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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Remember When?

In order to promote unity across our Soul Patrol fan base we would like to spotlight different boards here at Taylor's Angels and what they have to offer. The Soul Patrol is a very diverse group with many wonderful stories to tell. We would like to invite the boards to submit a concert recap or thread that made an impact on their board.

The Official Soul Patrol forum is close to my heart because that is where the I met my fellow Taylor's Angels, and it is also where I started the troop drive. I thought it would be fun to do something different as a blog entry theme and share a thread that had to be one of the funniest ever made. The mother of our own Angel Leslie, (Lmo4Taylor1) saw her first Taylor Hicks concert when he performed in Alabama. TOSP has a section for concert recaps, and below is a recap of Leslie's mother's weekend of concerts. She started out skeptical, and ended up a Taylor Hicks fan. Also included are posts from our own Angel Tina, (DidNotExpectThat) who had the unfortunate experience of fainting during the concert. But the way Tina explains it just adds to the humor of the entire thread. Sit back, relax, and get ready for a lot of laughs!

Mamma Mo's Recap of Birmingham--An Unbiased Perspective

Hey, everybody!
As you know, my mom and daughter went with me and Annie to Birmingham. Although my mom liked Taylor before we went, she wasn't fangirly and wondered why in the world I was so obsessed. Well, after Sunday night's show, she told me that she then truly understood what Taylor was all about and understood why I was so hooked on him and his music. She promised to never make fun of me again for being so crazy over the guy. She wrote the following recap (in true Mamma Mo satire fun). Notice how she comes around and tries so coyly to get Taylor to call her!!! Please also keep in mind that this is the same woman who was so impressed with SBTT that she refused to give up her 10th row seat for a 3rd row seat b/c she found out that the woman sitting next to her was from B'ham and had a mentally challenged child and she knew nothing about SBTT. My mom had to stay and "tell her all about it" and encourage her to take her child.

Here it is-- hope you enjoy!!!


Call 'em what you will- Soul Patrol, Gray Charles, Taylor Maids (they wish)- they were present in Birmingham in all their splendor to see the Man with a Million Mamas. I was there to perform a THintervention to save my usually over-rational daughter from plunging into an abyss of Idol insanity from which there is as yet no known cure, but at which I was willing to give my best shot. Goodness knows that as a teacher of adolescents, I have ordered my share of T-shirts to be turned inside-out in order to hide offensive words, suggestive poses, gang signs, pictures of drug paraphernalia, or anything related to gambling or alcohol- but nothing had prepared me for This!

For christmas my daughter presented me a ticket to the Birmingham concert, and now the time was here, but the ticket had grown from one concert to two, with meet-and-greets thrown in as a bonus. Oh, joy. My first surprise came at her house. I let myself in the door and was greeted by a complete stranger, who, as it turned out, was an SP from Canada who had traveled from north of Toronto for twenty-six hours on a Greyhound for this week of events. This week? Oh, yes, they had already driven to Nashville and Huntsville for two concerts and were in Memphis to collect me and my granddaughter for the trek back into Alabama. Good Lord. But, even she didn't take the prize: there was one sister who traveled from England as a representative of the IHOTs (International House of Taylor).

My second major surprise came after we checked into our room in Birmingham and began to meet other "board members," most of whom looked familiar only from their pictures on the Internet, but who were greeted with screams and squeals akin to those reserved for sixteen-year-olds who have been apart for two whole hours. After meeting a few of these "sisters," they explained that I might be confused when they started talking in "letters." Excuse me? Oh, you know, like "BTW." Booker T. Washington? No, "By The Way." Then they began to make claims that Taylor has single-handedly done more to reverse the effects of menopause than has any drug prescribed by a doctor. I excused myself and went outside the hotel, frantically speed-dialing my long-time friend back home as I left the building. "Come get me!" I begged. "They look like us, but they are possessed, and I'm really scared!" She reminded me that I was on a mission, and I had to stay because so much was at stake here. Okay, take a deep breath, just like my personal trainer orders me to do after I've completed 300 crunches, ten sprints, and twenty minutes on the elliptical. My skeptical self is ready.

The rumors abound: he's really worn out from all the concerts and his voice is almost gone; he spent the day at the hospital with IVs in his arms; he wouldn't talk to anyone at the meet-and-greet in order to save his voice for the concert, but when one of the SP'ers urged him to get some rest and save his strength, he gave her a thumbs-up (oh, glorious day!). One of the locals actually went home and made a huge pot of chicken soup and delivered it to his bus (I told you he had a million mamas). Another remembered a story about him being in Vegas, broke and eating nothing but beef bouillon, and in moments of quiet reflections, she could be heard to moan, "He's all alone and eating beef bouillon!" This elegant and expensively-dressed woman is the same one who fainted at the Atlanta concert, and as the paramedics wheeeled her away, she lifted her hand and cried, "No, I'll lose my place, and he's going to sing Georgia!" I'm really beginning to enjoy myself.

