Monday, June 30, 2008

You Begin Again

I for one am glad that we can have new beginnings. Because I for one screw up. I like that shirt that says, "I'm not perfect, just forgiven." Because God knows I'm certainly not perfect. Far from it. And I disappoint the ones I love on a daily basis. But, I admit my failures and my shortcomings and try and make it better the next time. It's really all I can do. Because once the damage is done, and the hearts are broken or hurt, the only thing that helps is time and forgiveness.

There's no need to cry any more, life's better than before
Yesterday fades away into the past
The pain you thought would last is gone
And you begin again, sometimes you lose, sometimes you win
But you begin again, even though your heart is breaking
In time, the sun will shine and you'll begin again..
You'll begin again.

Hoping it will come soon,
Texas Fan

Thursday, June 26, 2008


naysayer - someone with an aggressively negative attitude
obstructer, obstructionist, obstructor, resister, thwarter - someone who systematically obstructs some action that others want to take

It doesn't matter what you call them: basement people, naysayers, dream-stealers, joy-robbers, party poopers; they all have the same affect in our lives. They want to crush our dreams and make us feel like what we wish and hope for is unattainable. They drag us down into their pits and want us to live there with them in the basements of defeat and negativity...and worst of all--reality.

You just can't listen to the naysayers. They told Moses that Pharaoh would never let God's people go. They told the followers of Jesus that Christianity would never survive. They told Christopher Columbus the world was flat. They told the colonists they could never start a new world. They told Benjamin Franklin and the authors of the first constitution that the document would never last. They told Helen Keller's family to lock her up in an institution. They told the Wright Brothers it was impossible for humans to fly. They said this country would never recover from an attack of the magnitude of September 11th.

Imagine if you will all the naysayers in Barry's life. Those who said he should keep his safe 9-5 job with a paycheck and not risk a career in music. Those naysayers who told him he had no experience producing a record and couldn't possibly take on the task of doing Bette's first album. Those who balked when he wanted to do a jazz album (a pop singer doing a jazz album????). Those who probably said he'd never last this long recording "pop" music. Those who laugh at his repertoire of music.

Thank God he didn't listen to any of them. He grabbed hold of his dreams and he embraced them with conviction. And when they said he wouldn't last...and when they shook their head and said dream on because dreamers disappear...he kept dreaming, no matter what they said. Because he wouldn't give up on his dreams.

He held tight in spite of all the odds stacked against him. He didn't listen to the naysayers. The people who said his music had no substance. Why? Because he knew that he could move people. He knew that his music had a message and if we would just "listen" we would hear what he was trying to say. And what he is trying to say is "never give up on your dreams". And NEVER listen to the naysayers. NEVER.

We dreamers have our ways...and those ways make our dreams come true!
Texas Fan

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Back to Reality

If I had my choice, I'd travel around the globe, stopping for weeks at a time to unpack; and then packing up to go to a new destination. I actually enjoy hotel rooms, restaurants, discovering new places and morning coffee delivered by room service.

My idea of the perfect job? I would like to have Samantha Jones' on the Travel Channel. She gets to travel all over the world, stay in the poshest resorts, eat the most tantalizing food and experience four star treatment everywhere she goes. That type of life appeals to me. Unfortunately, my bank account and my lifestyle do not coincide with my fantasy dream world.

The closest thing to this life is when I travel with my friends several times a year to Las Vegas to see Barry or take a trip with my daughter to Boston or New York. It's during these times that I am the happiest. Reality takes a back seat and nothing else seems to matter but long chats, relaxing by the pool, late night conversations, sampling the restaurant fare, and taking in the sights. The cares of the world take a back seat at the moment and I am able to forget all the drama that waits for me back at home.

In my next life, I'm going to travel the world...never have a home address...and never, I repeat never, stay in one place for more than a month at a time.

Wishing I were anywhere but here...a little traveling music please!
Texas Fan

Monday, June 23, 2008

When the Good Times Come Again

I'll see you then when the good times come again
When you and I have made it back

From the people and the places we have been
I'll see you then w
hen the good times come again
The door that we go out of is the door that we come in

When the good times come again...

The week of Manilo
w memories is over and I was listening to the purple album on the way home on the plane today. It's filled with songs that echo my feelings of this past week. If you haven't listened to it recently, dig it out. The emotion on this album takes me back to the emotions I had this past week..a week of good times!

The fans
This is the first time I have expe
rienced the "fan world" of such intensity. I had some not-so-great moments and some not-so-wonderful conversations with so-called fans. I say that because I can't for the life of me understand how a grown woman can say some of the things I heard and do some of things I saw them do. If anything it made me realize that Barry's security is greatly appreciated and highly needed. I also witnessed some quiet, soft-spoken fans who overshadowed the crazies and gave me hope that not all fandom needs a harsh case of reality.

