It was circa 1974 when I got a phone call from Austin Texas. It was my friend Arlo Watson telling me she had discovered a great recording by a singer/songwriter named Chip Taylor. She said she would mail me a copy.
It wasn't long before I had the album in my hands and immediately agreed that this guy really had something special. The album, "Chip Taylor's Last Chance" which was released in 1973 and is still a personal favorite of mine. I loved that record and for years I always included a Chip Taylor song in my live performances.
When it came time to record my debut self titled album in 1982, I made a decision to include a song or two by writers that I respected. Needless to say track one was Chip Taylor's "The Real Thing".
In 1986 I was about to record another project so we contacted Chip to ask what he had in the way of tunes. He sent me a tape of two songs one being "Clean Your Own Tables" which I was already familiar with from the Last Chance album. The other song was a ballad titled "Stealin' Each Other Blind", Chip thought it may not be my style but it was one of his personal favorites. To tell the truth I wasn't exactly knocked out by the song when I first heard it but thought with Chip's track record as a songwriter, ("Wild Thing"/ "Angel Of The Morning"/"Son Of A Rotten Gambler"), maybe I should have a closer listen.
After learning the tune and singing it for a few days I decided I'd better record it. When it was finished I passed it to Greg Sherritt who at the time was the program director of JR country radio in Vancouver B.C. Canada.
I'll be damned if it didn't become one of the top one hundred played songs of the year.
Chip and I have talked on the phone over the years but never had the opportunity to actually meet each other.
In 2000 the phone rings again. This time it's my friend Neil MacGonigill calling from Calgary Alberta. He tells me he's presenting "The Chip Taylor Songwriters Summit" and he would like me to be on the bill.
Off To Calgary!!! This was going to be a great gig!!! Besides Chip and myself the show included Ann Loree who wrote the hit song "Insensitive" which was recorded by Jann Arden as well as LeAnn Rimes.
The evening following our gig Ann received a BMI award for more than a Million radio plays of "Insensitive" in the (U.S.A.) Also on the bill was Chip's longtime friend and noted guitar player John Platania (Van Morrison, Randy Neuman, Bonnie Raitt, Judy Collins, Don McLean). In the picture below, I'm flanked by John on the left and Chip on the right.
We hit the stage at Club Kaos on a Monday night in Calgary and the joint was jammed to the rafters. We performed two sets, taking turns to do a song, then passing it on to the next person. The feeling and the reaction in that club that evening was electric. The show went GREAT!!! The sound was GREAT!!! The audience was GREAT!!! It's nights like this that make it all worthwhile. Thanks Neil for putting us all in the same building. I'll never forget that night.