Friday, April 17, 2015

Barry Manilow: In An Age Of OverSharing, He Did It His Way

The Telegraph
Marrying a man isn’t the most curious thing Barry Manilow has ever done
April 10, 2015

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The news that Barry Manilow has married his long-time manager Garry Kief, and can therefore be legitimately described as gay, belongs in that dusty drawer of the long-distance pop watchers’ memory labelled “didn’t we know this already?” The really surprising thing about Manilow’s marriage, which he hasn’t bothered to officially confirm, is that it took place months ago at his home in front of 30 friends, none of whom felt tempted to tweet about it or post a picture of the happy couple on Instagram.

In my time as a pop-watcher, I have seen the sexuality of performers move so far from being something it would be impolite to enquire about to being the subject that everybody expects to be front and centre that I have naturally assumed that all the artists who wished their public to know about their lifestyle had taken the necessary steps. It appears not.

Back in the late 60s, when homosexual acts were first de-criminalised, the line used to be “Legal? It should be compulsory!” – but it was still only uttered behind closed doors. In the current climate of over-share, it can only be a matter of time before some pop stars desperate for the exposure invites us to witness their first gay experience live via Periscope.

Let me tell you, it wasn’t always this way. When Barry Manilow first came to prominence in 1971 – as the pianist and arranger behind the up-and-coming Bette Midler – it simply wasn’t discussed.

The first gay rights demonstrations might have been taking place that year, but when Midler went on Johnny Carson’s show to talk about the audience of towel-clad, moist young men who packed into New York’s Continental Baths to hear her torch songs and camp classics, she described them as “happy” rather than gay. Of course, Carson was in on the gag, but it wouldn’t have been acceptable to share it with his viewers.

Newspapers, whatever their politics or claims to be catering for the family, would not have printed an interview in which any artist talked about being gay and therefore the question wasn’t asked. Back then, let’s not forget, Elton John was straight, as was Rock Hudson, along with every other actor and actress on TV, every sports star in the world and all politicians. Outside of the magic circle of intimates, where someone’s sexuality would be taken for granted, it simply wasn’t an issue.

Like Reg Dwight from Pinner, Barry Pincus from Brooklyn was classically trained and tethered to the piano, the instrument behind which it’s impossible to be successfully charismatic. Like him, he got his first job as a musical director, on the last episodes of the Ed Sullivan Show. Like Elton, Manilow did commercials, jingles, anything that would pay. Like Elton, he married a woman, Susan Deixler, when he was 21, but evidently thought better of it.

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Bette Midler provided his big break. He co-produced her 1972 debut album The Divine Ms M, but wasn’t content to remain in the supporting cast. He refused to go on tour with her in 1973 unless she gave him a featured spot. “I told her, if I don’t sing for me, I don’t play for you.” She had a tantrum but gave in. Nobody wants their musical director walking out on the eve of a big tour.

The other key figure in Manilow’s rise was Clive Davis, who by then was the boss of Arista Records. Davis has a genius for recognising what kind of artists middle America will take to its heart and he saw something in Manilow he could work with. He forced him to record somebody else’s song “Brandy”, because he thought it could be a hit. He even insisted on changing the name to “Mandy” to avoid confusion with an earlier hit. Manilow was, Davis recalled, “a little insulted”. Since it was a number one single for him in 1975 and for Westlife in 2003, we can assume he got over it.

That was just the beginning of a succession of songs – “Could It Be Magic”, “I Made It Through The Rain”, “Weekend In New England”, “Can’t Smile Without You”, “I Write The Songs” (which was actually written by Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys) and “Copacabana”, songs which will be familiar to anyone who’s wandered around a supermarket or attended a wedding in the last 40 years.

When Manilow found that his audience no longer wanted his self-penned material, he made the move into duets, Christmas albums and the same classic American songbook that’s been profitably mined by that other evergreen crooner, Rod Stewart. He has triumphed at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, a city that handsomely rewards the ability to look as if you’re having the time of your life when you must be bored out of your mind. Like all the great troupers, he understands that while for you this may be the umpteenth time, for the audience it’s the one and only time and so you’d best make it feel that way. That’s why half the songs Manilow performs seem to have a slow wind-up before the finish, as if it would be short-changing an audience to send them into the night with anything less than 20 climaxes.

There is a theory that pop stars remain emotionally frozen at the age at which they first become stars. Nowadays, the technology is available to make sure that they can be physically frozen in the same way as well. When Barry goes on stage today, he certainly doesn’t look like a man in his seventies, not even one who reputedly brushes his teeth every two hours. He’s had a lot of trouble with his hip, and there have been times when going on stage causes him physical pain.

Why does he continue to do it? Why do any of these people who’ve had all the wealth and acclaim anyone could ever want? Ask Bob Dylan, who stopped Manilow at a party in the late 80s, looked him in the eye and said: “Don’t stop doing what you’re doing, man.”

Manilow is shrewd enough, and self-doubting enough, to have stepped out of the party after that because he needed to ponder whether Dylan was having a joke. Of course it could be that with people who’ve been stars this long, there is no longer any division between the performance and the person. Barry Manilow has a lot in common with Bob Dylan. It’s an act that goes so deep, it’s no longer an act.

 

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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, April 16, 2015

6 Secrets Of ‘Badass Babes’ Who Never Age

Huffington Post
6 Secrets Of ‘Badass Babes’ Who Never Age
April 14, 2015

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Here’s the thing about “Badass Babes”, we don’t wait for anything. It’s a part of our charm. A Badass Babe” doesn’t wait for her knight in shining armor, for happily ever after, or for someone else to create the awesome in her life. She creates it.

Badass Babes know how to stick out one hip defiantly at life, while simultaneously winking seductively. She can figure out how to make things “all better” for herself, and isn’t stuck waiting for the next bus to drive by. She knows how to hail a cab.

She’s the kind of woman that walks courageously into the middle of everything and literally creates her own universe. Let’s face it; a Badass Babe knows how to spin adventure, create fun and turn on the sexy. And of course Badass Babes share our secrets, because there’s no great fun in being a “Badass Babe” all alone! We love to run in packs.

Badass Babes Ageless Tips:

1 Screw your reputation: This is the code of the truly ageless Badass Babe and Rumi wrote it hundreds of years ago:

“Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.”

Badass Babes know this famous poem by heart and even have the magnet on their refrigerator door as a daily reminder. Get it. Read it. Live by it. Stuffing down who you really are is a waste of time and can lead to blocked chakras. Do you want a blocked chakra? Of course you don’t!

