Taylor Hicks Says He Isn’t Trying to Meet Expectations…But I Ain’t Buying It

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Yesterday Gray Charles posted a link to Relix online magazine’s interview with Taylor Hicks.

If you haven’t read it…you need to.

It’s great. And it addresses several topics in a rather tactful way that I’ve wanted to ask Taylor…but, you know…I couldn’t because…well…Taylor doesn’t know who the hell I am (which he should…because I’m very important and pretty…pfthh…stoopid Taylor Hicks).

Anyway…along with a charming comment about Rosanne Barr’s genitals (um…go read the interview…it’s HILARIOUS)…Taylor was forthcoming on some insights regarding how he developed musically. It’s good stuff.

However…

One part of the conversation really bothered me:

The audiences you’re performing for now are probably quite a bit different than the ones you were performing for just a year ago.

American Idol, for me, is fizzling out. I want to take that opportunity and exposure: 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.

Okay…maybe I can give him the fact that his AI experience/association (especially compared to past winners) is fizzling out…but only in terms of what his fan base sees in him. The Soul Patrol has ALWAYS placed Taylor on a pedastal that has reached far past the AI spotlight.

But outside of the Soul Patrol, to be honest,…folks still think of him as the goofy gray-haired guy from American Idol.

In that vain…maybe…MAYBE…I can see where he’s not “trying to meet expectations” because…let’s face it…folks not in the Soul Patrol don’t really have that high of expectations.

However, I don’t think that’s what he means…at least not in relation to how that conversation is written. As it is written…his audiences now…the one’s gleaned from the AI masses…are different than his audiences from the bar and honky tonk circuit (who, ironically, are probably among those with lower expectations now).

So, how can he say he’s not trying to meet expectations?

Isn’t that what he’s done by addressing his fans via GC.com?

Isn’t that what he’s done by responding to the scuttlebutt over him using the “F word”?

I mean the whole idea of going on AI was to meet expectations of the majority…in order to win. Right?

For some reason…this statement really bothered me.

It seems, at times, that Taylor says whatever happens to tumble from those cute little lips of his…which, unfortunately, can sound like he’s actually talking out of his ass. Even Phantom at Gray’s noticed Taylor’s evasiveness to answering questions. (Sorry for breaking my own rule about referencing comments on other sites…but I thought Phantom made a GREAT point.)

I mean, I want to think he’s keeping his musical integrity…Glitternazis be damned…but aren’t they still fans? Fans who supported him when he needed them most? At one point…ALL those in the Soul Patrol were CRUCIAL to Taylor’s survival in the limelight. Does that go away now? Does it even matter now?

What is Taylor’s responsibilty to the folks he depended on to get him to where he is?

I mean, I don’t want him to sell out and only record Engelbert Humperdinck covers…but he’s got to realize that he sold a bill of goods on national television…and folks now want their money’s worth.

Should the fans demand the Taylor that won AI? Do they hold their breath and hope they were right about him? Should Taylor “meet expecatations” of the fans who helped push him into stardom? Or should he forge ahead with his own agenda with the notion that if the Soul Patrol follows great…but if not…so be it?

Just what ARE the ethical obligations of Taylor Hicks to the Soul Patrol?

Y’all don’t wait for me to discuss…I’ll be reading your comments from G-Mail…itching to throw my two cents in later.

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70 Responses to “Taylor Hicks Says He Isn’t Trying to Meet Expectations…But I Ain’t Buying It”

  1. Rowan Says:

    I really enjoyed reading this interview. Am being a wee bit brave here, as I normally avoid posting on music issues, not being very well-versed in the subtleties of the subject.

    Couldn’t really decide what he was referring to exactly, with the “expectations” phrase. As it comes on the coat-tails of a discussion of AI, I am wondering if he is simply saying that he is wanting to shrug off any expectations which may have been formed by the episodic nature of the show itself, which meant that he had to play to the soundbyte a little – construct his performance, look, etc, around a two-minute slot. We saw elements of Taylor, which had us cheering,admiring and thudding, but not as he would portray himself, perhaps, in the context of a live show or album with a large input of his own. I am getting the feeling he is saying that his fans appreciate him for himself – for his AI performances, yes, but mostly for Under the Radar, and other “taylorised” performances in the wider media.

    Taylor’s grateful to AI for the exposure which let his fan-base grow, but now that he has his fans, he is hoping to take us with him in the directions he is keen to explore. Pretty sure that he will! He knows what his fans liked on the show, and also knows that we were all screaming at Gray’s for the “G Bomb.” I think he was saying that the show offered much, but had it’s limitations. He could not, for example, give us the “G Bomb”,under the auspices of AI though we begged. He perhaps means, with this comment, that “expectations” based wholly on the show, are not going to be a reliable indicator of where he is going. Think he feels that his fans have expectations that he plough his own furrow – do his own thing. Also think he will be aware of what was most appealing to his fans, from the show itself, and incorporate these elements.

    As I said above, I am not one to post on the minutiae of song-choices and musical collaborations, as I am just not knowledgeable enough, so I am just really going by what I feel is the vibe from his attitude in the interview a a whole. Also, I am one of those people who would have crept out under cover of darkness during AI and bought a copy of him singing the phone-book! (See, Shelley, you have made me fess-up again. What gives with you and your blog’s confessional vibe? :D)

  2. Shrewspeaks Says:

    My two cents here…Based on how I read the article the flow went from the AI single being number 1 seller to expectations, so I took it to mean he was not going to live up to sales expectations.

    If that is the case, then yes, he is not expecting to maintain all those who bought the single. Confession time here…I am a very bad fan…I DID NOT buy the single. I didn’t even think about it, cause honestly…I didn’t like the song one bit. I did however drag my very pregnant friend to some San Jose bar in the hopes of seeing the guy perform live. (Which thank all the powers that be happened.) See I think those who genuinely like music will be open to the sound and those who like the show will after 6 weeks merrily move on to Season 6.

    Now, sales expectations…there is a reason that Tmberlake outsells the likes of Mayer, Lee and Lamonte…He appeals to his audiences expectations…Mayer, Lee and Lamonte…they are making music that speaks from their soul. DIMYP is in the Timberlake hit machine fashion…I am hoping TH*12*05 is more in the later created from with in style…and based on the interview…it certainly sounds like it. But to follow that style…you can’t try to live up to expectations.

