Quips And Quotes 2

Quips And Quotes II

6-10-2015 2-53-53 PM

On Disney homogenizing her: “Well, I don’t think they intended that to happen,” Midler says, “but I think they just couldn’t help themselves. That’s the way they are. They’re extremely nervous, cautious people and it served them well for a long time, but I think the formula has pretty much run itself into the ground, and it’s time to get a new formula. It might be that it’s time for them to let people be what they are. (1993, Washington Post)

On Disney:  “They’ve been very kind to me. But it’s very hard to get work done there. It’s very hard to get things that have a sense of outrageousness to them done. It didn’t used to be that way, but in the past few years it has been. They don’t want to do anything from anybody else; they want to develop their own projects. And they tend to `team it’ – you know, Team Disney – and it tends to be a hundred voices instead of just one voice. I don’t know where they’re going. I’ve lost touch, sort of.” (1993, Washington Post)

On Sophie seeing Hocus Pocus and Gypsy:  “She’s seen it many times. Many, many times! She’d rather see that picture than anything. She walks around in those teeth – you know, I brought the teeth home. So she puts them on and carries on and does the dialogue. She really likes that picture. That’s her favorite one so far. I did have her on the set of `Gypsy,’ which I did right after that, and that was a real eye-opener for her. She sings all the songs.”  (1993, Washington Post)

On Rosalind Russell being awful in Gypsy: “I don’t think anything Rosalind Russell ever did could be awful! I adored her! I thought she was totally brilliant, totally brilliant, and very underused and underrated. She did get some kind of humanitarian award at the end, but she was a genius! When you watch her in `Auntie Mame’ or in `His Girl Friday,’ you just can’t conceive that she wasn’t queen of the world!”  (1993, Washington Post)

But Bette, Rosalind Russell WAS awful in Gypsy: “Oh. Well, I was just rising to the occasion because I’m really a Roz Russell fan. Roz could never do any wrong as far as I’m concerned. But I haven’t seen the movie in 25 or 30 years and I didn’t want to watch it because I didn’t want to be influenced by it. I didn’t want any of that hanging over me. And I’m very proud of what we did. I have high hopes for it.”  (1993, Washington Post)

On why she started touring again in 1993: “I think I do really good work, but it doesn’t always wind up on the screen and so it’s disappointing. I’ve been disappointed a lot, and I’m tired of being disappointed.” (1993, Chicago Tribune)

On what she expects from Experience The Divine: “I hope nothing happens to me. I don’t want to get thrown out of my wheelchair. I’m a very pragmatic person,” she says. “I don’t have any, you know, ‘Oh, this is going to catapult me into the next stratosphere.’ Who cares? Who wants to be in any stratosphere other than this one? I’m perfectly happy. All I want to do is have some fun. Stretch some muscles. Some rusty muscles.” (1993, Chicago Tribune)

Midler on playing characters: “Those kinds of characters that are larger than life — driven, overbearing — those kinds of characters don’t come along very often. Even in the theater. And since good parts are at a premium, I’m no fool — I want to play as many of them as I possibly can. Every actress who calls herself an actress wants in her heart to play Lady Macbeth. And every musical-comedy person wants to play Mama Rose.” (1993, Hartford Courant)

On keeping Sophie out of show business:  “I’m trying to discourage her,” says Midler, who is married to Martin Von Haselberg, “because I think it’s very hard and I think there are other things that are more rewarding spiritually — that’s the main thing. I (want) her to have a rich spiritual life. And some actors do. Some actors who really have a command of their craft lead very rich spiritual lives. But for the most part it’s a business based on superficiality, and I don’t really want her to have that. I want her to have a more meaningful life than that.” The question is, will Sophie listen? “Probably not” says Midler. “She doesn’t listen to me now, and she’s only 7.” (1993, Hartford Courant)

Bette Midler on how she used to hate singing: “It used to be torture.  I am completely different. I like to sing now. I didn’t always used to. It used to be really, really hard. Absolute torture sometimes. I love everything about it now,” she says. “I enjoy learning the songs, and shaping them into a version, learning the harmonies. “Gypsy” was her emotional rescue. I kind of stretched my voice a little bit. I worked very hard, and it really opened a lot of doors in my singing voice that I hadn’t had before. Once I got hold of that process, that newer, stronger voice, it really excited me,” she says.  Actually, that’s the reason I went on the road. I got this new technique and I was really anxious to see if it made a difference with the old music.” (1993, Hartford Courant)

On material for Bette Of Roses: “Material opened up to me that wasn’t there before because I couldn’t hit the notes. Now I can,” she says, beaming. “The songs with the wider range came to me and they had never come to me before. And since I could sing them, I did sing them.”

