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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Taylor Hicks; Taylor Hicks - CD Drops to Number 15

Taylor Hicks debut CD has fallen to number 15 on Billboard's Top 200 chart. Taking the tumble with him, Young Jeezy, who, last week, saw him riding the top spot, this week, sends him plummeting past Hicks into the number 18 position. (My daughter, on the other hand, eight years old and a third grader, is thrilled to see her Idol, Hannah Montana still on the up and up in the number two position.)

Taylor Hicks' CD, according to the Nielsen SoundScan has gone Gold, selling 500,00 units in the United States. Considering that Taylor Hicks has not released any of the singles for radio play from the CD, and still he's generating these numbers speaks volumes regarding his fan base.

He's performed the first song off of the CD, "The RunAround" during his many recent television and live appearances promoting Taylor Hicks, the CD. In my opinion, this not such a stellar move, I'd think it would be of greater benefit to spread the music 'love' around, and mix it up more during the initial CD introductions, providing a more comprehensive view into the CD as a whole. Tracks that embody the Taylor Hicks' vibe that would provide deeper representation for the debut CD, "Heaven Knows", and "The Right Place", naming two, as well as Taylor Hicks' original tunes, "Soul Thing", "The Deal" and in the 'special' Wal-Mart issues, "Hell of a Day". You can listen to these tunes in their 'original form on this website, WBHM. I prefer the original sound of the tune, "Soul Thing", the re-mix replaces some of the 'soul' feel of the original version, melding into more of a funk piece. I prefer the soul vibe.

One of my favorite tracks, it just snuck up on me in the listening of the CD, I didn't intend to fall for it - but 'just got caught up in the maze'. This little tune has been discounted on a few fansites, titled, "The Maze" (scroll down to Top Albums, click it and the complete listing pops up including "The Maze"). Thrust into the center portion of Taylor Hicks' CD, this tune feels like a song Hicks' should turn some focus towards. The lyrics shout out radio friendly, but the contained vibe is soulful, it's a decently written mournful love tune. I could really dig hearing this piece coated with a touch of old-time John Lee Hooker style blues batter. Chorus lyrics flow:
    "I got in, but I can't get out that way.
    Baby you got me all caught up,
    You don't know what a maze you made.
    I got in a little deeper everyday,
    You know I don't wanna be found
    Runnin' around in a maze you made.

Compared to the lyrics in "The Runaround", the track he's been performing on all the recent television and live appearances - a sample:
    It's a whole new education
    I'm learning from you all the time
    There's no need for explanation
    Your examples do just fine
    I'm getting an A in Broken Hearts
    I got my degree in Crying

In my opinion, as is, "The Maze" is put together better, the music flows with Taylor Hicks' vocals into a natural groove. Infuse it with a more bluesy soul leaning and you've got a potentially great tune.

But what do I know? I did know from the moment I saw Taylor Hicks' audition during American Idol season 5 that he had what it took to do the deal. Intrinsically I felt the man had the heart and soul to take him to the top of that reality show. Taylor Hicks has always reminded me, for a reason I can't place my finger on it, of a boxer, a pugilist, like a Sugar Ray Leonard, with his heart and drive. Just like Sugar Ray came on the scene during a time boxing needed a new legend after the retirement of Muhammad Ali, the music scene is ripe for a real authentic new legend. Should Taylor Hicks remain true to his heart, true to his soul, he may just be the answer. Word to Mr. Hicks, don't let the suits give you the runaround, weave your own maze, make your own legend, the audience will follow.

Taylor Hicks' current tour dates:

Feb. 21: Jacksonville, Fla. (Florida Theatre)
Feb. 22: Tampa, Fla. (Tampa Theatre)
Feb. 23: Coral Springs, Fla. (Center For The Arts)
Feb. 24: Orlando, Fla. (Universal Studios)
Feb. 27: Mobile, Ala. (Mobile Civic Center)
March 2: Myrtle Beach, S.C. (House Of Blues)
March 3: Knoxville, Tenn. (Tennessee Theatre)
March 4: Asheville, N.C. (Orange Peel)
March 6: Huntsville, Ala. (Von Braun Center)
March 9: Atlanta (Tabernacle)
March 10: Birmingham, Ala. (Alabama Theatre)
March 25: Prior Lake, Minn. (Mystic Lake Casino)
March 27: Green Bay, Wis. (Weidner Center)
March 28: Milwaukee (Pabst Theater)
March 29: Chicago (House Of Blues)
March 31: Cleveland (House Of Blues)
April 3: Boston (Avalon)
April 6: Mashantucket, Conn. (Foxwoods Casino)
April 7: Westbury, N.Y. (North Fork Theatre at Westbury)
April 12: Lancaster, Penn. (American Music Theatre)
April 17: Baltimore (Rams Head Live!)
April 24: Columbus, Ohio (Lifestyle Communities Pavilion)
April 27: Kansas City, Mo. (Ameristar Hotel & Casino)

Groove on Soulman.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Revisiting the Taylor Hicks' Wierd Al Yankovich "Creep"

Reviewing some of my Taylor Hicks files last night as we rebuilt my computer - my dear sweet, patient man was sent on a mission to make it better, stronger, faster...

I came across the Wierd Al Yankovich "Do I Creep You Out" parody video. That brought to mind, as my largely A.D.D. mind is known to ramble and roam, to the version of the Radio Head song, "Creep" that Magni Asgierrson performed during Rock Star: Supernova. Since I've recently shared some of my favorite Magni moments on this blog I'll include this one as well. (Scroll down to see the previous posting with more music from The Iceman.) The man has a voice so full of passion, so beautiful, so real, I'm sure anyone into real music can appreciate this artist.

And... he's no "Creep":

Taylor Hicks has a distinctive natural vocal sound and possesses the ability to communicate emotions and passions, so does Magni. Talent such as this type of vocal caliber is a gift, cannot be manufactured, but it should be admired.

I hope those fans who have embraced Taylor Hicks can appreciate Magni Asgierrson's abilities and will enjoy his performance. Check out his myspace and hear "Blue Christmas". "Thank you very much."

In all things, especially music, you gotta find your groove.

Friday, December 22, 2006

New Music, Real Music the Complete Message, Right?

Granted this is a blog devoted to Taylor Hicks with much respect and adoration appropriately directed his direction. But, seriously since I am a fan of 'real music', and like Taylor's Official Blog Buddy, Gray Charles is prone to do, so might I.

This blog at this moment deviates away from the Taylor Hicks focus. Instead I'd like to introduce an artist that has completely impressed me, and impacted me, refreshing me in my love of rock and alternative rock music. You see, I have many music loves. I appreciate music in several genres, Rock 'n Roll, Blues, Jazz, and Soul. This man got my attention with his voice, his writing genius and his one-of-a-kind, loving personality. Big bonus - huge - the man can actually swing an axe (guitar) like a real rock star, not just stroke it with the mike off to look like he plays, and he possesses a voice that rivals Bono of U2. Magni Asgierrson is also a prolific writer, penning his own music and lyrics. He works some amazing acoustic songs, yet can when in the environment, outsing and outperform any well-known Rock Star out there. He took on Live's song, "I Alone" while competing on Rock Star: Supernova and solidly made Ed Kowalczyk's version seem anemic, lacking and weak.
Check out the improved Magni version here:

When you first hit the link to his site, don't be put off by the 'serial killer' countenance that will stare back at you. Magni's a sweet, kind loving man, who makes like my beloved dog, Cody, 'Big Bark, no Bite'. Being a Scandinavian (once removed) I understand his 'look'; it's all about the Viking thing (my predecessors hail from Sweden). Check out his myspace blog, Magni Asgierrson and give this absolutely talented man a few listens. For the Christmas holidays he's decided to take on The King and do my favorite Elvis Christmas song of all time, "Blue Christmas". Magni demonstrates his cheeky sense of humor and as you listen, what he intends is sort of a "Is it Elvis? Is it Magni?" tongue-in-cheek performance. The best version of this Elvis classic (besides Magni's - uh, hem) can be found on the stunning and enjoyable, my favorite Elvis album, "Tiger Man".

If "I Alone" may not be your cup 'o tea, check this Gorgeous performance:

And, if you have the time: "Clocks" (Coldplay):

Now tell me, he's better than the original, heh?

A stellar vocal performance can be found here:

Awaken your teen spirit:

Why do I feel like I'm cheating?

Real Music, Real Art Matters.
Merry Christmas.

Taylor Hicks, The Soulman to serve as Endymion's Grand Marshal

Taylor Hicks has been asked to serve as the Grand Marshal, of the city's largest Carnival group during the 2007 Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Endymion Captain Ed Muniz says on the Endymion website, "63.4 million people voted for Taylor as their American Idol. He will be a great ambassador to show America and the world that New Orleans is open to visitors. He is eager to be a part of our celebration, and we are excited to welcome him".

Giving credit to this famous Mardi Gras club, prior to the krewe's inception, in 1969, enthusiasm for the New Orleans Carnival was lagging and tourism dollars dwindling. By 1974 the Endymion Krewe had developed some of the largest floats ever assembled, and began the trend current now, in the Mardi Gras scene, glitzy, extravagant costumes, and the raining down of massive quantities of Mardi Gras 'loot', beads, trinkets and the like that all who attend the parades covet. I still have my bangles and beads collected in 2003! Known for bringing the glitz and glamour to Carnival the Endymion Krewe brings to the scene Nationally popular, current entertainers, as well as including local musicians in their line-up. This said, I think it's a fitting honor for Taylor Hicks to be invited to sit as Grand Marshal for this club. Similar to how the Endymion Krewe breathed new life back into Carnival for New Orleans, Taylor Hicks is working to breathe life and soul back into real music. Appropriate too, because afterall, Taylor's journey into National recognition began, in a way, in New Orleans. He was in the Crescent City to attend a wedding shortly before Hurrican Katrina struck the city, August 29, 2005. Airport and flight delays delivered a free plane ticket which he later used to fly to Las Vegas for the American Idol audition.

