Monthly Archives: October 2003

Friday, October 31, 2003

Billboard TidBits: Nov 8th Issue

Bette’s CD is positioned at number 29 on the top 200 album chart… Internet Charts: Positioned at number 5
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Liz On Hulaween

DonnaBette.jpg Photo: Lawrence Lucier Bette and Donna PEOPLE WHO have never attended one of Bette Midler’s “Hulaween” blowouts to raise money for the New York Restoration Project just haven’t lived. (This is Bette’s dream charity that restores parks and parkways to the real people of the city.) The other night the Divine Miss M., looking all of 25 years old these days, appeared at the Marriott Marquis as her svelte new self. She is on “The South Beach Diet,” and even gave away copies of the book in her goodie bag. Bette did one number, her classic eye-waterer, “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” then turned the show over to Donna Summer, who blew the roof off. What a voice! What pipes! She sounds exactly as she did during her reign as Queen of Disco back in the ’80s. When she ripped into “Last Dance” the place went wild. I think it’s time for a major Donna Summer revival. Others who added to the fun and games were the “Fab Five” Queer Guys of Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” They helped Caroline Rhea and Joy Behar conduct a raucous auction of this and that. The auction alone raised $300,000, and the whole event pulled down $1.3 million. Giovanni LaFaro at my table (he sells gorgeous antique rugs by appointment) went insane and bid $26,000 for a future lunch at Le Cirque with Bette, Caroline, Joy, Ann Richards and yours truly. (I will have Giovanni’s head examined one of these days.) Miss Midler is peaking in our lives once more. She is filming “The Stepford Wives” with Nicole Kidman . . . getting ready for a big blasting concert tour starting in December . . . she has a hot CD “Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook” . . . and now she is slim and gorgeous as well. Next thing we know she’ll run for governor of New York. And you know what? I’d vote for her. MY TABLE for “Hulaween” was right next to that of the Queer Guys. What a gang of dolls they are! I had a great time with the Hair Guy (Kyan Douglas); the Culture Guy (Jai Rodriguez); the Food Guy (Ted Allen); the Interior Design Guy (Thom Filicia); and the Fashion Guy (Carson Kressley). I admired Carson’s simplified, classic black-tie look, and when I told him so, he just shrugged – “Ralph Lauren – what else?” I am going to take the Queer Guys to a big lunch at Michael’s and see how those literary heterosexuals like them in their “club.” And you can see all of these guys and many more who are like them, or imitating them, on the next cover of Vanity Fair.
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Thursday, October 30, 2003

Hulaween 2003…A Brief Outline

Click on images for a larger view…. I will be posting pics and an article once I get back to Nashville, but don’t want anybody waiting on pins and needles for the main information…. Bette’s tour manager carried my gift basket to her backstage while she was in hair and make-up…so she got your e-mails….I was able to briefly say hello during the festivities before she was whisked away. The Fab 5, Joy Behar, and the auctioneer from Cristie’s, Nicholas Maclean…Caroline Rhea also helped out. Bette sat with Martin, Caroline, Joy, Marc Shaiman, Jann Wenner, Chris Botti, A male model, and the guests of honor…Ellen and Richard Levine. I was able to meet with Marc, the Fab 5, Chris and Caroline, Moby, Ula, and some Betteheads…Snook, Julie, Jamie, Kris, and Bobby…. Bette presented the WBMW’s award to the Levines and sang WBMW’s….that is the only song she sang solo…then Donna Summer came out and performed some of her hits….MacArthur’s Park, Bad Girls, and then Bette joined her to sing Hot Stuff and came back and closed out the show with Last Dance. I will be sharing the audio and some more pics hopefully by Sunday. I had the pleasure of dancing and singing with Carson, Kyan, Jai, and Caroline on a miniature stage from which they had earlier held the auction, while Bette and Donna performed:-)
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Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Ticketmaster Updates for St. Paul and Detroit

