Chip Taylor's Road Journal

Read Chip's words about life on the road, recording in the studio and much more...
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Aug 19, 2010 – 230 ELM (an estate-like house) Southampton, NY

The show tonight is a benefit for Jr Golf in the area. It was put together by my friend & local beloved pro, Bobby Joyce.

The venue is a cool place – located just east of the main town in a residential area. There’s a large catering-like area in the main floor of this lovely old white “house”, with a generous stage on the right & large bar behind.

By the time John Platania (Gtr), Tony Mercadante (bass), Tony Leone (drums) & arrived for sound-check, just before 5:00, the sound system was in place we sound-checked in short order. Big thanks to Doug for letting us use his terrific Bose sound system & for having it ready for us!

Note about the sound: The sound system is a strange one – one cylindrical monitor/ loudspeaker that handles the entire room & the stage as well. I worked once with this system in Holland & had trouble with it – not so here – this one is amazing!!

After a good dinner at the ocean, some 10 minutes away, we relaxed in the downstairs area of the venue (a former 50’s bowling alley area) – &, after a kind intro by friend Bobby, we were on stage at just after 8:00.

THE SHOW

What a great group of folks to play for – most there to benefit Jr golf. We started into our Yonkers journey. By the time we reached the end of our first set, we had introduced the folks in song & spoken word to my mom & dad – Barbara & Elmer – & my “BASTARD BROTHERS” Jon & Barry, traveled to a cave in Miles Square Woods, had a hospital visit with my mom, Barbara, had a barbecue at my folks house with my Mafioso friends – including an opera singer (in WITHOUT HORSES).

The spirit in the room was so great tonight & so focused, that I felt I had a bunch of companions during every part of the journey – and that made it better for me & the boys. And, speaking of the boys (Tony, Tony & John), they were just awesome this entire night. It was great to know that their brilliant work was being so appreciated!

We ended with a very inspiring ANGEL OF THE MORNING, with lots of folks singing along. We then took a short break & were back on stage in short order.

THE SECOND SET

We started with the title song, “YONKERS NEW YORK”, & had folks singing along to the trials of growing up a Yonkers’s boy. Soon it was off to the Chat & Chew in “SAW MILL RIVER ROAD” .. a place that some in the audience actually remembered!!! BIG RIVER & ENDLESS SLEEP totally rocked tonight!!! At some point we all played Gin Rummy with my dad in the story & song of GIN RUMMY RULES, which folks seemed to love – and we all found out who Ernst Lubitch was.

WILD THING totally rocked tonight – as did a requested I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE. We closed with a reverent HOLY SHIT!!

It was a night to remember!! Big thanks to all who attended. As we were leaving Bobby asked if we’d do it again next year. I readily accepted that invitation – So – see you next year!!.

SAID HI TO SEVERAL INCLUDING:

Old friends Pat & Larry Lombardi – great to see you guys again. Thanks for the kind words. It’s always great to have your spirit around!! – Hi Vince & Lisa – great talking to you all as well!!

Hi Norman .. good to see you … & great to see my horse-shoeing friends, Drew & Dave!! I’ll keep brother Tuff Birdsall’s name in mind – I’m sure we have NYRA friends in common.

Big Hi to Michael Apell & friend Joanne – Michael was at the forefront of getting Bruce Springstein signed to Columbia Records & produced his first two records & co-produced his third. He was instrumental in his success – no two ways about that – & Bruce’s first (less bombastic) albums are treasures in their innocence. GREAT meeting you both!! .. Michael .. remember .. “Outside the human condition is a place I want to dwell – where NO man stoops in anger .. & everyman wishes you well” .. see you soon!

And a very special hello to Susan (Hobbs) .. who used to visit my mom, with her kids, at Christmas. Thanks sooo much for sharing those treasured thoughts with me, Susan – I will share them with my brothers & Joan. Hope to see you very soon!

Hi Mary & Christine. Thanks so much for the kind words & proud thoughts of your students. Hope to see you soon!! Hi David .. so good to see you!! BIG HELLO TO DELORES!!! Thanks for the GEORGE JONES COMPARISON.. I’M SURE THERE’S SOME TRUTH IN THAT .. He is amazing!! – BIG HELLO TO YOUR GRANDSONS, BOBBY & EVAN!!! WHAT GREAT GUYS!! – Thanks so much for your help with the CDs!! . GREAT JOB!!

GREAT TO SEE LEIF, MY BARTENDER FRIEND FROM PARNEL’S (53d & Second). Big thanks Leif .. I’ll dedicate HOLY SHIT to you next time. And thanks to my new friend Vinnie, who drove out from New York City with dog Highway to catch much of the show!!! See you both soon – much appreciated!

