« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 648 - James Taylor

2015-10-21 | 🔗
Legendary singer-songwriter James Taylor stops by the garage for one of the more surprising conversations Marc can remember. James holds nothing back as he tells Marc about the ups, the downs, the darkness, the light, and everything else he encountered during his storied music career, leading up to his first new album of original music in 13 years.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Like guy ga I let's do this. How are you what the fuckers, what the plot bodies, what the fuck's there is, what the fuck the delicate nice do. Its mark mariners, w e f the pod. I said I host out of my garage, which is getting asked the man I don't know what the hell am. I gonna do anyways my guest today, James taylor, on the nicotine gum brothers, kindred spirits, this conversation with something beyond anything, I expected. I don't. I can't even tell you how great I felt happen to this conversation. The May I gotta empty it again they take it all out and put some of it back in there. This I've been noticing this and don't tell any of the people that are coming over please, but you know,
I clean, but I dont have thoroughly clean. I've dusted a bit, but you I've been at this in here for what I've years going over five years and and shit comes and goes in this garage people come and go. Stacks of things come and go. I just haven't and things get hung up in its just a guess. Why I'm trying to make you know when you go to a like an old roadside museum or something and the idea that this ways they look beat up. They will go. Oh dusty, I mean there was a time I think we're this garage was just dumb beaming with a sort of you, know cluttered intensity and now because it needs a thorough cleaning it sort of like there seems to be a bit stunned that old there baby Jar exhibit wow, look at that The presidential cup looks like that as dome, can use a bit of a cleaning yeah. So already
So there is the law of god, see right there, there's just like and was mostly skin without they say it is most we skin, so I got god knows, I've got to a lot. So every skin particles on a lot. Stuff in here: does it and we'll tip of the hat to Courtney? Love Madame, think. That's where the title of that that album came from, but none the less I do decline it and I've I've. I'm gonna get some office space down this eat very excited about it, knocking it too much, but just got myself a little office, so I can get the fuck out of the house I could go to another place to do some work. Here's the problem some. You can relate to this. If your self employed- which I am fully self employed. Is that, like no matter what I do My job is here for the most
yeah. I go to stand up and stop at the I work in the garage I come out here, interview people. I get a lot of stuff sent to the show. I get records book, cds, things, radio station over here, right of unsolicited stuff, a lot of excite stuff start to realise- is that your work, yes it's the sort of even out with anything else you have to do in your house, like you know, to go down there the shed down there that I moved a move, my little shed down there to get a to yo to take the as a brass screw thing out of a mike here to record a thing so that Just the same as me me doing some writing or me, not necessarily interview desperate preparing interview gases at doing my dishes and getting some writing done have equal status in my brain when you work where you live, so that me When you sit down to work, you don't know whether yeah you're gonna prioritize. I gotta make a cake for no fucking reason.
the distractions are there, but there are also things you have to do. So that's the struggle of being self employed. So I afforded myself a very reasonable and practical office space and I'm gonna go down too. So I can we up my fuckin dining room from stack. Books, records and cds, and I gotta go through not complaining can be able to meet people there, and I is very exciting. For me to tell you, for once, in my life, go hey. Can you meet me at my office? Let's talk at my office as that sound tried at on, try that on in your head, but maybe maybe with the office. I can take the time to. fucking thoroughly clean the garage. Exhibit you don't understand. So, we're still going through a past apathy. The deputy up you're, trying to put together the big picture on the year on the the myth the legend that is war Michael's as we lead up to my
recession with em. Here's me and We power episode one eighty three. She actually was able to help me see him in Different light any even if it didn't stick she she she enabled me to see him differently. What do I know you? Ve helped the story about you. Ve won. I ve met him Y know who, just from No, I didn't hated. He just. I think he really just want to teach me a lesson in iran, but will you close your clothes doing, update rate? Why mean that was the talk yeah? You know, but then, like I'd, heard other versions, so I can know he was just using me to pressure norm or whatever he made me jump through a lot of hoops and it was over. Exciting, but I'd seem as I get older. You like. I read that book about other than the the war for late night about the kind of rioting and end. He really is me. I had pure air cagey, and is very buddha. Like me, I keys very set is Michael's, but he seemed more
human d me in that book I see I am very human relationship here. You know his relationship I always had a theory that. He brought out allotted daddy issues, people for every buff everybody here and the way you kind of react him not always, but was sometimes indicative of how you had to deal with your own father there would be. I would see things it to me in ino subjectively, a moment that I didn't they didn't trick, me. In the same way, I saw a trigger trigger other people, you know, but he is a king of the kingdom We know that as a kingdom which he is king, rear and eat emily happened very much anymore. We get to see a king in his kingdom really, but talking to us you're talking to subjects he likes it, yes and I am I like the two. I liked it the attention.
