PSA.

Basenji’s Guide to Making a Splash on the Taylor Hicks Fan Sites

So, you’re a new Taylor Hicks fan and you want to join the millions (perhaps billions!) of people posting on the Taylor Hicks fan sites. Worried about networking to score special après show jam info? Here are some tips on how to become super popular in the hard-to-navigate cliques that comprise the Soul Patrol. After all, you never know what fan perks may come your way: free tickets, a special meet and greet, a hook-up in a House of Blues restroom with one of the roadies, anything’s possible!

1. Try all the fan sites. This is a “know thyself” kind of thing: Do you understand the cartoons in The New Yorker or do you get all your news from Access Hollywood? Are you offended by profanity or do you feel the word “cocksucker” is an elegant and powerful rhetorical device? Do you decorate your bed with stuffed animals and/or do you have wrist and ankle restraints built into the headboard? There’s a fan site for every personality, so find your group!

2. Live somewhere exotic. If you live in a mundane place like Topeka or Scranton, consider moving. Finland, Japan, Ireland, Great Britain, and The Philippines currently have representatives, but you could try Lichtenstein or Iran. Actually being a foreigner is best, but if you can’t manage that, don’t be afraid to write as if English were your second language. Constantly remind people that you live overseas. Don’t forget, however, you’ll need to show up in the States at some point or you can’t play your foreign card to maximum benefit.

3. Be a student of Taylor Hicks’s career. You should know everything there is to know about Taylor Hicks, the musician. Listen to every pre- and post-Idol mp3, watch every video, study the tagging history, read the entire Gray Charles archives, listen to the cellcerts. There is no excuse for missing a single performance. If you can, make pilgrimages to all the sites: Laser’s Edge, his old apartment in Birmingham, Workplay, the Florabama. You can skip learning about his personal life. There is a niche, however, that can be filled in wardrobe knowledge. If you can pinpoint the day and place he bought a certain shirt or pair of jeans (fiber content and the amount of perspiration the item can absorb is also good to know), it might come in handy.

4. Be a close friend/lover of Taylor Hicks. Admittedly, this subset of “fans” is, by nature, select, but don’t be afraid to jump in and let everyone know who you are. A guaranteed crowd-pleaser!

5. Know everything about the history of soul music and/or Van Morrison. At a minimum, you should study the list of Taylor’s cover songs and tags/teases (the songs he fold into other songs during live performances). Listen to the original version (or the most famous version) of every single song he has tagged. No, really. And learn the lyrics, too. You’ll be popular during the cellcerts if you can catch an “Old Old Woodstock” tag from hearing only the word “the” among the garbled sound. If you don’t have time to study all this, at least learn the lyrics to one obscure Van Morrison song. You never know when you can work it into a conversation and score points.

6. Don’t ask questions whose answers can be Googled in 3 seconds. Nothing is more offputting than the poster who asks, “Who is Ray Lamontagne?” Or “How do you know all the lyrics, Basenji?” Seriously, just use motherfucking Google.

7. Take risks. Adopt an interesting personality. Post that you think Taylor Hicks sucks. Destroy the self-esteem of the weaker posters. As long as you are recognized, you are climbing the fan ladder. Trolling is a strategy that may backfire, but if you have any good Photoshop stuff mocking the whole fan scene, post it. If your first personality isn’t going over well, try another screen name and start again.

8. Study the relevant movies. For starters, rent and watch: Good Morning, Vietnam, Caddyshack, Stripes, The Big Lebowski, This Is Spinal Tap, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. When the Bobbi Fleckman or Adrian Cronauer references start flying, you’ve got to be on top to the situation. See also rule 6.

9. Get Gray Charles to notice you. This is a bit tricky; it would have helped if you were around when GrayCharles.com was active. But the famous Gray does appear from time to time on certain fan sites. If he does pop up, get his attention. Incorrect method: “I miss you Gray!” Correct method (version 1): “Gray, [insert 930 word GrayCharles.com-as-a-party-that-you-wish-would-never-end metaphor].” Correct method (version 2): “Gray…Monkbot!” If you are lucky, you will amuse him and he will respond. Recognition will gather you big points with the other fans. If you can’t get Gray to notice you, get a well-known poster to take you under her wing.