Delving into the mythology of Endymion, Taylor Hicks fans will love the story behind the krewe's namesake. It seems Endymion was, according to Greek mythology, the handsomest man. He has been named God of eternal youth and fertility. Some versions describe him as king, others as a shepherd. The moon goddess Selene, as the story goes, was so smitten with Endymion's beauty that she put him into a perpetual sleep so that she could kiss him whenever she wished. Apparently they created in the neighborhood of 50 daughters. Mythology, ever fun, never boring.

The Endymion Extravaganza will be held on February 17, 2007 at the Louisiana Superdome. Tickets are $150 per person and the attire is formal (black tie for men, floor-length evening dress for ladies). For tickets please contact Endymion via e-mail at tickets@endymion.org or call 504-736-0160.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Taylor Hicks Go-es Fishing, catches the Big Boogie

Taylor Hicks' latest media endeavor, GoFish.com, features in the latest videos a creative piece introduced by Boogie. The video plays in short-film speak, and is to date the most entertaining, creative, and just plain Soulfully infused inquiry-vid to date. Like the Beetles had the Yellow Submarine, Boogie pilots the Fushia multi-level bus and sends out some soul shivers with his "Leon Redbone"-esque voice-overs. Soul Patrol at its finest.

On the downside, the Libra within me must be satisfied, and so I bring to the forefront a comically entertaining piece. This endeavor is posted by a real dyed in the wanna-wool fan and self-proclaimed Soul Patroller, 'poetcindy'. Looking at this video, one thing I feel the need to point out - this submittee presents herself as a previous Taylor Hicks interviewer, and allows on the fact that she is a w-r-i-t-e-r, yet, she misspells "vieo" (video) and then carries on with 'Quetion' (Question) in the very opening of her 'take'. (My advice, just take a moment and spell check, Chica.) One other thing, she begins with direct questioning and comments then abruptly switches to third personage, replete with fan anthem spiced proclamations. W-r-i-t-e-r-s need to retain their common tense to stay true. Reaching into the psychological aspects of the video, let's think as humans, how weird, and perhaps surrealistic it might be to have a query video developed with, for the most part, images of your own face combined with screens containing writings displaying messages such as, "Lovingly we wait for him To make history". This video does include some very nice background tunage, "Heart and Soul", one of the stellar tracks from the CD.

I really thought GoFish.com would be completely inundated with video clips containing fan questions and commentaries and as of today, only six in the list. Watching and fishing.

Groove on Soulman.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Taylor Hicks Top 200 Billboard Ranking (early edition)

According to the early (so as yet, not quite official) Billboard reports, Taylor Hicks' post-American Idol self-titled CD will enter the top 200 charts at the Number two spot following its first week's release. (The Official Billboard charts will publish on Thursday.)

This is the top twelve as I am hearing it:
1 Young Jeezy Inspiration: THUG MOTIVATION
2 Taylor Hicks: TAYLOR HICKS
from spot #4 rising to #3 Miley Cyrus: HANNAH MONTANA SOUNDTRACK (my daughter's fave)
from spot #5 to #4 Various Artists: NOW 23
from #11 to #5 Josh Grobin: JOSH AWAKE
from #10 to #6 Carrie Underwood's: SOME HEARTS
#7 Chris Daughtry: DAUGHTRY
#8 Beatles: LOVE
#10 Il Divo: SIEMPRE
#11 Ciara: EVOLUTION

I'm "cheersing" Taylor Hicks on what looks to be a strong debut. Taylor Hicks has been quoted by 'Gray Charles' in the Taylor Hicks Official Blog as saying 'it's not about the numbers it's about the music'. Should this be the actual case, and Taylor Hicks has indeed said this, I interpret it as Taylor Hicks desiring to stress he places his art above profit.

Bottom line, one doesn't strive as long and as hard as Taylor Hicks has done to gain the center stage, to get his music heard to not desire the numbers reflect that his goal is being met and that he is succeeeding. Numbers on the charts are an indicator in the public sector that the message is being heard and what impact the music is actually having on the public regarding acceptance.

In this first week of sales, its obvious that the Taylor Hicks fans are sending out their positive message. Numbers do matter, numbers indicate that folks are listening, and numbers physically show that folks are out there willing to spend their time and monies to hear Taylor Hicks' sound, his music. The next test will surface during the following weeks. These numbers will attest to the strength in marketing the self-titled CD, and how the Taylor Hicks' fanbase will expand.

So far so good Taylor Hicks.
Groove on Soulman.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Taylor Hicks Walking that Green Mile

One of my long time Taylor Hicks friends e.mailed me looking for this clip, so I'm posting it. One of my favorites brought to youtube.com by AliceinTaylorland (thanks).

Yeah, baby, good times.

Groove on Soulman.

Taylor Hicks takes up Fishing

Taylor Hicks, has joined GoFish.com in a new and compelling adventure. For the next nine weeks fans can participate in a video question and answer exchange found here. Format stands, Taylor Hicks will review videos sent in by fans, listen to their questions, and provide answers for them. Fans unable to download videos (or perhaps too shy) can simply tune into GoFish and enjoy this voyeuristic opportunity.

Taylor Hicks demonstrates once again, loudly and clearly, that he understands what his fans want and once again, brilliantly is delivering. There should be a great deal of entertainment found in this format, viewing the videos by fans. The Soul Patrol members will be gearing up to shoot their videos for Taylor even more than before but the beauty of this opportunity, they can create a video directed to Taylor Hicks, like their very own interview.

Check out GoFish.com for the current volume of videos created of Taylor Hicks' performances,as well as the videos created 'dedicated' to him. (I mean, even Wierd Al Yankovic had to post his 'tribute' to Taylor in the recent past.) Being a new media move, it's bold, requiring some courage and tact on Taylor Hicks' part, handling the questions and videos by a variety of fans. I plan to check it and feature some of my favorites found off the site.

This GoFish venture as well as the fact that Taylor Hicks is utilizing the talents of blogger extraordinaire, known as "Gray Charles", a man whose Taylor Hicks blog last began January during the American Idol 2006 season, points towards Mr. Hicks' media savvy. Taylor Hicks once again rises head and shoulders above the rest of the Idols that have come before. Surely many in the ranks of the Soul Patrol will relish this opportunity.

'Fish on', Soulman.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Taylor Hicks and Friends, Christmas in Washington 2006

Taylor Hicks had a full day Wednesday, assisting Martha Stewart on her show creating Holiday wreaths and singing for the Nation and the President in the annual "Christmas in Washington 2006" special.

Taylor Hicks, exclaimed many times during his appearance on Martha Stewart, "I'm making a wreath with Martha!" Taylor was very charming and sweet, and created something I'd not ever seen happen on Martha Stewart; the man had Martha giddy as a schoolgirl. Taylor, ever the gentleman, brought Martha her very own harmonica and gave her an impromptu lesson, possibly in trade for the gracious wreath making moment shared with her.

Being on Martha Stewart was just a part of the Taylor Hicks on television experience yesterday. Taylor Hicks opened and closed the annual Christmas event, "Christmas in Washington". I'm thinking this year, a better, more fitting title to the show, "Taylor Hicks and Friends, Christmas in Washington 2006". Little Bianca Ryan, whom I wrote about earlier this year on blogcritics. org performed, as well as Il Divo, famed quartet from Spain, country music's Gretchen Wilson, the beautiful and talented Corinne Bailey Rae, and R&B young pizzazz man, Chris Brown.

Stepping off the topic of Taylor Hicks, I have to spend a paragraph of commentary on the hosts without the mosts of "Christmas in Washington 2006". I'd be remiss not to discuss the caliber and quality of the distraction that Dr. Phil and wife Robin McGraw contributed to this event. Creepy, an apt discriptor to describe the good "Doctor's" expressions (Botox?), or lack thereof, not to mention his twangy uber-Texan, wooden delivery. Wife Robin was somewhat of a saving grace, but Dr. Phil's hosting quality brought this 'event' a MAD TV-esque comedic quality. Initially I was annoyed by Dr. Phil, but after the first few minutes I could only gasp and laugh. He was hilarious in a role that seemingly wasn't intended to be humorous.

Returning to the topic of The Soulman, Taylor Hicks, the man looked suave, fit and professional. He entertained delivering three bluesy soulful Christmas numbers to include "Merry Christmas Baby" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", he then ended the show with a gorgeous rendition of "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear". My personal favorite of the evening.

(Thanks goes out to krunkgroovy and GoFish.)
With Mr. Hicks scoring four songs, he ranked the most singing time on this program, combined with his opening and closing the program gave it a feel of "A Taylor Hicks Christmas Special". I guess that will come next year... Fabulous performances by all on the show, but especially from our man, Taylor Hicks.

This is my best buddy and Taylor Hicks fan, Cody, wearing his Christmas best to watch the program with me.