You know when you have entered the realm of the Badass Babe when you have finally figured out that you only have to answer to yourself. You have stopped worrying about showing your upper arms in public, putting a purple streak in your hair, and frankly what other people think. You no longer need anyone to tell you that you are getting it right or wrong. You trust your own passion and desires; and you are willing to change course in mid life and go after your hearts desire. Badass Babes make U-turns sometimes without signaling, and sometimes cause the occasional scandal. Come on, don’t you want to give “them” something to talk about ?

2. Badass Babes own their Own Bodies: And that can mean deciding to sculpt and color and decorate their bodies as they desire; so from going gray to purple streaks it’s up to them. So Badass Bad Girls may tattoo their skin to mark stages of their lives, or just for beauty. They may pierce. And they may visit the Plastic Surgeon. The magnificent Helen Gurley Brown was the baddest, badass babe around, and she said it best when challenged around her devotion to plastic surgery: “Capped teeth, hip replacements, dyed hair, pace makers, blood transfusions and polo vaccines are not natural either!” Amen sistah. I recently asked Dr. Richard Swift, M.D., F.A.C.S., a board certified plastic surgeon, while I was sitting in his office getting “botoxed” what kind of woman comes into his office these days. “Are they frightened of aging?” I asked him. Dr. Swift laughed. “No, they are wanting to live from the inside out; and wanting their outside to continue to reflect that fire that is wildly alive inside of them.”

Exactly. Badass Babes own their bodies. It’s our own canvas to do with what we desire and we can paint whatever picture we would like. From Botox and fillers to deciding to eat a hamburger instead of a kale salad (in public!), we recognize that our bodies belong to us in every moment to give us pleasure and that we have the freedom to choose what we want to do with it. Want some real-life examples? Check out Cher, Bette Midler, Madonna and even Dolly Parton! They are bringing their inside to their outside shamelessly!

3. Badass Babes Attract Lovers: Let’s face it. Badass Babes are flirty, funny and playful. We are the kind of woman that could be compared to an exciting roller coaster ride. Do you like sharp curves and deep dips? Hold onto your safety belt! Do you like to squeal? Badass Babes do. We are adventurous in bed; and we are curious about our own sexual bodies.

Badass Babes want to understand their own pleasure and their own desire. If they read about “the g spot” they want to find it! When you finally have gotten it deep in your own pores that you belong to you; anything is possible. And that’s why Badass Babes are ageless and frankly attract the hot lovers.

Good Girls often color within the lines and do activities that are acceptable to others. Badass Babes have found the extraordinary pleasure in being deeply vulnerable and honest with themselves. If you can bring that deep raw vulnerability to yourself; you can bring that to your lovers — and that’s hot.

4. Badass Babes Do Not Settle: They have learned that you can pay for things in many ways such as with money or your self esteem. They have stopped the credit line on their self esteem; no more withdrawals.These women have also learned that the more they are willing to own their own desires the sexier they will become. The truly badass amongst us will not settle in relationship; “just to have one”. The Badass Babe flies her own flag and that is a magnet for lovers who want a woman who is so self confident that she would rather walk alone than give up her self esteem for someone that isn’t right for her. It’s all about how we value ourselves. And the Badass Babe understands that if they are holding onto a lover for security, there is no room for the right one to come along. Badass Babes say “No”.

5.Badass Babes Have Learned to Listen: It can really be badass work to truly listen to someone. To truly listen can take time and a dropping of our body armor. Deep listening is also vulnerable work. It’s not just listening in the moment. It’s sitting in the messages and the possible discomfort that really listening can bring. We tend to defend, attack or even dismiss when what is being communicated feels threatening on some level or other. The Badass Babe has learned to open her heart to really listening to what has been said and what has not been said — to the communication in the silence as well as the words shared.

6. Cutting Back: The Badass Babe has learned that when you cut back you can expand your life. It’s one of the best paradoxes around to living agelessly. Try it and get ready for a new expansion.

Christiane Northrup new book; “Goddesses Never Age” is a New York Times bestseller. And I love that. But not everyone is a Goddess; some of us are “Badass Babes” It’s hard for me to picture myself in a soft white transparent toga and gold leaf crown. But damn I can still look hot in a leather jacket and climbing onto a motorcycle. Yet, I’m sure that Badass Babes and Goddesses can be ageless together. We are probably more alike than we are different.

Warming: Badass Babes can be high maintenance, but if you ever had one you would know that it is worth it. If you cannot emotionally hold a wild flowing river — go swim in the kiddie pool with the “Good Girls”.

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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, April 15, 2015

25 Years Ago I Wrote: “Hollywood’s Female Stars An Endangered Species”

IndieWire
Thompson On Hollywood
25 Years Ago I Wrote: “Hollywood’s Female Stars An Endangered Species”
April 10, 2015

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This “Risky Business” column lays out the landscape of the conventional wisdom of the time–that has remained remarkably unchanged since then. I doubt some of these people would say all of these things for the record now, however.

This article was originally published by the LA Weekly and distributed by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate in May 1990. I found it while I was looking for references to Marvin Antonowsky, who was an innovative executive who brought TV marketing techniques to the studios Universal and Sony/Columbia in the 80s and 90s. He taught me a lot over the years. He died April 7 at age 86.

What’s interesting about the piece below is that there are more powerful women stars because they are now able to carry action movies, from Angelina Jolie and Sandra Bullock to Katniss Everdeen Jennifer Lawrence and Avenger Scarlett Johansson.

“I don`t fit into a high-concept idea,” Sally Field recently told NBC’s Tom Brokaw, complaining, as many other actresses have, about the dearth of decent starring roles for women in the movies. And in a business dominated by the bottom line, that could mean the extinction of the woman star.

A star, in industry terms, has a following-like Eddie Murphy or Tom Cruise–that guarantees an opening weekend, no matter how bad the reviews. Only one great woman star still does that, Barbra Streisand. And she gets paid for her labors: an estimated $6-7 million for writing, producing, directing and starring in the upcoming “Prince of Tides.” She proves that box-office longevity-not popularity in Hollywood-dictates salary clout and the ability to get projects made.

No matter how sexist Hollywood executive suites may be, money still talks. But when Streisand retires into a strictly behind-the-camera role, will there be anyone to inherit her mantle? Not the way things are going.

Back in the `30s, an average of five women were included in the exhibitors` annual poll of Top 10 moneymaking stars, from siren Greta Garbo to tough comedian Marie Dressler. In the `40s the number declined to three, including Bette Davis and Betty Grable. In the `50s and `60s, sexpots Marilyn Monroe and Kim Novak alternated with the squeaky-clean Doris Day and Julie Andrews.

