Sunday, December 16, 2007

Peacemakers

I was driving home from the grocery store today after a harrowing experience of shopping and I saw a sign outside a small church. That sign has caught my eye many times before but today, I read its message and realized how much the world needs it. It said simply:

PRAY THAT THE PRINCE OF PEACE RAISE UP PEACEMAKERS

What is a peacemaker? It is someone who promotes peace. Ok..that was way too simple. But the sign could just have easily said:

PRAY THAT THE PRINCE OF PEACE RAISE UP MORE PEOPLE LIKE BARRY MANILOW

Barry personifies the definition of a peacemaker. He brings people together from just about every age, race, religion, ethnic background and gives them common ground. He talks about peace. He promotes peace. He works at supporting peace. He wrote a musical about peace: Harmony. It's hard in his world to maintain that character, with all the backstabbing and bitterness in the entertainment business. It's hard to maintain that attitude when he is constantly attacked by the media, his fans, and his critics.

It's my prayer this Christmas season that God raise up more people like Barry. What this world needs is for all of us to "stop hollering" at each other and be peacemakers.

"Blessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous--with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!"--Matthew 5:9

Praying for more Peacemakers,
Texas Fanilow

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas
And all through Barryland
Menopausal women were preparing
For the appearance of “their man”.

Their tickets were purchased
From the Hilton in advance
To secure the most popular seat
And a chance for a dance.

As he steps out on stage
In the midst of a cloud
The screams of pure joy
Could be heard in the crowd.

From the first note of Daybreak
He begins the romance
Of his fans as they listen
And catch his smile and his glance.

What is it about Mr. Manilow
That brings us back time and again?
Is it the occasional looks our way,
Or the infamous “bamms”?

Is it the magic of the music
Or the excitement on stage
Is it the way he weaves the lyrics
Or the passion in his gaze?

It is all of the above and more…
As the night comes to an end
For there is always JOY in Las Vegas
For a theatre full of grateful fans!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The PBS Special

Words come to mind: speechless, inspired, groundbreaking, phenomenal, passionate, real, intimate, awesome, exciting, moving, and more than expected. I have to say this special is Emmy material and one of the most finely produced and edited I have ever seen. The camera angles, the sound, the distance shots, the crowd glimpses, and the piece de resitance "One Voice" at the end catapult this special to number one in my book.

Highlights: Mandy, He Aint Heavy, Looks Like We Made It, and his monologues about his life in Brooklyn and his early career. This is the Barry we want to see over and over again. Not the showman, but the man. The guy that endears himself to us every show with his little quirky ways: his laugh, his expressions, his missteps, and his humaness.

Conclusions: Barry is so much more than "the showman of our generation". He is genuine. He wraps us up in his love and sends us to another world every time he steps out on that stage. If he could somehow find "this guy" from the PBS Special for every single performance, the world, and not just his fans, would realize that there's something about this guy from Brooklyn that sets him apart. When he was singing He Aint Heavy and One Voice, I had to say a prayer: that God would make him an instrument of peace for everyone who hears his "beautiful music".

Thanks Barry...and please...show us "this guy" in Vegas. We love you and will be forever in your debt for giving us your life-changing catalog of music.

Wishing and hoping for more of "this guy",
Texas Fanilow

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's that time of year again..December 1st has arrived with a whimper, except for Mr. Manilow and his amazing Christmas CD. I have to say, I absolutely love everything about it. From the jazz piano solos, to the arrangements, to the vocals, to the choice of songs. I love how the intros to the songs include other Christmas songs. Ingenious. But what else would we expect from the genius arranger and composer. Barry nailed it again and it has made its way to the top of my favorite Christmas albums.

My favorite song? I can't pick one. They are all unique. I love Silver Bells for the many vocals. I love Winter Wonderland for the piano solo. I love Jingle Bells for the peppy arrangement. I love It Came Upon a Midnight Clear for the way Barry interprets the lyrics. Violets for Your Furs was a complete surprise and Count Your Blessings brings back memories of watching White Christmas with my daughter.

This cd reminds me of the genius that is Manilow and I can't stop discovering all the little hidden gems in every single song. He always surprises us and surpasses our expectations. With this Christmas cd, it truly is the most wonderful time of year.

Thanks Barry for your never ending gift of music. And hopefully while we are hustling and bustling around this year we remember that Jesus is the greatest gift of all.

Merry Christmas to all,
Texas Fanilow

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Blessings


May you discover God's blessings in life and may you be thankful for family, friends, faith and freedom.

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving filled with love and hope.
Texas Fanilow

Sunday, November 11, 2007

All the wasted time...

You know how it goes. You think when you're young that you have your whole life ahead of you. You have dreams and you have goals. You plan things out the best you can and then you wake up one morning at 40, 50 or 60 and ask yourself where has the time gone? What happened to those years and are there enough left to find the dreams that you might have lost along the way?

My answer: it's never too late. I read a story once of a woman who received her law degree at 75. It was something she had always wanted to do. So after her kids were grown and her husband passed away, she went back to school. It took her ten years, but at 75 she walked across that stage at Harvard to a standing ovation. Now that's the kind of perserverance I want to have.

For many of us in the world of Manilow, those dreams include the 90 minutes of joy we get after listening to the "dreamer" himself. As he so aptly puts it.."what a life!" He inspires us to go for it and to not regret a single moment of the time we have left.

"All the time, all the wasted time... all the years, just waiting for a sign. To think I had it all. All the time." I'm not going to waste another moment of this life I've been given. I have dreams and I'm grabbing hold of them and "spreading my wings". After all, "with all there is, why settle for just a piece of sky?"

Carpe Diem,
Texas Fanilow

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Stop hollering at each other!

In a recent radio interview Barry was asked what his Christmas wish would be. He answered quite simply, "that everyone would stop hollering at each other". Leave it to "our man" to sum it all up in a nutshell. It happens in all walks of life from homes, to schools, to work, to the government, to our country and to the world.

So that's MY grown up Christmas wish today. A bit early...but timely. Let's all take a moment and listen to what the other person has to say. Who knows, you might just discover that what they say makes sense. And you might also find that you have much more in common with them than you think.

"No more lives torn apart, that wars would never start....this is my grown up Christmas wish."

Hoping they stop hollering someday,
Texas Fanilow

Monday, November 5, 2007

When you think you don't matter

Feeling insignificant is one of life's battles. Especially if you love and your love is never returned. If you give of yourself to someone and those feelings are ignored, discarded or betrayed its easy to feel like you don't matter.

But nothing could be further from the truth. We all matter to someone. And for many of us, there is more than one. It's sad "when people can be so cold, they'll hurt you, and desert you, they'll take your soul if you let them." Even though our lives may be filled with these type of people, it doesn't mean that you don't matter. You may be hurting. You may feel down and defeated. You may feel like giving up and throwing in the towel on love.

But....
"Don't you let them....Just call out my name and you know wherever I am I'll come running....Close your eyes and think of me and soon I will be there...to brighten up even your darkest night."

When you think you don't matter...you've got a friend and you matter to me.
Texas Fanilow

Sunday, October 28, 2007

What I Did for Love...

It has to be said. In his Vegas show, when Barry is talking about his song "Love is a Many Splendored Thing" he says you will hear today, "love rocks, or love sucks". The question is: does love suck?

