Friday, July 3, 2015

Bette Midler One Night Only From A Distance 2014

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Top 5 patriotic and summer movies of the 1980s

Tampa Bay Times
Top 5 patriotic and summer movies of the 1980s
By Steve Spears, Times Correspondent
Thursday, July 2, 2015 3:33pm

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Sometime this Fourth of July holiday weekend, you’re going to need some down time. Picnics, beaches, fireworks — it’s just too much. So start planning ahead for couch time with suitable movies for the occasion. Here are our top 5 favorite movies for a patriotic holiday and top 5 favorite movies for the summer in general. Oh, and of course, they’re all from the ’80s.

TOP 5 PATRIOTIC MOVIES

1 RED DAWN (1984): Accept no remake! The ’84 original featured the late Patrick Swayze as the leader of a gang of school kids left to fight off an invasion by Russia and Cuba. It’s patriotism on steroids, especially the final line, which is read off a monument. “In the early days of World War 3, guerrillas — mostly children — placed the names of their lost upon this rock. They fought here alone and gave up their lives, so that this nation should not perish from the earth.”

2 GLORY (1989): This Civil War tale of African-American troops being led into battle in the Deep South might feel more emotional these days given our current political climate. Matthew Broderick sheds Ferris Bueller to portray Col. Robert Gould Shaw, who led the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Denzel Washington would win an Oscar for best supporting actor for Glory, which also featured a haunting score by the late James Horner.

3 THE RIGHT STUFF (1983): We interrupt this stream of war movies to bring you the epic tale of America’s Mercury astronauts. Based on a bestseller from Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff is part history lesson, part action flick, but 100 percent adrenaline.

4 IRON EAGLE (1986): Hear me out on this one. Louis Gossett Jr. as “Chappy Sinclair” — classic — leading a teenager in a jet to the Middle East to rescue his father? Campy at best. But add Queen’s One Vision and Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Gonna Take It to the soundtrack and you have Masterpiece Theatre for the ’80s.

5 ROCKY IV (1985): A Soviet boxer kills Apollo Creed! Rocky travels to snowy Russia and beats him wearing Apollo’s old “stars and stripes!” And James Brown sings Living in America! Ding, ding. This fight is over.

TOP 5 SUMMER MOVIES

1 NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION (1983): Before the remake comes out later this month and taints your memories, reacquaint yourselves with the original Griswolds and the pure misery that defines any cross-country family caravan. “This is no longer a vacation. It’s a quest. It’s a quest for fun.”

2 SUMMER RENTAL (1985): Filmed right here in St. Pete Beach, Summer Rental is the softer version of Vacation, featuring the late John Candy as the kind-hearted dad who just needs some peace and quiet this summer. Hard to believe both Summer Rental and Cocoon, another movie in which St. Petersburg stars, both came out the same year.

3 SUMMER SCHOOL (1987): Before becoming a special agent on NCIS, Mark Harmon was a chuckleheaded gym teacher who gets blackmailed into teaching remedial English to a gang of misfits. This summer flick definitely gets a passing grade.

4 MEATBALLS (1979): Bill Murray’s turn as a summer camp counselor is still an all-time classic. This Canadian flick barely missed the ’80s, but “It just doesn’t matter! It just doesn’t matter!”

5 BEACHES (1988): Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey meet on the boardwalk and become lifelong BFFs, until something tragic happens (sniff, sniff) and Bette sings an anthem we all know by heart. Oh don’t start crying yet; the song hasn’t even started playing! (Too late, isn’t it?)

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Bette Midler – Divine Madness – E Street Shuffle – Leader of the Pack – 1980

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Bette Midler – Empty Bed Blues – Live at the Roxy LA – 1977

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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“A DOCTOR, A DOCTOR” By Marc Shaiman from “Beaches”

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Marc Shaiman told me he wrote “A Doctor, A Doctor” for his sister Joyce’s wedding. He then sang it to Bette, she loved it, and then part of it got thrown into a scene in “Beaches.” Here are all the lyrics: (Thanks Marc!)

“A DOCTOR, A DOCTOR”

A DOCTOR, A DOCTOR
MY DAUGHTER JOYCE (or OY) IS MARRYING
A DOCTOR, A DOCTOR
SO IF YOUR KIDS NEED SHOTS,
JUST CALL UP MY DAUGHTER
AND ASK FOR HER HUSBAND THE DOCTOR!
GEVALT, I MAY PLOTZ!

ACTUALLY RIGHT NOW, HE’S AN INTERN
BUT SOON, HE’LL BE A UROLOGIST
SO YOU SHOULD ALL MAKE APPOINTMENT
IF IT BURNS WHEN YOU PISH
EVERY CHECK-UP BUYS A SET-UP
AND A SERVING DISH!

