Monday, December 24, 2007

Clay Aiken: Merry Christmas, with Love

It's just another Christmas Eve. Tonight I baked cookies and surfed the message boards, played some games, let the dog in and out, in and out, in and out. Tomorrow I eat dinner at my brother's house and my nephew's going to come. I haven't seen him for a year. He's in law school in Indiana. Tomorrow we'll visit my dad in the nursing home. His alzheimer's in what the doctors call 'end-stage' but he's happy and relatively healthy and sings all day long.

I don't have a big family. One brother here, one brother in Houston, dad in the nursing home, a cousin close by and another cousin in France. The holidays aren't a big deal to me, in fact, I can truthfully say that they really don't mean anything to me, just another day to get by, eat a good dinner, and get together with the few relatives in my life.

I look back at Christmases past and think of the good times we had as children. I remember the year my dad was putting toys together at 3:00 am and didn't have a tool so he threw on an old ratty coat, got in his car and drove to his store to get what he needed. The cops saw him jiggling the lock, trying to get the key in the door and almost arrested him for breaking and entering. And the year the angel hair over the fireplace caught fire. My mom yelled out 'the house is on fire' and ran out, leaving all of us to deal with it. Or the year when she persuaded my father to put up all green and blue lights around the roof of the house and once he had them up, she didn't like them so he took them all down and put up the multicolored ones.

I remember the year I had my tonsils out and the next morning waking up with a nose bleed, a serious nose bleed where the blood was pouring out of my nose. My older brother took me into the bathroom and woke my parents. I ruined the brand new carpet that year and it had to be replaced.

I remember the year that I got my first pair of skis. My first record player, my first TV. Funny, though, I never got that pony that I wanted so badly. I remember that every year we got our dad a pair of munsingwear pajamas and a tie. He had so many freaking ties!

This year, as I have the past four Christmases, I think about how my life has changed because of Clay Aiken. I remember going to my first concert in 20 years to see him, then of, course, I had to go again. And again. And again. 39 concerts later, I'm still planning on going to more. I've made so many friends and acquaintances because of Clay Aiken and this incredible fandom that has sprung up out of nowhere. I've discovered message boards and have met so many wonderful people at the concerts and pre and post-concert parties. I've seen some of my friends go to college, graduate, and get married! Others have passed away in the prime of their lives. Some live charmed lives yet others have problems that have made them stronger.

My cookies are baked, the food is in the refrigerator waiting for tomorrow, my dog is asleep at my feet. All I have left to do tonight is to roast the pine nuts and mix the home made salad dressing.

Clay is spending this Christmas holiday in Mexico, bring comfort to the flood victims and raising money for UNICEF. He's a good man with a good heart.

Clay, I'd offer you one of my chocolate chip, white chocolate chip, raspberry chocolate chip, macadamia nut cookies, but that would kill you, so *smack* hands out of the cookie jar!

Merry Christmas to my fellow Clay fans. I'll leave you with this message from Clay:

She leaned with her head on the window
Watching evergreen bend in the snow
Remembering Christmas the way it had been
So many seasons ago.

When children would reach for their stockings
And open the presents they found
The lights on the tree would shine bright in their eyes
Reflecting the love all around.

This year there's no one to open the gifts
No reason for trimming the tree
And just as a tear made it's way to the floor
She heard voices outside start to sing.

Merry Christmas to all who may dwell here
Merry Christmas if even just one
May the joy of the season surround you
Merry Christmas with love.

Carolers sang as she opened the door
Faces of friends in the crowd
And all of the shadows of lonely reminders
Driven away by the sound.

Now the heart that for years had been silent
Was suddenly filled with a song
As she clung to their hands like a child in the night
She found her self singing along.

Merry Christmas to all who may dwell here
Merry Christmas if even just one
May the joy of the season surround you
Merry Christmas with love

Friday, November 30, 2007

My Grown-up Birthday Wish for you, Clay

By Rockysmom............

Well, well, well Mr. Aiken. Today's your 29th birthday. I know that seems old to you, but trust me sweetie...I've got underwear older than that (I know,I know.... just a little too much info there *g*).

And once again we're blessed that you're celebrating it with us....those enthusiastic and creative females you've chosen to think of as your extended family. Hopefully sometime today you'll get a chance to blow out all those candles on a cake (free of mint, chocolate, and tree nuts, of course) and that the wish you make--and every other wish you hold in your heart--comes true.

This will be your last birthday as a "twenty-something". What changes this past decade years has wrought for're no longer the young, painfully skinny, slightly geeky boy who had only flown in a plane and left his home state of North Carolina once.

You've matured into a handsome, sophisticated young man who has traveled the world, for business, for pleasure, and as an advocate for children's causes. That is one thing that hasn't changed about you as you head towards the "Big 30".... your commitment to helping others and inclusion for all. As you yourself have said...."the wrapping may have changed, but the gift is still the same". So today I'd like to humbly offer you "My Grown-Up Birthday Wish" (with apologies to David Foster):

Do you remember me?
I saw you on TV
I wrote to you of schoolgirl fantasies

Well you're all grown-up now
Your looks have changed (and how!)
You're not a child but my heart still can dream

So here's my life-long grown-up birthday list
Not for myself, but for someone I love....

No more lives torn apart
That rumors never start
And time can heal your heart

That you can always count on friends
That right will always win
And you find a love that never ends

This is my grown-up birthday wish

As children we believe
the grandest sight to see
Is something lovely tagged "From You--To Me"

But as our wisdom grows
Those packages and bows
Take second place to what's held in our hearts and souls

No more dreams torn apart
That lies and hatred never start
And time has healed your heart

That you are always surrounded by your friends
That right will always win
And you realize ...our love for you will never end.....

This is my grown-up birthday wish

Happy Birthday Clay.....Always and Forever.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Clay Aiken's list of things to do before the Christmas Tour

By Rockysmom..........

Things to do before the CITH tour starts......

1) Right before the tour to my cra...I mean creative fans that my hard-drive has crashed and I've lost all of their touching, heart-warming stories about love, redemption, eggnog, donkey poop, and what-not. Since there won't be time for me start over, we'll just have to do the show without their participation this year. Whew. That was a close one.

2) Have Mary smack me upside the head if I ever come up with an idea like that one again.

3) Double check to make sure Jesse and Sean have bought all the kazoos within 500 miles of Michigan so there won't be any birthday serenades. At least not on those things.

4) Make sure Jerome knows not to accept any gifts of jewelry from my fans. Especially ones engraved with sayings in foreign languages. I have enough trouble with Espanyolee, I don't have time to learn anything else. Unless it's Malaysian, I'm mucho goodo with that one.

5) Make sure he also knows not to accept any jars of formaldehyde with pickled body parts inside. Just in case somebody finally got rid of that gallbladder that's been bothering them. Nuff said.

