Monthly Archives: June 2016

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Celebritie’s Chef – Stephen Pulman

Sunshine Coast Daily Meet Mooloolaba’s celebrities’ chef By Janine Hill | 29th Jun 2016 6:44 PM b88193242z1_20160629184518_000g1c7e6gc2-0-fmhtajso3ajo54kogm2_fct1803x1340x147x17_ct620x465 YOU’VE heard of celebrity chefs? Stephen Pulman is the celebrities’ chef. During a career which has spanned 57 years, Mr Pulman has cooked for some of the world’s most famous actors and singers, and royalty. Photos on the walls of the small Bin 106 restaurant at Mooloolaba tell only part of the story: John Wayne, Bette Midler, Spike Milligan, Neil Diamond, Bridget Bardot, Meryl Streep, Princess Diana, Princess Margaret, Prince Andrew, Princess Grace and Prince Rainier, to name a few. Mr Pulman started his career peeling potatoes at the May Fair but also worked at the exclusive Annabel’s, Mirabelle, and The Belfry in London, and Papagayo in St Tropez. His first brush with celebrity came when, as a sous chef at The Belfry, he was asked to go into the restaurant to meet Dame Joan Sutherland. “I was only about 21 at the time and didn’t know her from a bar of soap,” he said. Mr Pulman did not get always get to chat to his famous customers but had a half hour conversation with Bette Midler after preparing a rose-coloured buffet for the launch of The Rose at The Ritz. “She stood out talking to us for half an hour, and then was asked to go in, and did a quick tour of the lounge room and left. She’d spent more time talking to us,” he said. He has fond memories of Neil Diamond rehearsing for a show at Annabel’s. “My staff were all lined up on chairs along the dance floor and he turned everything around and sang to them,” he said. Mr Pulman said he had never been worried about cooking for big names. “They love to be treated as normal people. As I’m walking to you is how I’d talk to any of them,” he said. He said he had been asked several times to write a book “but I haven’t got around to it.” His career could easily have taken another turn had he taken up an offer to become a road manager for a muso friend he grew up with in Soho – Cat Stevens. But he is confident he made a better chef than he would have made a road manager. “My career had just started taking off. I was just about to become sous chef and head chef. I wasn’t confident that he would make it,” he said. “I went to hear him recording. I Love My Dog by Cat Stevens. I said, ‘You’re joking?’ It go to number two, so what do I know? His next song went to number one.” During nearly five years in restaurants at Mooloolaba, Mr Pulman has kept a low profile. He said he enjoyed cooking for everyone famous or not. “What really pleases me the most is when ordinary Australians come in and they don’t know what to expect and they’ve never had food like we have, and all of a sudden, their eyes light up when they’ve tasted something they’ve never had before.” But he is not done with cooking for celebrities and has a list he would like to cook for, including David Attenborough, Oprah Winfrey Angelina Jolie, Stephen Hawking, Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock, Russell Crowe and the Minogue sisters. He hopes local celebrities will also frequent Bin 106 and have their photos added to the walls. More of Mr Pulman’s celebrity reminiscences: Author Roald Dahl – “He came to the restaurant with his girlfriend. I was talking to him and said I’d never read any of his books. A signed copy of one of his books came the next day.” Comedian Ronnie Corbett – “He came into the restaurant one day about 2.30pm, after lunch. He walked in with his wife and I was playing some obscure music by Flanagan and Allen from the 1940s. I’m standing there talking to Ronnie and his wife is singing to the music and said, ‘Do you know I was in the chorus line with Flanagan and Allen?” Tina Turner – “I served Tina Turner a plate of sandwiches. She was going through that phase with Ike at the time. The sound system went down and she told everyone to come back next week and she did, and she did it all again.” Spike Milligan – “I really like Spike Milligan. I’ve seen him at two or three of the restaurants I’ve worked in. He used to play squash in our squash club, along with John Cleese. Spike did an ad for Minis, and he had a Mini with a big British flag on the roof. I just had a Lancia. I was driving out of the carpark one day and he drove across the carpark and stopped in front of me and said, ‘Why are you driving a foreign car?’ in a humour way, of course.” Meryl Streep – “An introvert like me. Lovely woman. Quiet, unassuming, down to earth, pretty easy to talk to.”
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Bette Midler On Society: “There’s too much emphasis on youth and beauty today, she maintains. What else is there – there’s youth, beauty, drugs and sex. The truth is there’s the real world and the world the media project on to the real world, which is not the real world…

Bette Midler On Society: “There’s too much emphasis on youth and beauty today, she maintains. What else is there – there’s youth, beauty, drugs and sex. The truth is there’s the real world and the world the media project on to the real world, which is not the real world. But some people see that as the real world and because they’re not part of it, they feel they’re missing out. It’s an illusion but they’re sucked up into it. If you allow yourself to be manipulated by these images then you’ll be disappointed because it’s not possible to live that life.” (Daily Record, Sept.25, 1996) Bette Midler: Bootleg Betty's photo.
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I Put A Spell On You – Bette Midler – Hocus Pocus 1993