A DOCTOR, A DOCTOR,
OH WILLY (or REALLY), I’M KVELLING
IT’S A JEWISH MOTHER’S DAY
BECAUSE NOW I CAN COMPLAIN
ABOUT EVERY ACHE AND PAIN
AND NEVER HAVE TO PAY!
OY VEY!

 

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Bette Midler – The Lady Is A Tramp / Sophie Tucker (Live Divine Miss Millenium)

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Midler, Manilow, Diamond, Streisand: The last days of the great American showpeople! (Beautiful, but sad)

Slate
Midler, Manilow, Diamond, Streisand: The last days of the great American showpeople.
By Eric Hynes
July 3, 2015

Manilow, Midler, Streisand, Diamond.

Manilow, Midler, Streisand, Diamond.

The day of the last show in his “One Last Time” tour, Barry Manilow turned 72. “When my grandfather was this age, the best he could do was bring up phlegm,” he said that night from behind a piano at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, doling out a canny folksiness that’s served him since the 1950s, when he was a skinny kid playing accordion favorites for his parents up the street in Williamsburg (which Barry correctly described as “now all fancy schmancy”). In many ways, Manilow is still playing that skinny kid, getting loving ovations simply for hitting high notes, and eliciting hoots and whistles from female fans for the kind of PG-rated come-ons that everyone always knew weren’t actionable. It’s all just a show. But what was once mere easy listening, an exemplar of irredeemable uncoolness, has taken on weight and poignancy with time. A once dominant, very American-melting-pot mode of popular entertainment is about to pass into history. These are the last days of the great American showpeople. How will we remember their bellow-to-the-rafters, bear-witness-to-my-talent era?

Twelve days after Manilow bowed out with a reprise of “Can’t Smile Without You,” his onetime collaborator Bette Midler took the same stage at the Barclays. Three months prior it was Neil Diamond who came home to the venue, singing nostalgically about the “Brooklyn Roads” he grew up in—the same neighborhood (and high school, and showbiz dreams) that nurtured Barbra Streisand, who inaugurated the Barclays Center in 2012. Three of the four were born in Brooklyn (Midler was raised in Hawaii by New Jersey–born parents but moved to New York at the age of 19), all are Jewish, all were crucially born during the years of World War II, and all have been crowd-pleasing showpeople for half a century. With post–hip replacement Manilow being coy about future tours, the 73-year-old Streisand typically mum about public appearances, and the 74-year-old Diamond for the first time noncommittal about continuing his 45-plus years of road-hogging, their time of arena dominance is collectively winding down.

Forget the knee-jerk jokes and parodies, the gossipy tittering about face-lifts and remarriages. They once were among the biggest stars we had going. They dominated radio, Broadway, Hollywood, television, concert halls, and arenas. Fifty years later they still sell plenty of tickets and albums, and though their catalogs now litter dollar bins—throw a copy of The Rose in the air at your local used record store and you’ll hit Streisand in that Superman T-shirt—it’s only because of how many of their damn discs the public once consumed. They operated at the intersection of jazz-age piano bar crooning, variety show razzmatazz, mainstream AM pop, and Borscht Belt Yiddish theatrics. (All four did turns in the Catskills, with Diamond even signing his first ill-advised performance contract there during high school summer vacation.) And though they each adapted to trends in rock, folk, disco, and whatever other sounds they could craftily co-opt, it was always in opportunistic service of their own chart-topping agendas.

You can still picture each of these performers, even past 70, killing it at a youth talent show.
And they were never, ever cool. They weren’t disaffected rebels, weren’t looking to reshape the culture in their images, or start a movement. Well before they became stars, they had their sights set on the mainstream. Diamond churned out workaday pop songs for Tin Pan Alley, Manilow wrote fiendishly catchy commercial jingles for the likes of Coke and McDonald’s, Midler hoofed it in off-off-Broadway productions, and the teenaged Streisand auditioned her way onto stages and shows. They came of prominence as the 1960s counterculture subverted the aspirational middle-class, kids-of-immigrants-made-good culture of Frank Sinatra and Ed Sullivan—a culture that became square just as they hustled from Brooklyn to Manhattan to Los Angeles to break into it.

Except for Diamond, their peak stardom was sustained through polished recordings of others’ songs—the tried and true tactic of an earlier era, even as the singer-songwriters of the late 1960s and ’70s shifted the culture. They were fueled by chutzpah and hungry for approval. They looked, talked, and even flaunted their Jewishness (unlike Bob Dylan, née Zimmerman, Diamond even toyed with taking on a more Jewish-sounding name: Noah Kaminsky); instead of diluting it they poured it into the mainstream. All four of these famously Jewish artists recorded Christmas albums, and somehow nothing could have been more normal or banal.

