What's your favorite Bette thing? Movie, album, performance, whatever?
I know some of you cunts on here aren't fans but I still love her. I'm partial to her Gypsy and Stella remakes, but my favorite is probably still Ruthless People.
Happy Birthday Bette!
'Beaches' is my favourite performance of hers.
Best album: Experience the Divine, Greatest Hits
Guys get over you meanness. Bette Midler certainly was not a saint in the past but i think we should remember an artist for the precious good moments they have given us.
Bette was out there to entertain us. Be gentlemen and post for her.
"Dialling the phone with a pencil" moment here - Experience the Divine was the first album I ever owned, as a 9 year old.
Old girl doesn't look a day over 75!
Why, her views on gay marriage, of course.
OP, if you're "partial" to her Stella remake, I suspect you'd also enjoy looking at her turds in a toilet bowl.
She can still make me laugh but she's not someone I think about. I believe she's made some adjustments in the last few years to clarify some blunt comments she may have made about gay people - but then it seems she's always done that throughout her career. I think ultimately, in terms of cultural impact, she's irrelevant. She's not even Courtney Love.
R6 you are very unfair and you don't even sense that i bet. Why you look the bad side of others instead of their good one?
Once upon a time in the dark recesses of the mists of memory, a very young Miss M made an appearance on the Mike Douglas show and sang 'Great Balls of Fire' as she bounced her liberated, bra-less, bountiful titties for the afternoon talk-show audience.
I must have been ten, but I thought
THIS WOMAN IS AMAZING!
Big Business! Happy Bidet!
Paying to have litter removed from a segment of the Long Island Expressway.
[quote] Guys get over you meanness.
Bette Midler is the cuntiest cunt who ever cunted. And that IS the most gentlemanly thing that can be said about her.
I met her at Korvettes in NYC when she was signing her third album, the live HBO soundtrack. I have that, her second album and the amazing Amsel poster of the cover all singed to me!
R12 Thank you - from your post I just learned who Amsel was and all the great work he did.
Hearing Bette to sing Andrews Sister's 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy'
always makes my mood when i need to be more energetic and bubbly.
Experience the Divine was indeed a divine experience. I'm so glad i bought that cd. It's so emotional and powerful. Lovely.
Guys wake up! :)
[quote]Thank you - from your post I just learned who Amsel was and all the great work he did.
Amsel was amazing. He died at 38 of AIDS.
I came late to the Bette love...first knew her from "Beast of Burden" on MTV and the HBO concert special of that era.
The "Beast" video with Bette and Mick Jagger still makes me smile.
Now write this down!
R16 indeed this video clip is very gripping.
Thank you for posting it
Let me see...
Delta Dawn, From a Distance (schmaltzy, I know),I Think It's Going to Rain Today, In My Life. I Shall Be Released filmed at the Continental Baths.
Delores DeLago. The Macaroni Midler episode from Seinfeld.
All the 80s Disney comedies. The musical scenes in For the Boys.
Playing her bitchy self(?!) in Drowning Mona.
I will nevah forget it! I was in the woods last night with ma boyfriend Ernie. He said to me "Soph!" - He always calls me Soph. He said to me "Soph! It sure is dark out here I wish I had a flashlight." I said "So do I, Ernie. You have been munching grass for the last ten minutes." That is what I said!
Isn't she against marriage equality??
She's 67 -- AGAIN?
No R36 she did say some silly things years back. Some queens can't get over it.
She is treacly and stupid. Now she wants to backtrack and be everyone's friend. She seems like a dyed-in-the-wool cunt who is jealous of her more talented contemporaries (Karen, Barbra). She sees that they have left behind solid artistic legacies while she is remembered for drivel like Beaches.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AGAIN BETTE!
Please R39 Most of what Barbra has put out in the last twenty five, thiry years has been treacly. She hasn't done anything great since her first Broadway album.
And as much as I love the Carpenters, what "solid artistic legacy" have they left behind? They were as commercial and treacly as they come.
I liked some of her old stuff, but the trailer for that new Midler/Billy Crystal comedy about grandparents watching the kids is excruciating.
