Tag Archives: Mick Jagger

Thursday, July 12, 2018

PowerPop BlogSpot: The Best And Worst Rolling Stone Covers By Other Artists

PowerPop Weekend Listomania: Special You Can’t Always Get What You…Whatever Edition By Steve Simels If you’re a music lover, check out the PowerPop Blogspot: Click Here bette midler, mick jagger, photo stills, beast of burden =&0=& No arbitrary rules here, but just so we’re clear — we’re talking about covers of songs by the Stones, not songs that the Stones covered. Jagger/Richards tunes, in other words, as interpreted by other artistes or miscreants. And my totally top of my head Top Fourteen is — 14. Alvin Youngblood Hart — Moonlight Mile On balance, if I had to pick my favorite Stones song of all time, this would be it, and this great blues guy just nails it to the wall. Genius at work. 13. The Loud Family — Rocks Off

In a million years, it never would have occurred to me that this bunch would do such a great version of this masterpiece from Exile on Main Street ...  Read More

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Kennedy Center Honors: Our top 50 recommendations who need to be chosen include Dick Van Dyke, Liza Minnelli, Jessica Lange, Bette Midler

Mister D: Ok, I admit that I’m prejudiced, but this list could be whittled down in seconds for me. My standards are high, well in some things, and some of these people don’t really belong on this list. Gold Derby Kennedy Center Honors: Our top 50 recommendations who need to be chosen include Dick Van Dyke, Liza Minnelli, Jessica Lange, Bette Midler Chris Beachum April 11, 2018 6:00AM The next recipients for the Kennedy Center Honors will be announced in the late summer, often around Labor Day. The all-star event is held each year in the nation’s capital during the first weekend in December and then airs on CBS as a two-hour special after Christmas. Each year, the selection committee chooses five entertainment veterans from a variety of fields – film, television, popular music, theatre, and the fine arts (dance, opera, classical music). Selected artists are almost always over 50 and generally are 60 and beyond. The first recipients in 1978 were singer Marian Anderson, actor and dancer Fred Astaire, choreographer George Balanchine, composer Richard Rodgers and conductor Arthur Rubinstein. The most recent honorees in 2017 for the 40th anniversary program were dancer Carmen de Lavallade, singer Gloria Estefan, singer LL Cool J, producer and writer Norman Lear and singer Lionel Richie. But there are a number of notable performers missing from the honors roll. Our photo gallery features 50 entertainers who deserve to be selected soon. For our purposes a person must be at least 60 years old to be in our gallery. We are not going to include the retired Doris Day and Gene Hackman as well as the reclusive Woody Allen since attendance at the event is mandatory. Tour through our photos and sound off in the forums about who you think should be selected soon. 1. Dick Van Dyke Van Dyke is just an Oscar away from EGOT status. He is a five-time Emmy Award winner for “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “Van Dyke and Company,” and “The Wrong Way Kid.” He won a Tony Award for “Bye Bye Birdie” (1961) and a Grammy Award for “Mary Poppins” (1964). Van Dyke is a member of the Television Academy Hall of Fame and received the Screen Actors Guild life achievement award in 2013. 2. Liza Minnelli Minnelli is very close to EGOT, having never won a Grammy Award before. She won a Tony Award for “Flora the Red Menace” (1965), an Oscar for “Cabaret” (1973), and an Emmy for “Liza with a Z” (1973). The daughter of legendary entertainer Judy Garland, other films have included “The Sterile Cuckoo” (1969, her first Oscar nomination), “New York, New York” (1977), and “Arthur” (1981). 3. Denzel Washington Washington is the only African-American with two Academy Awards for acting (“Glory,” 1989; “Training Day,” 2001). His other Oscar nominations were for “Cry Freedom” (1987), “Malcolm X” (1992), “The Hurricane” (1999), “Flight” (2012), “Fences” (2016, producing and acting), and “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” (2017). He also won a Tony Award for the same role in “Fences” (2010). 4. Gladys Knight The “Empress of Soul” started her career in 1952 on Ted Mack’s “Original Amateur Hour” TV show. Her group Gladys Knight and the Pips joined Motown in 1966 and became one of the top recording artists of the 1960s and 1970s with such hits as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “If I Were Your Woman,” “Neither One of Us,” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.” The six-time Grammy winner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. 5. Mick Jagger Whether he gets selected by himself (like Paul McCartney) or with his group The Rolling Stones (like The Who and Led Zeppelin), this honor is long overdue. The lead singer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with his band in 1989. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003. Their lengthy list of hit singles has included “Satisfaction,” “Get Off My Cloud,” “Ruby Tuesday,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Brown Sugar,” “Wild Horses,” “Angie,” and “Start Me Up.” 6. Jessica Lange Lange is just one notch away from EGOT. She is a two-time Academy Award winner (“Tootsie,” 1982; “Blue Sky,” 1994) among her six nominations. She is a three-time Emmy champ (“Grey Gardens,” 2009; “American Horror Story,” 2012; and “American Horror Story: Coven,” 2014). Lange won a Tony Award in 2016 for “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” Other films in her career have included “Frances,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Crimes of the Heart,” “Cape Fear,” and “Big Fish.” 7. Alan Alda Alda has established himself as a triple threat on television, on stage, and in films. He won five Emmy Awards for the legendary comedy series “M*A*S*H” spread out over acting, directing, and writing (the only person to prevail in only three fields). He also took home a sixth Emmy for his role on “The West Wing” and was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1994. He’s been nominated at the Oscars (“The Aviator,”), Grammys (“Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself,” 2008), and three times at the Tony Awards (“The Apple Tree,” 1967; “Jake’s Women,” 1992; “Glengarry Glen Ross,” 2005). 8. Bette Midler Midler was a big hit right out of the gates when she won Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards in 1974. It was the first of three Grammys along with three Emmys for her variety specials and a Tony Award in 2017 for “Hello, Dolly.” That just puts her an Oscar away from EGOT, and she has competed at those awards twice as a leading actress for “The Rose” and “For the Boys.” 9. Harrison Ford Ford is the biggest box office star in American history but still hasn’t had much of an awards career but did receive an Oscar nomination for “Witness” (1985). He was awarded the American Film Institute life achievement in 2000 and the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes in 2002. His film career has included “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Working Girl,” “Regarding Henry,” “Patriot Games,” “The Fugitive,” “Air Force One,” and “42.” 10. Reba McEntire McEntire is a Country Music Hall of Fame member who has been one of the most popular singers and performers in the 1980s and beyond. She has had the most CMA Award nominations (49) and ACM Awards nominations (45) of any female artist. She has won two Grammy Awards for “Whoever’s in New England” (1987) and “Does He Love You?” (1994) among her 12 career nominations. McEntire has had a successful TV show with “Reba” (2001-2007) and was widely acclaimed for her Broadway debut in “Annie Get Your Gun” (2001). 11. Tommy Tune Tune has been one of the top choreographers and dancers in Broadway history. He is a nine-time Tony Award winner for his performances in “Seesaw” and “My One and Only,” for his direction of “Nine,” “Grand Hotel” and “The Will Rogers Follies” and choreography of “A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine,” “My One and Only,” “Grand Hotel” and “The Will Rogers Follies.” 12. Betty White White is one of the favorite comedic performers in TV history and was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1995. She has won five prime-time Emmy Awards for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Golden Girls,” “The John Larroquette Show” and “Saturday Night Live” plus a Daytime Emmy for “Just Men.” 13. Burt Bacharach Bacharach has composed hundreds of songs in his lengthy career, many of them popular hits. He is a three-time Oscar winner for his original song and score in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and original song in “Arthur.” He is a two-time Grammy champ for “Cassidy” and “I Still Have That Other Girl” plus an Emmy winner for his 1971 variety special. 14. Diane Keaton Keaton is an Oscar-winning actress (“Annie Hall,” 1977) who has been primarily working in films since the early 1970s. Her career has included “The Godfather,” “Reds,” “Marvin’s Room,” “Baby Boom,” “Father of the Bride,” “The First Wives Club” and “Something’s Gotta Give.” She was the 2017 recipient of the American Film Institute life achievement award. 15. Arturo Sandoval The Cuban-born Sandoval is one of the greatest trumpet players in music history. He defected to America in 1990 while performing with previous KCH recipient Dizzy Gillespie. He is a 10-time Grammy winner, Emmy winner and recipient of the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom. 16. Cynthia Gregory Gregory is one of the most famous American prima ballerinas of recent decades. She first became well known in San Francisco as a teenager before joining the American Ballet Theatre in 1965. She has had roles in “Giselle,”” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Coppelia,” “Don Quixote,” “The Eternal Idol” and “At Midnight.” 17. Bob Newhart Newhart has proven to be one of the most beloved comedians in American history since the early 1960s. In fact he won at the 1961 Grammy Awards as Best New Artist and for Album of the Year. He was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1993 for his roles on “The Bob Newhart Show” and “Newhart.” He won his only Emmy Award in 2013 for a guest role on “The Big Bang Theory.” He was the 2002 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center. 18. Whoopi Goldberg Goldberg is one of the few people who have achieved EGOT in her entertainment career. She won an Oscar for “Ghost,” a Grammy for her comedy album “Direct From Broadway,” a Tony Award for producing “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and a Daytime Emmy for hosting “The View.” Other film roles have included “The Color Purple,” “Sister Act” and “The Lion King.” She was the 2001 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center.

