Quips And Quotes 4

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Midler on her Divine Miss M creation: “I was so irritated by my creation I didn’t want to do that my whole life. I’m really pretty shy, and it was too exhausting and depressing when you would walk into a room and everybody expected you to shake your maracas.” (Vanity Fair, 2013)

Midler on Sue Mengers: “She didn’t seem introspective, which is amazing considering how stoned she was morning till night.’’ (Vanity Fair, 2013)

Midler on Sue Mengers: “Sue occupies a very strange place in the history of the business. She was not a star in the conventional sense, but in her world she was a star. She was kicked to the curb. But she did not compromise. She did what the fuck she wanted to do. And that’s all she wrote. I wish I had those balls.” (Vanity Fair, 2013)

Midler being nervous about playing someone real like Sue Mengers: “I played a version of someone in The Rose. People said it was Janis Joplin. But it was really me. And I used to do an impersonation of Mae West, but her lawyer sent me a letter to cease and desist.”  (Vanity Fair, 2013)

Midler on Sue Mengers who thought of her clients as family:  “I think Sue’s heart was broken in a way after the pile-on—the fact that a lot of people she thought would be loyal to her were not loyal. She was unprepared for it. When you observe it from a distance, you can say, ‘Oh, that poor schmuck.’ But until it happens to you, you really don’t know what it feels like.” (Vanity Fair, 2013)

“Haley’s Comet comes once every 76 years and so do I”

“Even though Calvin Klein has his own jeans, his own underwear and his own cologne “I still wouldn’t fuck him!” (Mud Will Be Flung Tonight)

“We are so starved for entertainment. It’s no wonder people are taking pictures of their food!”

“Remember when people were afraid of being followed? Now they’re devastated when they’re not!”

“You gave me and my family such a wonderful life. The greatest life anyone could imagine.”

“Everyone likes to sing along to this next song. Please don’t. There’s only room for one diva in this hockey arena, and that’d be me.” (2015)

“Butts have kicked boobs to the curb. … We’ve gone from ‘Do these jeans make my butt look big?’ to ‘Do these jeans make my butt look big enough?’ (2015)

“I can still do all the things the younger singers can do. I see them in their videos. Straddling wrecking balls and writhing on couches. I was writhing on a couch the other day – looking for the remote!”

“Everything you see on this stage is real. I’ve had nothing replaced except my girls!”

“I know I look good because my hair and makeup people told me so. And I don’t pay them to lie!”

“Aren’t my girls wonderful? They used to be fact-checkers at FOX News. Then I snatched them up, and nobody knew they were gone!”

“I could kick myself for not having the brains to monetize my sex life. I could’ve been a billionaire at 30!”

Vladimir Putin? “Vlad the Impaler, ha! More like Vlad the Impotent!” Chris Christie? “I can’t afford to lose a follower that size!” Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn)? “We watched Beaches and painted each other’s toenails!”

“I was the first to suggest that Tom Brady might want to deflate his balls!”

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Social Media…It’s become “a perfect storm of useless information.”

“I miss being unreachable Remember when people were afraid of being followed?”

“It’s great to see that so many of my fans can still drive at night.”

“Oh, I don’t think connecting with an audience is something that most of today’s young artists consider. Just as most of them don’t speak when they work, if they ever talk they’ll say ‘Hello London’ and that’s it.

“The music business is so treacherous and crowded. There’s people who can barely sing, but that doesn’t stop them. I was listening to one today – who shall remain nameless – and I thought, ‘how does she have the balls to open her mouth?’ It defies belief. I know I sound ancient, but who gives a s**t? Now I’m old, I can say anything I damn well please.”

“Somebody suggested the other day that I put the whore in hoarder. I’ve revived more oldies than Viagra!”

“I remain a triumph of science and fiction, but It’s like 50 shades of gray in this section right here.”

“Butts have kicked boobs under the bus! Do these jeans make my butt look big enough?”

“I have to sing well, and I have to have a great band, But my audience, they’ve known me at this point for 50 years. Whether I show up in a fishtail or not, I don’t think it matters to them.”