I like the tent and also just found him to be very fair. At the end of the day in the sense of war, I thought he was fair. again. This is my experience in everyone's. Had many others here I found a very fair in his creative decisions. I go. thought he was you know funny and smart and pick things that were funny is working thought for that. He was a very long, I think, he's very loyal person to people you liked. Yes, yeah. I mean hater told a story about how they were doing this sketch. It was kind of weird, and it was the first big sketch you know and I it was useless appointments in price, and I can't them what sketch wise, but Haider was it is going in to do- has been some price and apparently right for one. I mourn said why now it really good but completely undermine yes,
yeah and I don't know where they want to terror willingly here graveyards gets kind of packed with them completely yeah Amy night, about worn for about fifteen minutes and that episode and she actually has a really healthy perspective on unease, All in her life, which I I don't really you can check that entire episode on how a premium episode when eighty three so yeah yeah. I mean the more we go through this stuff. I can put together an entire. Series of episodes just on people talking about lorn at my Egging did I james taylor is here now this is one those things where We all know James taylor did, I go talk to James taylor, the opportune became, and I might james Taylor fuckin james where's James taylor, man, sweet baby he's mudslide swim in the blue horizon those are not little records. Those are big fuckin records and their power My childhood,
like I remember. I told him this. I think amber my parents and you remember the firstly records you saw as a kid that your parents had. My parents had sweet baby james and I saw the cover of that, and I knew that Guy was not necessarily a happy guy, I know there was something up with that face and I was it sort of was intimidating was intense. I mean the cover sweet baby James. I guess people are like dollar did this? We man, but I was right now, there's some some dark in there anyway kind of frightened me on a level that it in quite understand not unlike the janis joplin pearl cover shoes. cute so stunning and all I knew she died from heroin. I was like how could that happened that cute stunning person, but James taylor, I know something's going on in there, but somehow or another James taylor guide sort of kind pushed aside. cultural shelf is being James taylor and he began represent something very simple
a big, but not necessarily something of my generation would be like fuckin james taylor, man holy shit, James fuckin, taylor rock n roll. That's something here in that tone I think I became victims that when I got the opportunity to change to like I'm MIKE got a new record out sounds a lot like James Taylor called before this world. It's available. Now it's a pretty classic James taylor sounding record, but when I was offered the opportunity I'm like yeah, of course I've talked to James Taylor's. Gabby story has been around a long time and I'll tell man, I was nervous about it because I didn't know if he talked at didn't know where he was adder who he was. I don't know a lot of times, what people sound like or how they handle themselves, so it was sorta sort of a mystery to me, but I was excited about it and when he showed up I was out here in the garage and I got a guy and for me part time, frank. He comes. I says they're here and I walk in, and this has never happened before I I got a guitar,
in the living room dick around on the I to have a guitar I for one am watching tv and when I just at play with their record or something I walk into the living room and is the first time this ever happened. James taylor has just said quietly on my couch punkin away, my guitar, which I, like I, love a guy that just can't not play a guitar. I know some people have guitars or you know their persons for like a year. Could you know digi your hands clean the lamp? Could you put the guitar down again, but me I'm like that's a guy that has to play guitar and I was without a very does very charming in you gave me a very good sense to him. Just sort of like just sitting there playing a guitar does is a guitar to play. It's like I'm not going to dog, I'm going to play guitar and then We come out here and he picks up, older beat up k that I have this garb guitar that the us is is it is kind of a great qatar and he starts play in that, This guy cannot not play. Guitar
and I like that, because at the relationship that important him and sadly Because we have such a great conversation. A guy. I didn't ask him to play guitar or sing. He didn't. He didn't bring his guitar, so I just assume. Maybe he wasn't into it, but I probably could ask them, but I I tell you, I got lost in this conversation, and I was talking to James Taylor. Now what? I go to where the interview- still. I want to tell you about this music you're about to hear this is by an australian musician named gerard daily. He was my show in melbourne and he had such a time he wrote this song about it. The next morning I found it very touching you can check out this on his sound cloud, page sound cloud, dotcom, slash, gerard m daily, that's g are a r d m d. L E! Why and the song is called one of those nights,
oh my god, James tellers, here, I have to say that you are the only guy, I'm happy. You did that that I've had over who plays music, that there cannot help but pick up a guitar. Well, it's it's it's nice. I used to play of gibson and I'm beginning to three thirty five, not one, but in our gibson guitar acoustic, a J, fifty a j fifty that was your first acoustic it. Was my second acoustic. My first was a sort of no name guitar that I bought it: shermer music and in new york, city or or more accurately might folks bought it for me when I hounded them into by me, guitar, so There was your first instrument had played cello Therefore, a four years between the ages, eight and twelve, I haven't really
like where you d have a happy too for it. You know. I know I wasn't a particularly good cello player and the elderly. that girl, I I will. I picked it up again recently. I I I if cello- and you know so I it comes in- fits and starts how play it. for a few months and and get some chops back on it and then let it slide again, but no, I I switched over to the guitar when I was twelve and you know for the same reason. We all it right because it's a more practical instrument that you can play on your own and still be entertaining to yourself and others sweden, it speaks back, you really quickly and it you know it's a good, it's good accompanying you and as beaks back to you, that's interesting way of putting it that that you have an immediate relationship with the with a guitar and and what it can do and what you can do in your way
you can do day to get what you're feeling out through it. That's right and an that's in other, that's the point it with any instrument. That's other than that? magic point at which you know you can't put it down we're when it said sir. Really I'm giving you what you, what you want to hear give me a long time due to realise that a virtuosity is is, is not ass a relevant to getting what you need to get across ass, a really good, You know it, true, I am a very proud nickel player in I have a over or up like a vocabulary on the on the good are that that that has expanded. Over time, but there really suits me, you know as a songwriter, so you aren't at a finger pick at some point. I mean you are good at it yeah I did finger. I always have finger pit and did you earn it from somebody? And I you know I picked it up from a
of different people. They used to be this guy named Travis, yeah moral, try, thus yeah had this thing called Travis. a really sort of a rolling kind of for walking base, with your thumb playing on top of it and he and an old elizabeth cotton, an old blues player from north carolina. They had this and a guy named Joseph Spence who made this fantastic record called music of the bahamas. Yeah Joseph spencer, Elizabeth cotton and moral Travis, where the people that inspired me and of course, forever. to me, the right cougar is the is the epitome of a finger please sort of a wizard of all sorts yeah he's an is like amuse ecologist, or at least some I just talked to Keith richards and and Keith credits rye with that five
that open five string tuning that he does do. Do. You know RI, you friends with them. I've met him a couple of times he played on on the title track to the october road album and played beautifully That was a few albums back. It the last one. Well, it was a few almost back, but it was the with the one before this present now than before this world october, road was the really some hum time thinking and in an o three euro two was sir. It was the last studio album of original material and we, you play with somebody like rye who, having respected him over so many years may be met him once or twice. Is it just like you like a kid? studio watching that guy work? I have She says huge respect and admiration for the man that it is a little bit dawning any and and he, sir he's a great care. yeah and always an enthusiast, but tat can be a little crusty too so
I do not attend twisted my buddy on the record store down around the corner used record stored. I don't over was this one of the one in new york, but thinks it reich. Hooter came in through the bands and came up and said how come the right, cuter arms are so cheap at length by friends that I gotta think he's really caught on yet as a revival orders, and so if that was, the army can be crusty and in I think, some guys, who are certainly some guys were geniuses that debt that may not get there. their due respect, wise, from the public right, my get. Will crusty yeah, you can't you can't blame no well, but I think in arise. my musicians here is so universally respected. Oh yeah sure is it escape paradise on lunch was transformed me that album how to transform you, I just put, that out, all the time- and I just love what he was doing with the guitar were here- was that seventy two, so really so early on seventy one enemy.
