Friday, 10 April 2015

Barry Manilow: Curiouser And Curiouser

The news that Barry Manilow has married his long-time manager Garry Kief, and can therefore be legitimately described as gay, belongs in that dusty drawer of the long-distance pop watchers’ memory labelled “didn’t we know this already?” The really surprising thing about Manilow’s marriage, which he hasn’t bothered to officially confirm, is that it took place months ago at his home in front of 30 friends, none of whom felt tempted to tweet about it or post a picture of the happy couple on Instagram.

In my time as a pop-watcher, I have seen the sexuality of performers move so far from being something it would be impolite to enquire about to being the subject that everybody expects to be front and centre that I have naturally assumed that all the artists who wished their public to know about their lifestyle had taken the necessary steps. It appears not.

Back in the late 60s, when homosexual acts were first de-criminalised, the line used to be “Legal? It should be compulsory!” – but it was still only uttered behind closed doors. In the current climate of over-share, it can only be a matter of time before some pop stars desperate for the exposure invites us to witness their first gay experience live via Periscope.

Let me tell you, it wasn’t always this way. When Barry Manilow first came to prominence in 1971 – as the pianist and arranger behind the up-and-coming Bette Midler – it simply wasn’t discussed...

Newspapers, whatever their politics or claims to be catering for the family, would not have printed an interview in which any artist talked about being gay and therefore the question wasn’t asked. Back then, let’s not forget, Elton John was straight, as was Rock Hudson, along with every other actor and actress on TV, every sports star in the world and all politicians. Outside of the magic circle of intimates, where someone’s sexuality would be taken for granted, it simply wasn’t an issue...

Starts off really well, but runs out of steam/ideas halfway through.

A bit like Barry's career AMIRITE????

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