Sweet dreams and flying machines book
“Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines” Excerpt – James Taylor OnlineMark Ribowsky. In a scraggly, antiheroic young man from North Carolina by way of Massachusetts began presenting a comforting new sound, a kind never heard before. Within a year, when young ears sought a new sound, there was "Fire and Rain" and "You've Got a Friend," and a new Southern California-fed branch of pop music. Taylor was its reluctant leader. Remarkably, Taylor has survived: his release, Before This World, edged out Taylor Swift and went to 1 on the charts.
Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines: The Life and Music of James Taylor
Sunrise, a city sitting on the west end of Broward County that borders the swamps of the Everglades, one of those wistfully named Florida hamlets that draws people of all sorts to its sleepy hollows, gets James Taylor tonight. On a cool night on what passes for autumn here, under the palm leaves encircling the parking lot of the arena, only half the spaces are filled just minutes before Taylor will take the stage. Though lines wait to get through the doors, the pace is orderly, calm; no one seems in a hurry. Wedged between two midlife-crisis symbols, a BMW and a Porsche, a card table has been set up, and two couples who look to be in their late fifties or early sixties sit around it, lounging, sipping, talking, laughing, the men in pleated slacks and short-sleeve Hawaiian shirts, the women in white jeans and low-cut tops. You know, we're his audience.
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MORE BY MARK RIBOWSKY
Carrigan Jr. In , the great rock critic Lester Bangs famously denounced James' Taylor's music in the essay, "James Taylor Marked for Death" as "I-Rock, because it is so relentlessly, involutedly egocentric," making Bangs want to push Taylor and Elton John off a cliff. Rock historian Mark Ribowsky Dreams to Remember: Otis Redding , Stax Records, and the Transformation of Southern Soul takes a gentler approach to the singer-songwriter whose familiar songs such as "Fire and Rain" and "Carolina on My Mind" form the soundtrack of the lives of a generation of baby boomers who now hold wine and cheese parties at his concerts. Drawing on new interviews with various figures in the music industry and on previously published interviews with Taylor and articles about him, Ribowsky artfully chronicles Taylor's life from a childhood alternating between Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Cape Cod; his early and enduring musical friendship and partnership with Danny Kortchmar; his heroin addiction and his time at McLean Hospital for depression; his affair of the heart with Joni Mitchell; his marriage to Carly Simon; and his time as the first American artist signed to Apple Records. Although it is unfortunate that Taylor's own voice is missing here, Ribowksy nevertheless offers a rich and nuanced portrait of a musician who channeled his own struggles with addiction, loneliness and uncertainty into enduring ballads of the hopefulness that can emerge when we embrace our shortcomings.