You've got to hand it to the fan club headquarters with Camp Manilow -- they have it figured out how to earn easy money.
Hold a convention
in the town that the entertainer is at, have a packag
e where attendees can have a few meals, a few shows, a scavenger hunt, and a Q & A .... and not even have the honored entertainer show up and thank people for showing up outside of the normal concerts. This convention isn't cheap -- especially given this economy. Yet, a Manilow fan can be expected to shell out over $1000 for the event and not even see Mr. Manilow in an informal or safe gathering -- be it a brunch or a Q & A setting. In his place, the face of the fan club, Garry Kief, answered questions and met the fans. While disappointing that Mr. M could not be troubled to attend or answer himself -- it wasn't false advertising, as of course, they wouldn't really commit to writing that Barry himself would be present at the Q & A. Another great way for the fan club to make that easy money. Don't promise too much, don't deliver too much, for the fan base will always be there no matter what.
Yes. Barry Manilow cannot be bothered to attend his own convention.
Much of the appeal of being a Manilow fan in my youth, was that he seemed like such a sincerely nice guy. The underdog, the singer of love gone wrong ... the fellow that liked beagles. Perhaps somewhere deep inside or to some he is. Right now, the man doesn't seem like such a nice guy. When your long time fan base cares enough to trek to Vegas to attend an expensive convention in your name -- the nice and appropriate thing to do is show up and make nice with those that appreciate your music and those fans that over your career purchased your goods and dragged their family or friends into attending your concerts.
I considered drawing a cartoon illustrating Mr. M and camp stuffing the wads of convention cash in bags and realized even a CARTOON of him couldn't say "thank you" if he couldn't. If he can't lift a single finger to get out of his comfort zone and greet the fans -- I can't be bothered sketching up a cartoon figure even trying to make up for his lack of gratitude or sense of right.
It does seem that the gambling for fans always happens before Vegas. One gambles whether their grand will be the payoff of Barry showing up at his own party/convention or not -- despite it being held in his own territory and digs. What I cannot understand is the acceptance by some that buy the "oh, the poor dear, he's too busy to see us. Well, there is always next year." Fandom in Manilow circles is quite dysfunctional that way. Enabling bad behavior will result in further bad behavior. It isn't likely to change unless some honest dialogue and some expectations are established. It's long overdue that the average Manilow fan consumer become a critical consumer and communicate the only way it seems the fan club listens.... with your dollars not falling into Manilow and Co's laps so easily.