Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thanks for the Memories, Barry

This is the last week of shows at the Hilton. And while I can't claim to have been there "from the beginning", or had the privilege to be there when it ends, I have spent a good deal of time the last few years in Vegas. That time has been littered with memories, highs and lows, and some incredibly life-altering moments. It is all too common to hear in the Manilow world, that Barry brought people together. But it's the truth. I can honestly say that the friends I have met and made attending Manilow shows have come to be my closest confidants and those I now share my life with. It transcends trips to Vegas and nights spent together after the shows. We've traveled across oceans and across continents to be together, spent birthdays together, visited each others homes, and some have even attended my daughter's wedding. I'm always saying "it's ALL about the music", and it is. But it's so much more. It's about the relationships that have remained because of the love for his music.

It's true that Barry is moving on to Paris (which is by far my favorite hotel in Vegas), but it's with a tinge of sadness and a little bit of melancholy that we bid goodbye to the Hilton. It's not the glitziest hotel in Vegas, but for many of us it's where we first met him and first met our friends. It was at the Hilton that I met my very first Barry friend, Mandy and my adventure into fandom began. It's where I sat in Tempo with Karen Roach (who has since passed away) and talked about our escapades on the left stage with a drunk and the dance that Barry and Mandy had together. The Hilton is where "the three musketeers" first bonded, introduced the dance floor idea, and had some fabulous times in Tempo and Shimmer. It's there that I first heard Sandra and Talk to Me, I Am Your Child, Memory, Lay Me Down, I've Never Been So Low on Love, Open Arms, Islands in the Stream, and all the wonderful Mayflower songs. It's also there that I had an up close and personal encounter with Barry who in just a few moments was able to take away the grief I felt over my father's death with his hug.

I will always have a fondness for Fortuna and watching human theater while sipping a cappuccino. I'll even fondly remember "the screamers" at Shimmer and the Pizza Hut at the end of the hall (although I'm not a pizza fan). I will remember breakfasts at the buffet, and meals at the Paradise Cafe, the table at the steakhouse with Barry's picture above it, group dinners at Bennihanna's and sitting by the pool for hours at a time talking. I will have the fondest of memories about early morning coffee in the room and staying up all night after the shows.

My memory bank is full of moments like these at the Hilton. And if it were not for Barry, they would not be there. My life has changed drastically because of Barry Manilow and his music. And although I have no idea what the future holds for me and any trips to the Paris, I am blessed and grateful for the times I have had and the friendships I have been so fortunate to gain because of the common bond we all share, the music.

So Barry, if you ever read this, thanks for the memories and for the times of my life!
Texas Fan

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Here We Go Again--Another Manilow Cover Album

Ok Clive--enough is enough. Can we PLEASE have some original music? Pretty please with sugar on top? We promise we will promote the heck out of it, buy it, buy it for presents, buy it for non-fans, and sing its praises. Just give us a chance. We LOVE Barry's music and we will come out in droves to support any ORIGINAL album.

Pinky swear,
Texas Fan

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Half a Mil for Charity

The official announcement came out yesterday--Barry raised close to half a million at his concerts at the McCallum theater. Half a million big ones--all going toward those 25 charities. Charities that struggle to survive each year and got a much needed shot in the arm because of Barry and his music. Not only Barry, but all those that donated their time and expertise to make this all possible.

Barry has the ability to give "big" because of his talent and his ability to bring the right people together to get the job done. But we can all give, in our own way, to those that need our help every single day. It's not difficult, but it does require that we take that first step and make an offer of help. I read Brian Culbertson's Facebook post the other day that said to take $25 one dollar bills and give one to anyone you see while shopping that asks for help. I thought that was an excellent idea. It might be the Salvation Army bellringers, a homeless person sitting on the corner, or a box at the checkout for a local charity. It might seem small and insignificant but as YBA said, no contribution is too small and that dollar might inspire someone else to give as well.

Barry's charity has always inspired his fans--and this time it was five nights of shows. I think that was above and beyond. Not only that, but he incorporated the kids who benefited from the Manilow Music Project. Kudos to the guy with the giving heart!

May the joy of this season surround you,
Texas Fan

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's a "Barry" Christmas

Reading all the reviews from the shows at the McCallum theater sure can put you in the Christmas spirit. Of course hanging my treasured "Barry Christmas" ornament the other night put the cherry on top of my Christmas mood.

I love Christmas. I love the decorations, wrapping presents, the Hallmark channel Christmas movies, baking, Christmas pageants and of course, the music. My all-time favorite Christmas album of Barry's is the most recent, "In the Swing of Christmas"; but, honestly, I love all three of his Christmas offerings. Just for fun, I thought I would list my choices for the BEST songs from each of them. See if you agree!

In the Swing of Christmas
Violets for Your Furs
Count Your Blessings
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Gift of Love (Duet with Oliva Newton-John)

Christmas Gift of Love
Happy Holidays/White Christmas
I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm

Because It's Christmas
The Christmas Song
Baby It's Cold Outside
Joy to the World/Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

The jazziness of "In the Swing of Christmas", the festive holiday feel of "Christmas Gift of Love" and the classics on "Because It's Christmas" give any Manilow aficionado a variety of styles to choose from. The arrangements in each of these albums draw attention to the fact that Barry is first and foremost a musician that can take a song and make it his own with his genius arrangements.

Listening to the "sounds" of the season,
Texas Fan

P.S. I think "Christmas is Just Around the Corner" has become my FAVORITE "fun" Christmas tune--for this year and for many years to come. What can I say? It makes me smile EVERY time I hear it!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Manilow at the Paris Hotel--Ooo La La

It's official. Barry is moving to the Paris Hotel. I don't know about you, but I think it's a great move and time for a change. Not just for Barry, but for the fan base. It's time to shake things up a bit and venture out of the cocoon so many call "home" at the Hilton. And while we all rebel against change, it's change that often times brings growth and new adventures.

So...in the spirit of change, I'd like to give my own "review" of the Paris Hotel (since it's one of my favorite Vegas haunts). Yes...I'm one of those that actually leaves the Hilton and ventures out into the big bad world of the strip. It's amazing what you will find beyond those four walls.

If you've ever been to Paris (which I have) this hotel does an amazing job of bringing the feel of Paris to you. From the restaurants, to the Metro signs, to the Eiffel Tower and the french themed shopping. It's conveniently located smack dab in the center of the strip, right across from the beautiful fountains at the Bellagio.

