Friday, July 25, 2014

BetteBack January 28, 1986: ‘You mean I won’t live forever?’

Bette Midler in the fast track
Bette Midler interviews are funny, witty, stimulating.
By David Hinckley
New York Daily News
January 28, 1986

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It is suggested to Bette Midler
she will run out of time before she
runs out of ideas. Her reply is swift,
without trace of a smile.

“Oh no, don’t SAY that,” she
says. “You mean I won’t live forever?”
Trying to pin Bette Midler down
in a phrase or two is like trying to
play Name That Tune with the
motorman on a moving subway
train. Under anything resembling
normal circumstances, it cannot be
done.

Take, for instance, the present.
Atlantic has just released her latest
album, a live comedy session with a
d u s t i n g of song and t h e
honest-enough title Mud Will Be
Flung Tonight. Bette flinging mud
at Madonna: “Touched for the very
first time? . . . Ha! . . . Today,
maybe.” At the French: “The nation
that gave us Renoir thinks
Jerry Lewis is a genius.” At Bruce
Springsteen: “I knew him when his
arms were as skimpy as his chord
changes.”

R-rated Disney

Meanwhile, she is also starring in
the movie Down and Out in Beverly
Hills, the first R-rated film from
a Disney studio. Midler isn’t the
specific reason for the R, though
she does her part with a howling orgasm
scene unavoidably reminiscent
of a similar moment in
Porky’s. Otherwise, she plays what
seems at first to be a walking
California joke, a bored, newly
monied housewife with tacky home
furnishings and a weakness for any
charlatan who promises eternal enlightenment
and thin thighs in more
than two syllables. Actually, it
tunis out, she doesn’t like the joke;
she’s just trapped in it. But let s not
get ahead of ourselves.

She will also begin filming, any
minute now, her next movie: Ruthless
People with Danny DeVito.
After that, she’s planning to star in
the Ina Ray Hutton story, a musical
about a woman bandleader of the
’30s. In between she may squeeze in
a Broadway revue, perhaps along
the lines of her 1975 Clams on the
Half Shell.

If that happens, it might answer
the question of whether she can go
home again. In the Clams days
she was still Hot Young Star of Chic
New York, Queen of Flash and
Trash, Most Bizarre Success Story
of the ’70s. Here was a Jewish girl
from Hawaii who looked like six
feet of body scrunched into a fivefoot
frame, who got her first notice
in the Continental Baths with Barry
Manilow as her musical arranger,
who had a wonderful voice she often
seemed not to take seriously, who
could do nothing too outrageous.

Soon after Clams she thanked the
Harvard Hasty Pudding Club for its
“woman of the year” award by
shooting the audience a moon.
“I’m an entertainer,” she reflected
years later, with a strong trace
of a smile and no visible hint of
regret. “I’ve built my own house.”
That house has included two
movies: The Rose, for which she
won an Oscar nomination, and
Jinxed, for which she won a nervous
breakdown. It’s also included
albums, tours, books and TV specials,
which have told both lots and
little about the compulsive woman
behind them.

Exhausted

At the end of her long 1983 tour,
she mused about being exhausted
(“You pour everything into it for
six months and it never turns out
quite the way you envisioned . . .
a l t h o u g h certain nights are
magic”), but doomed never to
rest.

“One of my favorite songs is Marshall
Crenshaw’s You’re My Favorite
Waste of Time. To me, just
spending time with friends is like a
vacation. You don’t make any
money doing it, but it’s refreshing.”

Which is as specific as she gets
about her life. An interview with
Midler is funny, witty, stimulating,
even chatty; you just don’t end up
painting toenails and telling secrets.

She doesn’t mind providing a
cheerful “None of your business” to
requests for names, places or
dates, and she once mused, “I can’t
believe people really care what I
have for breakfast or who I sleep
with.

Even if we forget the personal
side, however, some professional
questions remain. Is she a rock ‘n’
roll singer? Actress? Cabaret singer?
Comedienne? Performance artist,
whatever that means? Even
when she seems to be singing, is she
sometimes putting us on? The only
recent career even remotely comparable
to hers in scope, success
and style is Eddie Murphy‘s. So is
that it? Is she a short Eddie
Murphy with a large chest?

