Songwriters Hall of Famer Chip Taylor Returns With Sweet 'I Like Riding': Video Premiere

Ambrose Blaine
Chip Taylor

Chip Taylor has given us plenty of memorable songs, from "Wild Thing" to "Angel of the Morning," during more than 55 years of songwriting. But with his new album, Whiskey Salesman, the Songwriters Hall of Fame member is giving us sights too -- a video for each of the 11 tracks, including "I Like Riding," premiering exclusively below.

The idea for the visual component of the album came to Taylor while he was working on Whiskey Salesman's title track in Parnell's, his home bar in Manhattan, where he regularly hangs out and watches the Golf Channel while tinkering with his songs. "I was there doing just that and singing along to 'Whiskey Salesman,' and I thought, 'Jeez, wouldn't it be nice if I had a camera here, somebody filming me just singing along?' and you'd get the feel of the bar and the people around it and my friends," Taylor tells Billboard. "I wasn't thinking about a fancy video -- just me sitting at the bar, singing along to my songs."

Taylor wound up recruiting Tom Hayes, a videographer who lives in his apartment building. Together they put together the song videos -- some in Parnell's and some in the apartment where Taylor lives with his wife Joan, as well as some other locations. "These are not typical videos at all, but they're good," Taylor says. "They're so heartfelt. I knew what I had in mind, and I loved doing it so much and did them the way I wanted to do them.” The clip for "Whiskey Salesman" will even be shown at the New Media Film Festival in June in Los Angeles, while "I Like Riding," which will be officially released on April 19, is one of the album's many "love songs for Joan," and documents the couple's fondness for traveling together.

"That song's just about the feeling I have with my wife when we're going someplace," Taylor says. "She goes on tour with me every once in awhile now; She didn't used to, and I'm really liking that, sitting on the plane with my wife, feeling her close to me, talking a little bit. My wife's been battling cancer for 10, 12 years. She's doing a good job of it, but that makes it more special when she can be with me. It's such an honest little song, and such a true spirit to me."

Taylor is hoping his wife will be at his side when he hits the road again to support Whiskey Salesman, which comes out May 17 on Trainwreck Records. He kicks off April 20 with shows in North America and Europe, and when he reaches the end of the trek in Norway Taylor will be hitting the studio yet again. "Some new songs happened to come out about three weeks ago," he says, "so I'll carry them over and record them there. Y'know, I'm not really in the business of making music to have hits or be financially successful or something like that. Even when I wrote the hits, like 'Angel of the Morning' and 'Wild Thing,' they were spontaneous songs. I just write what I write. Some wind up being more commercial, but they're always songs that just came out of me, honestly."

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