James Taylor: Interviewed On ABC TV: 31 March 2010
FIRE AND RAIN
In March 1971 I was 27, finishing the portion of my teaching career that was in Canada and getting ready to fly to Australia from Canadaóto teach primary school in Whyalla South Australia. A picture of the American singer-songwriter and guitarist, James Taylor, appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in the first week of March as my last winter in Canada was ending. I had listened to Taylorís music as early as 1970, if not before in 1969, on my release from a psychiatric hospital in Ontario. Taylorís major breakthrough was in February 1970 with the #3 single Fire and Rain and the following year his Youíve Got a Friend got to #1. This latter song was on the album Mud Slide Slim released in April 1971, an album I bought whilel iving in Gawler South Australia and teaching in that stateís first open plan high school.
Taylorís song Fire and Rain had an enormous impact on me in the early 1970s. It was a song about Taylorís time in a psychiatric institution and his troubles with depression in the mid-to-late sixties. By 1965 I knew what depression was like. I was 19 in 1965 and depression has been with me off and on as part of my bipolar disorder(BPD) for nearly 50 years, from 1963 to 2010.
I saw James Taylor, now 62, being interviewed on The 7:30 Report on ABC TV here in Tasmania this evening.1 I had not followed the life and career, the music and the fame, of James Taylor since he married Carly Simon in November 1972. By that time I had become fully occupied with my first marriage, my career in teaching, my new life in Australia and my BahŠ'Ū community work. In 1974 I entered a relationship with a woman with two children and I never bought a record album again. Albums became more expensive and they had to take a back-seat in my life of self-indulgence. Life took a new direction for me and James Taylorís career slipped far out onto the periphery of my life. When I saw him being interviewed tonight, I was very moved and so wrote this prose-poem.-Ron Price, Memoirs: Pioneering Over Four Epochs, 31 March 2010.
Yes, James, life has been much
of that Fire and Rain as you put
it way back then at the start of the
long trip that was our lives some
40 years ago. Youíve done so well
and I havenít done so bad either....
Iíve seen fire and Iíve seen rain;
Iíve seen sunny days that I thought
would never end. Iíve seen lonely
times when I could not find a friend.(1)
Did Jesus look down upon you as you
said in that song? BahŠ'u'llŠh looked
down on me: have you heard of Him,
James? Itís cross-cultural messianism,
James, and for all of humanity. Itís a
game for Everyone to play as humanity
goes global institutionally, James. It was
good to see you again tonight, James, and
it nearly made me cry and me a grown man
and after all these years: ďgood on yer,Ē as
they say Downunder, ďJames!Ē Goodonyer!
(1) words from the opening stanza of the song Fire and Rain on side 2 of the album Sweet Baby James
31 March 2010
PS.......this is the 2nd and final edition of the above prose-poem.
It was finalized on 1 April 2010: April Foolís Day!
Serial Under Achiever
I also take medication for depression, and for the last couple of years have been symptom free, which is very good.
I appreciate that BPD is on a whole different level of severity. I watched a documentary a while back made by Stephen Fry - UK actor, humourist, TV presenter, national treasure - who suffers with BPD. He refuses medication because he feels that the loss of his manic phases would stifle his creative process. Don't know how he manages...
How does it affect you, Ron. Is it a bit of a nightmare ? or is it relatively under control ?
And BTW, I also adore JT.
My Chaos Narrative: Instalment # 1
At the age of 70 I have my bipolar 1 disorder well in hand/under control. My story is a long one and, if you are interested, Tiggi, you can google it at: RonPrice BPD. I have registered at over 100 mental health, depression and BPD sites and contribute my two cents worth when appropriate.-Ron in Tasmania
PS...I, too, saw the Fry program. In my experience BPD is highly idiosyncratic, like so many things in life. Some specialists now say there are at least 6 types of BPD. There are common patterns; if there were not, BPD would be a nightmare. I have posted instalment #1 below FYI.-Ron
BIPOLAR DISORDER: A Personal Analysis of My Chaos Narrative
A Longitudinal Context: October 1943 To May 2010, 10th Edition
By Ron Price of George Town Tasmania Australia
(130 Pages: Font 14ó50,000 words)
Instalment #1 Found Below:
1. Preamble and Introduction:
1.1 This is a longitudinal, retrospective account going back to my conception in the last half of October 1943. Neurobiological, neuropsychiatric and affective disorders like BPD have diverse manifestations and symptomatology as well as a broad range of age of onset and specificity of symptoms. Little is still known about its pathogenesis, that is, the origin and development of the disease. What follows is one personís story, one personís life experience of BPD. It is my personal life-narrative with the diverse manifestations, the symptomology of BPD as I experienced it.
-----------------INSTALMENT #2--------IS NOW IN A BLOG---------------------------Ron
Last edited by ronPrice; 01-07-2014 at 03:03.
Reason: decided to put most of the post in a blog
Serial Under Achiever
I see you've already made a Blog entry, Ron. This could maybe make an interesting Blog. What do you think ??
I'll put it in a blog...a good idea.-Ron
Ah, James Taylor. When my son was very young (three or so) he used to love listening to James Taylor and Blue Rodeo on these headphones that were bigger than his head. We could just put him on the couch and he would sit and listen. Anyhoo, years later we got a puppy for him and were trying to think up a name, and his suggestion was James Taylor :D We didn't call the dog that, because I didn't want to be going down the street yelling "Here James Taylor, come here...there's a good boy!" :D
Belated thanks, pennywill, for your interesting little story. I'll add a note on James Taylor while I'm here.-Ron
EMERGING OUT OF OBSCURITY: FIFTY YEARS: 1953-2003
In my years before puberty(1944-1956), I hardly remember any musical activity in my life, although both my parents played the piano and sang in choirs, so something musical must have permeated my psycho-emotional skin. The world of popular music gradually came into my life in the years 1953-1959, and this world of sound continued to influence me for some two decades until 1973-79. This popular music had a strong autobiographical, confessional, personal, emotional, introspective quality. I found it in folk, folk-rock and the pop strands. A whole generation of popular music was found here; it was the generation I listened to as an adolescent and as a young adult. Some of it attained a level of universality which helped listeners--like me--identify with its ideas and sentiments.
Artists like: Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, David Crobsy, Steven Stills, Graham Nash, Neil Young, James Taylor, Tom Rush, Phil Ochs and Carly Simon, among a host of others--provided an influence, quite unconsciously, on my artistic sensibilities, my poetry and my writing that emerged later and slowly in the next dozen years, 1980-1992. Those four decades, 1953-1992, provided a base for a poetic-fertilization, a poetic-crystallization that resulted in the years that followed, 1992 to 2014. -Ron Price with thanks to ďWalk On By: The Story of Popular Song-After the Gold Rush,Ē ABC TV, 9:35-10:25 p.m., January 13th, 2005.
After sixty years of music
one canít help but wonder
what actually produced
this prolific output of poetry,
this wanting to see the world
and see it better than ever,
concentrating all that I have
said and done since birth,
all grist for a tumultuous mill,
mildly confessional, nothing
like Lowell, Plath, Sexton
and others from those decades
when confessionalism was all
the rage in poetry and music
and seemed to insinuate itself
into my words as they arose
with all their autobiographical
candor and an unprecedented
personal aesthetic that takes
emotion and personality,
makes and escapes, argues
and embraces and tries to tie
self and world in one wide
embrace of past, present and
future in a oneness with life.
14/1/'05 to 25/5/'14.
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