My favorite haunts at the Paris are:
  1. Le Creperie-Paris is famous for its crepes. There are sidewalk vendors everywhere making fresh crepes 24 hours a day. You have to try their breakfast crepes and their desert crepes (Nutella is my favorite). You'll find this in the walkway across from the buffet.
  2. Le Village Buffet-this buffet puts the one at the Hilton to shame. The pastries are out of the world and freshly made every day. It's one of the most popular buffets in Vegas for a good reason.
  3. Mon Ami Gabi-a sidewalk cafe right next to the Eiffel Tower. The food is uniquely Parisian and the ambiance can't be beat. Sit outside during the day and watch the Bellagio fountains while you eat. Their lunch selection is fabulous!
  4. The Eiffel Tower-this is a replica of the original one in Paris (1/3 the size). From the top you can see the Vegas skyline. It's breathtaking at night.
  5. Napoleon's-There is a high class piano bar located in the walkway between the Paris hotel and Bally's. The music each night is tons of fun and it always draws a crowd.
  6. Le Cabaret-This is my favorite place to enjoy a drink, sit and talk, and a great spot for "human theater". It's like sitting outside at a Paris cafe under the trees and the street lights.
  7. Shopping-There are a few excellent dress shops and some unique Parisian themed gift shops.
  8. The Eiffel Tower restaurant-You have to try this restaurant just once. It's a bit pricey, but the service is impeccable and the food is out of this world.
  9. The Paris Theatre-I've seen a few different acts in this theater: Sinbad, Clint Black, and a musical impersonator. It's small and intimate just like the Hilton (minus a balcony). The first few rows are close to the stage and it's a bit wider and more rounded than the Hilton's theater. It should lend itself well to Barry's type of show.

There is plenty to do, plenty of places to eat (even pastry shops and sandwich offerings), great "hang out" spots and a great strip location. If you like to gamble, there are plenty of tables and slots and the players club is available to rack up those comp points.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the new venue and the strip location. It should bring new life to the fans, the show and bring in some new fans who might not have seen him when he was off the beaten path at the Hilton.

Looking forward to Manilow (my favorite musician) in Paris (my favorite city),
Texas Fan

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas is just around the corner....

...and so are some exciting happenings in the Manilow world!

1-An upcoming special announcement on December 1st, LIVE on the Today Show.
2-A hotline coming out on Wednesday (who knows what that will include)
3-The "Gift of Love" concerts in Palm Springs for charity.
4-The Chicago concerts with a 56 piece orchestra and Christmas music.
5-A new venue with a brand new show.

It's a GREAT time to be a Manilow fan...and the MOST WONDERFUL time of the year!

Happy Thanksgiving and may all of God's blessings be on you and the ones you love,
Texas Fan

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mercer and Manilow

As I listened to an evening with Mercer tonight, it had a profound affect on me. It clarified the different types of listening styles and audiences that music falls upon. My husband has a wide and varied music collection. But he couldn't tell you one word of one song. All he hears is the music. He never goes deep enough into a song to hear what it is really communicating. My son, on the other hand, whose music taste is what I consider to be all-encompassing, listens to both the lyrics and the music, finding joy and appreciation in all genres.

The music I heard today brought me back to the reason I fell in love with Manilow in the beginning. It takes an amazing talent to take lyrics and bring them to life with the music. Barry has always known a great lyric and what to do with it. Words are poetry, but add music to them and they take on a life of their own. And then add the musical interpretation to the song and you get the full affect of the marriage between the lyrics and the music. Barry is the best at marrying the two together and providing those heart-pulling, emotion-moving, and gut-wrenching performances.

When the smoke clears and the accolades have come and gone, you can turn on your Ipod or crank up your stereo and be transported to any number of places and emotions through the genius of Manilow. And when that song is "When October Goes" it's the best and most perfect marriage between lyrics, music and performance you'll ever hear. That, my friends, will always be his legacy.
And there is nothing or no one that can ever take that away.

His musical genius will live forever,
Texas Fan

P.S. It was a GREAT program with some true insight into the life of Johnny Mercer. You can catch the replay at Manilow and Mercer

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This is Our Time

Today on my daily bike ride, I had my MP3 player on shuffle--yes, I'm the ONLY person left that doesn't have an Ipod! Anyway, one of the songs was "This is Our Time" from Harmony. I am absolutely in love with those songs. The message of the entire catalog is perseverance in the midst of trials with music being at the core of their common bond.

I got to thinking...we live in trying times. There's no arguing, no matter where you stand politically, that it's been a "
lousy year of lousy news". Most recently, the horrible massacre at Ft. Hood. I don't know about you, but I will never understand the rationale behind the hatred that makes someone kill so many people to make some sort of personal or political statement. Something on that scale leaves all of us feeling helpless; but it also draws us together. When tragedy happens, we all pull in close and seek comfort in sharing that common grief.

I also asked myself: Is this "
our time"? Are we standing at a crossroad with the times we have "inherited" and are we just going to "roll over and die" or are we going to "rise above it all"? The sad fact is that everyone has an opinion but nobody wants to listen. I've seen this happen first hand personally and socially.

What's the key? Living and working together. It sounds simple but it is so incredibly hard. Add to this, the willingness that we all have to pigeon hole people into the place we feel they belong: Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative, Christian, Jew, gay, straight, rich, and poor. Does it really matter? When it comes down to basics we are all created equal. We may have different views, morals and lifestyles but we are all equal in God's eyes (and if that labels me, so be it!)

If this really is "
our time", (and I'd like to think it is), we should stop pointing fingers and start grabbing hands. We should be encouraged and inspired by these words from the song:

Help it happen
Draw the plan

You can't do it

Nor can I



Together, we can "rise above it all".
Texas Fan

Monday, October 26, 2009

More Hollywood Bowl Pics

Here are some more pictures from the show on Saturday.

Thanks @hokiephile for these pictures!
Texas Fan

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Manilow at the Hollywood Bowl

I know everyone is waiting to hear "details" about the show last night. Here is a text I received from a friend after the show last night:

"Vegas plus Dave Koz plus One Voice plus Forever and a Day. Voice good, but show nothing special."

And some pics from @starzbz on Twitter.

I'm sure as the day progresses we will hear more details. From all early reports it sounds like it was an amazing night.
Texas Fan

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Manilow Twitter News

Things have been pretty silent in the Manilow world these days. No "official" announcements of much of anything, except Barry telling us in his last set of shows that "the ink isn't dry yet" so he can't reveal where he will be going in Vegas.

Twitter has had some interesting tweets lately re: Mr. Manilow via Steven Friess @TheStripPodcast:

Source says Barry manilow's move 2 Paris official + opens valentines wkd coinciding w new love song album. Show has french theme. #Vegas

A french theme? Now that's something I can sink my teeth into. And...the Paris? My absolutely number one favorite hotel in Las Vegas. It sounds like something "official" will be coming soon.

