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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Taylor Hicks, TMZ.com, Actually No One Shares an Indescriminate Act of Kindness

Taylor Hicks actually provides TMZ.com yet another opportunity. Actually just the other day, TMZ.com passed a story around about Taylor Hicks tickets actually still remaining for his after "Grease" concert at The Roxy. TMZ.com spilled with their usual exaggerated aplomb that tickets had gone unsold for the concert. In the TMZ.com theatrical manner this situation was actually blown out to create an impression that the venue was dropping free tickets to fill the room; instead, it was discount ticket broker, Goldstar tickets who were releasing a small cache they held for just the nominal service fee.

Actually radaronline.com an equally sensationalist gossip magazine who had featured stories on Taylor Hicks during his doppelganger girlfriend scandal contributed to the story concerning the free tickets. Radaronline.com includes in their article,
""It was fifty percent full and the VIP section was only twenty five percent full," one concertgoer tells RadarOnline.com. "People who had paid the full $36.50 were mad since many people were claiming free ones." Who was in the crowd? "Mostly women in their late forties, early fifties."

Conversely the write up in the Los Angeles Times.com was more kinder toward Hicks but they don't gloss over the lack of crowd and do point out many folks left soon after the show began. Hicks hit the stage around twenty after ten and folks were filing out already by eleven.
"It might not have been a sellout, but Taylor Hicks fans got what they came for, a hearty helping of their favorite gray fox -- enough to last until they can catch "Grease.""

Taylor was apparently hanging outside the venue, after the concert, in the wee hours of the morning with what appeared to be his entourage; Bill Will included. TMZ.com camera guy/reporter approached Mr. Hicks as he and his group loitered, the guys looked as though they were waiting for their ride. When Taylor spied the TMZ.com guy he welcomed him over with, " C'mon, let's chat. I've been waiting for you guys all night". Meanwhile Bill Will, grinning a strange grin, ducked his head and swung behind a pole to get out of camera range.
Click photo to go to TMZ.com video, you'll also get a clue why I am overusing the word, 'actually', actually.

Within a few a few seconds of Taylor Hicks' banter with the TMZ.com guy, activity around the corner caught his attention. Hicks asks the reporter, "What's happening over here?" and they both proceeded to venture around the corner. TMZ.com told Taylor, 'some drunk lady'. Two gals standing on the corner, perhaps they had been in the concert venue or perhaps that's just their "spot" on the streets commented that the woman lying on the sidewalk passed out had told them she was a friend of Taylor's and they laughed derisively.

In the TMZ.com video, Hicks just stands there looking at the woman; she seems to have a few folks possibly trying to help her, that or rifling through her belongings as she lay there motionless. (There, my cynical side emerges.) There was also a disinterested looking lady cop, but she seems to have left as soon as sirens and police cars sped past. Throughout the short clip, the person on the ground shows absolutely no movement. Hicks says to TMZ.com, "She's, ah, she's ah, pretty hammered...I think she has no idea..." Conversation switched at that point to American Idol and the new judge, Kara DioGuardi. Hicks quickly points out 'actually' Kara worked with him on his post Idol CD on a few songs.

Watching Taylor's body language, his expressions, it is obvious he's uncomfortable with the scene. He shifts weight on his feet back and forth in what appears to be hesitation on what he should do in this situation. As the police cars speed past apparently on their way to a more pressing matter, Hicks turns to the camera guy and says with a grin, motioning at the speeding cop cars as they pass, "This is actually good for her, basically that's what's called a 'get out of jail' free card".

