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Taylor Hicks on College, Cussing, and Chocolate Yoo-hoo

by Caryl Zimmerman

While browsing in a cute little Asian store last week, the checkout girl pointed to some bracelets and said, “Real jade. Brings good fortune.” I don’t believe in that stuff but there was something in her eyes and mystery in the air. I can’t explain it, but I had to have a bracelet. I wore it home.

When I got to the apartment there was a message from Taylor Hicks’ publicist, telling me she wanted to get with me to schedule an interview. Don’t get me wrong- I asked for an interview for the fans the last time I saw Taylor but thought it was a long shot. I mean, who am I?

But see, that’s Taylor Hicks for you. There’s no way this interview would have happened if he didn’t want to do it. I’m thinking he wanted to give a little bit back to the fans as thanks for all the hard work done in an effort to promote him. Maybe the fact that we have an easy rapport played a hand, but I doubt it. I don’t believe any one fan is more important to Taylor than another. He agrees to this kind of interview for ALL of us. He knows a fan will ask the kinds of questions other established fans would ask.

Or maybe the interview came about thanks to the jade bracelet. *cue the Twilight Zone music*

You don’t care. You just want to hear what Taylor had to say. OK, then, let’s get on with it-

Taylor: Hi, Caryl!

Caryl: Hi, Taylor! Good to hear from you. We’re doing this interview for the fans, but I also write for Yoohoo, so we’ll repost it there.

Taylor: I didn’t know they had a column.

Caryl: Yahoo?

Taylor: You said Yoo-hoo.

Caryl: Oh! *laugh* I meant Yahoo.

Taylor: You know what Yoohoo is, right?

Caryl: Well, it’s a drink

Taylor: It’s a chocolate drink. I didn’t know they had a column. Listen, you can drink Yoohoo, you can get on Yahoo.

Caryl: Got it. So I write for Yoohoo. Dammit! Why do I keep saying that? *laugh*

Taylor: Cuz it’s catchy and fun to say.

Caryl: Yahoo, dammit! Let’s move on…I saw your tweet about a benefit concert. Can you tell us anything about that?

Taylor: No. *laugh*

Caryl: I figured. *laugh*

Taylor: I just got some information today on it. It’s not announced cuz they’re still figuring out all the names and stuff. I’m excited about it. I hope it comes together.

Caryl: Your family’s OK as far as the tornadoes..?

Taylor: Everyone’s either been affected directly or indirectly by it. In Alabama you either know somebody or hear about somebody. Whether it’s a family member or a friend of a friend…it’s just really sad.

Caryl: Yes, I agree. You must be exhausted. You’ve had such a busy schedule lately. A lot going on.

Taylor: A lot of good stuff. It‘s great to get out on the bus and tour and it’s also nice to do a golf tournament for your hometown. It’s also nice to go to New Orleans and play with a bunch of great musicians. It’s all fun. I really am very blessed.

Caryl: Yes, that’s for sure. And now you’re back on the road. I know you’ve said in the past that it’s impossible to write music on the bus. Are you trying anyway?

Taylor: With the schedule that I’ve had in the past six or seven days it’s been impossible to find a really good groove…it’s hard, but you know, the writing process will happen. It’s already started to happen and it’s going to keep happening.

Caryl: What’s your writing process like? Do you write lyrics and then hand it off to somebody or do you all just sit in a room together and work together…?

Taylor: It depends upon the person…I’ve done all kinds of co-writing, from people sending me parts of a songs… to sitting in a room with people…to just writing…I’m very active in it.

Caryl: Do you think you’ll be trying out any new songs during this tour?

Taylor: Probably. I think there might be a possibility of that.

Caryl: That would be great! I find it interesting that you’re singing “Just to Feel That Way” again. I remember you saying that Clive Davis had to pretty much talk you into recording it. So what’s going on? Did you have a change of heart about it?

