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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Oct 10, 2016 – Birmingham England – The Kitchen Garden

It’s hard to explain how magical this venue is … it is a tranquil oasis in the heart of Kings Heath with amazing winding gardens leading to a precious little restaurant that serves delicious home-cooked food with a nod to local and ethical growing ..the place is owned and run by a fellow named Bret who books the music as well… and he’s got amazing taste .. on all accounts!

This was our favorite stop on the journey!

Note: before heading for sound check we stopped at an amazing local record store (Polar Bear Records) across the street dealing in vinyl and all sorts of those and cool CDs run by a great guy name Steve .. it’s kind of the Waterloo of Birmingham (Waterloo being an amazing record store in Austin Texas) Great to see you Steve – nice talking with you… Hope our paths cross soon again.

Back to The Kitchen Garden – There is no stage here.. John and I set up in the front of the room actually the front of the room is hard to describe because the audiences off to the left as well as kind of straight ahead.

It only holds 50+ but it was packed tonight. After a quick sound check with Jason and a great Lemon chicken dinner… We hit the stage at 8 o’clock.

The show – Set 1

I was a bit more focused on the Hall of Fame award show tonight in the stories about people that helped me get to where I’ve gotten in the business… We played The Real Thing and Yonkers NY ….. that was such a nice vibe going on in the room… Loved playing these ..Then we went on to very cool version of Hey Jonny… John so brilliant ..tonight… From start to finish!… And Charcoal Sky was so beautiful and still and warm … John so so soulful…
just great John.

We closed with the first set with as beautiful an Angel of the Morning as we’ve played the entire tour… I had chills from start to finish.

Set 2

This was magical – We started with Dance with a Hole in Your Shoe and that was very, very special but the next couple just took me to a whole other level… Trying to Let the Angels know and Nothing Coming Out of Me That I Like were so, so prayerful and I totally lost myself in both and the audience seemed to go right there with me.

Then we played another track from the Little Prayers Trilogy… Track 224… And John shone bright as always… Love the groove of this.

Then at some point we played Refugee Children… Which really struck home… With everyone singing along at the end… Then we drifted off to some other warm places and ended up with this wild version of Wild Thing… I love this one tonight… And then F**k All The Perfect People .. my song for the prisoners… Which everyone seems to take in a special way… The chorus at the end of this one sounded like we were in church again – love this sort of stuff.

Tonight we played. my ’61 Warner Brothers hit, “Here I Am” for Ernie and Pauline again and John Tucker’s on the Wagon Again for our great friend Tony Pankhurst who has been our hero of the tour.. doing all the driving and selling the CDs… the audience absolutely loved this one tonight.

We said good night with I Wasn’t Born in Tennessee… This was as special a show as I can remember.. thanks to all who attended and all the wonderful folks who helped us.

Hi to .. Big thanks Bret hope to see you soon again thanks Michael so much for all your help ..Jason the sound was great the banter as well… Hi To Buzby and Bernard and Gil and hope to see Kelvin next time.. hi Malcolm and Graham..good to see you Adam and Sally Anne.. nice talking to you at the show good luck with your career Adam.

Hi Alan ..Thanks to you and Bill for making the long trip to the show… I spent quite a bit of time with that Hall of Fame stuff to give you and others a feel of what it was like.. hope you are safe home .

Nick.. it was good to see you at the show ..glad we sort of bumped into each other at the record store .. damn I love that store .. hey Steve wish you could’ve been here… See you next time

Hi Arthur thanks for bringing the 16 Angels Dancin Cross the Room EP… I love that.. hi Philip “Drew”… Thanks for the nice words about F**k All.

Hope to see you all next time… Again… Absolutely love this venue.

Tony … you did an awesome job!.. See you soon I hope!

Oct 9, 2016 – Southwell, England – an evening at the HOPBARN (a former barn for pigs)

This is actually a beautiful estate. To get there you drive up some very narrow roads ending on some small dirt roads the take you around farmland into the complex.


The venue is a converted large area where pigs were once housed that now looks like a lovely modest church with high ceilings

The show

My phone died this evening and all my information was on it so this will be said mostly from memory.

