Yearly Archives: 2013

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bootleg Betty Is Officially Closed! Long Live Bette Midler!

1384289_518007488289655_1032570846_n It’s that time. Bette Midler: Bootleg Betty is officially closed. I will leave the site up for archival purposes, so I hope you can still enjoy and use that information. Thank you all for the wonderful support over the years. I really appreciated the comments, facebook messages, emails, cards, and phone calls. It is quite overwhelming. I’d like to thank a few people who have been instrumental in BLB’s success over the years: Darrell Redmond, Barry Shermer, Steve Weiner, Tom Miro, Sammy Miro, and Nicola Calder. They all helped with the foundation of the site. Thank you all again for a fabulous and divine ride that I’ll never forget! For more information on Bette Midler, please visit these sites: Bette Midler: Simply Divine Bette On The Boards Bette On The Boards: Facebook Bette Midler-Fansite: Facebook
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BetteBack: Divine Miss M not so crazy

Madison Wisconsin State Journal March 27, 1983 flirty NEW YORK — All spruced up in V-necked cashmere, knit ties and tweed, walking sensibly in short chunky heels and plain cloth coats, couples collect at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music, the city’s most elegant hall. Filing past posters advertising $2 tours, they move with the contentment of middle class and middle age toward their reserved, $30 seats. But wait! A rising curtain reveals no rows of musicians outfitted in black tie and tails; not even a poised pianist emerges to greet the expectant horde. Instead, a smear of purple, a flash of pink, the rumble of a rock beat — and a diva of another disorder. Done up in mountains of boudoir pink, black pants and stockings flashing beneath, she Betty Boops her way across stage, growling into the mike, beckoning to the front row seats, singing of love in the back of a Cadillac — then crawling forward on hands and feet. When, moments later, a raunchy one-liner about a video game elicits laughter appropriate to the size of the hall, Bette Midler will gather herself up to her full 5-feet, peer haughtily out at the almost bifocaled brigade, and pointedly observe: “Either I have crossed over or you have crossed over.” It is a joke that cuts many ways to reveal one singular truth: The star who rose from the steam of New York’s homosexual baths more than a decade ago, the cult figure who found no costume too sleazy, no songs too silly, no targets too tasteless, now resides somewhere in public appreciation to the right of Mae West and the left of the Fonz. If the Divine Miss M has not (perish the thought) entered the mainstream, she has at least pitched a tent on its bank. It happened, perhaps, with “The Rose,” the 1979 movie that produced an Academy Award nomination for Midler and a hauntingly beautiful hit single. Or it happened with last year’s Academy Award ceremony — when Midler, encased in crinkly gold (“And you thought it was impossible to overdress for this occasion”), demolished the entire Best Song category with several carefully chosen •mal mots. Or with the HBO special that brought a islightly less censored Midler into all-American homes. ‘ What it did not happen with was “Jinxed,” the aptly tilled movie of a few months back. Directed by Don IC’Dirty Harry”) Siegel in a manner making it unclear ;whether its genre was comedy or thriller, it disappeared faster than you can say “box-office bomb.” Before it did, however, both Siegel and “Jinxed” co-star Ken Wahl said a lot of unprintable things about thenleading lady, many of which ended up in print. So in her current show, “De Tour,” which opened last week at Radio City, Midler presents a viciously funny five-minute clip of the film, dubbed and subtitled to provide her side of the story. Despite the stage slap, she is not eager to recall the Hollywood enterprise. The result of the movie-making misery was a self-described “nervous breakdown” that led Ms. Midler, for the first time, to a psychiatrist, and from there to the still evolving resolution: “I was beaten up, but not beaten. I did a lot of growing up, and I think I’m stronger for the experience. A lot of women have gone through it — being ganged up on by men — but it was the first time for me. I’m not as fond of men as I used to be.” Or as trusting — of anybody. “I’m more wary, less open,” says the woman always known for her candor, if not innocence. So all interviews now come with warnings about her “sensitivity,” and even the star will plead, “Don’t,” when a sensitive subject is broached. On the road, she has surrounded herself with an efficient and loyal crew; on stage, the astounding energy now seems pinned to an eerie calm; The Divine Miss M is less in evidence than a woman wedded to the emotional weariness that lies beneath most of what passes for maturity. She is, after all, 37 now — and, reversing the tradition, more willing to admit her age than in her younger days. Ms. Midler always has gone to extraordinary ends to separate her stage character from her self. So, she believes, she avoided the death trap of a John Belushi. Although the world would like to “make me into a plaintive figure,” the singer who has etched her personal sorrow into countless songs is, ironically, much further removed from self-destruction than seemingly saner stars. In the early ’70s when she recorded “Superstar,” the Divine Miss M would take some haughty stage swipes at Karen Carpenter. Of Ms. Carpenter’s recent death, from heart failure following a long battle with anorexia nervosa, Midler says, “I was staggered by it. I had no idea.” They had, however, met. “She gave me my Grammy in 1974 — and I think it was all she could do to keep from hitting me with it. “I had made a lot of cracks about her, but when I met her, I really liked her, and I realized that I had hurt her feelings, and I was brought up short. I stopped the jokes.” Although she did not know Ms. Carpenter well, Ms. Midler says, “I have a strong insight into her situation. My oldest sister (Judith, who died in a car accident in 1968) was anorexic. She had it from 12 to 14. We called it ‘the Binge’ — this was in the ’50s, and my family knew nothing about it, we had no idea it was so common. It was horrible. I can remember doing things like drilling a hole into the wall to see what she was doing. “I’m sure Karen was terrified. That’s what it comes down to — a terror of not being good enough, beautiful enough, adored enough. It’s tough, and I feel really bad about what happened to her.” As for herself: “I think I’m whole. But it’s a big effort not to freak out, to stay on an even keel. I’m really trying.” The tour — her first cross-country journey since 1976 — seems to be Midler’s way of getting back her creative energy. The all-white Harleltes have a new look (“space trash,” she calls it), and the show reflects Midler’s desire to go beyond “70s whorishness toward a more painterly concept. It’s the first time I’ve gotten involved in the design of a show.” Then there is a new Atlantic album, “No Frills,” due in mid-April, which will include several of the songs she sings on stage, and one self written tune, “Jimmy Dean”: “A pretty little song that just came out — something that never happened to me. It’s about loneliness and longing for a hero — which is such bull, but so common.” What lifts her out of the caution, the weariness, the cynicism, however, is a children’s book she has written, • “The Saga of Baby Divine,” to be published next fan by Crown. “I’m so proud of it,” Midler says. “The kid is so wonderful — so feisty and witty.” And yes, “She looks sort of like me. Red hair and heels and a very noisy garish diaper. “Strangely enough, I like writing books better than anything else. I can read and write. Anything else makes me nervous.” With a love life that is “thriving — and I hope everybody else’s is to” — she is also entertaining ideas of “settling down.” “But it’s hard to get pregnant, you . have to take your temperature and all of that,” she adds, by way of announcing a second goal. “I have,” she elaborates, “decided I’d be a great mom.” This kid would be no pampered lovechild of the Divine Miss M. This kid would be the adored, but reality rooted offspring of the surveyor, Ms. Midler, “loved and encouraged and taught how to get along in this world,” she says, “because that’s the one. thing they never teach you.” .
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Monday, September 30, 2013