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BetteBack September 21, 1996: A MEMBER OF THE CLUB, AND LOVING IT – An Interview With Olivia Goldsmith

A MEMBER OF THE CLUB, AND LOVING IT The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY) September 21, 1996 | KATHLEEN SAMPEY – Associated Press
Film ´Der Club der Teufelinnen´ (The first wives club), USA 1996, Regie Hugh Wilson, Szene mit Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn und Bette Midler gang, flur, verstecken, verbergen hinter mauer wand ecke hervor spähend,

Film ´Der Club der Teufelinnen´ (The first wives club), USA 1996, Regie Hugh Wilson, Szene mit Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn und Bette Midler gang, flur, verstecken, verbergen hinter mauer wand ecke hervor spähend,

Olivia Goldsmith has a guilty pleasure. It doesn’t involve hanging out on Hollywood movie sets schmoozing with such stars as Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler, though she has done her fair share of exactly that. What it does involve is the down-and-dirty pursuit of sitting in coffee shops and people-watching. It’s all a part of the benefits she’s reaping from the blood, sweat and (she assures) tears that went into writing her hugely successful first novel, “The First Wives Club.” “My guiltiest pleasure is watching people at rush hour cram on buses and go to work,” she admits. “Everyone looks so unhappy.” For an author who identifies with, and ultimately rewards, the disenfranchised characters of her novels, pleasure is hardly the word one expects Goldsmith to use. “That’s why it’s guilty!” she nearly shouts from her curled-up position on a cushion-laden sofa in a comfy apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. For some of the characters in her most recent novel, “The Bestseller,” a 9-to-5 job would be a godsend. The story centers on five writers, some vying for spots on best-seller lists, others striving for mere recognition. All constantly teeter on the edge of failure. It’s a frustrating situation with which Goldsmith identifies. She quit her day job at age 33 to begin writing, and got 27 rejection letters for her first effort. In “The Bestseller,” a character has the same experience and commits suicide. “This book is essentially a spoof of publishing,” she says. Whenever someone writes a literary memoir, writers and publishers jump straight to the index to see if they’re mentioned, Goldsmith says. She included an index in the novel, saying it was “just a joke.” The author of “Fashionably Late” and “Flavor of the Month,” Goldsmith, 42, sees her writing mission as one that illuminates the plight of women. “I wrote ‘First Wives Club’ in true indignation,” she says of the book about middle-aged wives whose husbands cast them off for so-called “trophy” types — young, pretty women. “It’s not right. You choose a woman who bears your young and then you discard her for a younger, taller, thinner, blonder model.” For the record, Goldsmith is none of the above, but with her smooth Florida tan (she makes her primary residence there), highlighted brown hair and self-assured demeanor, she is hardly dowdy. Nevertheless, she considers one of her creative “totems” a Medusa pin she owns. The daughter of a civil servant and a schoolteacher, Goldsmith was born in the Bronx, grew up briefly in Manhattan and then spent her adolescence in “exile,” as she says, in New Jersey. She was an education major at New York University, but she never had any intention of teaching. Instead, she entered the lucrative if vague world of management consulting, until she got so bored she began to write. Though her marriage ended bitterly several years ago, Goldsmith is quick to emphasize her “belief in relationships.” But she doesn’t like “the way society structures the man-woman dynamic.” She is now in a long-term relationship with a man eight years her junior. She is also childless, but not by choice, having suffered two miscarriages. Women are under more pressure in more aspects of life than men, she continues. “We are expected to have jobs now. We are expected to raise the family. We’re responsible for the home, and we have to have thin thighs. Nobody can do it.” Still, Goldsmith says women in powerful positions were why “First Wives Club” was published and made into a movie, though it didn’t happen in that order. “This world definitely needs more female leadership,” she insists, and for clarification snaps, “But not (like) Maggie Thatcher, who’s a guy in a skirt.” Despite the seeming stridency of these remarks, Goldsmith has a remarkably agreeable disposition. She is quick to smile or offer to make up for having arrived late from Vermont, where she lives part of the year. “I’ll buy you dinner,” she insists repeatedly. And if she’s tough on the Thatchers of the world, she also casts a cold eye on her own foibles, even her limits as a writer. “I know the difference between great art and solid craftsmanship. I do solid craftsmanship. I wish I were Tolstoy, but I’m not,” she shrugs. “Anyway, he’s dead.”
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Bette Midler On Movies: “I would have liked to have made a really great picture. The last picture that really told me something about the human condition was maybe `The Godfather’, ” she says. I also liked `The Birdcage’, it was sweet.”

