There’s Bummed Out… And Then There’s BUMMED FRIGGIN’ OUT


Gray Page

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Shelley who dated this handsome man named Louie.

They dated and dated for two full years…until Louie decided he wanted to have a “clean break” when he went off to medical school.

Shelley was sad…and said good-bye to Louie.

But Louie wouldn’t say good-bye to Shelley. For seven years he held on to her…sending her letters or e-mails.

Then one day Shelley decided she had finally had enough and told Louie to never contact her again.

Again, Shelley was sad…sad that she had let Louie take so much away from her. Sad that Louie couldn’t have made the clean break he said he wanted in the first place.

I swear on my life… is the new Louie.

This has been one of the most drawn-out good-byes in the history of good-byes.

First there were no more comments. Then there were no more posts. Now there is absolutely no more

And again, Shelley is sad.

(Word of caution, folks, I want no Gray bashing and no teeth gnashing in these comments.)


46 Responses to “There’s Bummed Out… And Then There’s BUMMED FRIGGIN’ OUT”

  1. leejolem Says:

    What a bummer! Gray said in the tourista thread that he was going to keep things up until Tuesday evening. I was surprised to find GC totally gone tonight when I tried to log in. The GC toolbar took me to TaylorHickshq. I also thought he was going to keep the tour threads open until the end of the tour. Who knows what happened. It has been a drawn-out affair hasn’t it?

    Shelley, Louie should have grabbed you when he had a chance. His loss.

  2. Jan Says:

    I’m bummed that all of the archives are gone. It is Gray’s site though and he can do whatever he wants with it including closing the doors. leejolem: check out for tour info, cell certs, and videos.

  3. e-maginary friend Says:

    Tinker Bell (Excerpt from Wikipedia)

    ….In one famous scene, she is dying, but will survive if enough people believe in fairies. In the play the characters make a plea to the children watching to sustain her by shouting out “I believe in fairies,” an example of “breaking the fourth wall.” In the novel and the 2003 film, Peter calls out to dreaming children within the storytelling universe.

    (I heard a lot of voices that believed…but)

    At the end of the novel, when Peter returns to the Darling home after a year, it is revealed that Tinker Bell “is no more” since “fairies don’t live long, but they are so little that a short time seems a good while to them.”

    (Thank you for the “good while” everyone)

    I hope the Lost Boys play lots of great music upon Peter’s return. They have reason to celebrate.

    Good Luck Peter

  4. e-maginary friend Says:

    ETA: Not to mourn Tink

    In the real world they have this really tall, barefooted muse named Josserbell, so that the good while lasts a lot longer. The Lost Boys and Peter are happy again.

  5. Alison B. Says:

    This morning I went to GC and he was there and even though he was was disappointed about the video that had been posted overnight (he deleted it) still he was really nice to all of us who were there. He answered our questions and was funny and kind too.

    Gray said he would leave the comments up until Tuesday night. I had to leave for work and felt fine about his decision. It was absolutely his house and as the head of the household he had the right to decide when and how to end it.

    My last comment this morning was some music for Deb. Today at work I thought about what I wanted to say to Gray for my final comment. When i came home tonight I heard he had turned out the lights. I heard that some very nasty comments had been said to him. In that case I am glad he closed the entire site. He doesn’t need people coming into his home and being rude to him.

    I’m grateful to Gray for answering my questions this morning. My strongest hope is that he knows how much he was always appreciated.

    At work today I thought of something I wanted to post for him tonight. But now I am sad about the events of the day. I am worried that Gray felt hurt. So I have another video and this one is based on how I feel right now. Shelley, I really liked your “goodbye” video. Mine is all kinds of sad.

    When Gray left right before Charcoal took the reins one poster (I can’t remember who) referenced the scene from this video. I hadn’t really been familar with it.

    I hope Gray is ok tonight and that one day he will come back. A book, a website, I hope (if he is willing) that he will come back:

  6. eastonwest Says:

    Not too many places for a guy to go to keep in the Taylor Hicks loop. Gray’s site was the only one where there were at least 3-4 to keep me feeling somewhat at ease about being there. I guess because it was as much a music site as a fansite (having a little something for each gender).

