This is Taylor Hicks at Regions Charity Golf Event
a.k.a. American Idol 2005
I knew nothing of Taylor Hicks until he auditioned on American Idol in 2005 at the age of 29. He is from our hometown of Hoover, AL..... well, at least that is where he was settled enough to go to Middle & High School (played on the basketball team). Our city's event planner, Erin, set up viewings of the American Idol show at our local Wings eatery and Fox news & some of Taylor's family came each week to see us cheer him on. Every week he put his soul into his performances..... hence.... the Soul Patrol became the name attached to his many followers accross the country. And I do mean accross the country!! That was Taylor's favorite style of music at a young age too, soul music. He sang (and danced) his way to being the American Idol that year.
It was a joke amoung our circle of friends that I was his biggest fan in Hoover.... that could not be true.... but I was a follower ~ hooked on the music and those interesting moves on stage. I was a fan of his story and his success as well. With Gene part of Hoover's city goverment I had some opportunities to briefly meet Taylor a few times..... usually with a group of other's ushered along to get a quick picture, etc. Gene & I even flew to Kansas City to see a concert of his after his American Idol commitments. Well, AND to visit with a cousin that lives there (we did take them to the concert).
You think.... what crazy's.... but I am telling you..... flying to Kansas City was nothing compared to the other fans he has. City to city. And I met one this past weekend. It was her 49th show. She had a TH tatto displayed on her arm. And she had to be as old as me. Gene had taken me and our dear friends, Chuck & Sandra, to see him perform at the Beau Rivage Casino, in Biloxi, MS. We got in a quick hello to Brian, his longtime keyboard player, and then a minute with Taylor to have him sign a cd for someone special back in Hoover. It never occured to me to bring my camera..... Usually you hear "no camera's or video"!! So, I have my one good shot on my iphone, even though we were center stage, second row (thank's Casino Host!!!).
Next week Taylor comes to Hoover/Birmingham to perform in the Broadway hit GREASE. He told Gene he was also going to the High School with the Mayor one day during that week. Hmmm.... maybe another opportunity to be that obsessive fan? Nope. We already have a trip to Miami planned. Luckily we will be back before the GREASE show ends and will make it to his last performance in town.
Do I know the words to a LOT of his songs & own more than one copy of ALL his cd's? Yes.
Do I have his book (and read it). Yes.
Do I get messages from his website and myspace? Yes.
But, am I a groupie? NO.
Never hung around his dad's house to get a glimpse of him.
Never cried when watching him sing or just seeing him.
Never reached out to just "touch him".
But, there is something that draws me to want to watch him perform ~ to see the many "faces of Taylor" when he sings. Sandra & I discussed those faces.... we saw him be fun, silly, shy, emotionally into the music, and even attempted some sexiness ~ which some of the younger fans enjoyed. But I enjoyed watching him be in control of the music ~ how a performer can control the other band members with a swish of his hand to play softer or louder or s.t.o.p. And thinking how exciting that must feel for him to be living what he loves.