6) Tell Momma one.more.time. that we really don't have room for that pouffy ottoman on the tour bus. Durham will just have to lift his leg against something else.

7)Speaking of Momma, make sure she changes her email address so my fans can't complain to her that I've said "crotch" or "balls" or talked about bodily functions while singing to Baby Jesus. At least Quiana shouldn't be getting any "fat letters" this time around. Speaking of which, make sure there's plenty of Breyers Peach Ice Cream on the bus.

8) Make sure Angela has plenty of Midol since I'm too busy preparing for Spamalot to have time to learn her song this tour. Same goes for Quiana.

9) Make sure the next time I call a tour "yada yada yada Heartland" that I know where the Heartland is and actually perform some shows there instead of doing them all in New Jersey.

10) Try to remember that I am not an angel and stop trying to priiiinnng things

11) Remember that those ladies at the Clack House aren't angels either, so no wearing lowrider jeans, especially ones with rivets. Thank the Lord there are no Christmas songs that include whips and chains. At least I'm hoping there's not. If there are any I'm sure that bunch will find them. HAHA.

12) Dig out that dictionary of Eye-talian musical terms and look up the ones with dirty meanings.

13) Tell Jaymes to stop talking about back-flashes. And her hot flashes too for that matter. And tell her that I have no intention of sliding down her chimney in Santa Monica. She doesn't even have a fireplace-what's up with that?

14) Practice getting my butt back up on stage after I jump into the audience.

15) Practice my video-taking technique just in case that lady with the Radio Shack in her purse is in the front row again. Then I can borrow one of her cameras and my Clack won't skip around. She might smack me if it does.

16) Speaking of getting abused....make sure all of my body parts are accounted for at all times during any flights. Don't want to have to explain things to the FBI again. Or to Momma. Whichever is worse.

17) Shave the hair off several of my appendages so my fans will be too busy speculating about that to ask me any questions about the new CD during the Meet & Greet's.

18) Make sure I have a warm coat and scarf to wear so I can walk the line as often as possible to thank my fans and show them how much I love them.

Once again, thanks to all the Clackgatherers. Without them, this fandom would be the poorer.

Friday, November 09, 2007

For a Good Time, call 1-800-Clay-Aiken

I mean, seriously, where else could one find so much fun and entertainment? There are message Boards, concerts, TV appearances, speeches, charities, news groups, interviews, MySpace pages, montages, YouTube videos, Clack, the list is endless. One of my favorite saying is this: You can't get better entertainment for the price of the internet!

Let's start with TV. First there was American Idol where we got to see this young man, I mean really young man, every week, singing his heart out, flat ironing his hair, trying on different outfits, making commercials for the show, talking to the Jaded Journalist and Ryan Seacrest. Did I mention singing his heart out? Clay knew how to play the game, yet he did it so wonderfully and never lost sight of who he was that he endeared himself to us.

Then came the TV appearances, the morning shows, the afternoon talk shows, the late night shows, Clay cooked for us on Martha Stewart, he mugged for us on Saturday Night Live, he flirted with Tyra Banks and we crushed on him. He helped Oprah make a wildest dream come true, he turned the tables on Jimmy Kimmel and he made Diane Sawyer swoon.

Then he went on tour. And he never stopped. The AI Tour, the Jingle Ball tour, the Independent Tour, the Not-a-Tour, the Joyful Noise Tour (JNT), the Jukebox tour, the JNT05, the JNT06, the Soft Rock and a Hard Place tour, and soon to come, the Christmas in the Heartland tour. The guy is a tireless touring machine! And why not? The man sells tickets, he puts butts in the seats, he puts on a show that rivals the old-time entertainers, the kind of show that includes singing, dancing, and comedy. He interacts with the audience with a sense of comedic timing that's instinctive. And funny. Very, very funny. And that voice. That marvelous, marvelous voice. That voice has captivated millions, turned women into goo, made men sit up and take notice; that voice is a once-in-a-lifetime voice.

And the Clack. Of every single show, almost very single appearance, every single public event that Clay has done, there is Clack.

Clack, glorious Clack!
We're anxious to watch it.
Three hours a day, our favorite diet.
Videos, montages, and fabulous songs
What next is the question
Rich, wonderful Clackathons
All-night sessions!

Ahem, forgive me for I digress.....

Where were we? Ah, yes, celebrating the entertainment that is Clay Aiken.

Clay just finished appearing on 'Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader', taking part in a tribute to Neil Sedaka at Lincoln Center, singing Christmas songs to world-class skaters to be broadcast on Christmas Day, giving a lecture at Yale on the importance of teaching geography and he's preparing to go on his tenth tour in less than five years. In those 'less than five years' he also found time to become a UNICEF Ambassador and visit Indonesia, Uganda, and Afghanistan and to participate as an Advisor to the Bush Administration's President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Oh, and graduate from college.

Like I said earlier: You can't get better entertainment for the price of the internet!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Clay Aiken at Lincoln Center

Tonight, Clay Aiken made his debut at Lincoln Center as part of
'Neil Sedaka: 50 Years of Hits. According to the reports, Clay looked fabulous, the hair was perfect, the suit was perfect, the cheekbones were perfect. David Foster accompianied Clay singing 'Solitaire' and high-fived him as he left the stage.

According to Corabeth:
David said, when you write a great song you can sing it a Thousand Different Ways. He started to introduce Clay and stopped and said, "no need to go through all that -- Clay Aiken." The crowd started standing on the glory note and by the time he finished the wail at the end, the entire audience was standing.

The excitement on the message boards was contagious as poster after poster after fan expressed their excitement and glee as the reports started to trickle in.

Brightstar summed it up perfectly:
Being a Clay fan is just the most fun in the world! --listening to a muffled CV cellstream and sharing gahs and giggles and sighs and sobs with fans literally across the world, brought together by love and appreciation for an amazing man with an indescribably beautiful voice.

Thank God for modern technology because it can allow a huge group of really good people to come together, take a cyber trip to NY, and hear (in real time or just a bit later) a really good man, standing in the midst of established celebrities and superstars, blow the roof off the place.

Perfectly said, Brightstar, perfectly said.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Clay Aiken: What's next?

Clay Aiken is at a crossroad in his career. He released a pop album in 2003, a Christmas album in 2004, and a covers album in 2006. He's toured nine times and he appears on countless TV shows. He's definitely a TV personality and as an entertainer he's garnering an excellent reputation as a live act who can sell tickets and put butts in the seat. So, what's next?

Clay has told us that he's working on a new CD and he has said that they are aiming for a Spring 2008 release date. His last CD was filled with cover songs, apparently a mandate from Clive Davis. From what I understand, Clay fought hard to include four original songs on the CD and two songs available by download only, 'If You Don't Know Me By Now' and the incredibly plaintive, Aiken-penned 'Lover All Alone'.

From some of Clay's remarks in his meet & greets during this last concert tour, it will be a CD of originals and, so far, he and RCA are on the same page.

