Here’s a tip: Don’t talk to Barry if you’re under 30. From a recent exchange the Mandy man had with Time Out New York’s Christina Black, kicking off with a question asking why Barry’s avoided rock tunes in his ’50s and ’60s revivals (via Paper Thin Walls):
Barry Manilow: Could you see me singing that stuff? I?m really good at what I do, so I leave the rock & roll to the rock & rollers. And they can?t do what I do … Cristina, how old are you?
TONY: I?m 29. Will your show at Madison Square Garden cover all the hits I grew up on? I?ve always loved ?Can?t Smile Without You.?
Barry Manilow: Ahhh, 29, huh? Well, it?s a long show in two acts, a blown-up version of the one I do in Vegas. We include many more hits, yes. Look, you got a couple more minutes here. What else do you want to know?
TONY: Well, I know you grew up in Williamsburg, so I was wondering if you?re aware that it?s known as a hot area for music now, and if you?ve ever thought about capitalizing on that and reinventing yourself as a hipster-friendly figure like Neil Diamond or Johnny Cash. I mean, you?re already associated with kitsch, so I think you could be hipper than ever if you would consider? Barry? Are you there? Hello?
Barry Manilow: [Silence]
What’s up Barry’s ass? Still bitter about being a Top 100 wussy?