Thanks to Stewart and his lovely wife Mary for hosting and for Mike who booked the show and to Doug for providing very simple but very, very good sound without much effort

The place holds about 70 some odd people and it seemed full tonight … Some people came from pretty far away to see us.

The show

John Platania was so brilliant tonight as he has been all through the tour .. and this audience let him know it on many occasions

Again we divided into two halves ..the first half was sort of an intro into how I fell in love with country music and finally got into the business as a songwriter.

We played the real thing and Yonkers New York and Hey Jonny and Charcoal Sky and the Bobby Bare hit, Just a Little Bit Later on Down the Line

then we veered a little bit and played Track 224 which always shows off John’s brilliance… We closed with Angel of the Morning, took a break and came back and played for quite a while

Set II

I love Dance With a Hole in Your Shoe tonight as well as Trying To Let The Angels Know and Nothing Coming Out Of Me That I Like
.. we did some requests… Read it in Rolling Stone seems to be a favorite

Later on we played another request from Ernie and Pauline of the song that was a minor hit with me singing back in 1961, Here I Am.

After a very cool and sweaty wild thing… With the audience singing along… We shifted gears into another request and played John Tucker’s On The Wagon Again another song from This Side Of The Big River..

The highlight of the show might’ve been Refugee Children with all the people in the audience singing along… It was quite beautiful…

We encored with Fuck All The Perfect People… Again with the audience singing with us and then after extended applause… We stayed and did our final song… I Wasn’t Born in Tennessee especially for all my friends Tony Ernie and Clive from Lester

after the show we said hello to a bunch of folks… We played a little long tonight so couple of people needed to rush out but really loved this audience .. thanks to all who came

Hi to

Ernie Pauline from Newcastle and Clyde from Lester hi Joe friends Alan Chris big love to Juli and the big fella hi John.. glad you mentioned Nine Soldiers from Baltimore… It’s one of my favorites as well hi Graeme..hope you enjoy Little Brothers

Good to see you Dave… We last saw each other at the maze .. hope to see you next time

That’s cool thanks for all the support

Oct 8, 2016 – Haile, Cumbria UK

Great show at a little village in Cumbria called Haile. Love the drive here right along the Irish Sea .little roads little farm houses..  just beautiful.

Host Bert and his assistants Lee and Lawrence are real gentlemen… very nice folks. They fed us a nice homemade dish of Haddock and mashed potatoes with some Cajun sauce pored over before the show.

although the sound equipment was very minimalist it was easy to control and John and I actually like the sound of that.

The show

John and I loved playing for this audience. And because the sound was so simple and good, John solos rang out through this small dining hall in a magical way.

We told the story in words and song of my induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame with The Real Thing and Yonkers New York and Hey Johnny and Charcoal Sky.. These all seem to connect in a big way .. I guess tonight Charcoal Sky really seem to strike the biggest chord with all.

Just before we ended the first set we played Track 224 .. John was astounding on the solos on this and got a long, long, long applause. We finally said goodbye with a beautiful Angel of the Morning which really touched me in some special way.

Set ll

This was a truly magical set… We started off with Dance with a Hole in Your Shoe which had an amazing silent power.., then came a chilling Trying To Let the Angels Know..

Yes stayed moody with the set with a Lou Reed favorite , Your Name is on My Lips Again… Leading into a song for the prisoners .. Sleep With Open Windows… Somewhere in there we played Used to be a White Boy… which is always connecting these days ..And then we decided to do Tony Pankhurst and our host Bert’s favorite, I Wasn’t Born in Tennessee just to break up the mood.

