local tattoo shop in Oakland and were the first to get the famous One Percent tattoos.
I got Sonny up to Harlem, and we started street playin' in New York. We did that for three or four years and survived. We brought it back to the streets again.
The best compliment came from Knopf's Sonny Mehta. We were at lunch in New York with my editor, Gary Fisketjon, it was my first time meeting Sonny, and after ordering our food, he turned to me and said, 'Adam, I read 'Mr. Peanut' in two days; every page surprised me, and that, I can assure you, doesn't happen often.'
Tuppence was what my grandmother nicknamed my mother, so she gave it to me. My sister is called Angel, and my brother was going to be called Bubba or Sonny, until they let me and my sister name him Josh.
If I said I would knock out Sonny Liston in 1 minute and 49 seconds of the first round, that would hurt the gate.
Well, Grover Washington was my main influence and when I went to college, I started listening to more of the jazz masters like Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, and John Coltrane.
I met Sonny after (Blind Boy) Fuller died, and me and Sonny played in the streets like everybody else.
They used to say it was bad for Indians to drink, but it's bad for anybody. When they drink they lose their cool, a lot of us. Like when we played with Sonny Boy, I would never get paid, you know. He would drink up all the money.
From then on in, me and Sonny started makin' records. My first records, Sonny was backin' me up. Sonny wasn't singin' natural at the time; he was singin' falsetto.
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