Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dear Fans, Please Don't Stalk Me ...

David Cook is hoping he can convince his fans to show a little more respect for boundaries so that he can continue to be as accessible to his fans as the AI stars are known to be.

On Sunday, the 25 year old winner of Season 7 posted this request on his MySpace blog...

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Hey everyone,

First off, I want to say thank you to everyone who has been coming out to the shows since my last post. The vibe at these shows has been amazing.

Secondly, I have to address some behavior that has become disturbing. We pride ourselves on being accessible to you as fans, but in contrast, we do enjoy what little privacy we can muster. To that end, the efforts by some fans to find our hotel rooms, call our hotel rooms, attach things to our bus, etc., is something I have to condemn. This relationship only works when it remains healthy for both parties, and should this behavior continue, the only thing we can do is take more preventative measures to maintain our privacy, which in turn makes us less accessible to you.

I hope this doesn't come off as harsh. I merely want to nip this in the bud so we can continue to have a great experience with all of you at the shows we have coming up. Take care and see you at the next show.


What an impressive young man. He loves and appreciates his fans, he wants to continue to be able to interact with them, but he sees the boundaries starting to blur between expectations and entitlement, and wants to be clear on what he finds unacceptable.

I don't know if David is just a quick learner and saw himself becoming a hostage, if he was smart enough to watch and learn from some of the guys who have gone before him and fallen victim to having not spoken out when it happened to them, or if he actually thinks it is going to be as simple as just posting this blog and the fans will have that "ah ha" moment where they realize how unreasonable they were being and suddenly respect his "down time".

Note to David .... I hope you are not counting too much on the last one.

The great thing about the AI machine is that you have some loyal, supportive, incredible fans who love you, who will follow you from tour stop to tour stop. Who suddenly, at the age of 50, will learn how to make a video or create a web page, or become proficient in the music industry lingo. They will take it as their personal responsibility to ensure your success and without ever thinking twice, will, for some reason they can never explain, grab up 10 copies of your new CD.

But the part you didn't see .... the part you missed with some of your "fans" is that they actually dialed that second number when they voted for you. The one that indicated "by David counting my vote he will forever 'owe' me because I am the reason for his success, and he will from this day forward be chattel".

As I am sure to come under fire as overly critical or insulting, I will give you some insight into two of the most egregious abuses of an artist's privacy that I know to have occurred within the AI fan base.

Several years ago, one of the AI artist's father passed away, and for a number of reasons, it was going to be a rather strained and hard time. Several of the fans decided it would be perfectly appropriate for them to attend the funeral, of course, standing back a bit because they certainly wanted to observe proper decorum for a total stranger fan at someone's funeral for their parent. They even said they felt he would find some comfort in their presence.

We just recently were made aware that one of Taylor Hicks' AI fans who happens to live in the Birmingham area and work for a government agency decided that since he was, after all, a celebrity, that any information a fan could obtain on him they were entitled to. It was this logic that led the fan to decide they would use their job to access Taylor's parent's legal records. I cannot imagine a more callous lack of respect or violation than prying into something that personal.

So David, I guess you can see why I am somewhat cynical that such a pure and respectful attempt on your part is going to fix your problem, but boy am I rooting for you. I've seen what can happen, and once they do sense "control", you can never get it back without becoming "ungrateful" or "not needing them anymore".

What I hope most for you is that if your request isn't respected that you give yourself permission to actually do what you said and step back, put some barriers in place, and manage to hold on to just a piece of your life. You deserve it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Taylor Hicks rocks a full house on the Sunset Strip!

High above the lights of LA on the Sunset Strip, the magic of Taylor Hicks live on stage rocked the packed Roxy’s Nightclub when the platinum recording artist performed the music from his new CD, The Distance, Wednesday night.

It was Taylor Hicks where he lives—on stage! “The Distance” was a bold opening song. It was a big sound that set the tone for an amped up, “We’re gonna party all night” kind of Taylor Hicks concert! In fact, he asked if we were ready to party all night and jumped into a setlist of the old and the decidedly new.

One of the highlights was “Seven Mile Breakdown,” which raucously rolled through the delta with the hammer down! This will be a concert favorite for a very long time!

I Live On A Battlefield” was another all out Taylor-and-band fest that said Taylor Hicks can do anything. The band took this one home was a sound that rocked the rafters and must have spilled onto the street! Sunset Strip had been whomped!