work. What were you? What brought you music? Initially word you grow up. I grew up chapel he'll north carolina area and my brother Alex was you know we had a family record collection that was really fantastic. My folks used to play. music all the time. I can't stress two people how It is what music replace you, kids, india. Would you get an weak? really wide spectrum of stuff. We got a lot of broadway in oh yeah and read rogers and herriston, and coal porter, and lesser, but we also got ten and things like the weavers and and pete Seeger. We we got at belly. My father I bought led belly. Album, sir I saw had all that stuff like that is important, and then we got a lot of fun like celtic music. You know,
family tradition, I mean. Are you not? So much is just what they like. You know they they they were in, do it they were into it, and then there were like classics and an jazz, and there was a us satirical kind of fur, songwriter name lair tom, where our malaria from forced him from mit year and He played his hour more time to seek out at laughs, got some laughs and it also sort of opened us up to in that kind of, but slightly political or in a socially motivated music and and how many kids were in your family there the five of us here cause. I know like I went to college in Boston. I lived in boston on and off for years, right, livingston taylor, your brother sort of ever present away. present in the in the new england area playing music in your other sieves. Did they play yellow it might
I older brother Alex and he started a band when we were in high school in chapel hill, and he was old. He was the one older than you. Are you the second one in and the second one in his ear? He was the eldest a just a year older than I, and you know he he exposed me to the sort of second tier of of my musical in our world need that guy, you need the elder brother, you need the elder brother did he he was so into in. I think he got into it through beach, music the beach music varying, but but he he deeply god two were hum: saw music in the. In the south and would make these serve long trip to listen to various artists, Don kobe, Joe tech, sir Joe tax, that leap stuff. You guys heavy manhunt and would listen to jimmy red and our yeah jimmy rehab and vague,
Ass man there an end, but also rachel karlsson. You know jackie Wilson and he suppose me to a lot of stuff that was important, and then we we played in the back together and played a lot of those songs. You sure You can hear that I mean you did that what was that big hit you had steam roller was a steamroller steamer. That's almost like a jimmy reed tune it. You know it's it's a. Well bar blues. Is a you know it satire rose, it's a spoof. You know if you know of what type a song it will affect. So many, though, sums are really like that, and I quote yeah, but you know it's one thing to be muddy: waller waters and I'm a man and write another thing to be a pamphlet like adolescent sing and I'm a man said about that's what the difficulties that Bulgaria, but so I'd, say: you're, growin, up and chapel hill. and what you what's, your man do my phone the doktor of noise is. Noise is gone, but he was sir heap
we'll just down and nineteen fifty wanna and- and nineteen fifty plymouth station wagon, I drove My brother and I down in my my mom, took the train with the little ones here and we move to a car borough north carolina, which was the home of elizabeth cotton. Aha, I don't know she was there, then or not, but that was fifty one and he stopped working for the university of north Carolina said as a staff doctor, as I he taught medicine for a while and ended up being an the dean of the medical school therein and basically building the the medical school with a couple of other early I saw a taboo doktor. He was in turn us in our originally did some research but tat. You know you got into medical administration and was sort of more interested in building that the school, the eye but my father was a doktor. It's always go David doktor around I don't know what it does, and what do you feel like it did to you
I know what it did to me. You know you develop a sort of, I do remember be. There was never a concern about getting to a doctor, that's right as a certain a a certain detachment about your own health. Maybe I am but also I found that they were kind of self involved. While my father was a he and they are always on. It always seem that the work they were doing was very important and that dead that whatever emotional detachment he may have had, was for the service of the bigger good. Yes, that's right, they they were detached people. I know a little bit think surgeons are another level of that. That's where my dad was yeah and I think they have to be in other to have a certain amount of of of in our self assurance and and analysed.
Caption the idea that they can make these big decisions and that they are right and doing right with without without thinking too much about it. I mean you said it would drive him crazy. The hour. You know you just you just going to have to go in and cut and hack and do what you gotta do right. Did you get along with them? I did love, my dad and- and he was sir. He was really good to me, but he was not in many is not a happy person in all of our family sort of came off the rails and the late sixties, You know my mom and dad split up, though they did, and was it happen in a period of about two years in all my my buddy, alex who's dead now and die of fur of alcohol started to were too.
And I started on up on a path of a real self destruction. My wife, my folks, a break up was You know it happens so frequently that you think of it as being routine, but it's a big deal when a nagging, especially in that era, was not that common necessarily and I ended up in a psychiatric hospital m- was followed by a rhyme. Might the next? Who sibling so before he even started professionally playing and everything yeah. It was yeah. It was in my senior year of high school. What were you suffering from and it was called a depression depression and let it was like just a a common. Teenage yanks sure, but it felt pretty in Impressed researchers at idle suicidal leon, you do attributed divorced that or do you back in whatever your experience, which has been the harrowing
at times. Do you see there's a chemical problem of? I think I think it may have been combination of fur. I mean I think we are in our are brain through her a chemical processing and I think we we're evolution, airily predisposed to a certain kind of life, and if were removed from that it can be difficult, but it's just particular time their passage of of late, adolescence or mid adolescence, It can be a very harrowing time of four of china to vulnerable shore at the time where were you're you're, trying to find your way and and figure out who you are going to be in the world and if there's a place for you and you're being delivered this body and metabolism and mind there. You are born with in a sense and then from The self medication started when I'm in a while
to new york and started playing rock and roll. So so after you got out of the hospital, and also I think you know, when your sensitive it doesn't make it any easier, You know when you feel things deeply yeah. I think some people are a vital more equipped. Sometimes well yeah they. I think some people do have a sort of a more positive, far assumption about life. Yet and always people- and you know- and that's that's great- I you know- god bless him and and and also I think people have faith- that their fans please, sir serving doctor, the member here their little its and it goes beyond just the religion therein, it also has to do with how they see feel about the world area. view perspective we're not given the either any of that. Well, you know think I was given other things, but but I in writing. I just had that. What fell to me,
a pretty extreme version of that that teenage vulnerability and an anxiety, so and a heavy heart he knows maybe so and and and at the same, both the culture and the late sixties and my family were sort of coming unglued in all right, so it was an interesting a passage for me. I felt it checking in two of the year advocacy, kapital and and spend. My college fund, in about six months. It gave him the permission to go or do whatever I wanted. You're fighting with your father, signed off on that. You decided on your own that I'm going to check into a hospital, because I got problems. Where were you? Your parents were that chaotic that they they weren't part of that they didn't they. They didn't really notice. Other people noticed but when you go in go in words your dad say well, you know
