Monthly Archives: May 2015

Sunday, May 31, 2015

10 Surprising Bette Midler Cover Songs

Buzzfeed 10 Surprising Bette Midler Cover Songs posted on Jun. 5, 2014, at 6:44 p.m. 928821_1466368166988166_1069516634_n Over the years, Bette Midler’s music has often been dismissed for being too schmaltzy or because she tends to go way, way old school with her cover choices, and while the former might be relative, as to the latter, she tackled the Rosemary Clooney songbook in 2003, then followed it in 2005 by covering the Peggy Lee songbook. Not that there’s anything wrong with tackling standards, but there was a time not so long ago when Midler was turning in versions of some pretty awesome contemporary tunes. 1. Tom Waits, “Shiver My Timbers” Midler originally covered this song – which featured on Waits’ 1974 album, The Heart of Saturday Night – on Songs for the New Depression (1976), where it was paired with “Samedi et Vendredi,” an original co-written by Midler and longtime Utopia member Moogy Klingman. The following year, she covered it all by its lonesome on her concert album, Live at Last. Possibly not by coincidence, she and Waits recorded a duet that same year: “I Never Talk to Strangers,” which can be found both on her Broken Blossom album and his Foreign Affairs album. (Midler also recorded a cover of Waits’ “Martha” that didn’t make the cut for Broken Blossom, but she performed it beautifully on Saturday Night Live.) 2. Bob Dylan, “Buckets of Rain” Midler’s cover of “Buckets of Rain” was actually performed with the man who composed it. According to Aaron Russo, Midler’s manager at the time, “Dylan wanted [Bette] to be in his Rolling Thunder Revue movie. They were talking about it and she said, ‘Well, there’s a possibility I’ll do it, but I would like you to sing a song with me.’ He came to the studio one night, and they just went out and did this piece.” “Buckets of Rain” wasn’t the first song Dylan suggested, however: per the website Bette on the Boards, “When Bob Dylan was first approached to do a duet with Bette on this album, he wanted to record a version of ‘Friends.’ Moogy Klingman reluctantly rehearsed Bette and Bob doing this song, but it became quite clear that it was a bad choice.” 3. Neil Young, “Birds” In the intro to her version of “Birds,” which originally appeared on Neil Young’s 1970 album, After the Gold Rush, Midler teases Young a bit, calling him “mellow and laid back,” then tries so hard to get into the same mindset that she can’t remember if she’s actually performed the song or not, asking the audience, “Did I sing the ballad yet? Was it wonderful?” 4. Sammy Hagar, “Red” The more casual Midler fans are likely aware of her second Sammy Hagar cover, “Keep On Rockin’,” since it appeared on the multi-platinum-selling soundtrack to her 1980 film, The Rose. The diehards, however, will recall that she tackled the song that helped secure the Red Rocker his longtime nickname on 1977’s Broken Blossom. 5. Bob Seger, “Fire Down Below” Speaking of The Rose, Midler can be heard covering Bob Seger’s “Fire Down Below” in the film, yet the track never actually made its way onto the soundtrack. Fortunately, she decided to add the song to her setlist, resulting in its appearance on her 1980 concert album, Divine Madness. 5-20-2015 6-06-41 PM

6. Marshall Crenshaw, “You’re My Favorite Waste of Time” ...  Read More

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Pink Cadillac Cadillac Walk – Art Or Bust -1982 – Bette Midler

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Bette Midler РBei Mir Bist Du Sch̦n (Staples Center, Los Angeles CA 5/28/15)

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Divine Intervention Updated Set List

002 Set list Main set: Divine Intervention / I Look Good comedy segment / I’ve Still Got My Health / Do You Wanna Dance? / Throw It Away / Tell Him (the Exciters cover) / Bei Mir Bist Du Schön (the Andrews Sisters cover) / Waterfalls (TLC cover) / Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen cover) / I Think It’s Going to Rain Today (Randy Newman cover) / I Put a Spell on You (Nina Simone cover) / Yakety Sax / Bird In the Hand / A Visit from Soph comedy segment / RIP Delores video tribute / Beast of Burden (The Rolling Stones cover) Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most (Ella Fitzgerald cover) / The Rose / From a Distance / Stay With Me Encore: Wind Beneath My Wings / Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (The Andrews Sisters cover) *Miss Otis Regrets, Tenderly, He’s Sure the Boy I Love/Da Doo Ron Ron, and Be My Baby were originally in the set but have been dropped, at least at this writing. Do You Wanna Dance? replaced Tenderly
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Divine Intervention Meet And Greets: Bette Midler And Ron G.