19. Jerry Lee Lewis ...  Read More

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Bette Midler – Interview – Talks About Jinxed, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Relationships – Very Funny – 1983

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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Book review: Sticky Fingers describes Rolling Stone founder’s dirty deeds; Bette Midler Was Interviewed For The Book

Financial Review Book review: Sticky Fingers describes Rolling Stone founder’s dirty deeds by Michael Bailey Jan 12 2018

Bette and Martin with Jann Wenner

Read more: http://www.afr.com/lifestyle/arts-and-entertainment/book-review-sticky-fingers-20180105-h0dytv#ixzz53y6vJg1J Follow us: @FinancialReview on Twitter | financialreview on Facebook Sticky Fingers is an exhaustively researched, remarkably candid biography of Jann Wenner, who 50 years ago started the world’s first newspaper to take rock’n’roll seriously, and last month sold most of his family’s remaining stake for $US50 million. This could also be the most honest business book published in 2017, for Wenner succeeded despite doing many of the things an MBA teaches you not to. He could treat his staff terribly, for one. Biographer Joe Hagan spoke to dozens of former employees among the 240 people he interviewed for this book, and tales abound of Wenner underpaying them, sacking some on a whim while playing favourites with others – Hunter S. Thompson remained on the payroll long after Fear And Loathing had given way to beer and loafing – and sexually harassing nearly all of them (as a bisexual, Wenner was an equal opportunist on this front). Burning investors and associates for short-term gain was another bad habit. The most infamous example of this was the 1971 Rolling Stone cover story, “Lennon Remembers”, in which the erstwhile Beatle called his old band “nothing” in a cathartic interview which made the magazine’s reputation. As Hagan writes, it became “the turnstile you went through to sell records in America”, at least until the rise of MTV a decade later. Lennon gave Wenner access on the understanding that he could approve the story prior to publication – a journalistic no-no that Rolling Stone often practised for the sake of a good cover – and that his acid words never appear anywhere else. Yet months later Wenner cut a lucrative deal, which turned the interview into a book, and the pair never spoke again. Unethical behaviour Of course, the reasons Wenner got to Lennon in the first place were the same reasons he could get away with all of this unethical behaviour: his driving, social-climbing ambition; his ability to read the culture, first by instinct and later through endless reader focus groups; and his singular charisma. “There are a lot of people that you like just because of how terrible they are,” one former record label executive tells Hagan. “Even when he’s acting his worst, Jann is doing it with a certain verve. You can disapprove of him, but you’re still amused.” A long-form journalist whose list of credits includes Rolling Stone, Hagan was Wenner’s choice as biographer and thus gained access to his archives and his peerless network – Dylan, Jagger, McCartney, Midler, Richards, Springsteen, Townshend and Wenner himself all go on record. “He leads with his appetites – I take, I see, I have,” is Art Garfunkel’s perspective. However, Hagan made sure Wenner did not play the old Rolling Stone game, refusing him final copy approval and allowing the multiple character assassinations and sordid 1970s stories contained herein to see the light of day. Hagan and Wenner have fallen out since Sticky Fingers was published in November. An authorised biography needs no greater recommendation. Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine by Joe Hagan is published by Penguin Random House. Hardcover: Kindle: A delicious romp through the heyday of rock and roll and a revealing portrait of the man at the helm of the iconic magazine that made it all possible, with candid look backs at the era from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Elton John, Bette Midler, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and others. The story of Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone’s founder, editor, and publisher, and the pioneering era he helped curate, is told here for the first time in glittering, glorious detail. Joe Hagan provides readers with a backstage pass to storied concert venues and rock-star hotel rooms; he tells never before heard stories about the lives of rock stars and their handlers; he details the daring journalism (Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, P.J. O’Rourke) and internecine office politics that accompanied the start-up; he animates the drug and sexual appetites of the era; and he reports on the politics of the last fifty years that were often chronicled in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine. Supplemented by a cache of extraordinary documents and letters from Wenner’s personal archives, Sticky Fingers depicts an ambitious, mercurial, wide-eyed rock and roll fan of who exalts in youth and beauty and learns how to package it, marketing late sixties counterculture as a testament to the power of American youth. The result is a fascinating and complex portrait of man and era, and an irresistible biography of popular culture, celebrity, music, and politics in America.
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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Bette Midler & Mick Jagger in the Beast Of Burden video

