Dear James, do you remember back in 1970 when our lives were still ahead of us and only our idyllic youth could be spotted in the rear view mirror?
That was an awesome time. You released Sweet Baby James that year. I was 14. Bob Litten, who I wouldn’t meet for another eight years was 17. And both of us – like the rest of America – were immediately smitten. Fire & rain, Country Road, Sweet Baby James, Steamroller… songs that became legends.
And for Bob, your music became the backdrop to a beautiful life. So much so, in fact, that for those of us know knew him, it is virtually impossible to hear a James Taylor song and not immediately think of Bob singing along. And Bob always sang along, whether driving in the car, sitting at the lakeside, walking along the beach, barbecuing on the grill, relaxing with a beer, dancing with his wife, rocking his children (and grandchildren). If Bob was near, you could always hear James Taylor.
Carolina in My Mind… You’ve got a Friend… Handyman… How Sweet It Is… Shower The People… Up On The Roof… I hear James Taylor, but I see Bob. Even his funeral was punctuated with the playing of You Can Close Your Eyes… Well the sun is surely sinking down, but the moon is slowly rising; so this old world must still be spinning ’round, and I still love you.
You didn’t know Bob, but I think it is fair to say he was as beautiful a person as your finest song. Sweet and gentle, kind and thoughtful, relaxing and friendly.
Anyway, Bob had to leave us a few weeks ago, creating a hole the size of a small canyon in our lives. But we still have you and your music, and your sweet songs continue to bring us warm memories of our dear friend, husband, father, son, workmate, nonno. And for that, we are eternally grateful.
I just thought you should know that you lost one of your biggest fans… just in case you notice the uneasy silence in the air.