Taylor Hicks, the 2006 American Idol
Winner. Months after his win, is still going strong, and people all over the nation are still enjoying The Taylor Hicks Experience. Fans from all over America, Canada and other country’s are traveling hundreds and even thousands of miles to see and hear Taylor Hicks perform in the American Idol Tours and the clubs he might show up at after a concert to perform with his pre-idol band, now know as LMBO (Little Memphis Blues Orchestra). Also known to show up at these shows are Elliot Yamin, Bucky Covington and Ace Young.
With past Idol Tour Shows usually the group just does the tour concerts and maybe appears on a talk show or two while getting there first CD ready for release. But Taylor Hicks isn’t happy just doing the tour. He wants to and appears to need go to clubs and play with his band and Idol cast mates and release his pent up energy. This is a great delight to the fans of Taylor Hicks who love seeing Taylor perform in the environment he loves best where he can let loose and be his self singing the music he and his fans love.
This is not to say Taylor Hicks isn’t giving the American Idol concert goers the show of their life. It has been reported by many fans that when Taylor comes on stage the energy level at the concerts goes way up. Even fans of the other Idols have reported that after seeing Taylor live they now are also fans of his. Taylor Hicks can take any song and make it his own. He has been compared to Elvis a lot, whether it is because of his looks resembling Elvis, his charm and charisma, his way of dancing no matter what the media says (they just don’t get it) or the way his fans go completely bonkers when Taylor enters the room. One thing that is most defiantly like Elvis is the way Taylor can take any song and make it his own. He puts his own spin on it.
Annette Bouvier wrote an article for the Post Chronicle Tittle -Tattle section and summed it up best. “Elvis sang “MY WAY”, Sinatra’s mantra, but when Elvis sang it, it belonged to him. Taylor Hicks has this same gift. He can Taylorize a song, just like the King Elvisized it. Taylor Hicks is unique, talented, sexy, and so very genuine. He is exactly what America is looking for. He is OUR AMERICAN IDOL. Millions of people just can’t get enough of Taylor Hicks. It is not only the baby boomers; it is millions of teens and ever 80 and 90 year-olds.”
A couple days after Taylor Hicks won American Idol the New York Post online edition had a piece written by Mary Huhn and she even had an Elvis insight. “After less than 48 hours as Idol, he’s so at ease you almost expect him to move into Graceland.”
So what do fans think about comparing Taylor to Elvis? In my first piece “The Taylor Hicks Experience.” I asked six fans that same question among other questions. I now turned to more fans to get their insight.
Julie – If Taylor never ever would have done an Elvis song, I still believe that there is a slight resemblance in style, but the way he slipped into the Elvis role was uncanny. We Soul Patrollers call him “Tayvis” when we think of his Elvis ability!
Dena – As far as being like Elvis…..I feel Taylor is his own man, however he seems to make the women swoon like Elvis did. I have never been this wild for a singer!
Trish – Something in the voice, and I don’t mean something that is merely audio perception. No, its much more than that, it is spiritual, but not in a religious sense. Also it shows in his mannerisms, and in his smile. I thought it interesting that the Avi picture we had, showing a split face of half Taylor, and half Elvis, both halves fit together perfectly without any adjustments of facial features. But please understand… Taylor is not by any means an imitation of Elvis. Just like there was only one Elvis… there is only one Taylor.
TaylorRena – On 50’s night, I invited my friend from downstairs, who’d never seen AI, up to watch. She HAD heard of Taylor, thru the grapevine, but didn’t know anything about him, really, and had never even seen a picture. She’s mid-fifties by the way. After he performed “Not Fade Away,” with the entire dancing, pouting, etc. she said, “Oh, NOW I get it! He’s Elvis, isn’t he?!” I asked her what she meant exactly, and she said, “The moves, the looks, the accent, the hair. He’s a new Elvis.”
Lynnelle – Taylor reminds me of Elvis because he brings out an array of emotions from his fans and the non-fans. Also, Taylor performs with so much emotion, as did Elvis.
TaylorNansters – I think he physically resembles Elvis in the face. If you look at his right profile, especially, he’s practically a dead ringer for the King! I wonder if Priscilla and Lisa Marie noticed it at all.
JJones – Taylor has the same animal magnetism as Elvis.
TexasTaylorFan -I’m sorry. This isn’t going to be a popular thing to say, but I never really liked Elvis. Sorry. I’m in my mid-40’s, so maybe he was a little too before my time. I don’t know. I never saw what the big deal was. I LOVE Taylor Hicks, He doesn’t remind me of any other musician. He’s one of a kind.
Rwe205T – It is in the eyes!!!!!! Elvis and Taylor have eyes alike and thick brows. I saw on one of the Taylor fan sites someone had several Elvis and Taylor pictures side by side. Amazing!!! These were pictures of Elvis 1968 Comeback. The title of the thread was Elvis ’68. I just recently bought the Elvis ’68 DVD and was blown away. Watching the DVD, Elvis has a red guitar and I think of Taylor with his red guitar. Elvis is dressed in a white suit…Taylor on finale night in a white suit. I could go on and on. I saw Elvis live and in person and I will never forget it. There will never be another Elvis Presley but I think Taylor is this generation’s version of Elvis. Thank God for some good music again.
