Looks Like He Made It

Reviewers have tried to get rid of him for years, but Barry Manilow's not going anywhere.

WW: That therapy must be working, because if I were in your position, I'd be gloating.

BM: There is some of that, but it's not as sweet as you would think it would be. It just feels like they were wrong, and I've always known they were wrong.

WW: Do you think you've gotten hipper in the eyes of people as the years have gone by?

BM: Well, I've always felt that I was the hippest man on the planet. (Laughs.) Except for those platform shoes -- but everybody was wearing those stupid platform shoes. Take a look at Rod Stewart. He looked even weirder than I did. But, listen: When you believe in what you do, you believe in what you do, and that's it. And I always believed that "Weekend in New England" was a wonderful song and "Even Now" and "Ready to Take a Chance Again" were wonderful songs. I've always tried to stand for songwriting that would outlive me, and that's what's happening. They will be ruining my songs in elevators for all time, and I couldn't be prouder. (Laughs.)

WW: How would you like to be remembered?

BM: As somone who connected with you -- someone who made you feel something. A true artist conveys his passion across the footlights. I don't like grunge music, really; I don't connect with it. But when they do it right, when they do it for the right reasons and live for what they're doing, I'm moved by it. I'm moved by their passion.

WW: Do you like some of Kurt Cobain's music?

BM: Oh, yeah. I'm moved by his passion, and I'm moved by Axl Rose. Now, do I play it at home? No, it's not my taste. But I'm moved by their honesty and their passion, and that's what a true artist is. It's the same with paintings and books and prose and poetry. Give me your honesty and I'm hooked.

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