Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An Email Conversation

This morning I received this email from my 27 year old daughter:

Just an fyi little tidbit...
I think one of my new favorite songs is "When October Goes". And I would be willing to bet that is your least favorite. :) We tend to disagree the majority of the time on song choices.

I almost fell out of my chair! First of all I had no idea she was listening to Manilow music. I hoped, I prayed, I wished she was since our mutual concert experience in Dallas. But to find out she was actually listening...

She has no idea I have been listening to that album for a week now. Or that I adore that song. Or that I have just blogged about all the fun little twists that I have found while listening. So, being the great Mother that I am and the awesome Manilow Fan that I am, I respond to her email:

OMG Jillian..that song is from my new fav album of his..Paradise Café...I LOVE that song so much. I should make you a copy of that album. I didn't even know you had that song.

Her next email proved to me the most shocking of all:

The whole album is on my ipod

I guess I had made a huge error in judgment regarding her musical taste. This from a girl who listens to Ashlee Simpson, Hillary Duff, Aerosmith, George Strait and Matchbox 20. Well, go figure. Not only did she have the song, she has the album on her Ipod. Now this is a surprise to me because I took her numerous cd's the last time I visited her but I fully expected them to get stuffed in a drawer somewhere and never uploaded. Hell had to have frozen over! I could not let this be the final correspondence. So I replied:

Cool. I didn't know I gave you that one. If you listen to it all the way thru there are some really cool things about it. He puts those little things into his music when he arranges. That's really where his talent is.

My favorite song on there is Night Song, the last one. The lyrics to When October Goes were written by Johnny Mercer and his widow gave Barry all his unpublished lyrics when he died. Then Barry wrote the music to the song.

Well...I had to fill her in on the details. Maybe now she'll appreciate the music just a little more and listen more carefully. Or maybe she just found a gem on that album and that one song spoke to her. Either way, I'm happy to report that yet another "youngster" has been influenced by the man and his music.

It's a great day in the Manilow world!
Texas Fan

Friday, July 25, 2008

All night the Paradise Cafe

I wish I understood music. I mean REALLY understood it. I love it. I like to sing. I enjoy listening to all the nuances of each song. The musical instruments. The lyrics. The hidden things Barry slides into some of the songs just for fun. I enjoy listening to songs I've heard over and over again and finding hidden gems in them. Sometimes I wonder if he does this just to see if we are listening.

I've been listening to 2:00AM Paradise Cafe all week long. It's been rather comforting to focus on the songs. It's definitely kept my mind off of the sadness that has been my constant companion these past few days. Tonight I was listening to it again while I was catching up on some work and I noticed something. Now I could be wrong, and if I am, I stand corrected. But if you listen to the first song, Paradise Cafe, a few bars into the introduction, right after the saxophone intro, the notes seem remarkably similar to the last song on the album, Night Song. And then, exactly halfway thru the songs the intro to What Am I Doin' Here has the same notes as the melody to Paradise Cafe.

If that truly is the case...what genius. To tie the first and the last song together like that. And then halfway thru remind us of the beginning. It's like taking us on a journey and it has to have an affect on our listening and tying all the songs together in our minds.

I'd love to hear from you 2:00AM Paradise Cafe aficionados. Those of you who love this album and perhaps have listened to it endlessly and have come to love it as much as I have.

Truly amazed,
Texas Fan

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Storms in Life

Today we are waiting out a hurricane. Well, Hello Dolly... I can't say it's nice to have her back...

As I've been sitting here watching the weather, listening to the wind and the plummeting rain, and hiding out from the tornadoes, I've been thinking... I KNOW...[watching too much Craig Ferguson lately]. Anyway, I've been thinking about the storms in my life lately. Needless to say, I've had quite a few. Yesterday, it felt like a tornado ripped through my heart and left it in shambles. It's the sudden storms that take their worst toll on you. The ones that swoop down unexpectedly and leave you shocked, stunned and knocked to the ground.

These storms make us step back and take stock of our lives and what's really important. And what's really important to me today is the friends that Barry's music has brought into my life. Those friends that I've never met in person but are always, and I mean always in my corner (Kim, YBA, Moon, Scooter, Steph). Those friends I have met and shared some life-changing moments with (Lori, Debbie, Rob, Allayne, Joanne, Mandy). And now a friend who has left this world way too soon and touched my life in ways I can't even explain (Karen).

None of us enjoy those storms. But when the winds stop and the rain dies down and we gather up all the wreckage and "begin again", we realize that even in the loss, there is a rainbow. We realize what we have and what is truly important.

Hey Old Friends, are you ok Old Friends
Whatdaya say, old friends
Are we or are we unique?
Time goes by, everything else keeps changing
You and I we get continued next week
Most friends fade, or they don't make the grade
New ones are quickly made, and in a pinch, sure they'll do...
But us, Old Friends,
What's to discuss Old Friends,
Here's to us, who's like us?
Damn Few!