I must say it was very inspiring to see all the faces in the audience as John and I played. For the most part we were seeing folks who would become totally new friends… There were a couple in the audience that we knew that came from far away to see the show …one being our old friend Ernie Mitchell with wife Pauline and who will see three shows in a row before it’s over . Thanks for making the long drive from Newcastle and thanks to our other great friend from Wales,   Who took a six-hour journey just to see the show… great to see you Owen
In the last part of the show we tribute at Johnny Cash with. his wonderful song Big River… Then we moved on to Refugee Children with the entire audience singing along.. After a very spirited Wild Thing we did our song for the prisoners  Fuck all the Perfect People.. Again with the audience singing along with us like we were in church

We finally closed the show and said good night with Czechoslovakian Heaven with an invitation to join me at my local pub in New York .. Parnell’s.

This was a very special night. Hope to see some of you again.  John and I we felt like we made a nice connection to a bunch of nice people

Said hi to a few after the show:

Again special hi to my friend Owen .. great to see a picture of his precious granddaughter Elsi.. much love to Hen!

Hi to Ernie and Pauline thanks so much for coming we will see you for the next couple shows!

HI Kevin ..John and I thank you for the kind words hi to Bob and Leslie and Tatiana and Jeff…  originally from upstate New York… Actually still sounds like he is… Been here for four years… thanks for the nice words Jeff.

Howard.. nice to see you on the way out thanks for the nice words.. Hi Kim and Jon and Jenni and Marvin nice to see you Marvin hope Jenny likes the CD.

Again thanks to Bert & Leeb & Lawrence… What wonderful hosts and thanks for the special meal great stuff hope to see you all soon.

Oct 7, 2016 – Glasgow

John and I did two radio interviews which combined good talk and a couple of songs thanks to all the folks at Celtic radio Mike and Bill great to meet you… And then to the BBC to talk with Bryan assisted by Mandy and soundman Dave and photographer Kathy.

These were not typical interviews – they were high-level interviews by folks who knew their stuff and I think it brought out the best in John and me.

The songs played were Refugee Children, Saint Joan. The new Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez single ” Who’s Gonna Build That Wall ” and Saint Joan again.

Venue – The Classic Grand

Great to be back to the home of our BMX and Belle and Sebastian friends
Douglas Stuart with new friend, Chloe.. and Chris.. keyboardist with B&S they were there waiting to greet us after the show.. So good to see you all!

And to all of my other salt of the earth friends from this part of the world… Thanks so much for coming .. Great to share this night with you! John Platania and I loved this!

After a nice introduction from Mike at Celtic radio John and I started with feelings and a glimpse at being inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame ..What that was like… and some thoughts as to folks who have helped me get there.

Inspired by the Motorola radio in the hallway between the boys bedroom and the kitchen which my Mother and Dad let me listen to late at night, we played The Real Thing from Last Chance, then drifted into stories about growing up in Yonkers which led to the song, Yonkers New York .. then we visited a train station on a Monday with my mother and father and brothers in the song Charcoal Sky .. The audience loved this series of songs I think particularly Charcoal Sky.

A brief tribute to Chet Atkins ended with John and I playing the first song he recorded of mine with The Brown Family – Spring Time.

The Motorola in the hall also gave me my first glimpse into the blues music from the south… The race records… And some sort of mix of that and  country music led me to write blues /rock songs or rhythm & blues and blue songs. The one we played tonight, was a hit by several different artists back in the 60s and later, Anyway That You Want Me, seemed to rock the house.

We ended the first set with the requested Read It in Rolling Stone… Which seems to have been a favorite  in these parts… and a soulful version of Angel of the Morning … loved this tonight!

Set II

This was as loose and as fun as a set could possibly be. We started out with Dance With a Hole in Your Shoe which sounded spiritually good to me as it ever has been… then we quickly went into Trying To Let the Angel’s Know from the Little Prayers Trilogy. Then we did a special request for a couple of young girls who had seen us 10 years previous when they were three and five .Something like that …back in those days they asked for Dirty Little Texas Story by Carrie and me ..And so tonight we played it for those now beautiful young ladies , Ava and Honor and mom Carol…this was special.

The show continued loose and crazy and warm and good for the rest of the night… John and I just love the looseness of it all.

Somewhere we played Track 224 with JP’s awesome solos.. And a favorite Nothin Comin Out Of Me That I Like.. Refugee Children with the audience choir was amazing.. as it would be on Fuck All The Perfect the end ., in between was a sweaty good Wild Thing… We ended  with a requested I wasn’t Born in Tennessee.

