Monkbots United…Taylor Hicks Meets Traveling Monkbot in Austin


Taylor and Monkbot

Our wonderful and darling little Quossum managed get Traveling Monkbot photographed with Taylor Hicks after his Austin show. All together now…hip hip hooray…hip hip hooray…hip hip hooray! (I’m still working on the Monkbot Convention post…I just couldn’t WAIT to post this picture and write-up! Enjoy!)

Monkbot in Austin
Text and Photo by Quossum

What would happen should Taylor Hicks meet his alter-ego, the dashing, visored, cymbal-clashing Monkbot? Would the universe implode upon itself? Would life as we know it cease? In this segment of the Monkbot annals, we find out!

I had taken the Monkbot in all its glory (a little orange bag) from its former keeper at the Official Monkbot Convention in New Orleans. Before leaving, we enjoyed the air from the balcony of the Bienville and partook of the delicious beignets at Café du Monde. Then James and I, weighty with the responsibility of carrying on the Monkbot mission, headed for Austin, Texas.

This venue would be a little different. It was a rodeo, complete with midway: spinning neon on the Ferris wheel, the heavy smell of the grease from the funnel cakes, shouts of carnies trying to convince you to try your luck at the games of “skill.” Gobs (a fellow Soul Patroller) and I ate corndogs while James, in true manly fashion, gnawed on a giant turkey leg. Eventually it was time to go inside.

There we encountered Erinnthered, Bjewel, and Jan—all very thrilled to be in the presence of Monkbot and insisting that they be photographed with him immediately. Monkbot felt like the real Taylor must feel as he submitted to their advances. We also tried to get Monkbot and some bull riding action into the same picture, with mixed results.

Soul Patrollers Erinthered, Bjewel, Jan and Gob pose with Monkbot.

At last, it was time for the concert.

After the bull riding, tractors pulled a huge round stage onto the stadium dirt and the equipment was set up on it. This stage was smack-dab in the middle of the arena, and all the bleachers were at least 30 feet from it at the closest. Despite buying tickets early, I was at the far end. Behind some white pipe cattle pens. *sigh*

However, there were screens up above that were pretty big and clear. Like many an overpriced big city restaurant, the stage slowly rotated throughout the concert. Taylor wore a baseball cap for most of it, had on cowboy boots (natch), and wasn’t putting out the energy of New Orleans, for sure, but the set list was *awesome* with lots of pre-Idol stuff, and a good long version of “Badge.” Taylor got more “into” it as the night went on. We tried to get Monkbot in the same frame as the big screen with Taylor on it, figuring that for the safety of the universe, this might be as close as we dare get the two of them.

The stands weren’t even close to full, and this was a tough crowd. Some Taylor fans, yeah, but a lot of people were leaving before the end to get out of their parking spaces. Needless to say, we were there ’til the bitter end, when they put Taylor and the whole band into the back of a pickup truck and drove the pickup truck around the arena with them all waving and dancing–that was cute.

After the concert, there were a few people hanging around the fences near the buses–not many. Taylor came out and signed things, and he was very cheerful, even chatty. It’s funny–after NOLA, he was very intense and quiet, having spent a LOT of energy at that venue—that had been one high octane performance! This one, I don’t think he was quite as “used up” after the show and had some energy to spare. Or perhaps he was just thankful that the fans were contained behind a high metal hurricane fence and would be unable to accost him physically. He walked all along the fence signing things that people passed over.

I edged cautiously to the edge of a big sign, clutching Monkbot in my hands. At one point when Taylor was right in front of me, he was waiting for a new Sharpie, and I seized my chance: “Hey, will you be in a picture with this Monkbot?” I asked, thrusting Monkbot forward.

Taylor looked at me with a completely bemused, “What the hell is that thing?” sort of look, but he had a bit of a chuckle in his voice as he said, “Sure!” I held Monkbot up to the fence and James snapped the picture. The look on Taylor’s face was one of long-suffering amusement, and though my planned speech in case I should encounter him about how the Monkbot has been traveling the world frolicking in cheerful irreverence had completely left my mind, I think he saw something entertaining about the whole thing, and in any case, was a very good sport, sweat, smile, cap and all.