Ron with Bette 2015 Download Ron with Divine 2 again The venue: The MGM Grand Garden City Arena is a huge Arena (same place Mayweather fought Pacquio a couple weeks ago), that was probably about 85% full. Most of the floor seats were taken, but there were quite a few empty seats scattered throughout the bleachers. I was in the third row center, and it turns out the entire third row started the “meet and greeters”. For most of the fans who remembered her at the cushy Caesar’s Palace, we were quite disappointed with the venue seating. For $1,250 we were sandwiched in with zero leg room in front of us, sitting on folding chairs. In fact, we were so packed in that it was impossible for any of us to get up to go to the bathroom (a challenge with a 2-hour straight-through performance with no intermission) without the entire row getting up and exiting to the aisle to let us get in and out. In fact, that’s exactly what we did. Right before the performance started (30 minutes late), those of us who partook in the open bar felt we’d better hit the restroom before the show, so six of us decided to take a quick trip to the loo at the same time. I understand from the ushers that all of her performances are slated to start at least 20 minutes late, with the single 45-minute late performance on her tour being the exception. The 30-minute late start seemed appropriate as there was a 5.4 earthquake in California that afternoon, and part of the Vegas freeway was closed down due to a crack in the asphalt. What should have been a 20 minute trip to the MGM ended up taking over an hour, due to an overflow of bumper to bumper cars making their way through the cross-streets of Vegas.. The VIP room: A standard convention-style meeting room with round tables that sat about 10 per table. Food was excellent, and included some of the best pot roast and mashed potatoes I’ve ever eaten. An open bar, added to the touch, with wine and spirits in abundance, for those who wanted to pass on the soft drinks. I’d say there were close to 60 people in the VIP room, which was a sizeable amount considering each paid $1,000+ per ticket. (see posts below for photos) Set Design and Costumes: A quite novel twist on Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, the show started similar to the tornado-like intro we saw at Caesar’s. I found out that the image on the curtains was a projected screen-shot, and the entire back wall of the stage was also a projection screen that displayed quite a few moving video-type images. This leap in technology had to save a lot of money for set design, and looked absolutely stunning, as various images moved throughout each song in the performance. Costumes were similar to shows in the past, but definitely outstanding: frills, feathers, and sequins that were tastefully over the top. The Performance: Bette‘s voice was in top form, and I loved the way she would slightly change her vocal intonations on some songs to reflect a more subdued passion in the lyrics. What I love about Bette is she has a way of singing a song, and you always get the feeling that you’re hearing the song for the very first time. Her depth as an actor really illuminates her vocal delivery, and it was difficult to get through some of her ballads without shedding a tear. I felt the song set was more of a retrospective from over the years, highlighting some of the songs not as frequently sung in the past. Her jokes were contemporary and fresh, and I felt that there was a valiant effort to make this a “new” concert, rather than relive the same concert that we’ve experienced so many times in the past. Of course, her standards were there, and she delivered with huge enthusiasm from the crowd. Backup Harlettes were pitch perfect, and oh so fun to watch. The Songs: It appears that Bette dropped a couple songs, perhaps due to the late start. I don’t recall her singing Miss Otis Regrets, and yes, the previously dropped “Be My Baby” and “Tenderly” remained missing. She added another song mid-set, that wasn’t on the list, but sadly I was unfamiliar, so couldn’t quite catch the title. That song, however, along with “Everybody Knows” could easily become hits, or at minimum show up on her next CD. This was clearly not an “It’s the Girls” tour, as only three songs made it: “Tell Him”, “Bei Mir Mist du Schoen” and “Waterfalls”. The Legend: Mister D, I have to be straight and honest about this, but even though we all love Bette dearly, I have a feeling this may be her last tour. She’s starting to “lose it”, although she is such a professional, she did an amazing job covering up some of her lapses in performance with jokes and panache. In many ways, the show came across as un-rehearsed. Either she was very nervous, or needed a few more practice sessions to get it right. She had to pause midway through many of her jokes to remember the story or the punchline. She started to sing one song only to have the band stop, so she could start over as she forgot the lyrics. Even though the running gag is that we’re all so old together that we’re on oxygen, it almost became a crutch for her forgetfulness. It wasn’t hugely apparent, as it provided a bit of playfulness and comic relief for the audience, but it happened so many times throughout her performance that I started to get concerned. It came close to me wondering whether she would be able to make it through to the end of her set. (Mister D: Ron and I have emailed back and forth and it was brough to his attention that most of Miss M’s forgetfulness was part of the act.) The ***Meet and Greet***: Don, if you don’t mind getting a phone call from me, please let me know your number and the best time to call. I’d love to talk about this with you, or you may call me at home, xxx-xxx-xxxx. Briefly, though, the “meet and greet” was really a mass-production stand-in-line, 15 seconds per person photo opportunity. Bette commented on my shirt (it had vertical black and white stripes, so she asked if I was a bowler). I didn’t reply to that as I wanted to quickly get out that I had seen her 50 times in concert over the past 40 years, starting at the Berkeley Community Theater in the early 70’s. I also mentioned that she is just as ‘perfect’ today as she was back in 1973, when I first saw her. I also mentioned that I had the good fortune to meet her four times previously and also had the opportunity to meet or encounter some of her best and biggest fans along the way: Richie Blumberg, Don Bandel and Linda Gentile, Darrell Redmond, and of course, yours truly, Don Bradshaw! She stopped me at Don Bandel and said “I know him”, but I kind of got the feeling she didn’t quite believe me, and really had to pause, as if to scratch her head, with the somewhat awkward babbling on my part. I closed with, “all of your fans love you”, and she thanked me for attending the show. My fifteen seconds were up, and I was warned in advance by one of the ushers that I couldn’t really ‘chat’ as there was a long line of people waiting to get their picture taken. Hope you’re well, Don, and I’d like to know more about how you’re doing personally. I turned on a few people sitting at the VIP table to your website, and they instantly jumped on your site to check out Bootleg Betty. Oddly, in my conversations with about a half-dozen fans there, most had only seen Bette in concert once or twice before, which I found surprising for their age (yes, we’re all getting up there), and the price that was paid for these tickets. That was the head-scratcher for me. I have to close (you know me, I can go on and on forever), but I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your persistence, diligence, and dedication in keeping up with the best of Bette, and the best website out there!! You are the wind beneath all of our wings!!! xx Ron
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Behind The Scenes At Bette Midler’s Divine Intervention: VIP Souvenirs And Tour Merchandise ((Ron G.)