Midler on Music In General: “There’s nothing I really don’t like,” she said. “I see value in all kinds of popular music. That’s why it surprises me that people throw their music away. Here we are, Americans, and our pop music is a real treasure. Yet the record-buying public, as a whole, has cast the older music aside. And music has diminished. Modern pop has its moments. It’s not all great, but the swing stuff probably wasn’t all great, either. In hindsight, you tend to dig up the gems and focus on them.” (1991, Chicago Sun Times)

Midler on Radio’s Limited Sound: “But I have to say I’m not all that crazy about what’s going on in the pop world today. I do try, and I’m very grateful for the ballads. People love to hear me sing them and I love to do them. But the radio only plays a certain sound and that’s too bad because my interest in music is so wide-ranging.”  (1991, Chicago Sun Times)

“Everything passes and everything changes. My thing is to encourage people to be interested in more than just what they hear on the radio. After all, the older you get, the less you want to have missed out on.” (1991, Chicago Sun Times)

On AIDS and lack of Leadership circa 1991: “No matter what anyone is doing now, it’s not enough,” says Midler. “I have to admit at the moment I’m very disheartened at the lack of leadership. And I really do blame the White House. As the saying goes, the fish stinks from the head. Who do they care about? Maybe a couple of people in Europe, but certainly not Americans. If Watts went up in flames tomorrow, and everyone died, I don’t think they’d care. Such an incredible lack of humanity and compassion. It’s appalling.” (1991)

On Acting: “For me, there are no challenges as far as acting is concerned.  I just get up in the morning and do.it. I never wake up and say, ‘Oh my God, this is so hard!’ Oh no no no, that’s not me. At this point in my life, I feel I can do ANYTHING.” (1991, Los Angeles Times)

On playing Dixie Leonard In “For The Boys”: “This character is the most exciting I’ve ever played. She sings, she dances, she chews the scenery, she makes people cry, makes them laugh. Finally, I’ve found a film that truly takes advantage of all my abilities.” (1991, Los Angeles Times)

On talk of an Oscar nomination for “For The Boys”:  “We’ll see. Who the hell knows? I mean, I think I should have been nominated for ‘Beaches.’ The critics didn’t like it, but the people sure adored it.” (1991, Los Angeles Times)

Director Mark Rydell on Bette Midler: “Hollywood couldn’t figure out what to do with her at first. But now, she’s like this national monument. She should be up on Mount Rushmore.” (1991, Los Angeles Times)

“When I came on the scene in 1972,1 think people wanted a hearty, fuller, robust character like myself, because it was in opposition to the skinny little things like Diana Ross that they had been confronted with for years.” (1991, Los Angeles Times)

Is Dixie Leonard of “For The Boys” A Diva?”: “There’s no temperament involved with her. When you say diva, I think of outrageousness, and Dixie is not outrageous. She’s a real person. When I think diva, I think of people who are allowed to have fits, like Maria Callas. Now, she was a diva. Have you ever heard her sing? Oh, she was INSANE. She was just MAD!”” (1991, Los Angeles Times)

Midler on the word “Diva”: “You know, I popularized that word diva. But I think that term is misused now. Every other filly out of the gate is called a diva nowadays. And you know what? They ain’t divas to me!” And I do not like the competition! Not that I have any.” (1991, Los Angeles Times)

(On Martin directing her for “My One True Friend”): “ God, it was fabulous. He said, “I’m going to make you look better than you ever looked.” (1991, Good Morning America)

(On her album sales): “I don’t have that much success in records. My records have always been very, very, very spotty. Sometimes I kinda annoy myself. Sometimes I wish I had played it a different way. I sort of wish that I had … I don’t know. It just feels like because it’s very diverse, … I’ve been in every bin there is to be in.” (Rocky Mountain News, 1999)