The first thing is people who knew my family, the island and teachers at the school. Our was trying to stay in vague, they said dumb. You know we think that James r r talk somebody else right, they centipede meta, someone, a children's hospital, guy said well, I want you to go to my planes fora heroin, was concerned. He said I want you to the wrong maclean hospital for some observations I got to knowing what to do. I know I was at new england in the two at the time had been sent to a warning school, which one mill the caterpillar mill macadam me. I went to curry college down the street here you I know milton right on the border matter. Pan! Yes, that's right! Yes right! So here is a call. It you're a debt, prep school, losing your mind being depressed and they send you over to the best. I can your kapital in the country at the time. I believe I think they did in india and in all my my folks were
As I said they were, they were preoccupied with other things carry on and I think the time when you really need when young people need their families to sort of support, in to adulthood and our gimme some tools, you listen to us, but also some support in some guidance and just to let him know that their they're, watching you and the other. No, I don't we did really because I think they really were they had their hands completely filled. My from my father was alcoholic. Can I think things were will always he there were overwhelming him. What form it was he a violent or genoa? No, he was sir. He was as well as functioning an alcoholic, as you could hope to find and a loving person, really I'm am in your family,
But it was in their oh yeah yeah I mean it's in. There are good at killed. My brother, no question took him right, we endured you. Did he tried to get clean, a different time care they're, just wasn't enough on the other side of life, hath brutal dude! I got sixteen year sober. I bet. I know there are days where you live now. What's the point It's worth it it's where music came in her you know your music did really did solve a lot of it. You spoke to me and I I was I don't need much young young people, what need much to feel as though they have an anchor in the world and that their ago like there is some way forward for them or what
I moved to new york. While you were fresh out of the hospital you are now in him and he he had euro your finger picking in place or what day I I'd I'd written some songs and I was starting to write more and when you're a solo act know I I I had whether a friend of mine that I knew from see my mom was up daughter of new england, fishermen and seal he came from newburyport massacre and she oh when my dad moved to she met my mom father and when he was sir at mass generally as an intern, a hand, and he then, when he but one four of us were born in new england, then he was sir coming into can a decision about how he was going to actually practice. And what is
I was gonna, be he decided to move back to north carolina and from there he was from the? U s when morgan to north carolina hotline, southern boy, yes, the southern boy, a sort of fault, neuron tale of far of a voice. Very heavy and, and and and impossible, childhood really from real idea. Really, a very, very hard dark story to tell you very forbidden faulkner reincarnated. You have a relationship with that side of the family, no, not really a hot, really that that was also a very hard well, you know everything's relet sure, but it everything's relatives as they say, but as my as it is as einstein's brother in law used to say, the thing is my mom at my dad and end, every
chance she got yo. She tried to sort of save us from north carolina as it were, and she she was afraid we were going to attach down there that we'd absorb the local zeit, guys that we would basically become of that place the worst part of this, the worst idea of the south. Perhaps I think cause a beautiful down. I think she was alarmed by she was on the picket lines. She was, as you know, sitting in and and restaurants that were trying to to integrate, and you know it a sheet she would bring us to north for north carolina to new york to to cease plays seward. And ruthless and various programmes that got us out in the summer time. She she drove the whole family up to marthas vineyard, which in those days was not a millionaire, sir ghetto. Ah sir, it was a cheap hum. I sort of fur progressive place for
for families to or from them, in a sort of fur academics and artists sure to hang out from the front western seaboard, so she would Take us up there every summer and run a house and or a little we had a little place with no electricity. We camped out. We had the best time in the world, but my point was that that I, you know- I are on the vineyard is, is one of the places where I I got into music because there was a lot. There was a great coffee house, there called the moon cassia, and that was associated with a club, forty seven and in cambridge, and there was great news there and there was an open mike night. There were places to play and I met, my friend danny courts MAR there who is from america new york from westchester right and he Lee. He was the third level of my musical education,
like forever, like you, ve, been working with him forever. Have that's right, so we played our first gigs together when he was seventeen mouse fifteen and then weep. We started flying machine together after I got on the plains? down in new york and a friend of mine, my best friend oldest zack wiesner, we went down in new york, city and andor along. the drama that coots knew who happened to be, heroin acting and was yet another stage in my education, but not a musical no musical as well. Joel O'Brien was was a fantastic drummer, but also a just a a consumed enthusiasts music, a high. He entered me too, latin music to brazilian music to another whole layer of rhythm and blue eye to country music
sinatra, no kidding here and heroin and heroin to sell you know, and, and unfortunately you know I I was- I was one of these- you know adolescent ouch, cube sort of you know. Cringing ass the landscape and I found heroin, I'm I was just got relief relief so with me. It wasn't. I wasn't seeking it's to see your oblivion. I was just looking to get normal. I die believe me, I I know exactly what you're saying there: the the discomfort of anxiety and dread and panic, and you know, being too sensitive in the world, so I imagine that give give a few weeks to heroin heroine you're like oh, my god. breathe its troop. It sir said True- and I think it's an epidemic in our country today and lots of people feeling I, but I hope you answer by the way- the way I felt about it was tat the way
come to feel about. It is that I was probably you know like curb raw, being of some viking boat, ria across the seas and for and a former life and you know when you sit me down in a sort of suburban context. I just in oh my My nervous system in my body and my entire wiring is just not ready for I'm ready for something else. I am ready for prices, I'm ready for war, I'm I'm ready for to battle the elements, but I in order in a raid villages or surfing or defend villages garonne, I'm I'm not comfortable lot you on and the chow said I didn't watching baseball, but you didn't grow up in chaos. So really until like late adolescence ride, any most of your childhood was was repressed in a way. I would imagine there were I don't mean to make it seem like her. You know too much of a fall
a novel it it. It was a fantastic. in the host of it was fantastic. We just came off, cracks in the late secures with the arrest of culture. At the same time, any of this amazing mom who wanted to expose you do everything glorious about the arts. Exactly and then in an meeting your danny in this it in o brien and in your best friend and going to new york it's weird. Would drugs in the sense that there is a price a four year, amazing, worldwide education, sometimes in it. I think, sometimes whether it was for relief for what you have the drug culture at that time was when it was right. Yes, it was, it was. Nobody knew what what was on the other side and it just seemed like you know I was living until the end of the week. I had no idea about there being future about and then he was with the flying machine yeah. This is with the lying belgian and through a door for you too, as a base and a drum up yet get
