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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November 1, 2017 – Zelham – Venue – The Boogie Barn

In the last several years this area has become a revered music enclave. There are two driving forces leading the way in that direction.

First, there is one of the hippest record stores on the planet that has evolved in the last four years run by a guy named Vim . . he is an absolute music lover with great taste in music and opens the doors of his record store on Saturday afternoon for bands touring from around the world to come and play a set. Vim and a former record store owner Frank have teamed up to form an organization to bring music to the town.

The other driving force in the town is a wonderful guy… And famous rock ‘n’ roll musician named Hendrick Jan.. in recent years, “H. J’s” band has headlined the biggest festivals across Europe.

Three years ago he built a state-of-the-art music barn. He built it mainly for his own band’s rehearsals and recording. Every once in a while.. he would play for friends and locals… Sort of a good time thing. The “boogie barn” holds a little over 100 people packed in and standing.

Tonight… Promoted by Vim and Frank and hosted by Henrick Jan.. we are the headliners for the first ever advertised show. The place has been sold out for quite some time. 120 music lovers will pack the place for this maiden voyage!

We meet promoter Frank… a very nice guy… at a nearby town and have dinner at an amazingly good restaurant!

We then take a 20 minute ride on the winding country roads ending up on a dirt road leading to the Boogie Barn.. we absolutely love seeing this place for the first time. It has sort of the rock ‘n’ roll vibe of the Mercury lounge in New York.

A very nice young guy named Richard get a very good sound in a matter of minutes and we are ready. Being an artist himself, Hendrick Jan, knows how to make a notice comfortable.

In the back of the yard is an upscale camper that has comfortable seating areas and water, beers, whiskey and food stocked in the place and John and I and Ronald and Joan are very comfortable staying here before the show.

The show… Set one

Most all in the crowd are fans came to see us… and certainly knew us more than a little bit .. but in the back of the room there were a few people that were there to party and drink and talk… I’m sure like most of the shows that H.J.  has put on… silence and reverence was not part of the atmosphere. But very soon that became part of the atmosphere here and it was great to see and feel the transition.

We played the Last Chance songs… and the spirit was good and loose. By the time we neared the end of the first set the transformation was in full effect . When I spoke the intro about love at first sight leading to the song Joan Joan Joan ..you could hear a pin drop.

And that’s the way it went for the rest of the show… When there was a word or two back by the bar it quickly succumbed to the silence that was surrounding the magic of the show.

And for all those reasons I really loved the show… It was very special interacting with ALL the people and the process of coming together was very rewarding for me.

John was amazing in this whole set. And the back-and-forth that we feel together on stage shifts us in one direct general or another and that is part of the magic for me ..and I know it is for John as well

Set two

There was a total connection when we started this set .. first I told the story of the first ever hit on the Warner Bros. Country and played Me As I Am… Then we shifted to my high-powered hit from that period of time, Early Sunday Morning… And the interaction with the fans was just totally rolling on a high-level.

Then there was absolute silence for the dedication to my father with the song Some of Us.. and for the first time on this tour I invited the audience to sing along to the powerful message of the chorus… And sing they did it was like a magic church thing… As special to me as a performance/audience thing can be.

Most everybody sang along to my 1975 Dutch #1 record, Same Old Story ..and another reverent thing happened with the song John Tucker’s on the Wagon Again..  this is a total fan favorite and a favorite of ours on stage… and it totally connected tonight.

Then it was the emotionally powerful “Dance With a Hole in Your Shoe”.. and a few songs later we played my song for the prisoners “Fuck all the Perfect People” with everyone singing the chorus at the end like we were in church.

Then came a rockin’ version of Wild Thing… John was amazing! .. the spirit of the true anarchy was all over this room!

We ended with a rousing version of Last Chance (track 11 from that album) And encored with a very special and chilling version of Refugee Children which had everybody in the audience singing along.