“Nineteen” settled the house into a poignant moment. Taylor dedicated it to our soldiers, reminiscent of his dedicating “Do I Make You Proud” to the troops. He said it had been very well received in San Diego [at Belly Up Shadow Tour performance] where there were many servicemen and women in the audience. He introduced it as “a war hero’s story.” And that it is. It grabs your heart. Taylor sings it straight out, unfolding the story recognizing and celebrating the bravery of our American heroes. Taylor lets “Nineteen” speak for itself.

What’s Right is Right” warms up the stage every time, whether for the “Grease” audience, where he performs it after every show, or in the many media performances of this first single release and first music video. With his hand on his heart at times, he sings with sincerity as if imploring that relationships stand the test of time. You want to believe that this is what love is.

There was the new and the old. Taylor seemed to say, “We are moving on with new music, but let’s remember where we’ve been and hear it one more time.” “Heaven Knows,” “Give Me Tonight,” and “Soul Thing” were some that made the cut for this soul meets country meets rock setlist ending with a new encore, “My Sweet Lord.”

The new, but forever-eclectic setlist:

The Distance
Give Me Tonight
Heaven Knows
The Maze (tags: Inner City Blues/Warm Love/Be young, Be Foolish, Be Happy)
Hide Nor Hair
Gonna Move (tag: Old Weakness)
Woman’s Gotta Have It
I Live On a Battlefield
The Deal
Seven Mile Breakdown (harp)
The Right Place
Once Upon a Lover
What’s Right Is Right
Soul Thing (tags: Mama Said/Eastbound and Down)

Encore: My Sweet Lord

The lively crowd showed their love frequently yelling, “We love you, Taylor,” to which he responded once saying, “It’s one fan at a time.”

I had to think, “Shades of Atlanta!” In 2007, I stood almost center stage second row in Atlanta for the first close up experience of Taylor Hicks on stage. This stage was low and the crowd was against the stage. As he did in Atlanta, Taylor wore his concert shoes—the customary New Balance, for navigating a small stage full of equipment and cords. And, yes, he broke in those shoes with new dance moves to the delight of fans!

Taylor Hicks is seriously into concert frame of mind. It showed at Roxy’s on the stage and in the audience. It was a perfect match of entertainer, music and crowd coming together to celebrate one of the good things in life—sharing music, dreams and time together. This is another milepost on that long train running. It took off again at Roxy’s last week!

Congratulations, Taylor, on a stunning showing on Sunset Strip!

I wouldn’t have missed this one for all the soul music in Memphis!

photo by san~please do not repost without permission.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Taylor Hicks ~ The Distance ~ hits the stage at Roxy's!

The Distance hit the streets; the single “What’s Right is Right” hit No. 1 on A/C radio!

It was Taylor Hicks’ week. He told the media that The Distance was the representation of who he is as a singer and songwriter. In a whirlwind of appearances and talks, he said he was busier than he had been since he won American Idol. He took Teen Angel and Grease to Los Angeles for a star-studded opening Tuesday night at the Pantages Theatre. He spoke to media from LA to Alabama. Radio sports personality Paul Finebaum played samples of tracks from The Distance and talked with Taylor about their days in Alabama.

Another media stop was his hometown Fox affiliate, MyFox.Al: “There’s a lot of different styles on the record. …I took the approach that I wanted to write in the different genres that reflect me as an artist.” [There is] “…a little bit of country music, a little bit of soul, blues…I have all those styles and influences…it’s apparent on the record.”

The Distance is 2 ½ years of work. He brought on friends. He collaborated with renowned songwriters. Artists who have played along side mega performers like Van Morrison and Eric Clapton came together to create The Distance. It is all packaged on a shiny little disc spinning all over the world. Yes, world. “What’s Right is Right” on video is up in China. Italian fans have a website with Taylor’s music. Our Canadian friends have been on the ride from the beginning.

Street Week is just the beginning. During street week next, Roxy’s in West Hollywood will present Taylor Hicks live, Wednesday, March 18th. It is the first shadow tour performance after the drop of The Distance. It promises the moon…and sun and stars!

