You Say It's Your Birthday: Live's Chad Taylor

Blowing out 27 birthday candles today is Chad Taylor, guitarist for bombastic

rockers Live. Live are best known for such emotional epics as "I Alone," "Pain

Lies on the Riverside" and "Lightning Crashes." Their song structures and

heartfelt lyrics seemingly filled the void when U2 started going out where the

trains don't run, and success has rewarded them accordingly. Taylor met

singer/guitarist Edward Kowalczyk, bassist Patrick Dahlheimer and drummer Chad

Gracey when all four were students at Edgar Fahs Middle School in their hometown

of York, Pennsylvania. The school's music teacher convinced Dahlheimer, Gracey

and Taylor to perform at an eighth grade talent show, under the name First Aid,

and the group has been together ever since, with Kowalczyk joining soon after

the talent show. The group went through a number of name changes before

settling with Public Affection. They played their first concert on Nov. 25,

1987 in front of a sold-out hometown crowd.

The group was signed by Radioactive Records in 1989 and changed their name to

Live. 1991 brought the release of an EP called Four Songs and their full

length debut, Mental Jewlery. After a lengthy tour, the group settled

down in late 1993 to record Throwing Copper, an album which concentrated

less on the reconstituted funk grooves of their past and solidifed the band's

considerable R.E.M. and U2 influence. Released in 1994, the album went on to

sell 10 million copies on the strength of such singles as "Selling The Drama,"

"I Alone," "Lightning Crashes" and "White, Discussion." Live performed at the

Woodstock '94 festival later that year and then continued their grueling tour

schedule. Earlier this year, the group released Secret Samadhi, an album

which contained a bit of a heavier sound as well as a few selections backed up

by a string section.

Other birthdays: Aston Barrett (Wailers), 41; Little Steven (Springsteen's

E-Street Band), 47; and Tina Weymouth (Talking Heads/Tom Tom Club/Heads), 47.