our base and andrew that's right to guitars basin drops exact and that's why imagine not. Unlike we spoke at the beginning about how a guitar speaks to you, I imagine the way heroines. It's u over time, as it is is a shitty dialogue because it doesn't leave you much choice and I know, was a lifetime struggle, but what what? What kind of music? How did your musical style evolve? Did you find that with the dope, that that informed, the laid back badness that initially came over you I mean: did you find that you have now that your past, open, passed all that stuff tribute any of your your groove to to drug culture. No none at all. I feel as though I was self medicating. I was looking to get normal right, not looking to get high rank and I've, a lot of recovery saunter since I've been in recovery. But how are you Thirty two years
Congratulations, eighty three, a beautiful thing right: it is a wonderful thing, I mean yeah, you know, I can't sure I can you know we have presumed that it that it, sir, that on their right now cause it's waiting the eye, and I know I have at a slip so I'll. Have you how long ago factor too years ago. Yeah why in ankara regular, pink, Yasser Arafat asserted the that's. What that's what happens? Man, that's what you did. without feeling yeah, terror vulgar I'm glad you got past it. So When did you shift from the ban to Sola what happened well the flying machine in a week. In those days it was so record or die, and we signed two. We got a couple of people interested and sir, who were
I guess they were music publishers and unfortunately, I signed away my publishing for that non non deal as it but we sign to these guys and they were supposed to put us in the studio and in fact we see two days in the studio and then, they told us this isn't happening, but the the the for I sign, came back to haunt me and also after sweet. Be games, came out and and how I had some success. they found all the old in a half baked that we did in the end studio in those two days and they just released. All of it are real flying machine out. Yeah, that's right and it's a bootleg and it's a boondoggle in it. So you know it's a piece of crap it's out in the world, though oh yeah I signed three or four
in the day when I'm on the road reality, you don't mind doing that they my signing them, but I didn't tell the person it's like we can. I don't condone this and see it more as a relic. I don't I don't really. I I occasionally tell people you're on actually listen to this arrangement right. So they had you up through the first James taylor record hand, sweet baby james to publishing deal. They had me until one man, one mandeb, oh my god, so they just took my washing and you never got it back. I got fifty percent of it back after a certain point. Why, so that will that that resentment alone would fuel and ongoing drug abuse? Well, you know it There are so many stores of people being ripped off right of musicians, particularly writers, and you know, bonnie rate has risen blues foundation along with a guy named how beetle
and they ve done as much as they can to redress some of that, but it was just. You know it was assumed that if you, if someone allowed you to record, they were going take all the money right you got to or do music they'll take the money right. now was just the way it was it was. I felt ass though you know I made I have my own, personal version of that story, I think a lot of people to shore I've heard it before in here. So when you did the first james taylor record, which was sell out the whip, how did come about me before revisions, because that was really the first time I ever saw him my parents, the album sweet baby james, and I would I'd see your face, and Am I listened to the record by me. I'm talkin, unlike eight nine years or seven years old- and I would see face and was very intensive album cover that cover idea. And tell us that guy was a happy guy if he was missed.
curious guy. What was going on with that guy? It was. It was sort of a haunting cover to me as a child, and I mean no disrespect, no, no, not at all. I, Are you a negative too? I have a little bit of her. I'm doing, this nicotine gum or lozenge. As I know There is absurd dixon did you getting gum. There is there for all All, I can say, is the president also choose nicotine gum. I feel as though I have about. It's not heroin. it's not harrowing elite na? and they may lead to not brushing your teeth or sure it might give you a little to the tmj yeah, but that's why I got off the gamal to put my teeth through havoc, really sorry Do these was hinges and get pretty good buzz gone. So you know on the level due on that ability next week, and we did. Is we got autumn for six months, and you know that discomfort you're talkin about now comes right back I'll, tell you
ok that that sense of physical anxiety, that now that follows, withdraw be opiate withdrawal and that that is basically the heart of it, though the way I got body back near was three hours a day of absolutely olympic training. I just at the age of thirty, Five threw myself and exercise in a way that for the endorphins, yet that was the only way I could stand eleven. My own scanty still do it. I've I backed off at some but I still need it. I wish I could like I I'd exercised in my life, but never enough to get that addiction thing going. I really would like to do that. I mean I'm fifty going to be fifty two and I and I just to and I've exercised in my life and I've gone through periods over, but I never have my where's this I wait. Yeah I mean I got me. I got to go further. I gotta go harder
got the bay off here. That's right, you go go. You have to find the thing you like to do, but what does you either run out of things said that no, I I when I was in new york, I did a roebucks classes area, its answer, a little pathetic bert I I did I used to go and justice sweat. You know dance, disco, music, whatever it was. No shame in that people do that the things at home with the video tapes now's, not aerobics, so much more alpha arose excellent. These work out videos now guerrillas jumping things right, buddy buddy, you know it's sort of tween a meeting, sender and exercise. Sir group, exercise that was sort of my life. Oh yeah. I'd. Do it brought me through a period of time is good yet we still active, but but then I got into a car like cross country skates.
King? I got into a bike riding again into long distance. Hiking I got into a mere in a paddle boring. I got into a whole bunch of stuff, so I don't get your fit as I still. I think it is in a way over did at the end, and I wore up a knee, and I you know, but generally speaking, I think it was my salvation more growth and an end. I think it was that it was like aye aye channeled, my inner viking, the other viking, like the viking, like them, I think you'd be dead viking yeah and he did it. I think I was meant to do it and I think we are meant to be physically accurate I don't think anyone would assume that necessarily that James Taylor has an inner viking. I think we're all happy to know that you know yeah, it's it's true, I I I do well. I you know. I. I think that I have a lot of the early stuff that I wrote was was supposed to just sort of soothe me or work through the fear
It's probably an aunt. You know I think you're hitting added. It was sort of like musical heroin, musical or palliate. I think I'll therapeutic or something you know one, and so I think but think of me that way, but in a way, in fact, if, if you If you know my mother, you know if you My show a lot this as a lot of celebration and it there's a lot of far there's a lot of energy and to ensure well Then there were the first record william. What was a story behind that? Well, apple album. As I said, the the the flying machine are basically quit and and we we crashed riah and the ban, just disbanded so I was so living in an apartment on upper west side which, in those days in the in the in the midst it was. It was gonna war zone
now strung out where you are functional. Now I have a stronger yeah and I I was out of any source of of money, and I I think that had. I stayed in that apartment for the next, of months I might have forgotten into some some criminal business real trouble yeah. So I I to my dad, my my mind my dad called me on the phone and- and I said, he said you don't sound too good to me jameson. I said: durham, dad a cat dna alonso good right. He said well, what what's your address? I told him that I was in an eighty forth in amsterdam me. He said to her stay right there, and I mean I mean right their state. there are twelve hours later he showed up with her with a station wagon and took me back home and which, which has said then there was a song. I wrote called jump up behind me, which was written about that.
