BootLeg Betty

Tribute To Ahmet Ertegun By Bette Midler

Rolling Stone Magazine

BETTE MIDLER

Ahmet took me under his wing. I think he was madly in love with my stage character. The character that I had been onstage was really a balls-to-the-wall kind of broad, and he loved that because it was a throwback to his youth when he was watching vaudeville theater and burlesque.

1974 - April 8 - Bette Midler and Ahmet Ertegum at Carnegie Hall - 02.jpg

Photo: April 8th, 1974, Carnegie Hall

He was like Pan or something, like this bacchanalian kind of a character. In this buttoned-down world of ours, he just had a ball. The thing about him was he loved the game and he loved the fun, but at the bottom of it was the music. He was as passionate about music as any human being alive. He lived hard, and I think that the curiosity to hear another sound, to hear another song, to hear those chords played a different way, I think that’s what kept him going.

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