Bette Midler Fan Mail
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Tag Archives: Album cover
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Van Nuys Valley News July 31, 1975 Inside Bette Midler, who made her reputation as the brash, tough, bigger-than-life Divine Miss M, is “a vulnerable little person,” who is hurt by derogatory references to her appearance, the star revealed. “I hate it when they call me ugly when they say I’m homely,” the orange-haired entertainer told a reporter for the current issue of Redbook magazine, confiding that she has considered having a nose job. “But what’s the diff?” Ms. Midler observed. “It’s only the shell. I can’t have plastic surgery on my heart.” Ms. Midler, who established her “tacky” image by wearing bizarre clothing to attract attention, said she would now “just as soon fade right into the woodwork” when she’s not performing. “I wouldn’t be caught dead with a sequin on my body when I’m not working” she exclaimed. “How tasteless!” After gaining national prominence in 1973, Ms. Midler startled the industry by dropping out for a year. Her self-imposed silence was necessary, she, told Redbook because “I was afraid all the things that make me a human being would be lost.” “I was tired and I was scared to death, afraid of having to puff myself up into something I’m not. I can pretend to be a star. IÂ can be as grand as the next lady. Listen, I’ve been grand since sixth grade. But to have to do it every day â€” that isolates you.” Describing the Divine Miss M as “an exaggeration of all the things I never thought I wanted to be,” Ms. Midler said that after she started “doing her,” she became much more like her than she ever thought possible. So she called a timeout to try’to learn how to have a good time, how to relax and to grow up. Part of the year was spent in Paris. “It’s cutthroat there,” Ms. Midler told Redbook. “If you don’t look just so, they don’t want you on their streets. One of the things I learned is, never go to France unescorted. And try to learn the language, at least the essentials. ‘How much?’ ‘Where’s the John?’ ‘Please don’t touch me.'” Ms. Midler, who says she is most at “.home” on stage, reported that her year’s “vacation” helped her “come to grips” with her life. “Last year I was screaming inside but now I’m not really that unhappy. I mean, I laugh at least twice a day.”
Saturday, July 21, 2018
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Mister D: It’s so funny to read these old articles to be reminded of how edgy and out there Miss M was. It seemed like everybody was afraid of her, I remember Linda Ronstadt saying Bette opened the door for women singers to be looser on stage and Ms Ronstadt also claimed that Bette showed you don’t have to stand still at the microphone to sing, Bette was all over the place. Lowell Sun June 13, 1975 NEW YORK – Who is the trashiest girl in town wearing the tackiest clothes? The answer may be found nightly on the stage of the new Minskoff Theater where Betle Midler is in command of a spectacular revue entitled! “Clams on the Half Shell”. Whatever else may or may not be said about the show, it is a personal success for the young singer whose followers have christened her “The Dcvine Miss “M”. Miss Midler has been packing them in at the Minskoff with even more solidarily than she did a year ago at the Palace. For this time Belle has come prepared to take on Broadway, in her terms to be sure, but then would you have expected less? THE EVENING GETS off to a flying start as the orchestra plays the overture .. . to “Oklahoma.” The curtain rises and we have a scene from “Showboat” complete with “darkies” lifting those barges and toting that bale. They sing of the troubles that no one knows they have. And then some of the men pull a huge clam shell onto the center of the stage. It opens And there in a sarong that would have done Dorothy Lamour proud, is Miss Midler crooning “The Moon of Manakoora“. To call it “camp” would be to do it a ‘disservice. It’s downright “tacky.” The rest of the first act Miss Midler swapping wise-cracks with the audience and giving out with some of that strong language that has made her a personality. There are not many four-letter words Miss Midler misses but her fans love her for it and they screamed and yelled-for more. Miss Midler is accompanied most of the time by a trio of girls called, “The Harlettes.” You hardly expected the “Chordeltes” with Miss Midler. Together they wail up a storm; and if Miss Midler does not sing my kind of music most of the time, I’ll give her her due. She sings music that the young sell-out crowd seems to appreciate. Her first act final has her clutched in the paw of a giant “King Kong” to whom she croons affectionately, “Nicky Arnstein, Nicky Arnslein.” It’s wild and hilarious. The second act brings the big band onto the stage and with it the veteran vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, the big band sound is back and the crowd loves it. They go wild when Miss Midler sings “In the Mood” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” It was the part I liked best myself. BETTE MIDLER is a talented comedienne whose use of dirty jokes is not really necessary. She doesn’t need them.’ Her singing is unfortunately undisciplined and without a style all her own. She has heen greatly influenced by black blues and gospel singers. At times-she seems to be trying to immitate Billy Holiday, Dianna Ross and Aretha Franklin. I wish she would just be Bette Midler. Even her best work is a copy of the Andrews Sisters. If Miss Midler decides to stop at being” just trashy and tacky; she’ll still make a fortune. But I think she has great talent still not correctly displayed. “Clams on the Half Shell” is a big and very entertaining show for Midler fans. But leave your maiden aunt at home unless she’s ready to laugh it up at some of the dirtiest language a pop singer has used on a Broadway stage ever.