This was a special unique show… one John and I will not forget… We loved being here!

We said hi to several folks at the end, Including:

Hi Gerard and Ine..  so good seeing you both… Gerard I will look forward to seeing you again tomorrow night I guess that will make about 45 times I’ve seen you! Much appreciated!

Hi to H. J’s mom and dad Gerard and Jenny… Nice to say hello to you both in the very beginning…

Hi to Vincent and Stef .. and Marjo.. Bart .. it was so great talking to you… Hope to see you one of these days again

Hi Kees and Semi.  So good talking to you after the show… Hope our paths cross again.. hi Jan… Very good talking to you… Look forward to seeing you again as well..

Hi Lex… nice seeing you!… and thanks to Chris for taking the picture!! We love it!!

Again huge thanks to Wim and Frank for booking the show and to Henrik Jan… For all your hospitality… Best wishes with your new project. John and I will look forward to seeing you again. And thanks so much for your thoughtfulness about the single malt whiskey… For some reason I forgot about it and left it there and remembered too late ..so I hope you drink it at some point and make a toast to John and I and we will do the same to you back in New York.

Big thanks to all who attended hope to see you again one of these days soon!

Nov 3, 2017 – Den Haag – Venue… The Acoustic Alley

First we checked into the Ibis Hotel at the airport… John will be leaving from there tomorrow and Joan and I will be leaving from there the following day after spending a relaxing day in Amsterdam.

We arrived at our venue in Den Haag a little before 6 PM.. a homey little sort of theater in a back alley call the Acoustic Alley… we love this little venue right away… We had a little dinner of fresh salad a choice of chicken or or veggie wrap..  John had the veggie the others of us opted for the chicken.

It was great to meet all the volunteers at this place to a person they are the kindest people… Frank books the shows, Henk who kinda runs the place and Nanine who does the sound system ..  a kind women named Cies.. Who seems to be in charge of the food and bar area.. later I would meet up with very lovely young lady named Elana .. so nice meeting you all… Such nice people are banding together to do something nice for the community and bring some comradery  to a group of music lovers.. and they do it for all the right reasons.

After dinner we had a very good sound check with Nanine .. and we’re ready for the show within 10 minutes.

It was great to see a couple of fans from Rotterdam who had taken the train to get there and were there several hours before the show… so special hi to Joop and Annie.. thanks for the memories of playing on the island a few years ago… And thanks for taking the train all that way to come to see the show… also nice to see and sign your vinyl, good memories, thanks you guys.

The show – Set one

We are calling the tour “The Last Chance tour” representing the newly mastered
release of all the Warner Bros. recordings from that. Last Chance, Some of Us and This Side of the Big River.

We are playing for huge fans ..some the have traveled long  ways to get to the place… One who  I would meet later after the show, Bart, had come all the way from near Kraków Poland… Another had traveled from Vienna… But wherever they were from they were the kind of fans heart felt warm and kind and every step of the way that was a huge part of the show.

We played the first five tracks from Last Chance .. folks seem to love every one… many warm vibes flowing around this place.

Although he was starting to get a cold, John was in rare form… This was a magical set between us..  when it’s like this I’m always inspired to go in different directions from something John does and vice versa… This inspiration is really part of the big joy what we do… The other part of the joy is being with an audience like this totally into this it from the beginning… Obviously we were all at the same place we wanted to be tonight.. that’s a very good thing.

The audience gave a huge welcome to the Last Chance songs .. with the stories about my brothers and Kris Kristofferson and the LA trip to Warner Bros… I loved the connection with Son of a Rotten Gambler and “Coalfields of Shikshinny ” and I Wasn’t Born in Tennessee sounded so so good to me ..I actually think I am yodeling better than ever these days! .. how did that happen?!

Then it was very special to get to the new album and the tributes to my wife Joan… Folks seem to love this… I can’t remember playing a prettier version of the title song from A Song I Can Live With.