Streisand held down the fort almost single-handedly through the ’70s. The next decade began auspiciously with four actresses on the 1980 list, but the 1983 poll included no women at all. Although Jane Fonda, Goldie Hawn, Dolly Parton, Sally Field, Meryl Streep and Bette Midler were all moneymakers during the ’80s, last year “The War of the Roses”‘ Michael Douglas ranked fourth out of nine men; his co-star Kathleen Turner ranked 10th-and she was the only woman listed.

The old studio system helped. When movies were the only major source of entertainment, there was room for a wide variety of genres geared to every audience segment. The studios shaped their contract players’ careers, and every star knew what role to play: glamor queen, ditzy blonde, ingenue.

Today’s actresses must be lucky enough to catch a hit in their 20s and hope their agents give them good advice through their 30s. Otherwise they’ll play girlfriends as long as their looks last and then fade from view. “Women`s careers don`t last as long as men’s,” says Interscope production executive David Madden. “`There’s a romanticism of the older male, not the female.” And American actresses are as unclear about their screen roles as American men and women seem to be about their roles in real life.

“Many women in the film industry are confused,” says agent Nancy Nigrosh. “They often don`t know what they want to express.”
With the ground constantly shifting under them, it`s no wonder many actresses are having trouble finding their identities as stars. “The nature of femininity and glamor are evolving,” says producer Carol Polakoff. “Today it’s Kim Basinger and Daryl Hannah.” Jessica Lange, Debra Winger and Michelle Pfeiffer are “smart and gorgeous,” says Polakoff, “and attract men.” But they have yet to prove their box-office muscle.

Many actresses, including Lange, downplay their funny and sexy side in favor of the “noble heroine syndrome” that has afflicted Jane Fonda, Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, Sissy Spacek and Sally Field. Despite upbeat reviews, few people went to see “The Music Box” or “Men Don’t Leave.”

“Women rarely carry movies themselves,” Madden continues. “`They work best in a romantic vehicle with a man or in comedies.” Goldie Hawn was smart enough to know that comedy was her ace in the hole; she hit her stride with “Foul Play” and “Private Benjamin,” but stumbled with the period drama “Swing Shift” and a string of other disappointments.

The versatile Streep, recognizing that romantic comedy could save her flagging fortunes (she complained that Jack Nicholson earned twice her salary on “Ironweed” but wasn’t credited with a flop), is currently shooting her second in a row, Albert Brooks’ “Defending Your Life.” “Cheers” star Kirstie Alley, fresh off the smash comedy “Look Who’s Talking,” has leaped into the $1 million-plus salary range with the upcoming “Sibling Rivalry,” another comedy. Time will tell if Meg Ryan and Melanie Griffith are more than ingenues. And Julia Roberts is the hottest of the young stars thanks to a role as a submissive prostitute in “Pretty Woman.”

Part of the problem is that the studios don’t make movies for women anymore. “Most moviegoers are men,” says Twentieth Century Fox production executive Melissa Bachrach. “You can`t make movies just for a women’s audience anymore. There has to be broad appeal.”

“Fan club members are women who basically want to see men,” asserts marketing consultant Marvin Antonowsky. Since the `50s, when the studio system fell apart under pressure from TV, the movie audience has become smaller. The studios discovered the blockbuster, and more recently, the box-office potential of the foreign market. “Women got pushed aside,” says screenwriter Michael Mahern. “Movies today appeal to both men and women. Relatively few women go to the movies alone. It’s easier for men to be appealing to both men and women.”

The white men who write most screenplays have written more high-paying vehicles for Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis than for Jessica Lange and Debra Winger, who “have a fraction of their appeal,” says Polakoff. “Most people are more comfortable seeing males in jeopardy than women.”

With the exception of Sigourney Weaver in the “Alien” series, audiences have embraced few women in action roles. Tri-Star just turned down Kathleen Turner as a hard-boiled woman detective. Adds Nigrosh: “There`s a disbelief in women in aggressive roles.”

Although current releases “Blue Steel” (Jamie Lee Curtis) and “Impulse” (Theresa Russell) are trying to test the possibilities, there just doesn’t seem to be a large enough demand-from audiences-for movies about strong women. “They’re too threatening,” says Polakoff. “Im sure many women wish they could be strong-but aren’t-and hate the stars for it.”

Thus the women’s picture–especially the melodrama–has become the province of television (which boasts a much higher percentage of women writers, producers, directors and executives-and viewers-than the movie business).

Only three stars–Streisand, Midler and Cher–have maintained consistent track records; none of them is conventionally beautiful, but all have a strong sense of their identity. (And all of them sing.) Still “men have the power,” Bachrach reminds us. “And women respond to that power: to Sean Connery, Kevin Costner and Cruise.”

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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, April 14, 2015

Jennica McCleary: Something divine at the Legends of Branson – Thru May 19th

Mister D: I have met Jennifer and she is fabulous, not only as an entertainer, but as a person. Very warm, gracious, great peronality, and witty. I believe it was Vegas where we met. So if you get the chance to see her work her magic, please do. She’s a hard worker at her craft and loves it to boot and would love to see other BetteHeads in the audience. Oh, and she’s gorgeous!

NewPort Independent
Something divine at the Legends of Branson
by Tommy Jackson
April 10, 2015

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There is something “divine” going on at Legends in Branson. Thru May 19 anyway.

No, the real “divine Miss M” is not there in person, but Jennica McCleary as Bette Midler is about as close as it gets.

You guys know about Legends. It’s great bands, great dancers, and great performers. You have five performers honing the crafts they have practiced tirelessly for years. Typically the end result is five great sets in a Legends show… two hours or so of wonderful entertainment.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mediocre act at Legends in fact. But Ohio native Jennica McCleary takes her 20 minutes on stage a step above. She’s spectacular! Not that those who precede her and follow her aren’t multi-talented, it’s just when “Bette Midler” takes the stage, it’s hard to follow. Sorry, I said “Bette Midler”, didn’t I? After you see Jennica, you will see how easy it is to make such a mistake. Jennica bears an almost eerie resemblance to Bette; she also sounds like her, a lot if you will.

She is in complete control on the stage. This is not the irreverent, bawdy Bette Midler tribute you would see if it were watching Jennica in Vegas, but we all but guarantee you are going to come away more than pleased with the “Branson” version. I loved and tapped my foot to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy“; I loved and had a lump in my throat during “Wind Beneath My Wings“. Every number I heard was memorable!

