I know that sharing the following information is ridiculous, if not crazy for the mocking and ridicule that will come upon me, but it’s been festering, wanting to be revealed for a long time now. I confess that I do like Barry Manilow. There…it’s out. Now that everyone knows, I will explain. My sister, Amy, bought the “Ultimate Manilow” CD ~15 years ago and that was when I first heard his poetic, rhythmic music. Ten years passed before I thought about Barry again. In 2004, I finally got a job and moved away from home to Sunnyvale, CA. I was on my own, I had a good job, and I was finally able to afford the finer things in life…like legal mp3’s purchased from Wal-Mart. In the process of mending my previous Napster ways by purchasing online music, I found that the “Ultimate Manilow” CD was available on iTunes. I’m not really sure what happened during the next few minutes…I vaguely recall typing in a credit card number and hearing some mouse clicking. However, the next thing I remember is still clear and sharp in my mind…the strong, yet tender voice of Mr. Ultimate himself singing, “Can’t Smile Without You.”
However, many of you (especially my brothers) will be pleased to know that Barry and I have been gradually drifting apart since those first few weeks of nonstop listening. Our first fight occurred because I couldn’t get his songs out of my mind. After humming “Somewhere in the Night” for the 10th time, I knew that drastic measures had to be taken. I turned his music off, removed him from my playlist, and put on some really catchy music…Billy Joel. Gradually, Barry worked his way back onto my “good music” playlist over the next few years, but the melodies had lost the feeling they once did. Since then, I find myself skipping past every song that comes up…especially “When October Goes.” Arrr…that song just makes me angry. I am now to the point that I can only stand 3 songs: “Bandstand Boogie,” “Can’t Smile Without You,” “Copacabana,” and sometimes even “Mandy.” Being the loving wife Karen is, she is helping me work on this “problem.” With her and your support…I may even be able to remove those songs entirely from my playlist. However, I don’t think I will ever be able to delete “Ultimate Manilow” from music collection.
Rich, Karen, Adelle, and Esther