Kate Taylor says it means a lot to her to work with her old friend Peter Asher at his upcoming “A Musical Memoir of the ’60s and Beyond” show Jan. 20 at the Iridium in New York City.
“It (is) such a full circle moment to be able to come back to that place where there was Peter at the very beginning of my adult and musical life showing such an incredible amount of confidence in me and appreciation for what I did,” she said in a phone interview.
The friendship of the two go back to the early ’70s. Asher was a major part of her singing career and, of course, was instrumental in the career of her older brother, James, who began his successful recording career with the Beatles’ Apple Records. As Asher himself told us in an email, “In a family of quite astonishing singers (and intellectually extraordinary people), Kate Taylor stood out to me at once as the most soulful and the most viscerally intense of all the siblings (quite apart, of course, from being the most beautiful!). Give her a song she loves and she devours and re-creates it like no other singer I know. I am proud of the work we did together all those years ago and proud to still call her one of my dearest friends and favourite musicians.”
Kate Taylor, whose most recent album is “Fair Time!,” says what linked them was Danny Kortchmar, James’ longtime bandmate, who was the reason James initally got in touch with Asher.
“Danny also had this group called the King Bees, and they had toured America with Peter & Gordon. And so Danny knew Peter, and said, ‘James, if you’re going to London, you should look up my friend Peter Asher because he’s in some production work now. So James went to London and he did contact Peter. And he went over to his place and met him and played him some of the tapes. And the next thing they knew they were at Apple Records playing the songs for the Beatles and making a record.”
A few months later, Kate flew over to London to visit James.
“And I wrote a letter to Peter thanking him for being there for James. And then a few months later, I went to visit James in London. And I went into Apple and met Peter. And we went out to a gathering that Peter was throwing out at the cottage that he had in the countryside. It was early spring and there was this ancient stone swimming pool out in the backyard that was empty. And James and I went to the bottom of that swimming pool and we sang some songs together. It’s going to sound good in that echoey swimming pool.”
After she returned to the States, she received a call from Asher that led to the “Sister Kate” album. “I get a call from Peter saying he’s moving to Los Angeles and did I want to come and make a record? And I said, ‘Hell, yes!’ And that started together our working together on what was to become a record called ‘Sister Kate.’”
But in recent years, the two hadn’t had much contact until last summer at Feinstein’s at the Regency in Manhattan.
“He really hadn’t had a chance to see my show until about a year ago. I was so excited about him coming to my show and so excited to see him that I got the worst case of laryngitis,” she laughs.
“He cooked up the concept of doing the show together where he starts his show, then during the timeline of his presentation where I came into his life, he would introduce me and I would do a little mini-set, and he’d go on and finish his show. It was such a full circle moment to be able to come back to that place where there was Peter at the very beginning of my adult and musical life showing such an incredible amount of confidence in me and appreciation for what I did.
“I am very excited about it,” she says.
- Kate Taylor’s website
(Also see: “What’s Your Favorite Beatles song, Kate Taylor?” which features her encounters with three of the Beatles.)
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