Yes, well, we had to get to the
chest, if only because Midler has
gotten more mileage out of that
subject than Dirty Harry gets from
a .44 Magnum. On Mud, after telling
a few hundred chest jokes, she
remarks, “Does anyone knock the
pope because all he talks about
is God?”

As it happens, the chest jokes
probably provide a good clue to the
whole question of who this woman
is, since they comprise perhaps the
best example of her major weapon:
pre-emptive strikes. She dodges
scrutiny the way she dodges insults,
by raising the subject so loudly
herself that the question fogs over.

If you sometimes sing parodies,
then maybe that’s what a bad tune
was supposed to be. If your stated
wardrobe goal is to look tacky, how
can you fail as long as you don’t
wear a business suit?

On Mud, she does a routine on
her 1984 marriage to Martin von
Haselberg, previously described
only as a “commodities dealer and
performance artist.” “He’s a German,”
she says on the record. “A
Kraut. Every night 1 dress up like
Poland and he invades me.” And
everyone laughs and the fact remains Midler has guarded this
marriage the way IBM guards microchip
research.

Now, it’s no crime not to invite
People magazine on the honeymoon.

The mildly ironic part is that
someone who prefers to dodge insults
makes money by handing
them out.

But then, that’s show biz. As opposed
to life.

Best deal

“The questions you hear in the
entertainment business these days
are all ‘How can we make the best
deal?’ or ‘How can we sell it?’ Not
‘ Is it any good?’ And that’s a
change over just the past 10
years.”

But is the business part at least
sometimes stimulating?

“It would be,” she says, quite
serious, “if it weren’t a matter of
life and death.”

What she’s more sure about is her
fans. “They’re great. They let me
try so much. Some of the ones I see
now I knew 10 years ago in the
Village, when I was shooing them
off my doorstep. It’s fascinating to
see how they’ve grown up. They
have jobs, they’ve lost weight. They
don’t call themselves Mother Teresa
any more.

“Of course, I don’t call myself
Mother Teresa any more, either. So
maybe I’ve grown up, too!

Certainly possible, although the
continuing shroud around her private
life makes the theory difficult
for an outsider to confirm. Which
doesn’t matter a whit, of course; if
she’s happy, what difference
whether we have the details? Her
former manager Aaron Russo once
said she had Y’a lot of love to give
and a fiery temper,” a combination
that suggests her conservative approach
is wise.

“I like to shop alone,” she said in
1983. “And I’m fortunate that I can.
I remember Marilyn Monroe saying
once that she could turn it on
and off —by certain gestures she
could become Marilyn or not. I feel
a little bit the same way. Like when
I wash this face off, there’s no face
there.”

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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 24, 2014

Don’t forget to check out July’s Bette Midler Jukebox

BathsBette

Don’t forget to check out July’s Bette Midler Jukebox before I change it out in August:

http://www.bootlegbetty.com/blb-player/#.U9F_X-NdXsY

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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 Tweets: Bette Still Needs Our Help

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

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Musicians: Streaming will sweep us into poverty

By ERIK SHERMAN
MONEYWATCH
July 23, 2014, 6:00 AM
Musicians: Streaming will sweep us into poverty

By Leonard Wilson

By Leonard Wilson

Technology has changed few industries as thoroughly as the music business. But the ballooning increase of convenience for consumers has rapidly become a bust for musicians trying to make a living. A number of prominent names have published their actual incomes from streaming, and the money doesn’t even match what they’d get from a paper route.

For example, Bette Midler has written some popular music. She recently tweeted that she made $114.11 on 4,175,149 plays of her work.

Grammy-nominated composer, keyboardist and recording artist Armen Chakmakian, once the keyboardist for the band Shadowfax, tracked his earnings from 14,227 plays. He received $4.20 from songwriting royalties, and because he was the recording artist, he also made $11.50. The record label is also his, and it took in $19.39. The total was $35.09, which works out to about a quarter of a cent per play.

“Someone’s making money, and in true fashion with the music industry, it’s not the artists,” he wrote. “Business practices like this are one of the reasons I jumped ship and only write for television now.”