On her Vegas experience: “I enjoyed it up to a point. Then it was like, ‘Who do you have to sleep with to get out of here?'”

“I don’t know if I should sing to you or talk to you about the advantages of a reverse mortgage”

“I’m an entertainer, a glow-worm, a firefly. I’ve loved my time in the sun. I did the best I could. I dance and I sing and I act and I tell jokes. I don’t see too many people like that coming up behind me. Some of them can do the first three things, but they don’t bother with being funny. ”

On Today’s New Crop Of Singers: “The chip they’re missing is charm. Oh, they have it all right; they just don’t bother using it”

“My marriage deserves its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame”

“Marriage is a hard proposition and you have to be willing to make sacrifices and to compromise and it has to be worth it. A lot of people don’t think that, so they get divorced. But we thought it was worth it, we had our daughter (Sophie, 28), we kept ploughing through and we’re in heaven, because we came out the other side.”

“Sophie’s so smart she speaks German and Mandarin and studied and lived in China for a while. Now she’s back and has just graduated from Yale drama school. She’s going to be an actress. What a thrill! She’s a real good person, too. I think what we did right was that we paid attention and we listened. We let go of our preconceived notions and we treated her as though she had worth and that what she was saying was right. We’re so proud of her.”

“I made up my mind a long time ago–if you’re gonna read the good you gotta read the bad, too. And since I had no tolerance at all for even one bad word, even a suggestion, it became impossible for me to read not only reviews, but also any interview that I had ever given. I don’t read any of it. And that’s the reason why I don’t believe my own press. I used to, in the old days, get terribly despondent and in fact I couldn’t even work. One guy put me out of business for a year.”

On no great parts for women over 40: I don’t feel that way. I feel like I can go on forever. People always want to see a funny little old lady, don’t they? And if they don’t, I’ll make them.I still have the Sophie Tucker story to go yet. I don’t have that fear. I also know that that fear is something that they’re all going through. I wonder if they’re just catching it from each other, though. I mean, it’s obvious that Cher can go on forever too if she wants. Her career is longer than God so far. (1991)

“Women now, they [have to] pose. They don’t want those ugly pictures of them on the internet, and I don’t blame them. It’s like a war! It’s poisonous, totally toxic If you get on that red carpet, you better be prepared for the results, truly.” (2014)

“You don’t get multi-tasking entertainers any more. Nowadays, “the comics don’t make music and the musicians don’t make comedy, which is so wrong. In the old days everybody did everything, and that was the best way to do it.” (2014)

“Of course I’m going to retire. You just take your time and you just sort of sneak out when no one’s looking. I definitely think that will happen. (2014)

“It was a wonderful life. “I did good with it. I didn’t shame anybody. I didn’t mortify anybody. I didn’t take my clothes off. I wasn’t caught in flagrante. The fact that they never caught me is really kind of the thrill.”

‘It’s hard to get a job in movies over 40. Glenn Close put it in perspective. She said: “Bette, the only way you get hired is if the head of the studio wants to f*** you.” They want young flesh.’ (2014)

‘I have nothing left to prove.” (2014)

‘I don’t like the extremes we’ve gone to with sexual exploitation. It’s like women are taking part in their own degradation.’ (2014)

On Mae West’s Beauty Secret: “ Enemas. Yeah, I heard that. Well, she didn’t live that long. And she didn’t look that good, either. She wasn’t in that great shape. But she was quite a character.” (1991)

On working with Lily Tomlin: “Well, Lily is really a perfectionist. I kept saying, “Lily, this is the Midler School of Mugging, you just have to mug your way through this. Lil, it’s very light, look, I’m singing with a cow! How deadly can it be?” But she just wouldn’t buy it. I couldn’t talk her into it. She really struggled with that material, she was so determined to get her message across. Her heart was in the right place, she wanted to make it better. But sometimes people don’t have any patience for better, they just want to get it done. That picture typifies that, believe it or not.” (1991)

