The Top 12 & Birmingham

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Didn’t Rueben Stoddard win? Didn’t Taylor Hicks win?

I am thisclose to dropping this show from my viewing schedule….what a crock of s**t…

Diana Ross night ….

BRANDON ROGERS: You Can’t Hurry Love – I felt like he was straining to be as strong as he had to be with the large band. He got pitchy in the middle and then totally lost his place and forgot words. This was a very weak performance and NOT the time to have it. His last note was good…did not save it.

MELINDA DOOLITTLE: Home- This woman sings and I get goosebumps over and over…from the first note to the last. We are watching a consummate professional. Every note is spot-on. The way she works the stage…perfect. Big last note. Keep going Melinda. She still looks like she doesn’t believe she belongs!!?? Girl, you do!

CHRIS SLIGH: Endless Love – Began pitchy and seemed unsure. I did not like the different tempo. The song is a love song though and it became more of an anthem song…there didn’t seem to any emotion that we would expect from this type of song. Hurt him coming out the first night.

GINA GLOCKSEN: Love Child – She does have a very strong voice. She handled the song well, though it seemed a little light. She gave it a little different spin to suit her style, but may have tried too hard. We do think she is going to have to be a lot stronger if she wants to continue on in this contest.

SANJAYA MALAKAR: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – WTF DID THEY DO TO HIS HAIR??? He could not hit any of the big notes. It reminded me of a HS talent contest. Very weak once again. Does NOT deserve to be here. NO No No NO NO

HALEY SCARNATO: Missing You – Began weak.. was off key many times...forgot words…Not impressed at all…she showed more during the opening shows. Tonight was the total trainwreck you hope does not happen. The ending was a crash. Totally. Think she was intimidated by the venue.

PHIL STACEY: I’m Gonna Make You Love Me - Began a little weak…then he goes to the big notes and hits them all. Much better singer when he belts out the songs. We have said this over and over and it is our biggest criticism of him. He needs to get into it. Good last note. Did well tonight.

LAKISHA JONES: God Bless The Child – Did not like her little scat at the beginning. This is one of our favorite songs. We thought she did a very good rendition controlling her vocals throughout and hit that last big note, but she has not shown what she can do the last two weeks, which is why we predicted she can be had somewhere down the line.

BLAKE LEWIS: You Keep Me Hanging On - Interesting take on the song. Did not show he has a good voice…his falsetto lacked big time. Overall, it was not a great performance. Sometimes you need tossing the song and not try and change it all. We think tonight he tried to hard to change it.

STEPHANIE EDWARDS: Love Hangover – She has a star quality about her. She took the suggestions and followed them from what we could see. Not her strongest vocal performance and also had a few lost words along the way. She is much better then she showed this evening.

CHRIS RICHARDSON: The Boss – Not our favorite song at all. He seemed weak on the big stage. Pitchy throughout. Missed some big notes. Falsetto attempts fell flat. Seemed to be trying way too hard and it did not do him well. Lower end of the pack.

JORDIN SPARKS: If We Hold On Together: Seems as if she decided to bring her A-game tonight. Big notes and she hit them with feeling and conviction. Really liked what she did with the song and put her in the running to be here for a few more weeks. What a young girl with big talent.





Now.... on to BIRMINGHAM

THE COUCH NOTE: Have not used analog camera in a long time, since getting a digital, but no longer have the digital. The camera is wonderful, but needs some maintenance...many pictures did not come out- so sorry... but there are many out there in photobucket

Come and sit on THE COUCH and hear a tale.

A tale of a journey in which a Hottie and The Hootchies were to meet in The Magic City to gather with a group of Soul Patrollers to join in a celebration with a Gray-Haired Soul Man.

First, an explanation...

The Hotties and the Hootchies is the name given to a sub group of Soul Patrollers who met through their love of Taylor Hicks.

The original group was comprised or:
Ann: screen name Anndi; christened Foreign Hootchie
Elizabeth: screen name TurnBaby; christened Randy Hootchie
Lee Ann: screen name DixieChick; christened Dixie Hootchie
Liz: screen name Busy; christened Rocker Hootchie
Mary: screen name MaryFly; christened Snarky Hootchie
Vinny: screen name Bond; christened The Hottie

For this trip, Rocker Hootchie was not going to be able to join us – which saddened all. Originally Foreign Hootchie was to fly to Memphis and hook up with The Hottie and Dixie Hootchie and the three were to drive to Birmingham.

