Erica K. Cardozo
October 06, 1995 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Can a hodgepodge of utterances made by various rock & rollers embody the genre’s 50-year history? Nah. But it can tell us quite a bit about the egos and IQs of those involved. The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Quote Book (St. Martin’s Griffin), edited by Merrit Malloy, gathers hundreds of remarks by everyone from Ringo to Axl. Below, some revealing entries.

”I think Mick Jagger would be astounded and amazed if he realized to many people he is not a sex symbol, but a mother image.” — David Bowie

”…It’s really hard to maintain a one-on-one relationship if the other person is not going to allow me to be with other people.” — Axl Rose

”I could never get along in a band with a posturing, posing lead singer.” — Keith Richards, on Led Zeppelin

”There’s three of us in the band so we split everything straight down the middle.” — Mitch Mitchell, the Jimi Hendrix Experience

”I like Beethoven, especially the poems.” — Ringo Starr

”Cosmetics is a boon to every woman, but a girl’s best friend is still a nearsighted man.” — Yoko Ono

”The band’s name means the act of dying, but, like, really me-ga!” — Dave Mustaine, Megadeth

”I’m not really a good singer. But most people aren’t either.” — Robyn Hitchcock

”The biggest misconception people have about me is that I’m stupid.” — Billy Idol

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