Hills royalty check photo *PIC*
"I was in my sophomore year and walked out of college during finals, never to return," he said. "Then I learned that it was a privilege to play at the It's Here so they didn't pay me. And the record, called 'Hills' after my one and only original composition till then, sold 23 copies. I got a royalty check for 11 cents, which I still have. Columbia wrote me weekly for three years asking me to cash it so they could bring their records up to date, but I'll cash it when I need it."
The painful-to-remember lyrics of that first song went along the lines of "Rolling hills with purple hue/silver clouds caressed with blue." He's at pains to point out that his writing style, like his fingering technique, has matured.