Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"The country needs me out there!"

I just finished watching the Farewell DVD from the First and Farewell release this year. I have to say, Barry has it right. This country needs him out there! He continues to say, "they need an uplifting experience"...isn't that the truth!

Stand outside of Music and Passion after any night in Las Vegas and witness just how uplifting Barry can be. The smiles on the faces of fans and "civilians" will blow you away. There's just something about Barry and his music that makes you smile from ear to ear.

And it certainly does not stop there. People meet for the first time at his concerts, exchange emails, phone numbers and pictures. They stay in touch, attend future shows together, visit one another, pray together, cry together and become friends for life. It's all about the music and what it does for your mental outlook and how it makes you want to connect with other people around you.

With Barry's recent 60's album, the song What the World Needs Now resonates that philosophy. As he says on this Farewell DVD, "we aren't the divided states of America, wer'e the UNITED States of America." That's what Barry's music does...it unites people. It makes us smile, laugh, cry, and motivates us to care. You leave one of his shows wanting to spread the love; wanting to share the joy; wanting to be happy again!

In a recent interview, Barry was asked, "What's life about?". His answer. "Having fun". Simple, but true. What I hope Barry knows and every one of his fans knows, is that the fun turns into so much more. And that friends, is why we need Barry Manilow!

Signing off for now,
Texas Fanilow

Monday, December 18, 2006

Admiration vs Obsession

Barry Manilow. A man that women all over the world adore. A man that causes women to do what the rest of the world would consider absurd, just to get a glimpse of him. A man who women will pay over $1000 just for five minutes of his time, an autographed program and a photograph. A man whose career has spanned over 30 years and continues to attract huge crowds of fans to his show in Las Vegas.

Just recently, hundreds of Brits stood outside for over 24 hours in the pouring rain and cold to get a chance to talk to him for 5 minutes and get an autograph. He had not been in London for many years and the fans still showed up for a chance to look into his baby blue eyes and hear a kind word from the man they admire.

However, at what point does this admiration become obcession? At what point does this admiration turn into stalking? At what point do you stop and ask yourself have you crossed the line from admiring the man and his music to obcessing over every little detail of his life as if he were a personal friend or a member of your family?

The dictionary defines obsession as: compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety; an unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with something or someone.

God is all about balance. And so is Barry for that matter. I'm sure he would never want any of his fans obsessed with him. Although he adores his fans and says so at every opportunity, he would probably shutter to know the depths of some of their personal compulsions and preoccupations.

Just something to ponder.

Signing off for now,
Texas Fanilow

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Studio Musician

The last few days I have been listening to some of Barry's early music. Of course, being a "resurrected" fan from the 70's, I only recently acquired some of Barry's older albums. This song was from his recently re-released Live Legacy Edition from 1977.

I especially enjoy Barry's live recordings. They are masterfully done and transport you to the epicenter of his concerts. Since I did not have the pleasure of attending any concerts until 2002, this is how I experience the early magic of Manilow, via his live recordings and his concert DVD's. There are two songs on this recording that I had never heard before: Lay Me Down and Studio Musician. I have enjoyed listening to both of them.

Studio Musician was written by Rupert Holmes. And although this song was not one of Barry's own compositions, he sings it with the conviction of someone who relates to the lyrics. Of course, being a studio musician in the early years, Barry has great compassion and admiration for every musician either playing for him in the studio or in his band. He has always encouraged his band and singers to pursue their own careers and record. This is evidenced by the recordings many of them have made over the years and continue to make while working with Barry.

I have digressed from my original intent...to talk about the lyrics and the composition of this song and how it speaks to me. Specifically the following lyrics:

Singles jingles and demos conveniently made
A studio musician
Whose music could have died unplayed

Imagine Barry's music never having been played. Imagine him sitting behind a piano for 30 plus years playing other people's music. What a catastrophic loss that would have been. Not only his music lost, but his interpretation of other's music as he so eloquently does in this song. Then there is the ending of this song, that only Barry does so well. He makes it his own, ever so subtly by adding a few chords of the easily recognizeable State Farm jingle. As if to say to us...I was that studio musician whose music could have died unplayed.

God richly blessed us and all of mankind with Barry's music. It's no accident. Hopefully there will be much more to come in 2007. More of his original compositions and unreleased tracks. This is one FANILOW that can hardly wait!

Signing off for now,

Texas Fanilow

Clicky Web Analytics