First concert. The beautiful old Alabama Theater, built in 1927, and obviously constructed to withstand all sorts of occurrences---natural and otherwise. I by-passed the over-priced watered-down white wine and headed for my seat. I don't know why they sell seats, because nobody used them after the band came onstage. But before that happened, I looked around to case the audience-- and was surprised. Besides the barely over-forties, there were body-pierced/tattooed teenagers, young marrieds, children under twelve--we ran the gamut, agewise. At the end of two hours of standing and waving my arms (I do try to blend in) and cheering, my sciatic nerve had kicked in and my head was splitting. Just when I thought it couldn't get any louder, the Hoover High School drumline made its appearance. That's Taylor's high school, you know. Stroke of genius, having that group incorporated into the act. The packed theater went wild as Taylor reappeared and performed Runaround with the kids. Taylor, I have two words for you, "glucosomine" and "chondroitin," believe me-- you're going to need them! His second encore was Birmingham, which brought tears from him and his audience, not to mention more than a few Southern mom "Bless his hearts".

I limped out of the theater nursing my back and holding my head, but felt like a total wimp when I was by-passed by two dowager toting oxygen tanks and breathing tubes. I begged off the second gig of the evening and headed back to the hotel with a four-year-old and five-year-old in tow. Not exactly the peace and quiet I had envisioned, but nothing that a little room service charged to their parents couldn't cure. I climbed into bed, leaving the little ones with their burgers and fries, and when I awoke the next morning, the room was still intact and the kids were asleep, so I guess they didn't set fire to anything.

Second day. It was hot, so I opted for the purple springly outfit that I had packed at the last minute. Big mistake for a non-SP'er. I was greeted with squeals of "You've come over! We told you so!" What they hadn't told me was the purple is HIS color. Great start. At four o'clock it was time to go to the theater. Why? The concert doesn't start until 7:30. Well, we might get to see him if we stand outside his bus for three hours. My daughter worries that he may have looked out of the window of his bus and noticed her trying to parallel park her SUV. This THintervention is NOT going well. I stake out a corner of the building that is partially-shaded and prepare to wait it out, until I realize that appearances are often deceiving, and I just might appear to be a shady lady dressed in purple like a temple prostitute who has claimed her corner of the street. So I rejoined the crowd just in time to hear some smart-alecky teenagers drive by and yell out the window of their car, "Who are you waiting for?" One of the sisters yells back, "President Carter, who do you think?" Bless her heart. Now I"m mad. Doesn't Birmingham know that their home-boy is back? Why aren't they giving him the honor he is due? this morning's paper had a very lukewarm account of the previous night's concert, turning it into a contest between the stage managers in Huntsville and Birmingham, and not as a tribute to the star of the whole thing. The locals were not upset, claiming that it was a really good review for that particular writer, and to not take it as a personal affront to Taylor. Hey, if this had been Memphis, and the artist had been that Justin guy, that's all that would have been on the front of the Sunday paper. To each his own, I suppose.

Fnally, we're inside the now-familiar grand old theater, and I amuse myself by looking at the people as they file in, wondering which of them was his high school English teacher, or coach, or principal. the man behind me is obviously at the concert under great duress-- his arms are folded across his chest and his lips are in a tight, straight line, and it's not a smile. A few songs into the set, I hear him say (presumably to his wife), "Well, he certainly sounds better live" (as opposed to dead? But I knew what he meant). A few songs later and the man was out of his seat and clapping along with everybody else. At intermission he turns to someone and says "Taylor went to school with our kids and we gave him some of his first band instruments." So now he's taking credit for the whole thing?

