Livingston Taylor Interview

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Born in Boston, raised in North Carolina and presently living in a Boston suburb. Livingston Taylor is considered one o today’s finest singer/songwriter/performers.
You might say talent runs in the family, especially with a brother like James, and a sister like Kate.
We talked with Epic Recording Artist Livingston Taylor at his Massachusetts home.

Q – What have you been doing since the  “Three Way Mirror” album?
A – I’ve since released another album on Epic Records called “Man’s Best Friend” and that record did fairly well. We had a Top 40 single off it. and that was a worthwhile experience. I tour very regularly. I’ve been out with Jimmy Buffet! and I’ve been touring with “Air Supply” and that’s been very enjoyable. I play both alone and with a band. I have three guys who I work with. It’s very gratifying.

Q – With hard rock so popular these days, is Livingston Taylor’s music getting the promotion it should be?
A – The thing that’s very important to me musically is that I am what I am. How can I realistically change? I work to get my songs on the radio. I call up program directors at radio stations all over the country. I call literally hundreds of them every time I release an album and a single. I ask them to play my record. When they’re already playing it, I call them up and thank them for doing so.

Q – Would it be easier for you if your last name wasn’t Taylor, so you could avoid the comparisons?
A – First off Livingston Taylor is not James Taylor. Livingston Taylor as James would be the first to tell you, is Livingston Taylor. People who know me, people who see me, no longer have confusions between James and I. Livingston Taylor is quite distinct. For anybody who has listened, it’s very clear that it’s very different.

Q – Could you go to your brother and say James, give me a break, let me open your shows?
A – Of course, but let’s be clear. I don’t need a break. I already make a fine living. I already have a terrific audience and a full worthwhile career right now. God has given me the ability to make nice music. What I am first and foremost is James brother. I don’t build my career, ever, off of somebody else’s career. I am ray own person in my own way, and I am very proud of that. James has many people asking him for many things. He doesn’t need me asking for things too, and I don’t need it.
I far prefer our relationship being brother to brother, and we are very close by the way, than I would his helping or attempting to make my career.

Q – You’ve said the only way audiences can be exploited is with quality and good taste. If that’s so, how do you explain the popularity of “The Plasmatics”?
A – Let’s speak about Wendy O. and The Plasmatics for a moment. What people are not coming to see is music in that case. People are coming to see the car blown up on stage. That’s basically a counter experience. There’s a very big problem about making a career out of destruction. If your career grows, by it’s very nature, you must kill yourself at the end of it.

Q – What does an audience expect from a performer today?
A – Each audience is different. I’ve done a lot of shows, probably approaching a couple of thousand shows, and after awhile you really get a sense of what your audience is looking for. If you listen to the audience in between the time you’re making noise, they’ll tell you what they want.

Official Website: Livingston Taylor

© Gary James All Rights Reserved

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