Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Break Shot: My First 21 Years, by James Taylor (author, narrator, performer)

Audible Originals, January 2020

James Taylor tells the story of his youth, including the complexities and pain of his family, and how that affected him. He intertwines his words, memories, and his songs.

His father was a doctor from a wealthy family in the south, and his mother was from Massachusetts, where they met while Isaac Taylor was a resident at Massachusetts General Hospital and Gertrude was attending the New England Conservatory of Music. For years, their marriage was a bit of a tug of war between north and south, with Isaac's career and their residence in North Carolina, while Gertrude ensured that the kids, at least, spent the summer on Martha's Vineyard with her.

Both the conflict and the dual locations affected the children, including James, as they grew.

Perhaps surprisingly, perhaps not, a critical turning point was when he spent several months in the Mclean psychiatric hospital in Belmont, MA, during his senior year of high school. That was what enabled him to break free of family expectations and pressures, and start pursuing his music. And from this point, we get the good and the bad of his development as a composer and performer--the drug use, the contacts with helpful and inspiring people, the bad business deals, the incredible breakthrough of being introduced to the Beatles and signed to the Apple label.

And then the ups and downs of his subsequent career.

He shares his music, the beautiful, memorable creations and experiences they came out of.

It's short, moving, and beautiful.

Highly recommended.

I received this audiobook through the Audible Originals program, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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