My friend's son just had a horrible break up. After four years, his first and only girlfriend walked away. He is of course, devastated. Words of consolation can't help his broken heart right now. For him, love does indeed suck. But I know that once "sorrow has it's day, and when its done, life will go on."

What we do for love is definitely one of the greatest of our life's pursuit. Without love, our hearts are hollow. Our hopes are empty. And without love we have missed out on one of the greatest gifts that God gave us. Love is worth every heartache, every pain, every tear...and on the upside every joy, every triumph, every celebration and every moment shared. So I guess sometimes love rocks, and sometimes it sucks. But...a life without it, is no life at all.

To quote a song from Chorus Line..."Won't forget, can't regret... What I did for love"!

Feeling the love tonight,
Texas Fanilow

Saturday, October 27, 2007

An Act of Random Kindness

It's Saturday here and I took the time to sit down this morning and watch a movie that I rented: Evan Almighty. First of all, I'm not a fan of those types of movies that take biblical stories and use them as a comedy backdrop. Call me old fashioned. Call me sensitive. It's just not my thing. But, I sat down with my coffee this morning and got involved in it. In the beginning I began analyzing the "biblical" inferences and criticizing the "interpretation" of the story in Genesis. But I have to say, when the movie was over, I was left with a few gems of truth.

First of all, that God wants the best for us. That He cares about us and loves us. I liked that. Second, that He's all about bringing people together. Third, that when we pray for certain things, like patience, courage, strength, God gives us situations so that we can see those things come out in our lives. Truly liked that lesson.

But the overwhelming lesson in this film is one that Barry has been saying all along and that for the most part is evident in the Barry community. If you want to change the world, you can do it simply by performing random acts of kindness, one person at a time. Here in Manilowland, its as simple as sharing your photos, buying a CD for someone who can't find one in their area, taping a personal appearance they can't watch, or even sending them a song via email that wouldn't download. It's those random acts of kindness that can make someone smile, brighten their day, or even change the course of their lives. Just one act a time...

So I'm thinking, if...we all did just one act, could we change this country, and the world? Barry says our one voice, added to those of others will make a difference. I tend to believe him.

There are lessons for our lives everywhere. Even, at the movies.
Texas Fanilow

Monday, October 22, 2007

Where I Want to Be

Where I want to be is not where I am right now. This has been a retrospective week for me. Partly because of some events that happened that blew my world upside down and caused me to hang on for dear life. Partly because its approaching the holidays and I miss my mother every Christmas. And partly because of the music I have been listening to in my car. I have one CD in my shared vehicle (One Voice) and when I get in the car, I switch it from the radio to the CD player. I’ve been listening to this one CD for weeks now and lately only one song. I get stuck on those single songs sometimes…listening to the words and thinking about what the song really means. This song has been cutting into my heart because where I am, is not where I want to be.

It’s predominantly a love song, but if you take a closer look its about choices. Choices that we make in our lives that define who we are and where we are going. Sometimes we make choices out of obligation, or because we feel pressured or pushed into a corner. Sometimes we make choices because we don’t have any and there is only one choice at the time for survival. Sometimes we make choices that seem right at the time but circumstances change and we feel trapped. But whatever choices we have made in our lives, should not keep us drowning in mediocrity and spending the rest of our lives in regret. We can’t settle for anything less than the dream that God has given us. Anything short of that makes our lives miserable and meaningless.

I’m looking forward to the day when I can claim these words as my own:

“I know my way is free…knowing I’m where I want to be’s the way I live, and now days are always new….”

If you're not where you want to be right now, all you have to do is walk through those “doors to new worlds” and know that once and for all your “way is free”. It takes courage, but its worth all the blessings you will find in the future.

Wishing I were there right now,
Texas Fanilow

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I won't be the one to let go...

I'll be there anytime you need me
You'll know where I am
And everywhere anytime you're lost just turn around
And take my hand
And I will be your light in the night
And I promise that even when it seems that everything is going wrong
This I swear I won't be the one to let go."

Don't ever forget the words to this song...

They will carry you through times of doubt and despair. They have carried me through some hard ones myself. I hope you have a friend in your life that does that for you. Because some days...it's all you can do to hang on, and that friend will be there and they "won't be the one to let go."

Hanging on for dear life,
Texas Fanilow

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Will the "real" Barry Manilow please stand up...


Year's ago there used to be a TV show called "What's My Line"...I know this is dating me. Anyway, the show would have three guests who claimed to be specific professions: astrounauts, actors, politicians, circus clowns, etc. The panel would have to guess which of the three guests seemed to answer the questions and be knowledgeable enough to be who they claimed to be. After they made their guesses, the host would say, "will the real ..... please stand up."

A few weeks ago I was in Vegas at a week of shows. I have to say, I saw two completely different people walk out on that stage. I've been pondering it for weeks and I can't get it out of my mind. What happened between the Friday night show and the Saturday night show that brought a different person out on that stage? Where was the Barry we all saw at Philadelphia and Boston and at the shows earlier in the week? Where had he gone? And why did he feel the need to leave and come out as BARRY MANILOW and not just Barry?

I have to say...I missed him. Don't get me wrong. The show on Saturday was flawless. The performance was amazing. The songs were on pitch and the numbers flowed seamlessly. He was the consummate performer. But I just felt the connection gone. The openess and the vulnerability that we saw in the previous shows over the last few months was not there. It was like the "shadowman" came back again and "Barry" disappeared.

Of course, I will never know what happened. But I'm interested to see if Barry comes back. I kind of liked the guy. He was just a guy. Out there...sharing his music, being real and connecting with those of us that cared to "listen".

Missing that connection,
Texas Fanilow

Friday, October 12, 2007

Welcome Home

I just returned from another trip to Manilowland for a week of shows and spending time with friends. There is something magical about walking through those doors at the Hilton, into the arms of friends and the "arms" of the one who brings all of us joy and comfort with his music and passion. "I go to a place I know, in my heart I know there's just no place like home...welcome home...to that place that's safe and warm, always a shelter from the storm...I remember when the days were stormy... home was always waiting for me."

For so many of us, our "homes" are not shelters from the storm. They are places of turmoil and distress. They are places where we feel trapped. They are places that remind us of heartache and pain. And for those of us that live our daily lives in these places, the music reminds us there is hope and to never give up on our dreams. For those of us who live in not-so-perfect places, for a few days and nights we feel "safe and warm in that shelter from the storm" in the arms of our friends and in the magic of the music that gives us comfort. It's hard walking out those doors to leave, but thankfully we know that at least for now, we can come home again and know that for those brief moments we feel safe and free.

Missing my "second home" today,

Texas Fanilow

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Why Not?

I've been thinking lately about those two little words...why not? They pretty much sum up what dreaming is all about. Dreaming, wishing and hoping involve seeing things that aren't seen. Sometimes those things seem out of reach and impossible. But just for a change, ask yourself those two little words...why not? Why not move across country and start your life over? Why not take that trip that you have been putting off for years? Why not tell that person you're in love with that "the sun and moon rise in his eyes"? Why not take a step of faith and risk it all for love? Why not change your life if it's driving you in the wrong direction? And...why not "take a chance" when all you have to lose is regret?

Our days are filled with "what ifs" and "I wish I would haves". Why can't they be filled with "why nots?" When I first heard those two little words they rocked me out of my complacency and made me take a hard look at possibility. And I realized why settle for mediocrity when there is a world of "why nots" out there waiting to be explored.

