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Taylor Time…Passion is No Ordinary Word

16 Apr

taylor-florabama1.jpg
Simpler time….

 

Rather than try to wax poetic, I’ll just come out with it. I’m sad. And, I’m disappointed.

Many of my friends and I who have followed Taylor Hicks over the last year’s incredible voyage knew that the “official” Taylor blog of graycharles.com was going away. It’s been a couple of weeks since Gray made the announcement and we’ve all been going through a little withdrawal. Our little community of snarkiness, musical awareness and sharing was riding off into the proverbial sunset. Then, this weekend, on a back page tucked away where not many could find it was one last thread. Some really great discussion began that was, in a round about way, about passion. About caring.

So, today’s post is about passion. Holding on to what you love to do while satisfying your responsibilities is tough stuff. Perhaps it’s fairly new to someone thrust into the spotlight who’s never had to really account for anything to anyone before. As the re-hash of good and bad went on in this tucked away thread, I thought of when I knew I really liked Taylor Hicks’ music, for the first time. It came to me rather quickly….it was after doing a little research into the mp3 library at graycharles.com and finding songs from the In Your Time CD and hearing On Broadway for the first time.

On BroadwayIn Your Time

At first, the squeaking of the guitar strings aggravated me, then I came to love that sound. It was “real”, pure and passionate. THAT, is what I like about Taylor Hicks. While I think that Taylor needs some marketing help and to pay attention to some of his business ventures, the stage is definitely not the place that he’s lacking passion. Problem is, that even though “it’s all about the music”, sometimes it’s all about the music business and you simply have to pay attention to it.

Now, to Gray. Some petty people took it upon themselves to try to ruin the last few breaths of graycharles.com. Sadly, jealousy causes people to do very mean things and to hurt people without provocation. I’m sorry that it happened that way and I’m sorry that my friend was hurt by it. However, he must never lose sight of the fact that HE built something that was unique and good and helpful and passionate. The people who participated were passionate. The artist and other artists we talked about were all passionate. And, the music was passionate. We followed the lead.

I am reminded of a favorite quote that addresses passion:

A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position. – John Maxwell

Maybe that’s what is meant by Graham Parker in Passion is No Ordinary Word….

It worked much better in a fantasy, imagination’s one thing that comes easy
to me
‘Cause this is nothing else if not unreal, when I pretend to touch you, you
pretend to feel
Passion is no ordinary word
Ain’t manufactured or just another sound that you hear at night

We got new idols for the screen today, although they make a lot of noises
they got nothing to say
I try to look amazed, but it’s an act, the movie might be new but it’s the
same soundtrack
Passion is no ordinary word

Say how it feels, real useless ain’t it
Wait until it bites right down inside you
The world is easy when you’re just playing around
Everything’s a thrill, every girl’s a kill
And then it gets unreal
And then you don’t feel anything
You don’t feel anything

An object of desire you don’t desire to be, I bet the shop window dummies
give in just as easily
I try to top but have to make you drop down to the floor
Moaning in the darkness as we fake some more
Passion is no ordinary word
Not just another sound that you hear at night

So, it’s done. For many of us, nothing will sully the fun, friends, entertainment and education we received from a internet site dedicated to a wannabe American Idol — the frog that turned into a prince. All of the “Wayne Newton’s” have been said and the accolades given. Time to move on to a different passion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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24 Comments

Posted by on April 16, 2007 in gray charles, Taylor, taylor hicks

 

24 responses to “Taylor Time…Passion is No Ordinary Word

  1. leejolem

    April 16, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    Passion and joy. Those are the 2 things that I felt when I watched Taylor sing “The First cut is the Deepest” last year on AI5. No performer has ever touched me that way. He was a bit of a frog, but a passionate frog. Frog/prince, monkey/robot, introvert/extrovert–our Taylor is hard to figure out, and that’s one of the reasons I will miss GC.com. Gray helped shed a little light on Taylor the performer and Taylor the person while providing laughs, insight, music and information.

     
  2. leejolem

    April 16, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    “simpler time”–mm/dd that might be the understatement of the year! Do you think he’d want to go back to that or stay where he is now and deal with all the crapola? I wonder sometimes.

     
  3. colette

    April 16, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    Hi — is there an address to send you a pm?