Visiting by phone with this quickly likable individual a few days ago, I learned her opening night in Branson was almost one for that tourist mecca’s book of unforgettable moments. First the strap on her swimsuit broke during rehearsals. Later her shoe came unstrapped, but those two mishaps were mere trivalities when she came dangerously close to experiencing a major wardrobe malfunction as her dress was literally coming apart, during the actual show no less. However in the best tradition of the show must go on, Jennica repaired her dress as she continued to perform, and in a response we believe would have warmed the real Bette Midler’s heart, Jennica said, “Hey it’s opening night; what do you want for $30?” She probably already had them before, but after her brilliant recovery, the audience was hers!

Jennica is a tall, statuesque redhead, and if you think she looks like she’s been in a beauty pageant or two, she has. She is a former first runnerup to Miss Ohio where she won preliminaries in talent and swimsuit.

Jennica is a Canton native and graduate of Fairless High School. Her many talents started to come out early on in musical theater when she appeared in the likes of “Man of La Mancha” among others. Winning rave reviews in each production she appeared, Jennica opted to go on the road to similar results. It was during that time that she decided to follow her dream of creating her own tribute show to the Divine Miss M.

After studying Midler’s live tapes to get the star’s walk and other nuances mastered, Jennica kicked off her Midler tribute in Las Vegas at the Aruba Hotel in May, 2007. The complete show covers all facets of Midler’s great career, up to the gut-wrenching “One For My Baby” which she performed as the final guest for the final show of her dear friend Johnny Carson.

As luck would have it, just as Jennica was getting her Midler show established, the real Bette signed with Caesar’s Palace to do a two-year run. At that point, Jennica put her Bette on the shelf and went back to her pre-Bette Vegas routine of singing with three bands and two vocal groups.

If you haven’t already guessed by now Jennica McCleary wears a lot of hats and from what we have seen (and read), she seems to wear them all well. For example, she is a great singer, dancer and actor. She’s been in regional productions all over including “Titanic” and “Jekyll & Hyde” among several others. She has choreographed other well known productions including “The Rocky Horror Show”. In addition, she worked in wig styling for the Broadway production of “Pajama Game” and has served as a dance/voice instructor at the Las Vegas School of Dance and Music.

One of the many questions I had for Jennica was “has she met the ‘real’ Miss M?” She has indeed, and there is a funny story there. The time was 2005 in New York City. Jennica had gone to a record shop to pick up a copy of Bette’s latest CD. The deal was that if you bought the product, you got a wristband and could come back that evening and have the Divine Miss M sign the CD. Jennica remembers freezing rain was falling on the bitter cold night. “My fingers were frozen”, she recalled. She was clutching an early promo picture of herself as Bette when she approached where the star was signing. “Just for the heck of it,” she laughed. The store manager who was standing by the seated entertainer wanted to take a look at the photo. He was impressed enough to show it to Bette, who took a look and quipped, “I thought that was me.” I think you will think she’s the real deal as well when you see her at Legends (on the strip in the former American Bandstand Theatre). Check their website for schedules and ticket information.

Jennica dreams of taking the full two-hour show to opening off Broadway. She will likely be in that area later this spring when she heads to the Northeast after her Branson run comes to an end. Someone will be calling her soon for work you can rest assured. She’s too talented for that not to happen. On down the road, she would also love to star as the Divine Miss M in a television Movie of the Week. I can see that happening certainly. The sky is the limit for this amazingly talented performer.

Tommy Jackson is a former newspaper editor who now writes a weekly entertainment column. Contact him at tommyjackson1a@yahoo.com

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

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Monday, April 13, 2015

25 MORE VICIOUSLY ENTERTAINING COMMENTS — THE SHADIEST OF THE SHADY

PaperMag
the musto list
25 MORE VICIOUSLY ENTERTAINING COMMENTS — THE SHADIEST OF THE SHADY
by Michael Musto

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Not long ago, I served you an array of colorfully nasty comments and reviews from the history books, creating a veritable feast of viciousness. Well, there’s more! In fact, there’s apparently an infinite amount of gleefully bitchy remarks out there, and I’ll gladly compile them again and again, just so we learn how it’s done. Here goes:

“I’m glad I’ve given up drugs and alcohol. It would be awful to be like Keith Richards. He’s pathetic. It’s like a monkey with arthritis, trying to go onstage and look young.” — Elton John

“Elton’s writing is limited to songs for dead blondes.” — Keith Richards

“I want to thank everyone who worked on the film, except for Bruce Willis, who is a fucking dick” — Kevin Smith at the wrap party for Cop Out (2010)

“Michael Jackson’s album was only called Bad because there wasn’t enough room on the sleeve for Pathetic.” — Prince

“His music used to be original. Now it’s aboriginal.” — Sir Ernest Newman on Igor Stravinsky

“Someone should make a Kickstarter to get Taylor Swift a booty” — Diplo’s tweet about Taylor Swift

“Should we do something about your tiny penis while we’re at it?” — Lorde’s response to Diplo

“What the hell do people see in Russell Brand — a major loser! Katy Perry must have been drunk when she married Russell.” –Donald Trump’s tweets about Russell Brand in 2014

“@realDonaldTrump are you drunk when you write these tweets? Or does that foam you spray on your bald head make you high I don’t think your daddy left you any witty ripostes, and everything you have you inherited” — Russell Brand’s response

“As the heroine, Meryl Streep tousles her shag-cut brown hair, chews gum, and talks with a twang; she eyes a man, her head at an angle. She has the external details of ‘Okie bad girl’ down pat, but something is not quite right. She has no natural vitality; she’s like a replicant — all shtick.” — Pauline Kael’s review of Silkwood (1983)

“I hate Houston. It’s crawling with bugs. Oh, wait, that’s Whitney Houston. I’m sorry, my bad. Can I just mention that Whitney looked fabulous at the Grammys? She was in mahogany from head to toe.” — Joan Rivers

“Elizabeth Taylor is so fat, she puts mayonnaise on aspirin…I took her to McDonald’s and she got stuck in the arches. I had to butter her thighs to get her out….I took Elizabeth Taylor to SeaWorld. It was so embarrassing. When Shamu the whale jumped out of the water, she asked, ‘Does he come with fries?’ ” — Joan Rivers

“If I found her floating in my pool, I’d punish my dog.”– Joan Rivers on Yoko Ono

“A buxom milkmaid reminiscent of a cow wearing a girdle, and both have the same amount of acting talent.”–Mr. Blackwell re Brigitte Bardot (1962)

“She has a face that belongs to the sea and the wind, with large rocking-horse nostrils and teeth that you just know bite an apple every day.” — Cecil Beaton on Katharine Hepburn