Isabellamine – Elvis evoked raw sensuality, innocence, naughtiness, animal magnetism, little boy charm, and “bad boy” evil all rolled into one package. Couple that with the fact that he changed the music and entertainment world forever, had fans from elementary schoolers to 80 year olds – who could put a finger on just what it was about him?. Many hated him, more loved him. His “type” music was considered sinful, lustful, trashy, and fly-by-night. Preachers preached that it was the devil’s work coming out – and woe to those who listened to him or watched him “wiggle”. We all know the history behind that!!! He was SO DIFFERENT! Hundreds discredited him, hundreds more copied him. Men wanted to beat him up, women just plain wanted him. The world seemed ready to embrace his style. Having followed this board for several months now, a lot of what I’ve read that’s been said about Taylor is a very close parallel. The Elvis who turned the 50’s upside down is gone. The new “Elvis”, TAYLOR, is in the process of turning 2006 topsy turvy. Hang on, folks……..it’ll be a helluva ride!!!!!!!!
I then asked fans that attended an American Idol Concert what song that Taylor performed they feel really got the crowd going. Just like with my first article the answer was always the same “Jailhouse Rock.” Now this could be because it’s his first song of the night, or it could be because he comes through the audience singing it, but could it also be the Elvis Factor? Maybe with this song he brings back the love and appreciation Elvis evoked in his fans. Here are the responses I got to the question. Which song did Taylor sing that really got the crowd excited?
Julie – I would have to say Jail House Rock because everyone knew that he would be running through the audience but no one knew where he would come in. I got lucky! He came down the aisle by me. It was sweet.
Dena – Jailhouse Rock got the crowd going! I and Jaime both were able to touch Taylor as he passed our isle but he was singing so talking to him was not possible. After touching him I went all dizzy!! It was a VERY surreal moment…and I will never forget it!
So now we move on to the clubs that Taylor sometimes shows up at to play with LMBO. He has shown up at a few but I will cover two. Because it seems Taylor loves to keep busy and wanted to play “HIS” his music between writing a book, recording a CD and headlining a 60-city cross-country tour must not keep him busy enough Taylor came up with the idea to have his pre idol band shadow the “Idol” tour and play with them whenever he could. One stop was on Aug, 2 2006 at Coyote Joe’s and one person at the show reported that when Ace and Bucky showed up and it was rumored Taylor was outside the fans began to chant “Taylor. Taylor, Taylor.” Taylor Hicks is introduced just before 1 a.m. to deafening screams and applause, he doesn’t just take the stage; he takes it over.
One fan at the concert said on a fan board “Seeing Taylor perform with LMBO at Coyote Joe’s was the most intense musical experience of my life – totally indescribable and completely mind blowing. Taylor Hicks is changing the world one soul at a time.”
Taylor Hicks also showed up at the notorious Johnny Depps Hollywood rock club, Viper Room. Where LMBO was playing and Taylor, Elliot and Bucky showed up to jam with them. Taylor Hicks sang, played harmonica and drank shots on stage in front of a sold-out crowd. Elliott and Bucky also joined in on all the action to the delight of the packed house which included tons of screaming fans.
One Hicks Chick reported on a Taylor fan board that when Taylor went to come down off the stage when he was done, fans crowded him wanting to get autograph’s shake his hand and just touch him but the fans were a large group and over zealous. Taylor was trying to move away a little from the hands flying at him and bumped backwards into her. Now lots of fans would have taken the opportunity for some groping but this fan respected Taylor’s space as Taylor would say she had “SOUL CONTROL”.
Some may wonder if Taylor appreciates his fans. Does he know what they do and how they feel about him? The answer is yes. Taylor Hicks tries his best to keep up with his fans and to let them know he loves and appreciates their support. He has left a couple messages at www.greycharles.com.
June, 17th, 2006 at 11:15AM I wanted to let everyone know in due time I will be relaying messages on all boards and even my own. “Funny you guys should mention the hat”!! Love the site greyÃ¢Â?Â¦ Taylor” and at 11:19 am “Hello to all, something compels me to tell everyone hello from the hamster wheel. Then Taylor’s last post #657 at GC:
June 27th, 2006 at 9:46 pm “Thanks everyone and be looking for taylorhicks.com soon, oh yea and SOUL PATROL!! Hope to see you all soon… Big ThanksÃ¢Â?Â¦Ã¢Â?Â¦ Taylor”
Now if your wondering what the reference is to the hat, he was referring to the Pay the Devil Hat he got at a Van Morrison concert…pay the devil meaning doing what he has to do with American Idol before setting out on his own.
I also asked for a couple instances of a fan having an experience they won’t forget regarding Taylor. One that I thought was particularly funny came from Patti.
