Monthly Archives: October 2005

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Hulaween My Beloved BetteHeads!

Thanks For Donating A Pint Or Two…OF MISTER D’s BLOOD!!! I’ll Have Him Back To You In No Time At All! In The Meantime, Enjoy The Silence, So You Can Listen To My Fabulous CD, “Bette Midler Sings The Peggy Lee Songbook!” Also, Remember To Brush Your Teeth And Floss! Candy Rots! 🙂 Art Work: Tom Miro PS: Couple of new polls are up: Click Here Reviews are coming in: Click Here
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Stephen Holden (One Of My Faves): New York Times Critic – Thumbs Up!

Mister D: Yes, I brought my stupid laptop! But don’t push it! 🙂 Critics’ Choice New CD’s By THE NEW YORK TIMES Bette Midler “Bette Midler Sings the Peggy Lee Songbook” (Columbia) Part of being a pop singer, and of being Bette Midler in particular, is playing “let’s pretend”: all right, boys and girls, who are we going to be today? Will we play it for laughs or for tears? On the “Peggy Lee Songbook,” Ms. Midler plays it for both, as she revisits 10 songs associated with that great Benny Goodman vocalist turned legendary nightclub singer. Photo: Bob Barket For Ms. Midler, whose personality is as strong and defined as any legend she could honor, playing let’s pretend doesn’t mean literally assuming another persona, but affectionately translating an alien mystique into her own language. Where Ms. Lee, who died in 2002, could become dangerously and masochistically tangled in a torch song, Ms. Midler’s residual optimism and humor reassure you, even when it’s pouring rain, that the moment’s misery is only a glitch in a fair-weather world. It’s not that Ms. Midler can’t dive into the depths of a ballad. Her version of “The Folks Who Live on the Hill,” the dreamy Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein fantasy of marital bliss, is as deep and touching as Ms. Lee’s classic rendition on her Frank Sinatra-conducted album, “The Man I Love.” But what Ms. Lee evoked as a wistful faraway vision of contentment, Ms. Midler makes palpably present. On the lighter side, Ms. Midler’s brassy-sexy “Fever” is an irresistible goof. And “Is That All There Is?,” in which Lee embraced disappointment and nihilism with a sly, sinister wink, is inverted into an exhilarating celebration of living in the moment. The album, produced by Ms. Midler’s old pal Barry Manilow allows the singer and the songs room to breathe; it swings, and Ms. Midler’s vocals burst with confidence and generosity of spirit. STEPHEN HOLDEN
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Saturday, October 29, 2005

“Brian, We’ve Got To Weed.”