Where's the Manilow tie in? Harmony of course..."was that the bridge we should have crossed, the one we burned".

Why not love? Why not dream? Why not live? Don't let fear keep you from asking "why not?"

The possibilities are endless...
Texas Fanilow

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The White Shirt

Tonight, I wanted to address the issue of the "white shirt". I know...quite a deference from my usual deep thoughts of music and passion. But humor me. Anyway. I first saw it on Jimmy Kimmel the other night. And now it turns up in a publicity photo. So...I wanted to say that I'm liking the white shirt. He looks 10 years younger in it (well..it might be more than the shirt), but the shirt gives me a feeling of lightheartedness that the black just doesn't seem to do.

So tonight, I'd like to add my kudos to Barry for branching away from the norm and trying something different. Who knows. Maybe it's representative of the new joy he seems to have on stage lately. Whatever the reason, it's a home run. I'm a fan of the black myself, but I have to say...the white shirt has made a believer out of me.

Thanks Barry for strutting your stuff again,
Texas Fanilow (??Manilover??)


P.S. Congrats Barry for debuting your 70's album at #4 on the charts. Way to go!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?

"Please help me mend my broken heart, and let me live again..." Such powerful words. Sung powerfully and from the heart on the 70's CD. Words that ring more true today than ever before. Words that are sung from a man who has felt the pain of hurt and a heart that needed mending. You can hear it in his songs and feel it as he pours his heart out on this new CD.

Words can heal and they can certainly hurt. And the same mouth that delivers those healing words and words of encouragement, can also at times deliver hurtful words--words that break someone's heart. Sometimes we take those words lightly until we realize they have hurt someone deeply. You can't recall those words or stop the damage they did. All you can do is admit you hurt the person and hope the pain is healed by the admission and the apology.

We should all be cautious before we speak words that hurt. We should all be careful before we say something that might cause pain to another. How can we mend a broken heart? It takes unconditional love and forgiveness. Something many of us are not willing to give and those broken hearts are not willing to receive.

Feeling sorry for breaking a heart today and hoping I can mend it again,
Texas Fanilow

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Forever and a Day

Listening to the 70's CD, of course, has made all of us nostalgic. It "seems like yesterday" that this journey began with our man and his music. Some things never change: the magic of Manilow, the music and the passion, and the shear joy he brings when we listen to his music and see him "live" each time. He said that recording Mandy caused him to "look back" and reflect. I think it's made all of us who have listened to it recently do the same. And I can't think of any more fitting words to express how that makes me feel:

They said we'd never last
A week, a month, a year
They shook their head
Dream on they said
Cause dreamers disappear

But here we are no matter what they say
It's you and me Forever and a Day
We knew we had it right
We knew we broke the mold
They said have fun, it's kiss and run
Then back out in the cold
I could have told them we were here to stay
To you and me Forever and a Day
Didn't we show them aren't they blown away
Cause whatever time they do our love is thru Forever
Once our hearts were full
And once we felt the flame
Such hunger then much younger then
But really we're the same
And once the music played
And once they lit the the light
And years ago we felt a glow
So very like tonight
And now I know it will always be that way
For you, for me, Forever and a Day

Thanking Barry for giving us so many years of music and passion. And looking back...what a privilege to spend my days, weeks, months and years listening to his music.

Looking back with fond memories,
Texas Fanilow

P.S. To the voice...forever and a day...from the courier.

Friday, September 21, 2007

We Live on Borrowed Time

Tonight I dug out my copy of Close Up. The video used to be my favorite of the older ones. I loved the strip to Sweet Heaven and the infamous BAMMS to Could It Be Magic. I love to laugh at the funny T&P story at the end of the video. I've always skipped the end of the video because I couldn't bare to watch We Live on Borrowed Time. Too much death in my family in the last few years and coming too close to it with a cancer scare made it too hard to watch.

It's been a rough day here. An emotional roller coaster. So as the video came to an end, I decided to brave my emotions and just watch it. I figured how could I possibly cry any more than I already had been. And I'm glad I did because it made me realize that no matter what life dishes out, I have someone in my life that understands. And she understands tonight, like she has understood from the first day that we met.

This one's for you my friend:

"But you and I are here and this time is the right time because one thing that I know is we have each other now...And we live on borrowed time let's celebrate and sing as we walk bravely into the unknown...cause we're gonna be just fine whatever life may bring...we'll face it all together and we'll never be alone."

I could never begin to repay you for the joy you bring into my life,
Texas Fanilow

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'll Take Your Cause...

The 70's CD has practically taken over my office the last week. I've listening to all the songs on it throughout each day, discovering little gems within each song: chord changes, hidden notes from other familiar songs, lyrics I had never listened to before and quite honestly, a newfound respect for the man who recorded them.

There is a recurring theme throughout the songs that hits you like a ton of bricks if you take the time to "listen". And when I did listen, I heard that theme: friendship. The first song that slams that point home is "Bridge Over Troubled Water". The lyrics in this song are inspiring...I'll take your part, when darkness comes, and friends just can't be found...if you need a friend I'm sailing right behind...like a bridge over troubled water....I will ease your mind.

This has been a week of causes for me. I've had to wrestle with some difficult choices, knowing it was the right thing to do. I've had to ask some tough questions and evaluate the depth and commitment I had for a friend. Sometimes standing up for what you believe means taking on the cause of a friend because they have been hurt or feel strongly about the particular cause. Being a true friend means that although you may not completely understand the cause, you can support your friend's right to believe in that cause. I experienced that support this week first hand and gave it myself to someone I care very deeply about. I didnt' particularly understand the cause, but I knew it meant something to them.

So I guess what I'm wanting to say is that being a friend sometimes means you have to take up a cause that you may not agree with, but you know is important to that friend. And doing it for them, standing on their side, taking up their cause, and "cheering them on from the balcony" lets them know that you care.

For my friend who cheers me on and takes up my causes and for that person who took up a cause and caught a ton of flack for it, I am grateful, proud and humbled.

Thanks guys for being my inspiration,
Texas Fanilow

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's been a helluva day...

One of my favorite movies, "Chorus Line" ends with these words, "It's been a helluva day.." And lately that seems to be my comment as I head off to bed. After all the posts on the Bnet, the media comments and quips, the exhausting emails and online conversations, calls from my family to ask me if I heard about the latest conflict with Barry....those are the only words that seemed appropriate.

And then I tuned in to The Colbert Report and Barry...as always...made me remember why I love this man. He made me smile. He made me laugh at all the JUNK that has gone on because he put it all into perspective on that show. "I'll just hang out here for awhile. I got nothing to do I was bumped from The View..." And then Colbert says it all at the end of the skit...MANILOW!!!!!!

I hope we can all get up tomorrow and smile again. Take a deep breath and remember that Barry is still Barry, the 70's CD is still as moving as ever, and as fans of this man we all have the same thing in common...we love the music.

Thanks Barry...it's been a helluva day!
Texas Fanilow

Monday, September 17, 2007

The View

Today has been a red-letter day in the Manilow world. His first appearance of the media blitz on the Today Show, culminating with a Hotline Message announcing he would not be appearing on The View tomorrow due to conflict with one of the hosts, Elisabeth Hasselback.