    Now, Shelley, you bring up a great point about “who dropped the bomb on me incident” this past summer…Taylor was so closely tied to AI at that point, the Tour hadn’t really begun, and the media hype was so intense, I can understand the back peddle…but if rehearsals.com hasn’t prooved that the man is just like me…”F happens when It happens”

    There is it my thoughts…falling way below expectations everywhere.

  3. shelley Says:

    Rowan said, “…he is hoping to take us with him in the directions he is keen to explore.” and “He perhaps means, with this comment, that “expectations” based wholly on the show, are not going to be a reliable indicator of where he is going.”

    Rowan…I think you make some wonderful points. But I guess I just am beng stubborn in not wanting to give Taylor this much credit. To me, the comment came across as flippant…and I reacted to that.

    I definitely am on Taylor’s side when it comes to what I am expecting from him…I think he’s incredibly talented and entertaining.

    I just think he has some sort of obligation to folks who thought he was closer to the Taylor he presented on AI. That doesn’t mean I think he lied to us…or that he’s fake. I don’t think that.

    But his “character” on the shoe was a little more aloof than what we’ve seen since AI. He’s far more cunningn than a lot of folks gave him credit for…and I guess it reminded me too much of the behavior of some politicians…and that bothered me.

    All that said…I realize my comparison is a bit extreme…I just wanted to clearly illustrate my point.

    Do I think Taylor is a decent guy? Yes.

    I’m just concerned about how he presents himself at times.

  4. shelley Says:

    Shrew…I’m so glad I put up this post…just to get all of y’all’s take on the quote.

    You said, “to live up to sales expectations.

    If that is the case, then yes, he is not expecting to maintain all those who bought the single. “

    I didn’t even consider this…and can definitely see your point.

    About you not buying the DIMYP album…I say kudos. Honestly, do I think Taylor would have bought that singler if he were in the consumer’s shoes? Nope.

    I also like that you pointed about Rehearsals.com. Maybe he’s using this little time slot between tour and album to give a more realistic picture of who he is.

    That said…I still have a slight problem with having to “reconstruct” or “explain” his persona to the public…just because it wasn’t clear from the show.

    Don’t you think with the other competitors (sans Katherine), we got a feel for who they really were as people? With Taylor, I feel it was more the equivalent of the little boy sitting in church with his hair combed neatly and his suit all pressed…but a frog in his pocket and mud on his shoes.

  5. Mind Doc Says:

    Please remember that this is the guy who called the Beatles “fucking great” on national TV. I think that people have a lot of expectations about him — if you read the posts, it was seriously weird at times. Taylor would NEVER smoke! Or swear! It was funny, bordering on creepy. To that extent, I think he is aware that people have expectations of him.

    That being said, I DO have expectations, and don’t feel badly about it at all. After all of the drama, I expect some quality work from Taylor. I don’t know that he owes me. And yes, I did buy that putrid DIMYP, just because I could not stand McPhee — but I blushed as I paid for it. It is still sitting beside my computer desk in all of its cellophane glory.

    I noticed a long time ago that Taylor does not answer questions put to him. When I found out that Gray was going to interview him, I emailed and said “Make him answer the questions!!” I go back and forth about Taylor — I can’t tell if he is cagey or clueless. He is either a brilliant strategist or the kind of person who falls down a well and finds a pot of gold. I can’t tell which.

    I remember how little of himself he used to give on those dumb intros on AI.

    Ryan: “Taylor, what do you miss most about home?”
    Taylor” “Barbeque and collard greens.”
    Me (on the couch, head in hands): “No!! Say you miss your family, or your fish, or the great people in Alabama, for pity’s sake. Ack!”

    So, I am on the fence. I have no idea who Taylor Hicks is, after all of this time. I don’t care if he swears or looks goofy. I hope he does not get drunk and vomit on stage, and I would prefer not to read some tell-all about “My night of passion with Taylor Hicks” in Star magazine.

    Taylor. Sweetie. No one night stands with drunken fans. Please.

    However, I am aware that he cannot please some of his fans. They don’t like the pictures of him smiling, they don’t like the pictures of him looking serious. No black and white photos. Lose the suit. Hate the vest. Hate the jeans. Pleeease don’t dance. For heaven’s sake, don’t just stand there! Criminy!

  6. double d Says:

    Ok, drive by…I gots to get ready for work, BUT…

    Great post Shels. I was just having this sort of debate at Gray’s. I guess I’m a little too sensitive regarding all of the analyzation and criticism of every little detail…but hey, maybe that’s what Taylor and his folks are trying to get out of Gray’s. It just makes me crazy…er.

    See this link….

    Stuff This, Soul Patrol

    It made me feel really bad about the state of Taylor’s fanbase. To me, you’ve got one side that’s “Taylor is the 2nd Coming and does no wrong, ever. And if you disagree, I’ll burn your house down” and the other side of “I’m an expert and Taylor should….I don’t like the verdana font and the shading on the H should be PMS Color 321 instead of 708.” The “outside” world just goes, WTF?

    Regarding the “expectations”…I think Taylor means that he’s going to follow the vision he has had for himself and his music. Those that enjoy it and like it will come along. Those that don’t will go by the wayside. I see him more in the Mayer vein than the Timberlake vein, even though J Records may prefer the latter.

    I think Taylor is wise to start distancing himself from certain “expectations”, particularly those that don’t line up with his own personal vision….THAT, my friends is staying true to yourself.

  7. shelley Says:

    Mind Doc.

    “It is still sitting beside my computer desk in all of its cellophane glory”…ROFL

    “I go back and forth about Taylor — I can’t tell if he is cagey or clueless. He is either a brilliant strategist or the kind of person who falls down a well and finds a pot of gold. I can’t tell which.”…I think this sums up brilliantly what a lot of folks (me included) think…but don’t have the balls to say. Brilliant. I know it’s early…but that deserves the Official Prize of the Day, my friend.

    “However, I am aware that he cannot please some of his fans.”…very true…regardless of working to meet expectations. What did Lincoln say…about not pleasing all the the people all the time?

    DD….that link was actually pretty refreshing. You know I feel like that at times. It’s sad…but true. I get tired of the “Taylor is perfect” thing…and the over-analyzing to the point of he should have brushed his teeth with Crest and not Colgate.

