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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NOV 6, 2013 – Gouda

VENUE

De Goudse Schouberg (a theater with 220 capacity – nice to hear it’s sold out!)

Here’s a note I sent to my son:

Hi my boy!! .. in Gouda.. staying at a hotel I swore I’d never stay at again – the booker didn’t know I thought that way, so booked it – long story short – the bastard that annoyed me before, checked us in .. hauled my luggage two flights up .. did it with a smile .. greatest guy in the world!! – love the place!

My son’s response:

“Ahhhh……see you gave the guy a 2nd chance! See sometimes that is the best thing to do (even if you didn’t mean to)”

HOTEL

De Utrechtsche Van Dom – family owned – cozy – clean – with a lot of character – located on the edge of the town – a walking distance from the lovely town square area –  NOW.. I totally recommend this place!

DINNER

We eat dinner early – 4:45 as our sound check is at normal dinner time. We choose a great Italian restaurant, Roma Langetiendeweg, one minute from the hotel. The staff was family and great .. the food awesome.

SOUND CHECK – 6:45 PM

This is a theater tour. Some venues have their own sound engineers. Some have a roving union sound man come to do the job. That’s the case here. The engineer Christ (pronounced “Kreest”) is a great guy who did sound for me in Holland when I first returned to music in 1996. It’s great to see him. We sound check in minutes and John & I have time to relax and rehearse a bit before show time.

THE SHOW

FIRST SET

Another great audience. Again.. it was stories and songs .. a lot of stuff about Yonkers and family The Real Thing, Hey Jonny and Charcoal Sky mixed in with songs from the current album, Block Out The Sirens .. and some memories of Holland with Dutchman Blues (I loved this tonight!).. John & I are catching good grooves .. inspiring each other. It’s so good playing with him. We ended this set with my Bobby Bare hit – Just A Little Bit Later On Down The Line .. then a chilling version of Angel Of The Morning, which the audience seemed to love.

SECOND SET

Started this set with the song I wrote in this town a few years ago, Dance With A Hole In Your Shoe.. the audience joined in on the “War war” choruses .. loved this .. then it was a warm That’s How I Love You Tonight and I can’t remember what else, before some in the audience were calling out for songs .. last night the requests were on the country side .. tonight it was the hits .. Anyway That You Want Me, I Can’t Let Go, Storybook Children .. we played them all .. then Wild Thing.. after standing ovations, we double encored with I Wasn’t Born In Tennessee and again, an audience favorite, John Tucker’s On The Wagon Again.

Thanks to all who attended – this will be another very nice memory.

HI TO:

hi Alex .. great to see you after all these years. Thanks for all the kind words and your story about first hearing Black & Blue America.. great to know that it’s still being played .. it’s one of my all time favorites.. Hi Kees. great to see you & Max .. hope to see you soon again. Thanks for the kind words Gerrit .. and the Gasoline reminder .. loved those days!! .. big thanks for the good advice from the school teacher and friend .. I’ll remember that .. lost some notes regarding the names of some other kind folks folks who said hello .. I appreciate your support .. hope to be back soon. God bless.

HOLLAND TOUR – November 4, 2013

John & I flew from Stockholm to Amsterdam.. arrived at 3:30 .. met by great friend Milan Breukers.. one of the greatest guys on the planet. He’ll do all the driving and handle all logistics ..  all John & I have to do is relax and play – what a deal Hopefully we can catch up on some rest. Didn’t have much of that in Sweden.

We drive to Heethugowaard.. staying at a pretty little hotel off the beaten path in an art community.. have a day off .. relax with a great meal at the hotel’s charming restaurant

NOV 5 – HEETHUGOWAARD – COOL KUNST EN CULTUUR

For some reason, I had little sleep last night… woke up at 3:30 AM .. sort of running on fumes.

At the venue, a song workshop was scheduled at 2:00 PM with the three finalists of a songwriting contest. Part of their “prize” was to spend some time with me, playing some of their songs and talking in general about the business of music, with me making suggestions. The winner would play two songs to open my show in the evening.

