Steven Taylor – 2

[Steven Taylor, Allen Ginsberg & Lawrence Ferlinghetti,  New York City, 1985. Photo: Hank O’Neal]

Continuing from yesterday – a Steven Taylor weekend. What a range of music to hear!

False Prophet – Field Notes From The Punk Underground  (a must-read) is still very much in print

“From 1988 through 1993, guitarist/vocalist Steven Taylor toured the U.S. and Europe with the alternative rock group False Prophets, keeping a detailed journal with the intent of documenting the role of musicians in the international anarchist youth movement. His field notes form the core of the book, accounting with honesty and aplomb the sometimes hilarious, sometimes harrowing, always engaging highs and lows of life on the road.”

“False Prophet  situates punk, and the diary itself, in relation to contemporary critiques of identity and ethnographic representation, and links punk’s emergence to the oral poetry renaissance of the 1950s, free jazz, and the do-it-yourself trend set by underground filmmakers in the 1960s. This innovative ethnography provides a theoretically informed account of a little understood genre of popular music, and a rare, intimate view into the everyday life of a working band.”

By contrast – check this (from the ’80’s)  – Villanelle  (“the virus will take one in ten”), a haunting poem (sung acapella),  starkly addressing the AIDS crisis

Steven’s writing, always eclectic in its range – see here for a list of articles that appeared in the on-line forum, Reality Sandwich. We noted yesterday his articles on Allen, note also his articles on William Burroughs, Judith Malina, and Amiri Baraka here

Sadly out-of-print (and thus a real “collectors item”) is Loveland, an early book of Steven’s  poems  (Hopefully, Bootstrap Press, an innovative press, Derek Fenner and Ryan Gallagher‘s innovative press, will some day bring it back into print)

More from the late ’70’s, early ’80s here and here

here‘s Steven (with Debra Devi) in 2009, singing the blues (“Hungry Blues”)

here’s Steven in 2018 (with Douglas Dunn dancing to Dowland!)

A real trove of Steven Taylor materials can be found here in the Naropa Archives. We would particularly recommend his 1986 lectures – here and here, his 1989 lecture – here, his 1990 lecture – here – and two lectures from 1991 – here and here 

A typical lecture synopsis – “First half of a Steven Taylor workshop on music. Taylor begins by talking about music, consciousness, the human ear, and neurology. He plays and discusses a wide variety of examples of music from many different eras and places, including African, Tibetan, European chants, Jimi Hendrix, opera, troubador songs and Moondog. In the second half..he sings an ode by Horace and discusses Greek modes and the emotions associated with. them”

Also buried in that archive (see here for example) is some of his collaborative work in poetic musical theater with the wonderful Kenward Elmslie

Here’s a young Steven backing Kenward


Here’s a delightful almost-hour of them  (including some zany and pretty hot-shot acting!)

It’s Steven Taylor’s birthday tomorrow – Happy Birthday, Steven!

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