    And you’re right…the crazier the SP is…the more folks on the outside are going to scratch their head and wonder…WTF? Plus…doesn’t such behavior, in the end, only serve to HARM Taylor in the general public’s eye?

    Also, I like what you said here:
    “I think Taylor is wise to start distancing himself from certain “expectations”, particularly those that don’t line up with his own personal vision….THAT, my friends is staying true to yourself.”

    But I still have a problem if distancing himself from people who were drawn to the image he portrayed on television.

    What came first….the chicken dance or the crazies?

  8. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Interesting point…the image he portrayed on television…was that completely him? Or was that the producers’ vision…I ask…after the audition what was real and what was AI manufactured?

    They guy in yesterday’s interview seems the same guy who was interviewed by Rollingstone back in June.

  9. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Holy moly…I just read the link DD posted. Jeesh…that made me scared. Scared of the “vocal” Soul Patrol. I certainly don’t have the need to spout hurtful things to that poor blogger. And honeslty, she makes some good points.

    It begs the question…ARE we soul patrol or just Taylor appreciators?

  10. double d Says:

    Shel….here’s my thought:

    AI, for Taylor, was just a means to an end. Remember, he never even watched the show…he needed the exposure…the chance. The TV “image” was a small piece of Taylor but certainly not all of him. While I don’t think he “deceived” anyone as to who he is, he certainly didn’t show the “bar band” Taylor side, which many seem to prefer anyway. I don’t think it’s an either or, just more of a part of the whole.

    Personally, I think that he’s far more interesting than the AI persona although I loved him on AI…BUT, I think that’s because I knew that there was a lot more behind the guy that we’re starting to see take the forefront. It’s REALLY more who he is…that’s what I mean about distancing himself. For those who think that AI Taylor is ALL of Taylor, I don’t think they’ll be in it for the long haul.

    As I’ve said before, I think Taylor is interested in music lovers buying his music and “making art”. The pop idol thing, not so much.

    I liken it to maybe your persona at work. Certainly, you don’t show all your co-workers all the intricacies that you show us here on your blog and vice versa we don’t see what you show at work. All are pieces of Shelley…just as AI was just a piece of Taylor.

  11. double d Says:

    Shrew…I’m definitely leaning Taylor appreciator. I know this is contrary to my recent Soul Patrol declaration here, but it seems that “Soul Patrol” is starting to have some negative connotations.

    It’s really a shame…I was so hoping/thinking “Parrothead”, but I can’t think of any Parrotheads I know that are like what I read there.

  12. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Yes! ParrotHeads, DeadHeads, PhishHeads…it was all about the music and that led to an all encompassing “Hey, you are one too…COOL! Do you have the Anaheim ’92 tapes?” kinda mentality that doesn’t seem to be the spirit I see lately displayed in the “Walks on Water” idol manufactured zaniness.

    It is an unusual phenomenom we are witnessing…I wasn’t a big Bo follower…did his fans go through the same stuff?

  13. double d Says:

    It’s got more the feel of “Claymates”…ew.

  14. double d Says:

    So, Shrew….should we start a “split-off faction” called
    SoulHeads?

    Perhaps Monkbots suffice.

  15. Rowan Says:

    Shelley – The image of the two versions of the little boy in the final paragraph of your post is great! I do see your point. I was trying to get an angle on what Taylor said, but had the feeling that I was back working on a textual analysis, dragging a poem or piece of narrative around to reflect what I wanted it to mean. It came around, but making jarring rending noises, and leaving skiddy-boot-heel marks on the floor! Felt I was offering just one possible interpretation, from someone who has little musical experience. Fun to speculate, though!

    I agree that it is really intriguing to read all the interpretations of what he might have meant, by his remark. Shrew – your first point is very interesting – hadn’t thought of looking at it that way either!

    Cheers to the multi-faceted vision of Monkbot! Yep, know he doesn’t have compound eyes…I do like the Monkbot logo’s eyes -like an electrical trace on an EEG. Very groovy. Not too cute. Kinda edgy. Ok…off to attempt a bit of actual work -Yikes!

    Mind Doc – have refreshed this page and just seen your fab insightful post, putting things in perspective and keepin it real. I had forgotten many of those instances of duality and ambiguity which you relate, and which make Taylor difficult to read, and place. Like Shelley, I am wiping the tears fom my eyes and admiring the honesty, clarity and downright hilariousness of your post. (Clicks heels and salutes.)Brave and brilliant! (Adding a large Starbucks of your choice and a carton of popcorn to your well-deserved prize.)

  16. Jax Says:

    Expectations?

    I have expectations for his CD that I don’t know will be realized, but I am hopeful.

    I want to hear him sing, yes he’s cute & I am old enough to be his mother, I want to hear him sing the music that has NOT be around for years (by this I do not mean covers). This is what attracted me to Taylor Hicks. The sound of his voice, the style of his singing, the growling, stomping, dancing and the FUN of Taylor Hicks.

    I was also at times overwhelmed by the beauty in his voice. Go back & listen to “Trouble”, “You Are So Beautiful” and “Something”. I want him to sing “Something” on this CD or a song that will equal it. I want to hear the beauty.

    As far as the Soul Patrol is concerned.. Yes, there are times I have cringed when reading some of the comments. But I can also remember the pride I felt when Taylor first sang DIMYP & he ended it jumping up & down yelling Soul Patrol, Soul Patrol, Soul Patrol! I remember the tears that he brought .. after winning.. when he rocked back & wailed SOULLLLLLLLLL PAAAAAAAATROLLLLLLLLLLLLLL when Ryan asked if there was anything he wanted to say to his fans. A lot of families have very disfunctional members.. atleast mine does.. The rest of us don’t stop being members of the family .. we just try to show the world that the rest of us are normal (I use that term loosely :oD)

    Question … if one of us saw Shelley being bashed on another site what would we do?

    Maybe when we see an off the planet remark being made by a disfunctional member we should add a comment that shows whil we disagree with the original reamrk we can answer it in an intelligent way.

    DIMYP? Not my favorite song … however I bought several copies to support Taylor & to help make sure that the naysayers were shown that he has the fanbase to support his future.

