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Taylor Hicks on “FOX and Friends”: My Story

This original story and all accompanying photographs are graciously provided by guest blogger Caryl.

 

I’ve never been on set at a TV show before, so when it was announced that Taylor Hicks was going to be on Fox and Friends last Sunday morning I thought it would be fun to go. A two-fer: I’d get to see the band perform and watch how the whole thing makes it to air.

I figured it would take almost two hours to get there from my Mom’s house out on Long Island and since the performance was early in the morning, I looked into the price of a hotel room. Expensive. One of my best friends was visiting with me at my Mom’s but had gone into the city to stay with her cousin for the weekend. When we spoke on the phone and I told her what I was cooking up, she asked her cousin if I could stay with them.
 
I absolutely did NOT want to interfere with their family time but everyone insisted, so a blow up mattress became mine for the 2 nights I would be there.
 
Sunday morning I woke before everyone else, got myself ready and hailed a taxi out on the street. That was a first, but I’ve seen people do it on TV so I got through it. A cab actually stopped, I gave the address and we shot off immediately, weaving FAST through the New York streets as if one of us were in labor.
 
I was nervous. I’ve never navigated Manhattan on my own. I was worried about missing the show, not tipping the cab driver properly, spilling hot coffee all over myself during the drive and possibly dying in a fiery crash. But not in that order.
 
The cab suddenly swerved to the side of the road and I was told we had arrived. I didn’t see anything that would indicate that music would be played in the area soon. In all directions, the buildings looked like ordinary sky scrapers. I told the driver I was going to Fox and Friends but he only repeated the address and pointed to the meter. OK, screw you, I thought. I gave him a handsome dollar tip (ha) and got out.
 
The address was correct. As I turned the corner there it was. Instruments were set up on a raised platform. A barricade fenced the area in, but I saw no human activity. I wondered for a second if I was in the right place because the band was set to play in less than twenty minutes.
 
Walking closer, I saw a group of five or so women, cameras in hand, waiting for the show to start. I expected more hustle and bustle. Instead, the air was still and crisp, the viewing area empty. To the left of the stage, I finally spotted the familiar faces of the band as they waited in the shade. Not a gray head among em, though.
 
Slowly, technical people sauntered over, headphones on, and 2 men with hand held cameras took their places. the band moseyed over. And there was Taylor, polished and shiny, wearing dark black sunglasses and a serious expression as he joined them. Someone may have applauded or hooted or something, but I don’t remember. I remember silence. This was national TV after all. No one wanted to mess it up. 
 
Suddenly a quick count down from Taylor and the band was playing, filling that quiet Sunday morning with the first few bars of “Love The One You’re With.” Adrenaline. Then back to silence. The short warm up started to attract a crowd. People filled in next to and behind me.
 
I knew we were about to get started when the smiling, glowing anchors of the show rounded the corner, mics in hand, and greeted the crowd. This was getting exciting!
 
I’m sure you’ve all seen the video by now. a little banter with the hosts and then what we’d all come to see- the Taylor Hicks band back in action! A sizable crowd had gathered by now. We had taken it to the streets.
 
Another weird, quiet pause while the show went to commercial break and then we were into the After Show. Taylor and band launched into “Seven Mile Breakdown.” The crowd bobbed up and down. His longtime fans sang along. When Taylor stepped back and slipped the red guitar off his shoulder I knew it was time for his harmonica solo.
 
Bent over, back to us, I saw that he had the harp mic in hand but no harmonica. Where is it? Where is it? Clay appeared, looking on top and under everything. Nobody seemed panicked, they just calmly looked. Finally, the red guitar was strapped back on. Taylor sang the last verse, Brian blew it out of the water on keyboards and the song was done.
 
I doubt anyone but his diehard fans noticed. Obviously it’s a shame we weren’t treated to a blast from his trademark instrument, but the song soared nonetheless.
 
As the cables and instruments were being packed away, Taylor walked off with a few people I assume were with Fox and disappeared around the side of the building. The show was over, but I was curious about what had happened. Sometime during his warm up Taylor had requested a harmonica. he spoke into the mic: “F harmonica.” did no one retrieve it?
 
Behind the stage, I saw a band member or two walking around, looking like they were packing up equipment. I decided to go see what I could find out. A black van was being loaded and behind it sat a black SUV. Taylor suddenly appeared- cap on- and swiftly jumped into the waiting vehicle. “Nice,” I thought to myself with a chuckle. It always gives me a kick when I see him sneak around unnoticed.
 
The drummer walked past me so I asked, “Taylor couldn’t’ find his harmonica?” He smiled and said, “yeah. and you know where it was? In his back pocket!” We shared a good-natured laugh. I complimented him on a great performance, told him Taylor had assembled yet another great group of musicians and that I would see them later at the Highline.
 
I turned to go and saw the black SUV containing Taylor Hicks stopped at a light directly in front of me. I waved at the back window, mouthed, “Bye!”, laughed and headed off in the other direction, back to the apartment.
 
I walked forty blocks. Did you hear what I just said? FORTY blocks. I don’t remember a thing. Just that the air was cool and breezy and “Seven Mile Breakdown” was playing in my head.
7 Comments Post a comment
  1. I loved this story it was so cute the way she described everybody looking for Taylor’s harmonica and it was in his back pocket all along lol and it was so cool that Taylor and the band was still awsome they rocked. Sounds like Caryl was is the Taylor zone after it was all over she didn’t even mind the long walk back!

    July 28, 2010
  2. Thanks for this sweet recap. Caryl, I never feel the concrete under my feet either, in the city, when Taylor and his buds are in the house. :-)

    July 28, 2010
  3. jerseyirish #

    Caryl, What a great recap, loved hearing the step by step of your adventure into the city!

    JI

    July 28, 2010
  4. Fantastic Caryl! I have always loved your writing…you just keep us hanging on!
    So glad you had such a good time! Thanks for making us feel like we there with you.

    July 28, 2010
  5. katja #

    Too funny about the harmonica. :D

    Thank you for sharing!

    July 28, 2010
  6. Tammy #

    what an AWESOME story!!!!!!! in his back pocket?? wonder where his head was? Im so glad you had a wonderful time, despite the horrific FAST cab ride (been there done that)…Thank you so very much for sharing! =)

    July 28, 2010
  7. tishtx #

    I really enjoyed hearing about your adventure. Somehow the pull to hear Taylor’s music makes us step out of our comfort zones and we find out we can accomplish things we never thought of before.

    Harmonica in the back pocket…..another Taylor story to remember, and I love it!!

    August 2, 2010

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