And the facelifts and the fillers and the new nosejob are approaching Joan Rivers territory.
[quote]I liked some of her old stuff, but the trailer for that new Midler/Billy Crystal comedy about grandparents watching the kids is excruciating.
That's because it's for eight years olds, not fifty year old queens. They still make children's films and there's no shame in it.
Bette's best acting was "The Rose," (the loose biography of Janis Joplin, more or less). She really should have gotten the Oscar for that. Everything since has been downhill for her.
Her Christma album is a favorite of mine.
She was looking very good (the work has settled?) at the Rock Center tree lighting where she was plugging the movie with Crystal. And yeah that movie looks really bad.
[quote]she did say some silly things years back. Some queens can't get over it.
Larry King asked her about gay marriage and she basically said she didn't know, perhaps for lesbians but isn't sleeping around the whole point of being a gay man? It was silly and she later said she was all for gay marriage. You have have to bear in mind that her exposure to us was bathhouses and the hedonistic seventies scene.
I was never offended by her gay marriage comments. She was unprepared for a question asked live on air. She tried to formulate an answer on-air and ended up sounding like a woman whose reference point to gay relationships was out-of-date... she wasn't hanging with gay men (and women) who were hot to get married. Big. F**king. Deal.
She's talented - anyone who's ever seen her live will testify to that.
She worked very hard to make her stage shows entertaining... just her back-up singers (like Katy Sagal). Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.
She's made some very funny movies for people to enjoy. Big Business, Ruthless People, Outrageous Fortune...
Much of her music is great - I love the Rosemary Clooney tribute CD.
She's been doing a lot of good work in NYC for years.
She's been in a stable marriage and raised a daughter who's now in college.
So what if she can be difficult or a bitch at times... each of us can be. The difference is that the success or failure of a show or a movie (millions of dollars at times) has not and does not rest on our shoulders. It's not our name up in lights.
Happy Birthday Bette! I hope you're happy and healthy and will soon give us some sort of live show to enjoy.
Doesn't have to be the raunch of years gone by, but hearing you sing, tell stories, laugh would be a pleasure. OK, a little raunch and see if Mr. Manilow would play for you... then you can dish some dirt!
One of my favorites, Bette with the Mills Brothers back in the stone age.
She signed two copies of "A View From A Broad" for me at a bookstore in DC in the early '80s. She was wearing some kind of hat with a miniature typewriter on it. I told her I thought it was a much better hat than the 45 record she wore on her head to the Grammys a few years before, and she told me I had a good memory.
Love your post R48!
I also love your post [R48}
Saw "Clams on the Half Shell", Kansas City, before most of you were born. Great show !
I remember one of her concert recordings where she addressed the crowd with "Hello, Cleveland," and talked about staying at the "fabulous Bond Court Hotel," which I'd never heard of. Imagine my surprise several years later when I found myself staying at that hotel for business.
I, among many other theater queens, would have to loved to have seen her do a Hello, Dolly revival. Won't happen now. I think she's still capable of it, but she won't do an 8 show a week schedule. Even a TV version I'd accept.
Anyway, love her.
Karen Carpenter had one of the great voices and made everything she sang sound poignant ...but she was an immobile stick, she was glum, she mostly looked gruesome and she was stuck at the hip to that hideous brother of hers.
Midler was a genuine performer continuing the show biz legacy of the outrageous broad...there was a little Sophie Tucker, Martha Raye, Betty Hutton and Mae West.
When she hit the scene in the early 1970's there was really no one like her. She was ugly but sexy. She was a fag-hag. She was camp. The 1940's drag. Her resumè that included the Continental Baths. It was original and fresh back then ....a million years ago.
And at the time, of young performers combining song and comedy in an act there was really only Cher, Liza Minelli, Cass Elliot and Bette Midler. I just don't think she should be compared to Karen Carpenter.
And when she tried to appeal to a wider middle-American audience she really lost it all.... that horrible sit-com, junk like "From a Distance", the bad movies. There's really no use for her.