We can’t know the setlist…but we know it is The Distance. Talking tracks:

Seven Mile Breakdown… set down in the delta, and Mississippi hot…live on stage will bring down the house.
Maybe You Should…just Taylor’s plaintive voice and the keys…hold on to your heart.
Nineteen…when music becomes more.
The Distance… a world view to hope for and believe in…a mantra for mankind…a big sound and message that would fill up Rockefeller Center.
What’s Right is Right…like an old friend, the first sounds we heard and saw; now, it is always special.
Keeping It Real…harmonica meets pop culture.
Once Upon a Lover of Mine…Latin rhythms meet soul…new dance steps for Taylor?
New Found Freedom…gospel is “taylorized”...local choirs for backup—just an interesting thought.
Woman’s Got To Have It…has already been presented live and reports say it leaves one breathless.
Wedding Day Blues…fun, fun, fun.
I Live on a Battlefield…the voice does amazing things… this band brings it on strong and takes it home.

The Distance is Taylor Hicks as he wants us to know him. It will ignite the music stage. That is where Taylor Hicks lives! Roxy’s is where it will happen March 18th.

You won’t really know The Distance until it hits the stage.

And I’m going along on this one…

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Taylor Hicks joins in "celebration of life"...

A day of purpose at Los Angeles’ Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure…

Taylor Hicks joins a "day of purpose" with a soulful performance for Los Angeles' 13th Annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Sunday, March 15, 2009, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Celebrity co-hosts Emily Procter (CSI Miami), Judy Reyes (Scrubs) and Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace) will welcome over 13,000 participants to the one-day event to raise awareness, fund research and provide breast cancer screening and treatment to the citizens of Los Angeles County.

"2009 is my 16th year of being a breast cancer survivor. I am so touched to hear that Taylor will play a part in this event.” ~Wings, TTHC Member.

Initiated in 1983, the race has now grown to more than 120 races internationally with more than 1.5 million participants and more than 100,000 volunteers and activists working to make the race a reality.

The Taylor Hicks Community joins all who fervently support the Susan G. Komen Foundation in celebrating the many breast cancer survivors and honoring the memory of those who lost their battle.

Because everyone deserves a lifetime.
For more information about breast cancer or the Susan G. Komen Foundation, visit

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Taylor Hicks~The Distance...first impressions

It feels like the journey that Taylor Hicks promised…across genres, emotions, and sounds.

“The Distance”—A message for all mankind. One to play the world for a long time. A stand up song for the live stage. A favorite from the first listen.

What’s Right is Right”—The way we all want true love to be. Makes you want to be in Chicago during a blizzard with true love along side. What’s not to like in this first single release from the album and first Taylor Hicks music video. Still a favorite.

New Found Freedom”—A big gospel sound that makes you believe in yourself.

“Nineteen”—It feels like back home as it tells a story that we’ve lived too often. Grabs your heart and speaks unsaid volumes. Country sound from a soulful voice.

Once Upon a Lover of Mine”—A change of beat for dancing feet. Taylor rolls an “r”.

“Seven Mile Breakdown”—Makes “on the road” sound cool. This is the concert showstopper that will go on forever with tags and band solos and bring down the house as only Taylor Hicks can! A big favorite!

Maybe You Should”—A reminder that love’s end never becomes less painful. It touches a forgotten place in many of us. It will melt the hearts in live performances; smooth as honey, pure Taylor Hicks voice. A first place favorite!

Keeping It Real”—A couple of people come to mind. We make pop culture.

I Live On A Battlefield”—A raspy, hard look at a relationship. Word images are stunning.

Wedding Day Blues”—Someone had fun with this one! It will be fun on stage.

Woman’s Got To Have It”—Friends singing soul. Elliot Yamin makes this a double dose of world-class voices singing world-class soul. Pure listening pleasure.

First impressions are just that. First favorites usually don’t change, but then other songs “grow on me.” The musical vibes and nuances take several more listenings for this music lover. And from my first impressions, future listenings promise to be a delightful connection with the new music of Taylor Hicks. It’s mine, and it’s worth a lot of listenings!

The Distance by Taylor Hicks on Modern Whomp Records is available for download and in retail stores. Three bonus tracks: iTunes: “Yes, We Can,” Target: “Indiscriminate Acts of Kindness,” and Walmart online: “Hide Nor Hair.”

Get The Distance!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Taylor Hicks ~ The Distance...Birmingham to Beijing

“We can rise up toward each other
We can build a bridge brother to brother
Take the steps we need to take
To get us to a better place
Where the distance between us fades away
They’ll be no distance between us one of these days
One of these days.”
~The Distance

A Sunday morning is time to catch up on reading about what’s happening with Taylor Hicks. His "Grease" tour was heading up the West Coast with the first stop in San Diego. The Southern California crowds showed up and loved Taylor’s Teen Angel just as the Southwest people had in Tucson last week.

