As a music lover and avid listener of Blue’s music, Robert Lindeman has always been a James Taylor fan. When he was just twelve years old, Robert Lindeman received the album, James Taylor’s Greatest Hits, and has been hooked ever since. James Taylor is one of the best-selling artists of all time. He has a unique and challenging history that has brought him to the great success he has today.
Early Life and Family
James Taylor was born on the 12th March 1948 to Isaac M.Taylor and Gertrude Taylor (Woodard). His mother had a musical background having studied vocals with Marie Sudelius at the Conservatory of Music in New England. Before she married James father she sang opera. At the tender age of three James started to learn the cello but switched to playing the guitar in the 1960’s. His influences back then were Woody Guthrie and hymns and carols. He continued to play guitar but used a style of finger picking to emulate a piano. He met Danny Kotchmar at Martha’s Vineyard where he and his family often visited for holidays away. Kotchmar already an aspiring guitarist and Taylor listened to a lot of blues music and folk music where Kotchmar played the guitar and Taylor sang. This was where his vocal talents were first recognised and both went on to create their own music. It was at 14 that Taylor started to write his own music creating his first guitar song. By 1963 both young boys were playing regularly at coffeehouses at their summer location and were nicknamed Jamie and Kootch.
Education and Mental Health
The pressure of his college caused Taylor’s mental state to decline despite the fact he was academically doing well. This made him less motivated to meet his goals and as a result led to him returning to his home town in North Carolina to continue his education at high school instead. There he joined a band that his brother had made which was later known as The Fabulous Corsairs. The band went on to make a single that included a song that James had written called ‘Cha Cha Blues. Afterwards Taylor returned to Milton so that he could finish his final year and began applying to colleges. His mental health at that point declined further with him sleeping around 20 hours every day. He felt totally out of control with his life and was admitted to the McLean Hospital for treatment and structure to his life. The hospital had an associated school where Taylor got his high school diploma.
After checking himself out of the hospital Taylor was then urged by Kortchmar to move to New York where they both formed a band with Joel O’Brien and Zachary Wiesner called The Flying Machine. Taylor had written songs about his stay in Mclean including ‘Round the Zoo’ and The Blues is just a bad dream’. The songs were performed regularly at Night Owl Café which was a high visibility venue in Greenwich. It wasn’t long before Taylor began to hang around with people who were heavily into heroin and unfortunately began to take it himself. The song ‘Paint it Black’ was heavily influenced by his experience as a drug user. Later that year in 1966 the group made a single called ‘brighten your Night with my Day’ which was released by Gee Records. It only reached 102 nationally but was played on the radio in the Northeast. Unfortunately after a few failing appearances for which they never received payment the band broke up. After money ran dry and his addiction spiraled out of control he rang his family for help and received treatment. He then began a new career alone in London where his songs were played to Beatles members George and Paul McCartney. It was after hearing his voice and guitar playing talent that he was the first ever act that was not originally from Britain to receive a signing from Apple.