and now you know it's like you know your mom has such a huge amount to do with who you are, but your dad, just need. If you can, you can make a dad out of just three or four important once you know what I mean you can assemble a decent death and- and that was a big one in her- did your was at such an hour glass which, on which I was I was on our car cosette was I got that women will brief like how we are pretty sober by them, but it was a pretty reflective record yeah, it was, but it it. You know over time, I've gotten better and better at making these records and of having a idea of what the some music is going to sound like an and coming closer and closer to what that idealism and That's another reason why I wanted to to get in a bag the studio and make up make this album. I dont know if it's the last
certainly if I wait another thirteen years, its last one there I'll make. But with the real James taylor record yeah, I think it is and when you were driving down with your dad, I mean, were you sweating and and and you know, did he know exactly what was going on in any exuded, a a certain level of support and understanding? That was surprising. You know I can't remember the the year. I think I slept through most fisher, and here I was you know, I was malnourished and and hadn't had any sleep and- and I I just needed to hole up and rest for a long time they showed up. I showed up, that's fuckin, beautiful man. He did show up, he heard it you hurt, he heard me any came and gummy I'll, never forget he has quite so you got it together and then you went to england. I did I spent Six months at home here and I didn't in I clearly wasn't gonna go to college and you know things were. I could see were terrible
at all and just falling to pieces my mom and dad weren't communicating and my brother Alex was in some bad trouble and my brother and low oh brother and sister were in Maclean, sir, and I I I around for a while. I still had a habit, and I you know I did. I told my folks. Listen just take me to a trip to two were to england, just enough money to get started over there. I want to go and visit a friend my songs. I got my guitar. I went over and stayed with with a friend that I've known from other summertime son on Martha's vineyard, who was living in london of time, and I met people who were enthusiastic about my music, I'm the demo. I got back in touch with them courts mar and new york and I said the cause I knew he had
at Peter Asher, and I was trying to find people who might listen to my my music producer, yep and Peter had just taken a job as as a and a head of a and r and a and r person finds new reality for four record company for apple for oh records, and they hadn't signed anyone yet then released anyone yet and so at the beatles way? I was the beatles' label. Peter heard my my songs. He said: let's go plan for for Paul. Why there's something in the way she moves for Paul mccartney. George Harrison end and george ripped off the line. I had ripped off so many beetles. If this on. Seventy, it hardly is easier, is a fair trade. It was apparent, so you know
we like to say I yeah man, I liked your song so much. I went home and wrote it yeah you get to meet Paul here. You are the this. This, like shaky kid absolutely, and he had these songs, but you must have had everything that you have four for them recognizing around me for peter to go again. This guy's got some unique, yet I think it was Peter who saw it, and Peter said in Paul, said to Peter well, do you want to produce a record for this kind and we will release it and Peter said he. I do most of our meeting Paul and george. You know a little bit like the second coming. I dont know what was John they're tourism. Most John was around their raw. There are all there well, we will. according it up at nodded, abbe road, but it at trident rodeos because tried and have the only a functioning eight were quarter and in england, aha, and what were they recording their the white out, so they were about it at its wits end with each other. I imagined by that point, will they? still
Doing amazing word that for here and they in between there marathon sessions I'd I'd come in the studio on and do you know we do a couple of my drummer from my job, and came over to play drums on the are we did yet and in a way I fell in love in london. I had a great great time and he jammed with the beatles. I did a little bit I played with the beatles sir Paul and and georgia both a record iran carolina in my mind, you know I was a fly on the wall when they were listening to play ball so I have a man. It was incredible, it was incredible. That's amazing! It was amazing in that in carolina, my mind's, a huge song. It's a great song. It's one! It's a lot of people's favorite james taylor song. It's one of my favorites here. Is it yeah? It is so then, so you do
That is why didn't you did you stay at that level? Well, happened, was sir about six months into the. They experience ah for some reason. Yoko and and John were sort of fur. They were sweet talk to and an seduce via a guy, Alan Klein, who was manager right? became their manager, their first manager after Brian Epstein and That was a mistake, but paul and and george were, were not taken in right and I think It'S- other things that basically polarize them, and they still did some beer work beyond that. It being idea, but. the rain but but Alan climb was only interested in beetles. He didn't have any
use for Mary hopkins or bad finger or billy pressed energy, James taylor or rail any jackie long after he was put in charge of the label. He went to management level here, any just got rid of all of us. What the actual A mechanism was that we asked for an audit and which was in our contract and he he just through the contract out, and we and Peter said well we're out of here this sir this week gone dry. Let's, let's try LOS angeles and then he came out here, but where was all happening so you, if you're on the edge of that, There was a whole new singer, songwriter that the rather the original emergence of the modern sigurd songwriter right we get crosbie in any mitchell and jackson brown. A little later, I feel young. So you come out here you part of that overall canyon trip to a certain extent, oh yeah, you welcomed with open arms. Were people like that James Taylor? well yeah I mean it wasn't. I wasn't in our ass
maybe James was a big hit and are you came out after that? No I came out before that ryan previous summer. I I've been on the road for a while after I get back from london, our strung out again- and I I re hospitalized too- to basically as a rehab via that was a place and stop birds. Massachusetts called her austin rick's they once to do that sort of work, but they did and because your dad step danner well. No, it my dad ass somebody who recommended that as rise to go near, but I wasn't admitted as as a heroine attic I was, I was admitted as psychiatric patients put It- that the reason I was there was too was to get sober. Now you just you couldn't kick on your own, obviously india, but where you trying regis surrender to buy now use the thing I like I said I was never sort of an abandoned, hop head. I ass, I was I was. I was true
function. Ryan did remain highly functional sure in spite of The fact that I also had an on and off a habit habit going coming and going. You know and you weren't alone in that yeah. That's right! Yeah I mean it was not. It was not like you know, you were some sort of freak yeah, you know in the communities you're running and it was for fairly common. Alright, so you you clean up I mean I I so I cleaned up there in writing. This is this is pre a mere. In the methadone in the yes, I did. yeah I did too too. probably a combined five years on methods and in the other detox his I went to or one at gracie square in in new york city here on the east side and in another place, cos
There are hills up in in connecticut, but I was always a relatively function and out when I came out to to the west coast to spend time with Peter. You know we started casting for people to to record with them. We found care king. We found russ uncle, we found least clar. We found a guy named Bobby west who played the standard based on fire and rain, we found a paddle steel player. dusty road to me. We made that that sweet baby James album men about three weeks for about eight thousand bucks at sunset, sound, but one of the reasons it went so quickly and was all the material was available via has the summer before, and so I I in the in march I've gotten out of arson rigs. had gone on the road for about five months.