    Well, life continues as it did before we ever even heard of this respected blogmeister. I will still browse some of the other sites (as well as this one), but plan to curtail the frequency of it.

    Think I’ll get up early tomorrow, get my work done ahead of time and go out and plant my tomato crop of the season. Nothing like the taste of a home grown tomato!

  7. e-maginary friend Says:

    It’s crazy that Alison and I would run into each other here (pssst it’s Deb and thanks for the music).


    I met my first boyfriend and love, when I was 16 and he was 17 (Sounds of Music?). We were all friends growing up in a Brooklyn neighborhood. I was the goya (christian girl) mascot of the group. They had permission from the Rabbi to allow me into Shul on the high holidays. Long story short, his parents ran a kosher chicken store (first generation Americans) in Brighton Beach and worked very hard to save up the tuition for Columbia when he graduated high school. In turn, he had to end his relationship with me or settle for community college. We broke up before our time. This resulted in a torturous five year “secret” on and off relationship, sandwiched between Memo the bass player and Avrille from college. If they had allowed him to just play it out, he would have dumped me for a Columbian Freshman, in a NY minute. Sometimes things need to run their intended ragged course.

    I’m sorry that this has been painful for you Shelley. You are a true friend of Gray’s.

  8. Alison B. Says:

    OK, maybe that was too sad. Maybe I am being melodramatic.

    Gray, if anything I just said or posted was stupid you have copyright permission to include it in the “Stupid Comments” chapter.

    I don’t know for sure now where people were saying the bad things to you. If it wasn’t in the MetaGray thread I’m at least thankful for that. But anywhere they were being said (especially directly to you) must have hurt. You don’t need that kind of carp. No need for you to say thanks for that kind of fish.

    I will try to find a more positive video to post. But not tonight. 😦

    Deb, its so great to see you here.

  9. Connie8 Says:


    Wow, that sounds like a terrific movie. Shelley’s isn’t bad either. I had one a little bit like that myself, only a few years shorter. Does this happen to everyone?

    Thanks for that clip. Very appropriate.

    I like it here – better than the other places, although I’m still dipping my toe in to try and get comfortable. It seems as soon as I start to feel at home anywhere, I get kicked out. I’m not taking it personally, but still, it’s kind of pathetic.

    I guess I’m not sure what to expect from this community. Time will tell. Please be here tomorrow.

    Love, me

  10. CJ Says:

    The trolls just pushed him over the edge so he closed early. He will be missed thats for sure!

  11. e-maginary friend Says:

    Hi Connie8,

    The funny thing was that there was a soundtrack to accompany all the drama growing up. Most of it wasn’t by choice. In my borough it was doo-wop and disco. Every block had a block party throughout the summer and it was your parent’s music. Our first song was The Dupree’s “You Belong to Me” and we danced to “See You in September” (get it) until our ears bled. The house parties had more mood music and we’d play Bread, Chicago, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Frampton and The Who. We’d play music on the stoop with guitars and practice This Magic Moment and Santana. I played the bongos (it figures) at least until the Italian gang pulled up with their baseball bats and went after our guys. I know why I fled to the village.

    There was a great soundtrack to THIS whole experience. Don’t you think?

    You’ll meet some fine people in the morning. Take care.

  12. Connie8 Says:

    Gosh, what a rich, ethnic place to grow up! My background is so “white bread”. I grew up in Los Angeles, only two blocks from Watts, but never even met a black person until I went to college, and then they were all so busy being beautiful that they weren’t interested in meeting me. They didn’t even approve of my dalmatian. It’s all very sad because it seems all the warmth and joy in the world comes from places other than from where I came. I really feel like I missed out on a lot. Not to even mention the music! My dad liked only classical music and – get this – my mom doesn’t like music. She says it right out loud. How can you not like music? It’s like not liking colors – or air.

    Oh well, now you all know why I’m stranger than fiction. Can I still be here?

  13. Holeigh Says:

    😦 As much as I have been capable of cutting myself off from, this still saddens me…I feel like I should delete the bookmark now, but when I look at it, and know it was created 1 year, 1 month, and 1 day ago, I just get melancholy. I really need to learn to deal with change better, I guess!