While the battle rages on the message boards and within the many online groups, I don't wish to add my political views to the already volatial quagmire of opinion. I will say that it only served to dredge up an already sensitive subject in this country, and cause the party lines to once again be drawn again over the war in Iraq. It fueled a fire on the online news boards, with The View calling Barry a "liar" and saying it was their decision to not have him on the show tomorrow.

A wise person once said--"We aren't the divided states of America, we are the United States of America". I respect Barry's right to make the decision he made. I think it's about time all of us in this country learn some tolerance for other people's opinions and try and find some common ground to draw us together.

It's a shame that a friendship (though maybe strained) between Rosie and Elisabeth ended over political beliefs. It's a shame that families are torn apart over these issues. And it's a shame that the message of the 70's CD has now been jaded by the partisan debate that seems to never end in this country.

What the world (and especially America) really needs now is love.
Texas Fanilow

I've Had it Up to Here...

I would like to know where people come off telling other people what Mr. Manilow would or woud not like? What gives them the right to say that he wouldn't like in depth discussion of his songs and the lyrics? And when did they get the privilege of dictating the topics on the Bnet message board? I recall having to stomach a huge dose of leather and flip books and was told to "skip over" the posts. Lately it has been some vague reference to a "moose" of some unknown origin. Let me just say...perhaps they should follow their own advice.

And while I'm at it...what gives people the right to blast other people on their fan club websites and on their group message boards? Whatever happened to "be nice" in the Manilow world. And how can those same people claim relationships with Barry that don't exist and lie and steal from other fans? It baffles my mind.

I think they need a huge dose of the 70's CD...taken with some understanding and some compassion. They would do well to perhaps actually READ some of those posts they are complaining about. And actually take to heart some of the words of the songs Barry just recorded.

Shame on all of them for not following the example of the man they say they care about.
Disgusted,
Texas Fanilow

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Love Letter

The long awaited "Greatest Songs of the 70's" has landed in the hands of the lucky fans that attended the recent shows in Philly and Boston. After an emotional concert in Philly, my friends and I popped it into the car stereo to listen to it on our way home. As we heard each song, we found ourselves saying, "that one was good"...."wow, that's even better"..."boy, he sure outdid himself with that one". It was a late night and the mellow tones of the CD were not the best to be listening to while driving. When it was over, we commented how great it was and didn't give it another thought for the rest of the evening.

The next morning we checked out of our motel and headed out to the airport, which was about an hour from where we spent the night. We put the CD back into the car stereo and this time we LISTENED. We listened to the words and him singing the words and cried for one solid hour in the car. Not so much tears of sadness, but tears realizing the message that came through loud and clear. It was a love letter from Barry...pure and simple. He hand-picked every one of the songs and the meanings in each of them pricked our hearts deeply.

When you get your hands...and I say WHEN...on this CD, listen to the words of every one of those songs. Listen to him singing those words. Listen to the message in this "love letter". You will never be the same.

Awe struck.
Texas Fanilow


A Magical Night

I've been thinking the last few days about the Music and Passion show in Philly. It's taken a few days to absorb all that happened and to find the words to describe that magical night. I hope for those of you that didn't get the chance to attend, I'll be able to put it into words. Because for me, it completely overshadowed every other Manilow moment I've had in the last two years.

From the moment he stepped out on stage, I knew it was a different man. His countenance was completely different than it was when I saw him at the end of May. He seemed genuinely happy and not even the best actor in the world could have communicated that outer glow. The expressions on his face when he received the numerous standing ovations and the funny moments with his earpiece made the evening even more priceless.

There were two highlights for me that I will never forget. The first was the full version of Could It Be Magic with a full orchestra. The music, the lyrics, the orchestration, the lights and the moment were nothing short of inspirational. I've rediscovered that song this morning and if you haven't listened to it in awhile, it's worth digging it out of the record archives. The place shook when he finished with applause and he just stood there with his mouth literally hanging open in shock.

The second moment was the encore of the night. After a rather long time of applause following Dancing in the Streets, he walked back out on stage in his signature maroon jacket. He took it off, as if to say, I'm completely open to you guys and I want you to know this is "me", not BARRY MANILOW, but Barry. He tossed it to the band and walked out into the center of the stage and began singing "Old Friends" and then walked onto the platform used for the dance and said, "I wrote this one for you".

Then the moment...he began singing "Forever and a Day". My heart almost stopped as he stood there in front of the microphone with his arms outstretched and his heart open and vulnerable. And when it was over, he walked to the center of the stage, stopped for a moment as if to say, "I don't want to go...", then turned his back and waved backwards as he walked off stage.

It's those moments in life that literally take your breath away. Mine...has hardly returned.

Thanks Barry for that magical night. I hope you know how much we all love you.
Remembering that moment,
Texas Fanilow

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

One Voice

Just One Voice,
Singing in the darkness,
All it takes is One Voice,
Singing so they hear what's on your mind,
And when you look around you'll find
There's more than

One Voice,
Singing in the darkness,
Joining with your One Voice,
Each and every note another octave,
Hands are joined and fears unlocked,
If only

One Voice
Would start it on its own,
We need just One Voice facing the unknown,
And then that One Voice would never be alone,
It takes that One Voice.

It takes that One Voice.

Just One Voice
Singing in the darkness,
All it takes is One Voice,
Shout it out and let it ring.

Just One Voice,
It takes that One Voice,
And everyone will sing!

It's taken "one voice" to change the tone on the Bnet message board. It's really amazing how just one person can make a difference. A new voice appears on the scene and suddenly the mood and the tone change. And right along with it comes the naysayers and those that would say it's not the place to post positively spiritual messages. I guess it's the place to post silly, mindless chatter. Personally, I prefer the inspirational posts. But then again, I'm a Manilow purest at heart.


Adding my voice to that one voice (joining hands and unlocking fears),
Texas Fanilow

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Message of Hope

With all the talk of Philly and Boston, the CD/DVD release, the DVD releases of the TV specials and the upcoming media blitz, I can't seem to get my head and my heart off of "Harmony". I have been listening and relistening to the five songs that we have from the scores CD and they are among the most inspirational, motivational group of songs I've ever listened to. It's the combination of lyrics and passionate orchestral weaving throughout, and the message of hope that has me coming back again and again. I can't get enough of the way the music and the lyrics fit so perfectly together and how every line gives a resounding message of hope and God's never ending love. Here's some gems...and if you haven't listened in awhile, I mean really listened, sit down with the music and let it speak to you. You will be blessed.

Harmony
Troubles disappear
And what you feel is what you hear
Not what you see!
Yes, first there was
Harmony!

Where You Go
Where you go
I will go
Maybe scared
But together
With you, I'm prepared the rest is destiny
When it starts
Take my hand
And whether it's through hell or to the promised land
God knows where
I'll be there
Where you go

Stars In The Night
Look at the stars
How brilliant they are
How can they be shining now
When hope seems so far?
Look Look how they shine
These cruelest of stars
What promise inspires them?
What faith is it fires them?
Dare we lift our hearts as we lift our eyes
Are we fools to see what hope there is within the skies
Look...there's the light...Stars in the Night.

Every Single Day
Everything you doubt I will fight for
Every single day
Help me work it out, make it right for
Every single day
And this I swear and stake my life upon
If you go or stay I will love you as I do today
And I'll love you every single day from now on.