On working with Shelly Long: “I didn’t really get along very well with her. I was pregnant at the time. It was very hot, I was fainting, it was just unpleasant. She lets a lot of things get in her way. But I can’t fault her performance; she’s a wonderful actress.” (1991)

“I think everything about me shocks my husband. [Laughs] Everything. I get real fat sometimes, and that always stuns him.” (1991)

On Martin’s reaction to the Bette-Geraldo sex scandal: “No, he wasn’t pissed at all. He was the one who said, “Well, finally, someone said you had some sex appeal.” He thought it was great.” (1991)

Bette’s reaction to the Bette-Geraldo sex scandal: “It was completely appalling, but I wasn’t upset by it. I thought it was a joke. I was surprised, but who even cares what he thinks or does? You know, 21 years ago, who can even remember? I remember how I met him, though. He was so smarmy.” (1991)

I won`t tell you how much my breasts weigh,“ says Bette Midler, “but I consulted a postage scale. It costs $87.50 to send `em to Brazil. Third class.“ (1988)

On Sophie: “She is not named after Sophie Tucker, contrary to what people might think. The Frederica is for my father, Fred, and Alohani is Hawaiian for `Bright Sky” (1988)

Harry on Bette: “She’s very rambunctious and very funny—the funniest person I know. She sometimes does this sort of sulking, pouting little-girl act that always cracks me up. I’m sure it’s not meant to crack me up. I’m sure it’s meant to persuade me to do something against my will, and it’s very effective. She’s quite vitriolic too, a real stick of dynamite—which makes life very exciting. It’s not that she has a temper, it’s that she doesn’t indulge in a lot of unnecessary diplomacy. But she’s wonderful to be around—very exciting.” (1987)

Harry on Bette: ““Although I think Bette’s become a lot calmer than she used to be,” he says, “she’s extremely stubborn. Fortunately, I’m a great one for making allowances. There’s a wonderful expression from the north of England about ‘giving your ass away and shitting through your ribs.’ I sometimes think if I didn’t do that, the relationship would have exploded into many tiny pieces.” (1987)

Harry on Bette: “I really enjoy enhancing her career—and sometimes interfering. And in case the tabloids are interested, I didn’t marry her for her money. We have a prenuptial agreement that is a far cry from the one that Joan and Peter and Gitte and Sly had. The number involved has three zeros, and the number in front of the three zeros is less than three.” (1987)

Bette Davis to Bette Midler at a party:  ‘I don’t understand how you can be a superstar and go out of the house with so little glamour.’ (1987)

“Can you sing any song that won the Academy Award in the last few years?” she demands, bending way forward in her chair. “You can’t, right? I mean, there are so many people doing so many things, I don’t think audiences really have a chance to get to know an artist. They come and go so quickly, don’t ya know. (1987)

“Oh my God! I’m seventeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” (2015)

On the music business in 2014: “It’s terrible! It’s always surprising to see someone like Ariana Grande with that silly high voice, a very wholesome voice, slithering around on a couch,” – here, she does some slithering herself – “looking so ridiculous. I mean, it’s silly beyond belief and I don’t know who’s telling her to do it. I wish they’d stop. But it’s not my business, I’m not her mother. Or her manager. Maybe they tell them that’s what you’ve got to do. Sex sells. Sex has always sold.” (2014)

On the music business in 2014: “Well whatever strictures there were have fallen apart. And now it’s whatever you feel like doing you can do. I mean, apparently people really like to pretend they’re having sex. They really like to slap each other’s butts.” She slaps her own butt. “I mean, don’t ask me. It’s beyond me. I’m too old. I don’t know what the end game is going to be. I don’t know where you go from all that sex in your twenties. I don’t know how you sustain it.  Trust your talent. You don’t have to make a whore out of yourself to get ahead. You really don’t.” (2014)