Unfortunately at the last minute Dixie Hootchie was not able to go, as she had to care for her mom who was sick…Again there was great sadness in Hootchie-dom.

Prior to the trip, Marybeth, screen name Pia, was brought into the group as a pledge, with the promise of being given initiation chores while in Birmingham. Just before we left, a new Hottie, Travis, was brought in to be voted on by the Hootchies.

So on Friday evening Foreign Hootchie flew in to Memphis and she and The Hottie journeyed to Beale Street.

The famous street was jam-packed with revelers in town for the USA Conference Basketball games. Elbow to elbow with the Blues pounding out of every bar on the strip!

We decided to enjoy the music and food at the original B.B. King’s Blues bar, catching one of those ubiquitous Memphis staples. A multigenerational band of blues musicians led by Mr. Carl Drew an “85-year old teenager” as he was introduced. This man, at his age could still make a guitar sing. His lead vocalist was one of those true Blues-Mama singers. She belted out tune after tune. The rest of the band knew their craft and rocked and rocked…

Foreign Hootchie found a drink on the menu called a “Hootchie Cootchie” and enjoyed a couple of them. She was even persuaded to take the little drink menu card as a souvenir.

The Hottie gave up his bedroom and took to THE COUCH downstairs. Evidently, there was no snoring or it was not loud enough to disturb the upstairs guest.

The next morning a leisurely 3 hour 45 minute ride brought us into The Magic City – Birmingham, Alabama. The map quest instructions were a bit off and we had to journey through the backside of the city before finding the Redmont Hotel, the headquarters for The Soul Patrol in B’ham.

Upon entering the hotel, Foreign Hootchie and The Hottie were immediately set upon by Bamagallynn and huge hugs and kisses were given by all. We then contacted Randy & Snarky Hootchie, who had been in Atlanta the evening before for the concert there and then had driven to B’ham.

Huge cries of WOOOOOOO were heard throughout the Redmont as the four finally hooked up! Smooches, Gropes, and Rubs were given by all to all and the laughter became infectious.

Hootchies Foreign & Randy

As we arrived on our floor, we ran into Robin and Wayne. The Hottie immediately gave Robin her overdue, promised HUGE BIRTHDAY HUG and Foreign Hootchie bolted for Wayne for her promised hug. These two people are just so special and finally meeting them was a great thing.

The four of us then journeyed to the restaurant in the hotel for a quick bite.


The quickness of the bite dragged into a three hour ordeal as the service was slower then slow. This gave us all time to laugh and joke, but got in the way of a special road-trip we had planned.

With no extra time, we bagged the road trip and all prepared for the evening.

Once ready The Hottie headed down to We met back downstairs at the bar thinking that maybe we could convince the bartender to whip up a few “Hootchie Coochies”, but immediately realized that this was not to be as the bartender was in a foul mood which grew worse as more members of the Soul Patrol streamed in and the place got louder and louder.

Apple Martini’s were had by some…Gentleman Jack or Wild Turkey by others. We got to meet Tez as we entered the bar. It was great fun to be recognized and to recognize people from the pictures we had been seeing online for the past year.

Soon enough, Pledge Pia arrived and was immediately set upon by the other Hootchies. As time went on, NYCSoulPatrol, Kelly, Tabbers, ThinLizzy, Amy, Missie, Lilolme and the Hootchies and The Hottie had taken over the bar area (know I am forgetting someone here) and ordered some snacks to prepare us for the evening. It got louder and louder and the bartender began growling, so we decided to head on out.


A decision had been made to walk to the Alabama Theatre

When we arrived, Mary had to sell the ticket that Lee Ann was to use. The following is an actual transcript caught on tape by the local news station.





At this point a man walks up…

“Excuse me? What are you selling it for?”

Mary: “Face value and I paid more then that because it was pre-sale…do you want it?”

"No, that is OK, I run the theater and am just making sure you are not scalping.”

He walks away.

Laughter all around…


Red Cross guy collecting money “ LOL…someone buy the ticket from the lady.”