This is Our Time
This is our time
Maybe it's the last time
Who knows, but at least it's ours
And it won't be the first time
That men picked the worst time
To lift up their eyes to the stars!

In This World
In this world
That's lost all its reason
At last there's a reason
For hope in my heart

First there was Harmony,

Texas Fanilow

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Dance

I've refrained from commenting on this subject. I "lurked" on the Bnet while it was being discussed, or should I say heavily debated. I happen to believe that the Barrynet message board is NOT the place to bicker and fight because it's a public board. I only have one thing to say to everyone that participated--shame on you.

And now it has come to my attention just exactly how people view "the dance" and it makes my blood boil. Here's an email I received from a loyal fan who asked if I would post this on my blog. I concur with her sentiments so I am posting it here for everyone to see:


I have been with Barry for 32 years....watched him give all that he is without thinking twice about it. I want to begin that way because a couple nights ago I was simply looking thru some of the other fan club sites just to see what people had to say...with hopes of possibly finding one to join. I stumbled across one site.....I don't know if I hit it on the wrong day or what, but I was completely horrified by some of the comments that were being made. The behavior of certain so called "fans"..and you all know who you are...was probably the most selfish I've ever witnessed short of the way some reacted last year to Barry cancelling shows because he was in so much pain he couldn't walk. What in the world gives any of you the right to think that Barry owes us anything.......he'd better not take out the dance because we pay good money for those seats and deserve to get something for it.....spoken by a shallow, selfish taker who thinks only of themselves. Before you even start...I do not worship the ground he walks on nor do I think he's perfect....but he's a truely selfless man who has done noting but give for his entire life....he's given up what most of us work for in our lives...the love of a family...just so he can follow his God-given calling....to use his music to touch our lives like no one else has. There are some of us who pay that money because being able to be that close to him and share a special moment or two with him really means something to us. No wonder he has been so guarded towards intreaction with the fans...and when he does let that guard down and give us a glimpse of himself...look what he gets in return. I, for on, am embarrassed by your behavior....you have no idea what it really means to be a fan....to support someone no matter what....to give of yourself rather than exhibit that "take..take...take..gimmie..gimmie" mentality. I just hope that he can see past you people and continue to let those of us who appreciate what he gives us continue to enjoy it. Will some of you take offense to what I've written...I have no doubt...and I hope you do. Take a good long look in the mirror...do you see what Barry sees....all he sees is what you do on
these boards and on your local fan club websites......think about it.

Speechless for once in my life...

Thanking God I am grateful and humbled by Barry's sacrifice,
Texas Fanilow

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Those Rare Moments...

We rarely have those once in a lifetime moments. Those moments when everything is perfect, and all seems right. And when they happen, they take our breath away because God has smiled on us and given us a glimpse of heaven.

Today, for me, was one of those moments. And, as usually happens, there was a lyric from one of Barry's songs that clinched it for me. "Whatever I know I learned from you...Whatever I do you taught me to do...Whatever I am you taught me to be."

I wonder if Barry knows how powerful his music is in our lives? I wonder if he knows that for every moment of joy and pain, he is there? I wonder if he ever wonders if his music makes a difference in this world, if it moves those that hear it? I wonder if he knows the depth of gratitude that I have for the sacrifice he has made to bring us this lifeline of hope?

I hope and pray he does...

Forever grateful to God and to Barry, Texas Fanilow

P.S. Thank you God for sending the person that "saw" the real me and "picked up the check" today...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Barry's Legacy of Music

I decided tonight to catch up on an HBO series that I watch and the family is sitting around in the living room. The oldest son is sitting at the piano playing a song while the they are all talking. I think...wait a minute...I know that intro...and low and behold, it was Copacabana! He played the entire song. It reminded me of Barry's original version on the box set...the one where he's working on the melody along with the lyrics.

It made me smile and think...he's so much a part of our lives. Every moment of every day something happens to remind us of him and make us smile. How is it possible that one person can do that for so many people? He really is everywhere, in restaurants, the movies, the mall, the grocery store...his music will live on for years and years to come. What a legacy...made me wish I had a legacy...something that when I'm gone people would smile or sigh and say, "wow, she really touched my life".

We all should have some legacy we leave behind. Barry has found his and it will bless the lives of future generations...I wonder what mine could be?

Searching for my legacy,
Texas Fanilow

Kelly Clarkson...my new hero!

Here's an article that expresses my sentiments EXACTLY....

Clarkson Vs Old Fart Davis
07/13/07 .(antiMusic)
What to do when a dinosaur with an overblown opinion of himself tells you that you need more cheese for your album? If you're Kelly Clarkson you tell him where to put his cheese.

We are talking about the great war between Kelly Clarkson and RCA label head, Clive Davis. Davis, whose biggest claims to fame are inheriting Barry Manilow when he took over a label after being fired from CBS under a cloud of embezzlement allegations and later taking credit for an employee's discovery of Whitney Houston, didn't care for Clarkson wanting to be a legitimate artist and recording her own material. Instead, he wanted the standard cheese factory to manufacture some hits for her. Clarkson did the unthinkable, she stood her ground against the geriatric label head.

Clarkson breaks her silence about the showdown with Davis in the August edition of Blender. When Davis approached her to drop her songs in favor of cheese factory "hits," Clarkson tells the magazine that she responded, "I don't know you very well, and I am not a bull-sh*ter. I get you don't like the album. You're 80. You're not supposed to like my album."

Davis, who prides himself as a record man that knows what manufactured musical "product" the public wants to buy, then told Clarkson that her songs "wouldn't sell more than 600,000 copies." So far her new album has sold a little over 400,000 copies within two weeks of release, so unless sales really tank or stop all together from now on, Davis will be proven wrong.

According to an AOL report , Clarkson further said that 'she doesn't like "working with people at the label" because they lie, and that she's not going to be a "pushover"'. So our hero of the year award goes to Clarkson for standing her ground!

Rushing out to buy Kelly Clarkson's new CD,

(Hoping to PROVE Davis WRONG at last!!!!)
Texas Fanilow

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

You know what they say.....


Opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one. And boy, are they not afraid of expressing them!

The internet blogs, Bnet, message boards, and MySpace have all been abuzz about the new 70's CD. Opinions on the cover photo to the song list choices, to the Rosie duet abound. Now don't get me wrong, I like a good discussion just like the next person. And I'll be the first to admit that at first glance, there are few songs that I would not have chosen myself. Honestly, I only cared about one song: My Eyes Adored You. As far as I'm concerned, that sealed the purchase of the CD for me.
About the other songs...I will reserve judgment until I hear them. Why? Because when I first heard that he was recording Unchained Melody I balked. It became one of my favorite songs from the 50's CD. When I heard he was doing You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling, I once again balked. Upon hearing his version, I have forgotten the original. Several songs on the 60's CD blew me away, literally. So, I'm willing to wait and listen.

However, since I am like everyone and I have an opinion, I would like to say that someone (whoever that may be) forgot Marketing 101. A good friend of mine suggested this: make the 2nd CD ALL originally unrecorded songs of Barry's from the 70's; announce that there are a limited number of them available for sale; then watch them FLY off the shelves. An added bonus of this would be that the "public" would be exposed to Barry's original music and BEG for more!

