Face to Face with Taylor Hicks!

Posted on 08 July 2009


Allison Grooms and Taylor Hicks

In the three years since Taylor Hicks has won our nation’s largest singing competition, a lot of water has passed under his bridge, including the establishment of his own record label and the launch of a CD that boasts the contributions of well-respected musical luminaries.   While all of this terrific water was passing beneath Taylor’s bridge, I myself was passing over bridges, clouds, and highways into many previously unexplored cities across the country.  However, my destination was always the same: a Taylor Hicks concert and/or appearance in the national tour of Grease, in which he stars as Teen Angel.  The best of his live musical performances, in my opinion, was his recent acoustic concert in a great Detroit club called The Magic Bag.

 

This most excellent gig was capped off by the M&G (Meet and Greet) that I was about to have with Taylor.  In my travels, I have met Taylor before, but never after an actual concert.  I was very excited about this meeting, as were the other seven people also lucky enough to have M&G’s at the Magic Bag.  The security people at the club were, at first, confused as to what to do with eight bursting-at-the-seams happy Taylor Hicks fans.  After checking our names against a list for verification, we were told to stand next to a railing and wait.  We were then directed to line up behind a group of people who were getting CD’s signed by the headliner.  We had just lined up when a man came by and wrapped wristbands around our arms, thus proclaiming us as the Chosen Few.

 

As we were waiting to meet Taylor, my friend John Kulinich, who had played guitar for Taylor that night, came by to say “hi.”  John has his own Southern rock/country band, called Rollin’ in the Hay, for which he plays a mean (translation: great) guitar.  I had first made John’s acquaintance a few months earlier, at a Rollin’ in the Hay concert where we struck up a friendship.  While Taylor finished signing the CD’s, John and I chatted a bit.  Finally, the security force was ready to start the M&G’s!

 

Since some people were still milling about the club’s lobby, security led us down toward the stage.  There were a few people in line ahead of me, including a teenaged boy who asked to photograph Taylor holding up a sign for the boy’s school.  The lady in front of me had a nice conversation with Taylor and finally, it was my turn!  Surprisingly I was calm (I’m always afraid he’ll hear my knees knocking, but my kneecaps behaved nicely this time around).

 

Taylor greeted me with a smile and I told him that, of all the shows I’d seen him do, this was my favorite.  I told him that I loved his acoustic material and he graciously said that he appreciated it and hoped that he could do more acoustic concerts!  Then I presented him with a printout of a drawing that a friend of mine, who lives in Finland, had sketched of him.  After that, I asked him to sign a photo that I had taken at the Grease show in New York City last summer, where the blockbuster musical had kicked off.  Just as Taylor got done signing this for me, his friend Clay Connor came walking past us and spied the photo.  He commented on how good it was and I told Clay and Taylor that I’d snapped the shot before the camera cops caught me!  They both laughed at that. Naturally, I wanted a picture with Taylor, so I handed my camera to the security guy to do the honors, and he took a great picture!  Since there were other people in line behind me, I told Taylor I’d see him in Canada for another appearance, and made my way back through the crowd.  It was an M&G I will never forget.  Taylor couldn’t have been any nicer.  By the time I had emerged into the night air, my knees and other body parts had regained their memories:  I was literally shaking!

 

I love Taylor Hicks’ music.  I love the sound and honesty of it; I love the emotion he is unafraid to convey.  Beyond the music, this quiet, humble celebrity has become my hero.  Now, that may sound corny to some people, but it happens to be the truth.  I have seen this fine singer-songwriter-musician many times both on and off the stage, and he is extremely appreciative of his fans.  He is the nicest man you could ever want to meet.  If he sees a disabled person in the crowd, he goes out of his way to make that person feel extra-special.  I have seen him do this a number of times when there were no bright lights, cameras, or media people around; unlike too many people in the public eye, he is genuine.  With Taylor Hicks, you get what you see.  As for me, I hope to see and hear him perform his great music for a very long time to come. 





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34 Responses to “Face to Face with Taylor Hicks!”

  1. Darlagirl says:

    Wow, what a great Meet & Greet you had! I had liked Taylor during his run on American Idol but have not kept up with him much since. I will check out his CD and maybe even Grease, if it comes close to my area.