You can still picture each of these performers, even past 70, killing it at a youth talent show. Midler’s bawdiness still seems somehow precocious, Diamond’s rock ’n’ roll still plays as charmingly second-hand, and Streisand and Manilow still bring the house down simply for hitting their notes. (Manilow even gets love for key changes.) At the Barclays, Manilow reminisced about how his grandfather gave him a standing ovation at his first appearance at Carnegie Hall, and throughout the show he and the enthusiastic audience were enacting an eerily similar, oddly satisfying exchange. Could you imagine a contemporary like Mick Jagger, or even fellow New Yorker Billy Joel—born six nonconformist boomer years after Manilow—milking the audience for head-pat approval?

So they were too available, too eager to please, too ambitious ever to achieve coolness. Yet although being uncool ensured constant critical scorn, it’s also been the key to their staying power. By never being in fashion, they never had to endure falling out of it. Neither did their fans. An unsexy truth about America in the ’60s and ’70s—a truth at the heart of Mad Men—is that many people, including many young people, didn’t partake of the counterculture. Diamond actually released a de facto PSA on the perils of pot mere months after the Summer of Love, which was around the same time that Manilow was composing commercial jingles for Coke and McDonald’s. Which made them safe ambassadors for a filtered version of the new freedoms, peddling hippiedom’s greatest hits (Streisand’s Stoney End) and dime-store self-actualization (Diamond’s “I Am … I Said”) for the Ice Storm set. These are the people who made Manilow, who sang of loving and smiling and making it through the rain, into one of the top acts of the 1970s. Over the same period, they followed Barbra from Broadway to Hollywood, from Leonard Bernstein to Kris Kristofferson to Barry Gibb.

And sometimes they didn’t even bother evolving. Diamond’s one of the top live acts of all time despite a set list that’s scarcely changed since Reagan’s inauguration. At his Barclays show back in March, Diamond repeated the final verse and chorus of “Sweet Caroline” three straight times—not in response to spontaneous demand, but out of a well-practiced tradition of overkill. (He performs it the exact same way every night, with the same false attempts to stop after the first run-through and the same on-cue chants for more, more.) Reliability is a large part of the appeal. Everything else changes, everything else can let you down, but there’s always that leap-to-your-feet thrill of hearing the first few chords of your favorite song. Cool fades, but “Forever in Blue Jeans” is, well, forever.

Or that’s the illusion. Now that time has started to catch up to these performers, even their cheesiest ploys tend to take on a note of poignancy. And as this strand of showmanship fades along with them, the cheese feels less like pandering and more like craft—a kind of well-tuned showmanship that’s unique to this generation of performers. Consider Manilow’s between-song banter, which is as rehearsed and calibrated as his singing. Looking up to the nosebleed seats, he said, “I must look like a little dancing nose up there,” with the next song’s ba-dum-dum-dah rising in response. As he doubtless had done hundreds, if not thousands, of times before, Barry invited a woman from the front row to dance with him for a crisp 20 seconds (“Everybody give a hand for Tara from Omaha!”), the star presenting himself as accessible but in control, and doing it flawlessly. The jokes, the interactivity, the self-deprecation—such stagecraft has been passed down among jazz joints and nightclubs; Ed Sullivan and Hee-Haw; Brooklyn and Branson, Missouri. It’s a tradition of execution, of notes and elements fitting into place, and much of its pleasure comes from everyone knowing (and exulting) in the pattern.

Some younger megastars have cannily borrowed from the big show playbook. Katy Perry’s cartoonish sensuality and prop-heavy showmanship owe a heavy debt to Midler, as does Lady Gaga’s act, which recently has also veered into Manilow and Diamond-esque modulations between ballads and bombast. Both artists actively court women and gay men, loyal audiences that have been crucial to the older artists’ longevity. While something of the showpeople’s aesthetic and energy may survive, there’s no way of replicating a generation of performers who emerged in that particular time and place—midcentury overachievers raised on a blend of mainstream assimilationism and irrevocable urban ethnicity. What we saw in Manilow, Midler, Diamond, and Streisand wasn’t, for all of their polish, an affect. Their acts were their lives, created out of an intertwining of popular arts that made sense for the families and neighborhoods and historical era that they came from. Younger artists are smart to borrow from these forebears, especially if they’re aiming to stick around and keep their fans for a while. But there’s no way to manufacture the innately sincere approach to both talent and salesmanship of the showpeople.

