Carole King

Stan Drake draws James Taylor, Carly Simon and family

Combining comic books and some of my favorite musicians? Yes please!

In 1979, comic strip artist Stan Drake illustrated this profile of folk rock singer-songwriter James Taylor and his four siblings, folk/pop singer-songwriter Livingston Taylor, singer (and now songwriter) Kate Taylor, southern blues singer Alex Taylor, and singer (and now inn keeper) Hugh Taylor. Also included in the profile is James’ then-wife pop rock singer-songwriter Carly Simon. The text was written by Brendan Boyd.

Click for bigginess

The piece originally ran in The Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey, as part of their Pop Idols series of illustrated profiles, which appeared in the comics section. As you can see in the bottom right corner, The Jacksons were next week’s featured artists. According to the Lewis Wayne Gallery, which has original art for sale for the strips on Jimi Hendrix, the Talking Heads and John Travolta, Stan created the strip.

Stan Drake did an excellent job. James and Livingston in particular are spot on. Although the colorist got a little sloppy with Carly’s lipstick. And kind of strange that Carly, just as major an artist as James, is in the inset and mentioned last in the profile text on the right. I guess because it’s focusing on the Taylor siblings? And what’s with Alex secretly checking out Carly? At least Hugh is having a good time.

I assume the Brendan Boyd that wrote this is not Brendan Boyd of Incubus, as that would’ve made him about 3 years old at the time. Although the thought of alt-rocker Incubus’ front man writing about sensitive singer-songwriters from Martha’s Vineyard is pretty amusing.

For way too much context and back story on Stan Drake, James Taylor, Carly Simon and the other Taylor siblings, click through…


See me on PBS throughout the month of June

Yes, that’s right, I’ll be on your TV! I make a special cameo appearance during the TV special Carole King/James Taylor Live at the Troubadour!*

Check your local PBS station for air dates. It airs here in Los Angeles on KCET tonight June 5 at 10:30 PM and tomorrow night June 6 at 11:00 PM. It airs in Boston on WGBH tonight June 5 at 9:00 PM.

*OK, you can see me in the audience for 5 whole seconds during the second song, “So Far Away”. So, cameo might be overstating it. Also seen in the crowd: my wife Nahleen right in front of me, and behind us the very funny Greg Benson of Mediocre Films.

Someone uploaded it to YouTube, probably through ethically and legally dubious means of which I heartily disapprove. You can see us starting at 43 seconds in.

Update: Three still pictures from the video have been posted.