Text from Interview with the Dolphys


Me: Do you have any idea what advice he would give to people?

Sadie: I think he would tell them to practice, because that's all he did. He would get up in the morning before he went to school, say about 4:30 or 5, he practiced until it was almost time to get his breakfast and leave for school. And he'd hurry home to start practicing again, until late in the evening, and we would tell him, you know. And he [meaning Eric Sr.] had a little studio built outside for him. So, afterwards, where he could be out there without....

Me: Did he mostly just practice scales and exercises?

Sadie: Yes, and tone quality. He would blow one note for all day long.

Eric: I've seen him blow one note on the saxophone for WEEKS at a time. And I'd be out in the yard working, and I'd go in and say "There is no more key on that saxophone but that one?" And he'd play it, then he'd put it on his tape recorder, and he'd listen to it, and he'd say, "Dad, it's got to be right." And I'd say, "It sounds right to me." "No, it's not right yet."

Sadie: Sometimes we'd be asleep, and we'd hear plunking on the piano, and we'd say "Hey, what're you doing?". He said, "I just got an idea." And he'd start... said he'd been writing, you know. And we'd tell him his daddy had to go to work. He had to get up and go too, but he'd stop and do all that.