What may truly be lost, or what may truly be fading, is a belief that talent wins out. That talent, delivered with a modicum of flair, might be enough. That with a voice like Streisand, the musicianship of Manilow, the songcraft of Diamond, or the singing-dancing–stand-up triple threat of Midler, you could reasonably expect to make it. It’s hard to imagine any of them achieving the same level of success in today’s world. Likely they’d be churning out hits for Pink or Kelly Clarkson, or enjoying runs on Broadway, collecting the occasional Tony and making a decent living. But forget The Way We Were, The Jazz Singer, or Beaches; forget the variety shows and the rhinestones, the SNL parodies. Maybe they’d captivate us for a season of The Voice or inspire a standing ovation from Howard Stern on America’s Got Talent (a word that now denotes a repository for marginal acts). But that’s Susan Boyle territory, not Hollywood superstardom. It’s certainly not 50 years of arena sellouts.

Yet there’s still some gas left in the tank. Streisand’s developing a Gypsy remake as a Hollywood swan song. Songwriting-wise, Diamond’s last decade has been more impressive than the prior three. In classic pull-back-from-the-precipice showmanship, Manilow hinted at the Barcalys show that the “One Last Time” tour might not be his one last time. Meanwhile at her own Brooklyn finale Monday night, Midler showed that she’s still got it, as they used to say. She paced, kicked, and cackled her way across the stage in a series of guises, including a leggy pink tunic and a shimmering red gown. She channeled Mae West for a sexed-up stand-up set heavy on Viagra references (could a popular star ever again imitate a prewar icon and assume we get the reference?), and gamely churned out topical groaners about Twitter and dick pics. “I’ve seen it all,” she said, semiserious as always, but perhaps also more sincerely melancholic. “And what I remember I intend to repeat tonight.”

Which is what she did, and what they all do. Midler sang the hits, sprinkled in a few of her less-famous favorites, and ended on arguably the biggest song that any of these showpeople ever recorded—that cover of a Lou Rawls tune that generations of grooms have guiltily danced with their mothers to on their wedding nights, and that Bette has sung nearly as often. Yet she cried as she dedicated the song to her fans, and of course she nailed it. And it doesn’t matter how rehearsed it all was. True showpeople develop a routine and practice to perfection, supplementing it with style and flashing “a beautiful smile to hide the pain.” And they always, always finish strong.

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Conversations With Michael Eisner: Bette Midler Talks To Michael Eisner (2006 Transcript And Video)

Mister D: Thank God Mr. Eisner helped rescue Bette’s career, but during this interview it seems she was losing the will to live cause she could barely get a word in edgewise. Michael’s a talker! Who knew?

CNBC
Conversations With Michael Eisner
April 26, 2006

MICHAEL EISNER:
Well Bette, I am thrilled that you’re here on my show, mainly because you saved my career once. (LAUGHTER) And I’m looking forward– to again. Actually, and then we’ll start talking about it– when I went to Disney in ’84– the first person that called me was an agent saying, “You’ve been trying to be in business with Bette Midler for 20 years. How would you like to do Down and Out in Beverly Hills? I came to Disney. It was the first movie that Disney made under Touchstone in the new era, first R-rated movie that Disney had ever made of that actress who had been involved in many– projects, some of which were controversial. And that and five movies later kind of turned the momentum of a dormant Disney around. So, I wanted to talk about that and all the rest of it. But going to Disney for you after having done, you know, Clams on the Half Shell, and working in New York. Was that strange?

BETTE MIDLER:
I was very– I was terrified. And I couldn’t understand what they would see– why they wanted me. I’m thinking– because I’d grown up with, you know, Bambi and– and Cinderella. And I– I was terrified– I was so–

MICHAEL EISNER:
You are Cinderella.

BETTE MIDLER:
Well, thank you very much– I was– I was stunned that they would want me. And I– I couldn’t figure out what was going on over at the studio, that they would suddenly make this big turn from family viewing–

MICHAEL EISNER:
Please.

BETTE MIDLER:
–for– excuse me, you– well “they” meaning “them.”

MICHAEL EISNER:
Them. I read the scripts. And actually, it was the first Desperate Housewife we ever read. And you playing a Beverly Hills, quasi-desperate housewife–

BETTE MIDLER:

Yes.

MICHAEL EISNER:
–with Nick Nolte, directed by Paul Mazursky–

BETTE MIDLER:
Yes.

MICHAEL EISNER:
–sounded fantastic.

BETTE MIDLER:
Well, it came at just the right time for me, because I had had– big success with The Rose. And– I never got another job. I never got another phone call. The studio eventually called me back and said, “Well, we’ll make a– we’ll do–” this was during the time of Jinxed, my second picture. I lost my manager– or excuse me, I excused my manager.