I had an motorcycle accident broke both my hands and both my fiji's Jesus I was in in oh, I missed you stock I was in. I was in plaster where'd, you go the chapel hill, I went to marthas vineyard, which is where I was living at the time after I got out of four in a rehab. I went to the vineyard what I knew so before we baby james. You can use your hands your feet, that's right and an eye that period of time really allowed me to finish some songs and get the lyrics yeah, and so that when we went into the studio to make sweet baby james, we we had everything the out of bed. It was all ready to go. he really thought about it and we have this great band beer and an we knock out fast and then a fire and rain took off him. You know we we hit the road in and that's where I stayed a great feeling. Man
fire and rain was a huge song. It was a I was in a hawaii. I was it was amazed if it was too painful song. You know in a way, but I think it's not painful to listen to. No, no, no, I mean there's a transcendent spirit. Do some people it as I'm sure butter we, I twemlow songs act like can be played out at a wedding or a funeral. I do so so that so you're you're you're it now? This is a huge record, one like triple platinum right and it's a big record. He was and and and so you're a made guy in a way and you're in you're, in los angeles and you're hanging with their carol, king and johnny. George. You sing on that wonder, johnny and I we got together after then, after you dated sweep evidence, we lived together for a year and lawyer and I lay in the moral canyon, I'm immoral, canyon, largely but but
So are we travelled together? Alot has we'll both travelling all the time I made a movie called a two lane. Blacktop right, the obscure was elm. Was oats worn out with aurora nowhere notes in Dennis Wilson and guy who directed it was how monti helm and with this like, he made to movies you have caught fighter and to aim I'm right and ride the world when I think another one call riding thumb I saw two aimed blacktop. I have. I have like a release, video evidence from those guys. Sort of existential seventies movies. I know you you, you have to be pretty relaxed watts had conquered man is flat flat out. I get into that. You know Somebody. So my picture heard the record and said: do let's give my try so Peter thought: yeah, movies that are good next step. Azure sign me up and
did this, I've never seen the film, though I never, I couldn't stand really now I never saw, but you didn't. you ve done a little, acting as yourself more as a character over the years here in the area and Lamy owes, but how between us, we may be James mudslides, whom that we were, I think, is always the island that I played the most. When I was a kid I got parents as maybe james by one of my cool friends, parents had months. Its lamentably rising and ways to play that on a cassette on the school bus, I still listen to that album man I mean like I was when I knew I was going to interview you. I just started going through my head and started singing James taylor, songs to myself. Now it's weird. How many you know you don't like, because I knew me. I know machine gun kelly. I mean that was one of my favorite songs on that record and it's not the ones that were hits necessarily but machine. Kelly. I love. That's all that's kutuzov. He wrote the idea, but on that record you got you. Ve got a friend which is the carol king song and you were. You were very close with her. Yes, carolyn ai weiwei, tour. Together, we recorded together, we never wrote together, but
did you date nope remember we were federer, we never romantic when you're, never in bed together, but great song writer, though harper on the bus, a lot together in an onstage and yeah. Well, that became a huge hit for you that you've got a friend huh. It really did it was it My only number one single and ah it really. It was great that's a great one and then, like you, did Dave women die walkman guerrilla, which I remember, as a grown up kind of twelve year old, and I can't you when I interviewed musicians, you others these moments, I have words or like we. I like that song, like those song, I it's a great on those two arms, a great many work on line. They don't thirty rock a giant you know like when I was working at the stubby. It's there was never really
you always had a hit here and there a meal was not a tremendous waitin. For you, I mean all the way up until when you you stop for a few years right. That's right! It's always been it's interesting in oh, it's it's! always been to my audience and then in the nature of my distrust for the this sort of fur. the business side at her in the envelope and thus the sort of celebrity thing it seems so so profoundly false and just just you know, secured to me that that I've had this very sort of level kind of touring, existent yeah, I've. I've had sort of three bands. well maybe too bad your hand and that these communities of musicians that I work with, we travel gather we play live, we accord together and it's that that's the focus
sure thing, though I am sure that in the audience yet I mean your audience is very loyal audience. I mean this new record that you just put out, which is that before this world was number one immediately which, which really is a testament to to the people. stayed with you you're over what forty years now it is at forty five years is a long time you know, but like I think that you, you think people are so emotionally connected to your tone, to your songs, to the feeling, that you are able to to two to sort of make. People have that date. Not unlike you know, any great artist that they look to you as a friend in they look to you for some concern. In fact I think. That's that's something that not all musicians have that you do have is a tremendous amount of quality and consistency to your work. You know I do think that There is value and in continuing that's good
and that's a very positive statement. It is yeah it is. You know, I. I think that it is important not to get terse swept away by the you know your own press, or you know your people's idea, that people telling you yeah how our important you are theirs. there's a thing. You know I. I obviously have childhood and adolescence a very happy childhood, a very troubled adolescence, which gave into a long period of fur of addiction which resolve itself kind of late in life in and you know how it is, if you, if you're sure addicted you don't make any headway and sort of learning how to live. You you just see article you just viral due to see come in cycles. Why me was it when you were married? The car we Simon, you guys, did some great work together was
the drugs it broke down that never really lead to the end of that. You know was really that I was wasn t a suitable tool. Grown up. This wasn't a grown up, my ass in the decent husband. It was an impossible project. I take me honest as a husband. What made you had bought him to the point where you you. Would you really like grabbed it by the horns and indeed what was necessary? put your sobriety first in the sayings and in what what made what hammer, at home, really what series of events well, rather than age. I think head part of it and just was apartment part, but I think that you know you you are you just get sick and tired of fur I'm sick and tired live the same day. Over and over you lose a lot of friends. He lose a lot of friends. A lot of people died and My brother died, and you know you,
these jackpots, where you're humiliated in and mortified and just brought low buyer by your disease. viruses, gets embarrassing and humiliating and mortifying in your friends with pollution to right now John was a close friend and down the vineyard, and now and you down in new york here and I like that losing john, was in you know, I that's why I'm here and johns the second person, by John and and that it are really hit. It woke me up a little bit. to have him die, so you know- and I myself can count five times when I really should not have started breeding again and so as a result- and you know I had this I've found myself addicted again and back in the cycle. Again, when I promised myself, I was free and- and I finally said this is this: is it and I've got to get clean and I had a friend
he's gone now, hep c, circled back and and got so many people twenty years after they got sober, you know, and now they got a cure for it. Now they've got a cure and, and he could have of live just listed huh yeah. He he brought me a sack where who played on a lot of my stuff and genius, surname Michael brecker and brecker hum, I had seen You know he's taller than I am and he he he weighed one hundred and twenty pounds and I didn't think I'd see him again A year later, I bumped into germany's like glowing with health and servant. paying can alive and cheerful, and you know and and just ass. I said loud. What you man he said. Well, if you're really interested, I got it. touchy area, and I did we're gonna go hang out a lot.
