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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:42 pm 
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George,

We'll hold you to that promise! We don't have a specific figure in terms of the number of times Laura visited Australia, but she toured there at least two times, and of course made various promotional stops through the years, as you mentioned. One visit lacking in your list, no doubt an oversight, is the time Laura spent there filming Backstage.

I'm sure the Farnham concert was great!

Kathy

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:08 am 
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:idea: :sad: :o :? :confusion-scratchheadblue:
How could I forget!?!?!
We are often forgotten down here in Australia when it comes to big stars like LB, but (at least) 4 times in about 8 years is pretty great.
A lot of singers forget us.
Even though our very own Molly Meldrum (Countdown) gave Blondie (among others) their first hit in the world, they only toured once in their heydey, plus so many who've never toured here...
Thanks LB for not forgetting our 'little' country (which just happens to be one of the biggest, and best countries in the world :wink: )
John Farnham was GREAT by the way (I know we have a few fans here on LBO)! Plus I met the host of our 'TODAY' show, Lisa Wilkinson who I love watching every day with the hilarious Karl Stefanovic.

Some videos for good measure (not from my channel, btw):
John Farnham's "You're The Voice" (Should be our National Anthem!)
On the subject... Some 'TODAY' SHOW AUSTRALIA BLOOPERS (Having seen the American one, I can safely say that ours is funnier ;-)


Thanks for the info Kathy

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Last edited by GWashingMachine95 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:38 pm 
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Up next on Saturday was our annual LB Trivia Contest with accompanying video presentation. It's an AWESOME time to learn more about Laura's life and career! This portion of the SOL weekend was once again put together by Erika; however since she was unable to attend this year, it was presented by Kathy. Other Half Entertainment provided prizes for the 1st and 2nd place winners.

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Jim and Sharon

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Vince manning A/V central just prior to the trivia video presentation getting underway


And the winners were ...

1st Place - Jim Raboin...winning an LB "Other Half" Travel Mug

2nd Place - Sharon Raboin... winning an LB Legacy Mug

CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN TO OUR WINNERS!!!

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Sharon, Jim, and Kathy

** SPECIAL THANKS once again to Erika for making this part of the weekend both informational and lots of fun! **

We then took our lunch break, and afterwards we finished out the afternoon until about 4:30 viewing MORE LB video footage, including the following:

  • Attitudes TV (Lifetime Network): Interview and Moonlight On Water
  • Entertainment Tonight TV
  • AM Cleveland TV: Interviews (2)
  • TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes
  • Good Day NY w/ Gordon Elliot: Laura Branigan Album Promo Interview
  • Solid Gold: Solitaire & Separate Ways (duet w/ Rex Smith)
  • American Bandstand: Hold Me
  • Solid Gold: The Power Of Love
  • Laura's final performance with her band at the Mohegan Sun in January 2004

Then it was time for our dinner break.

NEXT UP: Saturday evening, August 6 - Candlelight Memorial and Photos!

Kathy

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:57 pm 
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Continuing on with the 2011 event recap, we're up to Saturday evening, which is always such a special time of the weekend. When we all returned to the meeting room after our dinner break, we were joined by Tommy Bayiokos, Laura's special friend and percussionist. Tommy has faithfully attended every gathering we have held since we started in 2005. His friendship with Vince and I is invaluable and we are forever grateful for his steadfast commitment to ensure that Laura is never forgotten and that her awesome legacy continues forward. A heartfelt thanks to Tommy for once again being so great with everyone and arriving with various mementos in hand to distribute to the fans - these mean so much to everyone!

After a time of greeting and conversation, it was now time for Laura's Candlelight Memorial, perhaps the most touching and poignant part of the weekend each year. Before we united in contemplative thought and relection, we viewed Other Half Entertainment's I Know You By Heart Memorial Video, which was beautifully produced in 2005 by Rob Machado. Seeing clips of Laura performing, spending precious time with her "other half" and other special people in her life, with her emotive vocal underneath, captures both her artistic and personal essences so well. Following, we turned down the lights and gathered in a circle for the Candlelight Memorial. The ambiance of the room was so beautiful as one candle lit the next until our circle of light was complete. As the instrumental version of I Know You By Heart softly played as a backdrop, Vince commenced the memorial, and then we all, one by one, expressed our thoughts about Laura and how her life and music has impacted our lives. Words cannot do justice in relating just how special this time is each year, as hearts and souls are bared between those who well understand Laura's impact and who can truly identify with each other as words are spoken forth. It all is very cathartic and helps so much in dealing with Laura's loss.

Our next activity was a time of taking our annual group photo and other photos - such a fun part of the weekend that is the spring board of wonderful memories to look back upon. In case you're wondering about the lanyards that Tommy, Vince, and I always wear on Saturday evening each year, they're sentimental in that they hold all of our all access/media passes from Laura's final run of shows with her band at Mohegan Sun in January 2004.