MICHAEL EISNER:
Aaron Russo?

BETTE MIDLER:
I left my manager, the famous Aaron Russo, who was a real– I– I have to say, a real light n my life. He was a very exciting person to– to be in business with.

MICHAEL EISNER:
He recently ran for Governor–

BETTE MIDLER:
He–

MICHAEL EISNER:
–of Nevada.

BETTE MIDLER:
–yes. He was– he’s a fearless kinda guy.

MICHAEL EISNER:
He’s got a documentary out– about to come out, about how you don’t have to pay your axes.

BETTE MIDLER:

(LAUGHS) That sounds right.

MICHAEL EISNER:
I’ve seen it.

BETTE MIDLER:
I’ve been in– I was in a lot of– very exciting police chases with him.

MICHAEL EISNER:
Do you know he’s very–

BETTE MIDLER:
Those were great days.

MICHAEL EISNER:
–you know he’d say he was gonna kill me?

BETTE MIDLER:
I– you know, I– I heard rumblings of that. What’s that story?

MICHAEL EISNER:
We go back about 30 years or 20 years. When I was in New York at ABC, a man comes into my office and says– “There’s a woman singing in the bathhouses in New York who ABC has to make a deal with.” I– he said, “Will you have a meeting?” I said, “Great.” What I didn’t know was the manager of this up-and-coming actress, Bette Midler, and I shouldn’t be talking here, but now (LAUGHTER) you are interviewing me, but whatever.

So, I had a– I had an apartment for rent in a building I owned. And Aaron Russo came and saw it. And I rented it to him. And that night, I lay in bed with my wife, ’cause I asked him as he left what he did for a living, and he said he managed rock groups. And my wife and I discussed it and we decided it was a mistake. And I called him the next day and I said to him, “Mr. Russo, I’ve decided against it. I can’t do it.”

He said, “Please. I beg you, let me come back again.” He had this beautiful little blonde wife who was so sweet. And they came back. And they loved the wood-burning fireplace. And I rented it to him again. That night I went back to bed with my wife. We discussed (LAUGHTER) that he– that he had rock groups. We said it was a mistake. I called him the next day and said, “I’m sorry, I can’t do it.”

And he said, obviously kidding, “I’m gonna kill you.” So, now it’s two years later. We have a meeting about Bette Midler, this actress in a– in– in– in the baths. And halfway through the meeting, he points to me and he says, “You’re the one.” (LAUGHTER) And I said, “Yes, I am.” And he got up and walked away. And everybody else in the room said, “What was that all about?” And then I could never make a deal with you.

BETTE MIDLER:
I never– I never worked for you. Never–

MICHAEL EISNER:

No. I couldn’t get The Rose.

BETTE MIDLER:
No, no. I was a starving actress. I wasn’t exactly starving. I had a job in–

MICHAEL EISNER:
Fiddler.

BETTE MIDLER:
–Fiddler on the Roof. I started in– I started actually off-off-Broadway with Tom Ian (PH). I was his house person. He always– he came to me with all his scripts. I was his leading lady for a couple of years. And– I was– because I had been with Tom Ian all those years, I was very used to, you know, I was very used to gay people. I was, you know, I thought they were– I loved ’em. I had no problem with ’em. So– I was in “Fiddler.” And I could not get another job. I was going on all these auditions, could not get another job. Too short, too fat, too tall, too– too small, too white, too blonde, too whatever it was. I was always wrong. And so– when this– this gentleman called me. He– he had been my teacher at– the Berkoff studio. And he said, “There’s a man who called me. He’s looking for an act.” I said, “Well, I have a little bit of an act. I have like 20 minutes.” He said, “Well, it’s– it’s in a– it’s in a gay bathhouse. Do you have any problem with that?” I– I have no idea what a gay bathhouse. “Oh, no. I have no problem.” After he told me what it paid, which was $300, I mean, I was–

MICHAEL EISNER:
A what?

BETTE MIDLER:
–three– $300 for the weekend, I was so excited. I mean, it’s $300. I– that was a lotta money–

MICHAEL EISNER:
That’s good.

