Janis Ian Talks Bette

Mister D: Janis Ian is one of my favorite songwriters. As far as Bette is concerned, she wrote Bette’s classic “Some People’s Lives” song and Bette performed one of her songs for awhile during the Miss Mill tour, “Stars.” Anyway, I ran across this interview and thought it was interesting. Anyway she has a new best of collection coming out as well as a book. Ms. Ian resides where I live, in songwriter paradise, Franklin, TN

You write about your evil twin, who was jealous of other singers’ successes. Is she still hanging around?

“I went to see Bette Midler; she’s such a great performer. It was embarrassing, but there was a corner of me that was jealous. But part of being an artist is always looking up, always going, ‘Why aren’t I that good?’ “

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Love, Mister D

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7 thoughts on “Janis Ian Talks Bette

  1. Hi Mr D & All!

    I’ve always liked Janis Ian, and I’ve always been amazed on just what albums by other artists she pops up on, most surprising was Gene Simmons’s first solo album in 1978 on a funny little acoustic guitar prelude after the first track. Also just as an FYI at the time Gene was making this album, Bette was working on filming “The Rose.” The Harlettes at that time Diva Gay, Katie Sagal & Frannie Eisenberg also did background vocals an almost all of the tracks with Gene most recognizable on a track called “See You In Your Dreams.”

    If Bette were to record another studio album, it would be nice to hear them both sing together.

    I remember when I first heard the song “Some People’s Lives” I thought to myself, this is could almost be another take on “Hello In There” but only it was dealing with current issues at the time and was recorded at a time when things in the world were going somewhat haywire and when most people were just throwing their hands up in the air and saying “I give up!”

    It would be great to see Janis in the front line and shoved into everyone’s faces again, I think she has earned it.

    This is going to be a book that I am going to look out for, Janis has always written “Hit home hard” lyrics, it will be amazing to read what she has written in the form of a bio.


  2. I have that Gene Simmons album….I’m going to have to go back and listen to it. Glad I kept the LP cause I can read all the liner notes.

    Janis Ian is awesome. There’s another song on the CD that Bette was going to record, but I forget which one…I think it was Days Like These….

    Anyway, thanks for all that info. Very interesting you could recall all that.

    Love, D

  3. Mr D,

    Also pay attention to “Living In Sin” Cher has a telephone conversation with Gene, Donna Summer sings background vocals on “Burning Up With Fever” & Helen Reddy does background on “Tunnel Of Love.”

    “Welcome To Bootleg Gene!”


  4. After you brought the Gene Simmons CD up, I started remembering some things….like Cher and Donna Summer…but I forgot about Helen Reddy!

    Wasn’t she arrested once?

    For loitering in front of an orchestra (ba da bing – old Bette joke)

  5. Thanks for the background on one of my fav Bette tunes. When I first heard Some People’s Lives, I couldn’t stop listening to the lyrics. I really think that song made me stop and think about what I was doing w/my life and I took a complete about face with my personal and professional work…I didn’t want my life to “run down like clocks”.
    And, it’s always interesting to hear other performer’s comments about Bette. I always say Bette doesn’t know how talented/good she really is.

  6. Thank you Jamie. I love finding out about songs and songwriters. I remember you telling me long ago how Some People’s Lives effected you. And to everyone else reading this….Miss Jamie here did change the direction of her life to do exactly what she wanted to do and she’s still working hard. She walks the walk and talks the talk!!!!

    Love you Jamie…. xxxooo


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