The St. Paul, Minnesota show will go on sale Nov. 3rd at 10am at the Excel Center, ticketmaster locations, or at (Thank you Kate for the information…much obliged and thanks for the compliment:-)) And many thanks to Tiffany for this important information on the date change in Detroit!!!: This email is in regard to your ticket purchase for Bette Midler at The Palace-Auburn Hills, on Thursday, January 1st, 2003 at 8:00 pm. That event has been rescheduled for Saturday, January 10th, 2003, also at 8:00 pm. All original tickets will be honored at the new show, or refunds are available at your original point of purchase. If you are unable to attend due to the date change, please return all unused tickets, along with your name and order number to the following address: TicketMaster Attention: Customer Service Refunds Event: Bette Midler-Detroit 4445 Corporation Lane Virginia Beach, VA 23462 If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via our website at, or by calling your Local TicketMaster Charge-By-Phone Number and request to speak to someone in our Customer Service Department.
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You Guys and Gals Are Doing Great…

Keep the e-mails coming…I can’t respond to you individually becuase of the time factor and me being sick…but don’t worry about sounding silly…everything sounds heartfelt to me and nothing has been corny or silly….you;re just showing someone you care….thank you…this has been a good turnout…so those of you who are afraid and haven’t chimed in don’t worry what you sound like…it’s just me and hopefully Bette who will see these…and I’m not here to judge:-) Love, Mister D P.S. This is not the same thing as Stella and Jude’s fantabulous Letterbook which they usually do each year for Bette’s birthday. Hopefully this tradition will carry on as usual. If so, you will see it announced here and on the Bette boards…. =&2=&
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Please Read: Last Minute Idea to Send Message to Bette

As I wrote yesterday, I am now in NYC for Hulaween, albeit very ill with a sinus infection. However, due to my own Dr Feelgood, hopefully I should be just fine by tomorrow night in time for the festivities. Even if something should happen that I can’t make it, Barry will, along with Snook and Lady Puffy…. To the point: I have a gift basket that will be given to Miss M with assorted little goodies that lean toward the personal and just rather earthy and cute. In the basket I will have a fairly nice check to contibute to Bette on behalf of Bootleg Betty and the readers. I had someone send me a nice e-mail from Brazil to present to Bette just thanking her, showing appreciation, and also encouragement on her new tour. I thought how nice it would be to collect an envelope full of small e-mails of appreciation and encouragement to go along with the donation….SO… If any of you would like to write something please do so by noon tomorrow, New York Time,…..Barry has found a way for us to print stuff out. Just make it short and sweet…no questions, since she won;t be able to answer them anyway…just apprecialtions, thank you’s, and good lucks:-) And then sign your name and where you are from…..I think it would be really nice to hear from some of the non-USA fans…let her know how much she is appreciated on other soils:-) These people I would like to hear from for sure (putting you on the spot):-) Bev, Darrell, Irini, Sara and the Divine Dutchies, Thomas, Marcos, Nicola…the list goes on….and of course all the USA Fans:-) This is just a thought and a way for you to be heard. I may not meet Ms. M but I can watch as security takes her the gift basket towards her door… Remember this is just an idea…so participate if you want…. Just e-mail me at : Cross your fingers that this works:-) Love, Mister D
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Midler and the over-40 set Hot on Charts

New York Daily News – For wave of chart acts, life begins at 40 Mr. Jim Farber Tuesday, October 28th, 2003 Call it elder power. Right now, 25% of Billboard’s Top 40 albums were either recorded by stars past the age of 40 or are enjoyed by listeners in that seasoned range. Barbra Streisand, 61, just sold more than 160,000 copies of “The Movie Album,” double the opening week sales of her previous CD. Bette Midler, 57, saw her latest work (“The Rosemary Clooney Songbook”) start way up at No. 14. Two weeks later, the CD holds in the Top 25. Both singers accomplished this while recording music that’s between 40 and 70 years old. Meanwhile, Elvis Presley, Simon & Garfunkel, Seal, Michael McDonald and a Rat Pack collection also thrive in the Top 40, as do younger artists like Clay Aiken, Dido and Norah Jones, who each boast a huge ratio of graying followers. Later this week, Rod Stewart’s second collection of American standards hits the charts, most likely in the Top 5. The 58-year-old Stewart’s previous album of songs by the swell set resurrected his career and sold 1.6 million copies. “In a year that’s not great for sales, one silver lining is that music appealing to adults is doing quite well,” says Billboard’s chart maven Fred Goodman. Record companies have tapped into this audience by hawking their wares over older-skewing TV outlets, and by reaching an underserved audience of conservative listeners in mid-America. The day her album hit stores, Streisand deigned to leave the Malibu Colony long enough to offer her first live performance on TV in 40 years, on “Oprah.” On her release day, Midler presented her first joint performance in 30 years with her original producer, Barry Manilow, on the “Today Show.” Midler’s record company has also been selling her album via 800-number TV spots primed to reach the couch potato set too doughy to make their way into record stores. Michael McDonald’s “The Motown Collection,” on which he covers the catalogue of that classic label, benefited from having his “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” in an MCI ad. Next week, he’ll appear on QVC to move his album like so many juicers and hair-dye kits. Much has been made of the fact that older listeners don’t know from downloading, so they buy the whole CD, thus upping their impact on the charts. It doesn’t hurt either that adult pop radio stations are bigger than ever; New York’s Lite-FM is our market’s No. 1. The Streisand, Midler, Stewart and McDonald albums also represent a trend-ette within the trend: They’ve benefited not just from being cut by aging stars but by collecting songs proven by time.
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CD Review: The Hartford Courant