And the universe still persists. Thank God for that fence, eh?

Afterwards, Monkbot tried to escape to his wild brethren, but I recaptured him so that he could accompany me to San Antonio on March 17. What adventures await him there?


27 Responses to “Monkbots United…Taylor Hicks Meets Traveling Monkbot in Austin”

  1. Hatson Says:

    Wow, I feel like I was there. I can’t believe anyone could leave early! Shame on them! Your account of the Monkbot scene was hilarious. A new yet already classic photo. I can’t wait for more chapters about this grand adventure. Thanks !!

  2. double d Says:

    Q — YOU RAWK!!!!

    Hee. Hee. Hee.

    Ok, next time give him a card with the website address so he can see what the hell this is all about. I KNOW this is not the first time he’s seen the Monkbot, so he’s GOT to be wondering……

    Oh, and kisses to James. Turkey leg. heh.

  3. Shelley Says:

    Okay…DD, how do you know this isn’t his first time seeing Monkbot?

    I’m really curious now.

  4. jenfera Says:

    Love the pictures! Great work, Q! So impressed with the Monkbot chutzpah! It’s a beautiful thing. Thanks for sharing.

  5. double d Says:

    Well, let’s just say a friend of a friend……

  6. double d Says:

    Ok, is it just me or does the Monkbot and THE Monkbot have the same smile?

    Jus’ sayin’…..

  7. ivoryhut Says:

    Aack! How exciting!

    I have no words. I suddenly lost 95% of my English vocabulary. Must make a quick ATM trip and take out some more words from the bank. I have a daily limit of 50 words, so I may repeat myself. Repeatedly.

    Aack! How exciting!!!

    (punctuation marks are freebies)

  8. Claire Says:

    HAppy St Patrick Day, Monkbots all!!!! I’m a bit drunk, woooooo!!

  9. HicksChick4Soul Says:

    dlahfoidsahlkvhhflkghadlkfhdlsaglknvbflhgadksf *all I can say*

  10. Dr. Bob Says:

    I am so thrilled. Q rawks! Q rawks! So FUN! How handsome Monkbot is! (Taylor is pretty cute, too)

  11. shrewspeaks Says:

    Ummm…wow Q! Yeah! That’s what I am talkin’ about.

    PS- for those following the story…I am STILL n NOLA with 2 flights canceled. Next year for those who have to fly from the North…can we make the convention happen in April?

  12. Squeebee Says:

    Wow, Quossum! What an awesome picture! I think that is the most genuine smile I have seen on Taylor’s face during a fan photo. Any chance of the MB making it’s way North for , say, May 12th or thereabouts?

  13. nolagirl Says:

    Damn Q, you are good, woman!! Vive la Monkbot!!!

    Shrew! Too bad my cell is broken. Cuz you could have called me and I could have rescued you from the airport for a bit!! Btw, never was able to get in touch with Bama again (see cell fiasco above). Left her a message at the hotel, but don’t know if it got to her.

    Hope you are en route by now! (or drunk at the airport bar)

  14. baby duck Says:

    Great job of representing the Monkbot Division, Quossum! The little traveller must have great powers to give you such courage to approach the Supreme Monkbot himself. Although I think Taylor must know about him from his visits to this board (is that what you’re talking about, double d?). If he was bemused it was probably because he was expecting to see TMB in NO, what with the convention and all. Please say yes to Squeebee. I’ve got my tickets, and it’s not sold out! The grand finale with MB Convention Redux. Come to the right place, baby.

  15. Squeebee Says:

    Babyduck…you are going to Seattle?? We must have a mini-MB convention! Have your people call my people!

  16. shrewspeaks Says:

    Nola Sweetie…back at the hotel on the phone with Continental…Thanks sweetie 😉

  17. Jan Says:

    I was so excited to see Quossom and Gobsmacked with THE monkbot. THE MONKBOT!!! I’m O K. The rodeo…rodeo.

    Yeah, on to San Antonio. Peace.

    I saw so much great live free music today. Some my cup of tea and some not. bjewel and I went to Ozomatli at 3:00 and found out the show was at 7:00. We parked in my top secret local spot and hiked along town lake to get to the show. We decided to just go find more music close which isn’t hard in Austin during SXSW. We saw 7 bands in 3 hours. We both bought CDs from one of the bands. I ended up with 5 free CDs (promo – FREE) today and 2 that I bought.