We ended the first set with a very chilling version of Angel of the Morning… Never warmer and prettier… And when we finish with that .. after a long applause… we couldn’t wait to get back on the stage and play some more for these great and kind folks.

The second set

I loved this… we started with my first 1975 Warner Brothers hit, “Me As I Am”… Then went to the biggest hit I had in that period of time – “Early Sunday Morning” which the folks seem to absolutely love and then one of the most special moments came when I played the song dedicated to my father “Some of Us”..With all in the room singing the chorus by the end in such a beautiful manner.

This brought me close to tears… It was on to the story of coming to Holland and having my first number one record here, “Same Old Story”.. there were big tears after that one… And a huge reaction to the following one… One of the most requested songs from back in that period of time “John Tucker’s on the Wagon Again”.

Then a lot of magic flew by at once… “Dance With a Hole in Your Shoe”… Johnny Cash’s Big River”…then to my viral hit for the prisoners, “Fuck All the Perfect People” .. all this magical interaction with the audience … Flew by so fast. I loved every second of it.

After, one of the most spirited simple driving versions of “Wild Thing” on the tour… With the audience singing from start to finish… We ended with track 11 from Last Chance the actual song “Last Chance”… And this one sounded so great to me and so much fun and so warm and such a good summation of the magic that if I have had for the past couple of hours…

We ended the show with my tribute to the Refugee Children… Fishing on the bridge on the stream… “Refugee Children”… With the entire audience singing the chorus so beautifully at the end ..  you totally sent chills up my spine.

After the show I got a chance to say hello to several:

Great to see you Kees .. I talked to John after the show and he remembers your show up in  the four north !!! that was a heck of a memory for us both… It was so cold at night… Despite the  cold it was a magical connection up there .love that you were involved with that.. Love hearing about your coming to the New York show… And especially love to hear how much you appreciated the Lucinda Williams/Chip Taylor version of “the ghost of Phil Sinclair”

Hope to see you soon again Kees .. thanks so much for all the kind words –  it meant a lot to me.. hi Elizabeth and Gerard and Annie.. good to see you at the end… God bless!

Special hello to Gunther Schweiger who came all the way from Vienna, Austria to see the show… Sorry we missed you at the end but I know you had a lot of traveling to do… It was nice to hear that you were there.

Another special hello to fella from Krakow Poland..  Bart.. wait to see you after the show yes it would be wonderful to see you in Poland I have great memories of being there back there in the 70s.

HI Theo. And Jaap and William and Richard and Heleen..so good to see you all.. thanks for the kind words.

And so special to see you Willeke. You are so kind… It meant a lot to me to share your thoughts… Hi Frans good to see you as well!

Hi Maureen and Peter and Bus . So good talking to you… And Maurice… So good to talking to you about how you got into my music and please say a big hello to your father, Gerard… Hope to see you both again soon.

Again huge thanks to all the volunteers you were also kind Frank and Henk and Nannie and Cies and Elana.. so good to spend this night together… I truly think the angels were dancing in this place all night long what a beautiful beautiful spirit we simply loved  being here and hope to come back!

Ps .. very best wishes from John and Joan

Nov 2, 2017 – Borger – Venue – Van Slag

After a little listening to 45 minutes of an episode of Bob Dylan’s radio show.. loving it by the way… we arrived in Borger at around 2 o’clock at the Beige Hotel..  a very comfortable place… immediately across the street from the venue.

I had a couple of hours to relax with Joan and work on some tour notes of the previous day’s show.

This is always been a favorite venue of ours. It is an old church ..part of it built 400 or so years ago and a small section of it built actually 700 years ago.

The church-like seating holds about 100 people. Tonight we are totally sold out .. there will be about 120 in attendance.

Sold Out

Aside from the warm and comfortable look of the place… One of the things that John and I remember most are the folks that are involved in it… They’re kind and good folks working very hard at what they do… Jaap , assisted by his wife Berlina, book the shows .. The venue/church is owned by a fellow named Henk who spends a great deal of effort in keeping this state of the art place looking amazing.