But if you want to hear the talent she had once upon a time, listen to "Delta Dawn" from her first album. Its really very, very good:
"The Rose" is one of my all time favorite songs....
if not the favorite.
In 1984, when I was 19, I was pretty much taken against my will to see Bette Midler's De Tour Concert. It is still the most purely fun show I have ever seen, and yes she worked her ass off and it showed. Funny, irreverent, musically diverse, kitschy and yet moving. I am a classical musician and her music is not my kind of thing, but that show made me a fan. Not a fan of the movies or her acting. Not a fan of the horrible ballads to come. A great stage/cabaret performer and comedienne, with an aching reedy voice that was quite versatile, if not always on pitch. Funny and hardworking. Informed about her audience, too. Warm.
I became enough of a fan to follow her after that. I really do wonder why this hatred for her because in middle age she said that gay men are promiscuous while formulating some thoughts on gay marriage?
So many on DL have no perspective on this issue. Same sex marriage is legal in my country and I am happily partnered for over ten years. We counted between us that we would have most likely been married 7 times if gay marriage would have been legal 30 years ago!! The right is necessary, but some people straight and gay take the concept of marriage seriously. Bette has married just once and was almost 40 when she did. She was not making a political statement. She has made plenty before and always embracing of Gay rights. Gay people who don't think about the the struggles before marriage equality have little perspective.
I remember Bette Midler broke down weeping in a (late eighties?) interview when asked (again) about her time at the Continental Baths. She had lost so many close friends to AIDS that she was overcome with feelings of remorse for making all the bath-house free fuck for all "seem so fun." A purely emotional and spontaneous response. Was that a homophobic statement, or just her own historical and personal truth? She said she had lost over fifty friends. Men were dying so fast, so young then. Leave her alone. She is NOT anti-gay.
She is more conservative at 67, shocker. She never was an original thinker, just a unique performer, all round bawdy crank, and someone who sold out to Disney and MOR music long ago. She has always had a big blind spot regarding the quality of everything she does - cannot differentiate the chicken salad from the chicken shit.
Happy Birthday Bette! This gay guys knows you have never been less than a friend and supporter of gay rights, and individuals, and that one can have reservations and still be a big fan....
my favorite thing is that she's a rancid old twat, and OLD
I considered going to see her in Vegas when she was alternating with Cher, but the tickets were outrageously expensive.
How old is her spawn? What does she do for a living? Is she fabulous like Miss Midler or is she a creepy German like her father?
While I've enjoyed her very much as an entertainer over the years, I'm a big fan of how she's been working for the environment. Her park restoration project is working toward planting one million trees in NYC by 2017.
Sophie Tucker jokes. That's it. She abandoned us like a used Kleenex and that is unforgivable.
Fan of the early albums. What a great mix or composers and styles. Enjoyed the hodgepodge. The Journey also the arrangements without the Streisand-like softening/ easy listening.
I guess everyone (including Bette) wants to forget her sitcom. After all, it featured LiLo as her daughter! (Only in the pilot.)
Nathan Lane and Emeril Lagasse, commiserating
[quote]Her park restoration project is working toward planting one million trees in NYC by 2017.
Guess there's no other place on earth that needs restoration. And I'm a NY'er.
The first concert my partner and I attended was in chicago in 1973. Her pianist was leaving for a solo career: Barry Manilow. He performed "Could It Be Magic" after the intermission.
It was a fun evening. She does work hard and is one of the last entertainers. but in her last tv special, the one from las vegas, she was still working hard but the stress was showing and it wasn't particularly fun to watch.
I think her singing is awful - too often off-key and a very limited range. But she once hosted the Oscars and was hilarious! She was able to take all the stuffiness and maudlin self-serving reverence out of the show and replaced the b.s. with witty one-liners that zinged everyone. She was the best host ever. She's a very funny comedienne. Love her.
A generou$ 'gentleman friend' took us to Bette's December 1999 concert(orchestra seats) at Staples Center in LA.
During the intermissia we met Miss Bruce Villach, with whom we hit it off quite well! We said to her:"You make funny"! To which she laughed and replied "That's what my mother says"!
