BootLeg Betty

BetteBack January 11, 1986: Bette Midler isn’t really Down and Out

Alton Telegraph January 11, 1986 309827_223688131038165_221327031274275_541535_191651574_n NEW YORK (AP) – Bette Midler hasn’t lost any of her punch, including the ones that land below the belt. But she may have to quit singing her theme song, Friends, after certain celebrities hear her new album. The title may just say it all: “Mud WILL Be Flung Tonight.” She talked about her latest work one recent afternoon at her New York loft. There’s a new movie, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, as well as her comedy LP, which recalls some of the wickedness of her early days when she wisecracked to a mostly gay audience at New York’s Continental Baths. “It’s not a lot of mud, it’s just twit mud,” she said, with a mock pout. As for having any friends left after the album’s release, she took a thoughtful pull on a cigarette, and laughed: “I didn’t have any friends when I started.” From quips about Bruce Springsteen (“Brur “eu look good. What happentv..”) to imitations of Meryl Streep’s accent to merciless digs at Sally Field’s screeching “You like me!” Academy Award acceptance speech, Miss Midler’s album proves she’s not only divine, she’s diabolical. “Actually,” she said, “everybody that I dumped on on that record I happen to like a lot.” In fact, the album is just good, foul-mouthed fun, and it carries a disclaimer sticker: “This album contains material that may be deemed offensive by Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and Prince. For adults only.” Midler also sings several songs, including a ditty about the invention of the brassiere, and reprises the Sophie Tucker routines from her “De Tour” tour of 1982-83. But what Miss M was really up to in much of 1985 was shooting a movie with a few of Hollywood’s bad boys, appearing at benefits, including the Live Aid concert and getting to know her husband of one year. “I finished a film with … Nick Nolle and Richard Dreyfuss, and that was a great experience,” she said. “Dick Dreyfuss was hysterically funny and charming, and Nick Nolte was great, too. The three of us have not the best reputations in town … but we were good. We were all on real good behavior and very supportive of one another and it was tremendous.” The movie, which opens Jan. 30, is a remake of the Jean Renoir, classic, Boudou Saved From Drowning, with Nolte playing a bum who tries to drown himself in the swimming pool of a Beverly Hills family. “The husband (Dreyfuss) is having a kind of crisis and he invites the bum to stay over, much to the chagrin of the wife, and that’s the character I play,”, she said. “The bum sort of turns the household inside out and gets them to take a good, hard look at the frivolity and silliness of their _ways.” What Midler liked most about making the film was getting to play a Beverly Hills society matron. “I went to Rodeo Drive. I had lunch at the Bistro, I shopped, I had my nails done. I lived at Neiman- Marcus, practically,” she said. “I really, really enjoyed myself, and without any guilt at all, because you usually think nobody with any brain could do it for real.” While Midler’s post office address is Beverly Hills, she really lives in Coldwater Canyon. “They let you know you’re on the wrong side of the street, and I happen to be on the wrong side of the street.” But the tribulations of Beverly Hills living are unimportant to Midler, who said her marriage last December to Martin von Haselberg has given her a new sense of peace. “It has had a tremendous calming effect on me. He’s very supportive, and I’ve discovered that it’s nice to be supportive of someone else, too, which is a big step forward,” she said. Von Haselberg is a commodities trader and performance artist. As Harry Kipper, von Haselberg was one of the Kipper Kids, a duo whose act included throwing food on the audience and each other. After originally meeting at a \ King Crimson concert, an ( encounter she doesn’t remember at! all, Midler and von Haselberg jdidn’t go out together until about ; two years later when he invited her s to see a perfomance artist with \ him. ; “He showed up in this suit made ; out of possibly the loudest plaid ‘ ever woven. He looked like a used : car salesman on acid,” said Midler. “And we went out and had dinner and that was that.”
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