The problem seems to be in the mechanics of how the streaming is structured. Royalty rates are tiny for all types of music. Cellist Zoe Keating, who releases her own music, regularly tours and has a strong following, told Salon that only 8 percent of her earnings on recorded music came from streaming.

Life isn’t any better working with the big labels, according to composer and musician David Byrne, of Talking Heads fame. He wrote that the royalty rates are “miniscule” and that the labels “usually siphon off most of this income, and then they dribble about 15-20% of what’s left down to their artists.”

Another musician, Damon Krukowski, estimated that it would take “songwriting royalties for roughly 312,000 plays on Pandora to earn us the profit of one — one — LP sale.” He went on to explain that the royalties he would see from one CD sale is the equivalent to 47,680 plays on Spotify. He’ll get additional payments for his work as a performer with the two other members of the band Galaxy 500. The group registered 64 recordings with Pandora. For one fiscal quarter in 2012, that came to an additional $64.17.

 

Is there more money to share in this branch of the sharing economy? Publicly held Pandora (P) has some numbers available. For years the company lost money. But its fortunes seem to have changed. According to its 2013 annual report, its profit was roughly 2.2 billion Danish kroner, about $400 million. However, in its latest notice that it would raise its subscription rates, Pandora mentioned the price of royalties as one reason subscription fees had to jump by a third or more.

As Byrne notes, some musicians can still make significant money in other ways, like live concerts to large numbers of people or through licensing. But he said the current structure could hurt up-and-coming performers, composers and writers who won’t have those alternatives for extended periods. And, as jazz pianist and music historian Ted Gioia told Salon, because the terms of deals with labels aren’t publicly available, it could be that young musicians are in an even bigger bind:

“The record labels could make a case that they don’t need to share royalties with artists whose sales don’t cross a certain threshold. If you’re Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber, you have no problem. But otherwise, you would get no royalties. The nature of these deals are that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”
Streaming music can be a great deal for the avid listener. The question is whether we’ll continue having an emerging supply of new musicians if streaming takes over, or will everyone have to get accustomed to one oldies station after another?

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

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

BetteBack January 26, 1986: Will Bette Play Mae West?

Hutchinson News
January 26, 1986

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Q. Will  onscreen sex be accentuated in the upcoming
movie biography about Mae West s exciting
life? – V.C.
A. Sex will be an integral part of the movie as it
was in Mae’s life. However, her movie biography
certainly won’t be overly spicy or X-rated. Veteran
director Robert Wise — whose credits include the
movie version of “The Sound of Music” — j u s : isn’t
into supersexy screen hijinks. Latest word is that
Bette Midler, who can get pretty raunchy, will play
Mae West. But. Wise assures me the movie will
emphasize the “joy” of West rather than a literal
telling of her sexy life story.

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

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The greatest mirror moments in film

Telegraph

The greatest mirror moments in film
From jump-scares to comedy bits, Anne Billson reflects on her favourite mirror moments from the movies

DUCK SOUP (1933)
The mirror gets smashed right at the beginning of this brilliant Marx brothers sequence in which Harpo pretends to be Groucho’s reflection. Split-second timing, reversed expectations and surreal visual gags add up to a comedy classic that has no need of dialogue or music.

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
Magic mirror on the wall, Who is the fairest one of all?” No list of movie mirrors would be complete without the mother of all fairytale looking-glasses – the ego-boosting device that goes horribly wrong when it reveals to the Evil Queen that she is no longer the prettiest person in the land. Magic mirrors can be seen in Snow White: A Tale of Terror (1997), Mirror Mirror (2012) and Snow White and the Huntsman (2012). But of course the best and creepiest is the one in Disney’s 1937 animated film.

DEAD OF NIGHT (1945)
“When I was dressing this evening, just as I was tying my tie, I suddenly realised that the reflection was all wrong.” Robert Hamer’s short film about a haunted mirror is one of the highlights of Ealing’s deliciously scary portmanteau horror film in which guests at a house party relate their uncanny experiences to the assembled company. Googie Withers tells us how she bought an antique mirror for her fiancé, only for him to see reflections of the past, not the present. I’ve often wondered how that marriage worked out.

THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI (1947)
“With these mirrors it’s difficult to tell. You are aiming at me, aren’t you? I’m aiming at you, lover.” Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth were already on the verge of divorce when he made her cut and bleach her trademark red hair to play the femme fatale in this convoluted film noir in which Orson himself plays an itinerant sailor with an absurd Irish accent. It’s a familiar tale with Welles – studio interference leading to a film deemed by some to be less than the sum of its parts. But what parts! Chief among them is the demented final showdown set in a funfair hall of mirrors.

ORPHÉE (1950)
Using an array of rudimentary but startling practical effects, such as footage of a hand dipping into a vat of mercury, Jean Cocteau inserted mirrors into The Blood of a Poet (1930), La Belle et la Bête (1946) and this update of the Orpheus myth. Jean Marais puts on special rubber gloves and passes through the looking-glass into the underworld in search of his dead wife. And all the while, he flirts with his own Death, played by María Casares dressed in Dior-esque New Look. “Mirrors are the doors by which Death comes and goes. Look in the mirror every day and you will see it.”

BUTTERFIELD 8 (1960)
Elzabeth Taylor gives an Oscar-winning masterclass in hangover management at the start of this delightfully trashy adaption of John O’Hara’s novel about call-girl Gloria Wandrous, who makes the mistake of falling for a married heel (Lawrence Harvey) who humiliates her in cocktail lounges. Lessons include how to wear a sheet, brushing your teeth with bourbon and how to scrawl furious messages on mirrors with lipstick. For more mirror writing, see Dario Argento’s Deep Red, in which a murder victim manages to write a vital clue on a steamed up mirror before expiring.

PEEPING TOM (1960)
“I made them watch their own deaths. I made them see their own terror as the spike went in.” As if the modus operandi of the killer in Michael Powell’s classic shocker wasn’t grisly enough – he impales his victims on the sharpened point of his photographic tripod – he makes them watch their own deaths in a mirror. Mirrors figure in the sick rituals of some of cinema’s best known psychokillers; see also The Tooth Fairy in Michael Mann’s Manhunter, who places pieces of broken mirror in the eyes of his dead victims.

DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES (AKA THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS) (1967)
“There was no reflection of him in the mirror!” writes Jonathan Harker in Dracula by Bram Stoker. It’s said that mirrors reflect the soul, which is the reason why vampires, who don’t have souls, traditionally don’t show up in them. Most movie versions of Dracula have a scene in which the Count casts no reflection. In the opening segment of the portmanteau movie The Vault of Horror, Daniel Massey discovers he’s the sole diner visible in a restaurant mirror, but two of the best mirror moments are in this horror-comedy by Roman Polanski (who had already inserted an early example of the “mirror scare” into Repulsion). The first is in a scene between the vampire hunter’s assistant (played by the director himself) and the Count’s gay son; the second takes place at the climax of the eponymous dance.

ENTER THE DRAGON (1973)
Shades of Lady from Shanghai in the final showdown of this Hong Kong/American martial arts classic, the last film Bruce Lee completed before his premature death at the age of 32. The villainous Han slips through a cunningly concealed revolving door into his own private hall of mirrors to escape the beating Lee has been giving him. The reflections confuse our hero – but only for a moment, before he hits upon the smart tactic of smashing all the mirrors so he can see what’s real. Other movies climaxing with confrontations in mirrored rooms include The Man with the Golden Gun and the seriously bonkers Zardoz.

TAXI DRIVER (1976)
“You talkin’ to me? Well I’m the only one here.” Travis Bickle uses the rear-view mirror of his cab a lot in the course of his work, of course, but also delivers the film’s best-known monologue into a mirror in his apartment. Paul Schrader’s screenplay originally just mentioned him practising his quick draw in front of the mirror; Robert de Niro ad-libbed the rest, thus inspiring a gazillion fanboy impressions and send-ups.

RAGING BULL (1980)
“I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody. Instead of a bum, which is what I am.” De Niro pulls off another mirror monologue in Martin Scorsese’s masterful drama about Bronx middleweight boxing champ Jake La Motta. De Niro endangered his health by piling on 60lb to film the scenes of the older, chunkier La Motta, and this time his monologue is the opposite of ad-libbed – it’s an intentionally stilted rendition of Marlon Brando’s speech from On the Waterfront, delivered in front of a dressing-room mirror as the ex-boxer prepares to go on stage for a nightclub stand-up routine. See also: Mark Wahlberg at the end of Boogie Nights, pulling out his flaccid penis in front of the mirror as he practises dialogue for the porn movie he’s about to perform in.