Let's take a quick look back before we anticipate the future.

2003: Clay competed on American Idol and ended up in second place when Ruben Studdard triumphed as the Season 2 winner. There has been a lot of controversy over who really won that year because the vote was so close. Ruben has a wonderful voice, but something tells me that a lot of Clay fans just couldn't get through the inadequate phone lines.

After the show, Clay took off like a "rocketship to the stars' (tm Diane Sawyer). He toured the country with the AI2 tour, cut his first CD, 'Measure of a Man', which sold 613,000 copies the first week and was certified double platinum after the first week sales. He recorded a PrimeTime Live interview with Diane Sawyer, appeared on Oprah with Ruben and Season 1's Justin Guarini, appeared on countless TV shows, was on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine, won a few awards, and ended the year touring with the Jingle Ball tour of various acts.

2004: In Spring, Clay embarked on his first co-head-lining tour with Kelly Clarkson which made it's way across America. Later that summer, he toured again by himself, his first solo tour, with the fan-titled 'Not-a-Tour' or NaT, due to the fact that his PR person told a few fans that it was not a tour, just a few 'spot' dates, which then escalated into a full-blown tour.

In the fall, Clay released a book that he co-wrote with Alison Glock called "Learning to Sing, Hearing the Music in Your Life" that went to Number 2 on the New York Times Bestseller list and he followed that with his first Christmas album, 'Merry Christmas, With Love", which was the best-selling Christmas album of the year. Clay toured the Christmas CD calling the tour 'The Joyful Noise Tour', or JNT04, his first Christmas tour.

2005: The beginning of 2005 saw Clay take a step back from the spotlight, perhaps recharging his batteries after the whirlwind of 2003 & 2004. Unbeknownst to the fans, he was putting together his most ambitious tour of the time, the 'Jukebox' Tour, a musical journey through six decades of pop music, from Buddy Holly to Elvis to The Beatles to disco to Prince to Heart to the Goo-Goo Dolls to his own music. It was a musical marriage of talent and entertainment that far surpassed anything he had done previously.

Clay toured his second Christmas Tour at the end of the year, this time by doing a musical play filled with vignettes that told the tale of a woman whose heart was opened through the friendship of a small boy and the love of her family and friends.

2006: We were expecting Clay's sophomore CD in 2006 and we heard rumblings that it would be a cover album of the greatest love songs. The fans want to hear Clay sing every song ever recorded but mostly, we want Clay to sing his OWN songs, so some of the fans were disappointed, yet others were ecstatic after hearing the tracks. The CD, 'A Thousand Different Ways', was released on September 19th with a kick-off on GMA. Clay sold over 200,00 the first week with sales totals to date of around 512,000. The CD went gold, but many considered it a disappointment when comparing it to the sales of 'Measure of a Man'.

Clay also mounted his third Christmas tour, this time, as a guest vocalist of many symphony orchestras, where they played the first half of the concert and Clay sang the second half. He also introduced banter in-between songs. Funny banter. Side-splittingly funny banter. Who knew that Clay Aiken could add stand-up comedian to his resume? The man is quick with a quip, plays to the audience while engaging them as part of his act, and is endearingly self-ingratiating. Clay released an EP consisting of four Christmas songs, Called 'All is Well' sold exclusively at Walmart. It sold out almost immediately and the title song is a vocal tour-de-force.

2007: Clay went on his 9th tour, the 'Symphony' tour, or, the Soft Rock and a Hard Place Tour in the summer of 2007. He performed with symphonies again because he loves the sound but realized that he couldn't sing just sloooooooow songs, so he mixed it up by doing a medley of TV Theme songs in the first half that got the audience singing along and laughing out loud at his George Jefferson parody. In the 2nd half, he performed a series of songs that one would never think could be done with a symphony. Songs like Justin Timberlake's 'Sexyback', Usher's 'Yeah', and Michael Jackson's 'Beat It', among others, which got the audience on it's feet, dancing and clapping and generally having a fantastic time. Oh, and he bantered some more and had us laughing so hard that we were crying.

So.........what's next for Clay Aiken? Some fans are speculating that what he does next may offer a glimpse of what we will be seeing for the next 5 years or so. What I do know is Clay Aiken is talented and versatile and quick and charming and has one of the best voices in the world. I'd love to hear him on the radio. I'd love if he wrote more songs and I can't wait to discover what next he has in store for us.

Bring it, Clay!

As usual, thanks to all the Clackgatherers. Your contribution to this fandom is immeasurable.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

In Loving Memory: Joan McGhee Marbrey


In the quiet afternoon hours of Tuesday, September 18, 2007, Joan McGhee Marbrey slipped away from her family and friends to a place of eternal peace.
She was deeply loved and will be sorely missed.
Living on to cherish her memory are those to whom she devoted her life's work; husband, Larry Wayne Marbrey; her daughters, Yvette and her husband, Joel Rich, and Yvonne and her husband, Bruce King; her grandchildren, Brittany and Bailey King, Justin and Ashlyn Rich; her mother, Amaryllis Howard McGhee; her brother, Richard and his wife, Nancy McGhee; her sister, Donna Mcghee.
She is preceded in death by her father, Roscoe Wiley McGhee.
Joan also leaves behind numerous loving friends.

Tonight my heart is heavy with the news of the passing of Joan McGhee Marbrey. May her family and friends find comfort in her loving memory. This evening, many hearts are thinking of Joan's family and, perhaps, their own families, as well.

May you rest in peace, Joan.

Picture courtesy of the ofc.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Clay Aiken & Michael Buble, a Study in Contrasts

This was an article written by Dianne Austin and published on

Aiken and Buble—A “Diva” and “Geek” Play the Greek

I saw Aiken first. It was different than past concerts for the former AI star. This show sported no frills, bells or whistles (except those that went off in the minds of the Claymates of course). Unlike Clay’s last tour (Jukebox) that had him running from one era of rock n’ roll to the next while he ran from one end of the stage to the other , this was a really bare bones presentation. This time Aiken rested on his laurels and relied on the pure power and clarity of his voice to carry the show.

Did it work? You betchya! If there’s anyone who can pull off a show of this kind, Aiken can. He does it by simply singing. The only extras we got were his southern boy gift of gab and somewhat corny/dork sense of humor coming out in a medley that spoofed the fact that he is not “cool.”

Clay is clever enough to make his country boy image still work, and more than ever, he seems to be happy with who he is and what he’s about. He still wears his heart on his sleeve and it’s this fact and a down to earth demeanor that are so obviously infused into his pop persona now. Early Aiken showed a bit of a struggle with how he should present himself, but it’s clear now who he is--what he gets from his music, his fans, and his life’s work.

Mainstays Quiana Parler and Angela Fisher were there as always to back him with vocals and then take center stage to do their own solos. They continue to add beauty, fun, and talent to any evening with Clay. The two women also help the artist get a reprieve each night for just a few minutes when they become the featured soloists and Aiken gets a chance to rest his voice.