BETTE MIDLER:
–in those days. ‘Cause I was working for “Fiddler” for two– $225 a week, eight shows. So, this was $300 for two shows. I mean, I thought I’d struck it rich. I didn’t even think about gay bathhouses. I said let me at ’em. So– I went. And I went with my best friend who was a hairdresser who was a gay guy, who was Mr. Gerard (PH). And he was a fa– fabulously famously funny man. And when I told him that I was gonna do this, he said, “Let me write you some lines.” So, I said, “Write me some lines.” And when we opened, I had some lines to talk about the bathhouse. They were so stunned that I knew what was going on. They were so thrilled that anybody knew their culture that– I suddenly was like their– their pet. And I– I didn’t work there that long. But I made such an impression on the world at large because I was a– I was singing in a gay bathhouse, that I mean, I always say that when I die, it’s gonna say on my tombstone, “Began career at Continental Baths.” (LAUGHS) You know, that’s my– the start of my obituary.

MICHAEL EISNER:
Johnny Carson– found you there.

BETTE MIDLER:
He did. He did.

MICHAEL EISNER:
David Frost?

BETTE MIDLER:
Yes– oh, yes. I started doing all those shows. I did Merv Griffin, Steve Allen, David Frost. Mi– Mike Douglas, you had to go to Philly to– been– never been to Philly. I mean, I was like– I as on my way. And I was terribly, terribly excited. And really, they were the ones who sent me on my way.

MICHAEL EISNER:
You came to New York…

BETTE MIDLER:
At 19.

MICHAEL EISNER:
By yourself?

BETTE MIDLER:
By myself, basically by myself. I– I started– I– I landed in San Francisco with a good friend of mine. And we started a road trip. And by the time we got to New Orleans, I’d had enough. And so, I took a plane from New Orleans to– New York. And my relatives from New Jersey met me. I stayed a week with them. And then I moved into the Broadway Center, which collapsed a year or two later.

MICHAEL EISNER:
Fell– thing fell down?

BETTE MIDLER:
It– it just fell down, as– buildings in New York often do. And– not with me in it. But I had a– by that time, I had made some contacts. I had a little job at– at Stern’s selling gloves. And I was basically– and, you know, I was only 19. And my daughter’s 19 now. And she says, “I cannot believe–” she’s in college. “I cannot believe that you came by yourself to New York City in 1965 and– with nobody. And you began a– a career.” And I say– I say I guess times were different.

MICHAEL EISNER:
I went from–

BETTE MIDLER:
Things were very different.

MICHAEL EISNER:
–I moved too. I went from 89th Street to 65th Street. (LAUGHTER) In Manhattan. I thought that was–

BETTE MIDLER:
With a passport?

MICHAEL EISNER:
–where– I thought that was the biggest move of my life. (LAUGHTER) It was the first time I was doing my own laundry. You moved from Hawaii.

BETTE MIDLER:

Yeah.

MICHAEL EISNER:
Were your parents, like, upset about this?

BETTE MIDLER:
No. My parents, I think, were–

MICHAEL EISNER:
Glad to get rid of you? What–

BETTE MIDLER:
–they– my dad cried when I got on the plane. He cried. And I realized then that, you know, he was a– that was a generation that didn’t really– they weren’t overly emotional. They were very stoic. And they never showed their feelings. So, when he co– he cried, I realized gee, I really meant something to the guy. ‘Cause up until then, I wasn’t so sure. But–

MICHAEL EISNER:
But wasn’t the Hawaii in– in the ’60s really feel isolated? Today, it’s because of satellite

television and all that–

BETTE MIDLER:
But, you know–

MICHAEL EISNER:
–it’s not as isolated.

BETTE MIDLER:
–it’s not as isolated. I– I gather that it was. The films never– didn’t come for a year or two later.

MICHAEL EISNER:
So, did you learn the hula?

BETTE MIDLER:
I did. I’ve studied the hula. My mother said that all the girls study the hula. So, we went down to the– even though my sister wanted to study ballet, my mother says, “You’re going to hula.” So, we went to hula. We went once a week for years. And I still have all my records. And I still– I can still do it. Although, I don’t remember the stories as clearly as I ought.

MICHAEL EISNER:

Did that help you play the eldest daughter in “Fiddler?”

BETTE MIDLER:
Not even a little. Not even this much.

MICHAEL EISNER:
A Jewish–

BETTE MIDLER:
But it did–

MICHAEL EISNER:
–mid-European dances?

BETTE MIDLER:
No, no, no, no. And in fact, when I see– when I see sometimes the tapes from that– from that show, I think I can’t believe I got that job. Oh, my word. But I guess they saw something in me that I– I mean, I really wanted to be in that show. I thought it was one of the most beautiful shows I’d ever seen. In fact, it was the most beautiful show I’d ever seen.

MICHAEL EISNER:
And wha– when the person came to my office and talked about you in the baths and then said you were the eldest daughter in “Fiddler,” I did go. (LAUGHTER) And it only made me more interested. If I hadn’t– if I’d only given Aaron that apartment–

BETTE MIDLER:
You know, you know–

MICHAEL EISNER:
–who knows what could’ve happened?

