He writes the songs that make people run.
Some Rite Aid stores in California have taken to blasting Barry Manilow tunes as part of a plan to make loiterers scramble.
Employees told the Wall Street Journal that the drugstore chain has been testing the tactic of playing songs by the 75-year-old crooner outside their stores — over and over, loudly — to deter panhandlers and vagrants.
But the plan has also left neighbors mystified.
“I thought some older man had died and left a Barry’s Most Depressing Hits CD on repeat,” said Lisa Masters, a professional drummer in Long Beach who couldn’t open her windows without hearing “Mandy” blaring.
“I felt trapped in an episode of ‘The Twilight Zone,’” she said.
When she called Rite Aid, she said an employee explained that the Manilow technique had worked at other locations and was now working in Long Beach.
“His attitude was, ‘Would we rather have panhandlers or Manilow?’” Masters said.
Hey Lisa, instead of calling with the ol “I want to speak to your manager” like your Permit Patty or BBQ Becky, how about you go down there, shake the managers hand and say, “Thank you for playing the timeless classics of Mr. Manilow. You are the hero we need in these trying times”. I mean COME ON! You’re a professional drummer. Have some respect for a musical legend with the chops of Barry. Not for nothing Lisa, but Barry’s laundry list of hits is more than enough to justify blasting that music. Turning Rite Aids into Copacabana is a great thing. Looks Like We Made It indeed. I think Lisa just needs a nice Weekend in New England to decompress and fall back in love with the soothing sounds of Barry M.