Patti – My daughter and I went to the Chicago concert and saw LMBO afterwards, both were fabulous! We arrived early at Allstate Arena and were disappointed that Taylor did not come out to sign and take pictures. I highly doubt this was his choice because the security was tight and very intimidating at times. Whatever the reason, I certainly don’t feel like Taylor owes me ANYTHING, love his music and always will! We had plans that could not be cancelled so were unable to go to the Peoria concert. BUT, we were free early in the evening, so to feed our obsession, daughter and I plus 2 grandkids decided to drive to Peoria and see if we could get a glimpse of Taylor after the concert. We arrived about 9:30, and much to our surprise, were able to walk right into the Civic Center where the concert was still going on. When the concert ended we went searching for the buses, but could not see where they were parked. We went back into the Civic Center to use the restrooms and I noticed about 6 red doors where 2 little girls had their heads pressed up against a very narrow crack in the door.
I asked one of them if she knew where the buses were and she told me they were right inside these doors and she said she could see Kellie. My 2 grandkids got down on the floor to see if they could see anything through the space under the door. They saw Taylor and Elliott and called out their names. Then, all of a sudden, a ripped piece of brown paper bag was pushed through, under the door from the other side. OMG! It had Taylor’s and Elliott’s autographs on it! I whipped out my DIMYP CD and slid it under the door and felt it being pulled out of my hand. My grandson saw Taylor’s hand signing my CD, and then he pushed it back to me under the door! WOOOOOOOOOOO! I was so excited!!
By this time, we attracted a few more people and grown women started laying flat on the floor pushing items under the door to be autographed and trying to get a glimpse of anyone! What a sight, it was hilarious; I wish I took a picture! The spectacle didn’t last long, security came by shortly and made everyone leave. It was a great encounter with Taylor even though he was on the other side of the door! Too funny!
I asked questions about what fans feel Taylor did to really get the crowd going, if he is as good looking in person as on TV and how the crowd reacted when he came out for the encore song “Taking it to the Streets?” Julie summed it up in a way I believe all fellow Soul Patrollers will agree with.
Julie – Taylor gets the crowd excited by UmmÃ¢Â?Â¦ breathing, yes, that’s about all it takes when the idol that you voted for non stop all season wins! Yes, breathing and everything else! The man flies across the stage as though it was a little venue, a little corner club. He commands every ounce of your attention with his moves and we gladly give it up! He is very good looking, but it’s not about his handsome face and his gorgeous bodyÃ¢Â?Â¦.it is all about the music and the performance. That’s where his passion stays. He never assumes the, “I’m hot, look at me.” Nope, Taylor evokes this instead, “I love music, and I love to perform, allow me to entertain you.” Then we stand there with our mouths open trying to take it all in. When Taylor came out for his encore, the arena echoed in an unbelievable roar, I was speechless and that doesn’t happen often at all. Julie attended the concert in Columbus, Ohio
Because of Taylor Hicks friends are being made every where. As people with the Soul Patrol Bug continue to discuss and admire this truly unique American Idol. Fans are coming together to support charities in Alabama, that Taylor supports. They are putting together projects to raise money for Kid One Transport and Studio by the Tracks to raise money for these great non-profit organizations. The Soul Patrol is a very caring group of fans who want to make the world a better place by helping those they can help. There is even a thing called Tay it Forward. Fans have sent bumper stickers, Taylor Hicks CDs and Tickets for the American Idol Concert to other fans who couldn’t afford these things. Another project has sent 1000’s of Taylor Hicks Single CD “Do I Make You Proud” to troops overseas.
A lot of fans wanted me to address the comments made by Justin Timberlake about Taylor Hicks. I thought about this and really it doesn’t take much to address this. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and not everyone will like Taylor but I think it is poor sportsmanship for Justin to say Taylor can’t sing and especially the way he said it. “People think he looks so normal, and he’s so sweet and he’s so earnest, but he can’t carry a tune in a bucket,” So if Taylor can’t carry a tune in a bucket then Justin is also putting Taylor’s fans who voted for him down. Because wouldn’t that mean we can’t hear? So he put down a lot of people.
If Taylor was to say that about Justin then people would say Taylor was jealous. So what does that make Justin? Justin ought to think before he speaks he not only comes out looking jealous but The Soul Patrol has thousands and thousands of Taylor Hicks fans. And they are very protective of their Idol. Does Justin think any of those fans will be buying any of his music any time soon? I seriously doubt it. Yes I know he retracted what he said but the damage has already been done. Taylor’s fans won’t soon forget Justin’s slam. But on the bright side since he did talk about Taylor Hicks I am sure people that didn’t know of him before will now, and Justin probably helped recruit some new Soul Patrol members.
The Taylor Hicks Experience still continues to grow. He is attracting more and more fans everyday. Music is on its way back to its roots, Music that can be listened to and enjoyed by all. Taylor Hicks will finally help in getting music back on the right track. Most are tired of cookie cutter imagines and music filled with sex and drugs. Taylor Hicks puts his heart and soul into his music and The Soul Patrol puts their heart and soul into supporting him. Believe me the excitement and magic of The Taylor Hicks Experience Continues to grow.