Bette Midler-Led Hello, Dolly! Revival Breaks Broadway Sales Records And Makes History! | BootLeg Betty ...
Saturday, January 27, 2018
Friday, February 24, 2017
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Northwest Florida Daily October 31, 1998 Roseanne orchestrated a little reunion for Bette Midler with her former piano player Barry Manilow, and members of her old backing group, The Harlettes, including Melissa Manchester. “I can’t believe this. This is fabulous,” the Divine Miss M said when the old gang came on stage at “The Roseanne Show” The segment will be broadcast Monday. “I loved it. I was truly stunned,” Miss Midler said.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Lowell Sun June 12, 1998 The late Jackie Susann, author of 60’s bestsellers like ‘Valley Of The Dolls‘ had a life as steamy as her fiction. There are two movie versions of her life in the works. One stars Bette Midler and Nathan Lane, as her husband Irvin Mansfield. Due next spring, it’s called ‘Isn’t She Great‘ and it’s being written by Paul Rudnick. Then there’s a TV movie starring Michelle Lee. It’s based on the book by Barbara Seaman‘s biography ‘Lovely Me‘ and will premiere on the USA network next season.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Syracuse Herald May 26, 1998 Ever since Rosie O’Donnell was eleven years old, she’s known exactly what she wanted to do when she grew up. “I saw Bette Midler on Broadway in Clams On The Half Shell Revue in 1975, ” recalls the popular talk show hostess. “I remember watching her and thinking ‘I want to be her.’ Not, ‘I want to be like her.’ I wanted to be her.” From that moment on, the Long Island, New York girl, was hooked on Broadway and took every opportunity to sneak into the city to see a Broadway show.
1997 – Bette Midler – The Rosie O’Donnell Show interview – Part 3 of 3 | BootLeg Betty ...
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Gay Today CD Review By Jack Nichols September 1998
At midnight, Barry Manilow, little known outside New York, seated himself at the magnificent piano. The crowds, notified that the evening’s official amusement was at hand, gathered on the dance floor to be properly entertained. Lige and I stood near the edge of the pool, close enough to catch a glimpse of the frenzy that ensued.The Divine Miss M took center stage and warmed up the audience with a comedy routine that struck me at the time as ” the most electric” in my experience. Bette noted that Richard Nixon’s daughter was marrying someone called “Cox”. In a gay bathhouse, this name took on the kind of wry significance that only Bathhouse Betty could give it.Then she feigned annoyance. “I was most displeased,” she told her audience, “when I saw some graffiti on the subway today. It said, ‘Bette Midler is a drag queen from Chicago.’ I am NOT from Chicago.”We laughed heartily. And then she began singing.Touch me, feel me” Like everybody else in that cavernous room, I stood spellbound. Nudging Lige, I whispered, “This woman is going to be a real superstar someday.” The crowds went bonkers, and to show their appreciation, they removed their red towels and threw them joyfully at the happy-faced singer, letting go with an unforgettable, passionate roar of approval. It was clear that Bette ate up the surrounding appreciative glory. There she was, singing to hundreds of handsome, naked men, all putty in the palm of her hand.Each time that Bathhouse Betty made another Continental appearance, Peter Silberman gave us a call. And each time we trekked to the Ansonia Hotel at 72nd & Broadway wherein the bathhouse had its quarters. We saw her at least five or six times. And then, one day, she showed up in GAY‘s offices, accompanied by Silberman.It was then that I realized that The Divine Miss M was, in fact, an act, that Bette Midler the comedian and songstress was a alterego in action. On stage, she looked larger than life. In person, I discovered, she was diminutive, private, polite, and almost unbearably quiet. A woman tiny in physical stature. Only a singular part of her upper anatomy seemedâ€”againâ€”larger than life.
I assigned the President of the New York Mattachine Society to handle GAY‘s interview. Dick Leitsch went to her apartment, he told me later, and the tape he made of what she said got punctuated with the sound of her carrot-chopping in the kitchen while she answered his questions.Because of what she said then, perhaps, the current issue of The Advocate now calls Bette Midler one of the 25 coolest straight people.”As an audience,” she told GAY, “gay men are spectacular. They’re very warm, very responsive. They are the most marvelous audience I’ve ever had because they’re not ashamed to show how they feel about you. They applaud like hell, they scream and carry on, stamp their feet and laugh. I love it. It’s going to be very hard for me when I get back before a straight audience.”Among the views she expressed in that first interview?
On politics: “I’m what you might call a Conservative Liberal. I like peace, and don’t like violence. I like to be left alone and not called names. I sympathize with all sorts of radical things, but when it comes to violence, you know, picking up the brick and throwing it, I call a taxi”
“=&7=&“I dig it. Open your mouths, for Christ’s sake. Don’t you get tired of being stepped on?”
