BootLeg Betty

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

Alton Telegraph
January 11, 1986

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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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