Thursday, February 7, 2013


Barry Manilow.  Just saying the name makes some swoon and others cringe.  He's definitely a polarizing musical performer.  The ones that don't, really don't like him.  He's not "cool," he's "cheesy," he's "ugly," he's "bubblegum music."  On the other side of that coin are the most devoted fans, self-proclaimed Fanilows.  They have seen him a multitude of times over multiple years.  They go more than once to each engagement.  They will defend him until the end.  

I, however, just love him.  Nothing too crazy and over the top, but love him.  I fancy myself a singer so I am always partial to any musician/singer that produce songs that I can sing along to my heart's desire.  Not sure how many different genres of music I love, but I am certain that if I can't sing to it, I am not a follower.  

Back to Barry.  I first saw Barry Manilow around my 13th birthday.  My sister got tickets to see Bette Midler in Berkeley, California for my present.  I was beside myself.  We got all dressed up in fantastic vintage clothing and drove to Berkeley.  At that time, no one knew who Barry Manilow was.  Bette Midler had just crashed through with her first album, The Divine Miss M, and was on tour.  Barry Manilow was her musical director.  In the middle of the show, she gave him the spotlight and he did about 20 minutes.  He sang Mandy, I remember that distinctly.  It was the first time anyone had heard it.  It was a great moment in time.  The entire concert was fantastic, but who would have ever thought that from Zellerbach Auditorium Barry Manilow would be a mega star 40 years later.  

I have had the joy of seeing Barry Manilow multiple times over the years.  No, I'm not one of the crazy Fanilows, but always know that you get your money's worth and he sings hit after hit after hit.  I've seen him in L.A. and many times in NYC. He puts on a tremendous show, and the experience of being in the room watching him and watching the fans is something to behold.  The fans can't get enough.  They love everything he does from beginning to end.  The blind devotion and love is palpable.  

I often feel mocked for liking him by those that don't.  I feel like I need to defend myself, but millions of people can't be wrong, it's just not your taste. To all the naysayers out there, until you've tried it, don't knock it.  

Sidebars:  American Idol is so tired.  Those time slots are ripe for the picking.  Do you hear that NBC, CBS, ABC, and every cable station?  Nicki Minaj still is the most interesting judge.  Randy Jackson needs to hang it up.  Celebrity Apprentice All Stars starts soon.  Maybe this will be it?  I can't believe anyone is still watching Donald Trump.  Fox News is down.  They're dropping "talent" left and right.  Maybe Roger Ailes needs to go????  Switching gears, the fact that the remains of Richard III were found is more exciting to me than Lucy.  Remember her?  Did you see the photo of his spine???  The scoliosis was so pronounced.  Google it if you haven't read anything about it.  Fascinating.  The end of the Plantagenets and the beginning of the Tudors.  I am sure there is more, but my mind has been swirling in complete disorganization.  Be well, stay warm and hoping we don't get a big Nor'Easter.  

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