This unfortunate concert attendee, rumored to be Claudia Oakenfull from the infamous and defunct "Modern Whomp" magazine, now trying to start another magazine up called, Neo Blu or something, is seen completely passed out on a dirty LA sidewalk after the show. Now whether that woman is actually Claudia Oakenfull, I can't say for certain since I was not actually at the venue; posters on It's All Grey's site who were there claim it was indeed she. This woman is not well-loved by many in the Hicks fan base for reasons I'm not getting into - point is the folks responding seem of the mindset that she's getting what she deserved. If anyone remembers, the alleged sodden on the sidewalk, Ms. Oakenfull, provided fans with that great little pool table video in my sidebar among other video from Marty's Bar that folks, at that time, appreciated viewing. Ah yes, our memories are fleeting. You see, should one run afoul of the fans or defile Mr. Hicks in any perceived way, you should be either stoned on a busy city street or lie in a near fatal drunken stupor on a public street. Ah, sweet Soul - sweet Soul Patrol justice.

One of the points I have attempted to make which falls on deaf ears or rather blind eyes, Taylor Hicks already took one big negative hit from TMZ.com this week. Their exaggerated story of the free tickets to fill the concert hall not very flattering nor encouraging, so not a positive regarding "The Distance" album sales. Now to top that, Mr. Hicks is now caught on film by TMZ.com standing with his cronies outside the LA venue, wandering into this unfortunate scene.

Taylor Hicks stares at the drunk on the sidewalk as the cameras roll, in the tape. Initially you can see a flash of concern and yes, recognition. Camera Guy, a stoic LA guy, for whom drunks on the street not really anything he hasn't seen before, just sort of laughs it off. Seriously there's no story in people getting tossed out of clubs because they are intoxicated nothing new in LA, besides it's not like she's OctoMom or anything. Happens around Dallas too; you get rowdy you are out on the street and the bouncers could care less what happens to you. It's not their problem.

Many of the Taylor Hicks fans on-line profess to not thinking Mr. Hicks should not have behaved any differently than he did. I mean, he is just a musician after all and it's not his place to don a cape and fly to anyone's rescue. There was no phone booth for Hicks to make his Clark Kent change into Superman. I just wonder what these people who are standing up for his lack of action on this TMZ.com footage would say if they were the unfortunate fool passed out on the concrete.

One poster whom sums up what many fans are saying wrote, "Hate to contribute to this topic, but I think Taylor did the right thing. He took the attention off the poor woman and onto himself."
I disagree, if he was taking attention off the woman why did he walk the camera guy around the corner towards her? Camera guy already knew she was there, he wasn't there to film another dead to the world drunk on an LA sidewalk.

"If he had gone over to help, the cameras would have followed him."
Hello, read my above sentence.

"If they got close enough, her face and condition would have been known to everyone who saw the video. Obviously, there were police there, and perhaps, they asked people to leave her alone until an ambulance or someone else came to pick her up. And I never saw him walk away - he was on the corner, he walked toward her, when someone pointed her out and walked back. Where was the security who threw her out? Shouldn’t they be responsible for making sure she is taken care of? Called her a cab or an ambulance, if necessary?"
This fan obviously just contradicted her initial wording in her post.

"While the cameras were on, Taylor did his job. He did the interview. Afterwards, who knows what happened? Not everyone is trained to give medical help. Maybe Taylor thought the police would be better trained to handle the situtaion (sic) than he was. I think some of you expect too much of him. This had nothing to do with being a Southern Gentlemen. It’s not like he didn’t hold the door for her. Who knew what she had to drink or what “medications” she may have taken? Best to leave her treatment to the professionals."
I hate to break it to you, this was not a "job" this was not a scheduled interview moment in which Hicks was to have a sit down with TMZ.com and talk his life and times. This was what TMZ does, they walk up to celebs on the street and try and capture sound bites. They certainly got Taylor Hicks to bite.

It's reactions like what I've been reading about this TMZ.com moment that clarify for me completely what's wrong with the world today. Why folks rather drive by an accident and lookeeloo rather than stop and go help. It's not their problem. Someone else can handle it better. It's that person's fault and they are getting what they deserve. Certainly it is the responsibility of the individual out partying to make sure they don't wind up vulnerable and possibly dead by their lack of taking care of themselves. But, certainly it is the responsibility of we regular Joes to occasionally step up and do the right thing.

