The Time Machine: November 19, 1979


“It was the most exciting opening I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to a few. Thank God this one was mine.” So saying, a beaming Bette Midler clenched a rose in her teeth like a kitschy Carmen. The flower was not accidental. Midler’s first movie, The Rose, all about a downhill rocker who finally ODs and drops dead onstage, had just opened in New York to favorable reviews. So Midler was being majestically feted at a post-premiere dinner party. At the Roseland Ballroom, of course. With 2,999 other real roses decorating the dance floor in addition to the one in Midler’s mouth.

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