01 June 2006

Happy Steveday, Greggie!

For those of you out of the loop — and that’s everyone but Renae, Dan, and me — that’s “happy birthday, Greg!” in Espersteveto.

Greg is my favorite Canadian — ahead of Neil Young, Robertson Davies, Eugene Levy, Paul Shaffer, and Margaret Trudeau. Heck, he’s in the top five on my list of great guys.

I first met Greg in 1988, at the student union at the University of Wisconsin. He was wearing a button with something like “Elvis is dead, but at least he’s a lot thinner.” Instant love for the boy. He earned my awe that weekend when he showed me a photo of him lighting Richard Butler’s cigarette (which reminds me that I’m still miffed at Renae for not telling me about that free Psychedelic Furs concert in Athens in 1986).

Renae and Greg at her gallery opening (Nov. 2005).
This photo says it all.

There are few people who can introduce me to new bands — I tend to keep up more than most in my circle — but Greg introduces me to at least one new band every year. Thanks to him, I love The Music and My Morning Jacket, Kent and The Doves, Cee-lo and Helen Merrill, Twilight Singers and Mel Tormé’s “Prelude to a Kiss,” Calexico and Steve.

And, of course, Oasis. You can’t talk about Greg and not mention Oasis. The summer Renae and Greg bought their house, Greg seriously considered taking the money to follow Oasis across the world. We have the same priorities. I finally saw Oasis last September; I think Greg was more excited about that than any of my accomplishments during our long friendship. It’s a good thing he’s not a big R.E.M. fan, or I’d have to steal him from Renae.

Greg, Dan, me, and Renae (New Rochelle, Jan. 2000)

But it’s not all about music. Greg is simply one of the most fun, cerebral, open-minded, silly people I’ve ever known. I’d rather sit around Renae and Greg’s kitchen for hours in my pajamas than go out and doing something.

BRAG TIME: In addition to having impeccable music taste and the silliest sense of humor this side of Dan, our Greg is also a published author, having written one of the first studies of American film criticism:

Artists in the Audience (© 1999)

Happy birthday, Greggie! Hope the Bahamian sun and surf is perfect for your birthday!

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At 6/01/2006 09:16:00 AM, Blogger guerrilla blogger said...

damn woman, you rub elbows with some connected high class folks....you are all "in" and stuff....LUCKY!!!!!...

At 6/01/2006 10:47:00 AM, Blogger Dan said...

Hey Stevo! Happy birthday ya bum!! What are ya now, close to 14 pushing 60 now? (read into that as you will) I'm glad to hear you'll be celebrating on an island suckin' down a martini with a babe on your arm. Y'all need to come down my way and have some beers on the porch! Cheers!

At 6/01/2006 02:59:00 PM, Anonymous HollyC said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Big "G" Greg Taylor!
We love you, you are the coolest, the first peer I knew that drank Martini's-way ahead of the crowd.
Enjoy the beach and sea!

At 6/02/2006 10:58:00 AM, Anonymous Cindee said...

I love Ranae’s skirt she wore at her opening. It’s bee-yoo-ti-ful!

At 6/09/2006 02:14:00 PM, Anonymous greg said...

hey all. thanks for the warm thoughts and thanks beth for your wonderful words. 'cept I have one small but important correction to make. that was Richard Butler lighting MY cigarette.

if any of you can find a fullers esb (preferably on tap) have a pint or three for me. and if you own Definitely Maybe or What's the Story... or Heathen Chemistry or Be Here Now or Don't Believe the Truth or any of the hundreds of amazing Oasis bootlegs out there play any and all REALLY LOUD. and sing along at the top of your damn lungs


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