Happy Holidays - and yeah, Groove on Soulman!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Taylor Hicks CD Review by Natalie Davis

In the event you've missed my friend, Natalie Davis' review of Taylor's CD that has been released today, December 12; click the title link. Absolutely articulate, thoughtful and completely on-target regarding The Soulman's post-Idol debut. Visit her radio site to hear some Taylor Hicks over your computer while you surf the Taylor Hicks' sites or do other on-line business.

Tune in and Turn on: Grateful Dread Radio.

My review to come later this week... ;)

Groove on Soulman.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Taylor Hicks, Charlie Brown Has Joined the Soul Patrol!

Apparently Taylor Hicks' tune, "Run Around" is destined to become a Soul Patrol favorite and headed towards the hit charts. Just in time for the holidays, Charlie Brown and gang join the Soul Patrol courtesy of the creative endeavors of 'junniperuscummunis' and youtube.com. Very clever and nicely done.

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" is my absolute favorite Christmas animation, I even own the CD given to me a few years ago by my loving daughter who knows her Momma's a child at heart.

I stumbled upon this clip while perusing the Gray Charles.com site. I was reading through the comments to Gray's feature, "Taylor Hicks is People, He's People". In what has become his trade-mark style, Gray Charles plays with words double hitting the magazine's title with a cult classic reference to highlight the recent article on Mr. Hicks in the current issue of People Magazine written by reporter Carrie Borzillo Vrenna.

Taylor Hicks, and this is an understatement, has been extremely busy this past year. Although the article puts emphasis on the value Taylor Hicks placed on being invited the the late great Ray Charles recording studio, being presented with a pair of cuff links previously owned by Ray, as well as the influence Ray Charles had, musically, on his life, it also indicates some nostalgia for simpler moments. Taylor Hicks, answering a question from a fan, mentions associating the smell of bacon with the leisure of breakfast at home, bacon frying up in a pan, and not much to do that day. While Taylor may have certain yearnings for those days of leisure, the man is thankful for the times at hand. Hopefully he'll have the gift of a few days off during the holiday season with someone preparing a homemade breakfast for him including bacon, while we fans enjoy the gift of his CD due out December 12.

Groove on Soulman.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Taylor Hicks Gives us the "Run Around"

Taylor Hicks shakes his 'thang' on Jay Leno, performing his new tune "Runaround" which you can find on his new CD due out in stores December 12. If you buy from Wal-Mart you'll get treated to some extra tracks not found on the CD sold elsewhere. One of my personal favorites, "Hell of a Day", one of the Wal-Mart special additions.

It's sweet how Leno tags him, "that's my boy!". It's obvious that Jay's a fan of Taylor Hicks. I'm liking this song now, initially my reaction was somewhat "meh", after I heard the short clip of it - but now, hey, it "do" grow on you!

Groove on Soulman.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Access Hollywood Interview with Taylor Hicks

Today is the first time I saw the Access Hollywood interview in which Taylor Hicks is asked about the statements he made to the reporter with Relix.com concerning 'distancing' himself from Idol. Regarding the article I put together and put out on blogcritics.org in which I voice my perception and thoughts regarding the "controversial" comments made by Taylor, I guess I was riding down the right tracks. I picked up this interview link from the Gray Charles.com site today so if you're like me and have not seen it (where have I been, in a cave?) check it out by hitting this blog's title link.

Taylor Hicks will be on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight. Taylor's slated to be Jay's musical guest but possibly we'll see Tay have some 'couch' time so tune in. Word out we'll hear "Runaround", one of the new songs off the upcoming CD. From what I heard during the Christmas concert in New York, the more exposure this song gets the more benefit to The Soulman. I've got a link to the video on this site so check it out. I'm hoping by the time the CD hits the song has the same flair and fire as the live version.

Groove on Soulman.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Taylor Hicks, Caught in the "Run Around"

Taylor Hicks has a new tune called "The Run Around" featured on his upcoming CD due out December 12th. This GoFish video was captured during his performance in Rockefeller Center. I love this treatment of the tune. Initially, when I heard this song there was no harmonica, and the musical arrangement was slightly different. While I did not dislike the song it did not have the magic evidenced in this version. I'm not saying the man's got to have a mouth harp in his face to make a tune sound good, or you know, to sound "Taylorized" but, I am saying I'm loving The Soulman's delivery here.

To hear another version of the tune go HERE. My 'ex' was a drummer in a band and this tune's full of some rocking percussion, it will hold appeal to a lot of folks.

Listen up, it's count down time... 11 days left and the CD drops. Let's blow the roof off the Billboard charts!

Seasons' Greetings to all ya'll.

Groove on Soulman.

Taylor Hicks Puts the Rock in Rockefeller (Center)

Taylor Hicks performed "White Christmas" during the tree lighting ceremony held in New York City's Rockefeller Center last night. Taylor's performance was fun and jazzy, a groove filled, ever soulful take on a favorite Christmas song.

As a small girl, I remember watching the televised Christmas specials popular in the '70's; shows featuring the greats like Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis and Bing Crosby. These musicians performed Christmas songs like songs, they gave them a twist and shout of their own. The Rat Pack gave Christmas songs some 'cool', removed the trite feeling often showcased in renditions of many deliveries of the old holiday tunes.

Last night at Rocker-feller Center, we were treated to another hot glimmering facet which shone as bright as the lights on the giant tree, the very real palpable talent of Taylor Hicks. The Soulman elevated the show, gave the production some reminiscent smack back to the days when musicians could make music work and be cool ... even old Christmas songs.

I could run a listing of my own of some cool Christmas music but instead, I'll give you this link to check. For you 'players' folks who actually know how to read sheet music, here you go. I've put a link to Amazon below for Charles Brown (no, not Charlie Brown...) He's an old-style blues artist with a nice Christmas CD, one I have in my collection. Charles Brown was a talented, yet underrated musician, check him out and his tunes, if you're not familiar. This is a link to his album listing.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Taylor Hicks, Does He Make Idol Proud?

Taylor Hicks has been a busy man this past year. He came off from the gruelling American Idol tour to immediately ensconce himself in studio to record his first post-Idol CD due out December 12th.

Fans have been able to watch him "in action" on rehearsals.com a truly smart move on the Soulman's part. This site provides absolutely phenominal exposure for his music, and has created a ton of 'buzz' for the man. Just last week, he appeared on ABC's broadcast of the American Music Awards from Los Angeles in which he strolled the red carpet and was an award presenter. (Let's see if next year he's a recipient.) He also graciously met Wierd Al Yankovich who parodied Hicks in a much watched video that has swarmed the blogspots via the internet. This week we'll be seeing Mr. Hicks as he travels coast-to-coast. Tonight he will be a part of the "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" held in New York City, then Friday night he's on the west coast, making yet another appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" as Jay's musical guest.

He's also been making some controversial American Idol news, coverage of which has been being discussed in a multitude of fan forums and websites. The article which sparked controversy, "On Soul Patrol with Taylor Hicks" written from an interview with Josh Baron on Relix.com, stemmed from some remarks Taylor Hicks made regarding his not being someone who had watched American Idol in the past. Taylor Hicks took it a step further, and stated, "American Idol, for me, is fizzling out. I want to take that opportunity and exposure..." Apparently there are some folks out there who think the man should continue to want to have the A.I. title permanently attached to his name, like some kind of British HRH moniker, i.e., AmericanIdol Taylor Hicks.

I agree with Mr. Hicks, it is time to move on. So what if he used American Idol as a springboard to national exposure! That is what the show is ultimately about and I don't understand any convoluted reasoning why anyone should be upset about this remark. Looking at the time line, the next season of wannabe-famous contestants will be starting in just a few short months and fans of the show will become immersed in the new 2007 group.

Though it's time for Taylor Hicks to distance himself from the show, with fame and great power comes great responsibility (a bit trite, I know, this in reference to "Spiderman", but please - indulge me). Taylor Hicks will be scrutinized now even more than before; words that fall from his lips will dissected to obtain every form of 'meanings' that every individual reading them may attribute to them. Many are saying he's 'biting the hand that feeds him'. TMZ's Jeff Davidson offers a more rational insight into the comments Hicks' has made regarding Idol and his first released single, "Do I Make You Proud". Davidson commends Taylor Hicks for wanting to stand true to his musical roots and having wanted to have his song, "The Fall" as the first released single instead of the written for Idol, "Do I Make You Proud". Still, there are some fans from the show feeling disillusioned, having fallen for Mr. Hicks only because he was on Idol and won.

Continuing with my observations from the Relix.com interview and Hicks' controversial statement, this is my favorite part, "...you either come to see me, buy my album or you don’t. I’m not trying to meet expectations. If you can say you’re a working musician, then you’re doing something good. I’m just glad to be a working musician because that’s what I’ve always been."

You see, that is the man I've always thought Taylor Hicks to be right from that initial audition when he sang Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come". His journey on Idol a testament to this talented man. Mr Hicks smiled in the face of adversity and carried on with what was true to his heart, ignoring pre-conceived perceptions regarding what it takes to win American Idol. He had a few stumbles during the show, the John Denver song, "Country Roads" comes to mind, but ultimately, and importantly, Taylor Hicks did not succumb to pressure to change his true self, not even so much as caving to pressure regarding his hair color.

Taylor Hicks reached out to all of us out there who strive to stay true to ourselves, who fight against the odds to succeed, who are sometimes perceived as misfits or the 'black sheep'. Taylor Hicks stayed true to himself, and Taylor Hicks let his real talent shine, natural, real and authentic. He is 'different', he is unique - an original. This time 'one of us' made it.