We arrive at 5:30 and have a leisurely sound check with a great sound man named Bert who is also an amazing guitar player ..he and his wife.. a wonderful vocalist… Lende .. perform all over Europe and beyond .. about 50 or 60 performances year.. they are great! We are blessed to have them working with us on sound tonight show. it’s great to recall how warm sounding this room can be … very much like you’re playing in a church. Also… Thanks Peter for your assisting with this effort.

After sound check we enjoy a typical Dutch winter meal… Cooked by Henk’s wonderful wife, Janje.. thanks so much my friend great to see you again!

Just after dinner my great friend and tour guide and manager for many years, Milan stopped by to say hello… It was so so good to see our old friends… It seems like yesterday very good yesterday!

We have about a 50 yard walk back to our hotel room to relax for about an hour before the show… this is a big blessing for us… On the road you want to be as comfortable as possible… And the upstairs green room for the artist is very comfortable but there’s nothing like having your own little hotel room so close to the venue.

The Show
First Set

I love looking out at the audience from the rather high stage at this place… There’s enough light to see everybody’s face and everybody’s expression and yet the lights are dim enough to keep a certain warmth floating in the place.. immediately the sound is good for John and I on stage and very easy to work with.

Again we are featuring the songs from the 70s on Warner Bros. Records… Last Chance, Some of Us, and This Side Of The Big River.

And again, we start with the first five songs from Last Chance.. I love the vibe of all of these.. Last Chance totally rocks… John’s solo was amazing… And I remember how chilling it felt singing Son Of A Rotten Gambler… That was such a warm connection with the audience on this one. After a rocking version of I Read it in Rolling Stone we were on to the song that I wrote with my brother Barry, The Coalfields of Shikshinny.. there was a very special connection with the audience with this one… And then came I Wasn’t Born in Tennessee with the crowd singing along with the Merle Haggard section… and cheering at the end.

Then came one of the intimate moments of every show .. Sharing thoughts about love at first sight ending up with the song that I wrote for my wife Joan..  Joan Joan Joan. This certainly has been a highlight of every set on the entire tour.

Then it was off to the title tune of the new album “A Song I Can Live With” ..also dedicated to Joan… We ended the set with a chilling version of “Angel of the Morning” … John was magnificent on this and on basically all the songs in the set .. I specifically remember the chills I was getting on Son of a Rotten Gambler and “the Coalfields of Shickshinny” .. John is one-of-a-kind ..so inspiring to me on the stage!

Set two

This certainly was one of my favorite sets in recent memory… for me there were so many touching moments on stage… Can only happen when you are totally connecting with an audience and they are influencing your feelings and every note you play and every word you sing.

It was that way throughout this whole set.

We played my first hits from Warner Bros back in 1975., Me as I Am… Then moved on to a totally rocking version of my biggest country get, “Early Sunday Morning”. Then came a very special moment… With a tribute to my father and the entire audience singing along to the chorus of “Some of Us”.

We rock to my big Dutch hit from back in 1975… “Same old Story”.. then came another special special silent moment with our story about our friend John Tucker… With “John Tucker’s on the Wagon Again”. when we played this I could see so many in the audience closing their eyes rocking a little back-and-forth and singing along with me.

Then came and audience favorite “Dance With a Hole in Your Shoe”… I’m not sure of the order of the last several… But some where in there we did “Clean Your own Tables”… The song Johnny Cash covered of mine… with the audience singing along with all the choruses… This was so much fun… somewhere in here we get a requested version of an old fan favorite of mine, “Holy Shit” especially for my German friends Matthew and Jennifer.

“Wild Thing” had special place in the show tonight .. it was sort of spiritual and fun at the same time to sing this along with the audience from start to finish… One what one of my favorite live versions of ” Wild Thing” ever.