Ah...nutella crepes!
Texas Fan

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Emotions...Celebrations...New Beginnings...and Goodbyes

This past week, after much anticipation, stress and planning, my daughter said "I do" to her soul mate. She was as calm as a cucumber. I on the other hand, was a nervous wreck. She kept reminding me to calm down (that's my line!) and not to cry (which is an unreasonable request of the mother of the bride). My buddy (Andy) kept reminding me to smile and that it would all be over soon. He has been my rock throughout this whole wedding planning experience, but it wasn't until Saturday that I could finally relax and breathe a sigh of relief. For the most part, everything went off without a hitch. There were no explosions, fights or major areas of conflict. Everyone's clothing remained in tact. The guests found the wedding venue without much difficulty. All the plans fell into place just as we had imagined; and the photos that everyone took are proof that it was an absolutely perfect wedding.

Why was I such a wreck? I wanted everything to be perfect for my daughter's special day. I wanted to make her happy. I wanted her to step back, after it was all over, and know how much I love her. I wanted her to be able to start her life with Daniel with those magical memories. And at the same time, I kept thinking about my parents. I kept wishing they were sitting next to me and posing for the photographer. I kept feeling that our family was not complete without them there. But my daughter thought of everything and they were there, along with her other grandparents. Something as simple as a locket, attached to her flowers, reminded her that they were still so much a part of her life. My mother's diamond in her engagement ring; my mother's emerald ring on her right finger; her other grandmother's diamond in the wedding ring; and reminders in the ceremony of how the four of them are so much a part of who she is. It's those special things that went unnoticed by most, that reminded me of the importance of family and how they shape who we are and what we become.

And it wasn't just about family, but it was also about friends. Friends who took the time out of their lives to travel to Vegas and be there to celebrate with us. Those friends have also become a part of our lives and have added dimension and meaning to everything we do. Words can't express the love that you feel when someone shares those special moments with you; moments that mean so much and moments where memories are made. There were also those friends who could not be there, but celebrated with us in spirit and followed the journey, sharing every moment and participating in the celebration as well.

That's what life is all about. Sharing memories with those you love. Making memories and investing your life in the lives of others. Without those connections, there truly is no purpose in living. And without opening your heart to that love, you can't be complete or feel fulfilled. When it's all said and done, those memories and those relationships are the reason we all keep on keeping on.

The wedding was a rollercoaster of emotions. But there was also an added dimension to the emotions: saying goodbye to some friends that we have come to care about and love at the Las Vegas Hilton. Because of one of those special friends, I was able to attend Saturday night's Manilow show with my husband. It was his first, and honestly, I've lost count on how many it was for me. It was one of those rare nights that you just knew you would never experience again. Barry was nostalgic and reminiscent about the past 5 years of shows and sad that it would be coming to an end. And while I honestly feel it's time for him to move on, it was sad to have to say goodbye to so many people at the Hilton that we have come to appreciate and care about. The Hilton has become our home away from home and the people there have become our family. You could feel that Barry felt the same way and it was expressed in the tone of the show and in the songs he chose: Best of Me, I've Never Been So Low on Love, Ships and finally in the finale, One Voice.

Hearing a song from Paradise CafĂ© was a unique treat. It's those rare moments that make Barry's shows so special. You never know what gem he will throw in that will make a lasting memory. The song he chose just underscored that melancholy feeling that seemed to permeate the Hilton and the theater that night. When he sat on a stool and sang Best of Me it tore my heart open. I’ve never heard that song performed live and that night was one of those rare emotional moments between Barry and his fans that only happen during the shows. Again, I wanted to cry, but having my husband there made it difficult to release those emotions. He wouldn’t understand. He couldn’t feel what I felt. He could not relate to all the emotions I was experiencing that night.

Leaving the Hilton can be much more than closing a door. It's time for Barry to spend some time on himself; focus on what matters most in life; fulfill some dreams that might seem beyond his grasp; and take some time to recharge and renew. It’s time for Mr. Manilow to focus on Mr. Manilow: search for the meaning of life; spend some time in thought; and get some of those emotions out that seem to be bubbling on the surface. As my good friend YBA always tells me: it’s time to spend some time on “me”; and Barry is no exception.

Have I finally been able to cry? Yes. As I wrote this post the tears started falling and I’m sure they will continue for the next several days. Not all my tears are sad; some of them are tears of release, happiness, and reliving some wonderful memories. Some of them are tears related to friendship and others are for my family and the joy that they bring me.

My journey with Barry began in March of 2006 and it’s produced some of the highest highs and the lowest lows. But I wouldn’t trade a single moment of any of those memories. It seems only fitting that the happiest day of my life would be followed by the last concert at the Hilton. A beginning…followed by an ending. There’s some symmetry in it all.

Feeling nostalgic,
Texas Fan

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Weddings, Relatives, and everything in between

This is the week that my daughter finally says "I do" to the man of her dreams. It's going to be an absolutely beautiful ceremony with an absolutely beautiful bride. All the drama (and yes there was drama) will be worth it when she walks down that aisle and smiles one of her biggest smiles.

I've watched those reality shows on television about weddings and it always baffled my mind as to how things could get so complicated. Believe me, now I know. I think it's because you are dealing with so many people with so many emotions and trying to coordinate with so many wedding vendors. It escalates into drama after drama, when all you really wanted to do was have a nice, simple wedding. Fat chance.

Hopefully, the drama will NOT continue at the wedding. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed and keeping some people separated as best I can to avoid the conflict. It seems no matter how hard I try, there is always conflict.

God willing, and the stars are all aligned, I will get to drop in on a Manilow show while I am there. Perhaps my family will let me sneak away for a few hours (shhh...don't tell them).

Finally finished packing and now it's Vegas baby!
Texas Fan

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Personal Message from Barry

Hi everyone

Well, things certainly have gotten exciting around here!

On the one hand, I'm really sorry to have caused so much pandemonium by postponing and canceling a few shows.On the other hand, I'm very glad that these shows mean so much to you.

Frankly, I'm not exactly sure whether the upset is that I cancelled a few shows or the way I cancelled them.

It seems to me that as soon as my doctors scheduled my surgery, I posted the rescheduling information with enough time for everyone to make new plans. After all, it's only a few shows, I thought.

The doctors tell me that I need between four and six weeks to recuperate so canceling six Hilton shows didn't seem like such a big deal and since the San Diego/Sacramento shows hadn't really been on sale for too long, it didn't seem as if that would cause too many people a lot of trouble.

