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"A lot of people would gather and listen to us. It was really a novelty. We had a whole act together. I'd be strumming on a guitar that was taller than me at about a hundred miles an hour. I knew about five chords. For my age, I was one of the better guitarists around! We drew hundreds to the plaza who were delighted and charmed by us. That's where I learned to give a lot of joy and happiness from singing."
"It was a great stepping stone. I learned to play guitar there - my sister Rain and I got interested in performing. It was a neat time growing up in Venezuela in the late seventies."
River Phoenix on his early childhood.
"When I was in first grade, everyone made fun of my name, of course. I think it's kind of a big name to hold up when you're nine years old. It seemed goofy. I used to tell people I wanted to change the world and they used to think, 'This kid's really weird'."
"Rich kids gave us their old clothes. They were the best clothes we ever had. We were these very pure, naïve, poor children. The rich kids called us a lot of names but it never bothered us because we didn't know what the words meant."