5 Minutes With Bette Midler

The Daily Mail
5 minutes with… Bette Midler.(Features)
Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Article date: October 12, 2008

You’ve got this new album out called The Best Bette. What are your favourite songs on it?

I’m very partial to my own song Something Your Heart Has Been Telling Me, also Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most. I also love that song Friends. I doWhenAMan Loves A Women in my show and I love performing it – people go nuts over it.

So you wrote Something Your Heart Has Been Telling Me?

Yes, I wrote that together with some friends. I like song writing, I just don’t have a great deal of time to do it. I don’t always record them as I’m not sure they’re as good as other people’s.

I’m very modest about my songwriting skills.

How excited are you about doing your own Las Vegas show?

The most exciting part was putting the show together, doing the rehearsals, hiring everybody, putting the costumes on people and deciding what we’re going to do. It’s always very exciting going there foramonth – especially the first couple of weeks. The third week is a little bit harder, you feel like you have a little bit ofamountain to climb and then the fourth week is exciting again.

What’s your average day in Sin City like?

It’s a hard and long day! I have to do things for my energy levels. I run, do pilates, yoga and all that stuff, do a little bit of business, then the sound checks start and it’s into hair and makeup. It’s supposed to be an early curtain at 7.30pm and an hour-and-a-half show, so I should be out by 9pm. But the day stretches and the show sometimes runs a little bit late and then we have to see people afterwards, so I’d say it’s about nine o’clock in the morning to 1am. So it’s a long day!

What keeps you motivated?

It’s my job, it’s what I do, and the people who buy my tickets expect a certain level of performance and I always feel obliged to give it to them. It’s old school – they pay, and I do the show they expect me to do. I do try because I enjoy the audience and think they enjoy the level of thought that goes into the show. This show’s very beautiful, it’s huge! It’s got gorgeous girls, a big band, and it’s a spectacle in the way that I think most people never expected to see again in their lifetimes because it’s old-fashioned.

Did you always want to be a performer?

I’ve performed my whole life and I always imagined myself in very skimpy clothes – I always imagined I wouldn’t be just a performer, but in a showgirl line. Now I’m a little bit older but that hasn’t stopped me, I’m still wearing as little as possible.

Do you ever think you’ll retire?

I’m way older now and the challenges I face are completely different than before. I can understand the idea because really, by the time you get to be a certain age, retirement means that you’re tired! You are really tired, really tired of doing the same thing all these years and you’d like to try something new.

Any more albums up your sleeve?

I’d love to sing new material, and there are so many songs I haven’t sung in such a long time that when I do it’s actually like singing new material. I love new material but it’s very hard to get, because the music business has changed so much. You’re pretty much on your own and I don’t have that much contact with songwriters, although they are my favourite type of people. I’m not first on everyone’s list, so I mostly have to find my own material and that can be a real drag.

The Best Bette is out now

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