Taylor: I don’t think it was…he didn’t have to make me do it, he had to make me redo it. I think the song is great.

Caryl: Oh, ok. I always thought you didn’t like it.

Taylor: I wouldn’t play it if I didn’t like it.

Caryl: Well, I’ve always liked that song. Is “Maybe You Should” still on hold for somebody?

Taylor: It is. It gets passed around a lot in Nashville. Once you know you have a song that’s good, it just needs to find a home.

Caryl: Speaking of good songs, “The Fall” may be my favorite song of yours. Is there a story behind it?

Taylor: You know…I think…being vulnerable emotionally is good for your writing. *silence*

Caryl: You know so much about music, I’ve often wondered why you didn’t study music in college. Did you ever think about doing that?

Taylor: I loved it so much, I had to play it, the last thing I wanted to do was study it. I’d like to now. I think that’s a great question. My studying was..you know..performing.

Caryl: Speaking of those college days, I can’t imagine your Dad NOT encouraging you to pursue music. What if you had a child who wanted to be an entertainer, what would you tell them?

Taylor: Get a degree. *laugh*

Caryl: Really? *laugh*

Taylor: I mean, that’s a tough one. You need to have a backup plan. If I had a kid who wanted to be a musician, it’d be kinda hard to argue with them. It’d be like, ‘Right, Dad, like YOU really had a backup plan.’

Caryl: ha!

Taylor: It depends on the talent. I guess we’ll cross those many bridges when we get there.

Caryl: It almost sounds like you regret not getting a degree. Do you feel that way?

Taylor: No! No, I don’t. I think I really knew deep down inside that I needed to learn how to perform live music. But now, my attention span is getting better. My attention span due to ADHD was pretty short. The older you get, the more you can corral it. Ya know, so with that being said, now would be a good time…*YAWN*

Caryl: You’re exhausted, I can tell.

Taylor: It’s been a long six or seven days, that’s for sure. But it’s all good. Tomorrow I’m gonna relax. Never fear. I’ll find energy somewhere.

Caryl: Just one more heavy question and then I have a few questions from your fans. Is fame what you thought it would be?

Taylor: Yeah, kinda.

Caryl: Maybe you didn’t set out to be famous, maybe you just wanted to perform music. I don’t know.

Taylor: I think there was a determination to be successful.

Caryl: From the outside looking in, fame seems to be sort of a pain in the ass.

Taylor: It beats the alternative.

Caryl: Well, that’s true.

Taylor: I mean, I couldn’t do a lot of things that I get to do.

Caryl: True. I’ll ask you the fan questions.

Taylor: Cool.

Caryl: If you could have any super power what would it be?

Taylor: The power to fly.

Caryl: Oh, to get around. OK, that makes sense.

Caryl: You said recently that you never keep your New Years’ resolutions. What kind of resolutions do you make?

Taylor: Obviously, not any good ones. Um…to stop swearing. Real practical stuff that I can never keep. It’s almost like you just feel like you’re supposed to. It’s like…oh, OK, here’s a New Year’s Resolution- I WON’T CUSS and seven days later…SHIT.

I guess we were running long, because Taylor’s publicist jumped in here to say we needed to wrap it up. I was told before Taylor ever got on the phone that I had twenty minutes. I thought that would be enough time to cover all of my questions, but I had gone off script a couple of times and then there was the whole Yoohoo discussion at the beginning that I didn’t anticipate. (Yahoo!)

I thanked Taylor for his time and wished him luck with the upcoming shows. If you don’t have tickets yet, make sure you check  http://www.taylorhicks.com/ for his tour schedule!

Now on to other matters. Gotta run out and buy some lottery tickets before I misplace this bracelet.

24 Comments Post a comment
  1. Louise #

    Very, very entertaining and thoughtful. Thanks THN and Caryl. Will you be naming the bracelet Yoo-hoo? Loved that part! Louise

    May 11, 2011
  2. juliegr #

    Another great interview Caryl. I wish the “legit” press could write interviews like yours — imagine it is possible to talk to Taylor without asking ONE question about American Idol! :D

    Congratulations on the connection!

