Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On the road with Manilow-Atlantic City

My Vegas memories aren't the only Manilow memories I have. Some of the best Manilow memories happened when I traveled to meet friends and see his show. Over the last five years I've been fortunate to travel to Atlantic City, New York, Philadelphia and Dallas to see the magic of Manilow.

My Atlantic City adventure
I flew into Philadelphia the day before and stayed at a hotel near the airport. I was planning to meet Mandy for dinner the next night in Atlantic City before the show. I took the train from Philadelphia to Atlantic City and walked from the train station to my hotel. Not knowing the area, I made a reservation at a small Best Western hotel one street over from the boardwalk. When I walked up to register, I noticed the bars on the door and the buzzer to buzz in. I knew this was a very bad hotel choice, but at this point I was stuck.

Later that day, Mandy called and said her husband's plane needed repairs and she was hoping she would make the concert, but not dinner. I wandered around the boardwalk for a few hours, taking photos of the marq
uees and watching all the Manilow fans as they walked around. They had opened a merchandise store in the venue so I snagged a copy of Greatest Songs of the Sixties since it wasn't yet released.

Mandy showed up a few minutes before the show
started. Her seat was on the floor and mine was up in the rafters because I had made a last-minute decision to go. I will never forget seeing him roll out onto that stage in a wheelchair after his hip surgery and the girls dressed in nurses uniforms and him singing, "You wouldn't believe where I've been..." while everyone in the place was standing. Of course, the wheelchair was a joke and he sang "It's a miracle.." and hopped right up and started running around on the stage. It was a great night and he ended it with One Voice in an absolute silent arena, a song I had never heard live.

Mandy left for the airport right after the show and texted me a picture of a small jet. When I asked her whose jet it was, she said "Barry's". Her husband had been at the airport waiting for her and chatting with his pilot and they told him Mandy could hang out until Barry arrived from the venue. You can imagine how excited she was that night and I got to share that with her via text messages and pictures.

Back at the hotel later that night was not a positive experience. The couple in the room next to me was having a domestic dispute. After about an hour, the police came to break it up and I decided to spend the night in the casinos where I felt much safer. I checked out the next morning and took the train back to Philadelphia to catch another train to Boston to spend time with my daughter.

On the train to Boston I cracked open my new CD and fell in love with "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and "Cherish/Wendy" became my new favorite Manilow songs. I will never forget that 6 hours train ride and enjoying the new CD all the way to Boston.

Every time I listen to that CD I remember that show and those great memories. It was a once in a lifetime show--and a once in a lifetime memory.

Up next--New York and Madison Square Garden,
Texas Fan

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