Thanking God for the storms and the rainbows,
Texas Fan

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We Live on Borrowed Time

Today I received some devastating news...a friend I had met through Barry's music has passed away: Karen Roach. I knew her only for a short time, but she brought laughter and joy into my life and I will dearly miss her. She loved Paradise Cafe and Barry's music brought her great joy. When she was happy, she loved to play that music loudly. She loved reality television (we had that in common) and her bird was like a member of the family. She and David had many happy years together. The first time I met them was in Las Vegas in August of 2006. They sat next to my friend Mandy and me on the stage left. Mandy got the dance that night, but Karen was so happy for her. We were both grinning ear to ear. Afterwards we met in Tempo and got to know each other and exchanged emails and thus the friendship began. Karen was a kind-hearted, loving individual who genuinely cared about others. I only wish I had been able to spend more time with her but I am grateful for the time that I had. She will be dearly missed.

We live on borrowed time
No one can be sure when the loan will finally come due
But I'm loving all of mine, I know what time is for,
I've borrowed it so I can spend it all right here with you

There was a time when I believed that life held guarantees
There was a time when I was sure my future was secure,
But life had other plans, the future's in God's hands
And knowing that just makes me love you even more

We live on borrowed time
Yesterday is past, tomorrow seems a million miles away
But I promise you that I'm gonna make love last
By living every moment, every hour, every day

Now we may have a year, or we may have a lifetime,
No one can be certain what the future will allow,
But you and I are here, and this time is the right time
'Cause one thing that I know is that we have each other now, and 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
We'll face it all together and we'll never be alone

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Holdin' Out For You

The New Vault song...wowser! This one blows me away. I think it's a masterpiece and once again we read it was passed over with the excuse that it sounded like Even Now. Actually, I think the theme and the musical arrangement are completely different. And as far as I'm concerned, this is a masterpiece.

Why? It's the story of many of our lives. So many of us are looking for "the one". The one who will love us unconditionally. The one who makes us feel complete. The one who makes us feel alive and special. The one who we can say "I Love You" to and finally mean it with all our hearts. It's that soul mate that we all want to find and as the song says, "but what I'm going for is worth what I'm going through, and I'll have more than anyone the day I'm holding you". You can't help but wonder if Barry feels these words today...

Loving the song,
Texas Fan

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Top Ten Sources for Manilow Gossip

Now that the feeding frenzy has begun and Barry's name and photos are all over the tabloids and the internet, I thought I'd offer up my TOP TEN list of where the media gets their unsubstantiated and inaccurate information:

10. Unconfirmed sources
9. Articles or interviews that they misquote or distort
8. The Paparazzi taking photos without permission
7. The Hollywood gossip chain
6. Fan Club Websites
5. MySpace bulletins and blogs
4. Barry related blogs
3. Internet forums (i.e. topix, usenet, etc.)
2. The New Manilow Network

And the number one source the media uses for gossip about Barry
1. His fans on the old Barrynet message board

Texas Fan

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


It occurred to me today after reading yet another post about why someone should not be doing something and why it is our business, that we all make choices in this life. And one of the great privileges of living in America is we are FREE to CHOOSE. That FREEDOM of CHOICE was given to us by our Creator who gave us a free will and by our country who recognized that right given to us by our Creator.

We can choose to attend hundreds of concerts. We can choose to spend thousands of dollars on said trips to those concerts. We can choose to take pictures of those concerts, write about those concerts, criticize those concerts, and even offer advice regarding the quality of the concerts we paid to see.

As consumers, we can choose to boycott any product, activity, entertainer or event that displeases us or does not measure up to our standard of quality. If I am displeased with a product or service I stop purchasing it or frequenting that place of business. That is my right as an American, a consumer, and a fan.

I would be the first one to tell you that I do not want my freedom taken away or abused. I would also be the first to tell you that not one person can force me to do anything I do not want to do. And I am old enough and wise enough to know that my choices (good or bad) have consequences. I have to live with those consequences, just as everyone else who chooses does.

Practicing my freedom to choose and to speak,
Texas Fan

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Please Don't Be Scared

There's a light behind your eyes
I see it shining
It only fades when you cry
There's a heart that beats so strong
I feel it dyin'
When the night time lasts too long
Now you and I have lived out centuries
And all I can say is what you've offered to me.

Please don't be scared
'Cause I've stood there too.
Between survival and the right thing to do.
'Cause only the strong admit their fears
And if you really need me
I'll always be here.

The parties and the lights
Fade to memories in the still of the night.
And you wonder in your mind
If theres nothing left to show for all the time
'Cause feeling pains a hard way to know you're still alive
But someday someone will make you glad you survived.

So Please don't be scared, 'cause I've stood there too
Between survival and the right thing to do.
'Cause only the strong admit their fears
And if you really need me
I'll always be here.

What do you do when someone you love is hurting so badly and you can't take the pain away? How do you help when the miles separate you and the distance between you seems like an insurmountable obstacle? How do you get rid of the guilt that you feel when you can't run to their aide and rescue them from the constant deluge of abuse?

Right now, words just aren't enough to help. Oh how I wish I could just hop on a plane and show up on their doorstep and whisk them away from it all. If only...

Feeling helpless,
Texas Fan

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Imagine if you will...