    Whew .. I did not mean to be so long winded.. Peace .. I am off to watch some Taylor videos & do some house work… ughhhh … Did I ever mention to any of you that “The Only Thing Domestic About Me Is That I Live Indoors”?

  17. Jax Says:

    Make that sing “Somehow” on his new CD … sheesh

  18. Squeebee Says:

    Wow….great topic, Shelley! This whole issue is one that has been at a slow burn in my mind of late.

    It drives me TO DISTRACTION that every post Gray does gets picked apart and analyzed. Sometimes a picture is just a picture, a song is just a song, an interview is just an interview.

    I can’t imagine if I were in Taylor’s position. I am a very private person, and if I had thousands of people analyzing my every move, I would go into hiding. I have an inkling that maybe Taylor is a private person as well.

    As I see it, Taylor used AI as a vehicle to get his name and his voice out there. He did what he had to do (which may or may not have included “hiding” or “accentuating” parts of his personality) to get the job done.

    The funny thing about the whole AI phenomenon is that it gives the fans a certain amount of “ownership” of the contestants. This is where all of the criticizm and nit-picking comes from, in my opinion. “We got you to where you are, and we own you from now to eternity”.

    The whole controversy over the F-bombs on Rehearsals.com made me want to hand in my Soul Patrol badge and walk away. Cut the guy a break, people! He is a man, not some AI-created diety! The discussion on the song itself got lost amidst the controversy.

    So I guess what I’m saying is that in my opinion, the only thing Taylor owes to his fans is to make a fantastic album, and to spend the rest of his life using his gift in whatever way he sees fit.

    P.S. Thanks for letting me vent about this….I feel better now! 😉

  19. double d Says:

    AMEN, Squee to the Bee!

  20. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Well, most of y’all know my feelings on the Soul Patrol. I haven’t been keen on the group for awhile.

    I’m a straight up Taylor fan. As a Taylor fan, I look forward to what comes next, but I’m not counting down the hours til “the album” drops…I don’t even know the date it’s supposed to be released. I trust that, since I like everything Taylor’s done before, and I have a huge appetite for all types/styles of music in general…I’m gonna be down with whatever he offers. I’m not neccesarily “expecting” anything.

    (Woo-hoo! Burden Brothers-Mercy album dropped yesterday!!)

    Now, being a Taylor fan doesn’t make me blind to his possible faults. For instance, I can’t stand his evasive nature at answering questions…it comes across as arrogant. However, since I’m not there with him during the interviews, and can’t hear his tone of voice and watch his expressions…I can’t know that his intention is to be evasive.

    As far as Taylor being different than the person that was portrayed on AI….hmmm…it’s hard to comment on that. It was such a fishbowl…and he had 30 second clips to introduce his songs…and 2 minutes to perform them….the stylists were from AI…the set designers were from AI…the song lists were approved by AI. Just too much outside factors to judge him by that. The people that cared to know pre-AI Taylor got on the ‘net and found pre-AI Taylor….and with that, they found the gritty, grungy, f-bomb dropping, beer drinking Taylor that he was and is. I think anything projected onto Taylor’s image b/c of AI is just that…something that was projected onto Taylor.

    Am I sometimes a little, eensy bit disappointed that he isn’t as charming and polite as I imagined? Yes. But more than that I am thrilled to know that he is a real person, one that is like the people I know and hang out with…someone I wouldn’t have to be “proper” with.

  21. Shelley via Bama Says:

    This is from Shelley guys!!
    ***************************

    I feel much the same as Jax in that when Taylor won…I had goosebumps on goosebumps. And, yes, I bought DIMYP (online AND in physical CD form)…but do I listen to it…nah. I also like Jax’s point that many families have disfunctional members. Maybe that is how we should view all the whiners and gripers out there in the Soul Patrol.

    However…I do think there is still a responsibility toward those family members. I don’t know…maybe I’m being too rigid.

    Jax…in regards to your question about folks bashing me…was this hypothetical…or is it happening somewhere? Just curious.

    Oh…I laughed out loud at your line “Did I ever mention to any of you that “The Only Thing Domestic About Me Is That I Live Indoors”? ” Hilarious. 😉

    Squeebee…you made some EXCELLENT points. And I liked the way you summed it up with, “So I guess what I’m saying is that in my opinion, the only thing Taylor owes to his fans is to make a fantastic album, and to spend the rest of his life using his gift in whatever way he sees fit.”

    But I still have to say that…Taylor…our dear little Taylor…should measure his quotes a tad better. Even if he feels the way you described above (which is GREAT)…he shouldn’t throw out blanket statements like “I’m not trying to meet expectations.”

    Maybe my problem should be with his publicist…not with him.

    Am I alone? Does anyone think Taylor could be a little more precise with his comments?

  22. Squeebee Says:

    Shelley, ABSOLUTELY Taylor could be more careful with his statements. However, I put it down to him just not being great at expressing exactly what he is thinking when he is in an interview. Personally, I express myself much better in writing than I do speaking face-to-face most of the time.
    Maybe his publicist should be a little more “present” in these interviews, but honestly, I LIKE knowing that Taylor is just a regular guy who mixes up words sometimes. I don’t think I want a sanitized version of Taylor being portrayed in the media.
    I really think he needs to be portraying the “normal guy” image at this point in order to break out of the AI bubble.

  23. baby duck Says:

    I would like to see Taylor do an interview similar to the Amos Lee 12-part podcast about his new album (thanks, double d, for the link). Then the sort of free-association, words-tumbling-out responses wouldn’t seem quite so evasive. Maybe he’ll do something like that after the album is released.

    It seems to me that Taylor is trying to use Relix and Rolling Stone — publications with “street cred” subscribers who listen to “real” music and who think a musical contest TV show is “cheesy” — to disassociate himself from American Idol. I can understand it from a marketing perspective that he would want to broaden his fan base. But personally, I have a problem with the arrogant kind of condescension these types of publications have, and it bugs me when Taylor makes comments that seem to validate their attitude (“I don’t watch it either!”… “dance with the devil”). The fact is Taylor was able to have his voice heard “on a national level” on AI when nothing else worked. “I had some stuff I even tried to submit to Relix.” If they’re such hot s**t, why didn’t they give him a chance like American Idol did?