On bigotry: “I don’t like bigotry in any form. I don’t like gay men who are violently anti-straight, and I don’t like straight people who are violently anti-gay. Any kind of prejudice frightens me.”
=&9=& “Escape is necessary sometimes, but always escape heavy. Don’t escape into bullshit, get stoned and listen to Santana. Come to the bathsâ€”the whole world’s a bath.”
Bette said it’s ”about the whole world”and that’s what that first interview of hers in GAY was called: “The Whole World’s a Bath.” And now, nearly three decades later, The Divine Miss M has morphed into Bathhouse Betty. I read somewhere how she decided on this 1998 album title. A fanatical fan, she explained, had followed her home and had banged on her front door screaming “Bathhouse Betty! Bathhouse Betty!””Go away,” she warned him, “or I’ll call the police.”In a quiet moment following that crazed fan’s departure, Bette mused on what he’d shouted, deciding it would do to appropriately designate this season’s collection of her songs.And when I read how her new CD had been named, I rushed right out to buy it.
“Bathhouse Betty!” I said, fixing the Blockbuster clerk with an enthusiastic, near-crazy grin. For over a week now, this new Bette Midler offering has been spinning on my playerâ€”sometimes just as background musicâ€”growing on me with each full spin. I find myself shaving and humming, remembering fondly the magic of those long ago bathhouse days when I was witness to miracles wrought by a tiny woman bigger than life.The opener, Leonard Cohen’s Song of Bernadette, is a hymn to compassion of the sort that Bette does well:
So many hearts I find Broke like yours and mine
Next, she sings a song of assurance, I’m Beautiful. Its been written exclusively by Brinsley Evans just for her, and it tells us exactly what Miss M explained so long ago in GAY: that no matter who we are, we can savor the smorgasboard of variety, enjoying what’s unique within ourselves and others.
Lullaby in Blue is poignant as only Bette can make a song.I hadn’t expectedâ€”because of the instrument mentionedâ€”to likeÂ Ukulele Lady. I knew, natch, that Bette had hailed â€“not from Chicagoâ€”but from Hawaii. Strangely, however, this ingenious song is now one of my all time faves, ukulele and all:Â To sing where it’s cool and shady Where the tricky wicky wackies woo woo woo
The fifth cut, I’m Hip is a time trip through those things that were once in and are now out. It moves in the best tradition of old Broadway’s better tunes.
My almost favorite piece (#6) is a broken-hearted man’s mantra,Â I Sold My Heart to the Junkman. Never had heard this before either, but even with my questioning the wisdom of repeat lyrics like “I’ll never fall in love again,” this song takes one, nevertheless, to the swing-lands of the ’40s when even sad tunes made solid romantic stepping stones glitter.
A more positive reaction to a failed romance is cut #7, picking up one’s broken heart just right with One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show..
“Boxing is beautifully orchestrated, a perfectly sung piece.
Big Socks (#9) possibly can be called a spiritual because its about values that only some heterosexual women and some gay men may fully appreciate. When the more general breed of men and women understand it, the millennium will have indeed arrived.
|It was early autumn, 1970. Manhattan‘s Continental Baths, a luxurious house of pleasures, was enjoying its heyday. Peter Silberman, who’d been hired as the Continental’s press agent, called me at the offices of GAY, America‘s first gay weekly, inviting Lige Clarke and me to a freebee concert he promised would blow our skirts up. “This singer is an unknown right now,” he told us, “but she won’t be an unknown for long.”Probably just another routine assignment, we thought. But publicity man Silberman and his wife had previously wined and dined us and so we couldn’t tactfully turn down his urgent request that we hike up to the Continental on a Saturday night.The giant bathhouse was crowded on every floor with hundreds of horny hunks. They wore only towels, deep red. Hippie hairstyles were much in vogue. There was a glittering dance floor, a stage, a suave health food restaurant, a glorious swimming pool surrounded by fountains spraying colored waters, cavernous steam rooms, a huge sauna, and private rooms galore on the upper levels.||TheDivine Miss M used this as one of her publicity photos in her bathhouse days. Photo Courtesy: Jack Nichols Collection|
|Another of Bette’s pre-stardom celebrity shots. Photo Courtesy: Jack Nichols Collection||She was placing a small ad in GAY, Peter explained, because she was going to be appearing in her first important Manhattan nightclub gig ”at theUpstairs at the Downstairs. Lige processed the ad copy for her while I assured her she’d wow’d me aplenty at the Continental. We arranged to do an interview with her in GAY. It would be the very first in her career.|
Friday, November 25, 2016
Daily News January 14, 1998 They’re moving forward on the “Harlettes” TV series pilot, being produced by Bette Midler‘s All Girl Productions and Castle Rock. The Divine Miss M. herself is playing Belle Martin, a k a “The Diva” in the pilot – with plans, we understand, to make recurring appearances if it goes to series. The action focuses on her yet-uncast backup trio, made up of two seasoned show-biz pros and a starry-eyed newcomer. They’re only considering super singers for the show, so evidently, it’ll be heavy on the music.