  14. Laurita Says:

    hola shelley, e-deb, and others.. thanks for all your stories…
    here’s my addict’s saga:

    i was at a wonderful meditation retreat in the countryside this weekend, and having become deeply ensconced in and all things taylor in recent months, it was serious cold turkey off of some strange drug called GrayCharles for the last 5 days… the mental DTs set in and it was hard to shake it off, but finally, after 48 hours into lots of silent time and walking in the woods, TH’s songs actually stopped running through my brain, and i took a nice long break…

    well, i came back down to earth today with an exam in law school, and when i was done this evening, i was psyched to get home, settle in with my laptop on the couch and ‘shoot up’ some MetaGray-All About the Blog, Touristas-SanFrancisco, MonkBot, and the Boogie Board…

    i was so looking forward to getting my next fix just by catching up with everything i had missed over the last days, but figured i’d check email first..

    whoa, what’s this? a note from one of my fellow Warfield Theater Sidewalk SP Party members announcing that GC was completely gone/shut down/disappeared? man, talking about jaw-dropping shock! i was salivating at getting high again, cruisin through the MetaG archived pages… and in disbelief at her letter, i too went to all my bookmarks to try to find at least the Archives, or Touristas, or something, anything.. i would have preferred to find a blank, black page, rather than being diverted to THHQ.. talk about crash and burn.. ugh..

    and now, [cramps setting in… seeds and stems…], i can’t help but remember ‘morewines’ writing last week on BB that she was going to spend a couple dozen hours to save all the highlights of to create another offsite archive, in case gc went away, and i replied to her posting, saying you don’t need to do that, cause Gray has said he’ll leave the Archives up ‘indefinitely’ and Touristas ’til tour’s end’ May 12th..

    and she responded, “yeah, but you never know…”

    dear morewines, i bow with gratitude to your prescience and vision.. because of your efforts, many folks will be able to share for the first time, or a review, all of the greatness that was that uncut narcotic,… rest in peace..

    muchas gracias for monkbot, shelley…
    take good care all, and hasta mañana..

  15. ivoryhut Says:

    I wasn’t aware of the big ol’ mass conversation at touristas until someone alluded to it on DD’s site (great site, DD!). So I ambled along over there and read quite a bit.

    Before the posts got quite heated, Gray had mentioned that the site is currently being hosted on very expensive servers (remember all those upgrades he had to take on as the site kept growing?) and he was no longer inclined to pour out any more of his own finances on it. So he said that he would move the site over to a more affordable host. ETA was given at about two days or so. (Of course, I’m paraphrasing Gray. He said it with a lot more class. And dots and dashes.)

    With multiple Things, a wifey, and a full-time job, he could have very just well said he’ll get it done when he gets it done.

    So I’m on the hang-on-just-a-little-while-longer bit. The archives will be up again eventually.

  16. KD Says:

    Ivory….that makes me feel a bit better. Thanks.
    I have a confession….Gray’s was still my homepage. I really was okay with the whole closing up shop bit (so I thought)—but I guess a little piece of me still thought maybe, *just maybe* there would be something new at some point, and I didn’t want to miss it. I was more sad than I thought I would be to see it gone…*POOF* Just like that. I was saddest to see the archives lost. I feel a little better knowing that they are still out there somewhere, and may even be accessible to us again some day.
    Guess it’s time to let go….I’m changing my homepage. *taking a deep breath*

    There’s only one other place I want to call “home”…can you guess?? 😉
    (Thanks Shelley…)

  17. AmyMc Says:

    It’s sad the site is completely gone but I guess it’s time to move on. Even without Touristas……….waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

  18. Laurita Says:

    dear ivoryhut,
    (btw, you also have a great site!: my Cosy Sheridan Live in Concert CD arrived in the mail today… i found out about her on your site; thanks for that…)

    in reply to your note about Gray possibly just changing servers, i’m sorry to say apparently that’s not the case anymore…

    here’s what he said in a private email to ‘brc’ which she published over on THHQ Monday evening in the “I Miss Gray’s” thread:

    “Yes, I shut down because I was sick of getting abused on multiple sites. It’s just too much.”…

    I too want to wish otherwise, but from that comment, Gray seems to have shut the door for good. So I’m hoping that morewines did indeed work on the initial steps for a new place where at least part of the GC Archives can live…


  19. Dingo Says:

    Think of it this way, it was time. Everything has a time and it was time for GC to pack it in. So much had happened over the last year over there, all good in my opinion but sometimes, shit happens and its time to say goodbye. It happens with all the people and things that I love but when the dust clears, I always look back fondly on these things and smile cause I know that all of them have made me who I am today and you know what? I kinda like who I am today.