This was a crazy good night… What wonderful, wonderful people to play for… One of my favorite all-time shows.

Hi to:
Aidan from Dublin who made a special trip to see the show… Thanks so much Aidan… Hope to see you again.

Again great to see Douglas and Chloe and Chris …say hi all the guys ..wish they were here best to our old friends Ava and Honor and mom Carol… So good to see you guys again and to talk to you… Sorry we didn’t speak later.

Hi Gareth and Julie… So good to see you… Thanks for the nice words Garretts… I love Fuck All as well… Everything about it is for the right reasons.

Hi Jaimie and Jason..   Good talking to you.. Hi. Paul.. Thanks for the kind words … hope to see you again ..hi Joe and Jackie.

And to all who are here tonight ..there was such a good spirit in the room and everybody …everybody had a part in that.

Oct 6, 2016 – On the road from London to Glasgow


Scottish country side from the road ..heading for Glasgow after a special show in London


Oct 5, 2016 – London – The Slaughtered Lamb

Without question this is one of my favorite audiences to play for .. they get the best of me… they seem to love stuff that comes from the heart .. So I keep doing more of that.  There were so many requests tonight and so that made the show looser than most others .. but I truly like the looseness.

The show was sort of based on my thoughts and history and being inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame… An award I am very proud of… in a truly humble way. And tonight I took the people back at the award show with me and talked about what happened and what I was thinking about as it happened.

The Show

Great to be back with my cohort and great friend John Platania .. There’s always something magical that happens when the two of us get together!

I started the show with telling the story of the Motorola radio in the hallway of the house I grew up in … which was so instrumental to me by introducing me to country music from Wheeling, West Virginia and the blues records from down south .. which led to me being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame… This was the lead-in to playing The Real Thing..we quickly floated through Yonkers New York… I loved that tonight… Then came the start of rock & roll with Hey Jonny and .. the a tribute to Mom & Dad and my brothers with Charcoal Sky .. loved this!

We continued with my Chet Akins tribute… He was the one who actually was the most influential person in getting me into the business… Chet recorded a song of mine called Springtime with the Brown Family then another with Eddy Arnold and John Loudermilk III .. That paved the way for me to get a steady writing job .. And all of a sudden I was “in the business”.

John and I then played Springtime with John playing the sweetest notes – it sounded so warm and nice.

Angel Of The Morning was so special with guest vocalist Claire Pankhurst.. just great Claire!
Some other highlights for me were Swear to God Your Honor… A request… The Hell With Her… Another request.. loved Trying to let the Angels Know .. >From Little Prayers.

Maybe the highlight of the night was “Sleep With Open Windows”,, written for prisoners .. This song always moves folks… but never more than tonight .. the connection with this passionate audience had them singing the last few choruses. like we were in church!

Also loved F**k All the Perfect people ….. and ended with I Wasn’t Born in Tennessee and one of my favorites of the night “Nothing Coming Out of Me That I Like”

At some point we played “I Read it Rolling Stone”. and most in the audience sang along… that surprised me so much I guess it’s just shows who we are in this room… That’s from 1974… Oh my goodness… That was so much fun thank you.

Thanks to all who were there with their full support..

Said hello to only a few as with all the encores it was kind of a late night ending
Big thanks to the staff of the Slaughtered Lamb… Johan and Celia and Joe got that, just great you guys and Zoe thank you Zoe great to see you… Hi to Bill and Peter and and Derek and Jeff and Darius and Richard good to talk to your friend Richard.,,I think it was Frank… Hey Frank hope to see you next time God bless you with all the good work you do and for turning on Richard to my stuff.. that was very nice ..hi to Claire and Jane and our friends and Linda and Terry.. thanks all the support.

Special thanks to Simon and Emma with memories is Sarah and Ken..Jackie. ..great that you were there .. Love swing yo always.. Love back home!

I actually love this night it was special to me it was our first night on our tour in the UK… It felt like we were home.img_3371