In the end, does Taylor Hicks need to make Idol proud? I don't think that's the issue. The real, true issue lies within Taylor Hicks, he must make himself proud. The rest of the pieces will fall as they should.

Groove on Soulman.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Taylor Hicks, My Cinderella Man

Taylor Hicks is granting interviews to everyone and anyone in the internet world it seems, but alas, I hear nothing from the man. On the homefront, my very own man told me on many occasions, "Taylor Hicks has had to have read some of your articles, he'll e.mail or call just to say hello one day, he's got to know about your work to benefit him". My sweet man thinks it's very cool that I even selected Hicks as winner of AI 5 from day one. I have to occasionally remind him, if I were indeed psychic I'd have won the lottery by now. (That would be nice.) One thing I can do is recognize drive, heart and music, and Taylor Hicks has all of those intrinsically entwined in his being, it's there for anyone with any soul to see.

Besides this blogspot, let me list some of the articles I've written in the past about Taylor Hicks during his competition that garnered a little attention and I hope, support for the man.

Here are a few links:
Justin Timberlake: No Sex to Music / Hates Taylor Hicks
Idol Rat Pack
Proudly Soars to Number One
Soul Patrol Push Hicks
Taylor Hicks: Idol Karma
Taylor Hicks on American Idol
19E and American Idol Owe Taylor Hicks

You might ask, am I jealous that never has Tay so much as sent me an e.mail? Perhaps - but mainly I'm just frustrated. I have had this Taylor Hicks blogspot since January of 2006 when I started following him on American Idol. (Granted I haven't blogged that often in the past several months, I've been down with a condition called lupus, my energy, my time creating conflict; I must select carefully where and what I spend my time doing. I've always to consider, my family, my paying job, my house and my pets. Regarding the pets, it's like there's a sign for any stray on the streets on my front door "This Idiot Will Feed You and Feel Responsible to Help YOU! And so they come in search of kibble.)

Importantly though and realistically speaking, Taylor Hicks owes me nothing for anything I ever wrote about him or all the time I spent on-line in forums campaigning for him, it is not like he requested I spend my time on him. My at-home man simply lives in a somewhat delusional, happy world where the good guy wins and the good you do comes back to you, like the movie, one of his favorites, "Pay it Forward". I used to think like that, but repeatedly in many ways and areas I've learned life is not a fairy tale and "Pay it Forward" was simply a movie...

When I hear of an interview being given to a relative 'newbie' to 'the promote Taylor in the blogosphere' and I've been here for so long, and ignored by Gray Charles and Taylor Hicks, it's discouraging. I'm thinking I might as well shut this little site down. I just sought an inclusion now and then, some comaraderie, a sort of belonging in the following of a man I perceive as bringing something special to today's music world. I haven't asked for anything and in return I guess that's what I'll get. My meager endeavors obviously don't matter in the world of Taylor Hicks and really is this blogspot therefore important in the world of Taylor Hicks? Not so much, I'm realizing. I just had wanted one day for Gray or Tay to just put out a hand and say, good job, or thanks, or something. Hello. Anything. Anyone wanna buy a blogspot?

I'm happy for the writer of the newish blogspot to get her interview, but man, I'm just not taking this well. I can understand about Gray, getting the attention from Taylor Hicks, Gray's got a great running site with all kinds of bells and whistles I don't even know how to blow, he's an aggressive comprehensive website guy; me I'm a gotta have it free, blogger. I don't have the money to have anything heavy or special; hell I just started doing this about two years ago and am self-taught. I don't even have Adobe Photoshop because I can't afford it.

I began this site because I believed in Taylor Hicks. I believed in his vision, I saw that vision when he performed Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come'. It brought tears into my eyes watching him perform it during auditions on American Idol. "How brave of him", I thought. Taylor Hicks was aggressive and daring and yet, within his eyes pulsed a soul, a sensitivity, a fire. That is what made me want to see Taylor Hicks succeed. So many folks succeed because of 'backing' money they have to push themselves through life. I saw in Taylor Hicks a glimpse of myself years ago - but my story did not turn out like a fairy tale, no Cinderella tale for me; the pumpkin did not become a carriage. I wanted Taylor Hicks' pumpkin to become the carriage, and so I did what meager things I could to act 'fairy Godmother' for him as so many people did during American Idol and continue to do.

Gray has stated on his blogspot that he began backing Hicks because he saw the opportunity. He wanted to make enough money on the internet to not have to venture out to work and so picked Hicks because of the internet draw and earnings potential. I picked Hicks because I believed in him.

Just that.

Groove on Soulman.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Taylor Hicks, "The Right Place"; Yes, the Mack Daddy of Soul is Still in the House!

Taylor, Taylor, Taylor Hicks, you wise dog. I had hoped that this tune was in the mix. Threw out a coupla' bones from the new CD and now you throw this one. That's it man. I LOVE THIS SONG. Yeah-yas, Soulman.

The Mack Daddy of Soul Is Still in the House.

Groove on Soulman.

Taylor Hicks, AMA's, the upcoming CD, and Dancing with the Devil

Taylor Hicks was a presenter last night on the American Music Awards. He looked great and displayed his natural confidence in the public eye. Check out his official blogspot, Gray Charles to the megaupload of Taylor Hicks' appearance.

Bo Bice and Taylor Hicks may have something in common besides calling Alabama home and being on American Idol. Yesterday the debate began over the clips of the two Taylor Hicks songs from the upcoming CD getting 'first listen to' on Gray Charles. I checked back today and found that many of the Soul Patrol were of similar opinion as myself regarding the latest endeavors by The Soulman. This post in particular nailed exactly what I had been thinking but did not articulate:

(This is an excerpt from an interview with Taylor Hicks.)
"I ask Taylor, “were you expecting this”? He replies, “Look, I’ve got a 3 album deal – this is a process that every artist has to go through. There is give and take…..There may be more give than take on the first go round. My sophomore release will have more “original” music."
The poster, 'Eejit', continues with,
"I really wish he had stuck to this line in interviews. Not only would we have known what to expect, but it would also have served as a disclaimer not to judge him by the first album. Instead, he’s gone out of his way to raise people’s expectations: “It’s modern whomp music….It’s jazz, funk, cajun, soul, blues… It’s real, and it’s an extension of my career that’s 10 years in the making.” If he’d been saying “Hey, it’s Idol, man, it’s gotta be pop, but I’m gonna try to make a really good, kinda Taylorized pop album,” people would judge it by those standards and probably say he did a good job.

But if you’re gonna brag about defining a new genre of music, you’d better bring more to the table than overproduced pop songs. I’m really hoping we will get some of the promised “jazz, funk, cajun, soul, blues” somewhere on this album, because otherwise I’m afraid all this “whomp” hype may come back and bite him on the butt, especially when the critics get ahold of it."

I had to reread this post a couple of times. 'Eejit' sums up exactly my thoughts on the short clips featured. Granted the two clips are just that, but clips are intended to promote the 'flavor' of the entire song and give the listener insight into what is to come. The first two previewed song clips open with a definite carbonation fizzle. Today on Taylor Hicks' myspace, noonish, there is word that there is to be some sort of "surprise". I'm thinking possibly that we'll hear more of this CD, perhaps more soul and less Pop.

Don't get me wrong, and please stop yourself from branding me a hater or a naysayer, just a true-blue fan who will not play "The Emperor's New Clothes". I'm shooting straight. WILL I buy his CD? Most Definitely. I'm supporting a man whom I do believe to be an "honest to God" musician and artist. Taylor Hicks, in this Freshman venture may be simply finding himself in a similar situation that Bo Bice, with "The Real Thing" CD, encountered with the American Idol machine. The Biceman still is taking hits from the CD not being the type of tome that fans expected. It may come to pass that this new CD from The Soulman may see him taking some of the same shrapnel.

So much of the debate stems from the fact that Taylor Hicks fans, the Soul Patrollers know what the man has gravitated towards in his music. Sp'ers have eaten up Taylor Hicks' proposals of being dedicated to Soul music and real music.

Taylor Hicks is going to be held to high standards, but fans need to be aware the man is, no matter how strong a personality he is, under a contract and obligated to fulfill the details of 'said' contract. As with an artist, musical or otherwise, and as has been professed by Hicks on a famous hat he wore, and in this Rolling Stone interview, sometimes it is necessary to "dance with the devil".

Dance on Baby.
Groove on Soulman.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tyalor Hicks Streaming Tunes on his Official blog; Gray Charles.com

Taylor Hicks offerred a 'sampling' of some of his new tunes on the great Gray Charles blogsite today. One of them is called "Dream Myself Awake". A short clip is featured to give you just a tasting of what's on the new Taylor Hicks CD due out December 12th. I'll leave it to you, the listener to decide on what you think about the new tunes by the Soulman.

My commentary, so far, in this initial slip of a clip, it's not exactly what I've been anticipating from The Soulman. The tune could morph as it goes along, but within the short span of this sampling, more Pop than Soul music. I'm interested in hearing more of the CD. Tune into Gray Charles.com to hear it and read commentaries.

I'll be sure to check out more tunes as they come available. Check out Taylor Hicks myspace site tomorrow. Link on Gray Charles.com.

Groove on Soulman.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Taylor Hicks, the Star Spangled Banner and Nascar

Taylor Hicks delivers his version of the Star Spangled Banner in this video off of Go Fish. Leave it to Gypsee to be the first to have one out! She's a wiz with video and audio coverage. Taylor Hicks starts out pretty slowly (remember this is not an easy song to sing) but wraps it up in true Soulman Style. Very nice, TayTay.