THE SHINING (1980)
When little Danny, helped by his imaginary friend Tony, writes “REDRUM” on the door in his mother’s lipstick, he is not channelling Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8, nor is he paying homage to the three-time Grand National winner. I’m not sure Wendy was in need of a mirror to help her realise this is backwards writing, but Stanley Kubrick hammers the point home with a couple of clunky zooms, one into a mirror, and a loud blast of discordant music – tricks usually derided when they’re used in horror movies directed by less-adulated film-makers.

ALL OF ME (1984)
Steve Martin (back in the days when he was funny) plays a lawyer who finds himself sharing his body with the soul of a deceased millionairess (Lily Tomlin), whose likeness he sees whenever he looks into a mirror (just as Scott Bakula would always see the “real” face of whichever body he was occupying that week in the TV show Quantum Leap). The result is a lot of funny bickering and some hilarious physical comedy from Martin as the two different personalities battle for control of the same body, though Tomlin matches him so expertly it’s a shame we only get to see her reflection.

BIG BUSINESS (1988)
Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin, playing two sets of identical twins, perform a variation on the classic Marx brothers mirror routine in a hotel bathroom. The main difference being, of course, that Midler and her “reflection” are being played by the same actress, making it less a triumph of timing and choreography, and more a trick of special effects and stand-ins.

CANDYMAN (1992)
Bernard Rose’s clever transposition of a Clive Barker short story from Liverpool to Chicago takes as its hook (pun intended) a variation on urban legends such as that of Bloody Mary, who supposedly can be summoned – usually to baleful effect – if someone recites her name a certain number of times while staring into a mirror. In Rose’s film the apparition is that of the hooked-handed Candyman, who emerges through an interlinked bathroom mirror to bedevil and bewitch a graduate student (the very wonderful Virginia Madsen) who is researching her thesis on urban legends.
JURASSIC PARK (1993)
“Objects in mirror are closer than they appear” Big game hunter Bob Peck glances in the wing-mirror of the Jeep Wrangler – and sees a gigantic Tyrannosaurus Rex reflected in it. It’s the perfect fusion of frightening and funny, and a classic movie mirror moment.

ROMANCE (1999)
Catherine Breillat’s provocative film split audiences down the middle with its chic young Parisienne’s quest for erotic fulfilment, though it’s possible she might have found it a lot earlier if she’d gone easy on the gloomy soliloquising. Needless to say, all the men I know who saw this found this slice of explicit arty erotica quite boring, though the women were rather taken with the scene in the corridor with the mirror. Enough said.
HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE (2001)
After Redrum, cinema’s most famous backwards writing is probably that of The Mirror of Erised, which Harry finds in an abandoned classroom at Hogwarts, which is inscribed with the legend “erised stra ehru oytube cafru oyt on wohs i” – “I show you not your face but your heart’s desire”. Thus Harry sees his mother and father, who were killed by Voldemort when he was a baby. But Dumbledore warns Harry of the mirror’s addictive qualities and says, “It does not do to dwell on dreams.”

BLACK SWAN (2010)
Natalie Portman gives an Oscar-winning performance in Darren Aronofsky’s Gothic horror movie about a neurotic ballerina preparing for the dual role in a production of Swan Lake, and getting confused by reflections, understudies and her own evil id; there’s even some writing in lipstick on a mirror! The climax, fittingly, involves a shard of broken mirror used as a weapon.

SALT (2010)
The two-way mirror offering a one-sided view into the interrogation room or line-up of suspects is a staple ingredient of the cop movie (LA Confidential), the spy thriller (Salt), the comedy (Bean) and the horror movie (Saw, The Cabin in the Woods).

THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE (2010)
This Disney special effects extravaganza is a lot more fun that you might expect, its potentially formulaic plot pepped up by a nerdy but endearingly intelligent hero, a brace of duelling wizards (Nicolas Cage and Alfred Molina) and some inventive ideas, among them a Chinatown dragon that turns into the real thing, with its operators still trapped inside, and the “Hungarian Mirror Trap” which crops up in a public bathroom, and again in a car chase through the streets of New York.