The friends
This is probably the single most wonderful benefit of being a part of the Manilow world...the friends. I spent some quality time with friends that I have made because of Barry and his music. And an added benefit was that I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know a very special lady from the UK. Her genuinely kind spirit and her ability to communicate about the music and commensurate about why it moves us made this trip all the more meaningful. It's the friends (old and new) that remind us how much Barry has a profound impact on our lives.

The shows
Each show (Tuesday, Friday and Saturday) had their own special moments. The comedy was priceless. When he lets out that giggle you just can't help but l
augh with him. The music as always moved beyond words. The emotion in each and every song carried me along. The bounce in his step (especially on Tuesday night) made me smile for him and happy to be there to see it. Each show has its own set of memories and moments that I will not soon forget.

The songs

Barry outdid himself this past week. He pulled out all the stops and gave us performances that had us on our feet at times and stunned in our seats at others. The cheers resounded in the theater during Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed and you could have heard a pin drop during Somewhere Down the Road. Keep Each Other Warm was a treat to finally hear live. And The Best
of Me always makes me cry. But for me, hands down, Open Arms will be the song of the week. He knocked it clear out of the building, across the strip and out into space. He hit the biggest home run with that song and I can hardly wait to hear it again. It literally became his that night...forever.

The moments
In every show, there are those special moments that you can't forget. Those moments that make them yours, and yours alone. The lyric that connects. They look that makes you melt. The unscripted, unexpected mistakes that endear him to us and make him human. These shows were no exception. The jokes. The skipping out on stage. The unexpected insertion of Open Arms. These moments are embedded in our hearts forever and we replay them over and over again because they bring
us great joy. There was one very special moment for me that I shared with my friend and I will never forget that moment when her dream finally became a reality and she had her once-in-a-lifetime encounter with the magic that only a few ever experience.

The memories
It's always about the memories. The fun we had with the music. The laughs watching human theater in the Hilton lobby. Sharing the shows together. Late nights spent talking. Early morning coffee. Meeting new friends. Stepping into the Manilow store again to discover the new merchandise. Walking into the doors of the Hilton. Exploring new places along the strip. Searching for that perfect outfit to wear to the shows. Drinking a little too much. Sleeping very little. Taking photos and capturing those moments forever. Philosophizing about the music and sharing what it means to get "it".

I was speaking with a fan in the M store a few days ago. It wasn't a very pleasant conversation. She was trying to explain her obsession. I was trying to point out her sickness. (Yes, I'm opinionated if you haven't figured that out yet). I never was able to make her understand why I am there time after time. She just didn't get "it" and never will. However, for me, it's quite simple. He moves me. He reaches into my soul and seems to know exactly what I need at the moment: acceptance, love, kindness, compassion, hope, light-heartedness, joy. He does it simultaneously to everyone in that theater. But when it happens, it's like you are the only person receiving it. He's blessed with the ability to see the condition of the human soul and feel it with his whole being and somehow share it with all of us. There aren't many that can do that. And there aren't many that are willing to pour it all out there night after night and be that vulnerable. But he does it and always manages to connect...always.

Until the "good times" come again...
Texas Fan

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Few Pictures

Here are a few pictures from last night's show. Once again my camera seemed to have a mind of its own. The show was amazing. Barry was in the most playful mood and seemed to enjoy the audience reaction to several of his "signature" moves.

One more show to go this week...PMD is going to be BAD this time...
Texas Fan

Friday, June 20, 2008

Barry's Birthday Bash

I've been thinking about what happened at the Barry's Birthday Bash for a few days now and now that I've processed my thoughts, I'd like to make some observations.

First of all, the BMIFC and Kirsten did a fantastic job throwing a party for Barry's birthday. The spread (complete with streamers, hats and party horns), the music, the prizes and the gift bags were outstanding. They outdid themselves to make sure that everyone had a fantastic time. The DJ played some great music. Kirsten posed for so many pictures with the fans and thanked us for our continued support. Vikki welcomed everyone when they entered the party and said goodbye as the evening ended. They made each of us feel welcome and appreciated.

The mayhem began once Barry arrived. It was a mob scene. The man could hardly walk through the room without being grabbed, photographed and generally treated like a piece of meat. His security had to surround him to protect him from the frenzied fans. It was obviously not a pleasant experience and one that rushed the visit through as quickly as possible.

What would have been so terrible for everyone to remain seated and allow him to travel through the room at his own pace, stopping to mingle with the fans and allowing him to control the visit? I can't help but wonder how much more pleasant it would have been for him and for the fans if that had happened. He's always saying, "I'm a person" and would like to be treated as such. Once he left the party, there was a mass exodus as well, following him out the door, continuing the frenzy.

