No, not that Barry. Not Barack. I mean, Barry, “Copacabana” Manilow. Ok, I know I had a list of things to write about, but things change, news happens.
Speaking of old and boring…and Barry Manilow, again…the adult-contemporary crooner’s mellow music is now the unexpected cornerstone of a bizarre but apparently effective new plan of justice masterminded by Colorado judge Paul Sacco. Judge Sacco is punishing people who land in court for noise violations (blasting their stereos, rehearsing with bands, hosting raging parties) by sentencing then to an hour-long, high-volume Barry Manilow listening session. Of course, for some Barry fans the prospect of 60 minutes of “Mandy” or “Weekend In New England” might sound absolutely delightful, but for most violators who wind up in Sacco’s courtroom, it’s a cruel and unusual punishment indeed. And just in case any of the offenders emerge from this experience with a new appreciation for Manilow, it seems law officials take surveys after each punishing session. That way, if any of the lawbreakers actually dig a particular Barry song (like, say, “Copacabana”), that ditty is removed from the court-ordered playlist.
I have been waiting so long for something like this to happen! (For the record, I used to rock out to Copacabana, and still think it’s a cool, albeit cheesy song. Really, it’s eery and creepy, all while being Vegasy and smarmy. Whenever I think about or hear the words, “Her name was Lola! She was a show-girl,” I think of a dimly lit old style western bar. Hey, man, I was a young kid when this came out, raised on Bonanza, The Big Valley, and The Rifleman! I didn’t know how things were in Cuba, much less what a show-girl wore, unless you have Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke to use as a reference. So, that being said, I saw Lola as a Gunsmoke-esque aging barmaid type woman who lives in a ghost town alone and pines for a man she lost long ago. It’s a creepy song. I used to get shivers down my spine listening to it, but it’s got an infectious beat. I love it, it’s so morbidly juicy and the ghostly backup singers who almost whisper, “Copacabaaaaaanaaaaa!” Seriously, this song wins the Cheese Award hands down.
Now I’ve got that out of the way, I can now give my opinion about this punishment. I love it. The punishment fits the crime. If you’re found guilty of creating a public disturbance through annoying noise, partying, loud music, what better way to mete out punishment than by forcing the offender to listen to Barry Manilow? Unless the offender is a gay cross-dressing male who idolizes the velvet-swathed crooner (And I know a few), I can imagine this punishment will be just absolute torture. But why stop at an hour? Why stop at Manilow? I can think of a few other “musical entertainers” who may prove to be an even more effective punishment. Here now, is my Top Ten List of Musicians From Hell. I think I’ll send in my list to Judge Sacco. It’s the least I can do to help.
- 10. Celine Dion – My Heart Will Go On. Please, Celine, go on. In fact, why don’t you just go and leave us normal people alone? Not only is her music worse than fingernails on a black board (that actually never bothered me), but she’s an annoyingly self-important person. For such a bony toothpick, she sure is full of herself. Vegas can keep her.
- 9. Starship – We Built This City. I was in high school when this monstrosity came out and let me tell you, it was complete torture. I honestly, to this day, believe that Grace Slick was either hopped up on drugs, or hell-bent on punishing the world through this song. Radio Stations blasted it every few minutes and each time it came on, I flipped the channel. For years I thought it was a man singing! I guess it’s one good thing about losing my hearing. I now never have to listen to that annoying song again.
- 8. Pat Boone – Anthing he plays. Do I really need to elaborate?
- 7. Billy Ray Cyrus – Achy Breaky Heart. The twang! The tenor! The tight jeans! (ok, he has a nice butt) The mullet! The only person I knew who thought this song was great was a black man called “Freak.” Really. That’s what all of his friends called him. Small wonder. I must admit, though, I enjoy listening to Weird Al’s parody, Achy Breaky Song.
- 6. Gipsy Kings – Esto Mundo. If George H.W. Bush loves ’em, there must be something wrong with them.
- 5. Whitney Houston – How Will I Know & The Greatest Love of All. Both songs are equally obnoxious and both songs were thrust upon me in high school. Granted, Whitney has a great voice, but honestly, how many warbled vowels can you inject into a one-syllable word before you start looking like a fool?
- 4. New Kids on the Block – Hangin’ Tough. I actually had college friends who loved these guys. I thought they were all stupid, gay, and ugly. Not to mention talentless. I hated everything they did as a group. And yet, I’ve heard that they’ve reunited and will have an album out. Dear Lord baby Jesus, lyin’ there in your ghost manger, please help us!
- 3. Michael Bolton – When A Man Loves a Woman. Michael Bolton is the male version of Whitney Houston, complicating the simplest of songs. He ruined his share of classics by infusing them with unnecessary musical fluff. The originals of every song he’s remade were better.
- 2. William Hung – She Bangs. Even Ricky Martin has to agree that this mutilation of an already annoying song is just criminal. The unfortunately named Mr. Hung has no talent, no matter how sweet he is.
- 1. And the number one musical entertainer from hell is (drum roll, please…) Yoko Ono. Seriously, ’nuff said.
Bring them all together and we have the means to conquer the world! Hey, if Indian Love Call worked for those pesky, murderous Martians, then think of the power we could wield against terrorists with these annoying troubadours!