Start Spreadin’ the News… Traveling Monkbot Hits New York


Jan from Austin took Traveling Monkbot on a whirlwind trip to the Big Apple last week to see the town, hear some rockin’ music, and to meet Taylor Hicks and other celebs of the Gray variety. Take it away, Jan!

Monkbot Takes a Bite out of the Big Apple
text and photos by Jan

Traveling Monkbot and I had a great adventure together in New York City. It was the first time either of us had been to the Big Apple. Here is MB jamming out on my iPod while we wait for the bus at the airport. He was listening to porterdavis – Live at Eddie’s Attic, which is my current favorite CD.

Traveling Monkbot jams

porterdavis – White Freightliner

porterdavis – Come Closer

What’s great about Austin is that there is live music everywhere. We listened to a band called “Stop The Truck!” while we waited for our flight. At one point, I held up the Monkbot and got a picture of them in the background and the lead singer said, “We just had our picture taken with a monkey!”

Traveling Monkbot and Stop The Truck

Monkbot decided to help them promote their merchandise since we all know how hard it is when you are trying to make a living as a working musician.

Traveling Monkbot and three shiney discs

We arrived in New York safe and sound and met up with EJ and Bigsis. The three of us headed out for a mini-tour of New York, but we only had a couple of hours before the Meet & Greet, so we didn’t get a chance to see much. We stepped into the Disney store for a minute and managed to lose Traveling Monkbot for a bit. The three of us finally found him chatting up the ladies.

Don’t Be a Playah Hatah

We wandered past Cartier, Radio City Music Hall, and Rockerfeller Center.

That’s all the sight-seeing we had time for since it was time for EJs M&G. Turns out that someone was unable to use their M&G and gave it to Bigsis. She graciously gave it to me so that Monkbot could meet the Supreme Monkbot. This was no small sacrifice on her part and both Monkbot and I will never forget that act of kindness. (Neither will Shelley…Thanks, Bigsis!…signed, Shelley)

While we were waiting around outside for the M&G, Boogie (Taylor’s bass player) came out and talked with EJ a bit. I asked him if he would mind if I got a picture of him with the Monkbot. He looked at me like I was nuts and said, “What is that thing?!” I tried to explain, but he still looked a bit unsure. EJ stepped in and said “It’s the mascot for one of the blogs.” He seemed to think that was okay and posed for the pic. I thanked him and let him know how much I was looking forward to the show.

Traveling Monkbot and Boogie

As I stood there, someone said “Look it’s Josh (Taylor’s lead guitarist).” I figured why not ask him, too. I went through my explanation again and he laughed and said sure when I asked for the picture.

Don’t Squash Josh

We went into the M&G and waited for our turn to meet Taylor. I hid the Monkbot behind my back so that he wouldn’t distract Taylor from his other fans. When I got to the table, Taylor said hello and put out his hand to shake mine. I felt a bit silly when I moved my hand from behind my back and I was holding the Monkbot.

I said, “I brought the Monkbot with me.” He looked at the Monkbot and smiled. I switched Traveling Monkbot to my other hand and shook his hand. I said, “Would you mind if I got a picture of you with the Monkbot?” He just smiled and had a bemused grin on his face. He said, “Sure.”

I handed him the Monkbot, and he looked at him and put the Monkbot in front of him, and then Bill asked if I wanted a picture with them and I said, “Sure.” I sat down and the deed was done. I thanked Taylor and told him that I was really looking forward to the show and headed out the door.

Jan, Traveling Monkbot, and Taylor

We headed back to the hotel, which was in the same building as the Beacon Theatre. We got our cameras and everything we needed for the show and headed back out. I was very pleasantly surprised when I walked into the lobby of the Beacon and there was Gray Charles himself hanging out.

I gave a warm welcome to Gray and told him, “I am on a mission from God.”

He said, “You mean Shelley?”

I laughed and then asked him if he would mind posing for a shot with the Monkbot and, of course, being Uncle Monkbot, he was delighted. I pulled the Monkbot out of my pack and he said, “Oh, it’s the actual Monkbot!”

I said, “Yes it is.”

Gray and Traveling Monkbot share some drinks and a few laughs

At that time a pretty young woman came up to me and asked if I was Jan and introduced herself as Ivoryhut. I gave her a great big hug and snapped a picture.