It's a shame for everyone that these scenes have to occur. And that so many of the fans can't seem to allow him the freedom to control his "fan encounters". Black curtains, extensive security and controlled moments have replaced the relaxed atmosphere that was in the fan world years ago. It's turned into such a fanatical, moment grabbing, jealousy motivated world.

Wishing things could be different,
Texas Fan

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Barry's Birthday-A Night to Remember

Where to begin? Last night ROCKED! Barry was on fire from the moment he stepped out onto that stage. He said he was going to make last night special and boy did he ever!

The jokes
As usual his sharp wit had us rolling on the floor with laughter. He sat down at the piano to play Weekend in New England and said he had to share something with us. He said he realized that if you change the words in songs from "you" to "yours" they become nasty. For instance: when will I hold "yours"! He repeated the story about the oil dropping on the piano keys and the bug flying up his nose during the outdoor concerts. Then..when he was cutting the cake they brought out on stage he grabbed a huge chunk of it so smear on the backups faces. They all ran and afterwards he said, "What am I supposed to do with this?" You can imagine what we all thought...PRICELESS!

The music
As always the music was over the top. He omitted most of the decade stuff to sing his hits: Weekend in New England, Even Now, Somewhere Down the Road (which was accapelo at the end of could have heard a pin drop). After the birthday cake he sang "That's Life" which was absolutely awe inspiring. During I Write the Songs he sang, "My home lies deep within YOURS" and said, "stop me now and sing"!. During Copa he added the words, "ah Sex" again as he has before. He held the end note to Even Now for what seemed like forever last night and the emotion during some of the ballads took your breath away.

The Dance
Last night's dance was done to Ready To Take a Chance Again and was one of those magical moments that I will never forget. He was truly enjoying every moment of it and it seemed to last forever. I was on the stage to witness all of it and to dance with him on his birthday..again..PRICELESS.

The show was over way too we left the theater they were passing out champagne to everyone in celebration of his birthday in glasses with the date on them as a keepsake! Then we were off to the Birthday Bash where we had tons of fun and a special visit from "the man" himself. The BMIFC knows how to throw a party!

What a night...what a show...what a man to share his birthday with us.

Basking in the memories,
Texas Fan

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Vegas Bound

The wait is almost over. Tomorrow I head out with my friend to Vegas for Barry's Birthday Bash. It's been a crazy, hectic week here and I'll be glad to have a few days for some R and R, and of course, some Manilow magic.

I've been all about the lists this week. And I'm not usually a "list maker". But I got to thinking...if I made a list for why I find myself on a plane headed to Vegas time after time when there are so many other fabulous destinations in this world, what would it look like?


Where else can you stay up all night and be entertained non-stop?
It's the best place I know of for "human theatre" (def: watching people drama for at least 90 minutes)
There is always something new and different to explore because the city is always changing
If you're lucky you can pay for your trip with one pull of a slot machine (note: this is a RARE occurence but has happened to me on occasion. also note: I usually leave depositing more than I withdrew)
You never know what cab driver you will draw at the airport (note: it' s like a lottery of samplings from all over the world: Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and even the good old USA)
The entertainment at the Hilton (human theater) always provides for mounds of blogging material
Where else can you find Blue Men, Phantoms, acrobats in the sky and water, comedians, magicians, musicians, wax figures, gondolas, classic car collections, rockers, crooners, female impersonators and strippers all within walking distance of your hotel?
It's the city with the brightest lights, the flashiest entertainment, and the most extravagant accommodations
The culinary samplings along a one mile strip provide a plethora of tastes for any pallet (note: this is number 2 for me--duh)

and...the number 1 reason why Las Vegas is my prefered travel destination:


Here's to Las Vegas, it's one of a's to the smiles all around!
Texas Fan

Scooter is selling her Manilow Collection

This is from Scooter's blog:


I was around the Manilow fan world for a long time, and have a rather large collection of Manilow memorabilia as I was an avid collector. I'm thinking about selling probably 90% of my collection. I'm not sure yet exactly what I'll decide to keep. Some of the stuff I've collected over almost three decades: sheet music, music books, backstage passes, books, ephemera, promo items, press kits, videos, posters, BarryGrams, magazines, and on and on... But none of my photos are for sale.

I have no desire to put any of it on eBay. I'd just like to recoup some of the money I've spent over the years, that is if anyone has any money left after the cost of show tickets and gasoline. I'll try to make a list, but it'll be a few months, maybe this Fall, before I do that.

Meanwhile, if there's something specific you're looking for, (you can email her directly from her blog). I'll let you know if it's available. But I just don't have time right now to list everything.

Sorry, no international shipments. If you're outside the U.S., maybe you can find a friend in the U.S. who'll help you out by handling the sale and then ship it to you.

