Bette, had finished her promotional radio/gay club tour and it was time for her next national tour to start in October.
Bette would start rehearsing for the tour in September 1999 and the tour would start in Boston on October 8th.
The first show that I saw was on October 25th, at Madison Square Garden, the night before Bette’s Hulaween party and her live show at Madison Square Garden on October 26th.
I knew that I would be seeing the show during Hulaween, but when I found out that Bette had a show the day before I just had to be there to see this new show. Just had to be there!!
I loved this tour, it was a very big production and Bette looked great and her costumes were some of her best for one of her live shows. The sets, the sound, lighting, music, the Harlettes and dancers were great and Bobby Lyle was back as musical director.
These are some photos a friend of mine took at the show on October 26th. As you can see they had a very good camera, not the cheap ones I use.
The next show that I would see was in Dallas, on November 28th. a Sunday night.
This is the show that the night before, Bruce Vilanch and I went out to dinner and then T-shirt shopping for Bruce.
It was a Saturday night and I went down to the hotel where they were all staying to meet Bruce in the lobby before we left for dinner. When I was waiting in the lobby for Bruce, Bette, Sophie and Martin came down and we spoke for a few minutes before they left for dinner.
I found out that they had spent Thanksgiving in New Orleans before heading to Dallas and as they said, “had a great time in New Orleans”.
Bruce came down to the lobby and we headed out for dinner and people were coming up to the table to get his autograph during our dinner. I’m not sure I would enjoy signing autographs during my dinner, but Bruce loved it and was so nice to everyone.
Then we went to the gay strip (bars and shops) of Dallas to get him some t-shirts and when we walked around people would stop us to talk to Bruce and he spoke to them all and signed autographs for everyone that we spoke to. He even gave money to some homeless people.
We ended up our shopping when Bruce wanted to stop a bookstore on the strip to get Bette a book for her birthday that would be in a few days. They would be in Denver for her birthday.
The next night was Bette’s show at Reunion Arena and Dave and I had VIP passes to go backstage after the show.
After hearing me tell him Bette stories for years, Dave was so excited that finally he would get to meet Bette.
I had given Bruce a lot of local information for Bette to use in her show as jokes and as always to hear them made me feel like I was somehow part of the show.
These are my photos from that night in Dallas and as you can see they are not the best, it was my cheap camera.
When the show was over we went to the area to go backstage and had to wait a few minutes.
Once we got back there, they took us to a room where other people were to meet Bette also.
I knew that Bette was going to meet with someone before coming into the room we were in after her meeting.
We waited for a few minutes and then Bruce came in to talk to Dave and I and he said, that Bette was having her meeting and it was taking longer than they had planned on and Bette would not be coming to this room after her meeting to greet everyone.
Bruce, also said, that they would be leaving for the airport in a few minutes and he was sorry, but that he would see me in Houston.
Well, everyone in the room knew who Bruce Vilanch was and once he left they all asked us what did he say to us. So, Dave and I told them that Bette would not be coming to meet them tonight.
Disappointed, we all left the room and headed back to our cars.
So, Dave did not get to meet Bette. He was very disappointed, but understood. I had told him that sometimes just because you get backstage does not mean you will get to see or talk to Bette.
The next show I would be at was in Houston, on November 30th. a Tuesday night.
I would fly down to Houston early on Tuesday and this time I was going to stay at the same hotel they all were staying at in Houston. When I arrive at the hotel, I got what they call a spa-room, which was down by the pool and gym.
Once I got settled in my room, I called Bruce’s room and then went up to see him in his room.
At the time Bruce was head writer for the game show, Hollywood Squares and he was e-mailing in some jokes for the show.
After he got done e-mailing we spoke for a few minutes.
Then I went back down to my room. I had to walk through the gym to get to my room and I saw Bette exercising in the gym. She stopped to speak to me and said that she felt bad that she did not get to meet Dave in Dallas Sunday night. Bette signed this autograph for Dave on hotel paper that day in the gym.
I went back to my room after speaking to Bette and called Dave to let him know that Bette had signed an autograph for him and that she felt bad that she did not get to meet him.
Bette and the crew left for the arena around 2pm to do the sound and light check and rehearse.
As I’ve said before sometimes they would run through the show twice before doing it that night for the crowd.
I relaxed for a few hours in my room before heading to the arena.
The show was at what once was called the Summit and now called Compag Center (today it is one of the largest churches in the country, Lakewood Church) and you know I would be at the arena early, 6pm.
I had a backstage pass for after the show that I had to pickup at will call and this tour I brought my camera also to Houston. I was hoping to take some pictures backstage.
The show was great and near the end of the show the Harlettes and dancers brought out a huge birthday cake on stage for Bette’s birthday which was the next day, December 1st.
The crowd sang Happy Birthday and Bette cried on stage and she thanked everyone for being so nice to her, it was wonderful and I will never forget it.
After the show I went backstage and this time Bette was everywhere and talking to everyone.
Also, most of that birthday cake was back there for everyone to eat. I felt bad that Dave was not there that night.
These are some photos I took that night of Bette talking to fans and then we had someone take a photo of us together.
After we took our photo we were still talking and I wished Bette a Happy Birthday and gave her a birthday card.
Then I told her that Dave and I would be in Vegas for her New Years Eve show and she hugged me and said,” I’m so happy that you will be there for the New Years show, are you coming both nights and I said, just for New Years Eve.
The tickets for the shows in Vegas were $500.00 each and I just did not want to spend more money for the New Years Day show.
This photo was taken by a woman that is friends and knows Bobby Lyle that night and she (don’t remember her name) mailed the photo to me a few days later.
The women wrote a note that said, “she loved the two of us hugging that night and that we were so cute together and was so glad that she had taken the photo of us”.
It was another fun evening with Bette!
The next show that both Dave and I would be at was the New Years Eve show in Vegas.
We were a little worried about what most everyone was worried about back then, Y2K!, OMG!, what will happen at midnight, will all the lights go out!