A shy Ivoryhut, Traveling Monkbot, and Jan


We went into the theater and saw one hell of an awesome show. Taylor performed “My Friend,” and it made me so dang happy! The whole show was sizzling hot. You could just feel the energy and excitement of the crowd as they stood for the entire show.

Great write-up, Jan!

Everyone check back on Friday for Ivoryhut’s recap of the show!

(Use the Monkbots Give Back post below to discuss Idol…I voted 10 times…4 for Melinda, 3 for Blake, and 3 for Jordin.)


63 Responses to “Start Spreadin’ the News… Traveling Monkbot Hits New York”

  1. shrewspeaks Says:

    Great story Jan…ofcourse you have ruined NYC for those of us in the area 😉 I keed, I keed!

    Ivoryhut…you look just like I imagined! I say when it is my turn with the TMB we take him on the search for the elusive Joisey Devil!

    And check out Uncle MonkBot sporting the french cuffs…oooh,lala!

  2. caryl Says:

    How did a newbie like me wind up as the first comment? That was a really fun read. Damn! Meeting Josh, Boogie and Taylor-what a great experience. I’m really, really jealous. They were all such good sports, too. When you wrote that you bumped into Gray, I actually gasped. (I should get out more!)

    Thanks! I enjoyed it.

  3. AmyH Says:

    HAHAHA!!!! You just made my night! 🙂

    I don’t know which picture I like better, but they all rawk!

  4. Jenni Jac Says:

    Thanks for the recap. The Monkbot gets around.

  5. Squeebee Says:

    Jan….great job! TMB sure had an eventful day in NYC!

  6. texastaylorfan Says:

    That was great! Monkbot had excellent luck running into all the VIP’s.
    I was also admiring Gray’s cuffs. Nice.
    Would love to show that feisty little monkbot some Texas hospitality someday. 🙂

  7. Dr. Bob Says:

    That was great!! Shucks — Taylor has officially met the Monkbot … very cool. Wonderful pictures and narrative, Jan.

    Gray looked very dashing — I will have to remember my black bar when I go to the next formal event.

    (Hi, Ivory! The new look suits you!)

  8. Malisa Says:

    Great job Jan! I don’t know if I ever commented on Q’s monkbot spread. It was great too.

    I’m wondering if Josh is ‘warming’ to this whole craziness. I spoke to him in Tampa and this was all so new. He was very…reserved. My favorite shot is the one of Josh and MB. “Don’t Squash Josh”…hahahahaha.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. cali50 Says:

    Great recap! Is Gray shopping in the same clothing stores as Taylor???

  10. OSB Says:

    Great trip & recap! Finally the Head Monkbot & Gray meet the Traveling Monkbot!

  11. Shelley Says:

    Just so y’all know…Taylor met Traveling Monkbot in Austin with Quossum.

    But this was the first time he got to actually hold him. 😉

  12. Malisa Says:

    I just realized that now MB and I have something in common besides our initials. A Taylor adventure with Jan. 😉

  13. YoursSoully Says:

    Jan that is quite the Monkbot Adventure! Love the humor in your writing. I got to the pic of Gray & Monkbot with “matching blacked out eyes” and laughed out loud. You look so happy in your pictures – I know it was an out-of-this-world concert – so glad you were there! Texas representin’!

  14. Laurita Says:

    This was such great reading, with lotsa laughs.. thanks, you all!

    Any chance Traveling MonkBot could make it out here to the Left Coast and visit us in the San Francisco Bay Area sometime?

    I love to play to tour hostess with the mostess, cause it’s usually the only time I get to visit places I wouldn’t normally get to, like Alcatraz —
    Can you imagine a TMB photo behind bars out on the Island? It would be way too much fun… Just give me a date!

    p.s. I second that ‘jealousy’ emotion, caryl… 😉
    (another smiley – yikes!)

    p.p.s. love porterdavis, jan.. gracias…

  15. juliegr Says:

    u-m-m-m-m~~~~ Uncle MonkBot is MonkHOT!! I see he’s still wearing those cool “sunglasses” ~~~ but why are they on crooked? hahaha

    Waves at Gray~~~


  16. Shelley Says:

    YoursSoully, glad you liked the matching bars. I thought I’d give Monkbot the same privacy as Gray in that pic. 😉

  17. double d Says:

    Jan!!! YOU RAWK! You all set a high bar for those of us who haven’t gotten a visit from MB yet. Can’t wait.