Amy Mc “Offer sexual favors you will sell it.”

Mary: “BUY MY TICKET AND AMY WILL GIVE YOU sexual favors.”

Huge laughter.

Guy walks up “How many do you have?”

Mary: “Just one”

What to do while Hootchie Snarky tries to sell her ticket?
Meet & Greet of course! -
Thanks for picture use Right

Now.. back to our story...

Guy: “Ah, we want to upgrade but need two”

Mary:” Damn.”


Girl comes up “Where is it?”
Mary: “Dress Circle”

Girl: “Mine is Mezzanine”

Theater Manager comes over

Mary: “Tell her mine is better”

He looks at both tickets and informs the girl her’s is better.

Girl walks away

Mary: “Damn”

Hottie tells Mary “Sell it for $30 and get rid of it.”


Still nothing… Red Cross guy is still laughing. “SOMEONE BUY HER TICKET!”


Finally someone comes over and buys the ticket.

Crowd around Mary breaks out in applause.

Mary goes over to Red Cross guy and kisses his cheek. Turn decides to get in the act and kisses other cheek.

Hootchies Snarky & Turn, ROBIN!, The Hottie,
Foreign Hootchie, Tina T. & Right -
Thanks to Wayne for the photo

AmyMc, NYCSoul, Tabbers, Missie
The Concert:

The band is phenomenal. His drummer is from the album and lays down a tremendous rhythm. The bass player WOW!!!!!!!!

This guy is one of the best I have heard in a long time. He has so much energy and is constantly moving and putting down a back beat that is just WOW.

Taylor is great. He doesn’t sing “Right Place” but other then that I loved the concert.

Especially love the Drum Line from the local High School coming in for the encore of RUNAROUND..they were having so much fun on the stage.

Interesting note, the age of the crowd was even older then I had imagined. Sheesh, I felt like a kid compared to some of those there...

So many pictures of the concert about.. our really are not worthy...

We leave and walk down the block and call a cab to head over to WorkPlay. In the cab; Anndi, Mary, Turn and Bond.

We get there and there is a female singing with backing by LiMBO. She is hot and as Anndi says, she is channeling Janis. Her name is Erin.

We are all swaying and listening and Anndi and Turn and say “Check out her shoes.”

Bond slides over to the side of the stage and THUMP!!!!!!

Black leather open toe 6” stiletto heels… Bond goes and does a spin, and bend, a snap, a twist, aslide back five feet, another bend and throws the head back and another spin and yells WOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Then after a short break LiMBO comes out and tears into (hope we remember correctly here – by this time the beer was flowing fast and heavy) Whipping Post. It was HAWT!

The dancing begins.. the Hootchie Mamas are all dancing .. Pia is boogying all over. Bond is bouncing around with a smile on his face.

As the music continues the Hootchies are bumping and grinding with each other and with Bond… It was a wild time… people took notice of our fun and some joined in…if there are pictures, we have not seen them yet.

During the break, we went out to the bar. Hootchie Snarky suggests that Foreign Hootchie should now be Sexy Hootchie and it is is done... After that, it is decided to initiate PIA into Hootchie-dom…

Shots were bought and we all cheer as she was christened BODACIOUS HOOTCHIE…

After that the night got a little hairy… one of our party began to feel ill and we needed to get her back to the hotel…

Missed the Red Velvet Lounge…sad for that, but we stick together and watch out for our friends…

The next morning Turn, Anndi, Mary and I met for breakfast. Then Bond took Anndi to the airport and began his drive home.

Can not wait for the next big event with these folks.

We have spoken to them online for a year, but have found they are even more wonderful in person and consider each and every one of you a friend….

There is always a place for you to stay in Memphis….

More pics - thanks Hootchie Bodacious

Hottie with Hootchies Randy and Snarky

Amy, Hootchie Randy, Hottie, Hootchie Snarky & Hootchie Sexy


And speaking of that… new countdown clock up top


The line up is incredible and tickets for Friday 5:00pm -12:30am
Saturday 1:00pm-12:30am and Sunday 1:00pm-10:30pm are only $59.50!