Joan Crawford has slept with every male star at MGM except Lassie.” — Bette Davis

“I wouldn’t piss on Joan Crawford if she was on fire.” — Bette Davis

[After being told that she should only say good things about the dead] “Joan Crawford is dead. Good!” — Bette Davis

“I have more talent in my smallest fart than you have in your entire body.” — Walter Matthau to Barbra Streisand

“Has all the fun and gaiety of a burning orphanage.”– A 1971 Variety review of Harold and Maude (1971)

“Dreadful enough to make most viewers consider gouging out their eyes in order to avoid seeing a second time the spectacle of the world’s most wooden actor pretending to undergo a spiritual crisis.” — Sight and Sound on the Arnold Schwarzenegger film End of Days (1999)

“The movie is of an unbelievable badness; it brings back clichés you didn’t know you knew — they’re practically from the unconscious of moviegoers. To criticize this movie is like tripping a dwarf.” — Pauline Kael on Song of Norway (1970)

“Helen Reddy should be arrested for loitering in front of an orchestra.” –Bette Midler

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

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring has sprung and so has new music in the Bette Midler Jukebox!

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Spring has sprung and so has new music in the Bette Midler Jukebox! You’ll find the old, the new, the live, the rare, the interviews, oh well, you get it! A  little bit of everything! So enjoy!

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

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

In The New UnCut Magazine Bryan Ferry Talks Recording In Locations Ranging From West London To Bette Midler’s Loft

Uncut
Bryan Ferry: “David Bowie rang and said, ‘I’ve just done an album like yours…’”
April 2, 2015

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Bryan Ferry takes us through his solo catalogue in the new Uncut, dated May 2015 and out now.

From 1973 debut These Foolish Things right up to last year’s Avonmore, the Roxy Music singer and songwriter recalls the writing and recording of his best albums, remembering sessions with Nile Rodgers, David Gilmour and more in locations ranging from west London to Bette Midler’s loft in Tribeca, New York City.

Ferry even responds to the rumours that Bowie’s Pin Ups concept was inspired by his own covers album, These Foolish Things, recorded just before Bowie’s.

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“David Bowie actually telephoned me,” he says. “We must have done the [Finsbury Park] Rainbow show with him before that, and the Greyhound in Croydon, another show where Roxy supported Bowie. David rang me cheerfully one day and said, ‘Just to let you know, I’ve just done an album like yours.’

“But it wasn’t really, it was a covers LP, but all from the ’60s, whereas mine was a more comprehensive take on pop, just lots of different people who were interesting to me, writers like Goffin & King, Leiber & Stoller, The Rolling Stones, Smokey Robinson, of course, and Dylan.”

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

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Fans’ cash opens door to new CD for Melissa Manchester, Former Harlette

The Columbus Dispatch
Fans’ cash opens door to new CD for Melissa Manchester
By Gary Graff
THE NEW YORK TIMES SYNDICATE • Friday April 3, 2015 5:00 AM

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In recent years, Melissa Manchester has had a double career, mixing singing with teaching music at the University of Southern California-Los Angeles.

By her own account, she has been increasingly happy with that life — so many people who know her were surprised by the release of You Gotta Love the Life, her first new album in a decade.

According to the Grammy-winning singer, her students made the album possible — by opening her eyes to the idea of crowd-funding, an increasingly popular way for musicians to finance new projects.

“I’m still in an old paradigm,” the 64-year-old Manchester said by phone from her home in Los Angeles. “I asked them how they got their work done, and not one of them mentioned a label. They mentioned crowd-funding and said, ‘You should do this.’

“I didn’t know what they were talking about. One of my students became my project manager and walked me and my tour manager through the whole project. A lot of students became my street team, and it was just unbelievable as it unfolded. . . . It was really delightful in so many ways.”

The experience underscored how a musician is never too old to learn a new trick or two.

Music has long been a part of Manchester’s life: Her father played bassoon for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York, and she began playing piano as a young child. She later attended the Manhattan School of Music and, by the time she was 15, was singing on commercial jingles.

She also was an accomplished-enough songwriter to work for Chappell Music while in high school; among her classmates in New York University’s songwriting program was Paul Simon.

Manchester broke into the music scene by singing in neighborhood clubs. At one such gig, Barry Manilow heard her and was impressed. He introduced her to Bette Midler, who hired Manchester to join her Harlettes backup singers in 1971.

Two years later, she released her first album. Her third album, Melissa (1975), launched her first top 10 hit, Midnight Blue, and established Manchester as a star.

“There was no question that you could feel the quake of movement and a big shift in persona and a big attendance shift in audience and venues,” Manchester recalled. “But it was always about finding the next way to make music.”

Which she did, scoring more hits with Just Too Many People (1975), Just You and I (1976) and Better Days (1976), and co-writing Whenever I Call You Friend (1978), Kenny Loggins’ hit duet with Stevie Nicks.

Her rendition of Peter Allen’s Don’t Cry Out Loud (1978) was nominated for a Grammy; and Through the Eyes of Love, the theme song from the film Ice Castles (1979), was nominated for an Academy Award.

Manchester’s Grammy for best female vocal performance came in 1982 for You Should Hear How She Talks About You.

“I didn’t have the conventional trajectory,” she said, “because I did take time off to raise my kids and all that. But I appreciate the song form more and more. I refer to song as ‘soul currency’ now, because I’ve seen how songs change a mind, change a heart or change a nation, and it’s no small thing.”

Songs were certainly first and foremost on Manchester’s mind as she was making You Gotta Love the Life at Citrus College in Glendora, Calif., where she is an honorary artist in residence.

The sessions were filled with magical moments, including guest spots by Al Jarreau on Big Light and Keb’ Mo’, who plays guitar on Feelin’ for You. Other End of the Phone, which features Dionne Warwick, is the final lyric ever written by Hal David and features one of the last performances by keyboardist Joe Sample.

Stevie Wonder had been scheduled to simply play harmonica on Your Love Is Where I Live but ended up doing much more.

“I’ve known Stevie off and on for many years,” Manchester said, “and I was very honored when he said yes and he came down and brought his box of harmonicas. He couldn’t have been more generous and played enough for 1,000 songs.”

Manchester and her team chronicled much of the process online — to her fans’ delight.

“They loved the Facebook posts, and they loved the Indiegogo posts,” she said. “And some of the big contributors were invited to the studio.”

The campaign, which raised $40,336 in two months, closed in October 2013.

Manchester has plenty of other projects on her plate.