“I have dabbled in this, dabbled in that. I’m easily distracted but focused. Once I decide what I’m going to do I’m like a dog with a bone. I can’t let it go until it’s done and it’s done well.” But you don’t get multi-tasking entertainers any more. Nowadays, “the comics don’t make music and the musicians don’t make comedy, which is so wrong. In the old days everybody did everything, and that was the best way to do it.” (2014)

On Sophie: “My husband and I are both very happy and proud and obsessed.” (2014)

On Society As A Whole: “The whole world has become disposable. People use things once, then they throw it away. I grew up really frugal. It was the end of the war and people didn’t have anything. They had to take care of what they had. They had to polish their shoes. I mean, you say polish your shoes to someone nowadays and they don’t know what you’re talking about!” (2014)

On Work Ethic: “Now you feel entitled to it without working for it. You come out of college and think ‘well, I can do anything’. No one is willing to learn the game and plunge in before they are a star. I worked a little too hard, I’m afraid. I should have been easier on myself. But I like rehearsal. I love the business.” (2014)

The Key To Her Longevity: “I think it’s… gee, that’s…I think it’s perseverance. Continuing to put one foot in front of the other. And taking advantage of the opportunities. I took advantage of some opportunities that I shouldn’t have, but in the long [term], I had more peaks than I had valleys, and I never let anything distress me so much that I couldn’t get up off the floor.” (2014)

Experience The Divine:  “Bet you didn’t expect me to look quite this fabulous!” (1993)

On Playing Gypsy: “There are some shows that are just better than all of the others, There’s ‘Gypsy,’ there’s ‘South Pacific,’ there’s ‘Guys and Dolls.’ These shows are so American, and they’re so ingrained in the consciousness, they’re classics. And when you get the chance to play them, you jump at it, because it’s a thrill to be able to open your mouth and say those words and sing those songs. There’s no false notes in any of it: The dialogue is as pure as it can be; the characters are fully fleshed-out human beings; the story evolves naturally; it has real conflict; it has everything. It’s great.” (1993)

On The Ethel Merman Legacy Of Gypsy: ” I felt the ghost of Ethel was definitely hovering over me. And I didn’t want to listen to it because I didn’t want to be affected by that voice when I was making my own way through the songs. Still, I did feel her performance was one of those performances that are considered legendary. . . .” (1993)

On Playing Gypsy Her Way: “I always thought Ethel was funny. I thought I was doing a musical comedy. Then it turned out I was really in a drama with music. But by that time it was too late. “But I brought a lot of rage to the back end of it because I understand all that stuff, too, all that rejection, and I wanted that stuff to be very powerful — even electrifying.” (1993)

On Stardom: “I think when I was very young it meant a lot, because I had a rough childhood and it was the only thing I knew that could get me out, that could get me some respect. But having been in it for a while and having learned a whole other aspect to it, the stardom means less and less and the work means more and more.” (1993)

Experience The Divine: “Finally, ultimately, I want to be, I want to do, what it is that I do, not what somebody else does. That really is what drove me back on stage.” (1993)

Experience The Divine: “I forgot how tired it gets you. I had forgotten. Now I remember why I quit the road in the first place.” (1993)

Experience The Divine: “It’s phony grandeur, you know. Tongue-in-cheek grandeur. Puns and plays on words. Phony grandeur. Always phony — the screen goddess comes down to Earth to mingle with the little people. It’s very silly.” (1993)

On Delores DeLago In Experience The Divine: “She’s been lonely. She hasn’t worked in 10 years. She’s been in rehab. Now she’s doing her infomercial.” (1993)

On Gypsy: “Show tunes are such a peculiar thing in American life because most people are interested in rock ‘n’ roll or popular music or rhythm and blues music, they don’t want anyone to know that they’re closet show tune listeners. But I am. (1993)

On Musicals: “I feel bad that the whole nation doesn’t get to celebrate this tradition more often, because it is valuable and it is well-crafted and it is something that we should be proud of. Yet we seem to throw the magical things that we’ve made aside or tear them down and tramp on them. Maybe it’s because we’re constantly reinventing ourselves. But personally, I think it’s a real waste.” (1993)