    Eva Cassidy’s SOTR was a song that Gray turned me on to. Before I became this music geek that you all have turned me into today, I was just a regular person who loved music but my scope was pretty limited cause I didnt know how to look for it and I didnt have an iPod yet and I didnt have Gray yet but that would all change and now, I think back and wonder, how did I ever live without the music that as Gray said, was the background to my life or words to that effect.

    Anyways, Im rambling but maybe it was just time. I wish him the very best and hope that he gets back just a slice of what he has given to me. I may have had other men/sites in my life, but Gray was my first. I hope that one day he at least opens up a blog, perhaps without comments but just to “muse” on cause his brain was wired pretty freaky and it was always a challenge and a joy to read what he had to say. EVEN when I didnt agree.

  20. jenfera Says:

    Shelley, all I can think of when I hear that song now is that Kia commercial where the salespeople are singing so long & farewell to all the cars leaving the showroom.

    My Louie’s name was Bryant. I’m not sure what it was about Bryant I liked so much. Maybe it was the prematurely receding hairline at age 21. (I guess I have a thing for guys with hair issues.) Maybe it was the way he taught me how to nest IF functions in Excel formulas like nobody’s business. But Bryant strung me along with more conditional logic than I could bear, most especially his high school sweetheart, Estee. (Yes! Just like Estee Lauder!) I never did find out if they ended up together or not.

  21. Dr. Bob Says:

    Shelley — I get you on the long-drawn outs. It is funny, but I am just-about-almost-okay about it being gone. But the archives?! : (

    I hope that those are back up sometime.

    I just don’t understand what all of the fuss is about — I missed whatever furor ensued. Sometimes it is not a bad thing to be the last person to know something.

  22. shrewspeaks Says:

    Ahhh long good-byes. I am bad at them. Drawn out = hope. I prefer the band-aid rip kinda thing that leaves me dazed for a day or two, but when I snap to I can move on easily. Here that Dave…just rip it off and be the bad guy to two days rather than the evil “Dave” who I yell about on a blog ten years later!

    **Issues me?**

    As for Gray, what is left to be said? He knows if he and the Mrs. are ever in the area they have an open invitation to split a bottle of wine.

  23. double d Says:

    Sorry, but I’m not so sweet. There’s some real whack-jobs out there who take delight in causing misery. I think we were all “ok with it” (the closing) and we’re some of the ones that were most “affected”. The problems arose when others, less invested or caring of Gray, couldn’t just let it be.

    As for the archives, I’m sure that Gray will do something. He understands the value. I have faith that he’ll make it right.

    The Music Maven has a post up about passion….

  24. Shelley Says:

    I’m with you Dr. Bob. I didn’t realize how bad folks had gotten at other sites about trashing Gray. I knew it was happening..but didn’t read any of it.

    I was fine with the site closing…I was actually relieved on a lot of levels. But having the archives gone really left me feeling like I’m in uncharted waters. That’s weird, I know. But I feel like I’m floundering.

    So much of this site has revolved around what went on at Gray’s. Now I just feel silly…with a big fat blog sitting here…staring at the void.

    It’s like buying a house because of the neighborhood and then your favorite neighbor leaves…and your property value drops.

    I really can’t explain it well. It just feels weird…and empty.

  25. val01961 Says:

    A little slice of Gray from the archives.

  26. KimLoree Says:

    I was over at the metagray thread all day yesterday, right up until Gray said that he would be back to finish the discussion today. I heard that the nastiness happened last night at the Boogie Board. I’m flat out pissed off that a few nasty people have created such a loss for the rest of us. Sorry to be so negative…but first the earthquake that rattled away the house except for the rafters…and now the tsunami. My entire village is gone.

  27. leejolem Says:
    But what a great neighborhood we have!

  28. jenfera Says:

    Shelley, I think I understand what you are saying a little bit, although obviously since this is your blog, your creation, only you can understand what you are feeling exactly.