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Left to right: Jim, Sharon, Rhiannon, Kathy, Tommy, and Vince


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Tommy and Jim


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Tommy and Sharon


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Tommy and Kathy


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Tommy and Vince


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Kathy, Tommy, and Vince


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Tommy and Rhiannon


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Rhiannon, Sharon, and Jim



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Vince, Kathy, and Jim


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Kathy and Jim


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Sharon, Kathy, and Jim


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Kathy, Rhiannon, and Vince

It's funny... you will notice that everyone in these photos are not all looking the same way, necessarily, as it can get crazy to know which direction to look when multiple people are snapping the same pic at the same time!

NEXT UP: "Fan Forum," Hold Me Tour Choreography and Band Rehearsal video, LB TV, and the 1987 Vina del Mar Festival performance in Chile!

Kathy

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:08 pm 
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Hello my dear friends :greetings-wavingblue:

I saw some of these pictures before and I love them :) I hope next time I can be there with you, it would mean alot to me. I guess it should not be so hard next year. We see and I will start saving money soon enough :greetings-wavingyellow: :happy-sunny:

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:33 pm 
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Now to the last part of the "formal" activities of Spirit Of Love which conclude on Saturday night...

Following our ever-so-fun time of photo taking, we moved into our "Fan Forum" portion of the evening, where those who wish to address the group are welcome to do so. The first to share with us was Tommy Bayiokos. Tommy opened by speaking about how seven years have passed since we lost Laura, and how in those years, he's pondered about how many people were around when all was good, but then seemingly disappeared along the way, but he commented that "loyalty, honor, integrity, and virtue define all those in this room," that to "walk the talk" is the best way to honor Laura. He went on to express that in time others will also want to experience Spirit Of Love, where Laura's amazing career and persona meet with her fans in the beautiful area that she called home. Tommy went on to intimate that Kathy, Vince, and he were part of "only just a handful of people she (Laura) trusted and allowed in her world; and only the loyal ones were there right until the very end." He then proceeded to talk about his good times with Laura - amongst those, Laura's cooking and enjoying her fine cuisine - and her taking care of her mom, Kathleen. Tommy then reminisced about his times in the band - Laura's meetings with the guys before and after shows, talking about what worked and what did not in terms of her precision when it came to her music and live performances, commenting that "I follow the creed she taught me of musicality and show-biz that you cannot learn anywhere." He then posed the question of what drives him, indicating that it is the times and love that Laura and he shared during those months in 2004, to one day achieve the great things that Laura wished for him. In conclusion Tommy spoke that all here at Spirit Of Love come to honor and remember Laura, and that the "love shown her today in this room will be talked about and felt world wide- that's how powerful the "power of love" for Laura is." As he has so kindly done at each memorial gathering, Tommy presented some very thoughtful and meaningful gifts to those fans in attendance, and also to Vince and I, along with some delicious Greek pastries for all to enjoy. THANKS SO MUCH, TOMMY, for sharing your heart with us and for your very kind generosity!

Then, I addressed our group. I began by sincerely thanking everyone for joining us for this memorial weekend honoring our dear Laura, and for Tommy always being there for the fans and for Vince and I. Next, I read the very touching piece that Michael Bolton graciously provided us for this year's event. It ends with "She was so great a singer, and so great a soul," which I expanded upon, noting that anyone listening to her voice can tell what a gifted artist she was/is, but what really makes Laura shine and sets her apart from so many, is the person that she was - not your "typical" celebrity, but a very genuine and down-to-earth woman who truly knew what was most important in life, the type that could give it all up to care for a dying husband, the type that would be her Alzheimer-stricken mom's primary caregiver until the very end, that genuinely loved her fans, that still very much was a shy, country girl at heart, and who counted those close to her as her "treasures." I proceeded to express that in looking back at both my professional and personal relationship with Laura, as well as these seven years after losing her, I've come to an even greater awareness of how really special she was, and to the poignant applications of things she spoke to me and exhibited to me by her example. To which I added, it is these things that both guide me as I continue my work for her, and that grow me as a person as well. I related that these things, coupled with her amazing talent, all forge together to make her "the incomparable Laura Branigan," which was our theme for the 2011 event. I went on to express that Other Half Entertainment remains very busy on Laura's behalf, and that's always a good thing, as it speaks to her wonderfully continuing legacy around the globe. I thanked all the fans, both those present in the room and those present with us in spirit, and stressed the importance of the fans' continuing efforts and diligence to partner with us to pass on Laura's legacy of music and persona, emphasizing that Other Half Entertainment cannot do it alone, but it takes fans everywhere to take the message of Laura Branigan to those around them in all countries, that it's collectively what we all give back to Laura for the abundance that she has given us. I further expressed that the demographic of fans that grew up with her music first-hand must be cautious to not just limit their focus to "acquiring" what they can in terms of their own enjoyment and products, but to realize the importance of reaching beyond themselves to pass Laura's legacy on to others, as if this does not take place, the bulk of her legacy will eventually be gone when our generation passes, and we owe Laura so much more than that. In conclusion, I challenged the fans after these seven years to make a renewed personal commitment to ensure that Laura is never forgotten, and to the Spirit Of Love event as well.