The highlight for me was when the artist performed a song he wrote the lyrics to: “Lover All Alone.” Producer David Foster wrote the music and the collaboration resulted in a piece that should draw serious attention for Grammy consideration. Will it though? Probably not—it was recorded only on a bonus track for Aiken’s last CD entitled “A Thousand Different Ways” and hasn’t been heard much. Still, if a tree falls in the forest. . .?? Yes, for me, it does make a sound. And trust me, the sound of Aiken singing “Lover All Alone” is something else.

Speaking of David Foster, here’s another commonality that Buble and Aiken share. Foster produces Michael Buble. So there you go!

I went to see Buble at the Greek a couple of weeks after I'd seen Aiken perform. He played to a sold-out crowd and it was magical. Michael’s presence and true vocal tone backed by his very BIG band were enough to send me. That kind of music under the stars just seems to be the sort of thing that makes people happy. And Michael Buble milks it for all it’s worth.

Sophisticated and savvy, sexy and smart—all those things that girls love—that’s what this young artist exudes. His voice? While not coming close to the power and precision of Aiken’s, it’s good. Buble has a keen tonal quality with a gift for hitting those bottom notes effortlessly. He delivers his big band style of singing with confidence and flare in the clipped, staccato manner that so becomes this genre of music. Michael is slick. He gives a lot, but he makes it all look so easy.

Yet Aiken is the opposite in this respect. When you’re through with one of his concerts, you have the sensation of being elated yet drained, of having soared someplace otherworldly, yet being set firmly back down on the ground. Aiken works hard at what he does. The sound comes out of his throat without trying, but the intensity with which he delivers the piece is so thick you can cut it with a knife. We’re not always there for the fun of it with Clay, we’re often there to feel the blood, sweat and tears he seems to draw upon when he performs as well.

But back to the boys’ similarities. Well, they’re about the same age—both in the “approaching 30” range. Ironically, however, they exhibit opposite traits with respect to age. Whereas Buble seems older, more mature, worldly and experienced for his age, Aiken exudes youth—innocence, boyish silliness, and naivete. There is even, at times, a bit of immaturity about him. Not so with Buble—he seems to have been around the block a few times, at least. But their age related characteristics seem to fit and are becoming to them, especially considering the type of music each performs. Buble seems older which lends itself well to the “rat-pack” reminiscence. Aiken appears younger with a vulnerability and innocence that envelopes the heart when you hear him croon those lover’s ballads.

Is there anything else we can compare between the two pop stars? Yes--neither one is very graceful when it comes to dancing. Clay has always claimed he can’t dance, and although he shows an ability to learn some of the moves, he does have two really big feet that can get in his way at times. Buble thinks he’s great at it (so it seems), judging from the way in which he attacks the chore, but in actuality, his large frame gives a bit of a hulky, somewhat awkward look when he tries accentuating the blaring horn-blowing notes on the upbeat with his body. He’s getting there though. He skids across the floor in his designer suits and Italian shoes and looks like he’s having one heck of a party up there doing it. One doesn’t get the impression that he’s working hard—just that he’s having fun.

We all know that Aiken is a self proclaimed geek. But did you know that Michael is supposed to be a diva? He may not have admitted it himself, but his slide trombonist does some quick schtick in the show telling us he’s nothing but.

Geeks and divas at the Greek: what’s the world coming to? Who would’ve guessed that two very different yet talented crooners who are just about the same age would be delighting audiences with their voices within weeks of each other at L.A.’s most wonderful outdoor arena?

Well, it was a bit confusing, yet oh so gratifying.

And then I went to see UB40 at the Greek last week. But that’s another story.

Dianne Austin--Columnist and Freelance Writer

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered

Wow! It's very....enlightening how some things can be so misunderstood. The blog I wrote included one of my many wtf? moments that this fandom has provided in the past four years. What I wrote was one of those moments.

If people would have read to the end, they would have seen that I said that I did not hear him say it, I was not there, I did not know if he was joking. It just provided me a wtf? moment. I think that many things Clay says have some underlying meanings and each of us interprets it through their own filters. Obviously, according to the many e-mails and PM's I received, I'm not the most popular person in Clay Nation today. In fact, I may be the most hated. I do want to thank the people who contacted me and understood what I was trying (and obviously failing) to say.

Actually, it gave me some insight to how something can be so misunderstood even though it wasn't meant to be harsh or mean. Or how trying to convey a certain thought sometimes doesn't translate very well. In the future, when reading reviews and interviews, I do think I will look at them in a very different way than I currently do now.

What Clay said is still a wtf? moment, at least to me, and I'm sorry that my lowly little opinion upset some people, but I am entitled to it. Whether he was laughing when he said it or not, I'm still entitled to a wtf? moment.

At least I didn't e-mail his mamma.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Clay Aiken puts the airport incident to bed

In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight, Clay Aiken set the record straight about what really happened on the airplane that was, evidently, so important that more than 225 news outlets, mostly in the USA, reported this insignificant story.

No matter that we have Americans dying everyday in Iraq, children in Uganda have to wander the countryside in search of safe haven, and Afghani women and children struggle to get even a basic education. Our President's approval rating is in the 20's and he has squandered most of the good will and respect that other countries used to have for us, our politicians can't be trusted to do what's right for the American people, and New Orleans is still a quagmire of deserted and forgotten people.

But God forbid, let Clay Aiken (or his foot) be the victim of an unprovoked attack and it's stop the presses and slant your story so that it gets the most hits. Read below for Clay's exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight:

Singer CLAY AIKEN was involved in a minor dispute with a woman on a plane Saturday.

Now, in an exclusive statement to ET, the singer tells his side of the story, saying, "While sleeping on a plane over the weekend, my foot evidently found a home on the arm rest of the passenger seated directly in front of me. I didn't realize I was causing the woman any distress until she woke me up with a quick hit to the chest.

"Unfortunately, being that this happened on a plane, the FBI was called in to investigate and eventually we were all sent on our way. I'd like to thank everyone for their concern; I am fine and have taken steps to prevent any foot wandering in the future."

Clay cleverly implies that there are far greater sources of distress in the world. "Now that I have your attention," he continues, "if you'd like to learn more about how you can help the world's children, please visit ''

The 2003 "American Idol" runner-up was on a Continental Airlines flight heading to Tulsa when he and a female passenger got into a minor disagreement that led to her shoving the 28-year-old pop star.

FBI Special Agent GARY JOHNSON reportedly told the Tulsa World newspaper that the argument was between a male and female passenger, but did not give their names, saying only that the man was a former "American Idol" contestant.

Johnson added that the dispute was over the male passenger's foot resting on the woman's armrest.