Something to ponder for TPTB,
Expressing my opinion and patiently waiting to hear "the man" work his magic again,
Texas Fanilow

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Viva Las Vegas

After a month of traveling all around, it's good to be home. At the end of May, I decided to hop on a plane to Las Vegas with my Barry buddy. I had a ticket to one show and was going to stay two nights and hop on the red eye back to Texas after the show.

I had a ticket to the Tuesday night show and let me just say his voice was as strong as I have heard it in quite awhile. Which is strange because he was getting sick. He belted out I Am Your Child and Even Now with gusto and as I listened I was reminded that it really is the music that brings me back time after time. I don't think there is another performer that can interpret the music with such passion and emotional depth.

You leave his shows saying, "wow...he did it again". And your feet carry you to the box office the next day to see if a good seat is available, just to experience another night of inspiration from the the man who connects with every emotion we have ever felt.

Thanks Barry for once again reminding me that there is nothing like a Manilow moment.

Looking forward to the next trip,
Texas Fanilow

Friday, May 25, 2007

Some kind of fans you turned out to be...

I've been thinking and have come up with a theory: there are TWO subcultures of Manilow fans:

Subculture #1-The fanatics
These are the women that live, eat, breath, sleep, talk, chat, post all things Manilow and meddle into every other fan's business. These women (and yes, it's the women) send hateful emails to people, report them to the BMIFC, harass fans if they even have an opinion contrary to theirs, and can't fathom that other people actually have lives apart from Barryland. They are irrational, out of control and obnoxious. They seem to be the majority...until you come in contact with....

Subculture #2-The balanced fans
These are fans (men and women) that have lives. They enjoy the music of Manilow. They are inspired by his life principles. They support his charities. And they attend his concerts when possible. They don't obcess about leather, about this fan or that fan, about who posted what negative comment on the message board or who knows TPTB. As a matter of fact, they rarely even post. These fans live in blogland and outside the realm of the barrynet. These are the fans that make up the vast majority of the Manilow community.

...and they are NORMAL.

Happy to be a part of subculture #2,
Texas Fanilow

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Putting Power in Perspective...Always be for something

Another fan and a friend of mine, shared this the other day and I thought it was worth highlighting, viewing the current tone on the message boards that mirrors the tone in our country. See if you agree...

As human beings, we cannot help but be subject to our preferences. However, we do have control over the manner in which these manifest themselves in our lives. Every value we hold dear is an expression of either support or opposition, and it is our perspective that determines whether we are FOR something or AGAINST it. As an example of a situation we are all familiar at this time, we can direct our energy and intentions into activities that promote peace rather than using our resources to speak out in opposition of war. On the surface, these appear to be two interchangeable methods of expressing one virtue, yet being FOR something is a vastly more potent means of inspiring change because it carries with it the power of constructive intent.

When you support a cause, whether your support is active or passive, you contribute to the optimism that fuels all affirmative change. Optimistic thoughts energize people, giving them hope and inspiring them to work diligently on behalf of what they believe in. Being FOR something creates a positive shift in the universe, which means that neither you nor those who share your vision will have any trouble believing that transformation on a grand scale is indeed possible. To be AGAINST something is typically easy, as you need only speak out in opposition to it. Standing up FOR something is often more challenging, because you may be introducing an idea to people that may scare them on a soul level.

Throughout your life, you have likely been told that the actions of one person will seldom have a measurable impact on the world. Yet your willingness to stand up for what you believe in instead of decrying what you oppose can turn the tides of fate. The thoughts you project when you choose to adopt a positive perspective will provide you with a means to actively promote your values and, eventually, foster lasting change.

It's easy to criticize, but so much harder to be FOR something. Barry is a perfect example for this and he shows us how the actions of one person--"one voice"--can indeed make a difference.

Adding my voice to his and being FOR PEACE,

Texas Fanilow

(thanks Carole for sharing this principle)

Friday, May 18, 2007

What are we? Back in high school?

This post is personally related. So bear with me...

I feel like I'm back in high school. I'm the live and let live kind of person usually. But lately, someone has stirred up that "competition" feeling inside of me. So it's here that I'm venting hoping that once I say it, it will leave me forever!

Every time I post on the Bnet about the fan club website that I am the website designer of, someone else has to one up me. And to top it off...they copied my format almost verbatim on their fan club website. I know...imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but seriously, this person is annoying the CRAP out of me. I'm trying to contain myself and be polite, but it's all I can do to stop from blasting her.

I think it's time for some Manilow music therapy. Maybe if I listen to Dancin' in the Aisles again..."everybody will see that we're a family, and we'll be dancin' in the aisles".

Listening to Barry and trying to "be nice".
Texas Fanilow

Friday, May 11, 2007

Barry's Motivation

I was watching a video of one of Barry's concerts at Royal Albert Hall. He was talking to a reporter backstage before the show, sitting in front of a mirror and there was a newspaper clipping of some sort taped to the top of the mirror. The headline read: YOUR JOB IS TO POUR OUT YOUR HEART...

I got to thinking and wondering if that was Barry's motivational tool. If he looked at that before his concerts and it reminded him what his job was when he got out on stage. And then I realized that is exactly what he does. He pours out his heart every time he sings one of those "slash your wrist" ballads, or he leads the audience in a chorus of "Can't Smile Without You". His music is his passion and he communicates that to anyone who will listen: radio, cd, tv, live performance.

Recently, the fans were asking each other what was it that motivated us to be a fan of this performer. What set him apart from the rest? I think that question was answered by that clipping taped to the mirror. He pours out his heart and we connect.

Our job is to spread the word.
Signing off for now,
Texas Fanilow

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Shades of "early" Manilow

Last night I had the privilege of going to a piano bar at a historic hotel while on vacation. The piano player reminded me of Barry's description of himself in the Live on Broadway video. A nice suit, slim tie, very short hair...but loads of talent. As we listened I couldn't help but imagine Barry sitting at the piano himself years ago playing for and arranging music for Bette.

This young man was talented, as was the female singer that he accompanied. I had the privilege of speaking to both of them regarding Barry's music. The singer was familiar with him, however, the piano player praised his musical talent. When the show was over, we tipped the piano player and told him that Barry had told us to ALWAYS tip the piano player. His response, "Well Barry would know. He's one of the great piano players of all time." He thanked us for the applause and support and said goodnight.

I just couldn't help but feel that Barry would have smiled. And who knows...we may have met two future superstars!

Happy to support the "up and coming" superstars,
Texas Fanilow

P.S. Check out her link to the right under "Up and Coming Jazz Singer-Jodie Borle!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The 22 Most Annoying Songs Ever

WNBC.com just ranked the 22 Most Annoying songs ever. You guessed it…Barry made the list!

1. It’s A Small World After All-Disney
2. I Love You, You Love Me-by Barney and Friends
3. Mr. Roboto-by Styx
4. The Meow Mix jingle
5. Who Let the Dogs Out
6. Achy Breaky Heart-by Billy Ray Cyrus
7. The Chicken Dance
8. Copacabana-by Barry Manilow
9. Macarena
10. The theme from “Scooby Doo
11. Y.M.C.A.-by the Village People
12. Hot in Here-by Neely
13. Mambo No. 5-by Lou Bega
14. The theme song from “I Dream of Jeannie

15. Muskrat Love-by Captain and Tennille
16. Mmmm Bop-by Hanson
17. Play That Funky Music-by Wild Cherry
18. Wannabe-by The Spice Girls
19. The theme from “Good Times”
20. Thank God I’m a Country Boy-by John Denver
21. It’s a Sunshine Day-by The Brady Bunch
22. Jump-by Kriss Kross


Sandwiched in between "The Chicken Dance" and "Macarena"...what a dubious distinction.