Then came my song for the prisoners, “Fuck All the Perfect People”… which become a viral hit on Spotify.. and again the audience was singing along with this one like it was a prayer… Which it really was tonight.

We stayed in the prayerful my mood… With a totally chilling version of “Refugee Children” with everyone singing along at the end… There is nothing more beautiful than hearing that.

What a night… What a special warm audience… Loved seeing you guys and love talking to so many of you later hope to see you all again!!

Special hi to all friends Vincent and  Nienke and mom Judy… So good to see you guys again tonight… Big hello to Matthew and Jennifer… Thanks so much for crossing the border it was wonderful seeing you before the show… I will look forward to seeing you again and again!

Another special hello to my friend Arnold … So good talking to you… loved your wonderful stories about your wife’s birthday party from 10 years ago… Please send Lowke our best wishes!

Hi Gerard… Good seeing you again thanks for making the long trip to see two shows and.. please send my very best regards to Ine.. hope to see you guys before too long.

Hi Bert and Appie.and Joke .. and Patrick and Anita and Cor.. and Tiemen.. so good to talk to all you guys

Special hi to the brothers my old friends Wietse and Pieter.. and little sister!! . Hi Wobbo.. and another Joke .. and another from the north, Joukje.. special hi to Eef.. thanks for telling us about the great reaction to Mart’s Radio show..

At breakfast the next morning we said hello to Barry and Lucy… And Bokke (“Bob”) and Martha.. so good to see you all.

Again huge thanks to our friends Henk and Janje .. loved your son’s beer… Special stuff!… We are stashing it to bring to our daughter and son-in-law!!

Jaap and Berlina.. so great to see you as always huge thanks for your efforts for us… Definitely look forward to seeing you guys again

Thanks Bert for the great sound! Again, hello to Lende .. look forward to hearing your beautiful voice and your beautiful playing on your new CD.

Thanks for your help Peter… Good to see you

And last… But certainly not least huge thanks to the wonderful efforts of our great friend and Ronald… Who has done all the hard work on this tour… And kept us free to just think about the music .. what a blessing.

PS can’t wait to see you Milan.. look forward to seeing you very very very soon again Joan sends big love and a big hello!

Milan

Oct 31, 2017 – Den Bosch – The blue room sessions

Sold out show was organized by a great guy named “Ad ” (Adrian).. Big thanks Ad .. you did a fine job!

We arrived in time to put our instruments on the stage and walk about 100 yards to a cool little restaurant… Where we met our distributor and friend for many many years,  Bert Pjiper .. Who had booked this show and several others on this tour for us… huge thanks Bert., it’s been a great tour!

After a great dinner .. we went back to The venue and John and I did a quick sound check with a great young engineer.. Matthew.

We then relaxed in our dressing room and hit the stage at exactly 8:30.

Blue Room

Set one

Again… The folks seem to love the idea of this tour… We are calling it Last Chance 2017..  .. there seems to be a great deal of enthusiasm for us playing the first five songs from Last Chance in a row.. and explaining a little about each… It’s been that way at every show.

The highlights in that segment were too many to explain but the interaction with John and I was at a very high level in the spirit of those songs … so it seem like we are right back in the spirit of those times with at very least the original enthusiasm.

You could hear the audience doing more than just clapping at the end of most of those including “Son of a Rotten Gambler” and “Coal Fields of Shikshinny”

“I Wasn’t Born in Tennessee” sort of brought the house down… It was almost like an encore number … but we were just in the middle of our show!!

And we blasted right from there to the story and song of Joan Joan Joan.. The audiences absolutely love this!! And tonight Joan waved to them from the corner after all the cheering.

The audience also continues that love affair with Joan with the song “A Song I Can live With” And we closed out with a soulful and beautiful version of “Angel of the Morning” where John played some of the most chilling things ever.

