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    Obituary: JD Taylor (1946–2016)

    By Naomi “Copper Jet”


    It is with deep sadness, still reeling in shock from the swiftness of her decline, that I must announce the death of my longtime poly partner and wife, JD Taylor.

    Born in New York, New York, in August 1946, JD was raised in Ridgefield, New Jersey. No one ever thought she was ‘that old’ because of her indomitable, independent, outgoing, playful and poetic spirit. A life-long avowed atheist, JD transitioned fearlessly from being to non-being on February 27, 2016, at 4:10 pm. She was at home under hospice care and surrounded by a large group of chosen family and loving friends. She died peacefully, with determination and on her own terms, which was exactly as she had lived her life. Those sitting vigil with her wondered if she would have preferred to pass away at 4:20 pm, just so we could say, “She died at 420.”

    It’s really hard to believe she is gone. Once she found out on Monday, February 22, that her Stage 4 NSC Lung Cancer was not treatable, she decided to stop struggling to breathe. We thought and hoped that her hard-fought battle to recover from her original diagnosis in August 2013 and subsequent treatments might leave her cancer-free, but tests in January and February showed otherwise.

    She was an accomplished harmonica player, and a supporter of women’s culture and women’s cultural space. She will be sorely missed by many people in the San Francisco live music scene, and in the Women’s and LGBT activist communities. She will be remembered and missed by the “Insomniacs” (the “old guard at Café Flore in San Francisco), the folks at Peet’s on Market and Spike’s on 19th, the Wild Side West Sunday Jam musicians, and the musicians and audiences at the El Rio monthly Los Train Wreck’s Open Mike. She played blues harmonica with Gwen Avery, and also played rock and punk with local bands Frightwig and Tribe 8. She loved any opportunity to use her harps to jam on jazz, folk, rock and show tune covers.

    JD’s mother was Virginia Snedeker, an American Scene Artist. As a child, JD was a subject of her mother’s artwork. Some in San Francisco might remember JD as the subject of a photograph showing her, a small woman, being beaten by an SFPD officer during the Castro Sweep Police Riot on October 9, 1989.

    Please share your stories about JD at my Facebook page ( and on any posts you wish to make. Please tag me if you post anything new on Facebook or Twitter, @copperjet. If you have any images or recordings of JD’s music, please let me know by Facebook message so that we can archive and share them in the future.