    Did Gray have cataract surgery? And why has every picture that I’ve seen of Gray display alcohol of some kind. Jus’ sayin’.

    So, the Monkbot’s becoming a regular fixture on tour. Just curious, did any of the Beacon attendees see any MBOS?

    Ivoryhut! Did anyone tell you that you resemble Bama? However, she usually wears a pretty pink bow.


    BTW, I casted some hot little votes for Jordin but Shrew had to remind me how to vote… soon we forget. I like her best but thought she kind of screamed the song and it definitely was not the best performance EVAH as Randy said. To me, THAT title still belongs to Fantasia for Summertime

  18. justwatchin Says:

    Those picitures are hiliarious! Nice, meeting some very VIPs!!! that is one lucky monkbot!

  19. ivoryhut Says:

    Hi Dr. Bob! (Funny, when I first read what you wrote, I thought it read: Hi Ivory! The new suit looks you.)

    Shrew, I will hide behind TM if we ever find the joisey devil. But I like the idea of a team effort! Then I’ll know you’ll be around to make sure I don’t accidentally drop him into the Passaic River. (Of course, the big draw for me is that I get to go around with an awesome photographer and watch her at work. It’s like getting to sit next to the smartest kid in class and copy off their test. Not that I’ve done that before, mind you. Unless you’ve got video evidence …)

    I was so excited to recognize Jan from a previous post here. She was so warm and friendly. And a bit sneaky too, with the contraband smuggled inside. Charming with a touch of danger. A true Monkbot indeed!

    Great writeup and cool pictures, Jan! Glad to hear you enjoyed it as much as I did.

  20. texastaylorfan Says:

    I had missed that Taylor met monkbot in Austin. Very cool.

  21. baby duck Says:

    Great job, Jan! Thanks for getting TMB to the M&G, and thanks to Bigsis, too.

    Did you notice in the pic with Josh: We’re on a roll!!! That could be TMB’s motto.

    I think it would be fitting for Gray to post what it was like from his perspective to actually get to meet and hold the little traveller. Did his hands sweat? Did his knees get shaky? I’d love to hear what it was like to unexpectedly be in the presence of someone so famous.

  22. baby duck Says:

    Oh, and thanks for the porterdavis tunes. Love the harp!

  23. Jan Says:

    texastaylorfan: It was lucky. Almost creepily so. M&G with no notice. Standing waiting for that, Boogie, Josh just walked on by. Gray was standing in the middle of the lobby when I walked in with ivoryhut a few feet away. Perfect timing for the Monkbot.

    Glad you guys like the porterdavis. I am digging their CD so much right now. It’s on constant play. That harmonica is wicked. He won the National Blues Harp Player at 17 according to their site.

    Gray looked pretty happy to meet the Monkbot in person which is no surprise. I felt the same way when Quossum introduced me in Austin.

  24. bamaborntxbred Says:

    I’m so excited for our little guy. He got to meet the Supreme Monkbot (for the 2nd time) and his Uncle Monkbot (for the first time) all in the same night!!

    I remember when MB was visiting me, he would keep me up all night chattering about his Uncle MB….I know for a fact that he thinks he’s the coolest Uncle he’s ever had. He was always so worried that his Uncle wouldn’t like him….maybe even DENY him. So glad to see the affection between the two. You can even see the resemblance!

    And, of course, meeting the Supreme MB is like being beamed up to the mother ship.

    Little MB must be in 7th heaven right now!

    Good job Jan! You and Ivory both look beautiful! (Ivory- you look a lot like that beautiful MB in the carriage at the NOLA convention!)

  25. texastaylorfan Says:

    Jan, I just downloaded the porterdavis music. It IS good. Thanks. I saw that they are coming to Dallas in May, tickets $7, hmmmmmm……..

  26. double d Says:

    Bama — you know the Monkbot doesn’t talk, right?

  27. dusty Says:

    Just wanted to say a quick Hi! to Jan–nice to see your pics on this site. I have not been on the boards much since I met you last August at Workplay 🙂 . Glad to see you with Taylor!

