James Taylor Talks Auditioning for the Beatles, ‘Arrogance of Youth’

In a new interview, prolific songwriter James Taylor told Guitar World about auditioning to join the Beatles’ label, Apple Records, in the late 1960s and how, looking back, he only could have done something like that on the wings of youth.

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“I had some kind of competence and the arrogance of youth, without which nobody would ever do anything, because you’d hedge your bets,” said Taylor in the interview. At the time, he auditioned for Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

Taylor added, “There’s a stage in our development where you’re allowed to do impossible things, which is why the military looks to people about that age. You can talk people into doing things that if you were asked when you were 35, you’d say, ‘No thanks, I’ll pass on that.’

“I also knew that it was somehow good. It worked for me, and I was a music connoisseur. I thought, ‘This stuff could go somewhere. I want somebody to hear this.’ I’ve had that feeling a few times, at different points in my life.”

In 1968, the Boston, Massachusetts-born Taylor released his debut self-titled LP on Apple Records, a feat he still says he’s practically flabbergasted by.

“It was just otherworldly,” the 73-year-old Taylor told Guitar World, “because I was a huge Beatles fan. And they were at the very height of their powers. They just kept going, kept growing. So, to be in London, the first person signed to their label in 1968, was really like catching the big wave. It was unbelievable.”

In the interview, Taylor was also asked about Harrison borrowing one of Taylor’s lines in “Something in the Way She Moves” for the Beatles’ song, “Something.” The Boston artist said it tickled him.

“I felt hugely flattered,” Taylor said. “I had played this song for George and Paul as my audition and I think it had just sort of stuck in his mind. But he didn’t realize that. I think all music is reiteration. I think we just pick stuff up and use it again. I mean, there are just 12 notes.”

In 2020, Taylor released his most recent LP, American Standard, and the artist is set to tour the U.K. in 2022, beginning in January. Check below for dates.

James Taylor 2022 Tour Dates

Jan. 27 – Leeds, First Direct Arena
Jan. 29 – Manchester, O2 Apollo
Jan. 30 – Glasgow, SEC Armadillo

Feb. 1 – Brighton, Centre
Feb. 2 – Birmingham, Resorts World Arena
Feb. 4 – London, Hammersmith Apollo
Feb. 5 – London, Hammersmith Apollo

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