    May 11, 2011
  3. tishtx #

    Totally loved it!! You always seem to catch the essence of Taylor’s personality. :)

    May 11, 2011
  4. Linda T #

    My favorite quote of the whole thing — “Never fear, I’ll find energy somewhere.” Love it! Thanks for the interview!

    May 11, 2011
  5. Thanks, Caryl! Great interview! So … are you giving Taylor a carton of Yoo-Hoos at the next concert? Dang. Now I want a Yoo-Hoo too! :-)

    May 11, 2011
  6. Gr8fulheart #

    This interview made it worth getting up this morning. Loved the humor & Had to laugh about the New Year’s resolution & not cussing. I guess he really is human!..lol
    Thanx so much Caryl♥

    May 11, 2011
  7. Jenni Jac #

    Fun interview to find on a Wednesday morning…thanks!

    May 11, 2011
  8. Dee #

    Great interview. Love your writing.

    May 11, 2011
  9. Pat P #

    Thanks Caryl that interview was goooood…you never fail to come through for T’s fans :)

    May 11, 2011
  10. rosie #

    Caryl, I’m kind of tongue tied after reading that. Good job for sure. I’ll just agree with all those who commented above.

    May 11, 2011
  11. You guys are sweet. Thanks!

    May 11, 2011
  12. Dee #

    Good one – 20 min’s is so little time but you got a lot in – ah to have 20 min’s with taylor – ha ha ha….

    May 11, 2011
  13. wings #

    Thanks for this!! Appreciate it so much,

    May 11, 2011
  14. mond105 #

    That was a wonxderful interview Caryl. Thank you

    May 11, 2011
  15. luvhicks #

    Thank you for your wonderful interview of my favorite and talented entertainer, Taylor Hicks. The leader of the pack, SP, is an amazing human being and I love what he does. His family must be very proud. His Dad worried about him and how he would turn out but still helped when he was needed. Congratulations to all who believed in Taylor. Yes, he’s a winner!

    May 11, 2011
  16. NolaMar #

    Fantastic job on the interview Caryl! Fan interviews are for the most part always better! You always seem to get to things that “regular” interviewers don’t, and it’s a lot more fun and a lot more interesting. Haha! “oh, OK, here’s a New Year’s Resolution- I WON’T CUSS and seven days later…SHIT.”

    May 11, 2011
  17. Judy #

    Great interview Caryl. Loved all the questions. Taylor must be fun to talk to on the phone. Super job!! Thanks for bringing it to us.

    May 11, 2011
  18. Helene #

    That was a very interesting interview. Great questions about the music. I too love the song “The Fall” Thanks Caryl

    May 11, 2011
  19. Ange Bleu #

    Thnx loads. Great interview. Taylor is the best.

    May 11, 2011
  20. nancypaonessa #

    Oh I loved the interview thank you for posting it, glad you got to do it

    May 11, 2011
  21. Chiana Skidmore aka tygrlillie #

    That was a real fun read. Thanks Caryl and Taylor for the time and obvious joy. See you later on down the road. Many prayers going up for Taylor’s family and friends affected – hope it’ll get better quickly. And I loved the resolution bit – God knows I’m with you there, Taylor.

    May 12, 2011
  22. Legacy #

    Great interview! I think this is the first time I have ever seen him actually admit that he had ADHD. We (his fans) have always teased him about his wiggles and not being able to sit still, so it was not a surprise to learn that he admits to ADHD.

    May 12, 2011
  23. suze4158 #

    Caryl, you are a hoot. What a fun interview with the very real Taylor Hicks!

    May 12, 2011
  24. Thanks so much for your support and kind words! I had more relevant questions but we went off on tangents. lol

    May 13, 2011

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