The situation, however, did not disrupt the flight, and while both parties were questioned by the FBI, no charges were filed.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Clay Aiken attacked on airplane

According to researchers, "Over 125 media outlets have picked up the airplane story, including FOX and ABC News, and the NYTimes and the Washington Post." Really, I guess it's a slow news day, I mean, Live Earth is in the midst of worldwide concerts and Clay Aiken gets the headlines for something that was done to him??

Listen to Clay's take on the incident during his concert last evening:

I can't imagine what it would be like to be sound asleep on an airplane and wake up to a stranger hitting me.

According to someone who was at the meet and Greet before that evening's concert (I edited out identifying information on the eye witnesses):
I was in a meet and greet with him tonight before the concert......Clay told us
exactly what happened and he was asleep...he's a tall guy and his foot
accidentally touched her armrest...He didnt even hear her talking to him until she began screaming at him, at which point he pulled up his visor and she started swinging... she hit him 3 or 4 times and being the gentleman that he is
he did not swing back......He was not hurt......but man was he of our friends was sitting across the aisle from him and was a witness to this woman's personal attack

Yes, Clay Aiken is the King of Controversy!

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Clay Aiken and the Case of the Airport Attack

Geez. It seems that Clay Aiken just cannot get a break. First it was the Ripa incident, then the Rosie incident, then it was the tabloid incident(s). Let's set the record straight on the airport incident. According to eye witnesses, Clay was sleeping when he was attacked. That's one little piece of information that AP left out of their report. But is this a surprise? Journalists are so sloppy in this day and age.

Evidently, Clay had his ankle crossed over his knee and fell asleep. His foot was resting against the armrest of the passenger seated next to him. She was, shall we say, a mite perturbed so she hit his foot and told him to remove it. Aiken did not wake up. When he did wake up, the passenger was swatting and smacking at him.

Clay Aiken Involved in Airplane Spat

Posted: Jul. 7 10:43 p.m.
Updated: Today at 12:01 a.m.

TULSA, Okla. — Former "American Idol" singer Clay Aiken apparently was involved in an airplane disturbance with
another passenger Saturday while headed to Tulsa International Airport.

The dispute on a Continental Airlines flight occurred between a woman and a man, whom FBI Special Agent Gary Johnson confirmed was a former "American Idol" contestant.

Aiken, runner-up on the TV talent show in 2003, was headed to Tulsa for a Saturday performance at the Brady Theater. His management could not be reached for comment on the alleged incident.

Johnson said he was told the dispute was over the male passenger's foot resting on another passenger's armrest. He said the disturbance minor.

There was an allegation that the woman gave the male passenger a "minor shove" during the argument, Johnson said.

"At that point the flight crew was able to resolve the situation," he said.

The disturbance occurred Saturday morning, said Tulsa Airport Authority spokeswoman Alexis Higgins. Higgins said
the passengers were held until FBI agents arrived to interview them.

No injuries were reported and no arrests were made. The disturbance did not interfere with the flight of the aircraft, Johnson said.

Agents forwarded the results of their investigation to the U.S. Attorney's Office, which declined to file charges, he said.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.

Related Tags: Clay Aiken, Airport, American Idol,

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Clay Aiken takes on radio's Top 40

Clay with the Houston Symphony. Clay takes on radio's Top 40 'Classics'. Thanks to Spotlightlover for rendering the clack!

Friday evening, July 6, 2007, Clay performed a concert at Jones Hall with The Houston Symphony. Towards the end of the concert, he sang one of the songs he wrote called 'Lover All Alone'. Spotlightlover so perfectly captured this exquisite song and Clay's wonderful, emotive rendition.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Clay Aiken is touring....v2007

Clay Aiken likes to tour. Since 2003, he's toured eight times and, in less than a week, is about to embark on his ninth tour:

2003 American Idol Tour
2003 Jingle Bell Balls
2004 Independent Tour
2004 Not a Tour
2004 Joyful Noise Tour
2005 Jukebox Tour
2005 Joyful Noise Tour II
2006 Joyful noise Tour III
2007 Hard Rock and a Soft Place Tour

Clay's a tourin' fool! And why not? His fans love him, he makes a lot of money on tour, he's one of the best live entertainers in the world, and, in his own words, "Singing is the single most joyous thing a person can do".

Before the tour starts, I thought I'd take a look back at Clay's previous tours. Let's take a trip down memory lane.

2003. The American Idol Tour. The excitement in the venues was like this giant ball of energy. As we enjoyed the other performers, it was Clay that we were waiting to see. As it came closer to his first song, the energy started in the back of the venue and rolled forward, gathering momentum from the fans until we were bursting with excitement. It was almost like the venue was rumbling or vibrating. Clay was so excited to be returning home to Raleigh he just about jumped out of his skin. Then that spikey head arose from the floor....

In December, 2003, Clay was a part of the Jingle Ball, a traveling minstrel show of pop stars and wanna-be's. He sang only a few songs to a backing track. Listen to 'Invisible' from Tacoma by Olyrose.....

Clay's very first solo tour, wasn't. It was a co-headlining tour with Kelly Clarkson. When both fandoms heard about it, none were too happy, they wanted their idol to share the stage with no one, but, in the end, it worked out very well. They sold out almost all the venues and each played an hour, alternating who opened and who closed. Clay choose 'Kyrie' to open his portion of the show, and what a freaking entrance it was!

Summer of 2004. Clay's FIRST Solo tour. The fandom named it two different names, The Solitour, combining 'Solitaire', Solo, and Tour, but the one that stuck, and the one that the Official Fan Club used was, 'NaT', ot Not-a-Tour. Why that? A few dates were picked, but Clay's publicist, when asked about a tour, said, this is not a tour, just a few dates. Which turned into a full-fledged tour. Go figure. This is his opening song, U2's 'Where the streets have no Name', courtesy of Aflack and Scarlett.

December, 2004 gave us Clay's first Christmas Tour. He called it the 'Joyfuol Noise' Tour, after that Bible verse, 'Make a joyful noise unto the Lord'. Don't take that literally, I'm not up on the Bible, but you get the picture. This is a partial video by Scarlett of 'Good News'. The Clackgatherers practiced stealth video'ing that tour and trying to find a really good video was very hard, but this is a beautiful close-up of Clay's face. You can really see the reverence he has for this song.

During the Spring of 2005, when we heard that Clay was doing covers through the decades, a lot of us thought the cheese would be melting all over the place, but Clay surprised us. Boy, did he EVER surprise us! What a tour-de-force that concert turned out to be. Song after song after song, most sung in 90-100 degree heat. It was a wall of sound that slapped us upside the head.

The 50's (thanks Tsunamimommy & DiamondJake)


The 60's

The 70's

The 80's

The 90's


Stump the Band, part I

Stump the Band, part II

December of 2005 brought us Clay's second Joyful Noise Tour. When he played Raleigh, his 'Papa' was in the audience and Clay sang a song just for him, and, by doing so, gave the fandom this very, very, very special treat. 'Oh, Beautiful Star of Bethlehem'.

