Monday, November 30, 2009

DVR Alert 2009 (updated 12/2)

New Holiday season, new ad blitz.

December 1: The Today Show (NBC). Show airs 7 AM to 10 AM EST. Just record the whole thing, although I'll bet $10 he'll be on in the last hour.

(Update, cross-posted from Twitter: Dear Matt Lauer, Meredith Viera, and NBC: "Ass" is not a curse word. Lighten up.)

December 1: The Joy Behar Show on HLN (not CNN - HLN) 9 PM EST
You can post a question on Facebook. Someone, PLEASE post a decent question on the comments list, most of them are stupid.

(Update, watching the show, waiting for Barry's interview: there is not one bit of difference between this and The O'Reilly Factor on FOX. The sequence and structure of the show, and approach to content are identical.)

(Another update: nice promo for Paris. Amazing she actually used some of the Facebook questions. Not amazing at how dumb they were. Some people wouldn't know a good interview question if it beat them with a stick.)

Fun stuff: backstage clip from Behar's show.

December 2: Christmas at Rockefeller Center. (NBC) 8 PM EST
Barry's not listed on the grid (not mine anyway) so record and see how he fits into the show.

(Update: nice number, fit right in with the variety show-type gig. Everyone looked like they were having a good time. Extra was a dud. Big surprise.)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Manilow in Paris is Official

It's about time they made this official!

And they already planned the BMIFC convention!

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!


Bonjour! Barry is Going to PARIS!

PARIS Las Vegas that is!


Over the last few months, Barry and his creative team have been working behind closed doors on a brand new show that will open at PARIS Las Vegas on Friday, March 5! Check out the complete schedule at Fan Club tickets, Front Row tickets, Fan Club Convention (Friday, July 9 – Sunday, July 11, 2010) packages, and Platinum tickets are all available NOW for performance dates through July 18, 2010 only at!

Las Vegas middle school and high school music programs will benefit from the Platinum Experience tickets! Platinum Experience tickets will include a front row seat, pre-show champagne reception, meet & greet and photo with Barry, and an autographed show program.

Proceeds from Platinum Experience tickets go directly to the Manilow Music Project. The Manilow Music Project is part of Barry’s non-profit, Manilow Fund for Health and Hope and will put instruments into the hands of middle school and high school students in the Las Vegas Unified School District! We are holding spots for Platinum ticket holders who need to re-schedule their Platinum experience from 2009.

They can re-schedule by calling 310.957.5788 on Monday, November 30. Tickets are available to the public on Tuesday, December 1.

Even though it’s the Holiday, and we are not here to help via telephone or email, we wanted you to have the first chance to get tickets by ordering online! Our customer service representatives will be back at work on Monday, November 30.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Is Nothing Sacred?

Posted today by TPTB on


URGENT ManilowTV Message

Several days ago we started to receive emails from friends who were concerned that a ManilowTV subscriber in Europe had started selling illegal bootleg DVD copies of the Manilow TV broadcasts. Like all of us, they were surprised that someone who pretended to be a fan was really out to rip off Barry and all the other musicians, artists, songwriters, casts, and crews who are involved in the production of these programs. Like all of us, they were offended that someone who had previously agreed not to be a bootlegger, would again try to rip off everyone while pretending to just be a good fan. Right.

This person has again been notified by the legal team and has again promised not to engage in illegal activities. This time, however, we have also notified the authorities in the host country and have blocked all ManilowTV access for subscribers in the host country and for those associated with the bootlegger. Hopefully this will stop the bootlegger and allow ManilowTV to continue.

It’s interesting to note that quite a few European countries have bootlegging laws much stronger than the US. Bootleggers routinely face fines, prison sentences and lifetime denial of internet access for infractions that many in the US would consider minor. Hopefully, our actions and the risk of further action by local governmental authorities will encourage this person to finally stop before we are forced to shut down ManilowTV.

To all of you who took the high road and shared both your concern and your disgust….thank you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I don't keep up with the fan communities as much as I used to (or would like to) because I have to make a living. In fact, I make a living based on what I create. If I created a program and someone stole it, I'd be pissed. That's happened and I was pissed, and I've learned to protect myself.

In this case, it sounds like TPTB asked nicely for this person to cut it out, and they didn't. For the record, I have no idea who this is, and I really don't care. But if you're a fan, and you truly, innocently step over the line, you respect the request to knock it off. If you go back to business as usual, and the business is bootlegging, after getting a polite request, then you get what's coming to you.

If that is what happened here - not cool, kids. Not cool. Don't complain about how "mean" TPTB are when you're the one doing wrong and drawing the fire.