    As far as Taylor not trying to meet expectations goes, here are my expectations: I expect to give him a chance. I expect him to use the opportunity that comes from winning American Idol to make his voice heard. I expect to buy all 3 albums and attend any concerts in the area, the same as I bought DIMYP, LFTC, and AI concert tickets. I expect to do this regardless of whether he has some Country Roads –type moments. I expect new songs (not just covers) that sound like old soul music with a modern delivery, call it womp or whatever. I expect him to reveal his musical vision to us, the listeners. And I expect him to set a standard: that one day we’ll be reading Wikipedia about modern womp, and have Taylor Hicks named as the originator. I expect to find out if he is a legend in the making. Are these the expectations he won’t be trying to meet?

  24. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Baby Duck:

    It would seem sad if he didn’t live up to some of your expectations b/c they are really good ones.

    I guess I must be really easy to please or be very optimistic…b/c I just don’t think he’s gonna screw this up. I think most everybody is going to love what he does.

    It is odd not to want to live up to some expectations…don’t we all try to live up to someone’s expectations?? I know I do. I mean, I’m always failing (or at least I feel that way)..but I’m always trying as well…which makes me a better person I think.

    (You also bring up a good point about the “street cred” he’s trying to build…and the feeling that he’s throwing his AI experience under the bus…but still that was 6 months out of his entire life…I don’t know…he’s learning…whatever…I need a cookie.)

  25. shelley Says:

    Y’all are REALLY kicking ass today with some great thoughts. (I’m home for a minute…having to let a repair man in to fix my dryer.)

    Squee, you said, “Maybe his publicist should be a little more “present” in these interviews”

    I couldn’t agree with this more. I worked for four years as Public Relations Director for the Mississippi Arts Commission. I NEVER let any of our folks go before the press without me being there. When stuff came up in interviews that was unclear or could be misinterpreted…I didn’t hesitate to jump in. I mean usually I kept my trap shut…but I stayed on alert to keep things on track.

    Baby Duck…great idea about the Amos Lee-type “free association” interview. I think that would let him say what he wants without coming across as evasive.

    I also think you’re spot on with your view on how he treats Rolling Stone vs. AI. That’s kind of the point I was making with this post…he DID try to use those avenues before…but the only thing after 10 years of struggle that ‘got him heard’ was the AI audience.

    To me…that deserves a little consideration.

    Hey…I never really watched AI before…and I won’t watch it now…but the fact is that AI was the vehicle that “drove it all home” for Taylor Hicks.

    Finally, before I head back to the office I want to say I am with Bama…I think folks will love what he does.

    Surely he will want to meet THAT expectation.

    Well, I gotta go. (Can you believe the repair guy is ALREADY DONE? Seriously, y’all should see the wad of lint he just pulled from my dryer…YIKES!)

    Be back later today. 🙂

    Y’all are making me so proud!

    (And Bama…thanks for helping!)

  26. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Baby Duck all valid points…I did however read the “I tried to submit here to Relix” as a little slam…like “see and now you are interviewing me”

    *hands Bama a buttery good Parisian cookie from the tin on my desk*

  27. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Thanks Shrew…the only thing I like better than a cookie…is butter…so a butter cookie…yumm…

  28. Shrewspeaks Says:

    These are good too…from Fauchon…hand carried all the way from Paris. In fact I had the tin in a death grip on the plane. “Nobody touch my cookies!” And I wonder why i am single.

  29. Jax Says:

    Shelley that question was completely hypothetical! I know without a shadow of a doubt that if you were being bashed somewhere this group would kick some a** and take some names.

    I say this… give the guy a freaking break… he now has people coming at him from every direction asking him the same questions over & over again, he’s trying his best to keep everyone interested. Every word he says is picked apart & examined under a microscope. Has he ever mis-spoke? well hell yes I am sure he has… Is there one of us that hasn’t said something & then later thought “Well dang I should have worded that differently.”

    Do I word things differently at 50 err 52 than I did at 30… sheesh I hope so.

    Sometimes I just feel sorry for him. I would have had at least one fit of I AM NEVER OPENING MY MOUTH AGAIN! Arrogant? I honestly have never felt he was being arrogant and I am very thin skinned towards those types of folks. .. When he said “I am not setting out to meet expectations” could he have meant something a simple as I am going to put out the best record I can & hopefully my fans will like it?” (this of course after it is picked apart and analized to death)

    I was/am a Beatles fan … I can say , in public mind you, that there are Beatles songs that I cannot stand… I am not an Ozzy Osbourne fan but I LOVE “Mama I’m Coming Home” “Crazy Train, “Paranoid” and a few others. I am a die hard Elton John Fan but did not love all of his songs.. my point??? I cannot wait for this CD but I am sure that there will be songs I do not care for… shoot me now I don’t care for the Fall and I have heard HOAD too many times to want to hear it on his new CD..

    Whew.. if this didn’t make any sense please excuse me I Cleaned & Cooked today lololol I may need some Advil.

    Taylor… my wish for you is that you are able to speak your mind and sing your songs and not give up on your dream. (he does read this blog ya know, how could he not being the smart young man that he is?)

  30. Jax Says:

    oh… BTW EXCCELLENT blog today… love it love it love it!!!!!!!

  31. Jax Says:

    Ummm I re-did the math I am only 51 ROTFLLLLLLLLL

  32. heyhowyadin Says:

    shells….good stuff…

    i think i’m more of a taylor appreciator myself…

    dd….i read that link….chilling..

  33. Rowan Says:

    Baby Duck and Bama – agree with the very good points you are making in this great discussion. Am thinking twice about posting at this point, for fear of contradicting myself somewhere down the line. That unease is good. I was first drawn to Taylor by his disruptive, enigmatic qualilties, that he was the wrong fit for the AI shape-sorter, and yet it grew a new place to accommodate him. The fact that he is still something of an enigma to me is uplifting, because at the end of the day I want to be surprised. I will buy his album, because he entertained me greatly.I will see him live, hopefully, some time next year. He has given me the expectation that I will not have my expectations met. He will re-work a song I loathe into a song I like (In The Ghetto)and he will not be limited by my conceptualisation of him.