    In the meantime, Just wondering if you or any of your posters know the music of Tyrone Wells. Quite impressed with the lad —

    http://www.myspace.com/tyronewells

    political/folky/bluesy — another smart, soulful young singer-songwriter! can’t be too many of ‘em….

     
  4. brc

    April 17, 2007 at 12:10 am

    I think the passion of those on GC is what drew me into all of this. I enjoyed Taylor very much on AI last year. But then it ended and so did my interest. At some point in the fall I was putzing around on the computer and came across TH.com. I clicked on the little “blog” button in the upper right corner and things were never the same. I was so naive that I didn’t even know the difference between a blog and a message board. I had to read the FAQ to figure it out!

    I too came across the archived library of MP3s. When I heard “Somehow” I was hooked. I think it was the raw quality of both the guitar and the voice. When I heard “Georgia” I couldn’t get enough of it.

    So I started to read, and realized that along with loads of Taylor information people were talking about other artists and other songs. I’m a 45 year old mother of two who works full time. I haven’t paid attention to music since I was in college. But all of a sudden I was listening to music again. I was buying songs on itunes. I was listening to the radio. I started to feel passionate about music.

    Though I didn’t feel that I could contribute much to the discussion, I enjoyed lurking and learning. In doing so I came to enjoy the whole community. I bought tickets to see Taylor in Chicago at the HOB. Now that, my friends, was all about the music. That was passion unleashed. I have to believe that even Taylor thought that show was special.

    In the past month or so I summoned the courage to post a bit more.
    When it became clear that Gray was done I was trying to come to terms with it. Then I saw that damn little backroom with the light still on. I was so enjoying the “conversation” we were having there.

    In hindsight I feel like we shoved the door open and dragged Gray back into the room. If we had just left well enough alone he would have been able to bow out gracefully. I know it’s not our fault but I’m just sayin… (did we ever figure out who started that phrase?)

    Here’s to passion and music and frogs who turn into princes.

     
  5. texastaylorfan

    April 17, 2007 at 12:30 am

    Hey DoubleD — you certainly do have a way with words. In fact, I just quoted your post over at THHQ. Hope you don’t mind. It’s just that you had already said exactly what I was wanting to say.
    I feel better after reading your blog here tonight (thanks, brc.) This was a really crappy ending to Gray Charles, such an important site to me. But the ending will not tarnish my memory of what a great education and fellowship it was. I’ll miss graycharles.com every day.

     
  6. texastaylorfan

    April 17, 2007 at 12:37 am

    I’m sorry, but I just have to come back in here to say, thank you! I was just heading to bed when I got the head’s up to look at your blog tonight.
    I feel so much better going to sleep now than I did when I had just gotten off of THHQ. This was a much better ending to this frustrating night.
    Thanks, DoubleD and brc.
    (And, I have always loved that picture of Taylor that you posted.) Sleep well.

     
  7. blueberry

    April 17, 2007 at 7:21 am

    Thanks for your words this morning. Sort of puts it all in perspective. BRC, you could be telling my story with your comment. I, like you, haven’t been a large contributor to the discussions, but, boy, did I soak in what others wrote. I can’t tell you how long it took me to post, and it was probably just the banned “thank you”. It sure is nice to see some of the faces (names?) I enjoyed so much “over there” here! I think this will work out fine!

    And DD, you put one of my favorite Taylor covers in your post! How his take on that song tugs at my heart!

     
  8. Dingo

    April 17, 2007 at 7:28 am

    GC was my “first” and I cant imagine what kind of a wild, insane ride this has been for him and his family. With fame and a degree of success also comes heartache and exhaustion. The net can be a dangerous place and I have heard it said dozens of times when I would get hurt over words that some anonymous person said to me and others would say, its JUST the internet, its not real. Dont let anyone ever tell you its not real cause my heart tells me different.

    You guys have all taught me so much about music and when my days and nights were the darkest, I would “walk” over to GC’s and read and learn and type in my own feelings on a subject. That was powerful and cathartic and healing. No psychiatrist could ever have accomplished the peace of mind that GC’s gave me.

    I wish him the best of luck and most of all, what he gave to me. A little peace of mind. I hope to be seeing him on the net in his own blog musing once again as only he can do.