Thursday night, an eclectic crowd came out to Belly Up Tavern in Solano Beach for Taylor live in concert with a new setlist that included “My Sweet Lord” and music from his new album. It was Taylor’s loud and clear callout of “Welcome to whomp on the West Coast.”

It had been a good week for the beaming Taylor who greeted fans after Grease at Civic Theatre in San Diego Saturday night.

The week coming up is very special. It is one of those milestone times that mark the life of an artist who lives by his music connecting with people.

This is Street Week for The Distance, coming out Tuesday from Modern Whomp Records. Taylor Hicks will be everywhere showcasing what he and a few very talented artists have created. Empty out your DVRs. There will be new recordings, new articles and a new journey starting with Taylor Hicks.

Through the magic of this place, the internet, the journey has already reached to the other side of the planet. In the Sunday morning updates and googles there was one from China! There were the beautiful and unreadable Chinese language characters everywhere and Taylor Hicks on the cover of The Distance. There was Taylor walking on a snowy street in Chicago and singing “What’s Right is Right.” I wondered if someone watching this in China and not understanding the English lyrics would understand the story. Music and images are universal and this one told a story very well. I believe they will know the story.

Seeing and hearing Taylor from China was an appropriate beginning to this new journey on which we all embark this week. The moment was so reflective of the title song from the album, The Distance. Music is reaching around the world to places and cultures we can only meet online. We have the technology. Do we have the heart and the will?

It’s a long way from Birmingham to Beijing in more ways than one. Perhaps this new journey may take us to places that are not on maps. Taylor’s music is reaching out to others “where the distance between us fades away.”

A Sunday wish for us all:
“They’ll be no distance between us one of these days.”

A Street Week wish for Taylor Hicks:
“May this new journey with The Distance be happy and successful and take you further along the road of your American dream. Congratulations on an exciting new collection of really good music.”

Like the many other journeys of the past couple of years with Taylor Hicks, we will be there….even to the other side of the planet!

We will…go the distance.

THE DISTANCE, by Taylor Hicks on Modern Whomp Records, is out Tuesday, March 10.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Taylor Hicks sings "What's Right is Right" in Tucson...

It was a stunning metamorphosis...

"When there’s joy inside your heart I’ll share it
When you got a dream I say reach for the sky
And if you ever fall I’ll catch you.
What’s wrong with you is wrong with me
And what’s right is right. "

Taylor Hicks as Teen Angel descended in an ice cream cone with chocolate on top and sent Frenchie into swoons as he crooned Beauty School Dropout in full Elvis-inspired rhinestoned regalia. It was over the top, hamming it up fun, and it brought down the house at Music Hall in Tucson last week. Frenchie delivered the show-stopping line when she alluded to Taylor’s American Idol win, stoking his chest and cooing, “I voted for you!” It could have been Saturday Night Live at the theatre!

The curtain call was a glimpse of the change. Taylor appeared in the Grease rhinestoned jacket but with jeans and black t-shirt underneath, and the signature gray hair showed no sign of hairspray.

When the Grease DJ Vince Fontaine announced to the audience “Singing his single release What’s Right is Right from his new album, here is Taylor Hicks,” the real blue-eyed soul singer, Taylor Hicks, showed up. He was live on stage where he excels!

The rhinestone jacket was replaced by what could have been a Dolce & Gabbana jacket with the jeans and black t-shirt. The snakeskin boots would make a good impression in Tucson. The best impression was the soulful sounds of Taylor Hicks singing “What’s Right is Right” with the intensity and ‘taylorization’ that always brands his performances. Some of the audience was surprised, not expecting a “concert” after Grease. It was a well-received surprise!

A few thousand people in Tucson last week had the chance to see a campy Taylor Hicks as Teen Angel and Taylor Hicks live on stage singing his music. It showed the amazing range of talent of this Season 5 American Idol winner.

When you remember the Season Five American Idol competition, you have to think, “How little they knew of Taylor Hicks!”

There were no Hillerman storms—the weather was perfect. The beauty of the desert was the perfect backdrop for the beauty of good theatre and good music.

There was a magical moment on Sunday morning when the sun and shadows were just right, and I captured the picture above of Teen Angel in Tucson.

I had a great time going along on this one!