NYT October 30, 2005 Midler Embraces the Passing of Time and the Greening of a City By JAMES BARRON After showing off the community garden with the composting toilet, Bette Midler took stock of things. The conversation had turned to two numbers that figure in her life these days: 60, for the birthday that she is about to celebrate, and 10, the age of the New York Restoration Project, the nonprofit group she started to clean up parks. (Thanks for sending me the original Darrell) She started with the birthday. “I was going to get really depressed, and I thought, ‘So what?’ Let’s put a good face on it, because it’s a really good face,” she said, and laughed. As for her work with the parks – which included arranging the purchase of 50 city-owned lots to keep the city from auctioning them off for housing – she knows all the things that people whisper when a celebrity takes up a cause like parks in neighborhoods she does not even live in. “There’s a distinct possibility that it’s vanity, but even if it were, so what?” she said. “The gardens stand as a testament to nature, and I love nature despite what she did to me.” The two numbers – 60 and 10 – will come up again tomorrow at the group’s annual Hulaween gala at the Waldorf-Astoria. Besides celebrating the group’s first decade, Ms. Midler will give an award for environmental work to the rock star Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler. Elton John will be at the celebration, which is also for Ms. Midler’s 60th birthday, on Dec. 1. Adrian Benepe, the parks commissioner, called her “a delightful and purposeful Pied Piper” and credited her and her group with tackling projects “no one else would think of taking on.” Ms. Midler’s involvement has been hands-on. While visiting a park in Upper Manhattan, she chatted with groundskeepers and gardeners about tree limbs that had been knocked down by storms. “I think I’m doing what I was meant to do,” she said. “This is the greatest thing I ever did in my life.” She and her group have removed 80,000 tons of garbage from neglected parks and lots over 10 years, and she helped haul away discarded tires and other junk. The group helped create Swindler Cove Park on the Harlem River, at the Harlem River Drive and 10th Avenue, and found a donor to underwrite a boathouse there. It also renovated a cafe in Fort Tryon Park. Ms. Midler helped clean up freeways under California’s adopt-a-highway plan when she lived in Los Angeles. When she moved back to New York in 1994, she said, she was troubled by how badly the parks had deteriorated. “I remember driving past Riverside Park and saying, ‘What happened?’ ” she said. She remembers seeing discarded couches, other junk and homeless people. She made some calls. One parks department employee told her, “I know you think Riverside isn’t very nice, but let me show you something else.” She said his inflection conveyed the message “If you think this is bad, let me show you worse.” Mr. Benepe remembered meeting her about that time. He had been a lower-ranking parks official, and he invited her to dinner at his apartment. He cooked – “I don’t remember what,” he said. “Probably seafood. As I recall, she was wearing overalls.” By then, groups like the Central Park Conservancy and the Prospect Park Alliance were looking after specific parks. Ms. Midler decided to set up a public-private partnership. “Until government gets it together, you can’t allow everything to deteriorate,” she said. “Until the government decides there is a different way to step in and raise money, we’ve got to.” Visiting a handful of parks and gardens in Manhattan one morning, she raced through a garden on East 114th Street near Pleasant Avenue, across 114th from Thomas Jefferson Park. The garden was restored with a $250,000 grant from Tiffany & Company, and John Loring, the Tiffany designer, created chairs and a statue with Jefferson’s profile. The garden is down the block from another, the Rodale Pleasant Park Community Garden. Rodale, the publisher of Prevention, Men’s Health and other magazines, donated $250,000 for the garden and its rainwater collection system and composting toilet. Ms. Midler contributes money to the group, but Julia Erickson, its executive director, said the amount was less than 1 percent of the group’s $4.9 million annual budget, with the rest coming from donations from others. In 10 years, the New York Restoration Project has gone from 2 staff members working in an office at Rolling Stone magazine to 15 staff members in rented quarters. Amy T. Gavaris, the executive vice president, was initially hired as an assistant director. She said she was offered the job in the first minute of her job interview, with the executive director at the time, and did not meet Ms. Midler until later. Ms. Erickson, who joined the group this year, met Ms. Midler early on and also met with board members, but she did not get the job until her final interview, with Ms. Midler, who conducted it by telephone from New Zealand, where she was performing. “One thing that hasn’t changed, as far as I can tell, is her involvement,” said Brian Sahd, a vice president. “She sees something and she still says, ‘Brian, we’ve got to weed.’ “
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Happy Halloween! (Thanks Sammy!)

Mister D: I’m off to Hulaween…will be back next week. Everybody have a safe and wonderfully ghoulish time! Don’t think I’m taking my computer this time…I want to take a little R & R, but hopefully I’ll have a fabulous story to spin when I return! 🙂 Art Work: Sammy Miro
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From Commander Coconut’s Column: I Love This Guy!

Orlando Sentinel October 28, 2005 Music bin The other night, I was trying to remember when Karen Carpenter, the soothing-voice singer, died. It was 1983, turns out. She was 32. Then, I had to haul out the one Carpenters CD I have and listen to “Superstar,” a great song. Bette Midler’s version is fine, and I remember hearing Bonnie Bramlett, who wrote the lyrics, sing it too (the music is by Leon Russell). Still, Karen Carpenter’s version is hauntingly pretty. I’m not sure I always understood all the Eagles were going for in “Desperado,” but it’s a song I like listening to. “Don’t you draw the queen of diamonds, boy!/ She’ll beat you if she’s able.” All righty, then. “Delta Dawn” is an odd song too. Remember how good it was when Tanya Tucker sang it? The best version I’ve ever heard, though, is by Ms. Midler. Girlfriend can sell a story song such as John Prine’s “Hello in There” or “Delta Dawn.” I like when she introduces the latter by saying she’s going to sing Helen Reddy’s biggest hit — Reddy’s version being draggy and unfeeling. Blessedly, she seems to have disappeared. Reddy, I mean. Midler has a new album in which she sings the Peggy Lee songbook. She has done a Rosemary Clooney tribute CD too. I wonder if she’ll ever honor Britney or the Horsewoman? How hard could it be? Odd patch of a song lyric from “Delta Dawn”: “She’s 41, and her daddy still calls her ‘baby.’ ”
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Friday, October 28, 2005

UK CD Release Date: November 7th, 2005 – CD Only
(Thanks To Sarah and Jonathan)

Looks like the CD release date for Bette’s new project has been pushed back to November 7th in the UK. No word yet on the Dual Disc. This bit of news comes from Jonathan and Sarah (UnlockDivinity.com) I’m not sure what’s going on with the Aussies and the Yukkers with this Dual Disc, but I’m really hoping it makes its way over there…it would be a shame otherwise. Anyway, thanks for the information, and be sure to check out Unlock Divinity Sarah, I don’t know why, but that name really makes me hungry for something sweet! 🙂 Love, Mister D
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(Thanks To Sarah and Jonathan)