Primary among them is The Sweet Potato Queen, a musical she wrote with Rupert Holmes.

She also continues to do live performances and, of course, makes time for teaching.

“I am deeply grateful that I’ve been able to do this for so long,” she said.

“As I explain to my students: If you’re lucky and you’re really blessed and you get a chance to grow old with your songs and your songs grow with you, what happens is that you foist your life experience on these songs that you write at the beginning of your career, and they become a deepened experience for you.”

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

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Liz Smith Talks Turning 90, Gossip, Bette Midler, Stars, Being Outed, And Much More…

Hollywood Reporter
At 92, Liz Smith Reveals How Rupert Murdoch Fired Her, What It Felt Like to Be Outed
April 8, 2015

New York’s grande dame of gossip has still got it, as she talks, kisses and tells about NYC’s most powerful, revealing which mogul asked her advice on coming out, which famous friend cared less about her after she lost her column and how turning 90 was different from being 80 (“When I was 80, I was doing fine. I was still part of life. But something happens when you have to say you’re 90″).

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“I’m too old for gossip,” insists 92-year-old Liz Smith, delicately settling into a banquette at her favorite Tex Mex watering hole in Murray Hill. But a few hours with the legendary columnist proves that’s far from the truth. Despite a few aches and pains, Smith remains a wickedly funny and energetic observer of America’s celebrity circus, overflowing with impertinent anecdotes and insider information she’s gleaned as the Boswell of the rich and famous. From the time she began her first job at a New York City studio rag called Modern Screen, the renowned journalist has had a ringside seat for every celebrity story and scandal since World War II. Not since the glory days of Walter Winchell has a gossip columnist been as powerful — or as widely read — as she was.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1923, Smith fled to New York in her 20s and began her steady conquest of the city, cultivating friendships with the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando and parlaying those intimacies into a lucrative lifelong career. At its height, her column was syndicated in more than 75 newspapers worldwide, including the New York Post, which lured Smith away for a princely sum from arch-rival Daily News. At one point, she was earning more than $1 million a year. And while the Post let her go in 2009, she’s still churning out her column from the same Murray Hill building she’s lived in since 1979. (Syndicated by the Chicago Tribune, it’s carried in dozens of papers nationwide and on New York Social Diary.) In March, THR met with the grande dame of dish to discuss Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Madonna, Barry Diller and life in the gossip trenches.

I believe the last time I interviewed you was exactly 23 years ago.

Our interview made headlines, as I recall. Outweek was viciously outing me as a lesbian for two years. And you called to ask if you could interview me for them. It was so outrageous, I couldn’t say no.

I believe the money quote was, “Who am I, the great lesbian of the Western world? They want me to go out, and I want them to go in!”

Yeah, well, I don’t really like blackmail and being told what to do. I didn’t care about being outed. But I wasn’t going to paint myself purple and walk down Fifth Avenue waving a sign. I was old enough that people could describe me any way they wanted. I feel the same way now.

How would you describe yourself?

As a very, very old person. (Laughs.) I’ve changed a lot, but everybody does. When I was 80, I was doing fine. I was still part of life. But something happens when you have to say you’re 90.

You were 86 years old when Rupert Murdoch let you go from the New York Post. Were you surprised by that?

I was more shocked than anyone. I thought I was indispensable. Looking back, I just wasn’t what the powers that be wanted. And I don’t think it had anything to do with Murdoch himself. He liked me well enough and I had been nice to his family when they were virtually unknown here. I went to see him after they fired me and I asked for my job back. He was very sweet and complimentary and finally he said, “Well, you know, it’s an editorial thing, Liz. I can’t interfere with the Post’s editors.” I burst out laughing. I said, “Of course you can!” And then he started laughing, too. But then he said he was sorry and kissed me on the cheek, and that was that. But the whole thing hurt my feelings and my stature as a columnist. I’ve had to struggle to make an adequate living since then.

You expected more loyalty from him.

No. He didn’t owe me loyalty. You’ve got to remember I had worked for the Daily News for 15 years. I was the enemy at the Post, so I was never completely accepted. But if I’ve learned anything, it’s that you can’t depend on anything. The world can change in a minute.

How did a tomboy from Texas end up chasing movie stars in New York?

Just lucky, I guess. I grew up in a hard-shell Baptist town. I was this goofy starstruck kid, so in love with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers that I couldn’t see straight. So I’d go down to the Tivoli Theater for a dime on Saturdays and watch them singing and dancing all day. But I didn’t have the talent to pursue performing myself, so I decided to be a writer instead. I pretty much separated myself from my parents, who were lovely people but thought I was crazy. At some point, I read a book by Christopher Morley called Kitty Foyle, about a girl who falls in love with a mainline guy. She’s just an Irish nobody, and his family won’t let them marry. So she goes to New York instead and becomes a big deal running businesses. She was my role model when I was 16.

You married for the first time when you were 21. Why did you marry so young?

Well, everybody was doing it. All these brave, fabulous, decent guys were all going off to war. So the least you could do was marry them. And I lucked out. I married a guy I really cared about — a strong, silent type, 6 [foot] 4. But he wanted to be a rancher in Texas and I wanted to get out of there. Later, when I made some money, I bought him a truck and delivered it to him in Texas. He didn’t want to accept it. I said, “Yes you have to because my conscience hurts.” It was sad, but I was desperate to get to New York. By the time I got here, I was 25, ancient compared to my contemporaries.

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What was the city like when you finally arrived?

Well, I didn’t have any money, so it wasn’t terribly glamorous. I only had $50 when my train rolled into Penn Station. But I found some friends of mine who had graduated earlier, and they showed me the ropes. Like how to subsist at the automat on crackers and ketchup, or get dinner for a quarter at a restaurant with knives and forks!

Where did you live when you got here?

I shared apartments with all kinds of people that I never got to know. Usually three girls in a one-bedroom apartment, drawing straws to see who got the bed and who got the sofa. But it was fine. When I first arrived, I was so excited, I couldn’t stay at home anyway. I’d find myself out on the street, standing on a corner, listening to the subway and saying to myself, “OK, Liz, where will we go tonight?”

What kind of life did you imagine for yourself here?

I wanted to cover celebrities and know them. I wanted to hang out at El Morocco and the Stork Club. But I was stuck in the typing pool with all the other girls instead.

How did you finally break out?

Well, back when I was at the University of Texas, I had interviewed Zachary Scott, the actor. He had just made Mildred Pierce with Joan Crawford. He said to me, “If you ever come to New York, call me.” So I did. He sent me to his friend Chuck Saxon, who was the editor of Modern Screen. At the time, celebrity magazines were promotional rags controlled by the studios. But I didn’t know that. I thought I was a real journalist!