10. Be prolific, but not annoying. Yes, an impressively high post count will enhance your standing at the site, but people loathe posters who only write boring, infantile shit. Remember, people are always evaluating you in private messages. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. No matter how wry it seems at the time, repeating your name at the end of your posts, writing in bold, writing in the third person, or ignoring the pleas of fellow posters to just shut the hell up will alienate potential allies. Also, stay off the ass. Over investment in ass or thigh comments lacks ironic distance and backfires in the long run. Pick another body part, such as the Achilles tendon or the ear, to admire.

11. Don’t get confused. Taylor Hicks is not your friend. Taylor Hicks is not looking at you. Taylor Hicks is a state of mind, a live show, and most importantly, Taylor Hicks is only a means to an end: super popularity among the fans!

12. Embellish! In show recaps, don’t just give the standard “I got on plane and arrived at 5 pm and met my friends Tina123 and TAYSFREAKFLAG in the lobby of the Marriott.” No, no, no, mix things up, ignore the actual chronology, and add details that entertain the reader. If your mind was a blank when you met him at the meet and greet, fill in something witty later. Insert quotes from a Sam Cooke biography to give your piece heft. If you had better interaction with one of Taylor’s lackeys than with Taylor himself, feel free to stress this aspect in your post. Better to have a great Brian Less story than a lame Taylor one. Meeting the tour bus stories are usually boring, unless you actually got on the bus (or in the hotel room). If so, PM me.

13. Give frequent oral sex to your significant other. People can be trained: if every time you finish watching a Taylor Hicks video you then start unzipping your lover’s fly, you’ll find a certain sympathy for your hobby will grow. Or make a Pavlovian connection between Taylor Hicks concert tickets and extra beer in the fridge or a new high-def TV. Whatever it takes! If you can’t get on the computer or get to the shows because of a resentful spouse, you’ll never become super popular!

14. Persevere. Even if your health is suffering and you feel nauseated at the thought of discussing for the 100th time how “Naked in the Jungle” gets you off, don’t quit! You may take a short break, but this requires you to start a new thread on the message board apologizing in advance. Quitting without a word means you will forfeit all the hard work you did on your climb up Popularity Mountain.

There you have it, Basenji’s tips to get you started on being a standout fan among fans. Remember it’s not about the music, it’s about feeling superior while hectoring people that it’s all about the music. Good luck and have fun!

Ms. Basenji is a frequent contributor to The Advocate, The Lancet, and Foreign Affairs. Her upcoming book, Advances in Hyperhidrosis, will be published in January 2008.

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70 Responses to PSA.

  1. FLJerseyBoy says:

    Some things never change. 😉

    Good to see some familiar names!

  2. BarbieB says:

    Hey girl!! the real world of Taylor Hicks is only a mind spin away….

  3. hickschicks2010 says:

    You forgot one of the most significant things – Age is a big factor. Being 15 and into Taylor gets you noticed almost instantly. (Along with a few offers of adoption.) Being 90 and able to still dance in the aisles of a Taylor concert will get you noticed, too.

    And another thing in the Taylor world – Knowledge is power. Know everything about Taylor you possibly can. Knowing Taylor’s audition number was 74094 is about as impressive as hanging a spoon of the end of your nose. Knowing that Taylor’s first date (that didn’t happen) was with a girl named Angie and he was going to take her to go mini-golfing but didn’t because she stood him up is impressive enough to get one of the veterans to talk to you.

  4. Kindred Soul says:

    *giggle*…alot!

    Thanks!

  5. bamakat says:

    …what I have always loved most about words of wisdom Tay-posters is the brain callestinics. Basenji has made my day.

  6. calimari says:

    Love that Basenji. I haven’t been posting much the last few months (still reading). I just wanted to say, re: your great Brian Less story vs. lame Taylor Hicks story….when talking to Brian, we talked about the tour, Elton John, his dogs, and the sex shop that sells the kinky leather stuff around the corner from the theatre. Meeting Taylor minutes later – I think I commented on the sharpie pen or something totally inane. But I scored a photo!

  7. JiRO says:

    My wife says I’m aggraviting, maybe even annoying. When she says that to me I laugh and tell her she has legs all the way up to her a–. Can’t us A word so I say legs all the way down to her Achilles Tendon(s). She is no fan of Taylor Hicks.

    As regards PSA – reads more like a confession to me. Some Mommas and Sisters confirming same behavior by replys given.
    Are there any Daddys and Brothers out there? I will comment on some items.