OCULUS (2013)
The mirror jump-scare is such a cliché in horror films nowadays that it even has its own supercut, which references everything from Phantasm to The Broken to Mirrors. So it takes a brave film-maker to make a haunted mirror movie that largely avoids it, opting instead for creepy backstory and build-up, as well as a full complement of body horror, flashbacks and disorientating mindgames. Karen Gillan sets out to prove her parents weren’t responsible for a bloodbath that took place 11 years earlier – it was a sinister-looking antique mirror called The Lasser Glass what done it.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

First Wive’s Club Musical Gets New Script

NYP
‘Wives’ tale is Broadway-bound
By Cindy Adams July 21, 2014 | 1:05am

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Apologies to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, this season’s triple-name wordsmith is Linda Bloodworth-Thomason. She wrote the Delta Burke/Dixie Carter TV seriesDesigning Women.” She wrote the ’96 Goldie Hawn/Diane Keaton/Bette Midler film “The First Wives Club.” Now she’s producing it for Broadway. And only RuPaul isn’t scrambling for a role.

“It’ll have ballads. Our people will have to sing. I’ve been casting in New York and Hollywood, but not picked anyone yet. Stars aren’t a requisite. I’m looking for talent. I’m seeing actresses that sing great, do comedy and can get hilarious while hitting a high note.”

Is it a musical or a play?

“It’s a talksicle. It’s funny and takes place in ’92. It’s not ‘Designing Women,’ because that dumb culture’s over. It’s the feminine side of the ’90s. But we didn’t use the old script. Didn’t even reread it. I don’t do rewrites.”
To the important things: Every time her Clinton chums sprint for anything, Linda does a film or TV thing — for the Senate run, Obama Denver convention, ’96 convention, 2000 convention, his library, six times she did Something. So?
“I spent 101 nights in the White House. Not wanting to be pigs about the Lincoln Bedroom, sometimes my husband and I stayed in the family quarters.”

So?

“So all I can say is, I’m rarin’ to go. The Clintons said they’ll come to whichever opening we have. It’ll be Chicago, best theater in the heart of the country, for six weeks. Our goal’s New York next fall.”

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

**~NEWS~**

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**~NEWS~**

We’ve just had confirmation the BBC Imagine documentary Bette was spotted filming at the Imperial Theatre will be about her life and career. No news on when it will be complete or air as of yet, but when we know you will.

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

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bette spotted filming at the Imperial Theatre in NY for BBC documentary series Imagine

Bette spotted filming at the Imperial Theatre in NY for BBC documentary series Imagine

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

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31 Things That Defined the Summer of 1989

People
31 Things That Defined the Summer of 1989
By NATE JONES
UPDATED 07/13/2014

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Despite what Public Enemy may have said, 1989 wasn’t just “another summer”. Though history is rarely that neat, the final summer of the ’80s saw the slow fade of many of the decade’s icons, as well as the launch of some of the ’90s’ most enduring pop-culture institutions.

In terms of cultural legacy, the summer of ’89 might not be able to compete with its predecessor of two decades prior – Woodstock and Bryan Adams will do that – but 25 years later, we’re still feeling its impact.

Whether you remember it or not, relive the summer of acid wash, hair-metal and Do the Right Thing below.

Movies
1. The film of the summer was the original Tim Burton Batman, featuring Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader and Jack Nicholson’s scenery-chewing turn as the Joker. The film, which came out June 23, was the highest-grossing movie of 1989, and with its army of toys and tie-ins, ushered in our current era of comic-book blockbusters.

2. Family classic Honey, I Shrunk the Kids came out the same day, and became the fifth-highest-grossing movie of the year. We’d never look at our backyards the same way again.

3. Rick Moranis pulled a Pharrell in 1989, following up Honey with a supporting turn in Ron Howard’s Parenthood, one of the only films in history to be turned into two NBC dramedies.

4. But while you’d never confuse Parenthood with a first-date movie, another summer film provided the beginning to one of the most notable marriages of our time: Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, released June 30, was the entertainment for Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date.