If you're interested, I'll be posting more details here after I take inventory. I don't think too many Manilow fans read this blog anymore, and I'd like fans who love to collect to be able to enjoy this stuff as I once did.

Thanks, and stay tuned for details. :-)

Sheron (aka Scooter)

Direct Link to Scooter's Blog

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Manilow Magic

Everywhere you look, Mr. Manilow is getting some well deserved respect. And it's about time! Blogs, entertainment reviews, talk show hosts, the media, and yes..even the critics are standing up and realizing that "our man" has got IT.

Here's an excerpt from an online article in the Las Vegas Weekly entitled "The Manilow Principle" by Steve Friess.

About 15 minutes into Barry Manilow’s Music & Passion show at the Las Vegas Hilton last week, I received a mocking text message from my partner. Miles had ducked out of having to go with me, my 16-year-old niece, Courtney, and my mother because he had to go to work at the last minute, but he hardly seemed unhappy about that twist of fate.

“So, does it suck yet?” the message taunted.

I missed the message. To my utter shock, I was having much too good a time.

Yes. At Manilow.

But, faithful and puzzled readers might be thinking, didn’t you just a few weeks ago mention how much you despised that very show in that commentary about all that was wrong with the new Cher production?

Indeed, that is why I was so bowled over. When your family visits, you tend to do things you wouldn’t ordinarily want to, and my mother was, is and probably always will be a Fanilow. So off I went, preparing both myself and poor young Courtney to suffer. I prepped the teen for the idea that this would fall into the so-bad-it’s-good category.

Except it wasn’t. It was so good it’s good. Really. In my guidebook, Gay Vegas, I had given this production a “C” and complained that it was a “rush job” with “dancers who seem confused about what they’re doing.” Yet on this night, a good 75 percent of the songs were not in the prior edition, Manilow was unstoppably exuberant and energetic, and even the closing “Copacabana” was less grating and, so it seemed, mercifully a little bit shorter. Also, unlike Bette, Celine or most notably Cher, Manilow remained on the stage for all but about three minutes of the concert. Of course, his “costume changes” involved changing his sportcoat. But still.

There you have it folks. Once again, Manilow has made a believer out of a skeptic. It seems the list keeps growing and growing.

Until the next skeptic is converted,

Texas Fan

Thursday, June 5, 2008

What's it like?

I was watching a television show on the Travel Channel (No Reservations) and a reference to Barry popped up. It wasn't the best reference: a comment about his face and the work he has had done. I got to thinking what it must be like to be so famous that your name pops up everywhere: movies, television shows, radio, print journalism, internet blogs, award shows, and even random conversation.

I would imagine it's not so great. There's a lot to be said for anonymity. I can say whatever I want and be reasonably assured it won't show up in the mass media. It has shown up in newsgroups and been misquoted and taken out of context; and I have to say, I didn't like it. Being famous just magnifies your words and your actions, both professional and personal.

Yes. You choose your own path in life. And being famous certainly has its perks. However, it occurs to me that perhaps the perks might not outweigh the negatives at times, with people scrutinizing everything you say and do. And if you're not strong, the criticism and the scrutiny can literally destroy you.

I'll be the first to admit I wouldn't mind some of the perks that go along with celebrity status. But I also want to eat without being interrupted. Have a drink with friends without being gawked at or eavesdropped on. Walk along the strip and enjoy the fountains at the Bellagio without an entourage of security guards.

I guess it's true when they say: the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. However, I wouldn't mind trading places for just a that might be fun!

In my own little corner of the world,
Texas Fan

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Barry Manilow Calling

Here's an amusing little story that demonstrates how our support and admiration for Mr. Manilow can spill over into the lives of our family members.

Yesterday my husband came home from work and told me about a "prank" his office staff has been playing on him for a few weeks. We have only one car to share, and the Music and Passion license plate cover is on it. Everyone at his office ribs him about it, knowing that I'm the fan. Yesterday he realized that someone had changed his voice mail and caller ID so that when he calls someone in the office it shows up as "Barry Manilow". This has been going on for weeks now. He found out because one of the managers got a call from him and it showed Barry Manilow. He told the salesman, "Hang on a sec. My caller ID says Barry Manilow. I better get that one..I may have won some tickets to his show in Vegas". He actually thought it was Las Vegas calling, not knowing all the time that it was my husband until a co-worker told him about the prank. The entire dealership had been laughing at him for weeks and he had no idea.

Of course, it was all in good fun and my husband thought it was quite funny. He can have a sense of humor at times, even at his own expense. When he told me the story he actually seemed ok with the concept. When they offered to change it back to his name, he said, "Why? Now I can be Barry Manilow!" ( his dreams!)

Happy Tuesday,
Texas Fan
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