Thursday, June 4, 2015

Long Ago and Far Away: James Taylor - His Life

No writer has interviewed James Taylor and his family in greater depth over the decades than the late Timothy White, former editor-in-chief of Billboard, and author of the international best-seller Catch A Fire: The Life of Bob Marley.

This edition has been updated by his friend and former Rolling Stone comrade Mitch Glazer and includes an epilogue about the memorial concerts for Timothy that James Taylor helped organize.


Most helpful customer reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful.
4Interesting and well written
By J. Phillips
An interesting and well written book.

It starts with several chapters of family history, which I found slow going at first, but then came to see the author's point regarding family history and it's influence on the music.

The style of the writing seems to be a mix of impersonal description and fairly intimate information, which came across at times as dry. Nevertheless, interesting and worth a read.

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful.
3On second reading, much less satisfied...
By L Goodman-Malamuth
This book was completed shortly before author Timothy White died--much too young, at fifty--of a heart attack. I now wonder whether he'd really finished it, or whether this book was just sent into print anyway. There are a lot of loose ends in this book, which were explained to me in Sheila Weller's first-rate "Girls Like Us," a triple biography of Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon. Weller and Simon say that Taylor family matriarch Trudy Taylor would not allow White to speak to JT's first wife, and consequently she came off as "neutral to negative" in this book. His strong-willed second wife, Kathryn Walker, was painted in glowing terms; they since have divorced and JT remarried.

I would suggest reading this book along with "Girls Like Us" for much more fully developed picture of an extremely complex man. Weller thrives on writing about relationships as well as musicianship. Her book has many details on JT's siblings, children, and fellow musicians. White tended to be more of a terse guy-guy writer. He loved to get the back story going back generations, as he did most successfully with the Wilson family members on his group bio of The Beach Boys, "The Nearest Faraway Place." So if you're not really interested in Taylor's seafarin' family, this book may not satisfy fully. Although you'll understand perfectly, after reading the tale of Dr. Isaac Taylor's lengthy missions in Antarctica that kept him away from his young family for many months at a time, how JT could come to write "The Frozen Man," in my opinion, his best song.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
5Great insight on JT and family
By Cyndy D. Bensema
I thoroughly enjoyed it. Areas of great interest to me were his family history as well as the memories of his childhoood and young adulthood, his parent's relationship,and his many friendships with people I had no idea he was friends with, etc. I also enjoyed the section where he shared personal insights and info about various songs and what they meant to him. Great book.

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