    #3. Have seen the pictures of the inside of TH apartment on B”ham
    southside which is approx. 11 miles or so from where I live. I have in probably 1000 apts. like TH’s. Big old hand-me-down couch, stuffing poking out,covered with a sheet or bedspread, maybe with
    plywood under the cushions. Pennies laying all around the floors.

    I have been to “Lasers Edge” which is slightly bigger than a hole
    in the wall with a good selection of CD”s of old and new artists.

    I know where “Workplay” is but have no reason to go there.

    Let me be “offputting – Who the he– is Ray Lamontagne? I know,
    he’s Ray, the son of Mr. & Mrs. Lamontagne. Or is that just a stage
    name. Is his real name William Smith? Did he sing the tune Trouble or was that Elvis Presley who sang TROUBLE? OH NO, I used bold caps. someone scold me.
    Can’t use Google I might interrupt Mr. Google MF”en Mrs. Google.

    Ray Lamontagne was in item #6.

    #8. Relevant movies – is it GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM or GOOD
    MORNING VIETNAM. Wasn’t there a movie by name of “BASENJI”?

    #13. Oral sex on significant other(s). I guess talking about sex would cut down on some diseases. Basenji please furnish a more
    detailed description of this.

    Keep it on the Music.

    Gotta go – “Family Guy ” coming on TV – Lois is breast feeding Stewie
    tonight.

  8. AmyH says:

    This is so wicked! I’m practically choking in laughter. Does this mean you are going to be around more, Basenji? 🙂

    Kathryn G – It’s easy to misconstrue this entry. Just know that Basenji is poking fun at herself more than anyone else. Pretty much every point on her list takes a big old jab at her OWN fan behavior. That’s what makes it so funny! 😀

    chunkymonkey Says:
    I think Basenji was drunk when she wrote this. I mean, c’mon, hasn’t EVERYONE received his/her roadie hook-up in a House of Blues restroom? I’m pretty sure that’s one of the perks that comes with joining THHQ.

    Now I feel left out! I totally missed out on this perk – who can I complain to?

  9. AgingHippie says:

    LMAO – well that dragged me out of read-only-mode – – absofuckinlutely brilliant as always – hope you’re back to stay

  10. bjewel says:

    Oh, I am taking notes on this one, I do so want to be loved. Hi, Basenji!…I missed
    you!
    Bonnie

  11. dnjmorton says:

    Love reading this post…had to print it to show DH…..#13 really works..got to go to two live TH shows instead of one!!

  12. mamaforpeace says:

    Robin, I know Basenji isn’t Gray, I was JK 🙂

  13. PST says:

    on a serious note, if you’re really having that book Advances in Hyperhidrosis published next year, I’d love to check it out.

    /dry.

  14. KimLoree says:

    I think I just got suckered…nevermind.

  15. chunkymonkey says:

    I think Basenji was drunk when she wrote this. I mean, c’mon, hasn’t EVERYONE received his/her roadie hook-up in a House of Blues restroom? I’m pretty sure that’s one of the perks that comes with joining THHQ.

  16. KimLoree says:

    Geeeesh…can’t we ever just lighten up? Basenji is laughing at herself here as much as she is us. It would be nice if we didn’t scare her off again…because I think I speak for the majority when I say that we love to read her posts.
    I saw myself in at least half of the remarks and I still laughed my butt off.

  17. Kathryn G. says:

    I guess I need to go back to school to be able to understand half of what goes on around here. Otherwise I’m stuck standing by myself waiting to be chosen for the kickball team and wanting to cry.

  18. deejay says:

    Kathryn G., what sometimes happend with Gray’s, some here may not be familiar with Basenji and her past association with the Boogie and a certain gray-haired musician dude.

    I’m not a huge fan of the inside joke because it does leave some on the outside – been there, hated that! Please trust me when I say that Basenji’s post is not meant to be mean-spirited or hateful in any way. That’s the furthest thing from anything that she would write. Re-read it through the eyes of sarcasm, irony, humor – understand that there are inside jokes that you might not understand – it comes off much better then. I used these tools to great advantage at Gray’s.

    of course, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    WTF?!! hey Basenji…love you!

  19. Phile says:

    I was thinking of posting a rambling diatribe lambasting the author for the omission of the classic film “Airplane!,” (see, #8) as it is such a watershed movie among Hicks aficionados. But now I see the timing of such a post would be most unfortunate. Phooey.

    I LOLed at this comedy of manners. It’s always nice to hear from our favorite barkless dog.