    George Ramone had a bluegrass/folk band that played while bands were setting up on the main stage. That was really cool.

    Ozomatli was great. They played their set and then while I was getting a beer I heard a drum procession right by me. They were playing walking through the crowd. (A huge, festival going crowd) and they ended up at the far end of the park singing and playing the Sesame Street song. Heavy on the percussion but also a trombone player. Holy crap! It was a very surreal moment. Me holding 2 16 ounce Foster’s in a can holding ’em high while singing along to the Sesame Street Song.

    I saw Public Enemy for as long as I could take it. I like many kinds of music but I just wasn’t up for Public Enemy.

  18. baby duck Says:

    squee, you’ve got mail.

  19. rowan Says:

    Aww Q, this is fab! Great write up, and love the quirky pics of TM. I love the happy one with Taylor – yay! Particularly like the maximum security vibe provided by the fence, and the little free spirit of nature (albeit partly mechanical) providing the moving contrast with the cold immovable barrier. Am seein Tay here as the ‘Bot man of Alcatraz’! Hee hee. Aww, they are both sooooooo cute, loads more so than Burt Lancaster and his little sparrow, I have to say. Well done Kyoo – this is deeply groovy!

  20. wompuss Says:

    YAY foa Q!!! Viva la monkbot!!!
    ~takin a deep whiff of THE towel~

  21. leejolem Says:

    Q, you made my day!!!!!! I can now die happy that I’ve seen a pic of The
    Supreme Monkbot with the Traveling Monkbot. I’m sure he’s gotten wind of the MOnkbot before–how could he have mised Shelley’s wonderful site. Thank you for being brave and getting the pic. I’m sure I would have had a great speech planned about the TM also, and it would have flown right out of my brain.

  22. double d Says:

    You know, many people think that Austin is a kind of mystical mecca. Given that, and the wonderful music vibe that comes out of that area, isn’t it appropriate that the two Monkbots converged at this particular spot?

    Oh yeah, and I’m diggin’ the security fence, mechanical vibe as well. Can I tell you how pumped I am about that picture?!? Sure wish I could have seen the “eyebrow raise” when Q asked him the magic question.

    Heh. Heh. Heh.

  23. Shelley Says:

    DD…I know what you mean.

    When Q e-mailed me the photo yesterday, I literally stood at the computer screaming. Because I’m at m folks’ (out in the sticks) and don’t get any cell coverage…I didnt’ even wait for it to fully download…I grabbed my cell phone and put Sadie in the car and drove a couple of miles until I got a signal and called Q…and then proceeded to scream in HER EAR!!!

    I absolutely LOVE this pic.

    I really hope Gray will alert Taylor to it.

    Do y’all think since Gray has been such a phantom lately that I should e-mail it to him and ask him if he wouldn’t mind passing it on?

    I’d like to send the Brians’ photos, too.

    What do y’all think?

  24. leejolem Says:

    Shelley, go for it. I’m sure it would make him chuckle after all the back and forth about the video, and overall un-lightheartedness of most of the comments at the gc site lateley.

    I literally screamed too. HC4S called me into the office and I was maniacally clapping, laughing, screaming. I even made my DH come and look at the pic, and he looked at me like I was insane.

  25. double d Says:

    Yes, definitely, Shelley. I already emailed him about it with a link to the post. Dunno if he’ll read as it appears that he is deleting anything from my email address. Heh.

    But yes, I think it’s hilarious and SOOOOO “old” Gray Charles. The old timers “get” it and it’s completely lost on the others. I. LOVE. THAT. (I know….I’m going to confession this afternoon.)

  26. nolagirl Says:

    Q, are your eardrums OK??

    Shelley – I KNOW you had to be insanely excited, seeing as the Monkbot with Brian was already exciting. Ahhhh, sweet victory!

  27. Dr. Bob Says:

    Whoo hoo! Yep — I would have paid good money to see the look on Taylor’s face when you asked him to hold Monkbot. A fine picture — He looks amused.

    (jan — I looove ozomatli, glad you got to see them)

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