 

A Private Performance with Bette Midler and Robin Williams – November 19 at The Beacon Theatre – A Special Thanks To Miss P

This is for some lucky New Yorkers and some of you “trashy” people from New Jersey (I’m just repeatin’ what I heard! My semi-date from Hulaween’s from Jersey, what can I say? 🙂 ) who can make it and it’s for such a divine cause! I really do hope some of you can go: Ron Delsener Presents:

This is a private performance with Bette Midler and Robin Williams at The Beacon Theatre (Broadway at 74th street), Saturday evening, November 19th @ 7:30 pm. Bette Midler and Robin Willians will share the bill for this up close and personal one hour private benefit performance. Tickets: $250: orchestra seat, $100: loge seats This is a benefit for The Parkside School in New York City which serves children ages 5 � 10 with language based learning difficulties. Tickets are tax deductible. To order tickets please call benefit office at (212) 245-6570 Major credit cards are accepted There is no box office for this event ...  Read More

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Australian CD Release Date: Tuesday, January 17th, 2006 (Audio CD only)

Rebecca from BetteMidlerOnline.com wrote in to tell me that the Australian release date for Bette Midler’s Bette Midler Sings The Peggy Lee Songbook is Tuesday, January 17th, 2006. This is for the audio CD only, and not the Dual Disc. I don’t know what the dealio is on that. Here’s where you can order it: Click Here To Pre-Order Many thanks to Bec – please make sure to check out her site, Bette Midler OnLine Love, Mister D
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Small Witty Clip Of Bette On Letteman (Courtesy of AOL) Thanks Kimberly For The Alert!

I think this will actually take you to a page with other Bette-related clips…so even better! 🙂 Thank you Kimberly! To View: Click Here And Follow Directions Love, Mister D
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From David Letteman’s Blog!

Mister D: The following comes from Mr. Letterman’s blog and it kinda summarizes what he and Ms. Midler talked about last night….altho you just can’t capture the energy and rapport they had going on by just reading this. I was hoping they would have the video up of her performance of “Fever” but so far it’s not there, yet. Anyway, she was really “0n” last night. Energetic interview and performance….you could tell she was having a good time (except for maybe when she ducked for cover when Dave sneezed!…LOL) It was also fun to hear her talk about Hocus Pocus and put those hideous teeth in from the movie. That was a treat. Plus the reference to Disney’s cheapness… 🙂 Well, you know they do play Hocus Pocus incessantly and she doesn’t see a dime! 🙂 All in all, a lot of fun: From Mr. Letterman’s Blog (The Wahoo Gazette!)!

Bette has long been interested in keeping New York City neighborhoods and parks clean and safe. She is the founder of the New York Restoration Project and for more information, check the website: http://www.nyrp.org From the site: “Renowned entertainer Bette Midler founded the nonprofit New York Restoration Project (NYRP) in 1995 with the belief that clean and green neighborhoods are fundamental to the quality of life and that every community in New York City deserves an oasis of natural beauty. Modeled on the Central Park Conservancy and other successful public-private partnerships, NYRP partners with individuals, community-based groups, and public agencies to reclaim, restore, and develop under-resourced parks, community gardens, and open space in New York City, primarily in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.” She hates the litter. Why is there so much litter in New York? She believes New Yorkers are so rushed and bogged down in frenzy that they just don’t see it anymore. If there is an empty bag on the sidewalk, people here walk right over it. Not Bette. She picks it up and throws it out. Dave thinks people believe, “It’s New York. What the heck does it matter?” But it matters to Bette and she does something about it. She doesn’t blame New Yorkers, though. She places the blames squarely on those from New Jersey and out-of-towners. And yes, many out there will take her seriously at the obvious joke. (Hey, any former members of the Johnny Horizon club? I was!) She recently returned from Australia performing her “Kiss My Brass” tour. Upon arriving in Australia, customs asked, “Do you have a criminal record?” She answered, “Why, is that still a requirement?” Dave laughed, and appreciated her using up her Australian material. If you got it, you might as well use it. She has a new CD, produced by Barry Manilow, entitled, “Bette Midler Sings the Peggy Lee Songbook.” What does she sing tonight? Peggy Lee’s “Fever.” I’ll be giving the CD a long listen. I remember years ago seeing Peggy Lee perform “Is That All There Is?” and was impressed with her style and sound. I hope Bette’s CD captures the mood.  ...  Read More

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