Has Hicks Called for the Oobleck…or Are the Skies Clearing?



Hmmm…it’s gotten a little too quiet here over the past couple of days.

So, I thought I’d put up a post that (hopefully) will spark some discussion.

My first thought this morning was to come in moaning and griping about folks who drive big-ass SUVs but who are unable to park them worth a crap. I mean, if you chose to drive a car that drinks enough gas to fuel a small town then at least learn to line your damn gas-guzzler up BETWEEN the parking lines instead of flopping a tire (or an entire half a car) over into another parking space. I mean…come on! (Is it too obvious I had to, basically, suck in my stomach when I parked this morning?)

But, instead of talking about how morons park, I decided to talk about what all went on this summer and what it means for the future in Taylorland.

I had a great talk with Shrew the other night and she shared with me her thoughts on the whole Taylor/LMBO thing. She thinks, with LMBO’s new website and Taylor’s aligning with Gray for reaching the Internet audience, that we’ll probably see less and less LMBO/Taylor performances.

I, on the other hand, thought it was evident by ALL the after-party concerts that Taylor would never fully leave his bandmates behind.

And…thinking about Taylor and LMBO and Gray and TPTB and the Soul Patrol and the Monkbot Division…I got to wondering if this is what we all expected at the beginning of summer.

When AI ended and the tour began, there was no way we could have predicted the frenzy around Taylor (people traveling 1000s of miles to attend one…two…all of his appearances) and I know that I was surpised that all the speculation and inner-Soul Patrol back biting would continue (and even expand…monstrously).

I guess I was hoping for a kinder, gentler Soul Patrol…but it seems that, as the Taylor Hicks phenomena continues to grow and grow…things are getting stickier and stickier.

Folks are worried about his album tracks, album sales, book deal, Internet presence, LMBO committment, dating status, alignment with other artists, alcohol consumption, etc., etc.

There seems to be no end to what, I feel, is useless…or at least, unproductive…speculation.

Did any of you foresee this at the beginning of summer? Are things better or worse than you thought they’d be?

Has Taylor created a rain of Oobleck or do you predict clear skies ahead now that he’s off the road and in the studio?



36 Responses to “Has Hicks Called for the Oobleck…or Are the Skies Clearing?”

  1. bamaborntxbred Says:

    As far as the Soul Patrol, I’ve been disillusioned. At the beginning of the Summer I felt a real connection and felt that we were a positive force for Taylor. I don’t know if you remember my vauge rantings from a few weeks ago. I was getting very frustrated with the SP. I didn’t know how to verbalize it (or at least put it in writing, b/c in speaking I can be very verbose and get my point across), however, as usual, you have managed to put my thoughts into words. It is the endless, pointless chatter about minute details of Taylor’s choices and actions that drive me insane. It’s the endless posts about: Name your top 10 favorite songs…and then nobody acknowledges the other posters unless they are “friends”. It’s all so pointless. And then everyone can get so vicious over things they think he should or shouldn’t be doing…or to people that aren’t “in to” him. I can’t stand that group mentality. I like to be in a group with a common cause, but I’m an individual.

    That’s why I like the Monkbot Division. We are a little kooky and unafraid to speak our minds here. We acknowledge each other even when we disagree.

    Taylor- I am so much more interested in him now than I was before. On AI he was always so shiny and smiley. He is a man, man. I love that he drinks and swears and gets all sweaty and gross on stage. Most of my friends have really bad days and sometimes totally piss me off, that’s when we grow to know each other better. I have never liked people that were perfect all the time…it’s creepy.

    He’s going to have a great career. He might lose some of his original SPers b/c they have idolized him as the perfect “son”…however, he is going to continue to gain credibility and respect in the music industry. He’s got the goods. He just does….and he knows how to put them to work. I trust him and can’t wait to see what he does.

  2. TALK! Says:

    I definitely remember the concerns you voiced a few weeks back…and I know what you mean.

    It’s frustrating when ALL you hear are inside jokes and praise for this or that…without at least making an attempt at some analysis.

    I know here we get silly…very silly…but for whatever reason…it still seems productive.

    Now maybe I’m being hypocritical and am really just as guilty as those who I’m criticizing.