Bette Midler & Mick Jagger in the Beast Of Burden video

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Monday, October 9, 2017

(On her VH1 Behind The Music Documentary):

(On her VH1 Behind The Music Documentary): “I was very embarrassed that there was very little scandal; there was no scandal. The worst thing was that I had a bad review. People were laughing at me.” (Rocky Mountain News, 1999) – Bette Midler Image may contain: 1 person, text
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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bette Midler – Interview – Talks About Jinxed, Mick Jagger, Relationships – Very Funny – 1983

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Saturday, December 3, 2016

BetteBack April 25, 1973: After Dark Salutes Bette Midler

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

BetteBack March 28, 1973: Bette Midler Hits Oklahoma

Lawton Constitiution March 28, 1973 9-5-2012 6-59-46 PMThe Divine Miss M” played to a near capacity house in Oklahoma City‘s Music Hall Sunday evening. Not even Carol Channing drew the ‘thundering ovations given Miss M. The audience (young and middle aged) gave the orange haired singer standing ovations (the spontaneous variety), during her numbers, at the end of the first portion of the show, and a 10-minute one at the conclusion. Never have I seen such crowd adoration, at-a concert in Oklahoma. It was reminiscent of the Judy Garland days, even though “The Divine Miss M” in no way can be compared with the late star. IN HER own words, Bawdy Bette is “the last of the truly tacky women . . .trash with flash” She’s no Tiny Tim flash”fad. The woman, can sing, but her gimmick is dipping into the past and coming up with the songs of the.’40s “Hubba,.Hubba,”. “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (from Company B) and to.the delight of her young followers. And, she also blends in the rock ‘n roll tunes of the ’60s. Her blues—”Am I Blue”, are great, too. In short. Bette Midler is pure camp-with high- style. She’s a female Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Elvis—all rolled into one with a dash of the Andrews Sisters. She couldn’t believe her cult had extended all the way to Oklahoma. “1 can’t believe Oklahoma City—you’re so alive— , and aware.” she kept saying repeatedly from the stage. BETTE SANG ’em all during two hours—”Empty Bed Blues’,”Bad Sex.” “Uptown Baby,” “Do You Wanna Dance,” “Lullaby of Broadway.” “Hello In There,” “The Leader of the Pack” and “Chapel of Love,” plus the “oldies” mentioned above. It was her “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” that brought the house down with three encores of the WW IT hit. Her “tacky” costumes included a tight-fitting, silver lame gown of the ’40s fashions, lavender slacks, high blocked heels and artificial red roses adorning her frizzy hair. Bette conversed with her audience at length, tossing in some Tricia Nixon Cox jokes. This reviewer’s only complaint was she left the audience screaming and applauding for more—which is.good in show ..biz parlance, but the least she could have done was appear just one more time, even after the band left the stage, so her fans could feast their eyes on their idol. Her refusal to take just one more curtain call bow was truly ”tacky” in the B. Midler sense of the word. Divine Intervention Review: Midler is effortlessly sincere and incredibly entertaining (D.C.) BetteBack March 28, 1973: Bette Midler – Concert In Review | BootLeg Betty BetteBack March 1973: It’s “Divine” Bette Midler | BootLeg Betty Bette Midler: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1) | BootLeg Betty

