Tid-Bettes And More…

Mister D: Still in full day classes for Songposium…last day!!! It has been incredible…most of my classes have dealt with opening up the creative side of the brain, song structure, the basic building blocks, message songs, and voice and vocal techniques. Not sure if I’ll ever write a song, but I’ll be singing others’ better! 🙂

Photo: Thanks for the pic Nicola!

Beth Nielson Chapman was one of my teachers. She is quite inspirational and her “technique” is very, very open…almost goes against the grain from what all the other teacher’s teach. I do believe her method, if you can call it that, made more sense to me probably because she leans to the extreme…it’s hard to explain. I was able to exchange pleasantries from Bette and staff to Ms. Chapman and vice versa. Ms. Chapman had heard of BLB which was cool…I think it was because I promoted 2 of her albums and had to do with trackbacks…I’m not sure. She is quite humorous and so easy-going.

My other 2 favorite teachers were Debbie Beinhorn (vocal) and Rick Beresford(message songs). I’ve learned to new ways to use my voice (non-traditional voice training). I took a couple of the classic methods of vocal training classes and I didn’t get it…made me feel neurotic about my voice, but Ms. Beinhorn’s method appealed to me and made sense…it’s more about building muscles in the head area and pelvis area. Too hard to explain, but I understood it and felt this was the way to go for me. Awesome teacher…a combination of Bette, Kathy Bates, and Mae West! This lady was fabulous, funny, and nurturing. I’m seeing her again today. She’s too cool for school! I think I just showed how old I am! LOL

And Mr. Beresford. Awesome. For examples of message songs and how to make them less preachy, we listened and studies the works of Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, and Sting. Joni Mitchell was somewhere in there, too. Great class…hope I can attempt something using the knowlege and tools given to me.

I had another class I quite liked taught by Jane Bach. She’s originally from New York, but lives here and makes her living as a songwriter. She was vibrant, inspiring, and honest….she talked of creativity within the framework of song crafting. I found out songwriters are not very fond of the music “business”…..LOL So you really better like writing songs.

For all you Down Under Ozzie Aussies: We had one of your superstars in the class that I talked to, Nikki Webster. Her label feels like she has some strong songwriting potential, so they sent her to Music City where you have the best of the best. Supposedly she’s doing quite well and has co-written about 14 songs so far with Ms. Bach…I’m sure you will be hearing some of her hard efforts on her next CD. Very, very nice…and very, very young…19!!!!! She’s been a star there since she was 13??????!!!!!! I mentioned Bootleg Betty, and yes, she says Bette is very popular there….

My friend, Michelle wrote in last night that “The View” ladies were talking about Bette yesterday! This is what Miss Michelle had to say (I’m pressed for time here…gotta go to classes):

Joy Behar was talking about the dress she was wearing and she said that she wore it the other night. She didn’t want to drop names but she wore it when she was at Bette Midler’s house last night for a dinner party. There was a gathering at her house for people who give to NYRP. She mentioned people that are loaded. I kind of figured it was for the mucho dinero. She commented that she will be the auctioneer at Hullaween. Joy and Rosie O’donnell started talking about the wonderful work that Bette has done with NYRP and how much she has done for NY. Joy said that NY has definitely cleaned up since Bette came here.

Special Thanks To Michelle For Sending Me That!

Kathryn, Don, Alicia

Photo: Barry Shermer
(Kathryn, Mister D, Alicia – Don’t Mess With These Girls!)

I have an upcoming gig next Wednesday at Caffeine Cafe and Bar. Looks to be a trendy little coffeehouse on Music Row. The clientele seems to be the 20-30 crowd … the alternative scene. I open for 2 acts, both 20-somethings, so I feel incredibly ancient. They are Megan Light and Chris Griffin. Not sure how I’m going to go over, but the booking manager thought we’d be a good fit…we’ll see!!!! I may have to watch my language a bit…and need to think of some Music Row jokes..my set is for almost an hour, so I have a lot of rehearsing to do this weekend. And nervous barfing!

Love, Mister D

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