OK gentlemen, start your engines!

Groove on Soulman.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Taylor Hicks, "Oh, say can you... sing?"

Taylor Hicks, will sing "The Star Spangled Banner" during the NASCAR Ford 400 on NBC, Sunday, November 19th, 2:00 p.m. EST, at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. The National Anthem is notably not an easy song to sing, and in years past, there have been some 'interesting' interpretations. This site can help remind some of us and provide new news for others on some past versions of merit and controversy. To hear these, check this link to video.

It's doubtful we'll see/hear Taylor Hicks included on the "Star Spangled Banner" Snark Pages, but I have no doubt we'll be seeing mass produced youtube.com accounts and reports filling the google alerts on what Taylor Hicks does do with the tune. More than likely, Taylor Hicks, with his very distinctive voice and sound will score very big with the NASCAR fans and of course, the Soul Patrol.

"O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"

Groove on Soulman.

Friday, November 10, 2006

"Georgia"; Taylor Hicks Channels Ray Charles

This is a video link from rehearsals.com with Taylor Hicks channelling the great Ray Charles. Check out this windows pop up being celebrated on the great graycharles.com site and whereever you may find Taylor Hicks fans. The silver-haired soulman's new album release date has been bumped to December 12th at this point. Soul Patrollers everywhere are anxiously awaiting his new endeavor. It'll be ready when it's ready folks, can't rush an artist, let him work; I'm sure the album will be worth the wait.

Much ado is being made about Chris Daughtry and Kellie Pickler getting their albums out first, but I'm not sure what the point of that fuss is; doesn't mean anything to me. More than likely they, not being the outstanding faves of this past season's American Idol are more concerned with striking while the iron still smokes knowing how the fate has played for many of the other contestants coming off the show. Timing can be of the essence, this is true in the case of American Idol, and in the music business in general.

Taylor Hicks need not concern himself about timing, this man's got the fans that will not waver, nor let a later release date sway this upcoming CD from rocking the charts at Billboard. Tay surely will make new history with the numbers we'll see once his album hits the streets. Take your time Tay baby, the Soul Patrol will be waiting.

Meanwhile kick back and enjoy yet another great tune coming out of rehearsals.com.

Groove on Soulman.

Friday, October 20, 2006

One Hell of a Day

Man listening to Tay (click the title link) is bringing me out of my dark place. A recent lupus attack had me down, but I'm seeing the sun come out again.

Man, this music takes me to the time I roamed the jazz haunts and clubs, hung out with future greats and importantly folks that knew and realized the true beauty in Real Music. That is what the Soulman brought to me last January and now it's coming back like a circle; like my lupus cycles so does life and I'm not giving up, no sir. Listening to the voice, passion of Tay Hicks helping once again to bring me back to life and love. "Hell of a Day", hell of a life, all the same.

Art and music, the heart and soul of life.

Thank you Soulman.

I'm trying, 'cause dying don't sound as much fun.

Groove on.

Taylor Hicks to be seen on Rehearsals.com

Taylor to be performing "What's Going On" and "Hell of a Day". Schedule time according to the site, 3:00 p.m. EST so I'm expecting it at 4 p.m. CST.

What's going on with the link featured as Taylor's official site? Click that and you get graycharles.com and they are both down...hmmm... a little underconstruction action. Taylor has been in talks with the Great Gray Charles.com guy to meld their talents, which is an exciting turn of events. And Gray thought he was retiring from active Soul Patrol duty. hah! Man, I step away from the computer and the world changes. Of course no one remembers to contact Sunny and let her know what the what is going on... (I'm so last Spring I guess; or more like So never happened ;) )

Speaking of which, I have been away for a while. The dreaded lupus that I have to live with has been wrecking havoc on me for the past several months. I'm thinking I may be coming out of it because I have actually the energy to spend some serious time on-line today. Daughter Daphne asked me the other day why I don't blog anymore, and that made me sadder than the lupus has lately. (*singing* Sometimes I feel like I'm dying...) I missed blogging and miss the Soul Patrol. I've just not had the mental energy to do much, the physical illness part taking it all down. I only mustered up a few blog inputs over the Summer, so now that I'm roaming the internet again, what fun it is to see Gray and Tay matching up. Very cool. I've always said Taylor was a smart man.

I'll be checking out the rehearsal.com later today, and man it is great to come back to the upcoming changes brewing and excitement stewing.

Groove on Soulman.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Taylor Hicks FanMail Address and New L*MBO site.

This is an address to send Taylor Hicks your fanmail, please adhere to the stipulations.

Fan Mail address:
Taylor Hicks
65 Glen Road
PO Box 658
Garner, NC 27529

Do not send food or perishables, this is not a residence and may not be checked on a regular basis. Mail only. Address courtesy of TaylorHicksfansite.com.

Little Memphis Blues Orchestra website. Still under construction, but coming soon.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Taylor Hicks L*MBO Spins through Galaxy in Dallas

Galaxy CLub is the place to be in Dallas this Thursday night. The Little Memphis Blues Orchestra will be blowing and going in one of my favorite watering grounds, Deep Ellum. Teaser in the ad asks the big question, will we see Taylor Hicks and the Idol Rat Pack rocking through the night at Galaxy? Since the American Idol tour is in town for TWO nights in Big D I'd say that there's about a 95 per cent chance the Soul Patrollers will have a starry night at the Galaxy.

How to get there:Deep Ellum map. Address and description GO HERE.

Am I excited? Am I nervous to meet with the man I've blogged about since January? Hell yes. I just don't know what to do with myself until Thursday.

Groove on Soulman.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Justin Timberlake: No Sex to Music/Still Hates Hicks

The whole idea of ex-Mouseketeer Justin Timberlake, clamouring for attention to promote his upcoming CD "FutureSex/LoveSounds" by insulting American Idol Taylor Hicks, is just plain random. It amplifies the fact that though he has put together an album with adult themes at its core, mentally he hasn't left those mouse ears far behind. In numerous reports, Timberlake bashed Taylor Hicks' singing by saying, "he can't carry a tune in a bucket". In an interview with Fashion Rocks, a supplement of Vanity Fair, Justin went so far as to speculate about Taylor Hicks' sexual orientation. In a one-two punch he simultaneously mocked Mississippians, providing his impersonation of their reaction if Taylor Hicks were found to be gay, he rolled out a thick Southern accent for the reporter in saying, "Oh my god, I voted for a queer!". Apparently Mr. Timberlake either attributed Hicks with being from Mississippi rather than Alabama, or simply enacted his interpretation of how folks from Mississippi might view homosexuality. I find this humorous considering, lying in wake of the look Justin sported in the not so distant past, featured on the website Queerty.

Fred Griggs, wrote, "We decided to put things in perspective for you by publishing the above photo from the days when everyone thought Justin Timberlake was a lesbian."
Taking into account that the former N'Sync, boyband member first drew national media attention by performing on the talent show, Star Search, and now criticizes Hicks for gaining national attention by winning the talent show, America Idol, certainly rings hypocritical. Timberlake continues to astound by now announcing to the world he's unable to perform in the bedroom with music playing, he finds it way too distracting, while at the same time he's out promoting a CD with a focus on sex. Apparently Justin's world is full of conundrums.
I have been surprised at how so many reports in the media covering Timberlake's comments robotically quoted his remarks without question on motive for this random attack on Taylor Hicks. I can only surmise that somehow in Timberlake's thinking he sees Taylor Hicks as a rival of some kind. Timberlake's musical focus has evolved more in line with what's termed 'blue-eyed soul' and less boy band pop, so perhaps he may feel threatened or envious of newly recognized national celebrity Taylor Hicks. If Justin thinks his comments negatively reviewing Taylor's singing abilities and speculating his sexual orientation will benefit him, he seriously needs a reality check. His pugnacious attack on Taylor Hicks is not dissimilar to what wrestlers in the WWE engage in when hyping their next wrestling match. In this case, Hicks was blindsided by Timberlakes' attempts to cast low blows to his ego.
Publicist Ken Sunshine attempted to smooth over the issue by claiming the remarks were taken out of context. It's difficult to imagine what sort of context these comments were taken from that would detract from them sounding like the spewings of an envious, jackanape. I'm left having to discount the publicists or promoters claims when no one has produced any of the actual content in which these statements originated. In what appears to be an another example of Timberlake's inability to curb himself from making self-damaging statements, he feels the need to share with one and all his stance on illegal drug use, "I wanted the album to look to a time when everything was really sexy. Maybe everybody was coked up, but who cares? It was hot. It was all about sex." Good one Justin, plug in the "FutureSex/LoveSounds" get out the Viagra, pull out a straw and pass the coke (he's not talking Cola). I can only imagine the nightmare he presents for his promoters and publicists, but surely they are well compensated for their efforts.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Justin Timberlake: Still Making a Boob Out of Himself

It's getting annoying how many writers are jumping on the band wagon to hurry up and quote Justin Timberlake's asinine remarks about Taylor Hicks' singing ability and sexuality. It's sad, pathetic and if I wasn't wanting to get Taylor news I'd cancel the bloody google alert.

