Wednesday, June 11, 2014

No one can tell me that I'm doing wrong today.

There's something in the way she moves
Or looks my way, or calls my name
That seems to leave this troubled world behind

If I'm feeling down and blue
Or troubled by some foolish game
She always seems to make me change my mind

And I feel fine anytime she's around me now
She's around me now almost all the time
And If I'm well you can tell 
That she's been with me now

And she's been with me now
Quite a long, long time
And I feel fine

~ James Taylor


It was on both of our bucket lists to see him in concert. JoLai, the consummate concert-goer, had not yet seen him and me, the very rare concert-goer, hadn't either. We both thought we'd missed our chance when he toured with Carol King a few years back and neither of us secured tickets. But then it came across her radar that #therealJT (as we call him) was touring again. And this time he'd be coming to The Hollywood Bowl. 

Let me say that again. The Hollywood Bowl. 

Oh, and if you don't know anything about the Bowl, just know that it's magical. It is.

JoLai texted me right away. 

"JAMES TAYLOR is coming to the freaking HOLLYWOOD BOWL in June. You in?"

"SO in."

So in, indeed.

Now. Let me go ahead and address the obvious questions that I am sure you have.

"James Taylor? How random is that?"


"How in the hell are two black girls from Inglewood 'huge fans' of a balding white man with a watery voice and an acoustic guitar? What the hell?"


"Who in the hell is James Taylor?"

And I just might admit that more of my friends than I care to admit asked me the former of those three. Ha ha ha.

Anyways. As you already know from my mental iPod playlists, my musical taste is pretty broad. And man, oh man is JoLai's even crazier than mine. We've both been fans of James Taylor for what seems like forever. Probably dating back to our mom inundating us with her soft rock radio stations back in the day. Regardless of how it happened, anyone who knows real music knows that #therealJT is THAT DUDE. His quiet, understated singing voice and his melancholy guitar have always done it for us. I've even turned my own children on to him since one of  our favorite bedtime songs to sing together is "You Can Close Your Eyes" -- his version, not Sheryl Crow's version.

Although I do like Sheryl's version, too. A lot, actually. 

And so. On one enchanted summer evening, we jumped on a shuttle and headed to the Bowl. And, of course, it was magical. Partly because it was the Hollywood Bowl, but mostly because it was just us two.

He opened the show with "Something in the Way She Moves." And you know? We immediately felt the same thing at the same time. We did. Both of us wept and hugged and understood. Because those  lyrics and that guitar made us think of Deanna and how much we miss her. But then, like always, it made us think of each other and every other special woman in our lives. I thought about my Ruths and felt glad to be with my closest Ruth of all in that moment. 


The rest of the songs were amazing, too. We knew nearly all of them and sang right along. We drank wine from plastic cups and hugged and LOLed the whole night long. I kept making JoLai crack up laughing because I kept doing this:

And then I'd say, "Hmmmm. I wonder why all of these old people are here to see J.T.? Wait a minute. . . .did they just say James Taylor? Who in the hell is James Taylor? I thought this was a Justin Timberlake concert!"

Bwwah ha ha.  Plus I kept swearing to her that at least one person in that Bowl thought they were coming to Justin Timberlake. And that thought made us both just laugh and laugh until we were sick. 


All of it was awesome. Perfect and awesome and acutely memorable. It was. 

That's all I got.

Happy Wednesday. Oh, and if you've never been taken to the church of #therealJT? I'd recommend it. 

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . a few of my favorites from the #therealJT. . . . 

First, this. . . "Something in the Way She Moves.". . . .

And this: "Shower the People." I absolutely LOVE this song. . . .love, love, love it. He played it as the encore song and I nearly lost my mind. The whole crowd sang it in unison. It is a mantra for me, so a perfect song that stays on my main mental iPod playlist.

"Carolina in my Mind." Sigh. This song I love because even though he's singing about North Carolina, we all have our "Carolina." Being home in Los Angeles with my sister felt like being in my Carolina. JoLai has renovated and lives in the home we grew up in. She's left a few things as is, though, like our names over the towel racks in the bathroom. That is my Carolina. Even though I'm back home now, I know I'll be going there a lot in my mind over the next few days. (So you must forgive me if I'm up and gone.)