Say what you want about Copacabana, but that song is probably one of the most recognizable tunes of all time. And as Barry himself says, it's pure genius. In one short song, you have a full length drama. The characters meet, fall in love, a villain appears, one of them is shot and dies, the other pines after him for life.

Most "true" fans, won't admit to liking Copacabana. They balk at the people who only know this song of Barry's and beg for it at the concerts. But let's face it people, it's the highest energy song of the show and it draws the audience in like no other. The tune is catchy. The lyrics are genius rhymes. It really is a masterpiece of musicianship. Annoying? Perhaps... Catchy? For sure.... Most requested? Look at the statistics.... Showstopper? Absofreakinglutely!

Love Copacabana and not ashamed to admit it,
Texas Fanilow

Saturday, April 28, 2007

First there was "Mama Mia", then there was "You Gotta Have Friends"

Recently on a touristy stroll in Boston, my daughter spotted this poster up at one of their downtown ticket offices. Which, as usual got me thinking. If, they can design a play around the music of Abba, why not one around the music of Barry and Bette? How hard could that be?

If you put your mind to it, there is enough music from both of these talented performers to create quite a storyline. Boy meets girl. Boy gets girl. Boy loses girl. Girl realizes she loves boy all along. Boy and girl reunite after years apart.

"Sweet Heaven", "Learning to Live Without You", "Even Now", "If I Should Love Again", "Wind Beneath My Wings", "Do You Wanna Dance", and "You Gotta Have Friends" to name a few would fit nicely together to form an outstanding musical...

Bette and Barry's music together in a celebration of friendship and harmony. What could be better?

Hoping for another collaboration from a perfect team,
Texas Fanilow

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Ultimate Manilow...some thoughts

I'm growing weary of diatribes...it's time to move on to more important thoughts. Such as some audio commentary from the Ultimate Manilow DVD. Can I say that I LOVE this DVD? My absolute favorite line is, "it is I, the Ulitmate Manilow". Cracks me up every single time. But what I adore about this DVD is the audio commentary. There are some absolute gems in there.

First gem: "It just makes me realize the power of music and performing and what a gift I've been given". Any fanilow knows the absolute truth in this statement--the power of music and performing. It's what makes us move hell and high water for one chance to see him live in concert. It's what drives us to share his music with every person we meet, know, or briefly encounter (sometimes to their utter disgust).

Second gem: "Sometimes I just feel like a preacher or something leading a congregation of happy, joyous people." Great analogy Barry! You encapsulated the essence of what your concerts are all about: happy and joyous. Smiles all around. Laughter and revelry abound. It's a 90 minute celebration of joy that we all are a little sad to see end. We leave, planning our next trip and hoping to grab some more of that infectious joy.

Once again, thanks Barry for using your gift and giving all of us joy...
Off to watch some more of "the Ultimate Manilow",
Texas Fanilow

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Barrynet Message Board...the NEW IM


I'm not usually a complainer. Live and let live is my motto and I try and get along with everyone. Lately, it's extremely hard to abide by those who post incessantly over and over and over again on the Barrynet message board. That's right...it's a MESSAGE board. NOT, and I repeat NOT a chat room. For some reason, these people can't seem to understand the difference between the two.

Last night, trying to be the nice, diplomatic person that I am, I posted directions on how to open an account on MSN messenger...yes, I know perhaps there was a little sarcasm involved there. But seriously, if you want to talk to your "friends", find another place! They should open a chat room on PalTalk and call it "Barry's Leather Lounge"....

Happy in BLOGGER land,
Texas Fanilow

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Time for Action


Dear fellow bloggers,
Since it has come to our attention that Harmony may be in jeopardy, several of us have decided to ban together in prayer for Barry and the fulfillment of his dream..."he just wants to get six guys up on the stage"...

Here's a post from the Bnet. Please consider joining our efforts if you believe in the power of prayer.


Dear Friends and Fellow Barry Fans -

I'm writing to you today what I believe will be the single most important message I could bring to you this year. It deals with Barry, it deals with the power of prayer, it deals with long forgotten talent. My request is simple, take the next few moments to read carefully - take the words into your heart, mind, soul and spirit and then ACT.

We know very well that God does things in His own timing. A perfect timing that's never too late or too early. In my spirit it is the right time NOW for us to move into a realm of prayer like none we've undertaken before. Why you ask?? Because deep down inside of me, I feel the Spirit saying now is the right time for all of us to concentrate all our efforts to bring Harmony to the stage. For we (in the Prayer Circle), that means only one thing ... to pray fervently and continually until we see it come to pass.

Why do we want to do this?? For Barry, certainly, we all know Harmony is his "baby". To show everyone how powerful prayer actually is, of course! It'll be a mighty witness to all... believers and non-believers alike. Because we are being told this is the right time, definitely. Most of all, because it'll remind the world of talent almost totally lost and forgotten. It's to give a legacy to the talented men who were all but eradicated from the history books. So the world will grow and learn by their story.

Now is the time people. All of us, whether a member of the Prayer Circle or not, need to join each other in prayer and bring this project to fruition. In the words of Larry The Cable Guy..."get er done" !!!

Please consider the plea as an invitation to give something back to Barry for his years of giving to us. He deserves it and so does Harmony.What no man has been able to accomplish - God can.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments. Most of all, I appreciate your
participation.
God moves when His people humble themselves and pray.

May Our Heavenly Father bless you exceedingly,abundantly -
Pat


Waiting on God to move this mountain for Barry,
Texas Fanilow


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Stranger than Fiction

I just finished watching "Stranger than Fiction" with Will Farrell. Yes. I know this is a Barry blog...bear with me for a second and you'll see how it all ties in.

Harold Crick is the main character and his life is being narrated by an author that is writing a book. All of her books are tragedies: the main character ALWAYS dies in the end. Harold's life is basically meaningless until it progresses towards its end (I won't spoil the ending for any of you that might want to watch it--I highly recommend it!). At the end of the movie, the narrator says that all our lives are a series of minor incidents that become major when you can see the entire story. And that we should enjoy the simple daily occurences along the way to the final outcome. For me, that statement just served to put the last year of my life and most recently the events of the last month into perspective.

Being a Christian, I always try to see God in everything. Some days I can, and some days I just can't seem to understand why "stuff happens". But God, in some respects, is like an author. He is writing our life story as we live it and he knows the final outcome. He knows how all the little pieces of the plot fit together and how each simple twist and turn can be a major change in the direction of the story. And most importantly, he knows his main characters better than we know ourselves.

God knew that Mr. Manilow needed to be a performer, not just a composer. God knew that his talent would be used in ways Barry himself couldn't even imagine. God knew that I needed the music of Manilow, as did and do so many others like me.

Our lives really are "stranger than fiction" and as Barry always admonishes us, we should enjoy the ride, do what we love, and above all, HAVE FUN...

Happy to be the main character in my life right now,
Texas Fanilow

Friday, April 20, 2007

It's all about the leather...or is it?