Bette’s Favorite Cook, Marcella Hazan Dies At Age 89

The Gothamist Marcella Hazan, Beloved Italian Cookbook Author, Dies At 89 Sept 30, 2013 11-15-2010 6-48-34 AM The food world lost one of its most enduring figureheads over the weekend when legendary cookbook author Marcella Hazan passed away at age 89 at her home in Florida. A mentor to both luminaries in the professional culinary world as well as home cooks across the nation, Hazan brought simple, unaffected Italian food to the US through a series of six cookbooks, beginning with her seminal The Classic Italian Cook Book, published in 1973. She championed salt, scolded the overuse of garlic and famously made her tomato sauce with just tomatoes, onion and butter. An immigrant who moved to Queens from Italy in 1955, Hazan was horrified by the Americanized interpretations of Italian cuisine. Though not a cook herself, Hazan was determined to bring the fresh flavors of Italy to her new home in the United States. On top of her lack of cooking skills, Hazan also spoke no English; her husband, Victor, actually translated her cooking notes into English recipes. She eventually learned the language by watching television and “following the Brooklyn Dodgers,” according to the Times. The widespread popularity of Italian food in this country can largely be traced back to the Hazans. “Because the Hazans championed fresh vegetables many people had never heard of (artichokes, fennel), olive oil and—above all—simplicity and clarity in cooking, they can be argued to have had even more influence on how Americans cook than Julia Child,” declares Corby Kummer at Bloomberg. In 2000, Hazan received the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award. Hazan is survived by Victor, her husband of 57 years; her son Giuliano Hazan, who also teaches cooking; and her two granddaughters. Bette Midler ✔ @BetteMidler Marcella Hazan is gone…I wore her cookbooks out, and continue to use them; what an inspiration she was… 7:47 AM – 30 Sep 2013 from New York, NY, United States
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Word Search: Bette Midler Music

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Betteback February 27, 1983: David Keith On Working With Bette In “The Rose”

Syracuse Herald American February 27, 1983 312130_172377012849351_100002311596243_371313_1681667399_n He did his first film, “The Rose,” with Bette Midler, and, unlike some others who have worked with the lady, speaks well of her. “When I was a sophomore in college, I slept overnight in an alley just to get tickets to one of her concerts, so when I was given a role in her film, I thought it was super,” he said. “It was wonderful working with her. She did get mad, but every time she did, she was dead right. She said the plane was wrong, and it was. After she complained about it, it was redone to look like a hippie lived in it.” He admits, however, that all those stories about Midler’s bouts with her agent are true. “It was very juvenile. They’d stop the car and yell at each other across the hood, but they were lovers, too, you know.”
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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Photo Quotes: Full Of Shit