  20. Jan says:

    Katharyn G: I resemble that list. I’m not offended. I think Basenji’s post is hilarious. It just silly fun. Sorry you aren’t amused. To each his own.

  21. Kathryn G. says:

    Boogie, I was actually talking to Basenji but I am sure she appreciates you rushing to her rescue. I have seen posts from quite a large number of Boogiers, many of them right here in this comment section, and I’m pretty sure they make up a large number of the group she’s talking about.

    Not to mention the fact that I am not the one who generalized, she is. In making fun of Taylor’s fans, generalizing seems to be her weapon of choice.

    I am surprised no one else is calling her out on this. I like the Boogie, and it makes me mad to see her being congratulated for laughing at even some of us.

  22. collins316 says:

    Well, I am not offended by profanity, and I do feel the word “cocksucker” is an elegant and powerful rhetorical device. So am I at the right fan site? If not, can someone send me a link? 🙂

  23. Kathryn G. says:

    I’m sorry, maybe I’m confused but how would this make anyone stand out? It sounds like you are describing every individual on the Boogie Board, and making fun of them. That just doesn’t seem right to do that on the Boogie blog. I’m not sure why Ash recommended we came here!

  24. J. says:

    Hahaha! Thank you so much for the primer.

    Oh to achieve such wild popularity.

  25. sideways721 says:

    To quote Basenji, this blog entry was “Straight-up, like a good bourbon.”

  26. Ilyn says:

    That’s funny! 😀

  27. katja says:

    BWAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

    Saved to my “The best of Basenji” folder. 😀

  28. soyouknowitsgotsoul says:

    Excellent as always.

  29. Robin says:

    mamaforpeace, Basenji most decidely is not Gray. I promise.

  30. makeitdo says:

    Basenji…That was hilarious!! So gald to “see”you here.

  31. mouser says:

    Amusing !!!

    Do these people have any time left to actually LIVE THEIR OWN LIFE because what you are writing is soooooooooo true. I consider myself a journeyman fan ( will settle for that ) .

  32. JAG says:

    Simply brilliant,Basenji!

  33. OSB says:

    Good times when you visit, Basenji!

  34. Laurita says:

    Superb & hilarious stuff there, ‘Ms. B’…

    Following up on cali50’s #15, I’d add:
    … “Kiss the ass of dearly departed uber-fans like “Basenji” when they make a comeback, thereby ingratiating yourself with them and others” — BUT… Don’t say “I miss you Basenji”, as in #9’s admonition to not say “I miss you Gray!”

    Btw, am I correct in assuming that this well-thought-out and eloquent-as-hell essay indicates that you’ve been doing some major lurking around the Boogie Board for months? Your list doesn’t mention the great issue of lurkers vis-a-vis fandom? Whadya think?

    Also, would love to see your take on emoticons, if you make an addendum to the list 😉

  35. MK says:

    the first time I’ve cracked a smile all night … thanks

  36. mamaforpeace says:

    Maybe Basenji IS Gray!

  37. maryann267 says:

    Oh and one more thing , cut it out with the Taylor #13 mmmmmm!

  38. maryann267 says:

    I hope I’am not too late for a reply. O.K. frist of all you are the with out a dobut the funniest thing I’ve read all nite! WOW!!!!!! I wish I could spend more time on this site. When I read your post and I think everyone who did will agree I thought I was going to read some pass’e sort of Taylor I have all your vid’s and bla,bla,bla but, you floored me! I will now make a pledge that I (me) will spend more time on this wonderful site that the board has provided for me. It’s people like you who definitley make a difference in our Taylor Hicks world!!!!!!!!!!

  39. KimLoree says:

    Looks like Basenji is nearly as popular as Gray.
    THAT right there was some funny shit!

  40. Historia says:

    Way to make a re-entrance! Welcome back my friend….my well written, crazy friend!

  41. Colleen says:

    AAh, no wonder why people don’t know who I am after a year plus of being here….. I’ve done nothing on your list! haha. 🙂

    Thanks Basenji its a fun read!

  42. DP says:

    Re.#2: I’m from Denmark.
    So. Hi, I’m DP, and I’m a Taylor Hicks addict.
    That would be Denmark. Copenhagen, Denmark.

    That was really, really funny..and it made me choke on my Danish Pastry. (It’s morning here).

  43. morewines says:

    Too funny Basenji.

  44. juliegr says:

    hah!