Next up we presented video that can ONLY BE SEEN at the event, Laura's choreography and band rehearsals for her Hold Me Tour! This footage greatly demonstrates all the very hard work that goes into preparing for a world tour, as that can sometimes get lost when we take our seats at a concert and enjoy a polished show. Afterwards it was time for some "LB TV" and Laura's episode of Automan, which includes performances of Gloria, Hot Night, and Satisfaction, amongst her acting. We ended the night with a riveting presentation of Laura's 1987 performance at the Vina del Mar Festival in Chile, a venue that so warmly welcomed and received her performances multiple years.

We once again thanked everyone for spending a most wonderful two days with us remembering and paying tribute to Laura, and expressed our looking forward to spending the next day with everyone on our casual outing in various areas of the Hamptons, including Laura's town of East Quogue!

NEXT: Sunday, August 7 - The Hamptons!

Kathy

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I saw your sweet smile
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`Cause I know you by heart...


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:36 am 
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Hello everyone, Vince here for the recap of our Sunday outing in the Hamptons for SOL 2011.

Our first stop was to Sag Harbor, with our intention to take a boat tour around the harbor. But the rainy weather postponed that plan (as the tour boat doesn't sail in adverse weather), so we strolled around the town, taking some photos of the harbor (and some yachts moored at the marina), and stopped for lunch at a great restaurant called "Page at 63 Main."

(By the way, as Kathy, Rhiannon, and I stayed over another few days, we took the boat ride ourselves on another day, and liked it so much it will definitely be in the plan for next year’s Sunday outing, so pray for sunny weather!)

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A view of the Sag Harbor cinema, and some shots around the main shopping district…


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At the restaurant Page at 63 Main with Kathy, Rhiannon, Sharon, and Jim


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At the restaurant Page at 63 Main with Vince, Rhiannon, and Kathy


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Jim surprising his wife with his new “toy”… or was the yacht Sharon’s idea?


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Looking out from the wharf at Sag Harbor Bay


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Just one of the many really nice ships at the marina


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Another shot of the harbor, with the Mashomack Preserve area of Shelter Island in the distance


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And the next two photos are of the whole Sunday outing crew, thanks to a kind Sag Harbor resident


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Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce is housed in the small windmill house at the beach end of the wharf


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After leaving Sag Harbor, we took a drive through Easthampton, hoping to take some time to stop and walk around a bit. But a pretty nasty rain shower kept us from parking and walking through town (or taking pictures), so we continued westward and stopped at Hampton Coffee Company in Water Mill for some great coffee, and at Duck Walk Vineyards in Southampton for some quick informal shopping. We continued our drive westward driving through Southampton, and on past Laura’s home in the small hamlet of East Quogue, and afterward made our now-traditional stop at the sign leading into the village center, so pictures could be taken.


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Our final stop took us to our traditional visit to Westhampton Beach, where we first visited our good friend Flo Flood and her crew at Westhampton T-Shirts. We did some shopping for custom-designed gear, and took our group photo with Flo.


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We then walked around the town and visited some other shops, making our final stop at the Westhampton Beach Bakery, enjoying some delicious bakery items and some great conversation.


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After a long and great day out in the Hamptons, we made our way back to the Hilton Garden Inn, relaxing after dinner with some more great conversation about Laura and life!

A GREAT day was had by all in the beautiful area that our Laura called home!

NEXT: Thank-you's and concluding remarks!

Vince

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I saw your sweet smile
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You`re still here beside me every day
`Cause I know you by heart...


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:22 am 
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Hi all,

There are so many things that go into the planning and carrying out of the Spirit Of Love memorial gathering each year, and those do not happen without the kind assistance of others. We would like to recognize and show our sincere appreciation and thanks to the following for partnering with Other Half Entertainment to make the 2011 event a success:

Hilton Garden Inn Islip/ MacArthur Airport Management and Staff - For their fine service and hospitality towards our group as our host hotel

Suffolk County Parks - Location of our Beach Memorial

Michael Bolton - For kindly providing us with an insightful written piece about Laura for the event program

Tommy Bayiokos - For his faithful attendance and dedication to the event, for the mementos and gifts he distributes at each gathering we have held, his contribution of a written piece for the event program, and for his inspiring words spoken to our group from the podium

Erika Atsumi Foreman - For her stellar dedication to putting together the Trivia Contest and accompanying video presentation

Page at 63 Main Restaurant, Sag Harbor - Fantastic atmosphere and fine cuisine for our Sunday group lunchtime

Duck Walk Vineyards, Southampton – Great shopping

Hampton Coffee Company, Water Mill - Refreshments

Westhampton T-Shirts, James and Florence Flood and Staff - For their gracious hospitality during our visit

Our 2011 participants - MANY THANKS to you who returned from the US to join us once again. Gathering with
you and sharing a wonderful time together made the weekend so very special in Laura's memory, and for us


Thanks so much AGAIN to all mentioned above for their contributions!!!

And finally... to ALL of Laura's devoted fans around the globe who were most definitely there with us in spirit at the gathering to both remember Laura and to carry forth her legacy... You're the BEST!!!

We greatly and excitedly look forward to the 2012 Laura Branigan Spirit Of Love Memorial Gathering! We
cordially invite you to join us for a weekend that we be one of the best you've ever spent!

Kathy and Vince
Other Half Entertainment

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I saw your sweet smile
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