    However, it was only a week and a half ago that I was explaining to Taylor’s assistant what the MOS was and feeling so much more “legitimate” about it by saying there was a link to Monkbot on Gray Charles. The assistant nodded in recognition, and I felt good on your behalf, Shelley. So, it is weird. It must feel weird to you.

    I am disappointed that I didn’t know about this backdoor conversation that has been referenced. Was it on the MetaGray – All About The Blog thread on Touristas? I am bummed that I didn’t hear that the whole thing was going to be gone as of tonight. At least I might have been more prepared when it went yesterday instead. It’s a shame whatever happened. It’s too bad that we didn’t get to find out sooner that “indefinitely” meant a few days. It’s also a little odd to me that the redirect goes to HQ and not the public site. (Shelley, that last paragraph was in no way intended as bashing or gnashing. Just to be clear.)

    Val, there’s something about that link that doesn’t seem quite right. I am sure whoever did that has good intentions, but that’s all Gray’s work – his property. The marketing department at my company once came up with this grand idea to post PDF’s of our competitor’s literature on our website and asked me to do it. I felt uncomfortable with that and asked that it be run by legal first. Legal decided against it, saying that it was a form of publishing and that we couldn’t publish that for which we did not own the rights.

  29. val01961 Says:

    I found the link on google…anybody can get it.

  30. Meg the elder Says:

    Hey Shelley — Man is my gut bleeding today. Remember how you said that this closing didn’t get you like the first one because you knew that Gray was ready and the time had come —I’d written something almost exactly like that that same day at GC. I knew just what you meant. We both had cried through the first good-bye, noted the changes in the second incarnation etc. — Well let me tell you—I thought I was working this one through but man — this time is much worse all of a sudden. After yesterday I realized I was almost dead from the events. I feel like there was a stadium of love around Gray but that he had a few LOUD killer bees fly into his eyes and ears shutting out the love. I want the fun/the love and the banter we all had to be what he thinks of and not the stingers from the bees. I’m not saying at all that I think his reaction was extreme. To the contrary. I read that crap aimed at him and I think his reaction was totally understandable. I’d have done the same thing. I want the archives too of course but at this point I am so eviscerated that Gray was treated like this I could understand him destroying it all. Even though it was a shared history I think it’s still his to choose. I don’t want to ask him to do one more thing. I just want him to remember the laugher — and know he made me more than I was before — I want to remind him that folks that come to destroy just want a target, any target. Tomorrow they’ll need to feed on some other flesh. Hate is impersonal — LOVE IS NOT.

  31. jenfera Says:

    Val, I didn’t mean to imply that you personally were you responsible. Sorry for that if it came out that way.

    I just wanted to point out that whoever did get it there, if it wasn’t Gray or if Gray didn’t give his permission, it probably shouldn’t be there.

  32. val01961 Says:

    No worries jenfera, I didn’t take it that way. Just wanted you to know where I got it.

    By the way, if you go to now there is a message before it swithches to THHQ.

    Thank you Gray.

  33. KD Says:

    FYI—There’s now “the” Dave Eggars quote up at GC’s before you are redirected to THHQ. So fitting.

    (And no, it’s no longer my homepage—this is…but I wanted to go to THHQ and it was quicker to get there by typing in gray’s address.) 🙂

  34. Meg the elder Says:

    Gray loves that quote {me too}. He used it last time but this time–ah it is even more fitting.

  35. leejolem Says:

    I know people are bummed out today, but someone has got to notice my “monkey mansions” link–it’s one of my 1st successfull links (i just figured out we could cut and paste here instead of typing out the whole link, duh).

  36. Dingo Says:

    Gray will be fine and in time he will come to appreciate all that he accomplished and all whom he touched.

    Dont ever let anyone tell you that its JUST the internet and they are JUST words. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    I had pulled myself away from Gray’s when he went official and I have recently pulled myself away from another blog and I did both for the same reasons. A certain amount of success brings in more people and more people means more personalities and more personalities means more of a chance that a once small, intimate community will now be infiltrated by less benign people who dont have the same agenda as you and your once intimate community had. Its inevitable and its just the way it is.