He brought me along in a lot of other people too. Oh yeah, he was a guy that the recovery pied piper that's right for a lot for a large community in new york because like if one of those guys specially the guide that everyone thinks he's gonna die shows up looking golden before they, then then, there's at that more like I want he's got yeah right. If that guy can do it, I can do it and say: well, that's a fucking, beautiful story, it is it's it it it's my favorite story, and how long ago pass Michael die five years ago. everybody where he died over. He did indeed good quality of life. He Yeah and I mean his his sir, his children and his daughters- and this is so oh and are they miss him and we all miss him, but but he did a lot He really did a lot for a lot of people. How many Do you have either for kids? I've got
sally ann Dan are sallies. Thirty one ben is sir schism. Forty one and and banners said a thirty eight, and rufus your twins and they're fourteen. So as get from two marriages three end and you get along with every one of them. I you know, I don't really speak to the the ex wife very very much. I call I share. I have two kids, but their their adult their hand and I I can go straight to them where you get along with an eye. I do, but it wouldn't be able I say that we had a relationship sure how so, but I met Kim ah in your current, what yeah yeah and my last. I've had my in all that that the the
some with whom I really finally found I was found They ready myself and it's a miracle that she was that she was available and she working with the boss and symphony. I was doing boston pops gig with John. williamson, she had for years had to william. So I met her. Backstage a year and a half later, not good, sound, good kind of having an echo to it. That that definitely sounded like a gunshot did big money to the not too far away should go check on the people yeah. Should we vacate what happened? Oh, I don't think so. Where was it? What what what dunno it is. Come on it like a shot gun out of the EU
the worry you go in the house, but thing out here we're gonna finish up scented that reminds me. I partly in new york city on honour on central park west between thirty Seventy three and seventy force us into a building call the lange on my lived on the sixth floor of the adriatic and just side. My window between seventy second, and seventy third was the dakota sure, and one night I was sir. I was sitting in the window and hum I heard five shots and five, and it sounded to me, like a thirty eight and I've, been told before that when, when the police and and fire there gun that they emptied it he and always kept. Empty cylinder under the under the hammer here. So I I thought that it was
the police shoot at her and my Peter ash's wife called me up and said that that was I was. I was on the phone to her when I heard the shots- and I said it's crazy here- the the police just shot someone down the street and she said she called me back twenty minutes later and said that was that oh my god, yeah yeah, it was amazing that guy who shot Yeah right, I met. I met the guy that today's previous he he had sort of buttonholed me coming out of subway on seventy said: oh, he was lingering, You know he was hanging around mark David chapman here and now, and he was sir. It was clearly asked generally, I he like tat them. So to me, as I was coming into, who you are so that ye said you know I've I've got I've been working on some song sender and I man I need to talk to you need to, and I sort of scraped him often and ducked into
a building in and then turned out tiny did. He won't have literally a day a day guides horrible. Let's go back to the goods the symphony earth near current wife working at the symphony. Yes so I met kim nadia, but I remembered her I had had a watch, a pocket watch here and it was so many witness from the dressing room, Allison. Seventy and I played in places the dressing rooms were, you know, verily, you didn't put anything down that you didn't want, and I found a writer and I figured it was safe backstage of the basel ii, but my watch was stolen. I swear sheet, she denies it, but I think I made the whole thing up right, so I called her back the next day and that's how I had her number. He also a year later, when I, when my marriage had that that was our set
at the time that I met her, but I was finally clear of area I I called her up and and asked if she wanted to get together serve sort of said- no, not really and then and then called her again six months later in and see she agreed to common and meet me as if because a friend of hers had said that I wasn't so bad after all, and now it's like a timeless relationships series, a watch tie in, let's say india and he found love and you feel like it's the right thing and you were ready for it's a beautiful story. James, it is, written how many songs to camp I wrote mean old man, I wrote caroline, I see you that's a hydra. I wrote you and I again from this new album bismarck. If so, I you know, I sees it. The the best thing to happen to me really in this since recovery.
well, you know I, I know you gotta go and I it was a real honor to talk to you in the new. Album is great and it says you seem in good shape, and I was flattered that you came in and played alma guitars. Well, thanks markka, it was great idea. I hope we get chance to hang out again at some point. I'd love to knock out when I come to new. What I'll come to your house I'll play your guitars right. That sounds good thanks man When amazing conversation, I gotta tell ya, I thoroughly enjoyed talking to James taylor and I feel like we could hang out again have some tea. Your copy have submitted products may be placed if tarzan is in his studio, eleven I ever whose very it was a very nourishing and filling conversation with a like minded individual and a fuckin legend,
I really enjoyed haven't james taylor over that record is before this world available now hate gotta debate, pod dot com deputy upon needs, get some just cut. The co op get the how premium. get on the mailing list. So I don't. I am not prepared any guitar, but I have it. I got it. I got it.
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Transcript generated on 2022-09-13.