    I was at the Tay concert last night in Columbus and met some monkbot posters who were ex GCers. Is this the board or is there another link? By the way, my email changed from to (charter sold to suddenlink)–if you want to put me back on the email list that was from last year. I miss the recipes and photos. 🙂 Take care!

  28. PattyP Says:

    Alcohol, double d, but no meat — never any meat.

    I know it’s already been commented on, but because I found it so awesomely amusing, I just have to say, “Love those masking bars on both GC and MB!” That picture ensures my day will be a pleasant one, so thanks!

  29. bamaborntxbred Says:

    DD- I know! He chatters and squeaks and stuff. I just happen to speak Monkbotese, so we had long conversations!

    Didn’t you hear him telling me not to be embarrassed while standing in front of Tay’s bus in NOLA?

  30. double d Says:

    PattyP- BWAHAHAHA! And no logo’d shirts, either. HA!

    Man, if I had to choose between alcohol and meat, I don’t know what I’d do.

    My moderated comment showed up, up-thread! Yeah! Sorry about the AI info. on this thread. I did not properly follow di-RECK-shuns. It’s a flaw since 1st Grade.

  31. Shelley Says:

    ^^^^ DD, ’cause I fixed it. 🙂

  32. double d Says:

    Right, Bama.

    **slowly backs away**

  33. EJ Says:

    I like Boogie’s Monkbot photo best!

  34. double d Says:

    I heart Shelley.

  35. bamaborntxbred Says:

    I heart DD.

  36. double d Says:

    Aw, Bama….yous so sweet.

    Have you guys checked out I Can Has Cheezburger?

    Hilarious. I submitted a few of The Catses. 🙂

  37. Shelley Says:

    DD…that’s one of my favorite blogs. I look at it almost daily.

  38. rowan Says:

    Jan, what a fab-tastic write-up and pics! You did yer sistahs proud.

    So great to see Gray and Taylor with TM. The wee lad oozes schmooze. Bama, have to say he was a bit less chatty in the UK, unless my monkperanto needs brushing up. Suspect he didn’t much relish being pecked at by the resident ravens at the Tower of London, or he may have just been a mite jetlagged. He must miss his sidekick Igor when he is on the move. Igor talks now and then, and it can be a bit, um, unexpected. (Am hopin DD will back away from me too, cos that made me laugh out loud:D)

  39. Claire Says:

    Rowan – monkbotperanto? Genius, fellow Celtic Monkbottah!

    Jan, thanks for the write-up and excellent pictures. Ivory, you DO look like Bama!!! Skeery – the Monkbot Sistahs end up resembling each other after a while….

    Aww, Gray looked very handsome in his tin of fruit (suit). (Although dude, ya coulda shaved!!!) I was expecting to see a picture of a dishevelled, sweaty, shadow of a man, huddled in a corner, rocking to and fro gently, gray of hair and haunted of face, muttering something like “…all about the music, man….it was all about the MUSIC!!!….and the rainbow kittens…deffinly, deffinly rainbow kittens….”

    Our little TM gets around, eh? Where to next?

  40. KimLoree Says:

    Loved the pictures and the trip report. I’m glad to see that Gray made it back from Figi in time for the Beacon show. I heard it was amazing.

    Jan, Did you have to sign a confidentiality agreement with Gray to ensure you would add the shades? Ha…

  41. KimLoree Says:

    “…it was all about the MUSIC!!!…and rainbow kittens…”? Now that right there is hilarious!

  42. double d Says:

    Is it just me or does Gray and TM look like they are in Dracula’s castle?

    I’m reminded of the picture of the torch-bearing villagers coming for “THA MUNSTAH”.

  43. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Funny kitty pics!! I hope ur kittens make it into the line-up DD!

  44. rowan Says:

    Hee hee Claire! Yep, your haunted comment strikes a chord. The creepy catacomby setting, the candelabra straight out of the House of Usher…Gray’s dark and dapper evening wear…the Venetian masque eye-masks…all very Edgar Allan Poe. Gray…is that Amontillado you are drinking? Tho our dynamic duo have been in the odd tight spot, it is good to see that neither ended up walled-up in a niche.

    “For the love of God, Montresor….[Monkbotta?]”