On Becoming The Divine Mrs. M: “My language isn’t as strong as it was, and I don’t think I’m vicious like I was. I used to say any old thing. Now I have a certain interest in being good as opposed to being outrageous.” (1993)

On Becoming The Divine Mrs. M: “I’d like to think of myself as a positive kind of person. I talk about things that are important, you know? Like `do your recycling, do your part.’ It’s simple, but people get the idea.” (1993)

On Being Labeled Outrageous: “Yes, it can become a kind of straitjacket. I think that’s what’s happened to a lot of people in the last 10 or 15 years. Once the floodgates came down and you could say anything, it just seemed like people would say anything and then it wasn’t very entertaining. And that’s not good. I’m sorry it happened, because in the old days you could seek out performers like that, but now, with everything being so up front, it seems like there’s a variety of people all singing the same song. You don’t have to seek them out. They’re all over the TV.” (1993)

On Experience The Divine: “I had a variety of motivations for going back on tour. I miss the crowds. I miss the reaction. And I miss doing my own work. I mean, whatever it is, it is my own and I don’t have to answer to anybody else for it. For the last 10 years, I’ve been saying `yes’ to other people and having to do what they want and it’s been exhausting. Enough already.” (1993)

On Experience The Divine: “So here I am, and I’m having a pretty good time. It was a struggle at first, because we didn’t have enough time to get ready, really. But that’s the usual story with sets and clothes and everything. Because I’m not really a concert artist. I’m a show person. I love to do shows. I love the idea of turning the lights on something and turning it into something magical or beautiful.” (1993)

On Experience The Divine: “It’s been thrilling to come back. I didn’t realize what would happen. I didn’t plan that people would be lonesome for someone like me. It’s great to see people still like to be entertained and they miss me. When you make an effort for them, they make an effort for you. And I really feel sometimes like I’m just about the only one left of my ilk. Most people have abandoned this kind of work. But I can still do it, so I think it’s good that I am.” (1993)

On Experience The Divine: To tell you the truth, I don’t get out much because I got depressed by a lot of what’s going on. It’s so inhuman when you go to the big shows, the really big shows. The performer is so far away. And all of the special effects in front of the performer really obscure the humanity of the artist. I miss that. I like to see the human scale.” (1993)

On Other Performers Being Impersonal: “Not all performers are like that, of course. Some of the oldtimers go out of their way to reach out and make contact with the audience. But for the most part, the younger ones are pretty much all spectacle — you know, smoke and lights and stuff. It’s not what I’m about. I like to be up close and hear the audience laugh. That’s a major part of what I do — and to have some sort of roller coaster where they get to experience a lot of things, not just one thing. It’s like therapy in a way. You get to laugh; you cry once or twice; and you think about things, though not too deeply.” (1993)

About Singing 70’s Material: “I started in 1976 with a Cleveland HBO show. And, surprisingly, a lot of people have seen it many, many times. The same for `Divine Madness.’ I don’t know why, but those shows are like toxic waste. The stuff never goes away. It reappears again and again. You go, `But, but, but, but,’ but there’s nothing you can do. They just keep showing it. So a lot of it is familiar to people. And it’s kind of upsetting because I didn’t know it was going to be like that, since I’ve tried to eliminate some of the very familiar stuff like `Shiver Me Timbers.’ I’ve sung that so many times at so many shows in the past. It’s a Tom Waits song, and I think it’s one of the greatest songs ever written, but I just couldn’t do it anymore.” (1993)

On How Sophie Has Effected Her Life: “Well, for the first few years, I was very circumspect. I never swore. I never used any kind of bad language. I was very careful. But then I started taking her to the {movie} sets. And the first couple of times it was OK because it was just very simple. She was on `Big Business,’ which was a kind of PG show; and she came to `Hocus Pocus,’ which she really liked. But then I made the mistake of taking her to `Gypsy’ {which Midler made for TV this year}. And then, forget about it! She came back singing `You gotta have a gimmick.’ I mean, I waited until I was about 11 years old before I noticed strippers. She’s only 6!” (1993)