BetteBack February 27, 1973: Steambath’s Divine Miss M Really Sleazes With Ease | BootLeg Betty ...  Read More

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

MTV: Live Blogging The 1984 VMA’s Starring Bette Midler

MTV BETTE MIDLER HOSTS, CYNDI LAUPER SHINES, MANNEQUINS ARE SET ON FIRE: LIVEBLOGGING THE ’84 VMAS IN HONOR OF THE 32ND VMAS, A PERSON WHO WASN’T ALIVE IN 1984 LIVE-BLOGS THE VERY FIRST ONES By TEO BUGBEE 08/26/2016 The VMAs are the wildest night in music. Over the last 32 years, the show has become an institution, the place to turn to to see pop stars wrangle snakes, the place to watch rappers start a fight, the place for Beyoncé birth announcements. But with all that we remember through the years, it’s easy to forget about the particulars of that very first show out of Radio City Music Hall in 1984. Everyone knows about Madonna’s infamous “Like a Virgin” performance, but what about the rest of that original two-hour broadcast? Who were the hosts? Who were the performers? What were the awards? What did people see on the night the VMAs were born? To find the answers to all these questions and more, I — a 1993 baby, armed only with my love of early Madonna videos and my copy of I Want My MTV — dove into the top secret MTV archives and live-blogged the very first VMAs. =&0=& The first VMAs begins with a shot of one of the original MTV VJs, Martha Quinn, auspiciously dialing for assistance from a crusty bar phone. She is in fact using a pay phone, confirming absolutely that yes, we are in 1984, and welcome to the show. =&1=& “ZZ Top” — *MARTHA GAWKS* — “is refusing to perform unless I get backstage and say hello, it’s pretty unbelievable, but that’s showbiz and the show must go on; the show won’t go on unless I hustle over right now!” I’ve decided that not only do I like Martha, but Martha would have been my favorite VJ. She is a friendly dork with a mushroom mullet who is down to ramble and humblebrag in front of millions. Get it, Martha. =&2=& LASERS! AH! (What was going on with lasers in the ’80s that had everyone so excited? Wikipedia is telling me lasers were invented in the ’60s. OLD.) =&3=& The lasers are bouncing off a CD. Wait, what? 1984 MTV is having a Compact Disc Giveaway. “Over $100,000 of equipment!” Literally what. Where is my merch, 2016 MTV? Where is my iTunes Store giveaway? Where are my compact discs? =&4=& God, it must have been so exhausting to edit together these video clips before digital editing software had been invented. I wince every time the camera cuts, but the ’80s special effects look so cool. (I wonder if someone had to clear the rights on the Star Wars blaster that is currently shooting lasers into the CDs MTV is hawking?) =&5=& Damn, they’re actually giving away so much stuff. A CD player, 100-plus CDs, massive speakers, amplifier, AM/FM radio, and a cassette player. I want my MTV merch! =&6=& A montage of famous people explain the VMAs to me! Who was famous in 1984, you ask? Tina Turner and Mick Jagger, duh, but also Rod Stewart! Herbie Hancock! Hall and Oates! This guy! Who is this guy? I love his shirt. He thinks MTV is pretty scary, don’t you? I don’t know, guy — stranger danger — but if we’re measuring fame solely by who is in this montage most, this is the most famous person at the VMAs. =&7=& Starting a segment for all the anons in this live-blog called We Could Be Friends. First nominees: these gals. (Are my new friends famous? Please write into the MTV Compact Disc Sale address if you know the answer.) (Update from later in the show: I am a plebe, duh they are famous, they are Belinda Carlisle and Kathy Valentine of The Go-Go’s.) =&8=& MADONNA. Madonna is over it, America. =&9=& Black and white! Classy! =&10=& This montage is wild. A flaming mannequin just dropped dozens of feet into a pool and then it cut to a bunch of hippies playing keytars and staring into the horizon. =&11=& So many 1984 famouses I don’t know! A woman from a clip I should maybe recognize shows up to say, “Arthur, I feel gone crazy.” Same, lady. (We Could Be Friends.) =&12=& LIVE! Moonmen! VMAs, we made it! =&13=& Meet your hosts for the first VMAs: Bette Midler and Dan Aykroyd. The ’80s were a different time. =&14=& Dan Aykroyd stands in