The entertainment includes…get this folks…

The Allman Brothers Band
Three 6 Mafia
Koko Taylor
Gym Class Heroes
Gov't Mule
Social Distortion
Richard Johnston
Sharde Thomas and The Rising
Star Fife and Drum Band
Robert "Wolfman" Belfour
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Jerry Lee Lewis
Hubert Sumlin & Willie Big Eyes Smith
Plain White T's
The Derek Trucks Band
North Mississippi Allstars
Popa Chubby
Steely Dan
George Thorogood
Bobby "Blue" Bland
The Bar-Kays
The Ohio Players
Walter Trout &The Radicals
Kenny Wayne Shephard
Taking Back Sunday
Taj Mahal
Ryan Shaw
Kelley Hunt
Old Crow Medicine Show
Jack's Mannequin
The John Butler Trio
Keller Williams
Alvin Youngblood Hart
Eddie Floyd
One Less Reason
The Duhks
Daddy Mack Blues Band
Hawthorne Heights
David Honeyboy Edwards
Keller Williams
Counting Crows
John Legend
Elvin Bishop
Barenaked Ladies
Corinne Bailey Rae
Tab Benoit
Edwin McCain
Project Pat
Backdoor Slam
Umphrey's McGee
Ann Peebles
Papa Roach
Watermelon Slim
Billy Lee Riley
Egypt Central
The Lee Boys
James "Super chikan" Johnson

Could be a good place to party again……We will act as host if anyone wants to come on to The River City!

Hope y’all enjoyed our recap!


Two apologies are needed.

To Busy, whom I had a brain cramp and never called from the concert

And to Sue, whose poster never made it to B’ham because I had a total brain cramp


Music: Best Audio Codes

Randy Newman
Composer: Randy Newman


28 Of Your Sparks

  1. Unknown Says:
  2. Damn this has to be the longest post you've ever made.

    AI: I agree with most of your assessments. Sligh (though it pays me to say) sucked last night. I hate the song "Endless Love" to start with, that rendition didn't help. Malakar ain't going no where, although he should. I like the kid, but he is not cut out for this show. His voice is weak. Even MJ has a stronger voice than that!

    I love the HOOCHIES!!!!! Nice pictures.

  3. Lizza Says:
  4. Ohhh, what a wonderful, wonderful account of the fun you guys had! And it was great seeing the pictures of Hottie and the Hootchies.

  5. Mags Says:
  6. I'm glad you had a great time!

  7. Maryfly Says:
  8. Bondbaby - nice job! for the record I never used the words "better then yours", I was obnoxious with how loud I was but not with my words! Loved reading this and soooo loved seeing you sweetie, HSGR!!

  9. And a good time was had by all.

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Twyla Says:
  11. Wow, looks like you all had an awesome trip. Glad you all had so much fun!

  12. Angell Says:
  13. Good job on the top 12. I agree with most of your review, except Chris S. I just thought it was very inventive and original, and personally, after hearing Endless Love butchered six million times at karaoke over the years, it was nice to hear a fresh take on the damn song.

    Sounds like it was a blast....wish I'd been with you. :( But I did get my call. :D

  14. wow, what fun y'all had! way to go!

    smiles, bee

  15. Liz Hill Says:
  16. LOL

    Great post sugar (eeek on two of those pics--but you know me I hate pics of myself) It was a BLAST! it was quite fun making Vinny Sammiches! And I wish i had a picture of you doing the 'shoe' dance. oh my

    So much fun

    I miss everybody!!!


  17. Anonymous Says:
  18. What a fun read!!! Thanks for directing me to your blog! It was a great time in B'ham!! 3rd time for me......can you say addicted! LOL


    Pics coming soon!

  19. Tug Says:
  20. Totally agree with you on the AI.

    Looks like you guys had an awesome time - YEA. Thanks for sharing!!

  21. Anndi Says:
  22. Great review..

    Now, on to the good stuff!

    Hey... he did too sing The Right Place.. and I have the video to prove it... (if I could just figure out how to post the darned thing.. man it's a big file...)

    And Yup.. the shoe dance was a sight to see!

    Thank you for not telling everyone I almost knocked Tina over.. and Tez.. and picked up Lynn (oops. I just did hehehehe)

    Man that was fun... Loved meeting all those great SPers!

