In-Depth Article on Greg “Fingers” Taylor

posted March 14th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

12 Comments »
by Josh

The Jackson, Mississippi Clarion-Ledger has an article on Greg “Fingers” Taylor, the legendary harmonica player that toured with Buffett for many years and lent his sounds to some of Jimmy’s most famous songs:

Taylor had taken piano lessons in Kansas, but the blues turned him on to the harmonica. He played both in different bands while at USM, but it soon became clear he had a special relationship with the harmonica. He always kept one stashed in a blue jean pocket.

It came in handy one night in 1973 when Buffett, then a struggling musician who had also attended USM for a while, came to Hattiesburg to play The Hub, a popular bar.

“I’d never seen him before,” Taylor recalls. “I remember he was wearing a 10-gallon hat and had long, long blonde hair. It was just him and his acoustic guitar.”

Buffett had heard about the local dude who could make a harmonica talk. Midway through the show, he invited Taylor to join him for a few tunes.

“We had a good time and I could tell that Jimmy, at some point, was going to do something different and important,” Taylor says. “But at that time, I was a little better off than he was. He had no car. No money. And he needed to get to Mobile to see some girl. He asked me to drive him down there, and I did.”

A year later, when Buffett signed a record deal with ABC/Dunhill and started putting a band together, Taylor was the first musician he called. Buffett added Roger Bartlett on guitar, Harry Dailey on bass, Phillip Fajardo on drums … and away they went.

By 1975, they were opening shows for Linda Ronstadt, Roger McGuinn and Jerry Jeff Walker.

In 1977, Buffett wrote the Caribbean-flavored song Margaritaville, which reached No. 2 on the Billboard singles chart.

The tune’s carefree island theme became Buffett’s calling card, and a string of hits followed: Cheeseburger In Paradise; A Pirate Looks at Forty; Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes; and Son of a Son of a Sailor, among others.

After opening for the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and Jackson Browne over the next three years, Buffet and the Coral Reefers became headliners in 1981. Except to stop long enough to record an album, they stayed on the road for most of the next eight years.

Read the full article here.


Tagged in Miscellaneous

  • http://www.PirateJohn.com PirateJohn

    Very interesting article. Hopefully Fingers can put his demons behind him. He’s a great talent.

  • Robert Jackson

    Welcome back to Mississippi. From your old drummer.

  • Scott Turner

    Best of luck to Fingers. I enjoyed the time with him in MoTown (Modesto) this year…and the lesson. Hope he stays the course as he is a great talent on the harp.

  • REID COOK

    You will probably never see this, but I’m a big fan. I have been playing harp for a while, and I would love to see you play.

  • Moneytreegroup

    Fingers,

    I’d love to see you gig again. I miss Sunday’s in the park in Jackson so many years ago. Miss you buddy.
    Warmest regards,
    Hart-Daddy
    Larry Hart

  • Moneytreegroup

    Fingers,

    I’d love to see you gig again. I miss Sunday’s in the park in Jackson so many years ago. Miss you buddy.
    Warmest regards,
    Hart-Daddy
    Larry Hart

  • Aaron

    The Coral Refers haven’t been the same since Fingers left.  The live albums remind me every time of that sound that’s missing from Jimmy’s band.  Parrotheads miss you.

  • Aaron

    The Coral Refers haven’t been the same since Fingers left.  The live albums remind me every time of that sound that’s missing from Jimmy’s band.  Parrotheads miss you.

  • randy stran

    hiya  greg! your little golf pro from so cal    call me

  • Wwsaulter

    I agree with Aaron!  I have wondered what happen to that awesome harp player I saw tear down the house in Dallas in 1998.  I love Jimmy but the music just isn’t the same.

  • Brebes

    Fingers I was the flight attendant on the viscount tour in the late 70′s Julies.Cheese Burger Tour.I’ll never forget going to a down town bar you heard about and wanted to play in.We went you did play with a couple guys and had a blast.Best Wishes and Memories

  • Thesidewinderband

    One of my most memorable gigs was in Myrtle beach, South Carolina in 1980. We had a house band that played from 12:30a-4:30 am nightly. During a break, a friend came up to me and said hey Jimi- Fingers Taylor just finished a gig with Jimmy Buffet and he brought his harps. I met him, asked him to jam with us and he finished the night playing his ass off with his belt full of Harmonica’s. What a GREAT time.
    Thanks for the memory Fingers. You made me smile.

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