his moonsuit silently and waits for Bette to cede the spotlight, but Bette just took 15 seconds to fawn in front of the audience, to applause. Never change, Bette. (That said, my 2016 eyes can’t help but flash forward to Anne Hathaway and James Franco at the Oscars…beware, 1984. It’s all fun and games now, but you know not the darkness of the world you may inspire.) =&15=& The running theme of this opening patter is that Bette wants to show off her body more? Dan Aykroyd isn’t having it, booming, “Please! Have some dignity and decorum!” Ah, Reagan’s America. =&16=& Oh thank god, Dan Aykroyd is dropping his moonman voice and introducing the first artist, thus kicking off the illustrious tradition of VMA performances with….Rod Stewart? =&17=& Rod Stewart is still performing. I don’t know. I just feel like this is a hoax. Are we sure Rod Stewart is a real person? =&18=& ROD STEWART IS STILL PERFORMING????? This attempt to convince me of his material existence is excessive, and I believe in Rod Stewart even less than before. =&19=& This montage of people backstage is a good reminder that there were lots of pencil-headed famous people in 1984. It’s funny, because I have to remind myself that’s not someone doing a Billy Idol homage, it’s actually just Billy Idol. He really did dress like that. =&20=& This guy again. Hi, friend. =&21=& Cyndi Lauper sighting! Her makeup is AMAZING. =&22=& Oh my god, is that Lady Gaga??? She time-traveled from 2009 to 1984! Her best postmodern trick yet! =&23=& Mayor Ed Koch just called Radio City Music Hall “Video City Music Hall” in honor of the VMAs, and then amazingly the camera cut to this lady rolling her eyes at his terrible joke. We could be friends. =&24=& Koch just pulled out a glittered-up Michael Jackson glove. Does not mention AIDS or the gays in his pitch for the New York arts scene. =&25=& The subtext of all of Dan and Bette’s banter is that they hate each other yet would probably have to think it over before saying no to fucking, if only because they’re both famous. Dan just called Bette big-breasted in a weird accent and did an inexplicable twist in her direction. Bette laughed tightly and mimicked it back. The performative heterosexual mating call is complete. =&26=& “All the better to see your manly bulges, you big-butted Eastern refugee.” Bette hates Dan. It must have been so hard to be a woman in the ’80s. =&27=& You know who loves Dan Aykroyd? David Lee Roth, that’s who. =&28=& You know, Dan Aykroyd really did live his best life. This fucking voice he’s doing right now is so annoying and he looks so goddamn pleased with himself and no one in the audience seems bothered in the slightest. =&29=& Cyndi Lauper is so amazing. She’s doing a bit about reading rules — no idea what the rules are, this is 2016, TV has no rules — but anyway, Cyndi’s made up a fake ancient Babylonian language (presumably referencing Hammurabi? 1984!) and she keeps interjecting with random English words about money and ratings and corporate planning. We could be friends Cyndi, always. =&30=& Bette is about to have a heat stroke over this dude from The Who with frosted tips and a burgundy bow tie. Bette’s job as a host appears to be to confirm for the audience the desirability of every crag-faced man in attendance. =&31=& Messing with everything I ever thought I knew about award shows, the VMAs presents an award that sounds like the biggest award first: Best Overall Performance. Nominees include Bowie’s “China Girl,” Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” and Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” so 1984 isn’t doing too bad for itself. =&32=& Michael Jackson wins, because duh. Confetti falls from the ceiling, and Diana Ross gets up in this outfit to accept for him. For one moment in time in 1984, everything was perfect. =&33=& 1984 video montage. Old videos are cool. =&34=& Bette Midler keeps making jokes about rats. No idea why. =&35=& Jefferson Starship just showed up to talk about Best New Artists and what it takes to be in a music video. “You gotta sound good, look good, and sing good.” No clarification on the difference between sounding good and singing good. Grace Slick looks embarrassed to be reading jokes about visible