Okay. I just realized that I could list seventy trillion songs that I love by #therealJT. So let me just post this-- about 30 minutes of an old concert he did in Britain back in the day on BBC. It is absolutely brilliant -- and one of the only videos that includes him singing a perfect solo version of "You Can Close Your Eyes." (But I'll warn you that it's in the last two minutes of the video and tragically gets cut off.) He also sings "Carolina in my Mind" here, too, and, of course, the ultimate song "Fire and Rain" (which we also cried all the way through at the concert.) He even opens with some Beatles in this concert. Love, love, love.

Here's Sheryl Crow singing "You Can Close Your Eyes." A solid rendition that doesn't get cut off on this video (unlike the last one.) Admittedly, I've adopted listening this one as of late since it's more up tempo. The original sort of makes me weepy nowadays. But it is still always the sultry and tender one I'll sing over my kids when they're falling a sleep. This remains one of my absolute favorite songs of all time. It is so hauntingly peaceful--especially when James sings it. Sheryl's take on it makes it sound hopeful, too.


Who else reading this is a #therealJT fan? What are your favorite songs? What do they make you think about? So much more that I want to include. Dang!  

Oh! And for my real #therealJT fans, who can tell me where the title of this post comes from. (NOT JOLAI.) 


  1. I used to (and sometimes still) get James Taylor and James Brown confused. As in "James Taylor is playing at (insert local arena here)!" Me: "Uh, he died back in '06, my friend." "You're thinking of James Brown again - this is James TAYLOR!"

    I've never been good at music.

    1. Ha ha ha Bridget! That is SUPER hilarious. I love it. I need to add that to the list of things people say when we say we are going to see JT. Bwah ha ha haha!

  2. I'm not sure but I think JT is coming to Phoenix this made me want to check him out...I love him....but you couldn't pay me enough to go see the other JT..ha! About 42 years ago I went to the Hollywood Bowl and saw Peter, Paul and Mary! It was indeed special and still one of my fondest memories.

    1. Go! You must! How tragic is it that he lost that luscious head of hair, though? Le sigh. Oh! And you KNOW I love the other JT, too. Remember my CougarTown adventure seeing him in December? I'll torture you with it just in case you missed it. . .LOL

  3. Lucky you! My freshman year of college (1970) and the "Sweet Baby James" album are meshed together forever.

    1. You are my kind of people, Sylvia. My kind of people.

  4. James Taylor...
    I loved him, do love him, always will love him. Went to see him with my friend Lynn once a long time ago because we could. It was magical.
    I have so many memories that involve him and his songs. Can't even begin to go into it all here. And I just love that you and your sister adore him too. One more reason to love you.
    And of course I know that song you cited in the title.
    Thanks for the memories.

    1. Yay. Yay that you love him and yay that you are you. Of course you love him. You love good music. And clearly I know you knew the song from the title. :)

  5. I saw him in Concert when I lived in Atlanta about 12-13 years ago at Chastain. It was AWESOME! Love him!

    1. OMG. I know that he was unbelievable at Chastain. Lucky YOU!! Love it. Thanks for chiming in, sister!

    2. WAIT. You could be a brother. Ha ha ha #nogenderbias

    3. You crack me up!!! I am female so I am a sista! :) No gender bias here my friend!

  6. The title of your entry is from one of my favorite JT songs, "Your Smiling Face". Love this man! Also love the other JT as well. I'm so jealous that you saw both in concert! They are awesome!

    1. Ding ding ding!! YOu get an A+! Both are awesome and love that you love them both, too. But we all must always recognize #therealJT!

  7. Such beautiful sister moments. Your radiance makes my eyes tear up. You're beautiful, you and JoLai and I just know beautiful Deanna was there, too.

  8. He has been one of my favourites since my high school years. So many memories, makes me feel weepy. You are lucky to have seen him.

  9. Love JT! So glad you and your sister got to share in the magic. He's a timeless treasure, and so much the soundtrack of my life. I'm a wee bit jealous. :)

  10. Soooo, now that I'm not crying anymore, I can respond to this post. It was absolutely perfect. Everything about that night... even the fact that they charged my AMEX for that wine (I'm getting it removed. LOL!) So glad the timing worked out for us. I couldn't imagine being there with anyone else!


  11. *Love* JT. The timbre of his voice just kinda vibrates your bones or something, I don't know. My husband and I have seen him two or three times in concert and I'd definitely go again. I can sing along with so many of his songs. Some favorites: The River is Wide (, Shed a Little Light (, Carolina on My Mind, for sure.

  12. Line em up will forever be one of my favorites of his. Loved reading this as I saw him in Concord, right before you and Jolai did. Its about my 6th time and he just gets better.
    A perfect evening.


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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