Taylors: Like Father, Like Son
The ornament doesn’t fall far from the tree.
B.E. Taylor’s son, B.C., first appeared on the Capitol Theatre stage at age 11 during his father’s first Christmas concert. He sang backup, along with his sister, Tahnee, and mother, Veronica, on “O Come All Ye Faithful” -both on the first CD, released in 1994, and at the first Capitol concert in 1996.
While his sister and mom want nothing to do with the spotlight and prefer working behind the scenes, B.C., now 30, is a musician through and through, with a degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston and seven years of music experience producing, engineering, managing, writing and playing drums in Los Angeles.
“I very much enjoy being on the stage,” said B.C., who followed up his early singing part in his dad’s band with several years of playing percussion for the Christmas shows. As a member of the drum line at Wheeling Park High School, he was among the drummers to make the grand entrance down the Capitol aisles at the beginning of “O Come All Ye Faithful.” And for several years now, he has taken the seat behind the drum kit, although he always comes out front for the “Drummer Boy” battle of the drums with Rick Witkowski.
While he is comfortable in the spotlight and enjoys being such an integral part of the show, he can’t imagine being the front man like his dad.
“He has such command of the audience. … Watching him do what he does for as long as he does it, for as long as I’ve been able to, he’s done an incredible job,” B.C. said.
He added, however, the magic that happens onstage during the B.E. Taylor Christmas show is conjured not by B.E. alone but by the whole band, along with the audience.
“We really love doing it. It doesn’t feel like work, and we’re having so much fun, the audience feeds off it,” B.C. said.
The concert, after all, is not just a family tradition for the Taylors but for thousands of festive concert-goers throughout the tri-state area. B.E. Taylor has made it a point over the years to keep his focus on the audience, including them in music and playing all their favorites with a few tweaks now and then to keep things fresh.
“To me, the most important thing is the people in the seats,” he said. “We get the audience involved early, we don’t wait till the encore to let them ‘feel the love of Christmas,'” B.E. said, referring to his original Christmas song of the same name from the second of his three Christmas albums. “To us, it’s not us on stage and you in the audience, we’re in one big room, all together, like in your living room.” He noted he and the band members stay after the show to sign autographs and meet their fans.
B.C. said he looks forward each year to rehearsing and performing with his father and these musicians he has come to regard as family – including guitarist Witkowski, multi-instrumentalist Jamie Peck and vocalists Jeff Jimerson and Hermie Granati.
“It’s like a family reunion,” B.C. said.
B.E. said he is proud of the work B.C. is doing in L.A. and is thrilled he comes home for the Christmas tour, which travels throughout Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, always ending up at home in Wheeling.
He doesn’t know how many more years the show will go on, however, and he takes a pragmatic view of B.C.’s involvement.
“I am proud, but one day I hope he says, ‘I gotta tour with – some big name – and I can’t do the show.’ I might have a tear in my eye when he says it, but I’m not his future,” B.E. said.
Both are looking forward to spending some down time together with Veronica and Tahnee – who will come home from Texas – after the Christmas tour wraps up in?Wheeling on?Dec. 23. B.E. said he’s been waiting until both kids were home so they could rent and watch Disney Pixar’s “Inside Out” as a family. B.C. is anticipating eating at DiCarlo’s and visiting some of the new eateries in the area.