Legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto recently talked with CVG about maintaining excitement for the same game characters that have been around for decades and he also shared some of his personal influences. As it turns out, not only is the creator of Mario and Zelda a huge fan of The Beatles, but he also cites Peter Fonda as a big influence.

“Yes, I loved The Beatles – but when it comes to music, my particular taste is the American bluegrass music. I think bluegrass music was a great influence upon myself. When it comes to the pop culture in general, the movie Easy Rider was kind of a bible for our generation. I also saw the Stanley Kubrick Space Odyssey movie which was great also,” he said. “A writer or director like Peter Fonda, who made Easy Rider, must have had a great influence upon myself when I was young. I was living in Kyoto, which belongs to the Kansai region. In Japan – and in Kansai region particularly – when we were young there was tendency to love certain types of entertainment called Rakugo, which is one storyteller telling you sometimes a sad story, and sometimes one that would make you laugh very much.”

Miyamoto added, “I would also watch the Manzai – which is a comic duo or trio on the stage trying to make you laugh. Those kind of things, as well as Japanese cartoon culture must have something greatly influenced me, so much so that I really wanted to become a professional cartoonist when I was in Junior High. If we’re talking about the United Kingdom, I really like the Irish music like Chieftains and I like [UK folk band] Pentangle.”