People say you teach during the day and you’re free at so-and-so, but there’s a certain energy that goes into teaching people, it seems to me… and if you don’t give them that energy, then you’re immoral. And if you do give them that energy, then you’re wiped out. Because there’s only so much energy anyone has. So I’d rather drive a cab – I had a good time driving the cab, I wasn’t invested in it, you know what I mean? I could think about music, I could bug the cab, I could take time off to play a show – it really fit me. And I was making more money than most assistant professors too!
Steve Reich on resisting academia and driving a cab back in the early days.