Music review By Greg Morago The Hartford Courant October 28, 2003 “Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook” (Columbia Records) Rosemary Clooney had to be talked into recording “Come On-a My House” in 1951. It turned out pretty well. More than 50 years later, Bette Midler had to be talked into recording the same song on a tribute album to Clooney. It, too, turned out to be pretty good. Darn good, in fact. “Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook,” a project that friend Barry Manilow had to persuade Midler to cram into her busy schedule, is a labor of love that bursts with appreciation for the talents of one of the classic singers of the 20th century. Clooney died last year, leaving the American standards with one less (and there are precious few) interpreter. And what an interpreter. Clooney touched songs such as “You’ll Never Know,” “Hey There,” “Tenderly” and “White Christmas” and made them as much a part of the American experience as baseball and apple pie. Those songs are among the Clooney hits that Midler deftly handles on the songbook, a joyous and touching (sometimes heartbreakingly beautiful) recording that reunites the saucy chanteuse with her original piano accompanist and musical director (Manilow produced Midler’s first two breakthrough albums). She finds truer meaning in the novelty song “This Ole House,” giving it an almost contemporary country reading. She shows she has a great ear for the period with “On a Slow Boat to China” and “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening.” Gorgeous new arrangements for “Hey There” and “Tenderly” make Clooney classics sound fresh and lushly cinematic. Whether Midler finds gold with her “Songbook” remains to be seen. But listening to her sing “White Christmas” not only brings back Clooney; it brings a tear to the eye, and when was the last time an album did that?
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Monday, October 27, 2003

Mister D Heads for Hulaween

DonSketch.jpg Sketch: Sammy Miro (I feel like a star, Sammy…Thank you!…LOL) Heading for the Big Apple, Folk! Making my way to Hulaween. I will of course keep you abreast of any happenings, but I won’t be as easily accessible and timely news will almost be impossible. I think my chances of meeting Miss M are slight to none, and I’m not really all that positive that I’ll try (oops the percentages just got lower:-))… But I will try to report to you the proceedings as quickly and as accurately as possible. In the meantime, check out Darrell’s Bette on the Boards and Terri’s Experience the Divine! Hope all of you have a fun-filled and safe Halloween. I’ll be missing you all dreadfully, but it will be nice to have a little break. Catch you soon! Love, Mister D P.S. Bev, Darrell, Miss Jane, and Steve…I meant to write before I left, but as you can imagine…”time won’t let me”!!!! I will be accessible by e-mail, though. Just may not be able to get back to you very quickly….Love, Don
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Ahmet’s 80th Birthday Party…Sounded Like Fun

75-BetteMidler.jpg When Rolling Stone magazine founder/owner Jann Wenner and Bette Midler throw a party, the music community gets in line for a ticket. And when the party is to celebrate the 80th birthday of Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, it’s one of the hottest tickets in town. So a few weeks ago in New York City, you would have found Michael Douglas, Barry Diller, Bobby Short, Steve Van Zandt, Diana Ross, and Boston’s own Peter Wolf in the same room. Wolf, an Atlantic recording artist when he was with the J. Geils Band, entered the party singing duets with Ahmet and Midler, accompanied by Paul Shaffer of “Late Night With David Letterman” fame.
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