On Her Album Sales: “Oh yes, I’ve had (big hits). But I haven’t sold records like a lot of these women, like Madonna, for instance. Or a half-dozen others,” Midler says. “And now Celine Dion and those girls. I just don’t make those kind of records. I can’t say I didn’t have any interest; I love music and I love to sell records – who doesn’t love to sell records? But I’ve always sung what I’ve always sung. The few times I’ve put my toe in different kinds of music, I’ve kinda been slapped down. So I don’t know. It’s very strange.” (Rocky Mountain News, 1999)

(On all the new “divas”) “What can I say? I have nothing to say. Let them all call themselves divas. I don’t care.”  (Rocky Mountain News, 1999)

“I’m probably the last of the entertainers. I’m the last one who sings and dances and tells jokes all in one show. So I shouldn’t crab. It’s what I chose to do and it’s what I enjoy doing. Everyone looks at me as a different kind of artist. I never really codified it; I never really said what it was, because I never really knew what it was. It was just me; I’m here all by myself.”  (Rocky Mountain News, 1999)

(On her VH1 Behind The Music Documentary): “I was very embarrassed that there was very little scandal; there was no scandal. The worst thing was that I had a bad review. People were laughing at me.”  (Rocky Mountain News, 1999)

(On managing her career): “I haven’t had a manager for about 20 years. I think if I did have a manager, it’d be a little more coherent. Because I fly by the seat of my pants, my career has that feeling to it.”  (Rocky Mountain News, 1999)

(On movie scripts): “The truth is that the movie scripts are really hard to come by. When you do get them, often they’re troubled; they need a lot of work. That’s the part of my career where I’m really treading water; there’s so little out there for a woman my age.” (Rocky Mountain News, 1999)

(On The First Wive’s Club Sequel): “People love to jump to conclusions. I’ve been at it so long I never jump to any conclusion,” she says. “One hit does not make a trend. It was funny because, as big a hit as that was, the town was determined to say it was a fluke. And that’s what they decided they were gonna say, that’s what they said and that’s how they behaved.” (Rocky Mountain News, 1999)

“I haven’t had the opportunity in a long time to really show how bad my taste can be. Everybody’s stolen my act. I mean everybody’s tacky today.” (Barbara Walters, 1991)

“I’m a girdle girl!” (The Washington Post, 1991)

“We have compost heaps scattered around our teeny weeny little Green Acres. I am a compost maven. I have this recycling madness, this fever. I don’t throw anything away. We have playing cards made out of Ritz cracker boxes, I swear to God.”  (The Washington Post, 1991)

“I want Sophie digging in the yard. I want my child to love the earth, to be able to call the birds if she wants to. I don’t want her to get dressed up in spandex, tease her hair and put eye makeup on at age 6. I don’t want my child to be a little version of me. I love my kid.” (The Washington Post, 1991)

On trying to have another baby at 46: “Yes, another baby at my age! Oh, if I can do it I will be a hero to some group of old ladies trying to have a baby. W’dya think? You ought to do it. Boy, it sure makes you tired and stupid, though. I want to have a baseball team by the time I’m 59. I read that this Pakistani woman in London recently gave birth to a boy; she’s 59. Of course, she was Pakistani – they made sure you knew that because it’s not quite the thing for a British woman to have a baby at 59.”  (The Washington Post, 1991)

On the meaning of “For The Boys” to her: “The movie is really an examination of the way men feel about war and the way women feel about war. Women try to be supportive, but in their hearts they hate it and no matter how good a war is, they still don’t want their children to go. The government never asks the women who provide the fodder for the government, `Do you mind if we take your children?’ Because if they did they’d say, `{Expletive} no, you’re not going to take my son.’ (The Washington Post, 1991)

On Women in general: “I think women are just the greatest creatures. “They instinctively understand everything. They know their role, they know what the planet means, they’re not careless. They’re the best creatures and all the way up until high school they’re smarter than the boys. So what I want to know is what happens when they’re 12 that the guys suddenly take over?” (The Washington Post, 1991)