Did you ever aspire to be, say, a news reporter?

No, no. I was glad I had a job where I could announce in the editorial meeting what celebrity I thought we should put on the cover. (Laughs.) I was really good at that. I remember going to my boss and taking him pictures of two up-and-coming actors named Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift.

You and Brando were friendly before he was famous.

I was living in the Village in a tiny apartment with all sorts of people coming in and out. Marlon was dating my friend Elaine Stritch at the time. One night, he called me at home and he said, “Liz, Elaine just keeps letting me kiss her but she won’t go any further.” I said, “Put her on the phone.” I said, “Elaine, you don’t understand about men. They aren’t satisfied with just kissing. So you have to stop being a prude or just end it.”

Wise advice. What did she decide?

They were both pupils of Stella Adler, so they wisely decided to break up. Another one I met early on was a girl named Shelley Winters. Modern Screen assigned me to go around with her in New York while she bought Christmas presents. Every store we stepped into, Shelley would take these expensive things and head for the door. The shops were horrified, but they were afraid to ask her to pay. So I really disliked her after that.

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You became a sought-after writer early in your career.

Mostly because I could get to people that nobody else could get to. I met lots of interesting people coming up, and they stayed friends with me when they made it big. And my friendship with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton really helped make my career. It didn’t do them any harm, either.

How did that friendship come about?

I met Elizabeth just as her career as a beautiful movie star was tapering off and she had escaped to Europe with Richard Burton because she didn’t dare leave him alone. In the ’60s, she became completely distant from what was happening in Hollywood; she made all these crazy European movies and avoided the American press. But they trusted me and eventually I became the only journalist who could get to them.

Did you like Elizabeth Taylor?

I loved her. She was just snarky and funny and crazy. Selfish and tremendously generous at the same time. But Burton liked me better than she did. She was threatened by any woman, but he knew better. He liked that I could talk to him about Dylan Thomas and not sound like a total idiot. It got boring for them, hiding in Europe. When I was working at Cosmo, I did five or six stories on the Burtons. I practically lived with them in Rome and Paris. My ticket would always be paid for by Liz, or by 20th Century Fox. That was in the studio era, when sticky ethics still prevailed.

I can’t imagine two women more different than you and Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown. Did you two get along?

She thought I was Jesus jumping off the cross because I brought her all these interviews. I found Helen fascinating, but I thought she was an idiot sometimes. She would constantly talk to me about getting married and how I should look for a rich man. This is a woman who dedicated her life to telling women how to feather their nest by throwing a scarf over a lamp.

Your column was sometimes derided as a friendly refuge for celebrities. Was that what you meant it to be?

Oh, yeah. It was just a gossip column! It wasn’t about attacking people. I never aspired to be the Journalism Review. But it’s wrong to say that it was all positive. I reserved my punches for people who really deserved it.

Did anyone ever offer you a bribe or threaten you?

No. But it’s not too late! (Laughs.) Bette Midler was pretty tough on me early on. I ran something about her dating some actor. And she called me up, furious, saying, “I don’t want to be in your f—ing column!” Which was an odd thing to hear from someone just starting a career in show business. The funny thing is, I love Bette now. She’s amazing, but she’s a volatile person. Remember the guy she was with? The funny guy with the grand piano?

Barry Manilow?

That’s him. I used to go see them at the Continental Baths! But that partnership didn’t end so well.

You had a legendary aversion to Jackie O.’s sister, Princess Lee Radziwill. What was it that set you off?

Well, she did something terrible. She was always a close friend of Truman Capote’s. But then Capote got embroiled in that ridiculous libel suit with Gore Vidal over his claim that Vidal had been drunkenly kicked out of the White House. Lee is the one who told Capote the story, but when it ended up in court, she threw him to the wolves. All she had to do was tell the truth. But she refused, and Truman lost the lawsuit, which devastated him. During the trial, as a last-ditch effort, he asked me to call her and beg her to testify. And you know, Truman had done everything for her. He even tried to help her start an acting career. But when I called her and said, “Lee, you really must testify for Truman,” she said, “Oh, Liz, what do we care; they’re just a couple of fags! They’re disgusting.” I was so stunned, I just hung up. I’ve never spoken to her since.

Publicist Bobby Zarem once sent a fake invitation to all of New York society announcing your wedding to your then partner, Iris Love. Were you embarrassed by that?

It was more of an annoyance than anything. People sent me gifts that I had to return. (Laughs.) It only disturbed me because my mother was alive, and I was worried he would send an invitation to her. Thankfully, he never did. The whole thing embarrassed him more than me. People were appalled by what he did. At the time, he denied sending them, but one of his assistants, a friend of mine, found a huge mound of invitations in his drawer. He hated me for some reason, but he couldn’t take me down. I was too popular by then.

Donald Trump was another famous antagonist of yours.

I was just appalled by his treatment of Ivana! She came to me shortly after he dumped her, and she was beside herself. I said, “Look, everybody’s had a love affair where they’re rejected. It takes about two years to get over it — less if you see a psychiatrist.” I was touched by Ivana, so I spoke up for her. But, in the end, their fight wasn’t about betrayal. It was about money. She was as greedy as he was. It was a great story about nothing. But it made me world famous.

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You used to work with Mike Wallace at CBS. Was that a happy experience?

I got the job because a friend, a booker on his [radio] show [Mike Wallace at Large], told me she was quitting to go on tour with Porgy and Bess, where she intended to bed every black man in the cast. (Laughs.) She recommended me for the job and I got it. Mike Wallace became a real mentor to me. We stayed close until his death.

I’m dying to hear how you got your job on NBC’s Live at Five.

There was a newspaper strike, and the Daily News forced me to go on television. I had so much fun doing the show that I kept doing it for 15 years. Then Barry Diller came to the idea to do this big national show. He had just become the head of 20th Century Fox and we were old friends. He was practically killed by people who were offended that he had such a great job and he was gay and he wouldn’t admit it.

Sexuality can be hard to pin down.

I saw him after David Geffen came out and he said, “Liz, do you think I should come out, too?” And I said, “No, Barry, David Geffen needs to come out. He needs a big story or a scandal or a fight to push him in business and make people afraid of him.” But I said, “People are already afraid of you. So what will you gain? And also, you like women.”

He seems to like Diane von Furstenberg.

