Linda Simpson Taylor

Linda Simpson Taylor has been devoted to music for as long as she can remember, only briefly wanting to be a vet, around the age of 6. Whenever she was asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The answer came back without any hesitation, “A singer”

She started to sing with Chris in 1983, and became member of Magna Carta since that time.

In May 2009, Linda  left Magna Carta after the ‘final’ concert in Holland at ‘The Royal Theater Carré’ (the Dutch equivalent of the Royal Albert Hall). 

At that time she had been with the band for 26 years.

Something to Say

by Linda Simpon Taylor 

 

Thank you for the music

First let me say a huge THANK YOU to Nelson Vieira da Silva in Portugal and Harry Pater in Holland, for this wonderful new shiny website. 

These two wonderful people have been there through thick and thin and freely give their own time and talents to keep you informed and up to date on all aspects of Magna Carta’s music and performances.

I do keep in touch with Chris as far as music is concerned, and I know that he too is very grateful for all the help given down the years by Harry and Nelson, and many other individuals like Jan Wijkmans, Hans Belde, John Gardner, Walter Goyen and Ruben Van A̭efst to name but a few. Then there were others who came on tour with us, and still more that looked after us and became dear friends; I’d better stop there or I won’t have any space left!! I’m sure you all know who you are and realise that you are not forgotten!

These are strange times indeed and I don’t know of anyone who has not been affected by Covid 19 in some way, but I hope that you are all trying to stay positive and I’m sure that we will meet again one day in better times and circumstances.

Most of you will know that I was with Magna Carta for 26 years. In that time, met many wonderful people, worked in many countries, some of which are now changed forever, saw wonders and made countless friends. My life was rich and, best of all, it was all possible because I was doing what I was born to do, singing and playing music. It has had its ups and downs but I would not give back one second of it!! You were all a part of that experience and I am blessed and grateful to you all. My ambition was only ever to make my living doing the one thing that I loved most, and that’s what I have done. Who could ask for more?

Life beyond Magna Carta

Since leaving Magna Carta I have stayed involved with many aspects of music, helping and working with others to create venues and start small festivals to help other musicians to find their way. 

I worked with Elrieke for a while as ‘Sisters in Song’, until the distance between us made it too difficult, and I’m happy to say, that she continues to go from strength to strength, see http://www.elrieke.com.

I busked for a few years around the Birmingham area when times were difficult and found I loved it!! Through doing that I was able to learn and play lots of other songs that I loved, and of course I played Magna Carta songs too. 

One of these days I will get around to recording many of those songs. I also ran a guitar practice session once a week in Wolverhampton for a while, that was fun too. In between all this I was still doing gigs. 

I met Ian Diment in 2014 and my musical world opened up again. He is a highly accomplished pianist and we started to work together whenever we could. We worked with Matt a few times and the three of us even went out to Canada to play the Canterbury Festival. 

So why did I go quiet?

It was all going so well and then three years ago I caught a nasty virus, which stole my voice for months. Even when I thought it was OK again it would suddenly fail on me and leave me squeaking instead of singing. It happened on the last gig I did in Holland in summer 2018, so I gave up and rested my voice until I was sure it was OK, then I did a little boat festival gig. That was in May last year. Five minutes before we were due on stage I fell, broke my right arm and gave myself a brilliant black eye. I did manage to play the gig but it wasn’t my best ever performance, I will admit it did hurt.

Three months later I got the all clear and my arm was fine again. Two days later I was hit by a taxi on a pelican crossing and was rushed off to hospital. Two weeks in the ICU before they moved me to my own room. I came round to find myself covered in bruises, had another black eye, plenty of pain and a lots of metal sticking out of my foot … holding it together.

Over the next few days I found out that I had sustained some really bad injuries, had died and been resuscitated, had an operation on my foot and was totally confined to bed as the foot could not be used. The worse injuries were two fractures to my skull along with bleeds and blood clots in my head, every rib broken except one, a punctured lung, a fractured pelvis,  my right foot was badly messed up and my femur was broken at the ankle. To say that I have had better days would be an understatement!! 

If this is the first you have heard of it, I have to be honest and say I kept it fairly quiet because the head injuries and drugs made communication very difficult. I’m sure that some people had some very strange messages from me around that time and some were probably rather comical. 

It’s been almost a year now and I’m happy to say that, apart from a few random aches and pains, and  the fact that walking is still a bit difficult, I have made a remarkable recovery and just want to put the whole thing behind me.

Please don’t feel you should contact me about it. I’m going to be fine as my guardian angel is obviously one of the best!

What next?

Well – I had some therapy from ‘Headway’. It’s a charity that helps people with head injuries, as well as helping others with mental problems of all kinds. My therapist was lovely and after a couple of sessions I got interested in what she was doing.  We discussed music therapy and I realised that there was something I could do. By some miracle I can still sing and play guitar so I’m going to pick songs that people can learn and write them out, plus chords, make a backing track and then record the vocals. The idea being that people can learn the song and sing it to the backing track. 

As I also used to do guitar sessions I will play along to the track so that anyone wanting to learn how to play it can practice along with me too I will put the videos up on my You Tube  and they will be available to anyone who cares to join in. 

I can of course do the same with some Magna Carta songs, but I will start with less complicated songs first so that there is always something easy to start with. I won’t charge for the videos but, if anyone finds them useful I will suggest that they might make a donation to Headway as a thank you.

Maybe I will eventually be able to do live sessions for them, I certainly hope so. 

There will be some new material too I’m sure, and I’m still in touch with Jonathan Barrett so between the three of us we might be able to put some nice tracks together eventually. My ankle/foot still slows me down a lot so don’t expect anything to happen fast!! My aim is to eventually get back out there and play live. I will have to start off small, maybe do some house concerts and small theatres, just to see how it goes.

I will look forward to seeing some of you again at some point in the future.