Cat's Out of the Bag

Legends onstage:Garth Brooks is at Encore. Wayne Newton is at the Tropicana. Carlos Santana is at the Hard Rock. Donnie &
Marie are at the Flamingo. Cher & Bette are at Caesars Palace (no, not together, and Midler's final performance will be Jan. 31). And, as of next February, Barry Manilow will be at Paris. It now has been confirmed that the entertainer, who's currently performing his Ultimate Manilow: The Hitsshow at the Las Vegas Hilton, will move to Paris on Valentine's Day 2010. .....[snip]

Watch your twitters or MMN or your Hotlines. The official word should make its way out any day now. Wonder what other suprises they have in store that we just haven't figured out yet?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

I was reminiscing today about a position I had years ago before my family got settled and my office was built into my house. Every other job, before and since, has been frought with politics and "dos and don'ts" and political correctness in every possible sense. This one job was completely different and I don't think I'll ever experience anything like it again.

The department was a mini UN, even for the company I worked for. You could walk into the central office and hear four different languages (at least) going on at one time. More than that, when lunch time rolled around, we'd grab something from the cafeteria and sit around chatting.

About everything you're not supposed to talk about at work: money, religion, and politics.

It gets better: all kinds of people, from all over the world, who otherwise could not get along with each other joined in.

Imagine Israelis sitting with Palestinians; Pakistanis with Indians; Venezuelans with Columbians, talking about international politics with Americans. No blood, no arguments, just earnest and polite interest.

Now imagine devout Jews and Muslims, sitting with Catholics and Protestants chatting about comparative religion, or a religious practice they heard about on TV the previous day. Again, no blood, no arguments.

Finally you had anyone who cared to join in yapping about American special-interest politics: abortion, gay rights, political parties, American history, pick one. We didn't just sit around agreeing with each other either - there was a spectrum of opinions and all expressed them.

I swear to God this actually happened on a regular basis. I have to say that because no one believes me when I describe this scenario. We didn't even need the "Vice President of Diversity" to help us out. In fact we told that guy to take a hike because he was killing our mojo. You should have seen the pot-luck parties we had; bring something from your home country. Comfort food, no matter where it's from, always breaks the ice and brings all kinds of people together. And it was AT WORK!

While reminiscing I tried to figure out why we had such an easy communion. It's not supposed to happen if you talk to random HR people. In spite of all of our differences we had quite a lot in common:
  • Each and every one of us - all of our races, ethnicities, and religions - thought that somebody else was completely, utterly, and totally wrong in their way of thinking or behaviour. No one was willing to compromise what they believed or thought about their own ethics or morality.
  • Each and every one of us was OK with that. No harm, no foul. Think as you please. Welcome to America. No one was made to feel that they had to separate their faith or other personal ethics from their work life.
  • Each and every one of us made the choice to care for others as friends, no matter how drastically different their POVs on whatever issue. It was OK to like someone even if you thought they were doing something wrong (or even committing a major sin - there were a lot of devout people here) as long as no one was committing a crime.
  • Each and every one of us could point to an instance where our ethnicity, race, or religion was misunderstood or maligned in popular culture, or deliberately mischaracterized by the media. We all had extemists and nutjobs in whatever group we identified with but we all knew that was the exception, not the rule. The media and society at large wasn't so forgiving and we all hated it. So rather than assume we knew it all about someone's background, we asked questions. And we answered them. And we accepted the answer, whether we agreed or not. Rather than make rude jokes, we expressed opinions in a way and with timing that let those with a differing one keep their dignity.
  • In short, we were all patient with each other. Acceptance meant that we accepted that our friends and colleagues had every right in the world to not like or agree with what we said or did. Acceptance meant that they didn't have to change that to be a friend. Acceptance meant that we didn't have to be perfect to be liked. There were occasional raw feelings, but we cared enough about each other to apologize if necessary and to work through it.

Our group worked together because all of these sentiments were mutual. No one was singled out as less than another, more equal than others (to paraphrase Orwell) , and no one was deserving of ridicule because someone else of their faith or ethnicity ran off the rails.

I've been thinking about these times lately because I miss them.

Over the years, I've become more timid about expressing my own thoughts and opinions.

"Yeah, right", you're thinking. "What about this blog?"

You don't see my name anywhere, do you? In my personal universe, if you don't have my name, you can't hurt me. I learned that many, many times, especially as the Internet became more entrenched in our lives. So I chose between expressing my opinion, and giving my identity. One is always private, one is always public, depending upon where I am. It's almost like living a double life.

I've gotten comfortable with that duplicity. Is that OK? Or a sign of something wrong? I usually just go about my life and not think about it. Is it dishonest to not tell everything about myself? Or is it just being judicious?

Well, I know I'm not ready to "tell all" yet. Any leaps I take will be little ones.

I'm a conservative Republican and a practicing Catholic. I carry a GOP membership card and I'm married to a 4th degree Knight of Columbus. I voted the McCain/Palin ticket and I think they would do a better job. I look forward to receiving the Sacraments from my pastor and celebrating Holy Days of Obligation.

There, I said it. The first little leap.

Not everyone is going to like or agree with that little confession above. But I'll ask this:

Don't hate me for it. Or assume you know everything about me or how I live because of the above over some sound bite on the 10 PM news. Get to know me as a person with the above qualities first before deciding who I really am. I'm not a soundbite, or a phrase out of the AP style book. I'm not what random strangers assume. Please try to believe that.

I promise, I'll do the same for you.