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Word Search: Bette Midler Music

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Transformed Space

Brooklyn Daily Eagle Transformed Space Sept. 27, 2013 Gil Hodges Community Garden Opening_CREDIT Mia McDonald (2) The New York Restoration Project (NYRP) recently completed the renovation of its Gil Hodges Community Garden in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood, thanks to support from Jo Malone London and a New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Green Infrastructure Grant. The transformation turns the space into the first NYRP community garden with high-performance storm water infrastructure. The 3,140-square-foot garden is located at the flood-prone intersection of Carroll Street and Denton Place, an area regularly impacted by storm water runoff and industrial pollutants. NYRP resolved to address the immediate hydrological needs of the neighborhood by retrofitting the garden with permeable pavers, flood-tolerant plants and a rain garden. NYRP also installed a DEP-designed bioswale in the sidewalk adjacent to the garden that manages stormwater runoff from Denton Place and the sidewalk. In total, these components will manage 150,000 gallons of stormwater annually, thereby easing pressure on the City’s sewer system and reducing overflows into the Gowanus Canal. “Renovation of the Gil Hodges Community Garden showcases a powerful public-private partnership between NYRP, Jo Malone London, and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection,” said Amy Freitag, NYRP executive director. “Each partner is committed to building a vital community space that will reduce pollution, increase biodiversity and protect water quality.” The design in and around the garden incorporates new elements that naturally absorb and filter rain water. On Denton Place, a DEP-designed street tree bioswale, which is a street tree in an enlarged bed with native plants and a low curb, diverts and reuses about 65,000 gallons of storm water annually. Monitoring equipment has also been installed in the bioswale that will record data for three years and be analyzed by the City College of New York. This data will supply helpful information about how the bioswale performs over time. A rain garden and permeable pavers will manage the nearly 85,000 gallons of stormwater that falls on the garden each year, making it a model for outdoor urban architecture and landscape design. “By managing stormwater where it falls and keeping it out of the combined sewer system, the Gil Hodges Community Garden will reduce overflows and contribute to a healthier and cleaner Gowanus Canal,” said DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland. “We are pleased to partner with NYRP on the renovation of the garden that will serve as a beautiful community amenity and help to increase awareness about environmental stewardship.” In addition to being a model for outdoor urban architecture and landscape design, the garden plays a crucial role as a public community asset that cultivates social resilience. Community members enjoy the garden’s new fragrance walk, inspired by Jo Malone London, featuring lush, textural and aromatic plants, including sweetbay magnolia, ruby spice summersweet, orange azalea and mountainmint. A birch reading grove and patio provide quiet getaways for passive recreation. The garden also has an outdoor classroom area complete with blackboard, a composting station and raised vegetable beds. Together, these garden features make Gil Hodges a beautiful retreat for all ages and seasons. “Gardens are the heart of communities all over the world and represent a major source of inspiration for Jo Malone London,” says Maureen Case, President of Jo Malone London and Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, The Estee Lauder Companies. “We are thrilled to partner with NYRP and continue our mission of supporting charities that bring beauty – and enhanced environmental health – to urban spaces. We hope the Brooklyn garden renovation will inspire other neighborhood green spaces.” The garden was designed by Yvi McEvilly, NYRP’s Director of Design and Stantec Consulting Inc., with help from EDesign Dynamics and Patrick Cullina, former High Line VP of Horticulture and Park Operations, and consulting from George Smith of The City College of New York. One of 52 community gardens owned and managed by NYRP throughout the city, the Gil Hodges Community Garden is located at 534 Carroll Street in Brooklyn, New York. Founded by Bette Midler in 1995, New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming open space in under-resourced communities to create a greener, more sustainable New York City. Unlike traditional conservancies that care for a specific place, NYRP is the only New York City conservancy that works citywide, bringing private resources to spaces that lack adequate municipal support. NYRP is also the leading private partner of the City of New York in MillionTreesNYC – an initiative to plant and care for one million new trees throughout New York City’s five boroughs. To learn more, visit www.nyrp.org.
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Word Search: Bette Midler Music

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BetteBack February 20, 1983: Bette On Nudity In Movies

Elyria Chronicle Telegram February 20, 1983 003 BETTE MIDLER, in Rolling Stone, on whether she’d ever do a nude scene in a film: “I’ll never do a nude scene in pictures, never, ever. They couldn’t pay me enough. Because I don’t want people judging my parts. I would never give the public a chance to judge me in that personal fashion, to say, ‘Well, I wouldn’t exactly throw my wife out of bed over her.’ Let them judge my face, not my parts.
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