But I guess I was wrong. So sorry if I was wrong. I really wasn't going to announce my personal, private hip troubles again, but I guess I have to since the freaking out seems to be getting out of hand.

You know, my friends, we're only human. I know many of you think I'm not, but stuff happens to humans. Deaths in the family, sicknesses, technical problems, late arrivals, etc. We all do the best we possibly can all the time to never disappoint you. But stuff happens to us humans. And as hard as we try, we just can't always be perfect.

Out of all the complaints there were only two people who wrote, "I hope Barry's okay". Only two. That was an eye-opener.

You must believe that when things like this happen- cancellations, postponements, delays - there is always a legitimate and unmovable reason for them.

You all must know by now, that me, Garry, John, Marc, Vicki, Kirsten and everyone at Stiletto take your loyalty and friendship very, very seriously and with the utmost responsibility.
If things like this happen, you have to know by now that we have looked at every way to fix problems and that there is absolutely nothing that we can do before we make decisions like this. We all know that it's going to cause people to be upset and it kills us to have to change things.

Causing you guys pain and upset is awful for all of us. We would never make these decisions if there were any other way out.

Once again, my sincere apology to anyone who has been affected by my personal problems.
I'll try to recover as fast as I can.


Just a few comments:
1-We aren't inhuman. Of course we wish him well and would never want him to be in pain.
2-All of this could have been alleviated by simply saying: Sorry guys, need to have some surgery. Be back in 6 weeks.
3-Here's what he said just a few days ago:
"I’ve been getting comments about how thin I look these days. That’s me. Skinny guy. But I’m healthy and filled with energy and thank goodness, I still have my hair! So please don’t be concerned about me."
3-Perhaps one day Stiletto will learn that honesty is ALWAYS the best policy.
4-Personal message to Barry: Please take care of yourself and if it's time to get off the stage and work on creative projects, we completely understand. We will miss you, but, your health ALWAYS comes first!

Texas Fan

Friday, October 2, 2009

Meltdown in Manilowland

It's finally happened...the fans are in meltdown mode. Rumors are flying about Barry leaving the Hilton. On top of that he's canceled shows, "rescheduled" arena concerts, and FINALLY canceled the Platinums from last June. You would think the world was coming to an end. And while the s**t is hitting the fan, the administrators are busy deleting posts and negative comments.

Gotta love the censored world of Manilow. What is also amazing is the people who believed Barry could do no wrong are now on the receiving end of the wrong doing and not too happy about it. It's funny how your perspective changes when you're the one getting the mistreatment.

My personal favorite: send out a Hotline about all the "great" projects coming up and then send out one the next day about cancellations. FYI Stiletto...while you may think fans are Maniloonies, we are NOT idiots. We are on to your so called ploys to pacify the bad news with good. Eventually, you'll cross that line, as you have with so many, and lose all of our business. But, I guess you're motto is: there's a sucker born every minute. And perhaps you are right.

One thing is for certain--things are NEVER dull in Manilowland!

Eyes wide open,
Texas Fan

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Manilow TV--Early Reviews

Since I haven't the time, nor the funds at the moment, to take a ride on the Manilow TV train, I thought I would share two very good "early" reviews with my readers.

Dawn's Blog

Millie's Ning Review

Based on these two reviews, I might be convinced to take the plunge at the end of the month. "Might" being the operative word.

Texas Fan

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Manilow TV--The Controversy Continues

Five days from now Manilow.TV will launch its first video. As predicted, it's a subscription service, renewable monthly. And also as predicted, the controversy on the MMN over the price continues. And again, and is always the case, the negative opinions get lamblasted by the keepers of all things Manilow. Heaven forbid that there would be a differing opinion, or that this opinion might go against the grain.

Personally, I am taking a "wait and see" approach. This is what I have learned in the last few years in the Manilow world. I'm not buying until I have time to evaluate the offer. After it launches and comments are positive, and the kinks are all worked out (which I'm sure there will be many), then I'll decide if I want to fork over the $19.95 and take a test drive.

After reading the FAQ, I'm impressed with a few things:
1-You can unsubcribe at any time.
2-They will notify you of the upcoming video so you can make a decision about your subscription.
3-There is an online chat feature to address problems.
4-If they don't change the video, you won't get charged (a good thing in the Manilow world since very often things don't materialize as promised).

As with any product or service, it is always the consumer's option to not purchase. And, as I have done in the past, I will exercise that option based on cost and product offered.

Skeptical but hopeful,
Texas Fan

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Manilow in the UK

(Photo by Bauer Griffin, September 10, 2009)

It's been quite a weekend. First the radio interview, then Jonathan Ross, then the Proms live. I have to admit, it's great to get a chance to listen to those UK events. The UK fans always get some very special Manilow moments. And this time, we ALL got to hear, see and share most of them right along with the fans across the pond.

Things I learned over the last few days:

  • Even in the UK, Barry can't land without having an up to the minute report of his whereabouts ("the eagle has landed")
  • Barry is still smoking (no comment)
  • Radio interviewers need to do some research before they get a guest on their show (same old questions we've all heard before)
  • Don't ask Barry the name of his dogs (they are like his kids--it's personal!)
  • Barry has chickens and a rooster (dogs and chickens and roosters, OH MY!)
  • Barry is a pitch man (peddling his "B" string and his Manilow water on UK television--but not as good as Billy Mays!)
  • There are groups on the MMN that got "outed" on Jonathan Ross (which just cements the press and public's view of Barry's fans--crazy Fanilows)
  • Sometimes Barry is caught off guard (and the looks and answers that he gives are priceless--re: What is your greatest accomplishment? Answer: That I'm still the same guy I was 30 years ago. Comment: Hey Barry, there are fan groups, here's one for you.. Response: Shocked [just look at his face] when those MMN group names were mentioned and even MORE shocked when Jonathan Ross showed him the pictures)
  • The UK shows are ALWAYS over-the-top (for some reason they get those "special" songs and unique show moments that we don't get in the U.S.)
  • Listening over the internet was the next best thing to being there (and the sound was amazing with my great computer speakers and subwoofer)
  • Orchestras IMPROVE the quality of the music 100 percent! (reminded me of the first concert I attended with a full orchestra--priceless)
  • Even though you can't see the Bamms you can still visualize them (I was hoping to hear the full, classical version of CIBM)
  • One Voice is so moving when the entire audience is singing along
  • Don't expect respect when the press is always looking for the crazy Fanilows (and easily finds them)
  • "On the spot" tweets can be revealing about a person's attitude toward fans (re: 40,000 Maniloonies...when those same fans are your customers)
Guess that's my recap of the events in the UK. I know everyone that was there "live" with Barry had a marvelous time. (We could hear your excitement and screams in the background).

