Clay Aiken in Concert, but mostly talking, in Philadelphia, PA
I admit it, I like Clay Aikin, I like Barry Manilow too, not so much for Liberace, but what do these three guys have in common. Well sure the obvious, but also the fact they have ethusiatics devoted fans, maybe, YES fanatic fans, the Fanilows, the ladies and the Claymates. Although I own all three CD’s of Clay’s, I had never been to a concert. Not for any particular reason, he just didn’t go to a venue that was close enough for me to sit through his concert, I have his CD’s and I had already met him in NYC, in fact we had lunch together, he sat behind me at a place near 65th and Columbus once. I left him alone, but was excited to see him.It was fun to see the Claymates celebrate their love for him
Last night as I listened to Clay sing, the song list he picked out was so very sad. I commented this to a Claymate as she said with a smile, all his songs are sad, why didn’t he sing more upbeat songs, has he been beaten down by the tabloids and his RCA label so much that it is coming through in his songs. Another noted thing was when he wasn’t singing he was talking, and talking was something he did a lot of, well that and singing TV theme songs and quizing his fans on TV theme songs (I guess Clay stays in a lot). But when he did sing, it was beautiful and moving, and when he dialoged he had few positive things to say about anyone that wasn’t his fan and then he didn’t really respect them that much either (although he praised the Philly Pops and its conductor many many times,) at one point he brought up the Kelly Ripa incident, in Kelly Ripa’s own hometown, did anyone boo him, no, what’s up with that? OK I didn’t boo either, but I was too busy feeling sorry for Clay for his persecution (but he failed to mention how his friend Rosie defended him, even though she accidently outed him too),
then he went on with the airline foot on armchair problem (that was a ridiculous situation) at some point he actually bit the hand that fed him by insulting the kind of music that had made his career what it is today, he stated that the orchestra accompanying him was expecting to play “Barry Manilow” junk all night long and now instead they get to play a medly of cool songs from the 80’s including Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” (I’m sure he’s more than like a virgin!), and Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” (and he said it in a way that made it seem spontaneous, but did mention that his internet fans might have known it wasn’t) (no comment)
then it was about a letter he read on stage where a fan, a girl, complained her idolized Clay Aken was eating too many Krispy Kremes (I heard a girl behind me say we should kill her, Clay did to, he said let’s not kill her, but I will hand out her email later – LOL), I guess Clay was going for the sympathy vote, but how hard would it have been to have read a positive letter, or even mentioned how nice it was that his fans were so devoted. What was really shocking was when a fan who was sitting about 7 rows from the front would every so often hold up a sign that said “I came All The Way From Iceland to see Clay”. Well she held it up too many times for him which caused him to say “I know you came all the way from Iceland to see me, thanks, now put down your sign!”
Clever spelling, I bet there’s plates like this in every state
A group of women told me at intermission that Clay always comes out after a concert near the stage door and shakes his fans hands. Oooh he is such a gentleman to do that, she cooed. “I said really, does he sign anything?”, “no just shakes their hands and moves along. Jerome walks in front of him and shines a light on the fans hands, Jerome is his bodyguard.” I knowing the answer, I said, “how odd, why does Jerome do that? I have seen many, many celebs shake their fans hands without checking them out with a light first.” “Well “the women said, as she smoothed out the crinkles on her Clay Aiken T-shirt, “some of the fans are a little, hmm you know,” “I said crazy!” “I like to think excited”, she said. Excited, I didn’t even want to go there!!After the show I went to the stage door where there was a huge crowd of middle aged women, er I mean fans. It was all a bit bizarre, but hey I was there too. While waiting for Clay to come out, I asked one of those women if she was a Claymate, she seemed offended and swore she wasn’t. I mentioned that I thought the concert was sad, and that Clay had become a sad figure of late, if only he could be true to himself and not fear the rejection of his fans because (Although I did ask someone else that question “If Clay finally came out would his fans still be loyal, and she said the fanilows still love Barry, but I said he’s not out yet either?) Didn’t the Claymates notice the attitude change between the the first CD cover and the 2nd? He was so cute, adorable and unknown, had fame burned him? Or was it that that internet incident rumor, that seems to be more true lately than ever, Clay never sued the guy for LIBEL or SLANDER. Finally, in February 207, when Clay was on Jimmy Kimmel, he seemed to be coming out of his funk, returning to the fantastic, positive, up beat guy I remembers in his first year, but with a sense of maturity playing on those internet rumors as he serenaded Jimmy with a song he prepared just for him based on those candy hearts they sell at Valentine, using words like “Sweetheart”, “Honey” and “Magic”, I got the inside joke, especially when he presented Jimmy with balloons in a heartshape. It was very funny. Ok so our discussion continued like this: I said Clay is so upset over not being played in the Top 40, it is disappointing, but his fans are right there, right now, we bought his CD’s do we have to make radio an enemy because they aren’t playing his songs, he didn’t even urge his fans to call the radio stations, he just complained about it.
Plus his 2nd CD was all covers! She said Rod Stewart and Barry Manilow had successful covers. “Yeah, and they are at the end of their careers!” I siad. She vehemently defended him saying, Clive Davis made him do that CD, ok whatever, another blame on someone else. At that point I had to tell her the truth, “You are a Claymate!!”, she fought me back on that, and said you are no fan! Just then the police showed up to break up the crowd. For a good ten minutes the police and security said “No one is coming out, please disperse” but the Claymates held firm still believing that Clay wouldn’t disappoint them and appear, I’m sure some of them were still there when his bus whizzed by on the way to Morton’s Steak House.
A couple last things. One of the more amusing things that happened in the audience was the action by security and ushers as they constantly had to warn people to stop taking photos, and were much more stern if you were taking video. I later asked one of them why they were so strict at this concert. They said that Clay’s management team was adamant that no one take photos, and especially not video. The women I spoke with said she had never seen such a strong worded letter warning them to stop the violators or Clay would never play there again. I thought how ironic, he complains about not being in the “Top 40”, but then doesn’t want to get his music out to the internet. I am still a Clay fan as I love his music, but I think I will stick with his CDs. An Agenda: Maybe if he was truthful to himself, and his fans, his music would reveal a happier soul and he would have such sissy fits with hosts, passengers on airlines, Top 40 radio or anyone else that doesn’t measure to his standards.
I did love that a women put her undies up on stage so Clay could find them after intermission. It would have been nice if Clay was flattered instead of critizing the women calling her gutless and a few other choice adjectives, practically accusing her of having cooties. No wonder she wanted to remain anonymous.
Says his butt is going to show up in a scandal someday.
I have Just Added this Video 7/19/07 – I believe this is the song that really moved me. Clay wrote it himself, and I think it’s very biographical. Maybe you all missed that, he’s a lover all alone.