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 ( 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 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 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'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.
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
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