Headed off to watch the YouTube video of the duet (before it gets taken down),
Texas Fan

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

There once was...

...a Manilow world where opinions were valued and people openly debated their differences. A world where opposite opinions thrived and amidst disagreement there was harmony. But then, a dictatorship took over that world and set themselves up as rulers over all the kingdom. Freedom of speech was not encouraged nor was dissent. Many fan's voices were silenced when they disagreed with the dictator. So those voices found another realm where they could be heard and embraced as valuable. In that realm, differing opinions thrive and debate is encouraged. Comments aren't censored or reported to the "higher authority". Personally, I'd much rather live in a world where everyone has differing opinions and values. A world where we can learn from one another and thrive in diversity. I would never be happy living in a place where there is one leader and one opinion. It didn't work with Hitler. And it doesn't work in Manilowland. Rebels always rise up and fight against tyranny. They find their voice and cannot be silenced.

I have but one word in mind from a scene in Braveheart. Faced with submitting to British rule, or death, William Wallace, a commoner who united the Scots against tyranny, screamed....
Texas Fan

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The SMSSG vs The Artist

It's happened again. The SMSSG has re-emerged full force and the fans are all worked up into a frenzy over the weekend of shows. I will never understand that mentality. It's not that I don't enjoy those songs or the way he performs them. But when the SMSSG emerges, it overshadows The Artist. Those songs are crowd pleasers and I'm sure it's great to hear the applause and see the excitement that they bring. But I can't help but wonder what The Artist thinks when people are leaving during Talk to Me and on the edge of their seats for Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed.

Unfortunately, The Artist is a business. And the business makes more money when the SMSSG appears and the fans are worked up into a frenzy. I would much rather hear the full version of Could It Be Magic vs the one with the bamms. I would much rather hear him sing Every Single Day or Where You Go than Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed. I'd much rather see him sit at the piano and sing If I Should Love Again with that beautiful piano accompaniment than watch him writhe around on the stage during Looks Like We Made It.

I have ENORMOUS respect for The Artist. And even as much respect for The Showman. And the SMSSG can be fun to watch, but in the end, I would much prefer that he were known for his music and not for the way his fans respond to him. And trust me, that's what the world sees. Those crazy Fanilows...

I hope that some day The Artist will be comfortable enough and secure enough to show the world that he is so much more than a SMSSG. Otherwise, it's all a bunch of hype to me.

Because, believe it or not, that's the man and the music I fell in love with so many years ago,
Texas Fan

Note: Here's another fan's take on this subject. Time for those of us who feel this way to stand up and be counted!
Michelle's Blog

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The demise of "Here at the Mayflower"

After reading the latest show reviews, I'm so incredibly glad I was there the night he came back after vacation in July. There were some glitches. Perhaps the show didn't flow as well as people would have liked. There weren't as many hits. But...there was "Here at the Mayflower." Hearing those coveted songs: Talk to Me, The Night that Tito Played, Not What You See, Welcome Home and Sandra (although not on the CD but should have been) is the reason that I went back after such a long break. And I'm glad I did.

There is no better performance than Talk to Me. That song is the absolute best one on The Mayflower album. And Barry's performance of it brought every single word to life. The ups, the downs, the anger, the sadness, the frustration that people experience in relationships came out that night when he performed it. It was the quintessential moment in all the shows I've seen. Although I've had other "great" show moments, this, for me, embodied the essence of Manilow.

It's such a shame that things went back to "normal" and the show only contains two Mayflower songs. But alas...

I think Rick Nelson said it best, "you can't please everyone, but you've got to please yourself".

People want what the want,
Texas Fan

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's not personal, it's just business

"It's not personal, it's just business". Words from a very famous movie. I didn't buy it then and I'm not buying it now. It is personal. It's very personal. People always take the way a business treats its customers as personal. The best businesses treat their customers as they would want to be treated themselves. The worst businesses put the dollar before the customer and treat them like a number (or a dollar amount).

Unfortunately, as much as I'd like it to be so, it's never "all about the music". Those pesky business practices always interfere with the musical enjoyment. Those pesky business practices always taint my view of the music. I wish it didn't, but it does. And today, somebody who is very kind and giving, got the "business" side of the music and it wasn't pleasant. It never is. And another lifelong fan bites the dust.

I can only hope that the money that was saved and the rights that were protected will make someone more comfortable and happy knowing that the goblins who are trying to steal the music from them were squelched and silenced. I can't help but think to myself, what's the harm? Give and you shall receive...or is it slam the "not hurting anyone" fan to the ground and you win? Either way, the music doesn't sound so great right now. It's leaving a bad taste in my mouth again.

The ups and downs of being a Manilow fan,
Texas Fan

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fans, Civilians and Everyone in between

The Manilow world consists of people. And people are different. There die-hard fans. The occasional concert goers. The once in a lifetime attendees. And there are the civilians. Civilians is a term that the longtime fans have given to people who don't understand the man, the music or the concert experience. All these groups are continually clashing with each other over all kinds and types of drama.

  • The fans are out of control and rush the stage
  • The civilians yell at us when we want to stand
  • The fans sing loudly during the show and annoy those sitting next to them
  • The civilians get drunk and fall all over the fans during the show
  • The civilians won't be quiet during the ballads
  • The fans won't sit down and are rude to the people behind them
  • The occasional concert goers don't understand why the fans are yelling at inappropriate times
  • The once in a lifetime attendees can't believe how the die-hard fans behave
  • The civilians just want to sit and enjoy the show
  • The die-hard fans buy the same seats every show to get a chance at a dance or a handshake
  • The occasional fans don't understand why anyone would go to so many shows
  • The civilians won't "get into" the show and enjoy it

Everybody has an opinion. But here's something I've learned in the last few months: they are ALL valid points. What's the solution? Perhaps it is to empathize with the people around you; look at the concert from their point of view. What is it the French say, "C'est la vie

It's just a thought.
Texas Fan

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Manilow's Home in Vegas--all is not great in paradise

According to a recent article in the Las Vegas Sun:

The decline in visitation to Las Vegas this spring hurt business at the Las Vegas Hilton, which sustained a loss for the second quarter ended June 30. The 3,174-room Paradise Road property lost $10.552 million during the June quarter vs. a profit in the year-ago period of $3.394 million, a regulatory filing showed Thursday. Revenue declined from $75.5 million to $45.2 million.

