If anybody can be called a genius, Stevie Wonder can be. I think it has something to do with his ear, not being able to see or whatever. I go back with him to about the early Sixties, when he was playing at the Apollo with all that Motown stuff. If nothing else, he played the harmonica incredible, I mean truly incredible. Never knew what to think of him really until he cut “Blowin’ in the Wind.” That really blew my mind, and I figured I’d better pay attention. I was glad when he did that Rolling Stones tour, cuz it opened up his scene to a whole new crowd of people, which I’m sure has stuck with him over the years. I love everything he does. It’s hard not to. He can do gut-bucket funky stuff really country and then turn around and do modern-progressive whatever you call it. In fact, he might have invented that. He is a great mimic, can imitate anybody, doesn’t take himself seriously and is a true roadhouse musician all the way, with classical overtones, and he does it all with drama and style. I’d like to hear him play with an orchestra. He should probably have his own orchestra.
This story is from the February 9, 1989 issue of Rolling Stone.