  23. GREAT post. Loved the review & the story was terrific. Glad all of you had such a great time!

  24. Unknown Says:
  25. WOO-HOO! I´m so happy you all had a blast =)


    San (who was able to read this looooong post without a *erm* CD-break)

  26. BUSY: A great weekend deserves a long post... Hope you are still talking to me after I brain cramped and forgot you....

    LIZZA: Glad you enjoyed...we had soo much fun...

    MAGS: It was fantabuloso

    MARY: Sorry .. the tapes don't lie darling.. SMOOCH

    SONGBIRD: Glad you enjoyed the read....

    TWYLA: Lots of friends, great music --all you need to have a blast!

    ANGELL: TY glad you liked the critique...we missed you

    BEE: All I can say is WOOOOOOOOO

    TURNBABY: The shoe dance was on in a million LOLOLOL Smooch

    LIL: Glad you came by... come on back often... can not wait for your pics! Smooches

    TUG: Yes... not sure I can make it through two more months of AI...glad you enjoyed the read.

    ANNDI: TY on the review...You are correct it was PLACES he did not sing....hey what happens in B'ham stays in B'ham... and our collective memories! KISSES

    BUD: Glad you enjoyed the review... it was a blast in B'ham

    SANNI: Glad you made it through my friend... SMOOCH to you

  27. Rainbow Says:
  28. WOOOOOOOOO! Y'all had a blast! Thanks, Vince for the pics! No apology necessary about the sign. I'm just happy y'all were together and everyone arrived back home safely. Oh how I wish I had been there. If for no other see Vince's shoe dance...LOL! Thanks for the recount of your time, that is what I have been waiting for...that and the pics!!!!

  29. SUE: Sweetie... you were there in our minds (well mine was a little fuzzy - thus the forgetting of the sign...

    The shoe dance was pretty funny if I do say so myself.....

  30. Mimi Lenox Says:
  31. Such a fun post. Thanks for sharing the great pics and details with us. You looked like you were having so much fun. Awesome to see bloggers getting together.

  32. Travis Cody Says:
  33. I've been waiting all day to get to The Couch and read about the weekend.

    Thanks for the recap. I felt like I was there.

    Hey - you did a THUMPIN' shoe dance! Wooooooooooo! Didn't know ya had it in ya!

  34. tiggerprr Says:
  35. That's so awesome that you had such a good time! :) I'm happy y'all got to get together.

    AI is getting really bad this year, watching Melinda and Jordin really is about all that's making it bearable.

  36. I'm telling you... come hell or high water I will be at the next one... no matter what and you can hold me to that.

  37. MIMI: Glad you enjoyed...we had a tremendous time..

    TRAVIS: DUD!?!? You didn't think I had it in me???? OH man.. and I didn't even talk about my street dancing after the show.. down the middle of the street, doing Taylor spins with my jacket! LOL

    TIGERPRR: We really did.. so much fun and I agree on AI... lots of yawns this year...

    DIXIE: Sugarbaby Hootchie.. next time I am going to come and carry you out to come with us...

  38. Julie Says:
  39. Wow that sounds like SO much fun! Thanks for sharing Vinny.

  40. BeckEye Says:
  41. Looks like you had a good time. Who knows, maybe next year you'll travel to Suckville, WA to see Sunjaya in concert.

    ...I'm obviously kidding. :)

  42. Anonymous Says:
  43. Finally gota new monitor and can set my resolution properly. now I can sit on teh couch anf read without everything running together. LOL!!!

    Great recaps!! And, Thanks for the B'day hugs!!


  44. Anonymous Says:
  45. WOOOOO!! I can fianlly sit on teh couch and read without everything running together. (could be a got rid of the dinosaur monitor)

    We did have fun!! And oh my goodness, you should have seen Taylor last night at the HOB in New Orleans!!! I was 3 inches from his face when he bent down in front of me playing the harp!! And I survived to tell about it! LOl!!
    Love ya, Robin

  46. Unknown Says:
  47. I'm adding that story to Taylor's 8th book...

  48. Damn it. You need a hippie hoochie... someone with less class but an equally impressive tolerance to liquor.

    And that person is me. LOL!

    Seriously, though.. it sounds like you guys had a blast!!


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