And hi to bar manager Tim .. and lovely Jaci, Ashley & Wendy .. and nice waiter, Tommy!! .. great to see you guys during & after the show – hope to see you soon again!!

Thanks Bobby!! – best of luck with the Jr. golf program!! WE LOVED TONIGHT!!! – see you next year!!

Aug 14, 2010 – THE TOWNE CRIER – PAWLING NY

It’s been a couple of months since my last shows in Holland. Friend & great bassist, Tony Mercadante picked me up at 1:20 at the White Plains train station – we headed straight up route 684 to Pawling & the venue where we met John at about 2:30.

We love playing this place, run by friend Phil & his kind wife Mary – a very nice lady who I met for the first time on arrival. Mary is a behind the scene treasure. Aside from prepping the place during the day, she makes brilliant, elaborate, delicious deserts that folks rave about.

photo by John Beach

The staff here are great bunch of folks, including host & Maitre De, Ricardo, cook Eric, sound man Scott, head waiter Peter??? (is that right?) & the busboy & waitress staff including lovely waitress Sam. It’s sort of a theater / dining place – with very good sound. Again, we’re happy to be back. Thanks for having us Phil.

I had been in a bit of a funk these last several days & getting back together with John & Tony totally lifted my spirits. It’s amazing how much power is in friendship. And simply put, we are the very best of friends. We spent the next several hours catching up with personal stuff & rehearsing.

We had a solid sound check with great engineer Scott, who made a special trip to check us earlier than normal. After a great meal, thanks to chef Eric, we were ready for the show.

Thanks to Bill Bachmann, who did a fine opening act. We were on stage shortly after 9:00.

THE SHOW

This was one of my favorite shows in memory. We based the show on my latest album, YONKERS NY – in song & stories. And I went wherever the moment took me – from stories about Frank Sinatra – to my Mafia friends in high school, to a Monday at the train station with my mom, Barbara – dad Elmer – & my BASTARD BROTHERS, Jon & Barry.

This was an awesome audience to play for!!!! Highlights were far to many to mention as, if pressed, I’d include the entire YONKERS NY songbook plus all stories, plus the new JOE FRASIER & a visit to my KING RECORDS past, with MIDNIGHT BLUES & LITTLE JOAN.

John Platania & Tony Mercadante were totally magic tonight!!!! & the audience let them know it!! Great job boys – the band is back!! .. Big hi to Yonkers friends, John Beach & family .. great to see you guys & talk about the Yonkers old days.. see you soon!!

Huge thanks to all who shared this special night with us!

SAID HI TO SEVERAL, including:

Special hi to my great friends, Gerard & lovely wife Shelley. Gerard is the proprietor of my “home away from home” – the amazing La Mangeoire Restaurant (53d & Second Ave in NYC) If you want a special treat, stop by Gerard’s place for an awesome dinner prepared by 5 star chef, Christian & served by a great staff. I guarantee you will not regret it & more than likely, I’ll be sitting at a table next to you.

Again Shelley & Gerard, so special to see you guys. Your words meant a lot to me. Congrats to Sarah (& Steve) – send her my big love. And big hi to Adam – hope to see him next time!

Big hi to old friend, Ed Solin & lovely wife Rory. SO GREAT TO SEE YOU GUYS!!! Ed, it’s been too long – far too long – just GREAT catching up with you!! Rory, how do you do it – you haven’t changed in all these years!!! You look amazing!!!.. OK… you too, Ed! Also .. hi to friend from the North Lake years, Chris Cassone. Thanks for stopping by Chris – best with your own music!

Hi Rollo (Phil) & lovely wife Pat – wedding congrats!!! It’s about time!!! It was so good to see you guys again… Hi Dean.. nice talking with you .. hope you enjoy the CD… Hi Ann.. so good to see you!! .. big Hi to Anne & Liz’ friend .. can’t quite remember your name.. saw you right after the show … Anyway.., it was GREAT to see you again! Big thanks for saying hello!

Hi Howard! (Tony’s co-worker) So glad you were able to come.. nice talking with you .. Great meeting you Bill – WELL DONE!! .. hi to lovely daughter, Alissa & so good to see Rise .. with the two “dots” over the “i” .. all the best.. hope to see you soon!!

Great to see my old grammar school friend, Bill Kraft again & again – it’s always so good to see you at these shows Bill, It means allot to me. Also great to see my old schoolmate from Stepinac, Bill Wetzel.. thanks for coming, Bill .. hope all’s well. Let’s catch up soon!

And Chuck & Mary .. & my Joan…. Big thanks for sticking it out!!!!!! Love you guys!!

See you all soon!!!

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