5. If the complex nature of racial tensions in America wasn’t your thing, When Harry Met Sally…, a more traditional romance, came out July 14. Of course, that movie contained its own awkward scenes.

6. A different kind of passion was on display in Dead Poets Society, released June 2 – a passion for learning.

7. At the box office, then as now, sequels reigned supreme. Some, like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, were quite good. Others, like Lethal Weapon 2, were OK. A few, like Ghostbusters II were positively dreadful. But, like it or not, all three made absolutely insane amounts of money.

Music
To the kids of 1989, the summer belonged to five guys from Boston, the totally-dreamy New Kids on the Block, who specialized in hangin’ tough.

8. Deciding the song of the summer, though, was still in the hands of the grown-ups. The winner turned out to be Richard Marx’s smooth block of adult-contemporary sheen, “Right Here Waiting,” which hit no. 1 on the Hot 100 for three weeks in August.

9. Other Hot 100 chart-toppers include “Forever Your Girl” by Paula Abdul, which peaked for two weeks in May…

10. …As well as Bette Midler’s “Wind Between My Wings,” which rode the long tail of Beaches-mania to the top spot in June.

11. Hair-metal was at its peak, with Mötley Crüe’s Dr. Feelgood, released August 28, serving as singer Vince Neil’s swan song with the group.

12. But the genre that would own the next decade was already making its presence felt. On July 25, the Beastie Boys dropped Paul’s Boutique, one of the most enduring hip-hop albums of the ’80s.

13. On the touring front, George Michael finally wrapped up his year-plus Faith Tour with a concert in Barcelona on July 6, 1989.

14. Meanwhile, the Rolling Stones kicked off their Steel Wheels Tour August 3. It went on to become the third-highest-grossing tour of the decade.

Television
15. The May ’89 finale season was the end of an era, as a quartet of classic ’80s television shows ended their runs. Dynasty was the first to relinquish its spot on the broadcast throne, airing its final episode on May 10.

16. May 14 saw the finales of both Moonlighting and Family Ties.

17. And Miami Vice rolled up its sleeves for good on May 21.

18. But while they were wrapping up, The Seinfeld Chronicles premiered as a summer burn-off show July 5, 1989. It soon got a new name, made its way to the fall schedule, yadda yadda yadda, you’ve probably heard of it.

19. Saturday mornings would be changed forever when Good Morning, Miss Bliss was reborn as Saved by the Bell on August 20. The rebooted series kicked off with a dance-themed episode that eerily foretold Mario Lopez’s stint on Dancing with the Stars.

20. At the end of the summer, comedian Andrew Dice Clay ignited yet another controversial segment at the MTV VMAs, with a set of nursery rhymes so filthy they earned the Brooklyn comedian a lifetime ban from the cable network.

Trends
21. When it came to fashion, denim was in. Preferably baggy and definitely acid-washed.

22. McDonald’s was in the middle of another one of its ill-fated attempts at producing a successful fast-food pizza.

23. Gamers had a serious choice to make when Sega introduced the Genesis on August 24. Was it worth shelling out for a whole new console?

24. Or maybe go smaller with Nintendo’s Game Boy, released July 31?

Current Events
25. The summer kicked off with the opening of Disney World’s MGM Studios Theme Park, complete with memorable attractions like the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and The Great Movie Ride. (The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, arguably the park’s best ride, didn’t open until 1994.)

26. The sports landscape saw two long careers come to a close in two very different ways. In basketball, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retired after two decades in the NBA. The six-time champion ended his run as the league’s all-time scoring leader.

27. In baseball, meanwhile, Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose was banned from baseball for life on August 24, amid allegations that he bet on games.

28. The world also said goodbye to Saturday Night Live legend Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer May 20.

29. Months later, another actress, just entering her career, had her life cut short. Rebecca Schaeffer was only 21 when she was murdered by an obsessed fan. In response, Congress passed new privacy laws that prevented government agencies from giving out a person’s address without their consent.

30. In happier news, Prince William turned seven on June 21, an occasion he celebrated by riding a horse.

31. But all these headlines paled in comparison to the news coming from China, as the Communist government brutally cracked down on protesters demonstrating in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.

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

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