In December of 2006, Clay did his Christmas show, but this time, he sang with an orchestra. He grew his hair long, sometimes grew a beard, but he entertained us with the songs and with his stand-up comedy routine. Clay? A comic? What? You don't believe me? Seeing is believing!

So.....what will Clay sing this summer? We don't know. We do know that he is singing with an orchestra, touring his CD, A Thousand Different Ways and it starts on July 4th in Frisco, TX.

All across the nation, through-out the Clay boards, the fans are stirring. There is a palpable energy surging from one message board to the other. Like a game of telephone, we are starting to hear rumblings from the Giant. And it is good. So we wait and we wonder and we speculate. The Giant is awakening from a long slumber and the fans are stirring.

It's going to be a terrific summer of Clay, version 2007.

Thanks to all the Clackgatherers, without whom this fandom would not be what it is.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire..together at last

I've seen Kelly Clarkson in concert twice, both time when she and Clay Aiken co-headlined for their Independent Tour in Spring of 2004. I loved Kelly on American Idol. I didn't buy her first album and because I heard so much of her on the radio, I didn't buy her second album. I do, however, have her third album, My December, and I'm going to buy Breakaway.

Recently, Kelly taped CMT "Crossroads" with Reba McEntire. Read the review at Here are some excerts from the review:

If you're not familiar with the series, "Crossroads" teams up two singers or groups together and encourages them to sing each other's songs.

The evening begins with McEntire and Clarkson dueting on a couple of the young singer's recent hits. While Reba does a solid job of singing songs such as "Since You've Been Gone," it's only modestly entertaining, and as I watched, I was preparing myself to be letdown.

But about ten minutes into the show, the pair find their groove, and the rest of the hour is a real treat for viewers. Clarkson and McEntire are obvious friends, and their all-too-short interview segments provide some real insight into their careers.

There are also some magical performances. Their take on Clarkson's "Because Of You," (which is included on McEntire's new album of duets) is good, but their rendition of McEntire's "The Greatest Man I Never Knew" is jawdropping. It's an emotional song, and both singers singer's subtle performances wring every last drop of sadness and pain from the words.

All too soon, the hour is over. And as if often the case with "Crossroads," I find myself wishing there was a CD of the performances available for viewers.

I'm not a country music fan, although I do like Reba, and I've never seen CMT "Crossroads" but tonight I think I'll watch it. It really sounds fantastic and I'm anxious to hear what both artists do with each other's songs.

This video of their joint effort is from YouTube. It really puts a different spin and meaning to Kelly's song, 'Because of You".

CMT CROSSROADS: KELLY CLARKSON AND REBA McENTIRE premiering Sunday, June 24 at 8:00 p.m., ET/PT.

More air dates:
CMT CROSSROADS: KELLY CLARKSON AND REBA McENTIRE will be retelecast on Sunday, June 24 at 11:00 p.m., ET/PT; Monday, June 25 at 7:00 p.m., ET/PT; Tuesday, June 26 at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m., ET/PT; Thursday, June 28 at 11:00 a.m., ET/PT; Friday, June 29 at 6:00 p.m., ET/PT; Saturday, June 30 at 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., ET/PT; and lastly on Sunday, July 1 at 2:30 p.m., ET/PT.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Clay Aiken and his....tush

Heh. Clay's got quite a nice one, too!


Saturday, June 09, 2007

A Tribute to Rocky

This was posted by RockysMom on Clayversity on June 07, 2007:

Rocky was supposed to be short for "Rock and Roll" because he was born on the night I saw Pink Floyd in concert but my mom hated the name. One day I drove past a baby consignment shop named "Rock-a-Bye Baby" so that became his full name instead. His grandmother's name was "Love Me Tender"

Rock-a-bye Baby

June 3, 1994 ~~~ June 7, 2007

I know I haven't been around lately, not that anyone's missed me. I never really contributed anything much anyway so who cares if I'm gone, right?

Anyway, this is just to let you know that my little Rocky's two-year-long battle with cancer has ended. He pulled through so many times when the vet didn't think he would. He really lived up to his name, he was a tough little fighter, even though he looked like a delicate little powder-puff. For the past seven years he was the only family I had, the one I shared my Thanksgiving dinners with...the one I watched rip open his presents on Christmas morning...the one who snuggled under the blankets with me on chilly nights....the who gave a little "grrrrr" when I nudged him with my foot during the night....the one who somehow managed to drag a package of toilet paper twice his size from the powder room and decorate the living room with it....the one always waiting by the front door when I finally got home from work....the one right beside me while I was planting flowers and weeding my garden....the one sitting next to me while I ate, sharing my ham sandwiches...the one sleeping at my feet while I spent too many hours on the computer.

The only living thing on this planet that truly knew me and loved me,unconditionally.

He used to sit up and wave his little paws and beg for treats.

He used to "dance" underneath this Queen Anne wing chair I have and actually bounce the chair up and down if he didn't get his Milk-Bone right away.

He used to love to sit on the end table in front of the window and watch everything that happened on our street and bark his little fool head off.

He used to bark like crazy when ever he heard a door bell on TV, especially those pizza delivery commercials (I could never hit the mute button fast enough)

He loved those fuzzy stuffed doggie toys. He had one that was a train and it made all sorts of "choo-choo" sounds. He'd push it with his nose to make the sounds over and over until he wore it out and I had to buy him a new one. I kept his toys in a little foam doggie bed he'd out-grown and he'd root through, looking for just the one he wanted to play with that day. He'd even pick the bed up in his mouth and dump everything out and carry it across the living room.

He loved to un-wrap his toys, too. Ever since his first Christmas he just adored ripping off the paper and seeing what new thing he had to play with. He ripped open his last present Tuesday night, a belated birthday gift of a tiny stuffed teddy bear. A few hours later,he started to go downhill, almost as though he was waiting for us to have that last little birthday party together before we had to say good-bye.

We had almost 13 years together....ever since the first time I saw him strutting around that puppy pen carrying a big fuzzy ball bigger than he was. I don't know what I'll do without him...he certainly deserved a better mommy than I was.

How can the absence of one little heart beating and one little body breathing make a house so quiet and so empty?

Clay has an incredible voice

He's developing into an amazing all-around live performer

He gets more handsome by the day

I continue to hope and pray that he is the man I believe him to be....not perfect, but trying his best to be good and make this world a better place.

I hope and pray that someday soon (and hopefully not by his definition) he will once more have a place in my heart....but right now that heart is too broken to hold anything but grief.

To all who love and have loved their furry children:

By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.

For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start...and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.

For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.

The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.

My friend is hurting. That means I'm hurting, too.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Clay Aiken: King of Controversy

It doesn't seem as if Clay can escape that moniker. First it was the tabloid crap, then the Kelly Ripa debacle, now it is a venue where he is scheduled to perform.