Years ago, there was a television program called "The Twilight Zone". The narrator would set the scenario every week for a bizarre trip into a world in another dimension. After all the posts and comments about photos taken of Barry this past weekend and the "meaning" behind them all, I thought I'd post my own version of...THE TWILIGHT ZONE...

Imagine if you will...
A world where your every move was put under a microscope and analyzed;
A world where your actions were dissected and scrutinized;
A world where imagination and speculation reigned;
A world filled with rumors and innuendos;
A world where the truth was an illusion and all that remained was other people's rationalizations;
A world where you were followed, chased, gawked at, drooled over, stalked and disrespected...

Imagine if you will...
Living your life in this world.

You are now entering...THE MANILOW ZONE!

Give the man a break!
Texas Fan

UPDATE 07-16-08: Looks like TPTB and Mr. Manilow had enough of this speculation so they sent a Hotline Message. Shame on those fans that were fueling the fire and kudos to those who refused to get sucked in. Next time...get the facts before you believe ANYTHING from the tabloids, papparazzi or overzealous fans.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Remembering Boston

This morning I got on a plane to leave the city that I love. Yes. Boston. The city where freedom took a foothold in this country. The city where great authors came to write and discuss their philosophy of life such as Thoreau's "On Walden Pond". The city that pays tribute to the sacrifices that were made for our freedom. So I felt it only fitting to share some memorials that I witnessed this past weekend while on the Freedom Trail in Boston.

Old Granery Burial Ground where many patriots of the American Revolution are laid to rest.

Veterans of the foreign wars that have been fought to preserve our freedom in this country.

A memorial to the veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq (individual dog tags).

A panel from the Holocaust Memorial memorializing all the victims by concentration camp numbers etched on six glass towers.

Freedom always comes with a price...
Texas Fan

Friday, July 4, 2008

The 4th of July in Boston

The reading of the Declaration of Independence which has been done from this balcony of the Massachusetts State House evey year since July 4, 1776

Patriotic Parade from the State House to the Great Meeting Hall for the Oration of Freedom.

Craig Ferguson speaking in the Great Hall at Fanueil Hall about what it means to be an American.The practice firing of the cannons for the 1812 Overture by the Boston Pops.

The Stars and Stripes Forever...30 full minutes of breathtakingly beautiful fireworks!
Happy Independence Day! Let Freedom Ring!
Texas Fan

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Day in Boston

The Boston Public Garden...beautiful in the summer time
(although I prefer it in the winter covered with snow)

The infamous Fenway Park home of the Boston Red Sox
2007 World Series Champions

Beacon Hill (Acorn Street)...a trip back into the beginnings of the city with cobblestone streets

The 4th of July celebration on the Esplanade with Keith Lockhart
and the Boston Pops and this year's MC Craig Ferguson (where's Barry????)

The hatch shell and the hordes of people
(note: this photo was taken as everyone was fleeing the Esplanade due to thunderstorms quickly approaching...we made it to the T stop before the deluge, but unfortunately MISSED the dress rehearsal for tomorrow nights' concert. By the time we got back to our hotel,all rain had gone...just our luck!)

Stay tuned for tomorrow's installment of a day in Boston...or we Made It Through the Rain (forecast: rain tomorrow afternoon and evening...)
Texas Fan

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I Made it Through the Rain

Can we say ENOUGH ALREADY! Seriously...I did not come 2500 miles, sit in an airplane for 4 hours listening to screaming children and bickering couples to have it rain for four days. The forecast: scattered thunderstorms. Translation: rain all day long. Not to mention how DARE they close down my favorite restaurant in Harvard Square! I was looking forward to those grilled cheese sandwiches and clam chowder. After trekking through the rain to get's boarded up. Some nerve!

Thank goodness at about 6pm the rain stopped and we were able to take a stroll in Boston Common and enjoy the beautiful flowers and the swans. Then we headed down Newbury Street to my favorite restaurant for some lovely outdoor dining and people watching (something I like to call human theatre).

There really is nothing like Boston. The hustle of the city. The people. The T (their subway). The architecture. The beauty in the public parks. It's been a year since I've been here and I must say, I miss it so. It's where I belong...where my heart longs to's my "home". Perhaps some day I will plant myself here for good and never leave. I can only dream!

Here's hoping we "make it through the rain" for the 4th of July festivities. The Pops, the fireworks, and Bostonians...(heaven here on earth!),
Texas Fan

Let Freedom Ring

Let Freedom Ring, let it's music resound throughout the nation.
Let it celebrate sweet liberty that is keeping us free and strong
Let Freedom Ring, and let everyone share its inspiration.

Let the promise not be satisfied until no one's denied its song
It's a dream to build upon.
We take the dream and pass it on and on and on

Let Freedom ring for the children of ev-ry generation
May the love of freedom always ring and let everyone sing a long
It's a dream to build upon.
We'll take the dream and pass it on
and let freedom sing,

Let freedom ring, for the children of ev'ry generation
May the love of freedom always ring; it has brought us this far
it proclaims who we are,
and together we sing, "Let freedom ring."

Off to Boston to celebrate the Fourth of July with the Boston Pops!
Have a great holiday and remember...
"We're not the 'divided' states of America, we're the United States of America"
Texas Fan

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