    Taylor Hicks is out of my frame of reference. I have read some of his syllabus, but he is bristling with footnotes and cross-references, which I will never get to the bottom of. At the same time, paradoxically, I am hoping he does not move from enigmatic into obscurantism: that I will lose him to specialist genres of music which I do not understand and readily respond to. Once again, I do not know what his song choice will be, and how the public will respond, and I am sort of happy about that. He has come up trumps so far.

  34. nolagirl Says:

    Good thoughts today, everybody.

    Shelley, when I first read this post I laughed b/c that is THE exact sentence that jumped out to me in the interview. I found it kind of odd because, when it really comes down to it, aren’t we all trying to meet expectations? It could be our own personal expectations we have for ourselves, what we think our parents or peers expect of us, or in this case, expectations involving many people that Taylor doesn’t even know (i.e. fans, “suits,” serious music snobs, etc.)

    Before I’d ask Taylor what he meant by that, I’d much rather ask to see the interviewer’s notes or listen to his tape. Because who knows what the context was. Even though it was put under that particular question, that doesn’t mean the interviewer couldn’t have pulled it from another point in the interview. And no, that’s not to put “blame” on the interviewer and keep “Saint Taylor” on some kind of pedestal, that’s just where the whole scenario takes my journalism-related brain. 🙂

    We had this discussion about being a part of the Soul Patrol a while back. I stand by my claim to be a fan of Taylor Hicks. ‘Nuff said. 🙂

  35. Squeebee Says:

    Honestly, when I read the “expectations” part of the interview, my impression was that Taylor is not setting out to impress anyone in particular. Maybe he is feeling a little defensive about the perception and expectations that many of his fans have of him.
    Taylor is the only one who truly knows his vision, and how he intends to achieve that vision. I think he is kind of saying, “Listen…I know what I’m doing, all y’all can just relax and enjoy the ride!” Does that seem arrogant? I don’t think so. It just means he knows what he wants, and intends to do it his way.

  36. heyhowyadoin Says:

    he’s a great musician who seized an opportunity (AI) to make it in the business…and he succeeded….From here on out it’s a new ballgame….you either go along for the ride or you don’t….

    but with success comes criticism…the’s no escaping it…and it’s a GOOD thing in my opinion….it’s how you learn and grow….no one does everything 100% right except Jesus Christ….

    it just kills me when people attack over at grays when someone voices their opinon that goes against the grain…..

    shells, you would be CRUCIFIED over there if you posted your thoughts….

    it’s getting harder and harder every day to read over there….

  37. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Heyhowyadoin- I’m so glad that you pointed out that Shelley would be in big trouble for this opinion if she had posted it elsewhere. I love that we can all just discuss something like this…not always agreeing with each other…but no one getting attacked.

    Rowan- Love, love, love what you said. I couldn’t agree more! I love Taylor b/c he doesn’t fit into a box. I like some things that come boxed (JT, for instance) for days when I don’t want to think too hard, and just enjoy…but when I need to experience my music I want Taylor. When I want to chew on my music…I might choose someone else, say NIN…but Taylor should never come boxed!!

    Shrew-Please give me a cookie now!

  38. Shelley via Bama Says:

    From Shelley:
    *************

    Jax I think you’re right about ” I say this… give the guy a freaking break… he now has people coming at him from every direction asking him the same questions over & over again, he’s trying his best to keep everyone interested. Every word he says is picked apart & examined under a microscope.”

    I will try…truth is …I usually do. But when something bugs me…I gots ta say it! (I have a big mouth…no matter WHAT my dentist said. LOL

    Rowan…seriously…you’re comments are always so insightful…don’t EVER NOT make one for fear of contradicting yourself. For me…I find that I often contradict myself…but I look at it more as “working through” thoughts. I like to think that my opinions aren’t so rigid that they can’t bend. 😉

    And NOLA…I think Bama eluded to this earlier (someone did) about hearing the ACTUAL interview. True…I think it probably WOULD help to hear everything in context.

  39. jenniesaunt Says:

    Wow! The writing on this topic is beyond excellent. It is so clear that those who responded are most at home expressing themselves via the written word. Therefore, it seems logical to me that Taylor’s “words” written down are where you would focus, and where you look for meaning.
    Could you see that this level of scrutiny of Taylor’s words, recorded by someone else, might be considered as over the top as the scrutiny of his dress, hair,personality, photos,personality, or whatever else it is that holds Taylor fans’ interests? It seem to me that folks are talking, writing, viewing Taylor in ways that make sense to them. For someone in the entertainment business this has to be a good thing.
    I have an opinion about Taylor’s perceived or actual aloofness. Everyone has to figure out a way to survive in this world. Taylor’s way seems to be that he bares his emotions on stage, but guards himself with a wall off stage. He has selected a cut throat and competitive business for a livelihood So, he may see his very survival dependent upon putting up that guard.
    I sure hope that what is written above comes across as an observation and not a criticism. Taylor Hicks from my home town is something else. He makes me so proud that I could cry. He is what he is.

  40. Anonymous Says:

    You jest have ta love this place don’t cha?

    Excellent day!

    Shell… What you don’t agree that Taylor is a smart smart young man & ofcourse he reads this blog??? lololol Come on now we should ALL have da dream!!

  41. Jax Says:

    OOPS that was me!!

  42. Squeebee Says:

    Wow, jenniesaunt…get outta my head! You said very succinctly an a few words what I’ve been rambling about all day! Bravo!

  43. baby duck Says:

    I would like to clarify my post as I used the word arrogant. I meant it to refer to elitist rags, not Taylor. The attitude was built in to the questions put to him. I don’t envy him trying to answer a question that comes with baggage. I wouldn’t expect him to get up on a soapbox and extoll the virtues of his American Idol experience. But he was presented the opportunity to give some credit where credit was due, and he didn’t. To me, that reinforces the interviewer’s point of view because it was not challenged. It bugged me. Sorry.

    And thanks for the chance to explain myself with a second post… something Taylor doesn’t have the ability to do in these magazine interviews.

  44. Jan Says:

    I’ve decided to post without reading comments because I don’t want my opinion swayed by what came before. I know it sounds crazy but I’m serious. I hope that Taylor moves on in his career creatively. I want him to use his talent and creativity in whichever way is significant to him. I don’t think he should sit around wondering about his path based on what he owes to the masses who voted for him. I don’t want to see what I saw on American Idol or rather not just what I saw on American Idol. If Taylor moves in a direction as an artist that I hate, I just won’t buy it but that’s his choice. It sounded to me like he was addressing that issue. Blah, blah…

  45. Lana Says:

    Oh no. I’d better wait until I’m in a more amiable mood before reading these comments.