On Sophie And Her Family: “But she’s a great kid, really quite wonderful. My husband is German, and he taught her German. So she has the two languages and tends to shuffle back and forth between the two sensibilities. He’s very classically oriented and I’m out there in the stripper world. She’ll be a stripping bass player, what do I know?” (1993)

On Singing: “I really feel I’ve improved as a singer. Plus, I took up the piano, which has helped a lot. And I’ve learned to read music, not a whole lot, but I can read two clefs. It helps. It gives you a little air of confidence. You can see those little B-flats floating around in your mind. It’s fun and makes it much more interesting. It’s not just instinct anymore.” (1993)

On Experience The Divine: “I’ve been pushed around by directors for 10 years. What comes out of my mouth will be my own expression.” (1993)

On Experience The Divine: “I mean, I’m having a wonderful time. I love working with musicians. I love paying attention to that end of my life for a while, as opposed to worrying about pictures and thinking, `Oh my God, what is my first weekend going to be like {at the box office}?’ I can’t stand that. It’s no fun. I just want to have some fun for a change,” (Boston Globe, 1994)

On Experience The Divine: “We’ve had fabulous crowds and of course great food, which means everything. I like being out. I like traveling in the summer. We were in Kansas City, where we played in 110-degree heat. And we just missed the rainstorms in Georgia. But we’ve had a great time. I love touring this country. I think I’ve found my niche.” (Boston Globe, 1994)

On Being A Transplanted New Yorker: We had a lot of earthquake damage to take care of. There were a lot of things like `What are we going to do, are we going to tear the chimney down?’ There were all those kinds of decisions in the middle of trying to put the show back together. It was a strain, but we’re fine now. We tore the chimney down, by the way.” (Boston Globe, 1994)

On The Second Leg Of Experience The Divine: “No, not a lot has changed, because it’s a good show. I think it’s a really good show. And for people who didn’t see it, I’d like for them to get a chance to see it the way it was meant to be. The players are great and the girls are terrific. And it’s still as funny and lively as it was. I like it and I trust it. It’s solid. It works. And I just don’t feel like messing around with something that really does work.” (Boston Globe, 1994)

On Putting New Song Material In Shows: “I’m nervous about putting new songs in, even though I have been working on them, I’m never even sure how much people know my old songs! I get a lot of new people because of my films — and I’m never sure how much of the material they know.” (Boston Globe, 1994)

On Singing State Songs In Concert: “It gives me a laugh. I really do make an effort to find a Colorado song or a Carolina song, depending on where we are. The band and I always like to see what happens when you sing the state song of wherever you happen to be. Very funny things can happen, especially in the Midwest. It keeps us on our toes and gives the audience a giggle.” (Boston Globe, 1994)

On The Success Of Gypsy: “It did wonderful business and there seems to be a real resurgence of that kind of thing for television. I hear Whitney Houston has been asked to do `Cinderella’ for television — and I’ve been asked to do `Mame,’ which I’m turning over in my mind.” (Boston Globe, 1994)

On Putting Sophie In Experience The Divine: “I put her in `Ukelele Lady.’ She sits and plunks her ukulele and sings a song and has a pretty wonderful time. She loves slapping that makeup on. We call it going to `burlesque camp.’ She loves the trappings, the feather boas, the makeup and the hairdos. She loves the costumes and the sets. She’s a great kid and she’s been a great sport.” (Boston Globe, 1994)

On Losing Weight For Experience The Divne’s Second Leg: “I still look fabulous! I was very heavy when I went into last year’s rehearsals for the show, but I guess the rehearsals were so long and arduous that the weight just dropped off of me. And through a combination of the shows and treadmill workouts and yoga, I kept it off. This isn’t the easiest job in the world, but I’m in pretty good shape.” (Boston Globe, 1994)

On Gypsy: “Of all the musical comedies I’ve ever known, it’s the one I have the most affection for, because I love the score. It’s big. It’s bombastic. It’s bright. It’s American. It’s full of puns and jokes. Sort of like me.” (1993)