BETTE MIDLER:
–what could’ve happened to me? I would’ve had a career.

MICHAEL EISNER:
Were you a– were you a piece of work? Were you a– difficult?

BETTE MIDLER:
I don’t know if I was difficult. I was probably difficult because I was very ambitious. And I didn’t have any other interests, which is not good, not re– really healthy.

MICHAEL EISNER:

You weren’t difficult at Disney at all.

BETTE MIDLER:
I– I– no, I was– by that time, I had been so beaten up that I was like– I was a desperate housewife. This– I was playing a part for real. I– after Jinxed which really– I was so beaten up during Jinxed– And everybody in the set hated me. And I couldn’t figure out why.

MICHAEL EISNER:
This is after The Rose?

BETTE MIDLER:
This is after The Rose.

MICHAEL EISNER:
But you were an Academy-award nominated–

BETTE MIDLER:
Can you imagine?

MICHAEL EISNER:
–yeah, how outrageous.

BETTE MIDLER:
I was– I was– I was so stunned that that’s how it worked.

MICHAEL EISNER:
Right. Well, it does– everybody’s not that way, you’ve since learned.

BETTE MIDLER:
I– other female stars have told me that this is the way it works. You have to have a certain level of appeal to the powers that be. You know, and everyone is not–

MICHAEL EISNER:
I was a power that–

BETTE MIDLER:
–and the– and I–

MICHAEL EISNER:

–been.

BETTE MIDLER:
–appealed to you. And–

MICHAEL EISNER:
You did.

BETTE MIDLER:
–thank God. So, when you called me, I was probably sobbing my heart out. Because I– because I had been– put through the wringer in the press over Jinxed. And I thought well, this is the end. I’ll– never gonna work again. And then this great phone call came. And Paul Mazursky was so kind. And the– and it was like the $500 special. Me– it was me and it was Nick Nolte. And it was– Richard Dreyfuss. And it was as if everyone was– out of rehab, out of some kind of terrible disgrace. And you were giving everyone like, you know, $1 and a quarter to work, you know, to get their lives back together. And basically, really, everybody did. Everyone really went on from that picture to make, you know, to have big careers and to sort of organize themselves.

MICHAEL EISNER:
I never failed with any of those three people before that or after that. Nick Nolte had

done Rich Man, Poor Man.

BETTE MIDLER:
Yes.

MICHAEL EISNER:
All that stuff.

BETTE MIDLER:
Yes. You–

MICHAEL EISNER:
Richard Dreyfuss.

BETTE MIDLER:
–sensational actor, another sensational actor.

MICHAEL EISNER:
Who was–

BETTE MIDLER:

And everyone was on their best behavior. Well, not exactly.

MICHAEL EISNER:
–now, during this period, you weren’t performing like you did on Clams in the Half Shell?

BETTE MIDLER:
I– I stopped doing live shows. Once I started in pictures with you guys, I basically stopped doing lives shows.

MICHAEL EISNER:
There was a piece of “Clams” where you come out with King Kong.

BETTE MIDLER:
Yes.

MICHAEL EISNER:
And I called up after I saw the show.

BETTE MIDLER:
You did not. You did? I knew it.

MICHAEL EISNER:
I– I called up Barry Diller at Paramount. I was at ABC.

BETTE MIDLER:
And said, “Get King Kong.”

MICHAEL EISNER:
And then he didn’t answer me. He never said anything, which is not unusual. And then I called Sid Schomberg (PH) at Universal and said, “How about King Kong?” (LAUGHTER) And they both started making it and ended up suing each other and finally becoming–

BETTE MIDLER:
Interesting.

MICHAEL EISNER:
–partners, all out of seeing you–

BETTE MIDLER:

Amazing.

MICHAEL EISNER:
–coming out of– Fay Wray.

BETTE MIDLER:
Fay Wray.

MICHAEL EISNER:
So, you span a whole kind of era from the ’60s and the kind of– Vietnam, late ’60s, early ’70s, the drug culture, the– coming outta that into the– kind of the ’80s, the– the Disney culture, as you were– as you will, the mother culture.

BETTE MIDLER:
Yeah.

MICHAEL EISNER:
The– turning your back on the drug culture– then the philanthropic culture. I mean, you have been– you have actually–

BETTE MIDLER:
I’ve been–

MICHAEL EISNER:
–the movie about you–

BETTE MIDLER:
–there. (LAUGHS)

MICHAEL EISNER:
–no, but a movie about you has everything you want. It has (LAUGHTER) the arc. It has the revelation of character. It has the–

BETTE MIDLER:
Love interest.