The finalists were three young ladies, two from the area, Victoria, Marja and Micky, whose family resides here while she attends school in Rotterdam. John Platania & I spent a relaxing hour and a half listening to some very inspired music. Micky played terrific songs in various styles, from Joni Mitchel to Mick Jagger. Taylor Swift-like Sylvia looks like she could be minutes sway from a recording and publishing deal in Nashville – she’s that good, already with a couple of songs that could break her. And Marja was totally captivating, with her her heartfelt and often dark, oh so unique and sensitive songs of relationships and general life stuff.

What a nice way to spend the afternoon! Thanks ladies.. I wish you all the best of luck. You are all special and very, very talented. Hope to see you soon.

OUR SHOW – FIRST SET

Micky opened with two great songs she had played earlier.. nicely done – the audience took to her right away! After an introduction, from Micky, John & I took the stage.

I could tell right away that this would be a special show. These 200 plus folks were warm, kind and most seemed to be strong fans for a while.

We started with the Real Thing. Soundman Menno had gotten us the perfect balance. John played so inspired on this opening song, that I had chills from beginning to end. From there we were quickly into my Yonkers Story, with thoughts and songs about my “bastard brothers” and Mom & Dad. Bastard Brothers, Hey Jonny and Charcoal Sky all connected in a warm, good way. We played for about 50 minutes, ending the first set with Angel Of The Morning.

I had been feeling sleep deprived and edgy before the show started. Now, with the warm feelings flowing from this audience, I felt totally “healed”. Amazing how that can happen.

We started with DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE.. the audience loved this ..the total connection stayed all night – right through the Holland connection from the 70s in story and song  The interaction on Same Old Story was awesome and the multi-requested John Tucker’s On The Wagon Again was another huge highlight, as was our humble remembrance of a requested Seven Days In May. We ended with Fuck All The Perfect People and closed with a standing ovation with I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE.

What a warm welcome. Great to be back in Holland!!

So great to see so many kind fans after the show.

My New York friends Lida & James had told me that several of Lida’s Dutch family would attend. Well they did – ALL FOURTEEN OF THEM! What a great group! .. here they are:

Manou, Egbert, Lisanne, Fred, Paul, Beppie, Pierre, Esther, Joeri, Sharon-Isis, Niels, Muriel, Margot, & Kim!! .. great to see you all!! Huge thanks for coming!

Big hello to Micky’s family .. such great folks.. proud grandfather, Harry .. great to see you Harry .. & great to see Micky’s dad Frans & mom Gertha & Micky band mates!! .. sisters Zandri & Indy (on bass & keys) and Yari on drums…. I can’t wait to see you perform!! .. Best of luck Micky.. we’ll stay in touch.

Hi to friends Rob & Rob .. great talking to you.. thanks for the kind words.. Hi Lex & Maryke .. loved your Seven Days In May story ..I can still see your smiles.. hope to see you soon.. Hi Aart .. nice talking to you .. Hi Rudolf .. thanks for the inspiring words about the stories .. and Art .. thanks for the kind words.. Art (flower shop owner).. love to Jeannette.. what a blessing to have someone like that help you through your heart recovery .. just like I did..

Hi Pim & Anita & Gerda .. so nice meeting you .. thanks so much for your warm thoughts.. it means allot to me.. Hi Huub .. good to see you

Thanks to Ava, Memmo & the whole staff!! What a kind & caring group .. hope to see you next time!! .. congrats on the contest Ava.. what a nice thing!

MEAN BASTARD FESTIVAL NOV 1-2, 2013 – Kiruna, Sweden

Starring Jay Farrar, Baskery, Mike Farris & Chip Taylor & The New Ukrainians.

This was the fourth Mean Bastard Festival. Bjorn Petterson – bass player from my band The New Ukrainians – and I decided to have this event for the great purpose of looking the coming darkness squarely in the eye and giving some comfort to those that can be deeply affected by it. Bjorn lives in this iron ore town in the far north of Sweden.The total darkness will kick in in a few weeks.  Hopefully the spirit the is created here  will cut an easier path until the light comes again.