On Following In Other’s Footsteps In Gypsy: “We all have shadows. On this show, we have the shoes of the giants. The truth is, when you do something like this, you have to do the best you can. You can’t get bogged down by what other people are thinking.” (1993)

On Her Favorite Song From Gypsy:  “Rose’s Turn, because it’s full of emoton and full of these high B’s.” (1993)

On Why She Would Discourage Sophie Going Into Show Business: “I think it’s a very hard life, especially if you’re not in the big, big, big, big, big time. I don’t want her to have to suffer those things ‘Oh, you’re too tall, you’re too short, you’re too thin, you’re too fat. You don’t sing high enough, you don’t sing low enough.’ It wears away at your soul after a while.” (1993)

On Her Last Appearance On Johnny Carson: “It was probably the happiest night of my whole life, completely enchanting,” she says. “I did it and I walked away. I think he did, too. We’ll always have the memory. That’s why I don’t have to watch it. I just wanted to keep it the way I remembered it.” (1993)

On Her Last Appearance On Johnny Carson: “In my whole life, I never received such an outpouring of love and good will from so many people as I did after that show. People were thrilled because they felt I had given Johnny what he deserved, that I had said thank you in a way they would have said thank you if they could have. It was magical.” (1993)

On Being Exhausted In 1977: “I am exhausted because I’m doing so many things at the same time. I have a three picture movie deal with Columbia and I have read a dozen scripts looking for the right one. I refuse to be an actress for hire. I wanted a script which allowed me some input. The way I work is a little bit peculiar. I want a director who will let me go off on my own” (Lakeland Ledger - Jun 12, 1977)

On Living In Hollywood in 1977: “The other day I discovered a robin in one of the plastic plants the last owner had left behind and would you believe that we found five tiny blue eggs in the nest. That’s Hollywood!” (Lakeland Ledger - Jun 12, 1977)

On Fan Mail: “I received one from a girl in Ohio who said ‘My mother thinks you’re a pig and my father thinks you’re a dog. But I love you anyway.’ I answered the fan but also wrote the parents saying how bright their daughter was. The father wrote back, ‘Dear Miss Midler: We really do love you'” (Lakeland Ledger - Jun 12, 1977)

Bette Midler Realizing She’s A Star: “When did I realize I was finally a star? I haven’t realized it yet! It all seems like a fairy tale, and mine’s not really a fairy tale life. So it’s hard to believe it’s me people are talking about.” (Wilson Daily Times, February 24, 1973)

Bette Midler On Her Songs:
“ What really happened is that I was brought up in the ’40s and all the records my parents had were, of course, of the ’30s and ’40s. I found myself fascinated by the music but even more fascinated by the women singers. Like the Andrew Sisters, whom I imitate in ‘Chattanooga.’” (Wilson Daily Times, February 24, 1973)

Bette Midler On Her Songs:
“The fascination with the 30’s and 40’s lasted, and later I really began to research that era. I spent hours at a time in music libraries listening to old show tunes and pop songs and absorbing the stories of the stars. I became something of an expert, simply out of personal interest, not because I intended to exploit it.” (Wilson Daily Times, February 24, 1973)

Bette Midler On Her True Desire:
“I wanted to be an actress, really,” continued Bette. “ But everyone wanted me to be conventional, to fit a stereotype, which I couldn’t. I’m not a conventional person, it was quite a fight.” (Wilson Daily Times, February 24, 1973)

Bette Midler On Her Early Costumes:
“If I’m feeling good, I may trash it up with a silver lame I found at the Salvation Army.” (European Stars And Stripes, March 27, 1973)

Bette Midler In Concert:
“I’m the last of the tacky women. . . trash with flash.” (European Stars And Stripes, March 27, 1973)

Bette Midler On Emotion In Song: “I began studying with the dancer in the show who taught me the art of collage, how to put an emotion into movement. I learned how much emotion a singer can project. We’d get high together listening to recordings of the great divas.” (European Stars And Stripes, March 27, 1973)