MICHAEL EISNER:
–experience, the love interest, the old boyfriend who goes nuts. (LAUGHTER) And it has– it has everything. But you–

BETTE MIDLER:

Yeah. Oh, please– please don’t make a movie of my life, please swear to me. Swear to

me.

MICHAEL EISNER:
Well, do (PH)– we made Stella.

BETTE MIDLER:
Oh, Stella, that was the turning point. See, that was what– that’s when I wound up in the– excuse my French. That’s when I wound up not doing– that was the turning point. That’s when I– I realized it was– it was not going to go well.

MICHAEL EISNER:
Because?

BETTE MIDLER:
Because I made Beaches, which was an– an enormous success. And it was an enormous success– for women. Women loved that movie. It was a woman’s picture. And I remember so clearly–

MICHAEL EISNER:
By the way, I should’ve listened to you, ’cause you came to me and said–

BETTE MIDLER:
I said don’t–

MICHAEL EISNER:
–call it Wings– Wind Beneath my Wings.

BETTE MIDLER:
Did I say that?

MICHAEL EISNER:
Yes. “Why are you calling it Beaches?”

BETTE MIDLER:
Well, it had a– yeah.

MICHAEL EISNER:

I made this whole case why it should be called Beaches.

BETTE MIDLER:
I remember that.

MICHAEL EISNER:
You were right. You were right. They did it extremely well. But I wanna go back to this, how you were able, which a lotta people aren’t, is to put the past kind of behind you as we say in “Lion King.”

BETTE MIDLER:
Very– well, you know, I had a partner who was a sensational person. Her name was Bonnie Bruckheimer (PH). And I– I loved her. We parted company. But one of the things that I took with me when we left was her motto which was, “We hold a grudge.” So, it’s not like we– the face of it is that I have forgotten. But truly, there’s some psychic insults that are so severe that you really don’t forget, you know. You kind of like don’t tell everybody. But you’re– you’re still like (GROANS). And I’m afraid I’m one of those people. I am. I do remember. And that’s a problem. I think that comes from my family. I– the good, the best of times when I really stop and think about it, the grudges are always with you. But the best of times, they have a tendency to dissipate. And you really have to pull them back in order to go on.

MICHAEL EISNER:
Well, one thing that you probably don’t hear and you should recognize is that there is in show business, there is business. Otherwise–

BETTE MIDLER:
Yes.

MICHAEL EISNER:
–Woody Allen said, it would be show show. (LAUGHTER) And the effect that you had on the bottom line of Disney, the effect that you had on turning around the perception of a company, of creating a non-Disney brand, was enormous. And what most people don’t understand is these companies, even big Disney, only are as good as the content. Just like an automobile company is only as good as, you know–

BETTE MIDLER:
The car–

MICHAEL EISNER:
–the new car.

BETTE MIDLER:
Yeah.

MICHAEL EISNER:
Which is– seems to be a problem today. And I would say your vitality and your spirit, and I think you know this, but I’m not sure you know the impact it had on the bottom line, though- or you probably heard it. But it’s– it’s there. And–

BETTE MIDLER:
Thank you very much.

MICHAEL EISNER:

I– I mean, it’s– we don’t talk about that much–

BETTE MIDLER:
But you enriched my bottom line too, don’t forget. I mean–

MICHAEL EISNER:
Well, we all did fine.

BETTE MIDLER:
Yeah, we did.

MICHAEL EISNER:
But there are a lot– there– 120,000 employees at Disney. And–

BETTE MIDLER:
That’s true.

MICHAEL EISNER:
–millions of shareholders.

BETTE MIDLER:
That’s true.

MICHAEL EISNER:
And, you know–

BETTE MIDLER:
Well, that’s great.

MICHAEL EISNER:
–you’re just doing a movie.

BETTE MIDLER:
Yeah.

MICHAEL EISNER:

Think you’re just doing a movie. Then you’re doing another movie. You’re doing an album. And this is very American.

BETTE MIDLER:
Yes.

MICHAEL EISNER:
It’s not done anywhere else in the world. And I think people do appreciate that. Anyway–

BETTE MIDLER:
Well, thank you very much.

MICHAEL EISNER:
–I loved having you here.

BETTE MIDLER:
Thank you. Oh, that’s kind of you.

MICHAEL EISNER:
I could go on for 100 hours.

BETTE MIDLER:
I could too.

MICHAEL EISNER:
Thank you, Bette.

BETTE MIDLER:
Thank you. And thanks for everything.

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Under The Boardwalk – The Johnny Carson Show – Bette Midler – 1988

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Bette Midler – Wind Beneath My Wings (Live Divine Miss Millenium)

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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