  2. Louise says:

    Very nice Allison. And so true about Taylor Hicks. A great musical talent whose time will come. Keep following your hero. He never disappoints.
    Thanks for writing this. Love the picture!

  3. Brenda says:

    Thank you for writing about your experience with Taylor. I also had the opportunity to meet Taylor after a Grease performance in Cincinnati, Ohio in January. He is a warm and caring person and what you see with Taylor, is exactly what you get. He performed a solo concert here as well, and he was just amazing. He truly was born to be on stage!

    I have all of Taylor’s music that he has released thus far and look forward to much more from him in the future. Seeing Taylor in concert reminds you why he won the title of American Idol!

  4. toffee says:

    What a cool thing to be so close to the fantastic Taylor Hicks. I love to hear about different fans and their experiences with Taylor. Have been following his career since I first saw hime on idol and what a pleasure seeing hime win this coveted talent contest. I have bought his CDs, his book, and saw him in Grease when he apppeared at Portland, OR. What a fantastic man and such amazing accomplishments. I am 80% housebound and following Taylor Hicks achevements has become my hobby. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Barbara says:

    WTG, Allison! I totally agree with your comments about Taylor and I am so happy that you have been able to meet him in person and see him ‘behind the scenes’. And, the Magic Bag was my very favourite as well. Amazing in every way.

  6. Tami says:

    Allison, What a very nice article. You said it all. Wish I could have been there.

  7. Jason says:

    Hey! I was at the meet and greet with you Allison. You wrote about a teenage boy getting a picture with Taylor holding a school sign. That was me…but I’m not a teenager. I am 32 years old and the school sign is for the school where I teach. LOL! Remember Misty that introduced herself to you from myspace? I’m her husband!

  8. Debbie Troxell says:

    Allison, what a nice article. So glad that you get to travel to see Taylor. He is my Idol too. I voted for him to win American Idol. My life hasn’t been the same since. He has so much Charisma, Charm, Talent, and he is one of the nicest people/celebrities that I have ever met. He is very talented and good looking too, but very humble.

    I also enjoy him in “Grease”, and also in his Concert tours. I will be going to Philadelphia this weekend to enjoy him in “Grease”.

    Taylor is a very fun hobby, indeed.

  9. JewelsSoul says:

    Very nicely written!

    Taylor does come across as a real person who really cares about his fans. I am so glad you got to experience that with him at your Meet and Greet. The Magic Bag acoustic show he did in Ferndale Michigan is my favorite so far too. It seemed to show the true Taylor…something I have always wanted to hear. Its left me longing for more also….LOL. Because of his great musical talent I know I personally will continue to collect and listen to his music for a very, very long time to come.

  10. marymagdalene says:

    Allison:
    Great job writing up your experience at the Magic Bag concert, and the way you write makes me feel like I was there with you.
    Thanks!

  11. Tish says:

    Awesome story!! You are so right, Taylor is a genuine, caring person that really enjoys connecting with his fans. When you go to one of his concerts it’s like going to a party that he planned just for you and your friends.

  12. Ana says:

    Allison, what a wonderful experience you had at the Magic Bag and thank you for sharing that. I was at the Magic Bag and it was absolutely the best, imo, of all Taylor’s shows that I’ve been to.
    It was an incredible night…it really was magical! Great picture!

    And Tish, I love what you said, that going to one of his concerts is like going to a party that he planned just for you and your friends…it feels exactly like that. Thanks for stating it so well!

    I love all of these positive and genuine feelings and experiences that Taylor inspires us to share…

  13. katja says:

    Great experience! I love the way you write about your travels and I can’t wait to see Taylor Hicks on stage again!

  14. GeeWindu says:

    That’s great!!! I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to meet him. I would’ve substituted meeting a couple of the season 7 idols to meet Taylor Hicks, and Carrie Underwood. I know one day Taylor will make his way this way. Glad you had such a great time!

  15. Bonnie says:

    Allison I loved your post — you have a wonderful way with words and have expressed very vividly what all Taylor fans can relate to.

