Audiences - they like colour, you know. I can go out there wearing a red suit, man, and they'll say I'm out of sight ... I think they should be educated; you should always drop something on an audience ... When you get in front of an audience, you should try to give 'em something. After all, they're there looking at you like this. You can't go out and give 'em nothing.
See, if you put a musician in a place where he has to do something different from what he does all the time, then he can do that - but he's got to think differently in order to do it. He's got to play above what he knows - far above it. I've always told the musicians in my band to play what they know and then play above that. Because then anything can happen, and that's where great art and music happens.
I used to enjoy all the white bands when I was a kid listening to the radio. But the record companies, they take music and label it - like, they say "rock". Because the white singers can't sound like James Brown, they call him "soul". They've been doing that for years. That's the prejudice crap.
Sometimes [playing free] doesn't happen, because maybe a guy's wife'll come in, you know, and his ego will catch him. If everybody's completely just straight-without any old ladies over here, a fourth of whisky over there; if it's balanced right, it'll come off. It has to be. But when you get egos involved with playing free, you can't do it.