James Taylor: “I never trusted celebrity or fame”

The quintessential singer-songwriter opens up in the new issue of Uncut

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In the new issue of Uncut – on sale now – James Taylor gives a candid interview about his struggles with fame, addiction and trying to build a better world.

“The fact is that I never trusted celebrity or fame; I still don’t,” he says, responding to a reader question about whether he struggled to come to terms with widespread recognition. “[I’m a] cloistered and very private person… it’s major challenge: with something that’s extremely private, how do you take that to market?”

Asked if he still had to battle addiction every day despite being sober since 1983, Taylor said: “Yeah, you do. It never goes away… You prioritise your recovery on a daily basis or it’ll come back and get you again… It was 1983 when I finally got the [12-steps] program and I credit it with saving my life.”


As someone who campaigned for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Taylor revealed his dismay at current events in America. “The fact that [Trump’s election] happened at all and is tolerated is very alarming… Every day I shake my head and wonder what’s going on.” But he still feels that music can help us through dark times. “It’s food for the soul and a connection with the universe. I don’t think music will save the world, it’s just a beautiful part of it.”

Read more in the June 2018 issue of Uncut, available in shops and online now.

The June 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with the Rolling Stones on the cover. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive new interviews with Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Françoise Hardy, Eric Burdon, James Taylor, Public Enemy, Eleanor Friedberger and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Courtney Barnett, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Ryley Walker, Beach House, Wand, Simone Felice, Dylan Carson and The Sea And Cake.


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