panty lines that were obviously written by a man. Madonna made the cut with her first album, and Cyndi Lauper is nominated twice, but The Eurythmics win and I bounce to YouTube to watch what promises to be an insane video for “Sweet Dreams” from an orange-buzz-cut-sporting Annie Lennox. =&36=& In a precursor to VMA animals to come, a monkey just appeared with the envelope. American pop culture has never really reckoned with the period from the 1950s to the 1990s that we spent obsessed with chimps. We jumped straight to Harambe without processing Bonzo! =&37=& There’s a kind of crazy compressed air gun that keeps going off in the back whenever someone reads a winner, and the sound makes every presenter react like they’re preparing for the Soviet bomb to drop, which in fairness was still a possibility because it was only 1984 and we were still technically in the Cold War. History! =&38=& I have no idea who’s accepting Annie Lennox’s award because every rock star looks and talks and walks the same. They’re all 14 feet tall, with the posture of aged vultures, the floppy black manes of insouciant cocker spaniels, and accents culled from the remains of dying industrial towns. The fellow who accepts Annie Lennox’s award seems nice. =&39=& Wait, I recognize him maybe? Maybe he is a Ramone? Joey Ramone accepts for Annie Lennox, that’s rad. =&40=& Dan Aykroyd is doing another annoying voice. This time he’s being British. I think it might just be annoying because his voice is so loud? (I’m sorry, Dan Aykroyd; still love you in Coneheads.) =&41=& Ron Wood, of The Rolling Stones, is the resident red leather suit rat tail British rock clone. He’s shorter than Joey Ramone and of indeterminate age, and he’s presenting Best Stage Performance, which as far as I can tell is an award just for videos that take place on stage? Host Bette Midler is nominated alongside David Bowie, Duran Duran, The Pretenders, and Van Halen. The horrible snob in me that you should 100 percent ignore is so scared Van Halen is going to win this. =&42=& A cute lady mime just showed up to give the real envelope? To be honest, I would be friends with anyone who is a mime, regardless of cuteness or gender, but Ron Wood ruins the good mime vibes, attempting to flirt via command, “Can you say thank you in mime?” Ron Wood doesn’t know who any of these people are except the winner, and naturally, because I was rooting against it, Van Halen wins. =&43=& Van Halen’s David Lee Roth is having the time of his life, and it’s pretty endearing. Remember when rock stars were the rock stars of the day? =&44=& New Dan Aykroyd voice. He says he’s being Tom Snyder, and I’m gonna say based on this impression, Tom Snyder is, like, half pretentious dad and half sports announcer? Has Dan Aykroyd been wearing these coke bottle glasses all night? (Update: I just checked, and yes, he has.) He’s introducing “every biker’s dream guest rider” Madonna, which ruins my theory that Madonna showed up at the end of the first VMAs and changed the game definitively. It also ruins my hope that I’ll be saving the best VMA content for last, but that’s fine; I’m not mad at it. =&45=& 1984 Madonna was a fucking genius. Best production values of the night (which was apparently a behind-the scenes-battle) as Madonna enters atop a wedding cake, with a massive arc of white lights flashing behind her, singing what would have been her then-unreleased single “Like a Virgin”. =&46=& Watching “Like a Virgin” out of context in 2016, it feels like an artifact from an alien planet. For one, the editing is antithetical to our post-digital understanding of quick-cut excitement, and the half-lidded hardness of baby Madonna is jarring in contrast to our tough-but-approachable stars like Rihanna or Beyoncé or Nicki Minaj. But Madonna’s performance is somehow equally alien in the context of the 1984 VMA show, which has so far featured women making jokes about covering their panties, covering their breasts, smiling, and saying thank you. Enter Madonna, wild yet dead-eyed, a necrophiliac bride atop a cardboard cake, mocking virginity as she writhes in lingerie with “Boy Toy” blazoned on her belt. Much as this is the iconic moment of the broadcast, the moment that would be