Thursday, February 16, 2006

The night I met Chip Taylor

Prompted by this by my friend, I thought I’d recount briefly the time I met Chip Taylor. And exactly who, I hear you ask, is Chip Taylor? Well he’s the guy who wrote what is, arguably, the anthem of the 60s – ‘Wild Thing’ (Troggs, Hendrix). But he wrote more, much much more, than that. He wrote ‘Angel of the Morning’ for PP Armold. He wrote ‘Try (Just A Little Bit Harder) for Janis. He wrote "I Can't Let Go"' for the The Hollies. Well, maybe not for them exactly, but certainly as immortalised by them. I met Chip at the world famous Bein Inn in Perthshire – a small, out-of-the-way hotel, pub and music venue which holds a maximum of around 50 persons who turn up to see and hear the legendary artists who, maybe astonishingly, agree to perform there. Anyway, Chip and his singing partner Carrie turned up there a few years ago and played a marvellous set of Chip’s new and – thankfully – old songs. It was an intimate and magical setting for one of the truly great and influential song writers of his - of that - generation (just remember the times we lived in when Wild Thing hit the charts on both sides of the Atlantic). After the gig a few of us got talking to Chip. And what a guy. He’s penned and recorded many, many songs, most of which belongs to the Country and Western rather than Rock genre. But, still, he’s the man who gave us Wild Thing. And I was talking to him. Wow. What a night. A couple of years later, late on a damp and dismal Sunday evening, I was walking through an almost deserted Manchester Airport on my way to some conference or other. You all know the type of night I'm talking about. And there he was again – walking towards me with Carrie. I couldn’t help myself. I stopped him. I said “you’re Chip Taylor”, as if he himself might have trouble remembering this. He confirmed, pleasantly, that indeed he was and we got talking again. He was warm and pleased to be recognised. We spoke. Again. Me and the man who wrote ‘Wild Thing’.

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