DAY 1- Evening show at the Skandic Hotel – a comfortable event room holding a few hundred people.

Opening night featured the the sister punk/country group from Sweden, Baskery. I opened the show with an intro about the festival’s origin – then we – Jay Farrar, Tony Bjorkenall (from the great Willie Clay Band) and the band (The New Ukrainians – John Platania, Goran Grini, Bjorn Petterson & Matteus Payarvi) blasted into the theme song “I Know Dark” with this great crowd singing the defiant chorus with great spirit. Bjorn’s five-year-old Olaf, stole the show in his first ever performance. Standing in front of all on stage, with mic in hand, he sang every chorus like a pro .. a star was born tonight.

Then Jay gave them a sample of what they would hear in the big show tomorrow, with an awesome version of his “Wild Side”.  I sang Angel and Wild thing and the mood was electric and would stay that way for the entire night.  Local talent followed .. just terrific performers who who kept the vibe going. The New Ukrainians featuring the amazing Goran Grini on vocals segued perfectly into the amazing Baskery sisters.

It was a hell of a night!

DAY 2 – featuring Mike Farris, Jay Farrar and CT & The New Ukrainians

Mike has a one-of-a-kind soul voice .. other-worldly might be a better description. He brought down the house with his church-like set.. giving it everything he had, highlighted for me by a heartfelt version of the great Mary Gauthier’s Mercy, dedicated to his dad, who had recently passed away and his brothers  .. At shows end, the audience erupted in cheers. Wonderful job Mike!!

Then Jay Farrar, accompanied by The New Ukrainians took the stage and subtly charged on. There was absolute magic.. great songs, performed as only Jay can .. he has such a sad, honest and heartfelt delivery.. and the band was so prepared and so soulful.

In the middle of Jay’s set he broke for two solo numbers, including a song he fashioned from a Woody Guthrie manuscript, which totally connected with this great audience, many of them iron-ore miners.

I joined Jay and the boys, singing harmony on Wild Side, Tear Stained Eyes and Windfall.. Jay then blasted them with Afterglow 61 and encored with Towne’s White Freight Liner Blues. What a show!

After a 20 minute intermission, I took the stage and talked about an incident that happened the previous year. I was at a local bar with a coal miner named Sam.. with friends Carl & Dave.. They were appreciative that I would be performing the next day .. said they were fans and mentioned they were fans of brother Jon as well.. particularly fans of the cameo roll he played in Zoolander. Well, with that, I called Jon in LA .. he happened to be there! So, Jon & the boys talked and laughed for about ten minutes .. nice stuff.

After I told the story I attempted to call Jon from the stage. He answered .. I put him on speaker phone and he saluted the crowd in a fun but warm way and they did the same .. chanting “ZOOOOOLANDER, when i asked them to tell Jon their favorite film.. again, nice, charming stuff.

Then, it was on with the show. I began with The Real Thing .. then Block Out The Sirens which seems to always connect on a deep level. Then it was the humble fun of Too Dynamic (the band was so awesome on this!) leading into a brand new song, dedicated to all the woman who sacrifice a lot of themselves to help put their man on a pedestal. The song, Queen Of The World, seemed to totally connect – maybe the best reaction I ever had to a new song. We soon were into the warm Voight family stuff with, Hey Jonny and Charcoal Sky, which seems to always connect .. ripped into Johnny Cash’s Big River with the audience cheering along .. then played another new one, Solitary, with its prayer for leniency for a few specific prisoners .. then it was Angel Of The Morning and Wild Thing .. total fan favorites.

Then Jay & Mike & Tony joined me on stage to wrap up the festival with a total church-like performance of I Know Dark, which had the audience singing with abandon and dancing in the aisles. When it was over this great group wouldn’t let us leave .. we closed with a total sing-a-long of Fuck All The Perfect People.. what a great audience to play for .. and what an amazing night!

Huge thanks to Bjorn’s assistant Annette for all her hard work with coordinating all things with the festival and thanks to my now old friend Petri who has always helped me big time at the MB… this time in quickly finding new luggage when mine came in damaged. Thanks my friend.See you soon!

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