Set two

We begin songs from the second of the Warner Bros. trilogy… the album, “Some Of Us” ..Starting with the first ever country hit on Warner Bros., my “Me as I Am”.. then my biggest ever hit on the label, “Early Sunday Morning” ..Closing with the tribute to my father with the song “Some of Us”.. this silent prayerful song brought the house down tonight in the most beautiful manner..It was like we were all saying the silent prayer together

Then it was off to the story of my coming to Holland the 1975 and the heroics of my back up band Wildwood Flower ..ending with the number one single .. “Same old Story” with the  audience singing along and it was a total total fan favorite.

Then we drifted to two songs from my 2007 book/album “Songs from a Dutch Tour”.. The first… “Dance With A Hole In Your Shoe” has been a fan favorite for all these years.. The audience was chatting the chorus with us and just totally into the vibe of it.

Certainly one of the highlights tonight was another song from “songs from the Dutch tour” .. I had written this song 10 years ago for a lovely young girl named Roos and her mom and dad Jan and Antoinnette and a bunch of her school teachers… They were all there tonight… Somehow I remembered all the words and it was very touching and as pretty and warm as a song can be .. again..the audience absolutely loved this.

Then we played a song that I’ve been playing for years… Johnny Cash’s Big River and the audience clapped  along in time with us and we’re totally part of the honest country spirit of that song… Maybe the biggest response of the night came next when we did John Tucker’s On The Wagon Again…  also from “This Side Of The Big River”.. this  song was always a fan favorite as I remember from 1975… And it was exactly the same today… I love playing this tonight again John was amazing.. so so warm and soulful on this.

Then it was off to our Spotify hit… The song I wrote for the prisoners… “Fuck all the Perfect People”… And this was certainly a highlight is well… Lots of highlights tonight!

I took a little break here to mention Paul Smith who passed away not too long ago and was so much responsible for good warm meaningful music in these parts… I’ve seen him a couple years ago on tour ..he was a revered guy… I heard that they played my song “He’s a Good Guy… As Well You Know” during  the celebration of his life a few weeks ago… So I played that for the folks tonight in his memory.. it seem like a gentle prayer for all of us.

We ended the show tonight with the track 11 from Last Chance which was the song “Last Chance”… We went right from there to a crazy rockin version of Wild Thing with everybody singing along… This was a special special night… Thanks to all who attended .. we won’t forget this one.

Special hi to my great friends Leanne and Martin.. we have been the best of friends and  this thing totally together since back in 1974 ..  it’s great that it doesn’t stop!

Much love to my special friend Roos .. her mom and dad .. Jan and Antoinette and some of Roos’ teachers from ten years ago.

Roos

So great to see you… Wish we had much more time to spend together..

Big hello to my drummer friend from the original Wildwood Flower Andre and his son Carl… Wildwood Flower was the magical country band that backed me up back in 1974 .. I love thinking about those magical times .. the first time I ever set foot in this wonderful country .

Wildwood

Wonderful to see you both… Andre thanks so much for putting the posters up in the dressing room… we will travel with them home and be proud to have them… Like I was proud to work with you guys back then ..so proud.

Big hello to Jan and his niece Renée.. thanks so much for the kind words Jan… It was great to see you both during the show in the back by the bar… I could tell how much you were into the show and it was very inspiring to John and me on stage!

Hi Theo nice to see you tonight… Wish I had a chance to say hello to all those around you at the end of the evening… What a nice spirit you all had

Hi Eric and Maryke.. And Walter and Ghilaine .. Kees and Arnold.. and Peter and Arnold.. and Wytse

.. and Kees and Brenda and Paul . . .and Ton and Annemieke.. so good to see you and talk to you.. hi to another Ttom and Maryke and Herman and Robbie .. and Chantral.. so nice talking to you.. Hu Kees…. and Rob and Judith.. and Ine..

So good to see you all and to all who attended… Thanks so much for special night.

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