Barry Manilow makes an ‘open’ statement and The Beatles have special plans for the 50th anniversary of the release of the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.
The king of cabaret, Barry Manilow, now 73, has spoken publicly about being gay and married to his husband and manager, Garry Kief, after a secret 39-year relationship.
Manilow said he’d kept his sexuality a secret for fear of disappointing his female fans.
“I thought I would be disappointing them (fans) if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything,” Manilow told People magazine.
“When they found out that Garry and I were together, they (the fans) were so happy. The reaction was beautiful – strangers commenting ‘Great for you!’ I’m just so grateful for it.”
Although Barry met Garry in 1978, just after the release of hit songs Mandy and Looks Like We Made It, he said in his interview with People and Entertainment Tonight that he never planned to make his relationship public.
“We’ve been together all these years. Everybody knows that we’re a team. Everybody that I know knows. So, it never really dawned on me to say anything about it. I mean, I’m a very private guy,” he said.
Since the news broke, Manilow hasn’t read one negative comment, with strangers, fans and celebrities declaring their joy at Manilow’s disclosure.
He is currently promoting the release of his new album This Is My Town: Songs of New York, as well as a series of upcoming live concerts.
In other music news, The Beatles plan to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with a special reissue of the eponymous album.
Recorded in 1967 during ‘the summer of love’, Sgt Pepper’s has been remastered for a special release of the album that changed popular culture forever.
“It’s crazy to think that 50 years later we are looking back on this project with such fondness and a little bit of amazement at how four guys, a great producer and his engineers could make such a lasting piece of art,” wrote Sir Paul McCartney in his introduction for the new edition.
Speculation about whether fan favourites Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever would be included on the new album can be put to rest, as the new album will remain in its original form.
Producer Sir George Martin was once reported as saying that he thought it was a mistake not to have included these songs on the album, instead of releasing them as a double-A sided single months before Sgt Pepper’s was released.
The new album will include a scintillating stereo mix, with unreleased takes featuring on the deluxe versions.
One of Ringo’s friends, Keith Allison, who has listened to one of only two preview editions, gave the world a sneak insight into the new edition.
“So here we are sitting on the sofa, facing the TV, muted, but with soap operas playing. We listened to every track together. I thought, this is a historically great moment. Sitting here with my friend, listening to Sgt Pepper, that he’s on as a Beatle, and that he hasn’t listened to track by track, since it came out,” wrote Allison.
“Only two copies of the remastered Sgt Pepper album were sent out, one to McCartney and one to Ringo, to be approved by them both. So, what did Ringo think?
“He thought it was great! Why? Because it originally was recorded on a 4-track with a lot of over dubs, which buried the drums. Now, the drums have been lifted and come through as they should. He was pleased.”
One thing is for sure, fans of The Beatles worldwide will be eagerly awaiting the aural pleasure of the new Sgt Pepper’s release.
Are you surprised at Barry Manilow’s news? And, if you’re a Beatles fan, are you looking forward to hearing the new album, or will you always be a fan of the original? In an era of one-hit wonders and flash-in-the-pans, does the durability of these performers give you comfort?