    Sawry – Poe geek raising hand. Love the “Cask of Amontillado”. Anyone who uses words like “ether” and “ichor” is cool in my book. Such a fab pic of the lads!

  45. rowan Says:

    DD – had my post up a while and didn’t see yours before sending! Yep, definitely Draccy-like vibe. Hey…or Frankenstein…cos Igor might be lurking in the background. Konnekshuns are the boogie…or the bogey?

  46. ivoryhut Says:

    Bama very pretty. No need pink bow Monkbot head.

  47. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Hahaha! Ivory- I’d trade the MB head for a MB body! He’s so tiny and shapely!


  48. rowan Says:

    Oooh, I dunno, Bama – he is awfully thin — one of those size zero celebs, maybe — tho he is too cool for personal trainers and chefs and stuff. Hey — maybe I just need to start living on bananas for a year and I too could be seen out of doors in red and yellow stripy strides!

  49. ruhappytoseeme Says:

    LOL great recap, love the pictures! everyone looks awsome!!!!Love love love the picture of gray and monkbot too funny. I just went to penns peak, got some awsome pictures, dunno how to post them tho? got the pictures in a zipped fize, has a couple of his band after the concert going to the bus (signing autographs) and taylor also, very nice people, had a blast, the concert rocked and the area (penns peak) is beautiful. any way i loved the story here and the pictures (yours are much better then mine lol) sounds like everyone had a blast!

  50. Connie8 Says:

    This is soooo funny! How long will it be before Taylor starts looking for the little guy? How does he get passed from person to person?

    I volunteer for Portland. I’d love to meet MB in person.

  51. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Ah Rowan! There is a new size now it’s a double-zero. How small does a person have to be in order to be too small to fit is a size zero??

    I’m a double-zero….if you add a one in front of it.

  52. Little Deb Says:

    testing testing. am I here?

  53. Little Deb Says:

    Sorry about that. We installed a new security thingy on my computer and I haven’t been able to post anywhere. Thanks for your patience, back to your reguraly scheduled program.

    double d, I’ve been trying to post at your site with no luck. Any suggestions?

  54. nolagirl Says:

    Loved your adventure, Jan! The MB is clearly a P-I-M-P.

    Bama – I tried to block the news of the double zero out of my head. Ugh.

  55. bjewel Says:

    Jan, I’m dying here…those pictures are fantastic, and the one of you and Taylor and Monkbot…there are no words! My heart is thrilled for you for having the experience of a lifetime. The expression on your faces: really THERE. (Monkbot, too!) …and then you got to go to the concert!
    🙂 🙂 🙂

  56. bjewel Says:

    Oh, yes, and Quossum’s Pic of Tay with Monkbot was very cool, too…I loved seeing him have some down time in the yard, and with your parents, Q!

  57. double d Says:

    I have a brilliant idea! Next person that meets with Taylor and TM, have Taylor kiss TM….now, THAT would be funny, right there.

  58. jenfera Says:

    Great post, Jan! And mad props to you for sticking your hand right out to shake the SMB’s hand. I still wish I hadn’t chickened out on that!

    Loved all the celebrity cameos on this adventure too!

    Our friend Chicken & Waffles went to the Beacon show too and wrote up a nice post on her blog. Check it out:

  59. JaneyLOL Says:

    Love this recap!! I hope I will have the honor to meet the one and only Monkbot myself – perhaps in LA, Portland or Seattle 😉

    But I am afraid I aint that special LOL

    Yall are inspiring me to become a blogger… for my people – the deaf kids 🙂

    Maybe.. someday…. 😀

  60. Dr. Bob Says:

    Aww, the gang’s all here.

  61. JaneyLOL Says:

    Dr Bob – am i one of the gang?? 😮

    Do i get initiation??? Do i need to take a pledge???

    Shucks – Guess i wont ever meet Gray himself LOL

  62. leejolem Says:

    oooooooohhh! I’m so frustrated–I can’t loook at the pics, I’m at work. HC4S and I just got back from Columbus last night and had adventures with MBOS. Will send info to Shelley asap. Taylor is probably thinkgin OMG, not another crazed monkbot fan!!

  63. Quossum Says:

    Wowza, what a great write-up, Jan! You hit the Monkbot Superfecta on this trip, that’s for sure!

    I especially like seeing MB chat up the ladies. 🙂


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