taken and carried and repackaged and reproduced for years to come, when it happened, it was a hostile performance given to a hostile room. Madonna finishes on the floor, and the applause is scattered, bewildered, stunned. =&47=& “Well. Now that the burning question of Madonna’s virginity has been answered, we are free to go on to more gaping questions.” Relieved whoops of approval from the crowd at Bette Midler’s coy denouncement. Real virgins only, this is 1984! “Making a video is like making love. It is fraught with danger.” =&48=& A montage about making videos. Billy Idol doesn’t understand the religious or the sexual references in his own video. All these sweet, dorky 1984 video directors are so excited to talk about their work, but I’m excited to find out there was once a human man who went by the name Lol Creme. Shoutout to you, Lol. =&49=& Cut to Carly Simon! Hi, Carly! Carly’s friend seems amazing. =&50=& Dan: “What can I do to get that kind of self-confidence?” Bette: “Increase your breast size.” =&51=& My sweet fellow Pennsylvania natives Hall and Oates show up to announce Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Special Effects, and Best Editing. John Oates has such a nice speaking voice and such a fluffy mustache; he makes no weird women jokes; and he, in fact, does make my dreams come true. Herbie Hancock kills these categories with “Rockit” — a video that will give me nightmares forever — which is exactly the kind of 1984-only occurrence that sets my heart aflutter. =&52=& Dan Aykroyd claims the next presenter is one of the few white people alive who doesn’t dance like an “MIT brain-damaged physicist” and I’m going to need to see the receipts. =&53=& The dance wunderkind is someone named Peter Wolf, another black-haired rock clone. Pretty sure he dances, but the VMAs cleverly hide him in black-on-black clothing against a black backdrop. He’s presenting Best Choreography to “Thriller,” obviously, because the fabric of space and time didn’t spontaneously unravel into chaos in 1984, but before that he gives his ballerina partner a couple of kisses with a quick, “Kill yourself, Bette Midler.” =&54=& Bless, the return of Diana Ross to accept for MJ alongside Michael Peters, who choreographed “Thriller.” Michael Peters thanks every backup dancer by name individually, and thanks MTV for recognizing dance as an art form with the creation of this award. Michael Peters is lovely. =&55=& A parade of people I would be friends with follows, from the bleached-blonde woman who appears to be accidentally heiling Diana Ross, to the woman with the massive pearl necklace who looks like she’d be having the worst time of her life if she ever had a good time to begin with, and this gal, whose neutral face and subtle lean I recognize as the true signs of a vicious gossip. =&56=& Bette Midler has appeared as a Who from Whoville to present a special effects montage and she’s sporting a new bun that is somehow spinning without ripping all her hair out like in this video that still haunts my dreams. =&57=& This montage is every Snapchatter’s dream. =&58=& Missing Person’s lead singer Dale Bozzio is revealed to be the time-traveling Lady Gaga from earlier! I have to say, my hopes were high when Dale Bozzio walked on with her magenta hair and magenta mirrorball outfit…and Dale Bozzio delivered. She is off script and slurring in a plummy theater girl accent that would be INSANE even without the slurring. She’s thanking VJs and calling out second marriages. She’s claiming to have written her own experimental speech with experimental words, but it’s just a gesture? “I bet you said to yourselves, what was that all about? But you’re supposed to feel it. And if you did feel it…did you like it?” Dale Bozzio laughs alone at her own joke. Dale Bozzio is a fucking loose cannon. Dale Bozzio and I could be friends. =&59=& LOL. Dale Bozzio is still talking, but the production team cut her off. Dale! =&60=& Dale finally presents her award. “Oh, I’m so happy. It’s Herbie Hancock.” =&61=& Despite Dale Bozzio’s ringing endorsement of Herbie Hancock, Lol Creme talks over Herbie through their acceptance speech. Lol Creme kinda sucks. =&62=&
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