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
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