James Taylor, who's been clean and sober for years, recalled that it took kicking drugs to finally become a social being. Taylor, who's currently out on the road with good friend Bonnie Raitt, spoke frankly about his life to The Houston Chronicle and shed light on his substance abuse issues of the 1960's and '70s, saying, "When you're young, your health will forgive any abuses. As time goes by, you learn not to play into nature's hands so much. . . You join the world when you come to terms with addiction, that's for sure. I found out I hadn't learned any skills or social cues or the habits you're supposed to pick up between 18 and 35. When you're addicted, you short-circuit all those life lessons. Playing catch-up is difficult and humiliating. But that's what I've done."
He explained how a pre-fame stint in a mental hospital while battling deep depression actually liberated him to forge a path as an artist: "That gave me something sort of in a way, in that it canceled all expectations my parents might've had for me. I was free. Which was a terrifying thing but also wonderful. I was free and in the world. Luckily, it didn't kill me."
- Taylor also touched upon the fact that his father -- a professor of medicine and an alcoholic -- showed total support in his musical ambitions rather than attending college: "I've always assumed he wasn't so red hot about the life he'd had. Maybe that's why he encouraged me. He didn't want me to follow in his steps. He wanted something better. That's how I feel about my kids, even as terrifying as it is to see your kid on the road."
- James Taylor explained that as opposed to other types of artists, by the nature of how he works, he's revealing himself pretty much every time out: "Y'know, I'm sort of self-assembled, or self-concocted out of what surrounded me, when. . . as I was coming up and what music I heard. And I think that that's part of it. But in a case such as mine, where I play guitar and I write tunes and I sing them too, you get a lot of the person involved. Particularly, the kind of, y'know, the autobiographical self. . . we'll self-centered, actually kind of work that I do. So, in my case, what I'm doing largely is just communicating my inner self as much as possible." at Boston's Fenway Park.