Bette Midler On Movies: “I would have liked to have made a really great picture. The last picture that really told me something about the human condition was maybe `The Godfather’, ” she says. I also liked `The Birdcage’, it was sweet.” (Daily Record, Sept.25, 1996) Instagram: bettebae Bette Midler: Bootleg Betty's photo.
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Bette Midler – Bed Of Roses – Diva Las Vegas – 1997

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BetteBack March 19, 1973: Bette Midler Collides With Her Image

Los Angeles Times March 19, 1973 ZZZ031514-PP Bette Midler, who during the past few months has charged up the media-paved road from Cult Figure through Passing Fad to Impending Superstardom, entered the Champagne Room of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel with such conspicuous lack of fanfare the press awaiting her missed its cue. So like the dutiful wife of an aspiring politician just beginning his rise to the top, Bette Midler held out a hand politely and pleasantly asked the names of the reporters who were meeting with her for lunch in anticipation of the corseted chanteuse’s concert Saturday night. “I’ve never seen you not in costume,” one reporter shyly hastened to explain. “But, dahling, I am in costume,” replied Bette with a nod to the purple pantsuit that she wore, “this is early usherette.” So then what else had the press been expecting? Had even they come to believe the fripperies of the copy they wrote? Had all their Photoplay prose sucked them in? – stories about this daft Jewish girl from Hawaii – the very essence of camp – you know the one, the girl who made it really big performing for the great gay brother hood of New York’s Continental Baths – the Divine Miss M, as she calls herself – the last of the truly tacky ladies. Oh my, as Bette herself might answer, always careful to keep one step ahead of her chroniclers, they do not understand. “I just like to give ’em a good time, you know,” Bette said of her current concert tour. ‘It’s like a party. I never had any parties when I was a kid – I never went to any and I never gave any – so it’s like I’m the hostess and they’re the guests and I do all the entertaining and they just sit there. “We were in North Carolina a couple of weeks ago and this chick came up to me and she said, ‘You know, you remind me so much of myself. Whenever I go to a party I get drunk and I carry on just exactly the way you carry on.’ And I think that’s what it is.” It is not simply a question of camp, she insisted. “I play the theatrical grand dame. Miss M is larger than life-size. When I was a kid I had to be larger than life-size to make friends and get attention. I didn’t use to enjoy it, but now I do.’ Bette smiles imperiously, the smile on her insouciant pink lips competing for attention with the half-moons of turquoise that rest atop her eyes. “I can’t hear from the cacophony of the cameras,” she says of the photographers about her. But perhaps, it is suggested, Miss M’s shtick is an urban number, nurtured in New York and knowingly seconded by we sophisticates here on the Coast. Bette again demurred: “Oh, the Midwest! They adore me in the Midwest! I don’t understand, I really don’t, but they really like me. Out there on the Great Plains! All the corn and the cattle. They don’t see too many sequins, I guess. “My act is terribly American. Everyone understands it because they’ve all lived it out. In Europe – where they’re not really crazy about America in the first place -they’re disdainful. They think I’m a bit hyped over there. They weren’t really nuts over my record and they can’t figure out what all the excitement is about.” For the moment, Bette continued, she had no intention of abandoning the act. “I have a lot of things I have to do yet with the show. It hasn’t gotten to where I want it. I need a couple more years at it – before I give it up. “I never sang with a rock ‘n’ roll band, but I’m thinking about taking that instrumentation and doing a whole range of material. And I’d like the act to get much faster, speedier. You know how Tina Turner starts – very fast. Well, I’m fast but I’m not as fast as she is. I would like to be as fast or faster than Miss Turner. “You see, a lot of my music has been body music. There’s body music and there’s head music and there’s emotional music and I’d like my act to be a lot more body music because I love to dance and I love to get people to dance. All kinds of dancing . . .” Bette broke into a kind of reverie: “The Lindy. The Boston Monkey. The Stop-and-Go. I eventually would like to have an act where people couldn’t sit still.” In June, Bette promised, she will return to Los Angeles – possibly to an engagement at the Greek Theater . . . this summer she will record a second album. . . . she would love to return to the stage if a musical with good dialog could be found . . . or do a movie, a wild comedy, perhaps, or a serious dramatic role . . . Sarah Bernhardt‘s life or Edith Piaf’s. Or Dorothy Parker’s, a woman present suggests. “But some of you haven’t opened your mouths all afternoon,” Bette suddenly scolded. ‘Now is that any way – here it is a free lunch and everything. Come on, get hot, let’s get intimate.” And with that, the press luncheon dissolved into a coffee klatch, Bette Midler presiding, again asking the names of each of her guests in shaking their hands goodbye, having shown herself to be not half as tacky a lady as Miss M might care to admit. BetteBack Review September 20, 1996: SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT `FIRST WIVES CLUB’
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Bette Midler’s Family Has the Craziest Pool House: “It’s Like a Mullet”

Elle Decor HOUSE TOUR: Bette Midler‘s Minimalist, Moroccan-Inspired Pool House In New York By Nancy Hass JUN 29, 2016 Driven by his love of simple country churches, artist Martin von Haselberg crafts a pool house on his property in Millbrook, New York, that is full of playful surprises.