I finally read one I liked, so for the 'posterity' of this blog and to track this ill-concieved "moment" I'll include this article out of the Celebrity Stinks site:

    Justin Timberlake Says Taylor Hicks Can't Sing
    By Scott Gwin: 2006-08-17

    Justin Timberlake is throwing down the smack on American Idol winner Taylor Hicks. "People think he looks so normal and he's so sweet and he's so earnest, but he can't carry a tune in a bucket," he said according to People Online. Sorry Taylor's pitch isn't up to your standards, Justin. Not everyone spent their high school years practicing high pitched harmonies with four of their best buds.

    Timberlake didn't stop there. "If he has any skeletons whatsoever," he added, "if, God forbid, he's gay – and all these people in Mississippi who voted for him are like 'Oh, my God, I voted for a queer!' It's just too much pressure." Sounds kind of bitter for a guy whose good friend Lance Bass has enjoyed one of the most supported homosexuality revelations in Hollywood history.
    Justin also expressed a dislike of "American Idol". "I despise it, and yet I'm completely fascinated." Here's hoping he doesn't despise it for the way it brings people to fame. That would be kind of funny from a guy who got his start on the New Mickey Mouse Club.
    People also quoted Timberlake's publicist who stepped up to do a little damage control. "These comments are taken completely out of context," he said. "[Justin] only wishes him well. He has great affection for anybody that puts himself out there the way he did." Is he kidding? If that's how he shows affection for someone he's never met, no wonder Britney dumped him.

    Of course, I'm really only running this story for you ravenous Taylor Hicks fans who are always looking for a chance to defend your favorite star. Feel free to flood the comments section with all your Timberlake anger. Maybe Justin fans will get in on the fray.
You can hit the link and add comments to his article if you wish to comment.

Check this, I read it in The Mercury News report:
    Liz Morentin, a representative for Hicks' record label, RCA, declined to comment Thursday.

    Ken Sunshine, Timberlake's representative, said the 25-year-old singer's comments "were taken completely out of context."

    "He has tremendous affection for Taylor Hicks' success," Sunshine told The Associated Press on Thursday. "He would never say anything that personal about somebody he's never met. He only wishes him the best."

    Timberlake's second solo album, "FutureSex/LoveSounds," is set for release Sept. 12. "Sexyback," his first single from the CD, began playing on U.S. radio outlets last month.

    "I wanted (the album) to look to a time when everything was really sexy," he says. "Maybe everybody was coked up, but who cares? It was hot. It was all about sex."

Word to Timberlake, "Put the coke straw down. Now. Too many braincells have already been sacrificed."

Groove on Soulman.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Taylor Hicks; The New Rat Pack LiMBO's into the Night

Taylor Hicks is doing some 'after hours' partying, going out with some of the other guys from American Idol following the Pop-Tart American Idol shows. He has been getting out with his former bandmates, LiMBO when they are performing in the same towns. LiMBO has been working to schedule gigs near Hick's Idol tour stops to coincide with the Idol Tour, creating an opportunity for Taylor Hicks to join them. I've read a few articles that claim, in error, that LiMBO had no knowledge of Taylor's "surprise" visits, but that is inaccurate. Reports surfaced many weeks previous, attempts were being made to coincide LiMBO's and Taylor's tour cities and dates to enable the guys to get together for the 'after parties'. Promotions of these "After Idol Parties" are posted on their myspace site. They are a talented band, great fun to listen to and with Taylor Hicks, prime example of grooving soul music machinery.

One other interesting item emerging from these night outs, Taylor Hicks is not going out to the band gigs solo. He and some of the other Idols, Ace Young, Elliot Yamin and Bucky Covington have formed what initially resembles the start of a new "Idol Rat Pack".

The Idol Rat Pack, when appearances have been possible, are happily providing the public an American Idol 'fantasy treat' they are showing up, allowing pictures, partying, fraternizing with, and performing for fans with LiMBO. The stop, in Charlotte, North Carolina, had the Idol Rat Pack communing with their public at Coyote Joe's, a small country blues bar. Ace Young being the sweet-faced nice guy, allowed unlimited photo opportunities, Covington, the party animal of the group, drank and danced the night away, Elliot and Hicks got up on stage to perform with the band. I hold Hicks as filling the legendary Sintra's role in the original Ratpack, with Elliot Yamin's pulling a Sammy Davis. That files Young in the Dean Martin category; Martin was the pretty one of the group. Bucky Covington, a combination of Martin and Joey Bishop. Now before anyone assaults my comparing the Idol Rat Pack to the original Rat Pack regarding the talent focus; I am simply making comparisons based on the entourage factors. (Plus, I do have a vivid imagination.) Regarding Chris Daughtry, no word out on where or if he falls within the Idol Rat Pack.

Originally I imagine the guys went out together as a way to blow off steam, but it could bode fortuitous, this new Idol Rat Pack. Frank Sinatra and the original Rat Pack ruled the entertainment industry during the early to mid 1960's, with their largely talented entourage reigning center stage in the media. Hanging together in the public eye, promotes several factors; their American Idol tour, Taylor Hicks' former band, LiMBO, but more importantly collectively sets them up for continuation in the public spotlight. Avoiding falling of the face of the map like most of past season’s Idol contestants could well be avoided should these guys retain their unique alliance. A new trend could be set sealing their individual successes in the entertainment industry. Chalk it up to another potential history creating opportunity to emerge from this season's American Idol. It is an interesting concept, one I think the guys should not discount. They seem to be compatible and good friends, all carrying separate but loyal fanbases. Strength can lie in unity.

Taylor Hicks, with his innate strengths in understanding the public has most likely already taken note of the benefits of this entourage. I stand impressed with Elliot Yamin, and his negotiations for an independent recording contract outside of the 19E grip. The Idol Rat Pack is an interesting development within the American Idol scene, time will tell if indeed we are looking at a new Rat Pack, and if they recognize or desire to retain this possibly interesting and exciting liasion.

Groove on Soulman.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Will Smith's Marketing Hicks' "Falls" into Court

"American Idol Taylor Hicks to Court to Block Will Smith" in an article by National Ledger writer, Lynda Johnson, she discusses the court order blocking Mr. Smith from releasing "The Fall" a song written and recorded by Taylor Hicks a decade previously. When I first heard that Mr. Smith was releasing the demo CD he cut for Taylor Hicks in an attempt to promote Taylor I viewed his putting out the demo a favor to Hicks' fans. I also thought it an excellent promotion for Taylor, getting out material from his early days, so to speak, thus allowing current fans a taste of where he has come from, compared to the man who won this season's American Idol.

Perhaps it's 19E and American Idol putting the brakes on the release because of their current proprietary rights to Taylor; perhaps it is Taylor Hicks not wanting Mr. Smith releasing and making money off of his name without prior consent. Regardless, it looks like Mr. Smith will have to fight a battle to sell this CD disappointing the Soul Patrol who looked forward to recieving more music by Taylor.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Taylor Hicks Visits with Terminally ill Soul Patroller

This story link touched me greatly when I read it this morning. It concerns a Soul Patroller's wish granted by American Idol through the Dream Foundation. Mary Anne Hanley, the recipient, is terminally ill with liver cancer; doctor's predicted her demise by last March, but she is still fighting with her twin sister, Joanne, caring for her.

Taylor Hicks demonstrated his big heart with prayers and tears, touched by her devotion to him as a Soul Patroller. American Idol was gracious to provide a limousine for the sisters and V.I.P. treatment. There is a video clip provided by 13WHAM-TV, Rochester, that plays Taylor's song, "Hell of a Day", while he and the other Idols meet with Mary Anne. Certainly this is an inspiring example of the good in being a celebrity and what it can bring and do for others. Mary Anne got her picture taken with the Idols and autographs all around.

It must have been one hell of a day for Mary Anne and her sister, Joanne. God bless them both.

Groove on Soulman.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Taylor Hicks; Idol News

Presidential Seal of Approval? Next week President George W. Bush will host the American Idols as they tour the White House. I find this interesting in that Tony Blair will be in town to meet with Bush to discuss the war in the Middle East that same day. I can envision Blair and Bush along with Laura and the dogs hopping and buzzing around the Idols. Blair and his buddy, Dubya, swaying and bobbing, apeing The Soulman's signature moves, shouting WOOOO! and high fiving. Dubya snickering in the way only he can....to be a fly on the wall. You can bet that part of the visit won't appear on camera; but it will happen. ;) White House excitement at its Idol Best. Leave it to Taylor Hicks' to continue making history. This is the First Idol invitation to the Oval Office, previous Idols including last year's runner-up, Bo Bice just didn't make the cut. Of course, one other factor to consider, Taylor Hicks drew more votes from the public, with Fox reporting 63 million cast, compared to Bush's 59 million in 2004 (to be fair, a record just the same, set for any U.S. presidential election). During a time when Bush's ratings with the public are crawling at a low point, he may be hoping to capture some of that Soulman Mojo. (Taylor, keep an eye out for anyone trying to nab any locks of hair...) Bush can thank Laura's press secretary, Susan Whitson, she was Hick's 9th grade English teacher in B'Ham. It's a small world after all.

Taylor Hicks "carries himself with dignity", so it says in an article written in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle by Jeff Spevak. This is a quality of Taylor's that so many folks missed during the Idol run - instead many perceived him as just a goofy, Southern boy from Birmingham, Alabama, big on ernest talent and low on intellect. My first impression of Taylor Hicks was one of a man with fire and drive, okay with playing the fool, but not a fool. Just one look into his eyes, I knew this is not a guy to ever underestimate. You cannot escape his internal fire.