  46. shelley Says:

    Jeanniesaunt said, “Taylor’s way seems to be that he bares his emotions on stage, but guards himself with a wall off stage.” This is probably very true. GC ain’t the only man of mystery! 😉

    Jax…i’d love to think taylor reads this blog…but if I did honestly believe that…i would have posted my phone number a loooong time ago. 😉 ha.

    baby duck said, “And thanks for the chance to explain myself with a second post… something Taylor doesn’t have the ability to do in these magazine interviews.” I think this is very valid…but also gives credence to the fact that he should weigh his remarks a little more carefully on the front end.

    Jan said, “I don’t want to see what I saw on American Idol or rather not just what I saw on American Idol. ” I agree…I don’t want to see that either…but I do think he needs to remember ALL those folks who supported him through his win. Don’t wait to read the comments, Jan, I think you’ll find yourself nodding your head quite a bit! 😉

  47. NOLAgirl Says:

    Did y’all also read the MTV article?
    http://tinyurl.com/tvmka

    A snare credit? Still keeping us guessing I see!

  48. Libby Says:

    Shelley, you wrote an excellent post. Thank you for providing a safe haven for us.

    Taylor seems to be sharp and persistently trying to navigate in a difficult business -which is incredibly challenging and stressful. Right and wrong steps along the way – just as in life.

    I do not know him personally — but he is right that we cannot know all that is in another man/woman’s mind and heart.

    He is doing all he can to make the best of the oppty he has earned. I respect that.

    In a perfect world, a constructive comment by an admirer should be received and considered– but not disected by multitudes over and over again in a bashing fashion. It is not productive and the original thought or comment is lost and not even rationally considered.

    It is only my impression that Taylor understands and trusts himself musically — but may not be as confident and skilled in an interview and more intimate communication situations.

    IMHO, his managment team could and should help in this aspect. However, the scrutiny and analysis and sarcastic remarks have grown out of control all around. It can sting – I know first hand.

    I am looking forward to the TH’s music and a successful career on his terms. After all, this should be joyful entertainment.

  49. shelley Says:

    Libby…I’m with ya, chick.

    On stage…Taylor rawks. Off stage…I think he could use just a tad more polish. 😉

  50. Nashvegas Says:

    Shelley, I agree that Taylor sometimes comes across as flippant. Maybe Gray’s word “prickly” was a better description than we knew at the time. I know that when I’m being defensive, I can get pissed off to the point of being prickly and flippant and it ain’t pretty.

    But more than being worried about Taylor’s choice of words or how he expresses himself, I’m flabbergasted at double d’s link to that blog. I read it at work today and I haven’t even wanted to log on to any Taylor boards tonight. People need to get a grip. THAT was embarrassing.

  51. shelley Says:

    Nash…I couldn’t agree more. It sickened me.

  52. Mind Doc Says:

    I got prize of the day!!

    Oh, yeah. We were talking about Taylor, weren’t we …

    (I never win anything! Thanks!)

  53. Phile Says:

    Soul Patrol seems more a rallying cry than anything else, and not so much a descriptor of specific group. But EVERYBODY knows what/who the Soul Patrol is, so that’s gonna be the collective identifier in the outside world.

    Inside our Hicks fan bubble, of course, it’s different – we know there’s different factions with different expectations. I’d be surprised if Taylor can play to all of them, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be for lack of trying. There’s still a lot of PR to do.

    Besides, “Oh, he’s quite popular Shelly. The cgers, the boogiers, monkbots, glitter nazis, scary boarders, mjers, VFTWers, TWOPers – they all adore him. They think he’s a righteous dude.”

    Okay, so maybe not those last two…

  54. Rowan Says:

    Bama, Tnanks for the kind comments! I think the point you make about the extent to which AI fashioned our experience of Taylor, compared to the person who is emerging, is very important.

    Shelley – “I like to think that my opinions are not so rigid that they cannot bend.;)” I love your spin on being potentially contradictory…thanks! I might just have to work it into a sampler and hang it above my pc, as it is such a good sensible mantra for those periodically assailed by self-doubt. Nocturnal monkbot signing out.:oD

  55. Gray Charles Says:

    Good discussion, can I contribute?

    Disclaimer: Regardless of any “official” relationship I have the following opinions are only mine and are not formed by any specific conversations.

    What I think Taylor is feeling is the expecation that he’ll produce an album that looks and sounds a whole lot like a season of AI. 1/2 syrupy ballads and half mild rockers. After all, that’s what won him the show.

    Problematically, that doesn’t sound like the type of album he wants to produce. I think that these are the only “expectations” that are being addressed – the expectations of his already existent fan base.

    Does he owe anyone anything – I would say “no”. Politicians stand up on the stump and say “If you elect me I’ll do A, B, and C”. Neither Taylor or any of the other contestants stood up and said “If you make me your American Idol winner I will produce an album of songs exactly like the ones I did here.”

    If he had done that then the argument makes sense – since he didn’t . . .

    Not to say that many people could be disappointed in the final product. If it indeed sounds like what Taylor is describing my mother will be underwhelmed. Oh, she’ll buy it – but it won’t grace the CD player very often.

    I could go on, thankfully I won’t.

  56. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Gray- I pray, I hope that Taylor doesn’t give us an album based on what he did on AI. I hope we get something grittier and dirtier and crunchier….

  57. nolagirl Says:

    What I still wonder is what fans want an album of “AI Taylor”? Are there really people out there who said that’s what they wanted? Or do you mean a more general sense as in “fans who liked him on AI but haven’t read/seen a peep about him since but may see the CD on the shelf at Target and pause” type of fans?

  58. Shelley via Bama Says:

    Gray, great points. I’m glad you chimed in. I’m totally behind you in the whole “please don’t put out an AI album” thing. Sappy ballads and pansy rock songs make my stomach hurt (unless we’re talking a cover of “Muskrat Love” by Axl Rose).

