Issue #174 / November 2021
Is it important to have friends?
FRED, BERLIN, GERMANY
How do you describe friendship? How important is friendship for your creativity?
OZDEN, ESKISEHIR, TURKEY
What a wonderfully emotional and intense performance at the Brighton Dome. Love and joy radiated every time you interacted with Warren, so I’d like to ask, what qualities do you look for in a friend, are your friends similar or a mixed bag and does the very special, often enduring love that friendship can bring influence your songwriting?
JO, BRIGHTON, UK
Dear Fred, Ozden and Jo,
There seems to me to be three levels of friendship.
First there is the friend who you go out and eat with, or get pissed with, who you go with to the cinema or a gig — you know, have a shared experience with.
The second kind of friend is one who you can ask a favour of, who will look after you in a jam, will lend you money, or drive you to the hospital in the middle of the night, someone who has your back — that kind of friend.
The third level of friendship is one where your friend brings out the best in you, who amplifies the righteous aspects of your nature, who loves you enough to be honest with you, who challenges you, and who makes you a better person.
None of these levels are mutually exclusive and sometimes you find someone who fulfils all of these categories. If you find a friend like that, hang on to him or her. They are rare.
Warren is such a friend. The reason why we have had such a long and productive artistic collaboration is because these three levels of friendship are firmly in place; we understand the nature of friendship and we look after the friendship itself.
When Warren and I are playing music together, we do not have to deal with the problems of an unstable relationship, or questions of status, or struggles for power. We are friends, pure and simple, and we just get on with the work at hand — two people creating something greater than the sum of its parts — the fruits of the collaboration emerging directly from the friendship itself.