Well, I saw the Divine last night, and enjoyed the meet and greet. The VIP package came with a burlap branded tote bag, an autographed (?) picture of Bette from the tour, and a special VIP room with catered buffet dinner, an open bar, and a chance to meet other fans. The show was exhilarating, and she was in top form for many of the songs. VIP Souvenirs
Signed Photo Framed

Signed Photo Framed

Tote with VIP Badge

Tote with VIP Badge

VIP Pass Flip Side

VIP Pass Flip Side

Merchandise Souvenir Closeup 3 Souvenir Closeup Souvenir Shop 2 Souvenir Shop
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Behind The Scenes At Bette Midler’s Divine Intervention: Catered Food, Open Bar, Meet And Greet CenterPiece (Ron G.)

The VIP room: A standard convention-style meeting room with round tables that sat about 10 per table. Food was excellent, and included some of the best pot roast and mashed potatoes I’ve ever eaten. An open bar, added to the touch, with wine and spirits in abundance, for those who wanted to pass on the soft drinks. I’d say there were close to 60 people in the VIP room, which was a sizeable amount considering each paid $1,000+ per ticket.


More yummy!

More yummy!

I'm going to explode yummy!

I’m going to explode yummy!

The Divine Shrine!

The Divine Shrine!

Yay! Alcoholic Beverages1

Yay! Alcoholic Beverages1

Meet and Greet Open Bar
And a beautiful centerpiece!

And a beautiful centerpiece!

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BetteBack January 21, 1990: Bette Midler And Cher To Star In ‘Angry Housewives’ (This Would’ve Been A Hit!)

Galveston Daily News January 21, 1990 67a513857c68571b2c7aebd8978868f3 Evidently Cher isn’t the only one who has fantasized about being in a punk band. Bette Midler is going to co-star with Cher in the new movie “Angry Housewives,” in which the title characters chuck it all to stand onstage and incite mayhem. The flame-haired Divine Miss M and dark “Witch of Eastwick” also will sing in the movie, which should make for at least one unusual duet. Cher actually made a halfway serious stab at being a punky gypsy lady around 1980 with her band Black Rose.

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  • Midler’s Almost-Forgotten Debut Album Still Remains A Classic Of The ’70s Nostalgia/Camp Boom
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    Divine Intervention Meet And Greets: Bette Midler And Steve Finkle

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    The Critics Are Raving: Bette’s Still Got It!

    Jewish Business News Bette Midler Wows At LA’s Staples Center May 31, 2015 bette-midler Bette Midler’s still got it. The critics are raving about her performance last week at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Variety wrote, “At 69 years-old, with legs like a Rockette and a voice as rich and smooth as velvet, Midler is such a charismatic wonder it’s a shame she doesn’t run for president. The legendary star has lost nothing of the bawdy wit and madcap antics — “I’m going to lift your spirits like a boob job,” she teased the crowd — with which she started out in the late-1960’s, a ginger-haired, Hawaiian-born Jewess who cut her teeth on the great white way, where for three years she played Tzeitel in the original Broadway production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” sweeping the stage with a broom, pining for a more glamorous life that would surely come.” And in case you thought that this was just a one time example, Middler also blew away the crowd at the Honda Center in Anaheim Friday night. The Orange County Register said, “At 69, the singer-actress-comedian still does it all: Songs that make you smile or laugh, songs that move your heart and soul. A quick wit and a bawdy sense of humor. Costumes that go from goofy – the bird-plumaged get-ups Midler and her three Harlettes donned midway through the night – to the glitz of the magenta sequined gown in which Midler closed her performance.”
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