Auf “Fans” kann man sich auch nicht mehr verlassen

It’s brutal, and feelings are bound to be hurt, but the truth had to come out some time: my mother has dumped Barry Manilow for Will Young. One minute she was a lifelong super-fan of Barry’s, 30 years and counting, the next it’s all over. No more going to Barry concerts to howl like a wolf for ‘Copacabana’. No more organising splinter-group fan meets in honour of Barry’s live shows (a radical innovation much frowned upon by the official Barry fan club); never again will the entire family be bundled into the kitchen so she can chat on a radio phone-in to Barry (who got her name wrong and told her that his favourite song was ‘One Voice’).

It’s all ‘Will this’ and ‘Will that’ these days, and poor old Barry doesn’t get a look-in. He’s ‘OK’, she still ‘quite likes’ his music, but Will is her favourite now - he’s talented, gorgeous, well mannered and, as she puts it, ‘up to the minute’. She felt it was time to move on when she spotted him on Pop Idol (a fiftysomething grandmother was watching this - why?) urging viewers to light his fire. The fact he was gay didn’t matter; she was already ‘hooked’, and she quite likes gay men anyway. (You only have to look at my father to realise why.) This is all very well, but what about Bazzer? I keep thinking about him, tinkling away on a white piano in an empty room, tears trickling down on to one of those funny ice-skater outfits he wears, as he comes to terms with the pain and rejection, not to mention the loss of revenue. There were times at Barry concerts when it was barely possible to wrestle my mother away from the merchandise stall. She had the strength of 10 men when it came to white-tasselled ‘Could It Be Magic’ … [Story]


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