Clay is scheduled to perform a Christmas concert at the Central Christian Church in Wichita, KS., on November 26th. The church has a 3,000 seat auditorium with state-of-the-art sound system and video monitors. Steven Curtis Chapman is playing there, also. Clay has often said how he admires Chapman.

At first, the fans thought that having a Christmas concert in a church was OK. That is, until some of them started realizing what that church stands for. You would think that most churches preach tolerance and respect for your fellow humans. I think that most churches do, at least I hope so, but this particular church? In my opinion, this particular church preaches hatred and intolerance and, in fact, has gotten involved in secular law-making. Churches are tax-exempt, but once they start affecting public policy laws, their tax-exempt status should, in my opinion, be revoked.

I'm going to present opinions of the fandom by using quotes found on various message boards. I will do my best to not let my personal opinion of this church interfer with this blog. I will not mention the names of the posters, nor the boards where I found the quotes.

I can't even fathom that that WalMart looking building with a big-ass cross strapped to the front of it is considered a "church". WTF? It reminds me of those creepy evangelist shows on Teevee.

I am anti-organized religion - especially of the Loud And Proud And Better Than You variety... but this is just a venue/building with a kick-ass sound system and big-ass jumbotrons. I rather like the thought - as someone put it on another message board - of heathens sitting there enjoying themselves.

Shoot, I am a practicing Christian, but there is no way I would set foot in that church or let alone give it any of my money. Sorry Clay—not even for you. Their sociopolitical thinking is so against everything I believe

Totally respect those people that say they rather skip this concert because they don't want to support this church and their political stance with their money. I say everyone must follow their conscience on this. I also totally respect Clay's right to sing in this Church. One appearance does not define him and his own politics.

This looks like a wonderful place for a Clay Christmas concert! I wish I lived closer--I'd love to try for a ticket. Getting one might be difficult, but if all the people there become new Clay fans, it's all good!

I'm with another fan on this one. It's a bad move for Clay, especially given his beliefs about inclusion. I would imagine that he and/or his people are thinking "it's just a venue," but it's not. If he stands on that "altar" and performs, he is lending that church, and its espoused beliefs, creedence--the legitimacy of his good name--whether he means to or not. That church is a symbol of discrimination and close-mindedness and hate, things Clay says he rejects with every fiber of his being. He should reject them, and this church, now.

I don't have to believe in gambling to see Clay at a casino. I don't have to believe in drinking to see Clay at a venue that serves alcohol. And, I don't have to believe in the values of this church if I want to see Clay at a place close to me.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm not a fan of institutionalized spirituality, regardless of its name. I AM a fan of Clay Aiken and beautiful music, however. Clay's a big boy (heh)and I'll leave it up to him to either agree or refuse to play at any particular venue for whatever reason floats his boat. Just as I'm sure he leaves it up to everyone whether or not to pay money to be there if he does.

I should have clarified what I meant by "this." Obviously, a Christmas concert is about religion. What is not about religion is my reaction to his appearance at CCC. That response is not based on their religion, which they are welcome to, but on the fact that particular church acts as a political and public organization when it takes the lead on public policy that affects all citizens of Kansas regardless of religion. And that, IMO, has nothing to do with celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Abortion and gay marriage are two core issues for me, and I find CCC's stance on them abhorrent. That doesn't mean that I think that each and every person who goes to that church is bad or evil. It does mean, though, that on the whole, I think that church sucks. If they are doing good works that does not negate the damage they are causing by being advocates for an abortion-free, gay-marriage free world. One does not cancel the other. And maybe there are nice people who go to that church who don't subscribe to the hate. To them I would say, "What the fuck?"

Why do I get the feeling that a lot of the "principle"posting on that other board is from people who are not planning on going anyway? It's easy to make a stand when you are not really involved and don't have to be tested. I mean I have issues with blood diamonds and furs and don't buy either. Well the truth is I can't afford one and am allergic to the other but it sounds good

Churches don't make me feel uncomfortable and neither does Clay performing in one. I admit that I don't regularly research the venues I visit, but I'm also fairly sure that the majority of them haven't been in the national spotlight due to their intolerance-centered practices.

If Clay were to sing on the stage at the CCC, you could probably give me a thousand logical reasons to prove that it doesn't mean anything, and rationally I might believe some of them. But that's not going to do anything to stop the pain in my heart that image will cause. Just seeing the original post with his name next to the name of an organization I read so much about was a jab to the heart. If pleasure at seeing Clay is also mixed with pain, I have to decide how it balances out and when it's worth it. Judging by my feelings the past two days, it may no longer be worth it. That will make me sad, but there are other performers I can enjoy without having to deal with that baggage.

While I respect everyone's opinions about whether or not they'd attend a Clay concert in a church that promotes intolerance, I'm just glad that I don't have to make that choice. The round trip tickets are over $400.00. I don't know what I would do if they were reasonably priced. However, Clay is a religious man and I bet he'll love singing in that church.

The church is beautiful and has held many mainstream artist's concerts - it's an awesome venue - great acoustics - no bad seats! Seats 3000

Well, this venue kind of puts the kibosh on his 'lookin' at mah crotch' remarks.

Thinking about this show, though, it really sounds as if it would be a place to reach those teens that were swooning during his brief appearance at the Stephen Curtis Chapman concert in NC. ... and their parents... and their grandparents.

That church will probably be a really nice venue-looking at the pictures, it seems designed well for acoustics and sightlines. It is actually a similar design to the church I go to (mine's smaller, seats about 550) and we purposely used that sort of design to get the best possible acoustics for sound. I imagine that church in KS probably has lots of parking too, and is handicap accessible-it sounds like it could be a very pleasant place to experience a concert!

I find the Wichita concert venue exciting because of the state of the art sound and video available. Maybe we will get a Christmas Concert DVD out of that one. Hey, I can dream can't I?

Speaking as one who has never been part of any organized religion, I think Clay singing Christmas carols in church will be magical.

Over the years Clay has sung in arenas and high schools; theatres and fairgrounds; symphony halls and casinos; band shells and amusement parks; and even zoos and soccer stadiums. Singing in church? Well hell, why not?

This particular church in Wichita is very clearly anti-choice and I imagine they may be against gay marriage as well. If my money is going to be funneled into any of these causes (or even the cause on their homepage which says they want to connect the "unconnected" to Christ), I wouldn't be able to look myself in the mirror the next morning. And it's not that anyone has to agree with me; I just need to do what I feel is right for my own conscience.

Clay can sing in as many churches as he pleases, but I'll have to pass up each of those opportunities to listen to him. *sigh*

While I wouldn't choose this as a place to worship, I wouldn't have a problem attending a concert there. Clay's performing in their venue, not preaching their beliefs. When I buy a concert ticket, my money is squarely aimed at supporting Clay. In any case, those who don't like the idea of Clay playing there don't have to attend, so it's all good in my book. And the idea of him attracting new fans is always a good one, to me. I liken this to the season subscribers at a symphony hall getting to see him for the first time.

