Sally Taylor is a Musician
first and foremost
Apart from performing with family, I made my first reluctant foray into music in 1990 with “The Slip,” a high school band I helped found at Tabor Academy. Our enthusiastic yet unpolished band played covers at other boarding schools for their proms and homecomings.
At 16 I started waking up with lyrics and melodies in my head. Each morning I’d diligently retrieve them, weeding through the shrapnel of dreams. I kept a sandwich-sized cassette recorder by my bedside and would sing what I could groggily remember before teetering off to the rec hall for eggs and oatmeal. My mom bought me a D-1 Martin guitar from “Manny’s” in Times Square on a snowy weekend home from college during my freshman year. Overhearing some of my morning songwriting sessions she insisted I have a way to accompany myself. Not long after I began performing some of my own music, securing a weekly local gig in a smoke-filled sports bar complete with a competing sports game TV overhead.
Between 1991 and 1997 I fronted a gaggle of loud bands that challenged my folk-rock roots and taught me how to perform everything from disco to heavy metal.
Read about the plane accident
I was in a plane accident in Peru where an 8 seater I was touring the Nazca Lines in, lost its oil tank. The small plane’s propellers clamped to a halt and the cabin went completely silent. I remember the stale cigarette smoke on my fellow passenger’s breath and thinking “I wonder what happens next?” I watched the pilot, whose seat I was directly behind, slowly stitch his shoulders to his ears where they dangled like frozen icebergs. Past him through the windshield, I saw a runway, a good sign I thought, until I noticed cars driving on it. So it was the Pan American highway we’d be landing on. The angle at which we hit down made the plane jump and stumble like a drunk resisting gravity and as we slowed, our wing hit a car.
Luckily no one was hurt and a shaman who’d intuited the affair climbed out from the back of the plane and rubbed blessing oil on each of us before helping us push the plane out of the road. We hitched a ride back to the airport and little more was said about the incident but two things were clear in my head: 1. I knew that I wanted to have a child someday and 2. I wanted my dream-salvaged songs organized on a CD. That’s how Tomboy Bride, my debut album was born.
In 1998 I set out on my own. Reluctant to sign to a major record label, I formed my own and produced and recorded three albums on it (Tomboy Bride, Apt #6S & Shotgun). Together with a band of four amazing guys, I toured a rigorous schedule. Over and over we etched our names into the highways of America with other wayward struggling musicians, crisscrossing the country again and again in pursuit of music, adventure and laughter.
Sample some of the music we made during that time or read what touring life was like for us in real-time in my journal “Tales from the Road” below.
Read Sally’s Tales from the Road
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Gig by gig, set by set, read Sally’s personal account of the strange, hilarious and plain ol’ ugly, life on the road.