Oh yes. He not only worships Diane von Furstenberg, he has romanced her twice. And they’ve become New York’s most popular philanthropists. But I got off the point. The point was, Barry decided I would be a television star. He wanted to re-create Person to Person, which made Edward R. Murrow a star. I was skeptical, but Barry was set on it, and he hired Roger Ailes to oversee the show.

What do you think of Ailes?

Oh, I love him! He’s one of those villains you just gotta love, and he has always been great to me. When we met, he was still a power broker for the Bushes. I’d always say to him, “Roger, you’re OK, but as a liberal, I disagree with every word out of your mouth. And by the way, those Bushes are awful!” And he’d say, “Oh, no, no. You’ll meet them and they’ll love you!”

And did they love you?

(Laughs.) We got along OK.

You also were very close to Ann Richards, whom George W. Bush defeated to become governor of Texas. Was she your best friend?

Well, Ann elected herself to be my best friend. (Laughs.) I had met her through the years when she was governor. When she moved to New York after losing that election, I introduced her to the city. She was a lobbyist by then, representing awful stuff like Mexican beer! She was terrified about money. So Joe Armstrong and I gave a huge party for her at the Russian Tea Room to push her into New York society. Not that she needed much pushing. She would have been a big success anyway. Her death was tragic.

Just as she was starting a new life.

The funny thing is, Ann was the young, healthy one. She always complained about me! She said, “Liz, you only eat from the brown and white food groups. You’re going to die young.” (Laughs.) And I’d say, “Christ, I’m 86. Leave me alone!” But one day, she began to complain about painful heartburn, which turned out to be esophageal cancer. She left for Texas and refused to let me see her again. At her memorial, which was televised by CNN, I spoke along with Mrs. Clinton, the mayor of Dallas and the mayor of San Antonio. One black, one Mexican, one first lady and me. (Laughs.)

You grew close to many other well-known people over the years. Do you keep in touch with Barbara Walters?

Well, it turns out Barbara Walters can do without me, though I still consider her a friend. She has done so much for me through the years. But when I lost my column and my power, she kind of lost interest in me. When we run into each other now, she loves me; she’s always saying, “Let’s get together,” blah, blah, blah. But I rarely hear from her now. That’s OK.

Were there others who dropped you?

In this job, you don’t have illusions about people you cover. I don’t mix with a lot of celebrities these days. I know Oprah, to say hello and kiss her and genuflect. Helen Mirren, Renee Zellweger, people like that. But I don’t see them often. The truth is, everyone around me is dropping like flies, so I don’t have many friends left. My best friends are Mary Jane McDonough and Dennis Ferrara, who put out the column with me every day.

In 1997 you caused a furor when you wrote that a certain star was about to come out of the closet.

Oh, yes, and it wasn’t just Oprah who was furious with me about that. [Media had gossiped at the time that the mystery star was Winfrey.] Rosie [O’Donnell] was as well.

I thought Rosie was going to come out.

She was! But she’s crazy, that girl. She loses her temper at everything. The item didn’t mention Rosie’s name, and she was about to make this grand announcement, but instead she started yelling and screaming. That item was so careful, it didn’t even say talk show host. It was such a blind item, it was groping around in the dark. (Laughs.)

But Oprah still felt compelled to put out a statement denying she was gay.

I was amazed by the blowback from that story! It was harmless. The gist of it was, “Better pay attention, readers, because gay people are popping up everywhere!” Despite all that hoopla, Oprah went right on being friends with Gayle King, and I always admired her for that, because she easily could have just rejected Gayle when rumors about them started spiraling.

You were among the first to write about Madonna. Are you still a fan?

She’s an extremely talented, deeply complicated woman. We were close for a while, or as close as anyone can get to her. The first time we met, she glowered at me and said, “Aren’t you scared of me?” I just laughed. We got along real well after that.

What do you think of the current crop of celebrities?

Oh, I don’t even know who they are! Suddenly you have to remember a dozen Kardashians, and really, who has the time? The only reason I can do that is because I’ve written out their names on a piece of paper stuck on the wall. And still, I’m always having to check, is that Khloe or Kourtney or Kendall or Kim?

Celebrities seem more interchangeable than they used to be.

They arrive full-blown from the head of Zeus with not a shred of talent. There are some I admire, like Taylor Swift. When you see her perform, it’s kind of old-fashioned, like if Lana Turner could dance and sing for one number. But I have no interest in hearing her whole catalog.

I know you’re obsessed with politics. Have you spent time with Hillary?

Yes! I’ve met her in such engaging circumstances that I can’t believe it when she does stupid things.

Why does she? What’s her fatal flaw?

I don’t know. Maybe it’s like the Republicans say — she lives in her own bubble. But Bill Clinton is one of the most delightful people I ever met. My brothers and my cousins were good old boys, so nothing he’s done has surprised me in the least.

What is the thing you’re proudest of in your career?

Well, people seem to like me, and I like to be liked. I’m kind of vain about that.

Have you ever been in love?

Oh, yes! Many times. Always with the wrong women or men. The truth is, I had no luck with either sex except Mr. Beeman, who I truly loved as a person.

Your first husband?

He was so good. And he kept on through the years, saying, “Babe, why don’t you come back?” He finally remarried and had nice children, who all took up with me. I wonder what their mother thought.

Do you have any huge regrets?

I wish I had been smarter about money. I didn’t know I was going to live so long. My advice to every young person is, “Be smart about preparing to live a long time.” It’s not fun to be old and poor.

You were making a million dollars a year at one point, right?

Yeah, but a million goes quicker than you think. (Laughs.)

What’s your biggest disappointment about your career?

Probably that I was never asked to be a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For 50 years, I’ve done as much for Hollywood as anybody. I’m disappointed Hollywood didn’t love me enough to recognize that.

But there’s a park named after you in New York, right?

Well, part of a park. Yeah, it’s up at 114th Street next to a big school. Bette Midler had it named for me.

Ann-Richards-Memorial-Garden_AFTER-3_Anne-Tan

You know, a park in New York is just as cool as a star in Hollywood, in my book.

Thanks for saying so, darling. I’ll try to look on the bright side.

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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, April 9, 2015

More Ellen

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Posted in General | 2 Comments


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

To share a single post on Facebook, Twitter, etc.: Click on the title link of the post, then locate the SHARE button on the Toolbar at the bottom of the page. Then Click which Social Media site you want to share the post on.....

* Follow Bette Midler: Bootleg Betty On Facebook: Click Here

* Follow Bette Midler: Bootleg Betty On Twitter: Click Here

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Follow Bette Midler: Bootleg Betty On Pintrest: Click Here

* Access the monthly Bette Midler Jukebox: Click Here