Video: A Rowdy Intro To “The Rose” Straight Into ‘Memphis’ On Bette Midler’s First World Tour

Bette Midler World Tour
<strong><em>Bette Midler World Tour<em><strong>

I just happened upon this video clip of Bette Midler singing “The Rose” and “Midnight In Memphis” on her 1978 World Tour and it reminded me of how fun, spontaneous, raunchy, and hilarious Bette could be in her pre-film career. In this clip It takes her forever to start singing “The Rose” because shes screaming at the audience to shut up, then she does an impersonation of John Hurt in Alien and what it really looked like to her. But she’s doing all these spontaneous funny things and then she just transforms into singing the gentle, emotional song “The Rose”, and that’s always been part of her genius. This was from her first World Tour and she had wrapped “The Rose” movie which had not come out yet.

Nobody, except moi, knew that she would blow everybody away in herit and would win the Oscar before anything was filmed and she would have to change if she was going to become huge star which was her goal. I kid, I’m sure Bette knew, too.

She said at a literacy reading that this concert changed her life. She was drinking too much, felt ill a lot, and angry, and the outrageousness and the gutsiness of, what I gathered, her stage character ‘The Divine Miss M’ is what carried her shows and her persona through the ’70s. But this stage character is the foundation that set her whole career in motion. Without her fearlessness, her breaking down of barriers for women singers, her sailor’s mouth, Soph jokes, her insane energy just moving all the time with those tiny little steps, and the characters she created all fed into how bad she felt (she described herself as mean), and she felt she had to change or she would join the unlucky stars that either burned out or died. Linda Ronstadt in a radio interview in the early 80s talked about all the barriers she broke down for women singers, plus she added that she showed it was okay for a woman to work her tail off and not be afraid to show see sweats. lol

In the reading, she said she knew she had to make a choice to change her life and she choked up and said I would have to let go of a character who I loved and built from scratch, but she said that character, The Divine Miss M, comes out here and there still. And we do see that. But change she did. Some fans got angry about it. I missed her myself, but I knew exactly another reason to let her go. She could very easily become a caricature of herself. And sorry, but caricature acts have only so much staying power. If she kept doing the same old act, dressing tacky, yada, yada, yada, then you don’t progress. You could always tell Bette wanted to go the distance. And Bette does morph a lot still….she exceled in every aspect of entertainment and anything she has put her mind to…even arguing tit for tat with one of our Presidents. He threatens to get her, and she hopes someone will get him. But such is politics these days.

But she has had major hits in every decade she’s been working, whether in music, concerts, movies, Tv, books, and philanthropy, especially her own foundation, The New York Restoration Project. So when you hear that tired old refrain that she’s irrelevant, just remember it’s instant human reflex now not to think before you speak. Both sides: Guilty!. I finally read a conservative writer that kept things real. She said publications and their readers lapping their stories up have proven that Bette Midler is relevant. LOL She reminded them that in 2017 she made Broadway history in breaking sales records, and won the Tony award for Best Actress In A Musical Revival in Hello Dolly! She also had maybe a few more hit singles after 1972 that people must have forgotten about, as well as a string of hit movies, 2 Oscar nominations Two hit soundtracks. Several Grammy’s, several Emmys, a buttload o Plus, the girl is not done yet. I think the count is at 3 new movies coming up. Four, if the movie Sharon Stone keeps mentioning in interviews actually comes true. So there you have it. And ok, I added extra to that conservative journalists’ article, but she made her point.

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2 thoughts on “Video: A Rowdy Intro To “The Rose” Straight Into ‘Memphis’ On Bette Midler’s First World Tour

    1. Thanks Todd. I also wanted to tell you how sorry I was for the loss of your beloved cat, especially one you had so long. I had one for 20 years and I was just devastated when she died. I knew it was coming but I would have never been prepared for it xx

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