Mick Taylor Biography
by Greg Prato
Theres no denying the great string of classic albums the Rolling Stones issued during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s — 1969s Let It Bleed, 1970s et Yer Ya Yas Out, 1971s Sticky Fingers, and 1972s Exile on Main Street. But while Jagger and Richards received the lions share of credit for these aforementioned albums, it was the guitar work, and uncredited songwriting contributions, of Mick Taylor that helped make these albums so special. Born Michael Kevin Taylor on January 17, 1949, in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England (but raised in the London suburb of Hatfield), Taylor first picked up the guitar at the age of 9 — inspired by his guitar-playing uncle. The early-mid ‘60s saw Taylor play with such obscure local acts as the Juniors and the Gods, during which time he thoroughly studied such blues guitarists as Freddie King and Albert King. Legend has it that Taylor was in the audience of a John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers show in his hometown during June of 1966, a concert which then-Bluesbreakers guitarist Eric Clapton fail to show up. Taylor offered to sub in for the missing guitarist, and left quite an impression on Mayall. But before the two could talk about possibly continuing to work together, the shy Taylor had already left the club (without leaving behind any contact info) — leading to the band hiring Peter Green instead. But when Green left a year later, Mayall was able to finally track down Taylor via a music paper ad, and was immediately offered the gig. Taylor subsequently appeared on such late ‘60s Mayall albums as Diary of a Band, Crusade, Bare Wires, and Blues from Laurel Canyon.
By 1969, Taylor had grown restless in the Bluesbreakers (hed lasted longer than any other previous guitarist in the group), and when the Rolling Stones inquired about his availability, the timing was perfect. The Stones had returned to their blues roots after a brief detour in psychedelia, and Taylor managed to play on a few tracks for an album which was already nearly completed, Let It Bleed. The guitar duo of Taylor and Keith Richards was quickly becoming one of rocks best, as evidenced by the concert recording, et Yer Ya Yas Out (and the turbulent concert movie, Gimme Shelter). But the best was yet to come from the Taylor-era Stones line-up, as evidenced by such classic studio efforts as Sticky Fingers (on which Taylor supposedly helped co-pen the songs "Sway" and "Moonlight Mile," but received no credit) and the double album Exile on Main Street (on which Taylor received one of his few ‘official songwriting credits, for "Ventilator Blues"). But after reaching such a highpoint, there was predictably eventually going to be a fall-off, which came in the form of such not-as-stellar releases as Goats Head Soup and Its Only Rock N Roll. Although the Stones remained one of the biggest rock bands in the world, Taylor was growing restless (not to mention that the groups well-documented party hearty lifestyle was beginning to weigh heavily on him), and in 1975, the guitarist shocked the music world by leaving the group.
Immediately after his departure from the Stones, Taylor joined the Jack Bruce Band, which didnt last very long. After spending the mid-late ‘70s guesting on other artists recordings (Ron Woods Now Look, Mike Oldfields Tubular Bells, Gongs Expersso II, Little Feats Waiting for Columbus, etc.), Taylor finally got around to launching a solo career. 1979 saw the release of his self-titled debut, which is often considered to be the finest of his solo releases — but sunk from sight upon release (due to a changing musical climate). Taylor spent the early ‘80s playing/touring with others, including Alvin Lee, a reunited John Mayalls Bluesbreakers, and even Bob Dylan. It was also during this time that the Rolling Stones issued Tattoo You, an album which included updated versions of unreleased tracks dating all the way back to the early ‘70s (a few of which included uncredited guitar work from Taylor). Up next for the guitarist was work alongside American roots rocker Carla Olson, as well as a return back to his solo career - playing gigs regularly on the east coast and west coast of the U.S. As a result, a pair of live solo albums surfaced, including 1990s Stranger in this Town and 1991s Too Hot for Snakes. After relocating back to England during the middle of the decade, Taylor continued to issue solo albums (1995s Live at the 14 Below and 1999s A Stones Throw), and teamed up with former Pink Floyd/Thin Lizzy guitarist Snowy White and bassist Kuma Harada — performing with others on a ‘project-by-project basis.
Дата публикации: 18/04/2008
Прочитано: 1735 раз
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Mick Taylor статья в Classic Rock