It is a word so heinous to Martin von Haselberg that his cultured, British art school–inflected voice drops half an octave when he finally spits it out: “Neutral? One thing I hate is neutral.”

Fortunately, there is little danger that such an adjective will ever be used to describe the poolhouse he created from the ground up on his 110-acre estate, on the outskirts of genteel Millbrook, New York, 90 minutes north of Manhattan. The 1,200-square-foot building has more conceptual twists than a Luis Buñuel film, and it is just as gobsmacking. “I never want to be classified or tied to a particular reality,” says von Haselberg, a former performance artist who, in the heyday of punk, was half of an iconic duo called the Kipper Kids, which influenced everyone from the Blue Man Group to Karen Finley. ...  Read More

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

BetteBack Review September 20, 1996: SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT `FIRST WIVES CLUB’

Los Angeles Daily News September 20, 1996 | Amy Dawes Daily News Film Critic
Film ´Der Club der Teufelinnen´ (The first wives club), USA 1996, Regie Hugh Wilson, Szene mit Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn & Bette Midler, kostüm, perlenkette, brille, nickelbrille halbfigur, freundinnen,

Film ´Der Club der Teufelinnen´ (The first wives club), USA 1996, Regie Hugh Wilson, Szene mit Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn & Bette Midler, kostüm, perlenkette, brille, nickelbrille halbfigur, freundinnen,

There’s a chance that “The First Wives Club” – a glossy revenge fantasy for women of a certain age – will hit a nerve the way “Waiting to Exhale” did and become a decent-size hit among the fed- up females who identify with it. There’s a chance, too, that the boomer audience it’s aimed at will decide that aging is too sensitive a topic for laughs. Either way, stars Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton have their work cut out for them when it comes to mining broad comedy from so prickly a subject, and too often, it feels as though the the joke’s on them. Based on the best-selling novel by Olivia Goldsmith, the movie gives us three well-heeled New York women who were pals in college and have since gone their separate ways. Two of them married well and took much of their identity from their husbands’ success, to which they contributed; another (Hawn) became a movie star and used her advantages to help boost the career of her studio executive spouse. What they have in common is that each has recently been dumped for a younger model, invariably portrayed as an airheaded gold-digger (one is played by “Showgirls’ ” Elizabeth Berkley, no less). Brought together by the suicide of an old schoolmate (Stockard Channing), the women basically decide to put aside their differences, get mad and get even. They establish a clubhouse (!) for meetings, and the movie plays out as a broad, lively fantasy, in which they carry out various daring high jinks and maneuvers designed to help each of them take their smug ex-husbands to the cleaners. Screenwriter Robert Harling has pared Goldsmith’s novel down to its breezy essentials, and he supplies a lot of the same kind of bitchy zingers that made his femme comedy “Steel Magnolias” delightful. Midler is ideally suited for slinging the one-liners, and all three of the women give exuberant, energetic performances, though one wishes that Keaton, playing the same harmless, lovable ditz she’s sustained from “Annie Hall” to “Father of the Bride, Part II,” would sort of … grow up. Still, so much of the humor in “First Wives Clubs” comes at the women’s own expense – the first act is a virtual symphony of age-related humiliations and petty female competitiveness – that one can’t help squirming. Aren’t they playing into the same kind of musty, gender-based attitudes that oppress them? The movie’s attempts at female empowerment seem out of touch, and it doesn’t help when the soundtrack blares Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox’s dated-sounding 1980s anthem “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves.” In this movie, it too often feels as if sisters are doing it to themselves. The facts The film: “The First Wives Club” (PG; adult references). The stars: Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Bronson Pinchot, Dan Hedaya, Steven Collins, Victor Garber, Marcia Gay Harden. Behind the scenes: Directed by Hugh Wilson. Written by Robert Harling, based on the novel by Olivia Goldsmith. Produced by Scott Rudin. Released by Paramount Pictures. Running time: One hour, 43 minutes. Playing: Citywide. Our rating: Three stars
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Bette Midler On Marruage And Divorce: “You know what I think, too many people have unrealistic expectations about life and marriage is a tough road…

Bette Midler On Marruage And Divorce: “You know what I think, too many people have unrealistic expectations about life and marriage is a tough road. If you think anything else then it’s a big mistake. I think the tough thing about divorce is the effect on the kids. It can be devastating. A lot never recover from it. I would never do that to a child,. I don’t see how people can.” (Daily Record, Sept.25, 1996) Bette Midler: Bootleg Betty's photo.
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