Speaking of internal fire, about a week or so ago I was reading through the Idol boards (I have a few favorite posters that I like to read when I can find them -"friends" of sorts from the days during the competition), when a thread started by Will Smith popped up. I'm thinking Will Smith like in "Independence Day"? Fresh Prince of Bel Air? Curious, I read the post. It seems this Will Smith recognized what Taylor had in the way of talent and potential before Clive Davis had nightmares of any contestant with gray hair winning Idol. Smith saw that fire within Taylor and cut a demo CD containing three songs, "The Fall", one of Taylor's favorite songs, as well as "In Your Time" and "Son of a Carpenter". You can find this demo CD at Tyler Music Group. Mr. Smith is selling them for $5.99. Mr. Smith presented the demo to 15 major labels but was repeatedly turned down. Comments regarding Hicks' hair ranged from 'Who's the guy with the Phil Donohue haircut', to simply not interested in trying to market a singer in their 20's with gray hair. I can imagine the 'suits' that turned Hicks down now kicking themselves in their pinstriped rear-ends.

This demo CD should provide Mr. Smith a little financial windfall, he was one of the first to see the "IT" in Hicks. Speaking of windfall, Mr. Smith even introduced "The Fall" to windbag Clive Davis, as a better song than "Do I Make You Proud?" and of course, Davis turned it down. I thank Mr. Smith for coming forward with this and sharing it with the fans and wish him much success.

Following another favorite of mine from AI5, Elliot Yamin, he's loving livin' la vida loca as does his Momma. Apparently sans now ex-girlfriend, Amanda. Amanda had been a huge promoter of E. within the forums community in the earlier days of the Season 5 contest, then seemed to disappear. Perhaps Elliot's too busy now to settle down, or Amanda grew weary of sharing E. and success with Mom in tow, but we have to consider, he's city hopping on a concert tour, and cutting a new album due out soon after the first of the year. Read more details about Elliot in this article from The Washington Post.

That's a wrap for me this Sunday morning. I've another article in progress about "The One (making a Music Star) and Why It'll Soon Be The Done" or something like that... I did say it's a work in progress. I plan to have it out after I watch the second week's show. That darn Libra voice within has to give it one more watch.

The One good thing, Hicks or Elliot didn't try out for what is looking like One truely Train-Wreck of a reality show.

Groove on Soulman. (Say "Hey!" to Dubya for me.)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Blogcritics Review of Hicks' Ford Commercial

I have to say it is a First for me to see a commercial reviewed on blogcritics.org. The Taylor Hicks Ford commercial as reviewed by writer Tom Johnson must have made some sort of blogcritics history. Like Ford used Taylor Hicks' name to advertise its products, Mr. Johnson uses Taylor Hicks name to advertise his abilities to put words together in a clever way. Mr. Johnson most likely also made Eric Olsen (it's his site) quite pleased by using the Taylor Hicks name to draw hits and responses to the b/c site. Win-Win all the way around; with the exception of the man, Taylor Hicks, whose name was used to forward all these causes and aims. I just hope that Hicks' has at least seen the benefit of a fattening bank account balance.

Using Taylor Hicks' name to sell Ford, to sell Mr. Johnson, to sell blogcritics.org, to employ one of Mr. Johnson's favorite words, brilliant. This article racked up 147 hits in a mere 2 to 3 days, take into account all the folks outside of the commentators, it must have been a huge rating boost for the site.

SoulPatrollers turned out in earnest to stand up for Taylor, but word to the wise - blogcritics.org bloggers can be savage verbal beasts. ;) LOL

I say publicity of any kind can be used for positive. One thing apparent reading through the posts, Taylor is Much Loved and adored by his fans.

Groove on Soulman. (Water off a duck's back, baby.)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Albany: No Sympathy for the Soulman

Taylor Hicks and the Idol Gang were put through another concert night, and are suffering through yet another negative review. Steve Barnes, a writer with Albany's timesunion.com, an on-line news source attended the concert at Pepsi Arena. The review, titled American Idols Fill Pepsi Arena with Fans praises Chris Daughtry, shines a little love on Yamin but discounts all the rest of the performances.

Mr Barnes does make several valid points; why do the A.I. producers comprise a show that has the Idols delivering songs that are really outside most of their individual genres? The contest is over, the competition for the season decided and completed, but yet the performers are apparently still being challenged to perform tunes not a fit for their talents. At this point the public knows Bucky Covington is more suited for Lynyrd Skynyrd type rock, or even more country themed tunes, yet he's still singing "Superstitious", the Stevie Wonder song he sang in the show. Paris Bennet would be more suited for power ballads, not trying to be Beyonce', Kellie Pickler should be performing the Patsy Cline tune, "Walking After Midnight". She did a great job on that one during the show, why on tour is she glam rocking out? "Bohemian Rhapsody" has been on her song list in several venues, although not in this one. Instead she sang Melissa Etheridge's "I'm the Only One" and Raitt's "Let's Give Them Something to Talk About".

In Mr. Barnes article he writes this about Taylor Hicks:

    "The problem, then, is one of distinctive personality, of uniqueness, and that's in woeful sort supply in "America Idols Live."

    Hicks is the star example. He's got a measure of talent, a seasoned voice and good enough personality to be the best wedding singer you've ever seen. But he sped through "Jailhouse Rock," glopped faux emotion onto Bob Seger's "Hollywood Nights" and ruined the Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down" with a slinky George Benson jazz version.

Contrast those comments with:
    "Daughtry, in contrast, roared magnificently on Styx's "Renegade" and Bon Jovi's "Dead or Alive." He and Yamin provided the best duet of the night with a Nickelback tune (a group that, coincidentally, had preceded the Idols into the Pepsi a night earlier).

Mr. Barnes ends with pleading for airtime for Daughtry, and begs Tay to never do another "Do I Make You Proud".

Well I guess that's a notch above Ace Young being assigned toothpaste commercials by Barnes.

If I ever fell down the fortunate rabbit hole that would magically deliver Hicks to speak with me in an interview I'd ask him what, if any, impact does the costumed human sized Pop-tart prancing about prior to your performance bear? Does that tooth-achingly sweet giant confection lend any negative vibes to your soul groove? OK I'm kidding...(I hate the frosted ones, in fact the only Pop-Tart I could ever even think of eating was the brown sugar cinnamon sans frosting. Haven't seen those in stores in years. There the A.D.D. kicked in - let me return to topic...)

I'd also ask him his perceptions regarding reviews that he's "distant" from his audience in several venues. Perhaps fatigue, perhaps simply reviewers' interpretations.

I'd aks him how his success so far is weighing on his psyche. Are the muses being allowed in, or is life right now in this time rushing too fast to allow their voices to be heard?

I'd ask the trite inquiry whether he has had any time to get into the studio to begin recording his CD; I doubt that he has, the tour schedule is brutal.

I'd ask about life on the Idol tour bus - inquiring minds want to know...

I'd ask if he had any thoughts with cutting any music with any of the other Season 5 performers.

I'd ask where the inspiration came from regarding his selection of the Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down", infusing a jazz touch.

I'd ask him, "So Taylor, how well is 'the Devil' dancing so far?" I'd admonish him, to lead, not follow.

Regarding negative reviews, I'd tell the man, "Hold your head up Taylor Hicks, it's like 'water off a duck's back', man."

Groove on Soulman.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Summertime Heating Up for Hicks

Taylor Hicks is currently on tour with the American Idol sprung concert series and I have read a lot of fun reviews from fortunate fans that have attended concerts in the venues near them. MJ has some posted on her BigBlog where I came across this one, by 'folkgirl', it's one of my favorites - due to her writing style. To get the full blog click on BigBlog, and scroll down, here's one of my favorite excerpts and pertinent to my blog:

    And then TAYLOR!!!! So Taylor did not come from the back of the arena and down my aisle...the ass....no he came from the side 100 section and sang Jailhouse Rock coming down into the floor area. The crowd went...well CRAZY. There is no other way to describe it. It was crazy. INSANITY IN THE DCU!!!

    Then he did the Seger song ["Hollywood Nights"]....

    Oh btw, I need to mention cause I was on the aisle...cutest thing ever was the little five yr old girls dancing swing in the aisle to MMFY by Elliot...

    All the over 25 crowd was loving Seger....pretty much the crowd went crazy anytime Tay danced...his guitar playing rocked and the band is in fact awesome. Then he did the old time songs and Marvin Gaye...good times throughout the crowd. Lets just say....Taylor is NOT spastic, but as soon as he does move a bit, the crowed would spontaneously erupt into nuttiness. And Taylor is beyond hot. It is ridiculous. Crazy hot.

One thing I am questioning regarding the American Idol concert series is why, each year, the stage and backdrops are so scantily designed with inferior props. This is sadly pointed out by several concert attendees in their recaps - apparently the 19E folks and Pop Tarts have assembled a conglomeration of "cardboard and tinfoil that serves as backdrop". Hopefully there are more than one set of stage props or towards the end of this season's concert run, backdrops may resemble the tattered and torn Pop-Tart packaging my daughter leaves on the kitchen counter...

