It is hard to imagine that a child growing up in the same house with two music superstar parents would not immediately be drawn to that world. Such was the case with singer-songwriter Ben Taylor, who initially dreamed of being a farmer. Taylor stopped by VOA on his recent tour to talk about his new CD, "Another Run Around The Sun". Larry London has his unique and interesting story.
The son of James Taylor and Carly Simon, singer-songwriter Ben Taylor has lived with both the advantages and the pressures of having two hugely successful musicians as parents. Now he is working to establish his own credentials in a very competitive business.
"It's hard to say how much of an influence they [had] indirectly,” says Ben. “I mean they were always bringing home music that I would listen to, but they tried to stay out of it. I think they were sensitive to the fact that they were unusually successful, examples of what can happen when everything goes right."
Taylor credits his mother (Carly Simon) with teaching him the craft of songwriting. He talks of his rather unique approach to writing a song for her.
"I was always trying to write a song for my mom because she helps so much with my process, she's such a great songwriter herself, and she's such a great mom. It's one of those songs that ring a little bit too sweet. They always tickled me the wrong way, so I was always trying to find the right way of saying it. Your parents are great … your parents are almost like luggage … it's like you go to the airport and your bag comes out on that carousel, and maybe you're a little bit embarrassed about it because its such an ugly bag or too big and cumbersome or whatever it is, but it's yours, and there's nothing you can do but grab it. Otherwise somebody else might. I feel the same way about my parents. Nothing I can do but (they) belong to you, there's nothing I'd rather do."
He adds, "I've only really been involved in music a little while. Like you said, it was a while getting into it where I felt comfortable as something I wanted to do as a career. I spent pretty much my whole scholastic life just traveling around, and learning things and studying with people abroad, and writing about it for accreditation."
With the musical heritage Taylor has, it is hard to imagine he once entertained thoughts of becoming a farmer.
"I'm still thinking about it. I think it looks pretty good from where I'm sitting. Actually it's nice to be in here this morning. People always think that, yeah, you would think that it would be pretty obvious, but I have two parents who had made it [been successful], and they were always having [marital] trouble. It didn't seem terribly glamorous from my point of view coming home from school, sitting there watching cartoons listening to them tear out their A and R [artist and repertoire -- a recording executive who selects their songs] man. I don't know. It took a while and a little bit of convincing to make me want to do it, but I seem to."