    I love Taylor but you know what? If I had to choose which experience I loved more, watching Taylor on AI or the several months I spent over at the early GC site? Id pick the latter cause I found some fantastic music that will stay with me to the end of my days and I “met” some incredible people whose memory and words I will take with me to the end of my days. I dont think you all know how much you have helped me and I will never be able to put it into words so, I wish him well. He did a real good thing.

    Eva Cassidy SOTR. Thanks GC.

     
  9. Rich

    April 17, 2007 at 7:36 am

    I’ve lost my 2 favorite blogs recently. Besides Gray Charles, I lost a site called Creating Passionate Users by Kathy Sierra. Her site was extremely well written and highly rated, but she is no longer blogging. Why? She received death threats that she believed to be real and feared for herself and her daughter. The web can be a very rough place. You may have seen her on CNN discussing what has happened to her and other women on the web.

    I could recommend many of her postings, as with Gray, there are so many great ones to choose from. But I chose this one as it applies to Gray – One of Us is Smarter than All of Us.
    http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2005/03/one_of_us_iisi_.html

    If you want to read more, on the left column is a listing of the favorite postings. I think many are relevant to Taylor and the Soul Patrol. Excellent reading and thinking material.

    Thanks Double D for great post.

     
  10. brc

    April 17, 2007 at 7:50 am

    I guess what I find frustrating is that some people had such Taylor tunnelvision. They didn’t see that GC took what was great about Taylor and added to it, analyzed it, put some thought behind it, put some context around it. It made it “bigger” than Taylor — not in a way that diminished Taylor, but in a way than enhanced what he was all about — the music.

     
  11. texastaylorfan

    April 17, 2007 at 9:16 am

    brc – you are so right about what you just said. I was a Taylor fan, but I don’t think I would still be following his career the way that I am, or have bought his CDs as gifts for others, or dragged my neighbor to his concert recently, or lots of other things I’ve done if it were not for Graycharles.com.
    I absolutely would not have turned off the tv for almost a year! (except for one remaining show I won’t list because it will show my shallowness :-) ) I play music all day and evening now instead of listening to the tv as background noise. I have soooooo much new music, thanks to Taylor Hicks and Gray Charles.
    Taylor is the amazing musical artist, and he and Gray Charles have been my entertainment and education for this past year.

     
  12. Sideways

    April 17, 2007 at 9:35 am

    doubled
    Thanks for the post.
    A passionate Taylor, a passionate blogmeister, passionate fans.

    4. brc
    Your story is a lot like mine. My musical life was saved because of Graycharles.com. I was introduced to so many artists which I would not have known about had it not been from either Gray or those who posted on the blog. Taylor may have got a degree in cryin’ but I received a degree in musical education/appreciation this past year. Thank you Gray Charles.

    I will continue to support Taylor Hicks and his music as always. I’m really hoping for a more organic and acoustic album next time.

     
  13. Sideways

    April 17, 2007 at 9:40 am

    Forgot to add that I have attended concerts in Jacksonville, Birmingham and Dallas so far. Plus, I will be flying to Vegas for the HOB concert on May 5th.

    I do not think I would have attended so many concerts if it hadn’t been for all the up-to-date recaps of Taylor’s concerts. I looked forward to the setlists and reading each concert goers impressions. It made it all very exciting.

     
  14. blueberry

    April 17, 2007 at 9:43 am

    Gray is still speaking. And I only know this because GC.com is my homepage. Gray, I presume because it is so him, put up an excerpt from the Dave Eggers piece, you all know the one, it’s why we all say yes! There’s enough time to read it, then you will be redirected to THHQ

     
  15. Jax

    April 17, 2007 at 9:43 am

    Gray set the bar. Many will try to reach it. Most will fail.

    DD, I was thrilled to see you in my Google alerts this morning. You were one of the reasons I read GC with my morning coffee (back in the day). GC was the place .. not only for Taylor Hicks news but also to discover or re-discover the music that I had been missing.

    I wasn’t around & don’t know what happened but again was deeply saddened when I tried to pull up the GC archives & they were gone. My hope is that they are in a vault somewhere & one day Gray may make them available to us. Unfortunately this will prob not be the case. As with so much in life, the few ruin good things for the many.

    Much love to you DD.