Yes. Leather is apparently back in full force in Manilow land for an encore performance in Wednesday night's show. It is all the rage now and the fans have apparently lost all sense of reason and rationale. It's the talk on the Barrynet. As a matter of fact, it's ALL they talk about these days. Don't get me wrong, I like leather as much as the next person (well...have to admit, I'm a suit kind of fan, but I won't begrudge the occasional leather appearance).

HOWEVER. Are we really that consumed that it's all we can find to talk about? Apparently some fans are. I prefer to discuss the music and passion. I prefer to discuss how the music has changed all of our lives. I prefer to discuss the friendships that have been formed and remain due to a mutual admiration and respect for this man's talent and body of work. All the glitz and glamour in the world is not enough to replace the life changes that have happened due to the emotion and feeling and passion in just one song.

Next time the topic of leather comes up, remember that leather ages with time and even dries out losing it's luster. Barry is ageless, never loses his ability to move people, and shines above almost every other singer/songwriter/composer in his field.

That's something to "chew" on...
Texas Fanilow


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Words from the "non fans"

It's easy for those of us that are mesmerized by the Manilow magic to "get it" about Barry and his music. But when those non fans see what we see...it gives us hope and underscores what we have been saying about him all along--his music and his lyrics move us "every single day".

We fans joke about being surrounded by "civilians" in the shows, but in reality, many of us were civilians at one time or another--newly discovering what the die-hard fans knew all along. What is that exactly? That Barry's music makes us happy and gives us joy in a world that's not so joyful at times. That his music makes us smile even when we don't feel like smiling. And that his resilient spirit motivates all of us to be the best we can be in this life and in our own corner of this world.

Just for fun, I did a blog search looking for non fan comments on his shows...here are just a few of many.

http://missmatchblog.blogspot.com
I went to see Barry Manilow on Thursday at Madison Square Garden. I know you might think
that I am a dork but I love the guy's music. Remember... he "writes the songs that make the young girls cry"... And let me tell you... his lyrics, well I cried several times during the concert. So.. Some advice... Find the person with whom you can go to your version of a Barry Manilow concert, someone who is going to be willing to share those dorky things that you like to do with you, someone who is willing to learn to like what you like without giving you a hard time about it. And you need to want to do the same for them. And if Barry is actually your secret passion... don't be embarrassed. And keep in mind that a great way of getting your guy to like him is to let him know how great Barry's music is for "setting the mood". You might be surprised about how quickly he will join you at the next concert!

http://www.happiness-project.com
And when the evening began, I was very distracted and troubled. I couldn’t stop thinkingabout something that was bothering me. But eventually the music, the show, the novelty, and most of
all, the company of other people, worked to boost my mood. As I began to cheer up, my self absorption lifted (a good example of why there’s a duty to be happy). The words in the songs led me to a meditation on happiness, and I began to ask myself:

Like Mandy, do I give without taking?
Is there tenderness any more in my fingertips?
Yes, I have the magic at
last—am I living up to it?
And so Barry Manilow, with his greatest hits and his favorite songs from the 40’s, 50s, 60’s, and 70’s, worked on me as a call to greater love.

http://www.dieiscast.com
In any event, last night my wife and I were invited to a performance of Barry Manilow’s “Music and Passion” show at the Las Vegas Hilton. To be completely candid, it’s probably not my first choice for a night’s entertainment. I missed out on the original Barry-mania of the 1970s, so a lot of the appeal is lost on me.
… the roof really came off the place with the closing numbers. I really liked the way they did “Mandy.” It started with concert footage of 1975 Barry doing the song on TV, and for the second verse segued into 2006 Barry doing it live. I’m normally not a fan of seeing videos at concerts, but this was really neat. The glow sticks really came out for that one. And by the time the band hit “Copacabana,” the place exploded. Just about everyone was dancing in the aisles, and it was obvious that it was truly “a good time had by all.”

The next time you are in Vegas, listen to the comments from the non fans as you are leaving the theatre. Well..perhaps I should say NEW FANS...because that's what happens at Music and Passion. New fans walk out of that theatre every single night!


Here's to the SMSSG and his music...long may he reign!
Texas Fanilow

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Looks like he made it...AGAIN!

I was at my local Best Buy yesterday browsing the music section and low and behold, I came across Barry's music. Mind you...in the past few years, there has been ONE rack of his music if you were lucky. Yesterday, there were FIVE...yes that's right FIVE. All the re-releases were there, GSTOF, GTSOTS, The Legacy edition of Live, even the Mayflower CD.

Looks like Barry has finally re-emerged into the pop music world again. A few racks over was Babs, and guess what? Only THREE racks of her CD's. I'm thinking this says something. Barry's music is selling again. Not that we should be surprised. But, somehow it seems fitting and comforting to find him on the shelves once again. And knowing that new fans are out there discovering the magic of Manilow.


Here's to all the new fans and their discovery of "the man and his music",
Texas Fanilow


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Barry...we need you more than ever!


I'd like to send the world an invitation.
And throw a party for everyone.
A night of brotherhood and celebration.
And you can bet before the night is done.
Everybody will see that we're a family
And ALL HUMANITY will be dancing in the aisles!

I've been listening to this song lately and am reminded of the absolute joy that occurs at a Manilow concert. With the recent news and events surrounding the shootings at Virginia Tech, it makes it even more apparent that HUMANITY is in need of a huge dose of Barry Manilow.

I'm absolutely dumbfounded that a human being can do something so heinous without regard for human life. Words don't seem adequate right now. My heart and prayers go out to the families of these students and the other students who have survived. Their lives will never be the same...

Speechless,
Texas Fanilow

Friday, April 13, 2007

Sharon Stone vs Barry Manilow--NO CONTEST!

The Copacabana Catfight: Sharon Stone vs. Barry Manilow (from Eonline)
No doubt Sharon Stone did good last night at the Billie Awards when she helped raise a ton of cash for the Women's Sports Foundation. However, did she really need to do it at the expense of a music legend like "Copacabana" crooner Barry Manilow? … when Manilow's pic popped up on a monitor, Stone cracked, "Oh, look! That was after the third face lift...I mean, hip replacement." Manilow's rep declined to comment, but a Manilow pal says Stone should zip it. "That’s a shame that she would stoop so low," the pal said. "It certainly shows her own true colors." Stone's rep declined to comment.

That’s it…enough already. First of all, let me just say that because I am NOT like this certain B_ _ _ _ _ of a woman, I won’t say what I really think about her. Suffice it to say her reputation and her “body” of work, if you call it that, can’t even hold a candle to the talent and longevity of Mr. Manilow. When people make fun of other people, they are insecure. They belittle people they don’t know or understand to make themselves feel more important. The following article betrays who she really is and what she’s all about:

“Young people talk to me about what to do if they're being pressed for sex? I tell them (what I believe): oral sex is a hundred times safer than vaginal or anal sex. "If you're in a situation where you cannot get out of sex, offer a blow job. I'm not embarrassed to tell them."
(from an article on
www.contactmusic.com)

Great role model, Sharon. Maybe you should have a chat with Barry. I’m sure he could tell you how to act in public! Enough said.

Sick of people shooting their mouths off,
Texas Fanilow

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Barry in the sports world...some images to ponder




Yes. It's official. I've lost my mind. The deep thinking Manilow fan was dragged down today when chatting about Barry and his sports expertise. I guess even the serious minded individual has to have fun every now and then...right???

Heading to therapy,
Texas Fanilow



 
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