There was a story I read recently about a kid who had ventured out on the ice on a pond near his house. He'd been told to not go on the ice, it wasn't safe, but the temptation was too great and he went anyway. Naturally he fell through. This guy driving by, a regular Joe, luckily for the kid happened to see him fall through. Instead of simply sitting in his car and dialing 911 and waiting for those who might know better how to help, he dialed 911 then jumped out to help the kid alone. He had not one clue how to help the kid, certainly he did not want to drown in the frozen lake himself and was not dressed for rescue. It did not stop him from trying. He had a pair of wire cutters in his trunk, cut a long branch from a tree by the pond; yelled at the boy floundering in the freezing water and got as close as he could crawling on his stomach on the ice, extending the branch. The kid grasped the end of it - using leverage, and after a few failed attempts the man got the kid out of the water. Now what would have happened if he sat in the car waiting? The ambulance and first responders got there after the kid was out of the water. Likely the boy would have succumbed to hypothermia, could have drowned.

Now the middle-aged woman on the sidewalk drunk and maybe drugged out of her mind certainly isn't quite the same as a rebellions teen aged boy who decides to go out on ice after being told not to, but this is an example of someone doing the right thing. Sadly, none in the Hicks entourage, at least while cameras are rolling, don't really seem to give a shit.

I think Hicks blew a perfect opportunity to take that TMZ.com moment, turn it on them and make something great for himself instead of simply creating a funny sound bite moment for TMZ.com... at his expense. Ah well, it is true, Taylor Hicks did not sign up to be Superman.

Remember that people, next time you see someone passed out on a street sidewalk, just make jokes, step around them. Next time there's a car accident, just drive by and look, you know you're not qualified to help. If you see someone fallen through ice, call for help, stay warm in your car.

Maybe I shouldn't give a shit either.


  1. Anonymous6:01 PM

    Sunny, I feel your pain. I would however like to add I asked my cop friend what Taylor or anyone else should do in this situation. He said call the cops and watch until they arrive. He said you don't have to get too close to tell it's a drunk situation because most of the time you can smell it. It can be dangerous to try to deal with a drunk or druggie alone. They can fight, scratch and bite exposing you to possible AIDS. As I said last night we can't tell for sure what was happening behind the camera. We don't know if both Cops left but I doubt they did without having someone close by to pick her up. Personally, I think too many people make light of getting drunk these days. It's something to laugh and make fun of, talk and brag about how hammered you got over the weekend. It has become a rite of passage to the young. College Dean's have lobbied law makers to lower the drinking age saying it will stop the binge drinking happening on campus. Luckily my daughter's college dean was not among them or I would have written him a letter asking what was he smoking!! It is a sad day when the most educated adults in America put their insurance libility above the young students they are entrusted to safe guard. I don't think Taylor is really guilty of anything other than making light of the state of drunkeness. Unfortunately, this lady once she gets over her hangover will probably think it was funny and brag about how drunk she was. SAD. Hope I didn't preach too much Sunny. Thanks for your views and letting me share my thoughts.


  2. Ahh Spin, I can feel your utter frustration. There are so many different aspects of this issue, and for you, one or two of them overpower all the others.

    Different views, that's what makes the world go 'round. Here's something for you, kiddo. In the meantime, I'm saving your swing next to me for you!


  3. What I meant was, I'm saving the swing (in our virtual playground) next to me, for you!!

    Ugh, it's Friday!!

  4. jerseyirish6:42 PM

    Dee, I hear what you are saying. I put up elsewhere my son plays in a band similar situation a very drunk young lady who he knew went over to help her and she attacked, he wound up with an elbow to the mouth and his lower lip split open almost to the chin. You just don't know how someone will react in that situation.

    Sunny, I respect all you say and felt the pain of your story, no one should have to go through that. I guess I just view it differently because of my son's situation, call those who know how to handle things of this nature.


  5. YKW, love the video! hahaha It is raining again.

  6. Come on you little fighter!! No need to get up tighter!! LOL!!

  7. Anonymous7:52 AM

    TMZ.com got the story from OK Magazine, they covered it first.

    Pat Sparks