This is one of the songs I so wanted Bette Midler to record and I was positive she would, There were so many great songs in 1983’s DeTour concert, but oddly not many showed up on her “No Frills” CD. Fine, then I thought we’d be getting a live album. The reviews as to her comeback to the stage were ecstatic. Rock critics who had kind of given her the cold shoulder were saying basically she had mastered her vocal technique to he emotions and to her mannerisms where they didn’t seem overdone….a marriage between cabaret and rock.
When she came out to sing this song it was electrifying. Bette was into it, objecting as if testifying. getting on her knees, and slapping her hand on the stage in defiance. I couldn’t breathe. Perfect song for her future weddings medley. Since I had been out of the closet a few years this song was a staple of many a drag queen’s acts because it was so theatrical and dramatic about a jilted lover going to her man’s wedding and melting down as she objects. The crowd in New Orleans started screaming and jumping up. I literally was so sick I had to be carried in with blanket wrapped around me. I came with Barry and a bunch of friends and we were scattered all over. Most of us in the very top of the theater.
Of course, your idol and a favorite song or just being there in person can alter how you feel. I remember feeling great when the first chords were being played for Pink Cadillac. I was very much into Rock and I thought what the fuck? This sounds like ZZ Topp. I didn’t know who wrote what at the time. Well, I got well really quick, cause she said she was going to do more no-frills rock since The Rose. I loved it from the costumes to the set. I loved the bright colors. So this was just like I pictured heaven. And the shows rock tones were everywhere and it didn’t put a dent into anything I loved about Bette.
But, “It Should’ve Been Me. this song was definitely a highlight. But there were many in this concert. It was just Bette at her peak of artistry to me. But, it didn’t do much for the album and I usually blame the radio for that. She had been pigeonholed, I thought the record company seemed to always pick first what I wouldn’t have picked, and in some instances, I felt she brought it upon herself when she clocked a president of RKO stations over the head for his rude remarks about “Strangers In The Night” but I think I would too. I am shy, but you don’t want to cross me. And maybe that’s a lesson everybody needs to take to heart. Of course, you don’t want people walking all over you.
I think as we’ve learned when she doesn’t record stuff we’ve liked in concert. she truly is trying to bring something different to a song, and sometimes it just doesn’t happen in the studio. Her interpretation was close to the original, but later on, she added a monologue, and that made it better and would have made a fine track on a live album or even a regular one. But she’s the boss and I respect that, but I’ll be damned if I don’t keep looking for bootlegs. I don’t think she’ll release anything in my time from what I’ve gathered from her, so excuse me if I share with other Betteheads what I find. And thank God we have other sites that are looking to share as well: The Divine Miss M Fansite – Bette.Of. Roses
Here is the original version, but with an updated video, by Ms. Yvonne Fair. She did the version I grew up seeing the drag queens do, and I may be prejudiced but I like the old school drags of the ’70s/80’s the most. Probably a generational thing though.