    I’m also glad you brought up the politician comparison. In all honesty, this is what I’ve been comparing all of the AI stomping to…”Vote for me…this is who I am…don’t you want me to win…I’m the singer that should win.” Though I’ve been paralleling AI to political campaigns, I see your point about not making actual promises regarding delivery of goods. HOWEVER…I still feel if you ask someone to support you BECAUSE you are A, B, and C…isn’t that kind of the same thing as promising them A, B, and C? Taylor seemed to come across on the show as a little more “gosh golly gee” and “Soul Patrol all the way” than he seems to really be. I don’t have a PROBLEM with who he actually is…I’m just saying he pulled in that existent fan base for a reason…and though it wasn’t a political election AND though it was those folks’ decision to go ape shit nutso by spending money hand-over-fist to get him the number of votes it took to win…the fact is…they did it…and he won.

    Okay…so all of this to say…I, too, don’t think he owes anyone anything in regards to the album/music he creates. Those folks (like the rest of us) need to have faith that he will produce quality music…music that is indicative of the person Taylor Hicks is. However, when he does interviews like the one referenced above…perhaps he should take a little more time to “caress” his word choices.

  59. Mind Doc Says:

    Hey Gray,

    I sort of disagree about the question of expectations. If we are wondering if Taylor has an obligation to us (the people who watched and voted — a lot) about the type of album to make, I would sort of say that he does. People voted for him based on what they saw on AI. If I was a huge country fan and voted my little heart out for Carrie Underwood and she produced a heavy metal album, would I feel gyped? Yes. Because I would have bought who she sold herself to be on AI — however much the PTB shaped that persona. So I am gonna go out a little bit on a limb and say that I think that there might be some sense of obligation. Do I think that he should just do bigger versions of what was on AI, not at all. Based on what he has said and done during and after AI, I have some expectations. In reality, I don’t care about what Taylor does, though. I will buy his first album, and if it stinks, I will think carefully about buying the second. If that one stinks, forgetaboutit.

    But, more importantly, I think that I do have expectations that Taylor will take the best advantage of a really extraordinary opportunity. I don’t want him to blow it, because he is busy distancing himself from AI. Who in life gets a chance like this? I look at my own career/life’s work and I cannot imagine what a similar opportunity would be. Can you? (OK, maybe Park Deitz’ life before he screwed up at the Andrea Yates trial.)

    I liked what I perceived as Taylor’s down to earthness and his humility. I hope that he was not saying what it looked like he was saying in that interview, which was that he was eager to put the whole AI thing behind him. It was embarassing enough to have watched that damn show with devotion, vote like a maniac, and read blogs about it without having the person that you invested so much time and energy in start to diss it. I know it is a cheesy show and I have taken my fair share of mockery for having got caught up in it. I don’t need Taylor to say — “Who me? I never watched that show anyway. Ameri… wha?” Boo! I would hope that he respects the opportunity that has come his way and the path through which it came while still using it as a launching point, not a destination.

    (I blame Shelley for making this a soapbox day …)

  60. Gray Charles Says:

    These are good questions – in fact one of the best questions regarding the recording that have been considered. Did anyone send it in?

    In case you were wondering they really did read those questions and they really did pick a bunch to ask.

    I think I might just ask the obligation/expectation question myself . . . damn it, the contest is closed.

  61. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Yeah, it’s too bad we didn’t send that question in to be evaded by Taylor….KIDDING!!

    Gray, we all have disagreed with each other w/o getting our feathers ruffled. Why can’t you discuss this with us w/o getting all snotty faced?

    Aren’t you always begging for civilized conversations at your site??????

  62. Shelley via Bama Says:

    From Shelley:
    **************

    Mind Doc…thank you so very kindly ma’am for putting into words what I wasn’t able to. I agree…I don’t want to feel like a loser because I got caught up in a show that Taylor made wildly popular…and now he hints that he thinks it’s tripe (sp?). Well said my friend…you got Official Prize of the Day (just in case link breaks when Bama posts… http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j74/Shellbertann/taylor9_lo.jpg)

    Gray…glad you like the question of expectations…I didn’t send it in…I was too chicken…so I posted it here. I’d love it if you’d ask him on your own. I’d be really curious to hear his thoughts on it all.

    Thanks.

  63. Mind Doc Says:

    Shelley, that surely is a purty picture.

    Um — can I go back to the position that Taylor can do anything he damn well pleases as long as he continues to look that fine?

    I think that I am easy. Very disheartening. Where is my moral rectitude? (Probably sitting swooning on a little footstool just to the right of the photographer.)

  64. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Uhhh…I just inhaled and realized I might have overreacted slightly to your comment Gray.

  65. Gray Charles Says:

    Overreacted slightly?

    I don’t have a clue what you got offended by . . .

    Color me confused. If you read my comments are sarcastic in any way you were 100% wrong.

  66. bamaborntxbred Says:

    My Dearest Uncle Monkbot,

    It was your tone of voice and facial expressions. I’m a whiz at body language. 🙂

    Naw, dude…I thought I sensed some assiness but Shelley said I was misinterpreting you. Since she knows you better than I do, I believed her and retracted. I’m glad she was right and that I was just being the assy, snotty, bitchy one…I’m much more comfortable that way.

    Now, all I need is to go home…enjoy that bottle of Shiraz, watch The Office and Grey’s Anatomy, and all will be right with the world again.

    Respectfully,

    Bama

  67. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Now…I am trying not to have expectations with respect to Taylor…I think that is what made San Jose’s LMBO gig so enjoyable…just open to the tunes…

    However, I have some serious expectations from that bottle of wine I will be sharing with Bama tonight!

  68. baby duck Says:

    I didn’t pose a question since you had to buy the CD from iTunes to qualify. I was well-indoctrinated during the season to Make Every Vote Count and not to split votes. Now it carries over to voting with my wallet. I’m only purchasing hard copies from a Sound Scan source so it counts towards platinum.

    Yeah, platinum. That’s another one of my expectations.

    WOOOOOOOOO!! Soul Patrol!! Do it, baby!!! Vote, vo–, er, I mean, Buy! Buy! Buy!!!

  69. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Shrew- It’s the least I can do after you shared your Parisienne butter cookies with me! 🙂

  70. nolagirl Says:

    Count me in for some wine tonight too, except I go for the chardonnay. Chinese take out night tonight too – yum. Loooooong day!

    And … Grey’s Anatomy tonight! Hells yeah.

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