Interviewing Barry Manilow was my ultimate goal for three years, and I don’t think any subsequent interview with other artists will surpass this experience. He was a pleasure to speak with and was willing to reveal a great deal about his personal life, while also discussing the beautiful music he’s created over his decades-long career as the foremost vocalist in the adult contemporary genre. As a result of my interview with Barry, the entire print run of this issue sold out within 24 hours, making it The Aquarian Weekly’s most successful issue of the entire year.
After Barry Manilow came John Oates. I’ve interviewed John numerous times and he’s always a pleasure to speak with. Having the chance to do a cover story interview with him, built around his autobiography and Hall & Oates’ new musical festival, Hoagie Nation, was a great honor. He’s an immense and under-appreciated talent, and I adore the music he created as one half of the most successful duo of all time, as well as his diverse solo catalog.
In July my interview with The Dives was my third cover story of the year. What made this special is the group’s lead singer, Evan Stanley, is the son of Paul Stanley – my favorite member of KISS – and this was the band’s first cover story in the U.S. After it ran, Evan told me that his Dad called him to say how proud he was of him because of this cover story. Think about that for a minute. A cover story I secured for The Dives made my idol proud of his son. To think that my actions could have such a profound and lasting impact on Paul Stanley and The Dives is humbling and amazing.
My all-time favorite female vocalist is Dionne Warwick. She has the most unique and moving voice I’ve ever heard, and I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing her twice. My most recent interview with her ran as a cover story the day after she received the Marian Anderson Award in my hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As with all of my interviews, I made it a point to ask her questions others don’t think to ask and the feedback was excellent.
My last and most recent cover story this year was with Gene Simmons. This is the second time I interviewed Gene this year, which is an amazing accomplishment in itself, and the second time around was better than the first. For this cover story, I asked Gene tough questions about the price of his box set that no one else was brave enough to ask; and Gene provided me with honest and logical answers to these questions. While I still say that George Carlin is the smartest man I ever met, Gene Simmons is a close second.