Her talents may vary but Bette invented herself with a convincing body of work. She is an entertainer, she puts on a show. Very few people do that anymore and very few people regardless of their talents can really do what Bette did.
She took on the establishment, she was in your face. She was sometimes shocking and in spite of the career risks she always played to her fan base.
There is no one waiting to replace her.
She's a sell out. Wasn't her act always making fun of Vegas lounge acts...until she started playing Vegas? If she had any integrity, she'd be a much more beloved star. But I mean, c'mon. Who would've EVER thought Bette Midler would sell out gay people? Answer: Not gay people.
And even after she gave that VF interview about For The Boys where she tried to make out that the film had resonance for her, post-AIDS? Apparently not. She was always just a narrow-minded fat frau.
Why bother with her then? Why is it important to you to disrespect her? What's in it for you? Don't you have better thins to do?
What Bette demonstrated with her comments was that as close as we felt to her, she didn't know us at all. A lot of us could hear that shit from disapproving parents. From Bette Midler? No thanks.
Good to read that others posting here have perspective on a performers' long career, can see and accept the the failures and not let that color our overall impression.
Bette's done a fine job over the decades; yes there a number of treacly projects in the mix, but I think we're all a bit richer for her contributions.
R71, you typed, "But she once hosted the Oscars and was hilarious!" I had no idea... I'll look for clips on google.
Some cunts on here think she sold out because she dared achieve some success. What did they expect- for her to continue to play fringe gay clubs?
We are lucky that Bette gave us some really nice performances and entertained us.
Nobody is perfect, but there were amazing moments and songs that Bette warmed us with.
Bette Midler never hosted The Oscars. She was a nominee a few times and presented Best Song twice.
She was very good as Mama Rose in Gypsy.
Yes, yes she was.
[quote]A generou$ 'gentleman friend' took us to Bette's December 1999 concert(orchestra seats) at Staples Center in LA.
Speaking of the kid who cried "Wolf", r72, you tell so many tall tales, do you really think people will believe your Villanch tale? Since you wrote "Villach," I suppose that was your clue that it's simply collaborative fiction.
"The Rose" and even the campy "Jinxed" are among my fave movies ever and loved her in most of her '80s comedies. The brassy, bawdy persona worked best on her. Not so much a fan of the sugary stuff like "Wind Beneath My Wings" or her '90s films.
Well, her birthday is now over. Let's shut this shit down already.
If you wanted it shut down why did you reply and bump it?
I have loved her since I first became aware of her -- which was when she released her Live at Last album in 1977, and I was just a kid. I had never heard anything like it before. No, she didn’t have the greatest voice in the world, but she inhabited those songs like no one I’d ever heard before. Love the Millworker and Hello in There clips posted here. And long before I ever had an inkling I was gay, her campy humor really connected with me.
I’ve seen her in concert three times and each one has been fantastic. I’ve really enjoyed many of her movies, especially The Rose and the ‘80s comedies. I even loved her treacly ‘90s ballads. I was not fond of her sitcom, her Rosemary Clooney and Peggy Lee tributes, or her recent Vegas show (based on the taped HBO special).
She’s given me so much pleasure over the years, I don’t give a damn if she fumbled a question on gay marriage. I hope she’s around and performing for many years to come.
A review of her latest movie -ouch!
"Midler has been the beneficiary of so much cosmetic surgery that she resembles one of Peter Jackson's dwarves in The Hobbit. When she's the only thing to look at in a shot, you can only flinch at or confront head-on her Norma Desmond-like desperation for the spotlight."
She looks like she's earned all 67 years.
Janis Joplin wannabe
I loved her best in 'Down and Out in Beverly Hills'. She was hilarious in that.
Also loved her in 'Drowning Mona'.
Oh, and she never hosted the Oscars. The poster upthread is confusing that with her presenting best song in 1981, which is now infamous (and on youtube).
I love her as a comedienne.
I feel meh about her as a singer--she's great in a tiny repertoire, but whether she tries to expand beyond that, she flops.
I think she is a horribly insecure, self-important, and mean human being. But most comedians are.