    For me I think I left both places because it was time. Everything has its time and I hope that I will be able to just be me here and learn and read and post if I need to respond and just breathe. My life has been a whirlwind for some time now, its time to stop and breathe.

    I imagine maybe Gray and many of you feel the same way.

  37. e-maginary friend Says:

    I want Gray to be safe. I want Shelley to be safe. I wish his name was never published. I wish photos were never taken of him. I wish that people would do the right thing and remove “mature threads” that promote objectification and fantasy. I even lament chat features because it feeds and fuels the beast imo.

    I am by no stretch of the imagination a timid person or a person that want’s to censor others, but hate and wild imaginings simply thrive in certain environments. It becomes a petri-dish for toxic thoughts. “TPTB” can request they be removed.

    I hope that he does not release the archives in the near future. Whatever honest emotion he released was unleashed against him. Sometimes you need to close the door to starve the flame. The flame of passionate and illuminating discourse dwells within those that received it as such.

  38. KD Says:

    Lee! I LOVED your Monkey Mansions!!!
    In fact, I think I *NEED* one in my backyard!!! Sent the link to Zan…we’d be the hottest house in the neighborhood.

  39. KD Says:

    OR should I say…the “hawtest” house in the neighborhood…

  40. jenfera Says:

    Lee, the monkey mansions totally bring the yo!

  41. Dingo Says:

    I too feel that the chat feature is toxic BUT, I dont like censorship and so its incumbent upon me to stay away from what I think is harmful for me. I myself have become toxic in chat especially in the political forums and so I stopped doing that a long time ago but i know that its sort of a new adventure fro many. Just be very careful what you say and who you say it to and think before you post. Be aware that there are perverts and unbalanced people all around us. The internet can be your best friend or your worst nightmare.


  42. texan Says:

    i saved my fave archives as a word doc.. ” songs as the background” etc.

    i could dredge them up if anyone needs them.

    and dingo i am still looking for more political sites..i do not recall a chat feature on the last one. are you still there? i am ready to jump back into that with both feet ( and at least half my brain)

  43. azure Says:

    Hey Dingo –

    Nice to see you. Beautiful post, as usual!

    To anyone wondering about Gray’s early departure :
    I was at the Boogie Monday, when the real nasty crap began to rain down on Gray. As much as I’m sad that he had to shut down so abruptly (after saying the site would remain up until Tuesday evening, he really had no choice.

    The people who drove him out were beyond rude; they were downright nasty! So, if you’re thinking harshly of Gray for shutting down so abruptly on Monday, please don’t. He’s only human, and honestly, enough was enough!

    On Sunday afternoon and into the evening, those of us who were fortunate enough to be on the meta thread, spent a few hours “chatting” back and forth with Gray. The thoughts and feelings contained in those posts were a real tribute to Gray – the man and the site. (For me, personally, they were the real closure to Gray Charles.)

    Many of us participating in Sunday’s chat were “old regulars” who had stumbled onto GC’s more than a year ago. There were plenty of opinions expressed – and they ran the gamut from anger to blame to denial to acceptance to appreciation. But the bottom line was that feelings were discussed and considered – and more importantly IMO, they were validated.

    People weren’t rude. They didn’t attack each other personally. It was dialogue (with maybe just a little snark thrown in) between people who had come together – because of a shared interest in music, in general, and Taylor Hicks, in particular.

    I feel fortunate that I was a part of that last Sunday “chat” at GC’s. I got to know (I think) a bit more about the “man behind the curtain” and I had gotten to a place where I accepted that it was time to let him move on. It didn’t mean the end of the road on my Taylor journey – just a slight change in direction.

    Then came Monday! It’s too bad that a site, created and run with such intelligence and passion, had to end the way it did.

  44. double d Says:

    Now, politics….there’s a non-incendiary topic…..heh.


  45. texan Says:

    hey DD watch your email today. i am sending you a music maven’s dream!

  46. rowan Says:

    Shelley, truly understand how you feel in all of this, including Louie. Knew a similar bloke! I am just happy to have my place here amongst the Monkbot sistahs – we are here cos Gray did what he did, and now Gray comes here and posts and hangs out at Monkey Mansions. (Cool visual, Lee!)There is a nice full-circle vibe about it all – poignant, but ultimately happy, and above all, supportive and sincere. We have all gained from our experience.

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