These figures are not surprising. After spending a week there recently, it was obvious that business was in decline. It seems Vegas, like the rest of the country, is feeling the results of the recession. It was hard to see that at other properties. The NY NY Hotel was hopping with activity, as was Harrah's and the Luxor. I was at the Mandalay Bay hotel several days and the activity in some of the restaurants boasted lines waiting to get in.

The Hilton has some factors that are not in its favor. It's off the main strip. It's an older property. There are not that many restaurants or shows there to draw people in. There are just two bars, Tempo and Shimmer, with a few small ones attached to the restaurants. Tempo is dead except during Manilow nights and Shimmer draws a mostly male crowd.

I hope their marketing department has some innovative thinkers. It's time to bring the Hilton into the 21st century. Add a piano bar. Bring in a celebrity chef. Have a 24-hour restaurant that actually stays open all night. Offer some fun things to do past 11pm at night. It's obvious the convention business will not sustain them.

Here's hoping things improve in Vegas (and everywhere),

Texas Fan

Monday, August 10, 2009

Barry Manilow is NOT on the D-List,,,

...and neither is Kathy Griffin.

I'll admit it. Kathy Griffin is my guilty pleasure. I know she's crass. And vulgar. And has no shame. But she always seems to make fun of "celebrity" and that's what cracks me up. She's the antithesis of decorum and respect. She asks the questions that everyone wants to ask, but is afraid to ask. And she is not afraid to make a fool of herself for her comedy. Some people just need to lighten up and laugh.

So, there I was, sitting in my comfy chair tonight watching Kathy and Suzanne Somers call Barry Manilow. I could not stop laughing. Why? Because it was obvious he was NOT impressed and it was also obvious that she had absolutely no shame. Kathy, "Who is richer? You or Somers?"...Barry, "I think today it's me. But you know it's not about the money. It's about the heart." Gosh. He always has the perfect answer, doesn't he? Always a man of humility. Kathy, "Suzanne won't give me any of your personal contact information." Barry, "I wonder why? Bye." Gee, not even Kathy can get that info!

Of course, it's all in fun--scripted reality. And in the end, Barry and Suzanne show up at the reveal of her star. And, as always, Barry was smiling and laughing right along with her. But you've got to wonder, was it acting? I've seen that look before...many times "outside" of the theater. I wonder if Barry will indeed end up in her act. Now that, I'd like to hear.

At any rate, we all got a great cameo appearance on TV and what more could Manilow fans ask for? (a cameo appearance in person--but we can all dream, can't we?)

Crackin' up in Texas,
Texas Fan

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Heads up Manilow fans

Check out YBA's blog. The super sleuth that she is has discovered an interesting link:

You Begin Again

Thanks YBA for giving us an "early warning" sign. Here's hoping it's soon...and affordable (aka NOT a monthly subscription).

Holding my breath,
Texas Fan

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Wedding, The Hilton and a little Manilow

After a whirlwind week, a little Manilow, battling with wedding planners and some unexpected conversations, I'm sitting in my comfy chair in my room with a few minutes to write about my adventures on my "infamous" blog.

Who knew that planning a wedding in Vegas would be so emotionally draining. On one hand, it was exciting to be talking about it, discussing meals, doing the research and talking with a pastry chef. On the other hand it was frustrating dealing with an unbelieveably rude wedding coordinator and struggling with how to handle her unwillingness to meet me halfway. In the end, we were able to replace her with a supervisor and amazingly have all our requests honored. It's just a shame that once again, customer service makes or breaks your opinion in a business relationship.

Which brings me to the Hilton. It's obviously clear that the news about Vegas is represented there in the lack of staff, the closed restaurants, and the absence of gambling in the casino. The hotel was like a ghost town. Most of the restaurants weren't open. The tables and slot machines sat vacant. With the Star Trek exhibit gone, that part of the casino was completely unoccupied. Even the shops closed early. And, I was surprised to hear that my earlier prediction that the cancelled shows in June were Manilow related, was untrue. I was told by a very reliable source that the Hilton did indeed cancel the shows. And, when I'm wrong, I will admit it. So here it is...I was wrong. This is a perfect example of how past experience tends to taint the truth. (A side note--there is quite a bit of anxiousness over the fact that Manilow has not extended his contract yet for 2010)

The Manilow that I had the privilege to experience was priceless. I will never, ever, ever forget hearing and seeing him sing Talk to Me live. That man is a genius, not only musically, but also interpretively. If you just think about that song, the ups and down, the highs and lows, meshed in with the desperateness of those lyrics, you just melt when you hear it. And even though Sandra had its technical difficulties, Barry knocked it out of the ballpark. Those two songs made the price of my ticket worth every penny.

I was talking with my Manilow friend, Mandy (yes, named after the song) about the shows and how each one we had attended together had some special memories. We both felt that the fact that we did not attend every show, made the ones we did attend even more special. There was my first Vegas show, where I met Mandy and had a close encounter of a jacket kind with Barry. Then there was the next show we attended together when Mandy had her once in a lifetime moment of a dance that lasted the entire song (yes...the entire song)...those were the days. Then there was that time we heard him sing I Am Your Child live for the first time. I'll never forget the night he sang Memory for the first time, or sat down at the piano and sang Open Arms. Then there were those awesome shows in October when he first sang the high energy Islands in the Stream. For me, a "little" Manilow makes those Manilow moments much more special.

And I'd be remiss in not mentioning the time I spent with "the crazy Brit". She made me smile every evening as we sat and talked over drinks and got to know each other better. She is indeed a special lady.

Here's to Las Vegas!
Texas Fan

Monday, August 3, 2009

Censorship and the Manilow World

I would like to make clear my position on comment moderation and censorship. My policy: I will approve ALL comments, unless they are vulgar and vile. That means that there will be comments here that I don't necessarily agree with or condone. However, I do feel there needs to be a place where people can discuss differing viewpoints without fear of being censored. This has not always been my policy but I feel it is only fair to give differing viewpoints the opportunity to respond.

If you wonder where I stand on any issue, just read this blog. It is my goal to post about three things here: the music, treatment of the fans by the management, and anything that I find disrespectful or degrading to either Barry or his fans. And please remember that these are my opinions and everyone is entitled to disagree respectfully.

Texas Fan

PS I cannot approve comments until Wednesday when I return home so please be patient. If you leave a comment in the next few days it will eventually show as posted.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Not What You See

Perception is everything. The real problem is that we might not be how we appear but our actions sometimes speak volumes to others. If we want people to see the real us we have to be willing to be vulnerable, open and approachable. We may not feel like we are coming across in a certain way but if we are perceived that way by many, then odds are we are giving the wrong impression.