    I know it makes me feel GREAT to get compliments from all of my readers about how much they love this site and think I’m wonderful. But, honestly, I cringe a little too.

    I’m just a girl who likes to babble and who has a good bit of experience writing. I think it’s the “collective conscience of the Monkbot” that really should be applauded…that means shared…and differing opinions and thoughts.

    As for Taylor…he is definitely intriguing. I’m with you all the way on being drawn in by his more “animal” side and his faults. You’re right…faults are what make us human. Hell, if it weren’t for my faults, I’d have very little to write about here!

    I wondered about him “losing” some original SPers…but I think he’ll pick others up. I…to further out on the limb…I would guess they’ll be more “Monkbot oriented” in that they will embrace, or at least accept, his good and bad sides.

    I, too, have a lot of faith in what he will create.

    And I hope he’ll at least stay close to LMBO.

  3. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Thank goodness you posted something! I started getting all weird and insecure b/c no one said anything after I posted. I know, I know…you all have lives and jobs…But have I not yet expressed how needy I am?!

    Anyhow, Taylor will not leave LMBO in the dust. I don’t neccessarily think they will ever be a unit again, but I really think he will have them on tour at some point and will show up here and there to play with them at their shows. I mean, they’re pals. They’re going to support each other.

    I would think that he doesn’t like to steal their thunder everytime he shows up…and believes they have what it takes to make a name for themselves.

  4. nolagirl Says:

    My feelings about the whole Soul Patrol thing is best summed up by this: If I met Taylor, I would say I am a fan of his, not that I am a member of the Soul Patrol. Not trying to diss anyone (especially not people who post here), but do you get what I mean?

    As far as the LMBO thing. I know nothing about the business, so I have no insight from that angle. But I just wonder what all has been and is going on behind the scenes with them and Taylor. Was there the intention of them being Taylor’s touring band, but not in the studio? Is that normal? Did they want to do it all, but TPTB are allowing it to happen? Does LMBO really want to be on their own, sans Taylor? It just seems like Taylor and the guys from LMBO keep it real, so why would they continue a “relationship” (i.e. Taylor playing with them, comments made in interviews by Brian, etc.) if they didn’t really intend on following through. Maybe they don’t know – and just take it as it comes. I know I don’t know any of it, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.!

  5. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Okay…I read this post and my first reaction was…Shrewbie is gunna be getting much hate mail…but I do stand by what I said. Let the email rain!

    I feel (operative words) that much like others who came before (aka John Mayer Trio, Bruce Springstein etc.) sometimes LMBO will be in Taylor’s life and at other times LMBO will not be part of his life. And this speculation I have been mulling over since the glass elevator ride pre-confetti drop.

    I guess this little MonkBot doesn’t mind speculation of the music variety…”with or without band, collaborations, what the heck does he mean by ‘new wave’, will Johnny Daye ever get recorded or not” kinda questions. But all other things, I really do prefer not to delve into. I will be honest…if someone says, hey did you hear Taylor loves scotch…I will listen even comment, but I will not search it out. But others clearly will search that information out.

    So…to Shelley’s question…Did Taylor willfully create this varied fan base or was this explosion natural?

    Well, I do believe it all goes back to American Idol. You have fans of the visual medium who saw a persona and liked what they saw…then you have fans who although “watch” are more active listeners to the music component. These audio fans aligned with what they heard. Mix in the internet (ask yourselves…do you search for pictures or audio?) fan sites and chat rooms and BAM! You have the collision of two worlds. Kinda Justin T’s world meets John Mayer’s world. They offer different things for completely ddifferent sets of people. Nobody is wrong in their preference (a fact we all forget).

    Now, the days between now and Dec 5th Taylor will be listening and trying to find out how best to maintain a fanbase so that he can play music for the rest of his life. The question is…which fanbase is larger, louder and going to be (ehem…monkbot)longer lasting? Time will tell…encouraging though that Gray was chosen as a conduet…my hope is all will be able to “keep it real” in the process.

    Whew. Nother MonkBot scotch please!

  6. L Says:

    I gotta say, when Taylor won AI, I wasn’t sure LMBO was the band to back him up on a tour. I thought that they may somehow stifle his creativity. Now that I have seen (well, through countless videos, anyway!) them in action with Taylor, I see that they enhance his creativity because they follow him so well. They are like a well-oiled machine! So I really hope they end up being Taylor’s touring band.

