BootLeg Betty

Book: The March 12, 1973 Showdown at the Mosque: Bette Midler Emerged Victorious

Concert Pat
The March 12, 1973 Showdown at the Mosque: Bette Midler Emerged Victorious
Posted on March 12, 2015 by Pat DiCesare

Bette Midler, Michael Ochs Archive

“You’re going to pay for this, Mr. DiCesare! You think you pulled something over on me! We’ll see about that, young man!” That was the threat I received 42 years ago today from Miss Steele, the rigid, no-nonsense manager of Pittsburgh’s Syria Mosque performing venue. She was reacting to the behavior of Bette Midler and her devoted fans during a concert I promoted on March 12, 1973.

Bette’s high energy show – complete with her trademark profanity and innuendos – really worked up the audience. Fans danced in the aisles, stood on their seats, smoked away, and swore right along with the Divine Miss M. Miss Steele watched from the sidelines, her anger mounting. She insisted I walk onto the stage and confront Bette – in the middle of her show – and ask her to tone it down. Can you imagine what happened next?

This Bette Midler anecdote has always been one of my favorites. You can read more about it, along with other stories from my concert-promoting days, in my book “Hard Days Hard Nights.” It’s available at Amazon by clicking here.

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