Looking beneath the surface requires honesty from both parties and a willingness to receive at times criticism and open up to the possibility that your perception might just be wrong. There is always so much more.

I will always have an opinion but I will try very hard to look beneath the obvious and ask myself if I am truly seeing what I need to see. If I have learned one thing in the last few months I've learned that the obvious is not always the truth.

Watching the sunrise from a different perspective this morning,
Texas Fan

Saturday, August 1, 2009

What a difference a day makes...

...24 little hours. Sounds like tonight's show was much "better" in regards to the audience participation and the seamless flow of things. "Sandra" was removed and some of the hits were reinserted (Ships, Somewhere Down the Road, and I Write the Songs) all reappeared.

Apparently adjustments were made for the faulty keyboard issues and everyone seemed noticeably more relaxed and at ease. There was no interaction on the right side of the stage, but the left side had several visits and acknowledgments.

All in all, it seemed that order has been restored in Manilow land and judging by the two Platinum photos I viewed (Jami Russell and her mom--lovely photos btw) Barry seemed to be happy this evening and enjoyed his visits with the fans.

There was no appearance in Tempo tonight although the area was "swept" prior to the show letting out AND the dancing tonight was (how should I put this) entertaining.

Time for some much needed shuteye,
Texas Fan

Friday, July 31, 2009

Mayflower and Mishaps

I was back in the Hilton Theater after months and I have to say I've missed the guy. He's just got "it" and never ceases to surprise me with his showmanship and his ability to roll with the punches. And tonight's show was filled with tons of punches. It was a night of Mayflower and mishaps.

I sat in the balcony tonight and I have to say believe it or not I loved it. Firstly because you could actually enjoy the show without screaming maniacs sitting next to you, jumping up and down and yelling during the songs. And secondly because you really do get the full affect of the sets and the staging from that high up and far back. The opening is so much more effective when you can see it from the balcony. The silhouettes are more impressive and the visual affect of the musicians, the singer and the smoke is breathtaking.

As I hoped, Barry decided to give us a replay of the Mayflower segment from the convention shows. As he began to set the stage for the segment, people began to leave. He had already done several of his hits, included an amazing arrangement of "Trying to Get the Feeling" and "Even Now". He walked over to the left side of the stage and he said, "You're leaving? What's the matter? You want to hear Copa?" Then he began to ask the people to stay. People in the balcony begin filing out as well. He seemed incredibily frazzled by it all.

Then the Mayflower segment began and as he was attempting to sing "Not What You See" the keyboard began to malfunction. It was playing two notes when he pressed one key. He yelled out for Ron to help him out and the song was salvaged. He continued to stay in character however and pretend to play as he sang. An incredibly moving performance. Then came "The Night That Tito Played."

The keyboard was moved to the other side of the stage and when he began to play Sandra, the same thing happened. Keely could not hear the music and he said, "We can't do this song. Let's move on." When Ron again rescued him and he and Keely were able to finish Sandra.

After that, "Talk to Me" was absolutely breathtakingly done, and he finished with "Welcome Home" which made me cry, because that song has always meant so much to me. Then he moved on to "Mandy/Could It Be Magic" and did not sing "I Write the Songs". He ended with the usual Copa and the "It's a Miracle Reprise".

I couldn't help but feel the songs he wanted to sing were met by the audience with little enthusiasm. There was very little audience interaction except for a few handshakes on the front row. He stayed far away on both sides of the stage and kept trying to get the audience to participate in the music.

But for me, the show was a once in a lifetime moment. "Sandra" and "Talk to Me" made it special, culminating with "Welcome Home". I would have hated to be the one responsible for the keyboard mishap however. It ruined the flow of the show and noticeably disrupted the rhythm.

That's life however. You can't plan for those unexpected mishaps. The show, however, was about 70 minutes long.

That's my Manilow fix until October, if I'm lucky enough to squeeze him in the weekend of my daughter's wedding. Hmmm....you think I could convince him to make an appearance and sing "When October Goes" (her favorite song)?

Here at the Mayflower, it's bedtime!
Texas Fan

Sunday, July 19, 2009

From the frying pan into the fire...

...and here I go.

What was the marketing/merchandising department for Starz thinking when they were all sitting around a table brainstorming about products? Did it go something like this:

Bob: I think we need some new merchandise in our online store.

June: I agree, maybe some sort of apparel other than shirts and jackets.

Will: I think I have an idea, let's start a lingerie line.

Bob: Sounds good to me. What are you thinking?

Will: Well. Since most of the Manilow fans are women, let's come up with something they would enjoy wearing.

June: I've got it! Let's introduce a thong!

Will: That's perfect. And if we put a "B" on it they will be sure to buy it.

Sally: Ummm....I may be going against the grain here but don't you think that's just a little tacky?

June: Tacky? No. I think they will ALL love it. What could be better? Wearing "B" next to their crotch.

Bob: I mean...seriously. Those crazy women that follow him around like a pack of dogs in heat will LOVE it.

Will: And here's another plus. Imagine those same fans throwing them up on the stage during a concert. Once that starts, everyone will want them.

June: You're right. And I have the perfect name. Let's call it a "B String"!

Sally: :::shaking head:::: (these people have LOST their minds)

I can't for the life of me figure out the reasoning behind that piece of merchandise. Although, I bet, like the life-size Barry's, they will fly off the shelves.

:::Shaking my head:::
Texas Fan

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Another NEW Project for Barry Manilow?

Could it be? Here's an excerpt from the Gloucester Times:

Day continues to challenge himself musically. He just signed on to work on a musical with Barry Manilow to premiere in Las Vegas. Day and Manilow spend their time writing the music and the lyrics and building a coherent and conducive story.

"It is an exciting new project," says Day excitedly. "It is amazing for someone who has already accomplished so much to still have the hunger to further explore his art."

If you haven't heard of James Day here's some more information about this talented musician/composer:

His MySpace Page

A biography about him

A sampling of his music

Looking forward to the future and hearing more about this project,
Texas Fan

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

$15 T-Shirt Sale

If you've been waiting to snag that "Platinum Lady" tshirt, or "It's ALL About the Music" now is your chance. Select light colored shirts are on sale until July 16 for $15.00. Just click the picture to take you to the main link and search for you favorite design, find the shirt that's on sale for $15, click through to my shop and you've snagged yourself some savings.

I wanted to pass this one-time savings on to my loyal readers. Thanks for all your support!