Bette Midler On Clubs She Played: “Most of them were dumps, but it’s how I started this . . . thing of mine. Agents weren’t interested. My career took off when I sang at the Continental Baths in New York. Those tubs became the showplace of the nation. I made ’em respectable. Lillian Roth, everybody, sings’there now.” (European Stars And Stripes, March 27, 1973)

Bette Midler On Performing:
“I love performing anywhere; I thrive on the madness,” she said. “Even though it’s hysterical, I’d like to be taken seriously. I’d like to be considered an artist.” (European Stars And Stripes, March 27, 1973)

Bette Midler On Her Early Plans:
“I have a few more musical statements to make before I leave my public.” (European Stars And Stripes, March 27, 1973)

Bette Midler ON Growing Up In Hawaii: “Growing up in Hawaii,” she remembered wistfully, “I had fancies about the South Seas. There was no romance, no moon of Manakoora where we lived. It was the ghetto. Can you imagine being the only poor, white, Jewish family in a neighborhood of Eurasians?”

Bette Midler On Her Song Choices: “I never intended to concentrate on the oldies — in fact, I don’t. 1 sing contemporary numbers as well. But everyone has seized on the way I sing the oldies, so I guess that’s my strength.” (Lowell Sun August 10, 1973)

Bette Midler On How She Came To Be Called Divine: “That just happened, too! I was always imagining myself as the people I wanted to play — real people and characters, alike. I seemed to feel their presence and would be carried away, by them. And people started saying ‘Isn’t she divine?’ Before I knew’where I was,’l was being called ‘divine’ and it stuck.-” (Lowell Sun August 10, 1973)

Bette Midler On Her Body: “There is no square inch of my body that doesn’t require intense maintenance. And it’s a bloody bore. But it’s a fabulous body, and I don’t want to see it disintegrate. I mean, if you have a beautiful car, don’t you keep up your beautiful car? If you have a beautiful home, don’t you keep up your beautiful home? I do ”

Bette Midler On Hollywood: “Hollywood isn’t dead. “It’s sitting right in this chair.” (johnny Carson, 1972)

On The Andres Sisters: “Those girls were so pulled together they could raise their eyebrow s in unison.” (johnny Carson, 1973)

Bette Midler On Introducing Do You Love/Do You Want To Dance Medley: “ Alright! “This is the official highlight of our act This is where we shake our tits for all they’re worth.” (Houston Daily Cougar, October 9, 1973)

Bette Midler Chiding The Audience For Not Singing Along To Do You Wanna Dance:
“Mmeeediooooker . . . now let’s sing it out this time for Tinkerbell” (Madison Wisconsin State Journal, October 17, 1973)

Bette Midler On Marriage: “ It’s a struggle. It hasn’t been easy. We’ve had a lot of rough patches, but the main thing is that we didn’t give up. We didn’t say, ’This is too hard. I don’t need this.’ You do need it, you have to keep going.” (Alton Telegraph, April 3, 1997)

Bette Midler On Directors: “ When we produce pictures, to get a director to come on board is very hard. These guys want to do their own thing. They don’t want to do your thing. So they’re not going to come and work for you.” (Alton Telegraph, April 3, 1997)

Bette Midler On Her Divine Nickname: “I began being called The Divine Miss M around 1969, when I made my first appearance at the Continental Baths, a gay bath house located in the basement of the Ansonia Hotel, at Broadway and 74th Street in New York. My best friend, Bill Hennessy, a hairdresser I met on ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ called me that for years. It was my first night at the Baths, and before I went on, the owner, Steven Ostrow, stuck his head into the dressing room and asked how I wanted to be introduced. I said, ‘Just tell them I’m divine!’ And that’s how it started.” (Divine Miss M CD, 2016)

Bette Midler On Her Distinctive Style Of Performing:
“I guess the extra ingredient is energy. I was hyperactive as a child, and I still can’t stay put.” (Garden City Telegram, January 24, 1975)