Truly, I wouldn't think 19E should be happy to see the 'Products' they are marketing to be reflected in low-budget, amateurish productions. I'd think, 19E would want their money-making cash-cows looking good....at least for 19E's sake. The sponsor, "Pop-Tarts", apparently declines to do much more than send in Pop-Tart clad clowns, and are satisfied displaying the Idols on stage with low-rent accoutrements. Witnessing 19E pass through some positive adjustments this past season, I hope that perhaps Season 6 will see an improvement on that season's following concert tour. (By the way - auditions begin in August and include a stop in B'Ham.) Funds should be available to deck out the stage deck in style; tickets are priced on the high end side, with the Idols performing many shows on the calendar. Add to that, one cannot discount the in-your-face fact the TV show season's intake of million$ in positive revenue, combined with the sales of the contestant's CDs and the equation should equal quality backgrounds, quality staging. Oh wait, I did forget one thing - they have to pay $imon Cowell. $O let's see, TV$ + CD$ + Concert$ - $imon Cowell = cheap stage sets. There, I worked that one out.

While reviews like the ones you'll read on MJ's BigBlog circumvate fun and positive vibes, on the other side of the news (I can't squelch my Libra voice - I try, I really do, but I gotta be me), lurk dank caustic jabs.

This scathing review by snark reporter extraordinaire, Thomas Kinter, (Special to the Courant), in These `Idol' Finalists Instantly Forgettable, broils the Idols with a fire ignited by crazy hot PopStar hate.

    "The youngest contestant, 16-year-old Lisa Tucker, worked "Your Song" with soul-style elongation, but wound up with a flat celebration of her own voice that didn't capture the song's character."
    and, "Paris Bennett took similar liberties during her assault on a Gladys Knight standard that came complete with prerecorded Pips, as she overpowered "Midnight Train to Georgia." "

    Kinter recalls Daughtry as 'barking' through "Wanted Dead or Alive", and assigned his performance as attributed to "more slick sheen than raw energy" while mentioning Daughtry's hairless pate. Kinter spared no one from his gawd-how-I-hate-Idol wrath setting Hicks ablaze with, "Hicks had more load to carry, and he proved too much of a one-note act to do so.

    Hicks stomped his feet as quickly as he could, but he's devoid of magnetism, nuance or style. He bludgeoned six tunes, from Bob Seger's "Hollywood Nights" to his signature ballad "Do I Make You Proud," then came back for a finesse-free encore of "Taking It to the Streets." "

I have read comments, even on MJs Big Blog, regarding Taylor not interacting with the audience like he did on American Idol, that he reins in his act. Reactions have been that although he emits energy and maintains the 'in the zone' concentration, he does not make eye contact or connect with the audience, even when charging onto the stage for "Jailhouse Rock". I am surprised to read these comments, it's pretty imperative for Tay that he maintains that reaching out vibe he has created.

Jim Roberts heats up hype Daughtry vs. Hicks with his article from The National Ledger, or as I like to think of it, The National Alledger. in a choppy piece he expounds his theory of Chris Daughtry dominance - as if the American Idol contest continues. (In a word to Jim, "Darling, it's over. Taylor DID win and Chris did NOT.) Mr. Roberts carries on how Daughtry will finally prove once and for all to be "the superstar of American idol's 2006 finalists". Point evading Mr. Roberts, Hicks is a blazingly hot talent, AND will not allow his art compromised. Regarding this, Mr. Roberts writes, "The 'Soul Patrol' is loyal and vocal and will back Hicks no matter what type of music he puts out. But Hicks has a problem, he will only soar if he is allowed to out his own stamp on his music. If he is "neatly packaged" and pigeonholed as some sort of 'pop star' he will suffer."

"A Few Facts Rant"

Fact; any artist in Taylor's shoes would suffer - it's all about remaining true to what your audience fell in love with, Fact I doubt anyone needs to educate Taylor about that Fact. The Fact that Roberts misses the Fact that Hicks' would not get that Fact is point of Fact why his article fails in creating credibility for any real Fact. Then there is the Fact that Daughtry has signed with Clive Davis. (*Playing eery muzac* Clive... did Bo Bice's first CD.) The Fact stands that collaboration caused Bice strife. Mr. Roberts states "Chris is a rock star already and a songwriter with skills". Fact is Chris indeed has talent, but he is not yet a bonafide rockstar...Mr. Roberts concedes, "Hicks is a songwriter as well and extremely talented, but I fear he may lose the chance to "Taylorize' his career and his unique sound. Hicks starts with a bigger base and an idol win, but Daughtry has a tremendous opportunity to grow his fan base as fans of rock and roll that never watched American Idol hear him for the first time with his own tracks." Fact is Taylor is no more in danger of not being able to "Taylorize" his career than Daughtry is in danger of not being able to "Chris" his. Huh!?!...Fact, once on Idol, always on Idol, just ask Kelly Clarkson; you can run but you cannot hide, the devil is there, just in disguise...

Speaking of crazy hot, Summertime is melting Big D, feels hot as Hell, we're sweating to the beat of 100 + degrees, melded with a drippy humidity squeeze; two minutes outdoors, your liquidated to a pool of sweat, unless, I guess you've a swimming pool to quench your cool.

Speaking of pool, time is late enough for me to go take a dip.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Taylor Hicks Provo, Utah Stadium of Fire Video

Video from Tara27 Stadium of Fire in Provo Utah, Taylor performs with his harmonica and acoustic guitar one of his own tunes, "The Deal", from his CD "Under the Radar".
The Deseret News had a review posted from the Fourth of July Spectacular, with a nice review on Taylor Hicks stealing the show, It was gray-haired "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks, who stole the show with his growling harmonica and soulful singing.
This Event is broadcast to the troops via Pentagon Channel.mil for our troops to watch. The crowd was asked to show their support for American troops around the world by text messaging a special number. According to the listing on the website, this concert will be rerun at 2100 hrs (today, 9:00 p.m.ET)- Stadium of Fire: Coverage of America's Freedom Festival featuring performances by Taylor Hicks, Lee Ann Womack and Keni Thomas. (2 hrs) Encore presentation Tuesday at 1400 hrs(2:00 p.m.).

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Great Gray Charles infinito, with a word by Basenji

This link will take you to an amazing creative 'post'. It is one of the best I've read on "Gray", and I must add I have read many, many good posts and ideas pandered about on the gc site. Scroll to #412. Have a tissue handy.

Just Wow.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Great F-Bomb Debate, with a word from CONFUSCIOUS

Actually this whole matter brought a Shakespeare play to mind, "Much Ado About Nothing". I think it's an appropriate fit for the topic at hand, one of my favorites by the bard.

There I was, innocently visiting the American Idol Boards this a.m. as I am wont to do on Monday mornings, to discover that a conversation between the Great Gray Charles and Taylor Hicks, a snippet of dialogue created a "tad" bit of havoc on the board.

A few of us came up with a solution; "flexy633" and "pokerjoni" and myself commenced as such:

"Can someone PM me a message board where we can discuss Taylor without being censored and where there aren't a bunch of Church Ladies?"

(which invited the response)

"Wish I could, BUT that would make a great SNL segment!!
They should bring the chuch lady back (Dana Carvey) and have her interview Taylor. That would be one hilarious skit! "Could it be....SATAN???"

The Great F-Bomb Debate
Carvey would be sitting there primly carping on and on about offensive language in today's world, and the SNL Taylor Hicks guy would be shouting WOOO! everytime Carvey, in his rant inadvertently dropped the Bomb.

(SNL, you are free to contact me, speaking for all of us, yes, we would accept funding for the rights for SNL to utilize our material.)

Controversy included some "poor innocent dear" who wandered into a thread discussing the F-Bomb and followed it through to Gray's then promptly had to express her dismay. I searched for the smelling salts to waft beneath her sensitive nostrils, alas none to be found. But a note to her and those like her in the future, "Confuscious" say,
Let Common Sense be thy master; let Foolish Play be thine disaster.
(OK it's really me, not the ancient Chinese seer and intellect I doubt he'd say thy and thine. Guess it's a combo Shakeespeare and Confuscious. But do check out the quotes in the link *wink, wink* .)
*bowing in my terry-cloth bathrobe*

Coming from a gal who as a wee 3 year old, hospitalized with bronchial pneumonia following a transPacific flight to Manilla, Phillipines, who vociferously cursed at nuns while held captive in a Catholic hospital, from between the bars of my crib, I just don't get the fuss. My beloved Grandfather was a copper miner in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, who believed curse words were just how one spoke. I practically lived with he and my Grandmother until Mom and I travelled to Manilla to join Daddy stationed at Clark Air Force Base. Needless to say the nuns were probably thinking an exorcist was needed as I spat expletives and took the Lord's name in vain to scare them away from my cage, er crib.

According to my poor parents, I roared at the nun/nurses and told them I was a tiger and going to eat them. (Sadly to say, I have been a complete embarrassment to my folks my entire life.) But, seriously, those black hooded nuns kept coming at me with - to me - giant shots, I was fearful, enclosed in an oxygen tent which made everyone look wierd, so I had to bluff them. (I have actual memories of that experience.) Well, that did not keep them at bay for long, so I went into the language "Bupa" used when "Bible Thumpers" rang our doorbell. Now I substituted 'crib' for 'porch', which is what Bupa actually said. "Get the Hell away from my crib" was a good line. Poor nun/nurses recoiled the first time I shouted that one. I kept up the growling, you know, just in case. But later, I had to step it up a notch, so I put into use his favorite invective, "Jesus Christ!" followed by, "I said, get the Hell away from my crib!" Yes I saw the look of horror when I used those words, very effective. I remember fighting with every painfully drawn breath each time they'd reach into my cage, er crib, and hold me down for a shot. After a few weeks in that place, I did eventually bond with one of them and calmed down.

Bottom line, the whole situation is crazy, and really Much Ado About Nothing.

Swear Groove on Soulman.