Note: Every design has at least ONE discounted shirt. If you don't see it on the main page, just click that design and scroll through the shirt options until you find the discounted one.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

That Lovin' Feelin'

I was sitting at a car wash this afternoon, listening to a CD I had made of some of my favorite Manilow songs. I was annoyed because this jerk in front of me was taking what seemed like forever washing his car: prewash, presoak, wash, foam brush, tires, wax, rinse, final rinse. He must have used every setting on that darn control panel. Seriously, it's supposed to be a quick car wash and I was sitting in my car getting more and more annoyed. And then, that song came on. You know the one. The song that brings all those old memories flooding into your heart and mind. That song that makes you forget how annoyed you are because once you hear it, you can't stop smiling.

Today, it was "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" from the Greatest Songs of the Sixties. It seemed like an eternity ago that I first heard that song. I was sitting in an arena filled with fans waiting to see Barry for the first time since his hip surgery. We were all so excited about his return to the stage, not knowing what the show would be like or what songs he would sing. It was a magical night when he rolled out onto that stage in a wheelchair and the crowd was stunned. Leave it to Barry to make an entrance..."you wouldn't believe where I've been..." and his backup singers wheeling him all over the stage dressed in hospital attire. "It's a miracle..." and then he stands up! Wow. I was there for that.

And then, they were preselling the cd at the concert and although I had already ordered it I had to have it. I was taking a LONG train ride from Atlantic City to Boston and I was determined to listen to that CD. I didn't have a CD player with me so I purchased one (for a hefty price) at a Philadelphia train station. I plopped that sucker into that player and fell in love with the songs on that CD. But when it came to "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" I was in awe. His arrangement of that song had me mesmerized. I hit the repeat on my CD player and listened to it over and over again..the bridge..the crescendo...the "gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone..." ending. I can still remember that feeling..seeing him sing it live for the first time and then listening to the CD that next day.

That's the feeling. The Manilow feeling. That lovin' feelin' that came back...
Texas Fan

Friday, July 10, 2009

Congratulations YBA!

Another Fanilow is born! And I couldn't be happier for her Mommy. Congratulations to the entire family, Mom, Dad and big sister from me and all of us in the Manilow world.

God's blessings on The (newest) LF,
Texas Fan

Sunday, July 5, 2009

It's been awhile...

...since I watched Barry perform. I have to admit that the pleasure of it had left me over the last few months, wrapped up in all the cancellation controversy and other fan drama from my last trip to Vegas. But last night, late, when I couldn't sleep because of an air conditioner malfunction, I turned on the replay of "A Capital 4th".

I still don't know what it is about this man that makes magic when he steps out on stage. But the minute I saw him and heard that music all those familiar feelings rushed through me. I can't even find the words to describe what it feels like. Those that have been there and felt it know what I'm talking about. There really isn't anything like it, it's sheer euphoria. How can you not smile when you hear It's a Miracle and see him own the stage like it's where he belongs? And then he goes into that familiar medley that I've heard so many times and all those memories flood back in of my first show, the shows I shared with friends, that one special birthday concert when magic happened that night. I will never forget hearing I Am Your Child live for the first time and Open Arms; dancing to Islands in the Stream and having so much fun that week of shows; sitting five feet away while he sang Are You Lonesome Tonight and knowing it was more than just a song; hearing Forever and a Day for the first time live and seeing the look on his face when he sang it.

It's amazing how all the good can wash away the bad and remind you that there really is a reason why "it's all about the music" and you can't ever lose those memories of good times, great shows, and once-in-a-lifetime moments that happen with friends.

And then there was Let Freedom Ring, which always spurs my heart to remember what it's like to hear that song right after September 11th in Boston and feel the surge of patriotism that it evokes for the freedom that so many have fought and died to protect. It's a goosebump moment when you hear it along with viewing the fireworks at the same time, followed by the 1812 overture. A rush unparalleled when you've witnessed it in person. It's made the 4th of July one of my favorite holiday celebrations.

All in all , it was "a helluva night" all around!

Still feeling the rush,
Texas Fan

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Fan Story--Back in the Day

Since I have only been a part of the Manilow world since 2006, I adore reading stories of the "good old days". Scotter's blog was always on my daily "to read" list when it was up. Since it's been gone, I miss reading those early press clippings, fan stories, and seeing those old photographs. These are things that get me excited. Times may have changed, but those memories remain. And those memories are an important part of Manilow history.

Last week I read a blog by Sue on the Manilow Music and Passion ning site. It got my heart pumping to see those old pictures and read about a fan encounter "back in the day". I wish more fans would share their stories. I know they aren't well received on some of the other fan sites, but Micks (the admin on Manilow Music and Passion) encourages any and all fan stories and I'm sure if more would like to post them we would ALL be ecstatic!

In the meantime, click here to read Sue's story and see her unique photographs.

Hoping to read more,
Texas Fan

P.S. Thanks Sue for posting the blog.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Arriving in D.C.

Barry Manilow lands in Washington DC airport all smiles

Barry Manilow landed at the airport in Washington DC, he signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans. He was all smiles and seemed very excited to be in town.
Pictured: Barry Manilow Picture by: Brandon Todd / Splash News

Always nice to hear that he's connecting with the fans,
Texas Fan

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fifteen Minutes

I've had time to digest the "letter" from Barry that was posted on Manilow.com. There was a great deal shared in that letter from commenting on his weight (yet again) to a brief statement about the cancellations (briefly) to the new "rock" album co-written with Enoch (Nick) Anderson. Of course, as a fan of the music and The Mayflower, the mention of a new original album peeked my interest.

Did it make me forget the recent lack of customer service? For about 15 minutes. During that 15 minutes I remembered the music. I remembered how much I adore Barry's creative talent. I remembered how much I appreciate all the hard work he puts into every album he creates. And I remembered how the music moves me every single time I listen to it.

The concept of the new album sounds intriguing: 15 minute of fame, gaining it and losing it and regaining it again. It certainly speaks from experience with him and we all know that the songs that he feels are always the best songs in the long run. You can always here the emotion in the music and it always strikes a chord in my heart.

An original album just might enable me to put all the lack of customer care behind me and concentrate on the sheer genius that is Manilow. It might coax me to part with some of my desperately hard earned money. Will I purchase multiple copies to help it debut at number 1? No. There was a time that it was the norm for me to purchase 2-3 copies of every release. Those days are gone. I'm older and wiser and a lot less gullable.

Anxiously waiting to love the music again,
Texas Fan

Friday, June 26, 2009

As Predicted....

A NEW Manilow Vault Song...and this time...a letter.

Someone must have read my book recommendation...
Texas Fan

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