    On the topic of the Soul Patrol, I think that no matter what the group, and no matter what their purpose, there are bound to be disagreements. People have different outlooks on life in general, and also on specific topics. So the fractured nature of the Soul Patrol doesn’t surprise me in the least. Heck, the PAC at my kids’ school is a hotbed of conflict!

    So I guess what I’m trying to say, is that no-one is perfect. Not Taylor, not the Soul Patrol, and most of all, certainly not me!

  7. Squeebee Says:

    Ok that was me above…still figuring this site out!

  8. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Yeah! Squeebles is becomeing a MonkBot posting regular!

  9. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Nola- I totally feel the same way. I feel like I’m a Taylor fan, but not so much a member of the SP…but I am a part of the Monkbot Division. Can you be one and not the other? Hmmm…

    I’m not saying there is anything “wrong” with being an SPer, but I always loved going to Jimmy Buffet concerts but don’t consider myself a Parrot Head.

    Are we just being rebellious teenagers trying to find our own identity separate from the Mother Ship?

  10. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Shrew- Monkbots don’t send hate mail! We are the hippies of the SP! (W/O the hallucinagenic drugs!)

    I never look for the pics OR the music…I look for words, stories, critiques, debates, etc. (I likey the pics.) Music is air to me…but like I’ve said before, the music I’m listening to at a given moment, is usually a reflection of what I need to express emotionally. So, truthfully, I’m not always seeking out Taylor’s latest performance and listening to every download Gray offers us. I would hope that if Taylor were my friend, he’d understand that sometimes, he would have to shut up and listen to Loretta Lynn or Amici Forever with me…and that it’s not an indication of how much I love or don’t love him and his music.

    I think we should call him and read Shelley’s post and just ask him. Whaddya y’all think? Good idea?

  11. nolagirl Says:

    Yesterday on my way home, I needed a pick me up (read: about to fall asleep at the wheel) so I popped in the CD I made of Taylor’s Idol performances. It had been quite a while since I listened to it, but it always makes me wanna dance. (and laugh too) I sat there listening, and just laughed at how far from the “real” Taylor that was. It was so … cheesy. And so not soul and not Southern rock and not blues and not “real,” you know? Of course, this was the box he had to fit in for the show, and he worked it out best he could (clearly, winning the whole damn thing in the process).

    Anyway, I listened to it, stayed on the road and proceeded home. But then I kinda felt like I didn’t want to listen to it again. It just seems so long ago and so far from where Taylor really is. It’s weird – I hadn’t felt like that before.

    And to think how many people think that is the real Taylor … all those millions of people who watched Idol every week, but nothing more than that.

    But I guess that could all change when he puts out this album and Idol watchers and non-Idol watchers will hopefully pick it up and get a real sense for what Taylor is about musically. (at least I am hoping we get that from this album)

  12. TALK! Says:

    Wow…I come back from the dentist (yet again) and two hours worth of meetings to find musings and comments of the highest order.


    This warms the cockles of my hicks…er..heart.

    First, let me say, Shrew…I didn’t think twice about sharing your thoughts and maybe I should have. I certainly hope I didn’t betray a confidence and, if I did, please accept my apology. Honestly, I shared what you told me because I found it pretty poignant….I HAD TO BE BECAUSE IT KEPT ME AWAKE FOR A COUPLE HOURS MULLING IT OVER THAT NIGHT! 🙂

    And, for the record, Shrew, I hope that here folks will never feel that they CAN’T share their opinions. I welcome all different view points…I may not always like what I hear…but I’ll listen and extract from it all that I can…as a good Monkbot should.

    Bama…I loved when you said, “Are we just being rebellious teenagers trying to find our own identity separate from the Mother Ship?”

    I think that DOES describe us. I am a Soul Patroler and a Monkbot. And just as you can, certainly, be a SPer and not a Monkbot…you can be a Monkbot and not a SPer. They aren’t mutually exclusive…but I think they CAN (in the right light) work hand-in-hand.

