Recently James Taylor and Carole King performed at the L.A.’s fabled club, the Troubadour. They had performed there back in 1970 (this is the club’s 50th anniversary) back when they were both fresh young faces. While the show undoubtedly was a study in nostalgia, it did succeed in making my mind go wandering (“in my mind, I’m going…”).
Although it might not be hip to admit nowadays, I was a fan of James Taylor back in the day. Had most of his Warner Brother albums on 8-track (yes, those were the days). I even picked up a probably not quite legal copy of his Original Flying Machine album (also on 8 track) that had a number of charming tunes many of which later resurfaced on his Apple album. I vividly remember Taylor being on the cover of Time magazine (it was March, 1971, according to a Google search).
While I read the story, what I reminded most (and retained for years) was a psychedelicishly drawn “family tree” of folk-rock. Maybe that was a nascent sign of my interest in music criticism/writing/etc. Maybe it fueled the same part of my brain that also liked to memorize the facts on the back of baseball cards.
The other interesting thing about the show was that the backing band was the same band that backed them in 1970. Guitarist Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar, bassist Leland Sklar and Russ Kunkel. It’s sort of amazing that all of these guys are still around and playing. Any fan of the ‘70s SoCal singer/songwriter scene will recognize these names from the liner notes of albums of by Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne...oh the list is probably endless.
Anyway, it must have been quite a night, not that I was there