    I had been lucky enough to follow him to his AI tour appearance when it came to my area and also to 4 of his first album tour shows all over the map. I hope to see him in Grease in January, if not sooner. I had a M & G at one of the shows I attended so I can relate to the shakey leg syndrome but he was a sweetheart. I also witnessed his attention to a sick child.

    I’ll never forget the way I felt after each concert, especially the first when I was totally unprepared for the trancelike state I had succumbed to — affectionately referred to by fans as the “WOOO”. If anybody needs a pied piper, The Soul Patrol knows where you can find one!

  16. Gio says:

    I had a very brief interaction with Taylor Hicks outside the Brooks Atkinson Theater in NYC after s peformance of Grease, in June 2008. I was in a large crowd of fans so it was quick, but it was a one-on-one kind of thing. He seemed like a really genuine, down to earth guy who appreciates his fans. And yes, I am a guy who went with his wife to see the play. 😉

  17. cath says:

    I know how sincere you are about your feelings and am sure they are appreciated by Taylor. There are many types of “fans” ; most all are valued in some way. You are , indeed, an asset to Taylor’s fandom.

  18. anne says:

    Alison…..so glad that you enjoyed your M&G in Detroit. And I have to agree…the Magic Bag show was the best I’ve seen so far alos, although they are all great this one was special.Can’t explain it..it just was.
    Have a great time when you come to Canada.

  19. Hope says:

    Great job, Allison! Great account of Taylor…the man and his music. You conveyed exactly what many of us feel about him. Thanks for taking us along.

  20. KimLoree says:

    You are a lucky girl Allison! I hope to meet you at another Taylor Hicks concert soon!

  21. Lubiana says:

    Way to go Allison! That was fantastic!!! 😀

  22. Pat P says:

    Allison…what a great article…thank you. I have also met Taylor at meet and greets and he is all that you say…such a gentlemen and so appreciative of his fans. The man just oozes talent and I just wish him a long, productive, successful career. BTW, you have a great way with words, bravo!

  23. Judy says:

    I really enjoyed your article, Allison. It sounds like the Magic Bag really was “Magical”. Wish I could have been there with you. Thank you for the memories!! Everything you said about Taylor is 100% correct. I have only met him once (Seattle – May 2009) – but he treated us like he knew us. That is amazing to me, as he has so many fans. His talent is unique and EVERY concet is different. I am anxiously awaiting your recap of the Canada show.

  24. LindaJ says:

    Wow Alison great review thank you so much for sharing!

  25. Goldbug says:

    Allison, that was a wonderful review and I admire you for conveying to Taylor your heartfelt feelings and still keeping your composure.

    You are one classy lady and I know Taylor saw that too!

  26. Mary Ann says:

    Allison, that was one wonderful recap of what must have been a “magic” night at the “Magic Bag.” I can almost visualize your eyes lighting up as you shared your story. Taylor is the most incredible singer, songwriter, musician and showman since Elvis. I am anxiously looking forward to seeing him this weekend in Philadelphia. Have fun in Canada and we’ll look forward to another recap following that trip!

  27. Missy says:

    Allison, you forgot to mention that Taylor is kinda HOT too 😉
    Great article

  28. Sarah says:

    That was such a great description of your encounter with Taylor. You and he both look wonderful in your picture! He just keeps getting better and better….I think the best is yet to come for Taylor and his fans. Taylor is the real deal, for sure.

  29. Pattie says:

    Alison, that was a great re-cap, I remember how you were shaking afterwards….he does have that effect…LOL Hope we share some more shows in the future….

  30. Crazymomelon says:

    What a great recap! Thank you for putting it all into words. I can’t wait for (what i hope is) a repeat of the Magic Bag show at Smith’s olde Bar in Atlanta in August.

  31. Delana says:

    Thanks for the article. Taylor is the coolest!

  32. Carolyn says:

    Nicely written, Allison, and what a wonderful time you must have had! Love the picture too! I’m so happy for you!

  33. sue b says:

    Thanks so much for a recap of your meeting with Taylor I also have met him and he is so kind. LOVE THE PICTURE ALSO

  34. Tammy says:

    This is the best article I have ever read on the Internet! Kudos!!!


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