    I also couldn’t believe it when you wrote that you “never look for the pics OR the music…I look for words, stories, critiques, debates, etc. (I likey the pics.)…So, truthfully, I’m not always seeking out Taylor’s latest performance and listening to every download Gray offers us. I would hope that if Taylor were my friend, he’d understand that sometimes, he would have to shut up and listen to Loretta Lynn or Amici Forever with me…and that it’s not an indication of how much I love or don’t love him and his music.”

    This is great. I, too, have shyed (sp?) away from much of the media out there. I think I went into overload during AI. Plus, there’s something so personal about my OWN memories of when I saw Taylor that I don’t want to taint it by melding in memories that should go to someone else…someone who saw him at another venue. Is that crazy?

    NOLA…you hit the nail on the head about the comparison of Taylor on AI and Taylor over the summer. I was listening to stuff the other day and was floored when I started thinking…”Gee, he doesn’t sound as good there as I remember.” It’s not like he sounded bad…but after hearing him live and doing “his thing” I just prefer the unfiltered (or unfrosted..whatever) Taylor more than the AI Taylor.

    Oh…and Squeebee…so glad you’re here!


  13. TALK! Says:

    By the way…for all the great insights and sharing….everyone gets the Official Prize of the Day.

  14. Holeigh Says:

    Okay…I will try to verbalize my thoughts at another time…mulling over everything I just read. Not unexpectedly, I found myself knodding a lot. I do have some thoughts on the SP…screw it, here goes!

    I love everything that was said here, you all are so great with words, but I have to individually mention Bama’s first post as it echoes most of my own thoughts. The only thing I want to clarify are my feelings toward the SP. See, I definitely still consider myself a member and I wear my bracelet every day. But. I consider myself a member of the old SP, the original if you will. Before the “hot” comments, before the spouts of hatred toward anyone with anti-Hicks comments, back at GC when we were all just shocked by his talent. (Not that I didn’t go through my own Kenny/Justin rebellion for awhile ;)) That is the “soul” of the Monkbot divison and why it is the way it is. We question, we can disagree, we always listen, and it truly is about the music. THAT is my Soul Patrol! 🙂

  15. TALK! Says:

    Holeigh…that was beautiful.

    I hope we can take your eloquent words and hold fast to our “souls” as Taylor cotinues to shock us with his talent.


  16. Quossum Says:

    As for parking big ol’ SUVs…one morning coming out of the gym, I found a truck parked so close to my car (er…it’s an SUV, but dammit, it’s a small one with good gas mileage, okay?!) that I literally couldn’t get into it. No lie, the truck was about six inches from my driver’s door, and almost touching my back bumper.

    I considered going back in and forcing them to page the bastard and MAKE him come out and move his car, but I cut my time kinda close in the morning, and I didn’t want to be late for work. I ended up getting in on the passenger’s side and crawling over to the driver’s seat. Thank you, gym, for giving me that level of agility! =D

    As for Taylor…I *really* think that he’s in his element with the whole “bar band” vibe. Back in the day at GC we teased about the “Dive Tour,” but after all the LiMBO after-parties and such, that doesn’t really sound so far-fetched any more, does it? I think Taylor live and jammin’ with a band, interacting with them, feeding off of each other–is truly something to behold, entertainment at its finest, and I hope he keeps that up.

    His fanbase…will evolve, sure. We’ll see how much of the Soul Patrol sticks around once the new AI season comes along. The man has some true admirers who will stick it out.

    I can’t wait to see what happens next!


  17. double d Says:

    Gosh, I go to take of biness and I miss it all…crap!

    You KNOW I got an opinion.

    To answer your question, Shelley, NO, this is not what I expected at the beginning of the summer.

    I expected that all this Taylor stuff would fade away. We wouldn’t have any real news of the tour or anything and LMBO would most likely join Taylor after the tour, much like Bo’s band.

    I guess I actually CAN be mistaken…never wrong, but mistaken.

    As for the SP, us, etc. I think that the initial premise was good. We all bought into the “To thine own self be true” mantra of Taylor’s Soul Patrol. But then it took a peculiar, stalkerish turn. I love Taylor’s music and I think the guy is WAY COOL, but I’ve got a life….really, I do.

    I love to write…it is my preferred form of communication. I want to do it more and posting with you guys helps me get better and better. I have learned SO much over these past months and absolutely rely on the friendships, the support and the craziness you all provide.