I doubt too much of the income from a Clay concert would be going to those causes (hopefully mostly to the upkeep of the building and other related expenses), but if it were, I have to admit it would give me pause also. So you're not alone in that. I don't have any issues with him singing in a church, but appearing to support this kind of agenda -- or anything this controversial -- would be walking a fine line, that's for sure. I would hope this concert would be separate from any of that.

I only assumed the church would be getting a rental fee. That alone would keep me from attending this concert. They won't get one dime of my money. I found a link to one of their newsletters at the OFC, and it frightened me to no end. I wouldn't want my dime or dollar or whatever being used to spread their message of (IMO) intolerance and hatred.

Clay grew up singing in church. I, for one, think he has probably missed that experience. He loves Christmas, loves singing, loves his church.....I hope he thouroughly enjoys the experience. Those that are offended by his choice....should just find another venue they are more comfortable with.

This looks like an outstanding venue! I love getting news of Christmas concerts this early. It reaffirms that these tours are organized well in advance

I'm sure if Clay was not comfortable performing there....he would not. Why does everything turn so argumentative? geeeesh.

I personally can't take much of the angst about the venues. If people have good reasons for not attending fine. Just don't shove them in my face with 1000 posts about it. I'm trying to be careful because I know some here may not like that particular venue. No problem. But then I'm sure if people did research, there would not be many approved venues. Some will like it. Some will not. *shrug* I hope that those who don't will let the rest of us enjoy the concert and don't go into the tailspin I'm starting to see on a couple of boards.

So it's not bad enough that I'm female, over 40 and somewhat less than svelte, now my Christian cooties are holding Clay back, too? Well, crap...

Sigh..religious and political topics are difficult to discuss without stepping on some toes. That is why I was happy to look at this Church as just another venue.

So, although I don't agree with the politics of the church, I'll likely be there. I'm a Christian, but not a right-winger. I respect those that won't be going to the concert due to concerns about where the money will go, but I'm gonna be selfish if it's the only concert I can go to due to distance.

I will be the first to admit I hardly research who is profiting from each of Clay's concerts, but if I went to a venue's website and found public statements of their views and those views were in direct conflict with my own, as is the case with this church in Kansas, I could not in good faith give them any of my money. Its the same reason I refuse to buy Domino's pizza. This church has a newletter on their site that is filled with IMO so much hate and intolerance its, well, let's just say its not very Christian! And from things Clay has said, I suspect its not his kind of Christianity! If this church were in my own backyard, I would not go to this concert.

I think Clay already has enough far right wing conservative Christian fans. IMHO some of them are too involved in mothering , protecting, and fighting for him. To a point that it is hurting him. So I can't join the camp that thinks it is a good idea to attract more.

I guess I'd have to bow out of this one, too, if that's the kind of religion they practice. Oh least I won't be a pillar of salt after all

To me...Clay is a good example of an open minded Christian. He is a good role model for all kinds of young people. I would hope that by attracting young fans from fundamental Christians and extreme right...he can influence them to be more open to other belief systems and lifestyles.

Compromise - I have learned to live with it.

Unfortunately, I can't bring over posts from any boards that are private or require paid membership, but I think you get the drift of what the fandom has been discussing these past few days. I deliberately put the last quote in last place because no matter what your feelings are towards this Church, I think that respecting other's points of view is essential. Not to mention the right thing to do.

I removed two quotes because the poster asked me to.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Of Clay Aiken and Hair

I remember those early, heady days (tm The ClackHouse) when Clay was on American Idol. He was so baby-faced one wondered if he even shaved yet. It didn't matter that he was 24 years old, he just seemed so young, maybe because he was young in experience, in worldliness, in demeanor. Before American Idol, he had barely left North Carolina. He was a college student in a sheltered college environment. Never did we see even a hint of hair, facial or otherwise.

Then came page 50. People magazine. The bathroom picture.

OMG! Clay has hairy arms! Sexy, hairy arms! OMG! Not only is he cute with a killer voice, he's sexy! Now, some of the fans saw the sexy right away, others, it took a bit, but Page 50 seemed to be THE first sexy picture of Clay.

Summer, 2003. June, 2003. The Rolling Stone cover. Shirt blowing open, buttons unbuttoned at his neck. The shirt tails flapping in the wind and we got hair. This time it wasn't on his arms, it was on his belly. It was nicknamed the cinnamon trail, the treasure trail, but whatever you want to call it, it sure sparked 'interest' by his fans.

His arms were hairy, or furry, like Clay Nation coined them, his chest and stomach had hair. But what about his face? Fast forward to the Fall of 2003 in The Year of Clay. He was on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, on a bike, clean-shaven, of course. Until someone photo-shopped a beard on him. I think that scared 5 years off our collective lives.

In 2004, Clay toured with Kelly Clarkson and got lazy. Either he didn't want to shave or he forgot, but we got scruff. We celebrated the scruff. It wasn't often that we got to see Clay with facial hair but sometimes all the zaprudering we do of Clay paid off. Of course, when my old computer crashed I lost a lot of my early scruff pictures, but you get the picture *g*

Fast forward to 2006. Clay made a surprise appearance on the finale of American Idol 5. What a freaking appearance that was! I remember getting a phone call from one of my friends and we just laughed on the phone for about 15 minutes. We weren't laughing at Clay. Oh, no, we were laughing at the sheer unexpectedness of his new look. At his 'screw you' to AI and the 'Clay Aiken look-alike'. Holy moley, does that guy know how to make an entrance!

In the Fall of 2006, Clay released his second mainstream album, 'A Thousand Different Ways' and he appeared on a lot of TV programs. This picture is from his 09/18/06 GMA appearance and he had hair. Lots and lots of hair. Not on his face but on the top of his head. This new hair style got pretty favorable reviews from his fans. Most loved the longer hair although some did not. However, Clay was still clean-shaven. His fans knew that he could grow facial hair, we've seen it. In fact, Clay's a pretty hairy guy.

Then came Clay's Christmas Tour, 2006. He grew his hair even longer. Most fans loved it. :::FLOVE::: So shoot me, I couldn't pick just one. But I could pick two *g*

In early 2007, there were two events that happened pretty simultaneously, his Gala to raise money for The Bubel/Aiken Foundation and his UNICEF trip to Afghanistan. Behold the beard!

Evidently Clay either didn't like it, or it was too much maintainence, but after these two events, the beard came off. One could hear a collective sigh in the Fandom, whether it was from relief that the beard came off, or despair that the beard came off.

Thus ends the saga of Clay and his hair. When he returned from Afghanistan, he shaved and got his hair cut, evidenced by his Jimmy Kimmel Live! appearance. On a horse. The horse had hair all over. Oh.....and the horse was very 'excited' to see Clay. Must have been a fan.

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