     
  16. leejolem

    April 17, 2007 at 9:47 am

    Rich, very interesting site and post. I was always the one in school who hated group projects, but I’ve grown to see the value…sometimes. Humans are an interesting and challenging group of mammals.

    brc, you took what I was trying to say in post #1 and said it better. GC “enhanced” what Taylor was all about, and didn’t diminish him. I think that those with “Taylor tunnelvision” thought that it was a competition between Gray and Taylor for kudos and praise, and it was never about that. Both passionate men, plenty of adoration to go around.

     
  17. texastaylorfan

    April 17, 2007 at 9:49 am

    I think the archives will be available. Gray said the other day that he was going to move them to a cheaper server and they would be unavailable for a few days and then back. He may be pissed, but he’ll keep his word on the archives.

    Looks like I have something else I need to learn now. How do I have you show up in my Google alerts, DoubleD?

    I’m seeing some of my favorite SP names here. Off to a meeting now. Glad I have something to think about besides GC’s ending.

     
  18. Sheila

    April 17, 2007 at 10:54 am

    I’m glad I bookmarked this site after seeing it on touristas.

    I always enjoyed Gray’s and left a message saying so. I have to admit I don’t frequent many other sites for Taylor. I don’t know that I will.

    I checked out some other sites and the general consensus seemed to be that the only reason someone frequented Gray’s was to get close to Taylor and know his every move. I didn’t know whether to laugh or close my mouth which just hung open in surprise.

    I was just a lurker on Gray’s but I thought the overall “feel” of his site was about the music.
    I’ve seen way to much of the other on most of the sites all over the web, least likely place Gray’s.

    So from someone who is not really a poster, but an observer don’t believe for a second the bum rap you all and Gray got at the end. It’s bogus.

    So to all who posted regularly on Gray’s thanks…you guys made it fun.

     
  19. brc

    April 17, 2007 at 11:26 am

    Just to add to what Sheila has said. It is heartbreaking for me to see how so many who had sucked up to Gray for so long just dropped him like a hot potato when there was nothing left for them to “take” from him. You know who they are… the “Oh GC was nice, but I was really there for Taylor anyway” people.

     
  20. cloudnine

    April 17, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    I feel like a lost lamb trying to find my way back to the flock now that GrayCharles is no more. We owe him so much for all the musical knowledge he shared with us and also for keeping us in the know about how Taylor’s career was progressing too. Like all of you, I will miss him terribly . . . and all the lush musical green pastures he let us graze in.

    Thank you DoubleD for your great blog.

     
  21. katja

    April 17, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    Thank you DoubleD. I feel so much better after reading your post today.
    In the beginning Gray Charles was my lifeline to all the Taylor Hicks news…and then it became so much more.
    I can honestly say that the year 2006 was one of the best years of my life so far. So weird. Just because some gray haired guy decided to take part in American idol and some other guy decided to follow this other guy’s journey in american idol and post about it…and from time to time some other people’s music on the side too. And then a lot of people decided to google this gray haired guy’s name and found this other guy’s site. Hmmm. Who would have thunk it.
    Thank you so much Gray. And thanks to all the regulars who posted at GC. I had a blast.

     
  22. thinlizzy

    April 17, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    Simply wanna say that “On Broadway” is my favorite track on IYT. If that says anything about me.

     
  23. shrewspeaks

    April 17, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Believe it or not I have been thinking about this all day…(everyone smell smoke coming from Joisey way?)

    Passion is both possitive and negative. In business, I am often refered to as passionate in both senses…I care deeply about getting the work done, yet, it can also be seen as at any cost. If those in the office only knew what my real passions were!

    You can have passion of the heart and crime of passion.
    Passion for earning money, and pure greed.
    Passion for playing the music and sloth.

    Anyway you cut it…passion must be tempered with reason.

    Unfortuantely, what was exibited yesterday, went beyond passion for the music and devolved into blind idoltry at the expense of an individual who had worked so hard to welcome in so many some months ago.

    Sad really.

     
  24. leejolem

    April 17, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    I may be totally off base here because I didn’t witness the ugliness that went on yesterday, but it seems like the internet brings out the pack mentality in people, and that some wanted there to be only 1 “alpha dog”. I don’t get that. Why set up a competition between 2 men that worked together and had developed a great thing between the 2 of them? I still think brc said it best in post #10– Gray “enhanced” what Taylor was all about.

     

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