    Taylor will go on to make beautiful music (to coin a phrase) and LMBO will be a part of it sometimes. We will go on with our live and this will be a part of us forever, whether we continue to post and talk or not. I am floored by the providence that brings us all together for whatever means is meant.

  18. double d Says:

    Q – VIVA LA DIVE TOUR, Baby!!!!

  19. TALK! Says:

    “I expected that all this Taylor stuff would fade away,” said DD.

    I’M SHOCKED!!!


  20. suzi-q Says:

    This here grandma loves all you bright Monkbots and Soul Patrolers ,so to you I say, If Taylor Hicks sings it, we will listen (some with LMBO and some without) The man is a star upon whom I love to gaze and hope he will “sparkle” for as long as he chooses:) Shell knows how I love “sparkle”:) We’re gypsies:)

  21. TALK! Says:

    Okay…I know I already gave out the OPOTD but I have to give props to Suzi-Q.

    She said, “If Taylor Hicks sings it, we will listen (some with LMBO and some without)”


    Official Prize of the Day – For the Sparkly Gypsies – Not just one good looking guy…but four!

  22. Gray Charleshttp://www.graycharles.com/ Says:

    Can someone please point me to the MonkBot Manifesto?

    Of course we knew it would out this way didn’t we? Yeah, right.

  23. TALK! Says:

    i’m working on it…i’m working on it.

    for tonight i’m just gonna be able to get the logo up.

    here is link to the first mention of monkbot (read the comments).

    i’ll be putting a permanent link to “manifesto” as soon as I can create it…and there WILL be t-shirts.

    wait ’til you see logo in red…i think Ben did a kick ASS job on this thing.

  24. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Shelley! Who are the adorable “Sparkly Gypsies”?? Please tell me they’re your family b/c they are beautiful like you!


    I’m in freaking LOVE with MONKBOT the logo!! Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

    Thank you Ben…you rock! Honorary Monkbotness is bestowed upon you! (You don’t have to be in the Squishy Muffin Bunny department though.)

  25. shelley Says:

    Yes…they are my brothers and dad.

    From left…Beau, Ben, Coop Dawg and Daddy Don.

    They had just moved that piano up a flight of stairs at my folks’ house. WOW!

    I went to take their pic and said…”Y’all pose like those old shots from like the 1800s of men who just finished building the railroad or something.”

    It’s one of my all-time favorite pictures.

    I HAD to give it to Suzi-Q for Prize of the Day…as these guys are HER Taylor. 😉

  26. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Awww….So is Suzi-Q your Sis or Mom? Or do you want to keep that to yourself? I’ve been so curious and both theories fit the comments!

    Y’all are such a cute family. Truly!

  27. nolagirl Says:

    Look at the cute family picture! You have some handsome men in your family, Suzi-Q. 😉

  28. shelley Says:

    well…since the beans are pretty much spilt…Suzi-Q is my mom. 🙂

    She had wanted me to keep it a secret…but her comments give a lot away.

    I know she wouldn’t mind y’all knowing…she calls me all the time to tell me how much y’all crack her up! 😉

  29. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Yay!! Shelley’s Mommy is Suzi-Q! I’m so excited to know that!

    I thought maybe, possibly she was your older sis…but every once in awhile something would be said that would make me say…”Hmmmm…”

    I cannot even begin to imagine sharing as much a you do with my mother(s). 😦

  30. shelley Says:

    awww…bama…you make me so sad sometimes.

    listen…i’m SURE suzi-q would let you share stuff with her. 🙂

    i hereby offer to let you use my mom when you need. 😉

  31. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Don’t cry for me Shellytina! I’ve had 34 years to get used to it.

    Maybe your mom can have her own spin off blog called, “Tell it to Suzi-Q” and Monkbots of all walks can go to her for advice and a shoulder to cry on!

  32. shelley Says:


    She’d love that.

    Wipes tears away and faces the day with a smile…knowing Bama is a big girl!

  33. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Who you callin’ big? I prefer strong! 😉

  34. shelley Says:

    Wipes tears away and faces the day with a smile…knowing Bama is a STRONG girl?

    better? 🙂

  35. bamaborntxbred Says:


  36. double d Says:

    I truly love you guys…oh, and…


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