The woman next to me prepared to leave when Taylor went offstage for the first time, and I said to her "Don't you want to hear him perform with the drumline from his school?" I'm actually getting the hang of this. She loved it, and wiped away a tear ( I swear) as she prepared to exit when he left for the second time. "Don't you want to hear Birmingham?" I asked. Am I good, or what? Well, he didn't sing what I thought he would, but he did sing My Home's in Alabama, and the place was drop-dead silent, except for a few sobs and sniffles (was that really me?). Finally we leave, and I think it's over, but nooooooo. We get to stand outside for another hour or so and wait for him to come out of the theater on the chance that he will sign autographs. At fairly regular intervals, three bodies drop to the ground, and embarrassed, each blames an unseen curb, a stray foot, a hole in the sidewalk. Finally, Taylor does appear, and the shoving begins. The security guards yell at the crowd and try to drag him away, but-- trooper that he is--- he says he's not going anywhere and starts signing (only one per, and then you've got to make way). My little granddaughter makes it to the front of the line (ohmigosh, did I forget her?) and her hero bends down and says, "I saw you out there tonight" (she had second row, aisle seat), and she is suddenly as shy as she's ever been in her short life. Well, with that I can only say (with apologies to Julius Caesar): I came, I saw, he conquered.

I was musing aloud to my new sisters that I didn't see a frown or unhappy face in the whole crowd, and then (name omitted by Lmo unless this person gives permission to use it) from out West showed up and said how disillusioned she was because he didn't acknowledge her or anything. And after she had sent him that nice video of hers, too. Oh, it wasn't nice? I've still got a lot to learn.

Well, as they said when I first announced my mission to Birmingham (or Hicksville, to some), they were not interested in a THintervention. All I have to say is: Bless your heart, Taylor, honey, you look tired, and your voice sounded a wee bit hoarse there at the end. Go suck on a lemon, or gargle with warm salt water. Or, better yet, I have a great recipe for a hot toddy. Call me.
And about Tina's fainting spell:

And I knew he would sing the infamous "Georgia"! I literally had to run from the paramedics trying to take my blood pressure as I heard the first few notes playing. Now, tell me, that's not crazy is it?????

Yes, Taylor can officially boast about having women faint at his concerts! LOL- but I did it very discreetly so as not to distract him. Actually, hubby knew I was about to go at any time and he kept trying to get me to go to the back. I kept telling him to buzz off...I was not giving up my spot for anything! So when the room started spinning, I fell back onto my husband and he caught me. But as he dragged me through the approximately 25 rows of people, I could be heard yelling, "But I don't want to loose my spot"!!!!!!!! Yes, I got to hear all of Georgia, but it was from the back and I couldn't see the facial expression...

Jean (PurpleButterflies)

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Annie said...

I loved this when I first read it all those months ago. As the stranger in her daughter's house, I have first-hand knowledge of this so-called "intervention". Sorry, momma mo- it didn't work- I'm still as crazy as ever. And Tina, I still laugh every time I think of bouillion cubes and fainting. That was the best week of my life. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane.... and yes, it really WAS a curb.....

KarinP said...

Mamma Mo's recap - what a joy it was to read this again. It made me laugh when I read the first time on the Board and I laughed again while reading it tonight.

I do remember Tina's fainting spell. It is probably something she wishes we would all forget but somehow we just can't.

I had to really laugh about the purple outfit. To the SP'ers who were trying to convince her that being a Taylor Hicks fan was the way to go, she was unknowingly giving them a signal that they had succeeded in their task. In the end, though, the intervention was a successful mission.

How refreshing it is to have these flashbacks. I would love to read a new Mamma Mo post. She sounds like a remarkable woman who has a terrific sense of humour. Oh yes, she is a great Mom too because we have all enjoyed her daughter, Leslie's humour too.

Thanks very much for a fun filled blog.

RagsQueen said...

How well I remember those events! It was fun then and it's fun now! Thanks for the happy memories!

DidNotExpectThat said...

You faint one time and get a reputation! Everytime I think about it I still laugh hysterically. And Mama's recap is priceless!

Anonymous said...

Haven't laughed that hard in ages. Thanks for the story.

Lmo said...

Well, I haven't told Mama Mo she's been "blogged", but since Karin has requested a sequel, I guess I'll let her know!!! LOL!!!
That was a great weekend, and yes, my mom really was trying hard to do an intervention! She really couldn't believe the hugs were flowing freely to so many people I'd only met on the 'net, but by the end of the weekend, I believe she was giving them out herself! She now loves hearing all the Taylor stories and has been to a few more concerts with me since Birmingham. She especially loves it when Taylor plays with LMBO! And, Annie, she asks about you all the time!
Tina-- we love your fainting story. Sorry to say, but I think it's going to become a Soul Patrol Legend!!!

maryann1 said...

I loved reading and reliving all these wonderful memories. Reading Mama Mo's recap, once again brought a smile to my face and laughter to my heart...It was almost like being there with her,well, I guess I was....Fun Times amd memories that will last a lifetime.

Tina...I will always remember your fainting spell..and Roy taking you out....It was so warm in that place...don't know how more of us didn't faint from the heat and seeing Taylor at the same time.

Love the memories.