    You know, there really isn’t a cure for an addiction like Taylor Hicks!

    Welcome back basenji ~~~~~

  45. Robin4T says:

    LOL, SoulKaren. There’s so much underwear showing around here we’d all be written up for “sagging” if this were high school.

  46. Tayfancier says:

    I’m not worthy.

  47. JooYah says:

    Basenji – perfect timing, girl. A laugh was never more welcome. You should be writing for Colbert or Stewart. You’re fucking brilliant.

  48. Playford says:

    Aw, B…you have been SO missed!

  49. Jenni Jac says:

    Regarding #13. I believe Mr. Jac has begun to notice the TH afterconcert cause-effect cycle. Not sure if this is conscious or subconscious at this point, but he did drive me like a madman to Biloxi.

  50. madaboutu says:

    Basenji…………………..missed your creative setlisting during the summer tour. You can feel proud tho that you have gathered more comments on the blog than anyone since, er, can’t remember. Thanks for all the tips, especially the reminder that Taylor Hicks is a state of mind. Yes indeed…..

  51. bcath says:

    Yes, yes all good advice — lucky #13. My DH believes that I like to hang around with women who think that TH is hot. He firmly believes, however, that I personally would never think that a mere celebrity is hot.

  52. malisa says:

    Thanks for the advice B. Miss you.

    And on #13, I’ve found that if you’ve depleted the good-will vault over the past 18 months or so, a new iphone, hdtv, and a car just about tip the scales back in your favor.

    As did Britney’s performance last night.

  53. Robin4T says:

    PS — The DH said thanks for #13.

  54. taytayfan62 says:

    Exellent, Basenji. Is it ok to mention I miss your posts around these parts?

  55. Robin4T says:

    For some reason my post is in moderation and is attributed to robin instead of Robin4T. Trying this because I’m impatitient. What I said was…

    Too excellent for words. You, my friend, kick ass.

  56. robin says:

    Too excellent for words. You, my friend, kick ass.

  57. cynasch says:

    I usually bypass the homepage and head right for the boards…I’m glad I didn’t tonight. I needed a wake up call…and a laugh. What a freakin’ riot!

  58. dottib says:

    1. Ack!
    2. Er, no.
    3. No, thanks.
    4. Hell no,
    5. I don’t want to study it. I want to hear it.
    6. Excellent point.
    7. There’s nothing wrong with the one I have.
    8. Some of them are okay.
    9. Invite snark? No. I’m good, thanks.
    10. Um… like this?
    11 – ??? Ick.

    (Miss you, Basenji)

  59. lilolme says:

    Love it!

  60. KraftR says:

    Well, I don’t know what hyperhidrosis means, but I was able to pronounce it.. does that count?

    “Airplane” and it’s sequels can also be considered relevant movies, I believe (see rule #3).

    …and everybody knows that it’s the left hand pointer finger bend that is the wellspring of Hicksian sexuality.

    Is it weird that I’m breathing in Basenji-ness like an ex-smoker who fell off the wagon?

  61. deejay says:

    Basenji! Hey, I know Basenji (well, not personally, but she did respond to my PMs a couple of times, so I know she likes me best!) so I must be one of the cool kids. Gray even responded to one of my posts . . . once. And I’ve met AmyH who is the most awesome poster in the Boogie universe. I can keep dropping names, but then . . . well . . . wait, what was this post all about? k, going back to re-read. cheers!

  62. Pamela(SoularEnergy) says:

    …finally… someone acknowledges that it’s not the ass but the hands!
    (Perhaps I should “move” to a caribbean island frequented by hurricanes and drug runners – I always wanted to be a bit of a pirate.)

  63. ksuer says:

    Well, I’m screwed!

  64. cali50 says:

    You forgot number 15! “Make a dramatic exit from said fansite, then come back months later with one of the funniest things I’ve read recently!”

  65. Soulkaren says:

    Okay.

    Am I the only one who feels like they got caught with their underwear showing?

  66. Lubiana says:

    That was great! Hysterical!

  67. tishlp says:

    LOL, thanks!

  68. lulupod says:

    This was fcking hilarious…..
    (signed from: a non-stand out fan among fans ! ! )

  69. Orca says:

    Ahhhh, Basenji, you made me LOL. And I’m feelin’ rather smug that I didn’t even have to google hyperhidrosis!

  70. Crazymomelon says:

    Um, Hi!, Basenji.
    Miss your setlists.

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