This was the most fantastic platinum of all. A little over a year ago I said I would never do another - that it was too weird - what would Barry think? - etc... I'm so glad I didn't listen to myself!
As always, I won't share everything that happened. In fact, I won't share much detail at all. I'll just say that this was the most relaxed platinum I've had. I'm NEVER relaxed around other people - not ever. But I was as relaxed around Barry as it's possible for me to be.
I believe this was the longest platinum. Of course, I have no idea how long I was with Barry. I just remember not feeling rushed, and not feeling like I was escorted out of the room. There have been platinums where I've walked back in to the waiting area and the other platinum people have commented that I wasn't in there more than a minute or two. No one did that this time - and I didn't feel like that was case. I was very pleased with the amount of time I spent with Barry.
It felt like I was talking to an old friend. I really didn't feel like a fan. And I didn't get the impression that he viewed me as a fan at that moment. It just felt like a friendly conversation.
Barry was speaking to me as I entered the room. He had some complimentary things to say. And then I became aware of how light the room was.
Everyone that does platinum comments on how dark the room is when you meet Barry. Not this time. There was plenty of light - you could see Barry so clearly. That was fantastic.
Our conversation consisted of normal topics that would be discussed by friends that hadn't seen each other in a while. Marc joined in at times. I was actually never aware of Kirsten being in the room with us. But, honestly, until the very end, none of that occurred to me. It was just Barry and Marc. And with one exception, I was extremely comfortable.
We talked about music - not Barry's music, actually. We talked other artists that I've seen in concert or will be seeing soon. Marc asked me if Alice Cooper still had snakes and still chopped off heads. I grinned and said that he did - and Marc commented that he could tell I love it, based on the way my face lit up. Then Barry commented that he had met Alice not long ago at a golf event - I assume in Palm Springs. Barry said Alice is a nice guy.
I also mentioned that I had seen Deep Purple on the same bill with Alice, but that I was extremely bored during Deep Purple's portion of the show. Marc wanted to know why, if it was just because it wasn't all original members in the band or something else. As I recall, I just told him I'm really not that much of fan of their music. And that's true, I'm not. I liked Smoke On The Water, but even that one came across as boring when they performed it that night. I think it was a combination of my not being a fan, and a really bad choice to have Alice Cooper on the same bill, and allow him to perform before Deep Purple. Alice has a very high energy show. There are similarities between his show and Barry's in that both sometimes create story lines, where a group of songs are all part of the story. Deep Purple basically stood in one spot on the stage and played songs in no particular order - for instance, you would have thought they would close with Smoke on the Water. Instead they closed with something I had never heard of. Boring.
Barry never commented on my observations of Deep Purple - he remained silent. I remember that I wondered what he was thinking, being a performing artist himself. But Barry needn't worry - I've never seen him give us a boring show in his life. I don't think he's capable of that. Barry is too interested in giving us the best that he can at all times.
Then I mentioned I would be going to see Kiss at the end of the month. I was asked if they still wear the makeup and boots for the shows - I said they do.
Barry changed the subject then, asking if I had been affected by the hurricane in Texas. I shook my head to indicate that I hadn't. As I was doing that, he asked if my area had received anything. At this point, my memory isn't clear about what Barry said and what I said. I just remember that I said, "We got stuff, but not bad stuff." Ha ha! How articulate is that??? I want to say that Barry asked me "you didn't get stuff?". But I can't be sure of that, so I'm not going to say that he asked me that. I just remember that my response came out as pure rural Texan.
If there's anything that I have a slight worry about from my meeting, it's that I was so comfortable I'm relatively sure I was speaking "Texan." You know, rural Texas has it's own dialect - not just accent, but actually a different way of talking. Proper English is irrelevant to us. That doesn't mean we don't know it, that we don't write it - just means we can't be bothered to speak it in the company of friends. Well, I was feeling like Barry was my friend at that point in time - so, I think there's a really good chance that he was hearing native rural Texan. When I left the room, he may have told Marc that I was the most illiterate person he had ever met. Oh, well!
None of that occurred to me until a few days after the platinum. I did wonder about the fact that he seemed to know where I'm from - he didn't ask. Maybe the accent was a dead giveaway.
Then Barry asked me what I had been up to. I had a moment of being uncomfortable, and I hesitated about responding to him. I've honestly been doing nothing except being a caregiver for the last 16 months. I did have a couple of part time jobs that I was using to support my Manilow habit. But the responsibilities of being a caregiver had a lot to do with my losing both jobs. So, really, I've just been running their farm, taking care of their animals, taking care of their finances - all that stuff piled on top of my own life. I was hesitant to bring that up - not because I didn't want Barry to know - but because that can be an uncomfortable topic, and I didn't want him to be uncomfortable with it.
But, he wasn't going to let me get away with not answering him. He said, "Come on!, " in the most encouraging tone possible. I couldn't NOT answer him - after all, I was feeling like I was speaking with a friend. So, I told him what I had been doing. He asked what was wrong with my parents - I told him some of the details. He indicated that Marc had dealt with some similar things. I know others in Barry's camp have also dealt with similar things. I can't remember if it was Barry or Marc who asked how close my parents were - I just remember saying that I live next door. And I think it was Marc that commented he had much farther to drive to take care of things.
Then Barry commented that it was good that I lived so close. I guess my face must have betrayed me - because Marc chuckled and said, "She might not think so!" Then all 3 of us had a great laugh about it. Just like old friends. And I'll never forget looking up at Barry and seeing the grin on his face.
After that Barry called for the "professional" photo.
And then my one regret from the night... After the professional photo was snapped, I heard Marc say something to someone standing outside the door. I turned to look at Marc, but at the same time, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Barry reaching out for me. I turned back to Barry as he took my hands to thank me for coming. What I regret is that, because I was distracted, I didn't look up at Barry one last time. I said, "Thank you, " and Barry said, "Take care." But I didn't look at him that one last time. I do regret that. But the rest of it was so great, I'm certainly not disappointed.
I guess I do have a little disappointment that there were no candid photos. There was only one shot taken - but at least it was a shot of a special moment.
I walked away from this platinum very happy. And I think that's because it felt real. No questions about how many shows I've seen, or did I like the latest album, or any of that. Just a friendly little chat.
When I did the 2016 platinum, I wasn't sure I would ever do another one. It wasn't bad, it was just that I was a little fearful of how Barry viewed me for doing multiple platinums. I didn't have that feeling this time. Now, Barry may truly think I'm a nut, but I didn't walk out of the room with that fear.
This really was the best platinum ever.
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