On AIDS Circa 1991: “I think it’s a wonderful thing that Magic Johnson came out and said what he had to say. But I think everyone pretending that it didn’t exist the last 10 years was absolutely criminal. I mean how could the government allow that to happen? If it had been 129,000 little white children {who died}, you can bet they would have raised a stink. You say to yourself, `Is that how the government’s going to treat me if I don’t fall into the category they cherish?’ Who are the people they like? Business people? White business people? What kind of a suit do you have to wear to get by? It’s just absolutely astonishing that nobody came forward,” says Midler, removing her glasses to dry her tears.  (The Washington Post, 1991)

On For The Boys: “Well, I did sing and dance again. That was a real thrill for me because we worked with the most wonderful arrangers on this music … and we did the tracks over at Capitol Records where Frank Sinatra used to record. So everybody from Capitol came down and so did people from our group. You couldn’t get a seat at those sessions, and not a dry eye in the house. I slayed ’em – if I do say so myself.”  (The Washington Post, 1991)

On For The Boys: “It was a wonderful picture, I had a wonderful time making it. I worked as hard as I ever have before. It was the top of the line, really an A picture.” (1992)

On Romance Movies: “Anyway, I don’t like to do romance. I’m interested in things that are bigger than romance. I think romance is what keeps everybody down. There’s a place in everyone’s life for it and I know that people long for it, but I think it’s a cheat, because there are other themes that are more powerful. Women are supposed to do romances, not important, metaphysical {films} that deal with questions of morality and intellect.” She pauses. “They (Disney) didn’t think I should do romances? I can do romances. {But} I think you must have a certain kind of stature. I don’t think there’s a single person working today that can pull off {a romance}, not in the old sense. Not when you look at Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant together.” (The Washington Post, 1991)

On Pretty Woman: “Pretty Woman” stars Julia Roberts and Richard Gere “were utterly adorable together, but that wasn’t romance. That was a fantasy. That was a selfish little boy with a tawdry little girl. They weren’t grown-up people, they were just two children. Ingrid and Cary, that’s grown-up… .” (The Washington Post, 1991)

On The People In The Hollywood Industry: “Everybody {in the industry} is having a rough time because the people in charge are not so sure what stories they want to tell and they don’t really know anything about stories. They’re not people who read, and a lot of people in charge don’t have very good taste.” (The Washington Post, 1991)

On Singing: “It’s much harder than acting. Recording is just torture. You obsess over every note and every track and every instrument and it’s like being in a dark – this is why I would never be a director – you are in a dark room for months on end and all you have is takeout food. I just couldn’t stand the process of making records, and I think it showed that I was in despair.”  (The Washington Post, 1991)

On Music: “I think when you’re young you tend to put yourself in a box musically because you don’t want to be any different from your friends. When you grow up you see that your friends were morons in the first place and you look around to see what else there is.”  (The Washington Post, 1991)

On Religion:  “My father was an atheist, but I love God. My husband was raised an atheist, too, German atheist. We don’t practice any formal religion. I’m raising my kid definitely to believe in God. But we talk about all the gods. We’re very interested in the gods as a group.” (The Washington Post, 1991)

“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 ” (Los Angeles Times, 1997)

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 Gypsy: “Nothing was skimped on except my salary.” (1993)

On 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 Following The Footsteps Of Ethel Merman And Others 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 Being Intimidated By Ethel Merman’s Gypsy: “What could I do? I did the best I could and had fun doing it. It was a lifelong dream.” (1993)

On Not Wanting Sophie To Go Into Show Biz: “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 Johnny Carson Farewell Appearance: “It was probably the happiest night of my whole life, completely enchanting. 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. 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.”

On Musicals: “The musical is valuable and well-crafted. I feel bad the whole nation doesn’t celebrate this tradiion more often. We seem to throw magical things we’ve made aside, we tear them down, we trample on them. Maybe it’s because we’re constantly reinventing ourselves. Personally, I think it’s a real waste.” (1993)

Bette On The Success Of Hocus Pocus: “I’m not disappointed anymore. Because, you know, I saw my box-office grosses, and I’m just swimming along. Yes, I have a new hit — so fuck the past! I don’t have to think about For The Boys anymore, so there!” (1993)

Bette Midler On Her Character CC Bloom: “Actually, CC Bloom is an amalgam of a lot of people who have trod the boards, so to speak. I don’t think the character is really me – definitely not in the movie.” (Reading Eagle, December 24, 1988)

Bette Midler On Mayim Bialik: She was fabulous! When people see her they gasp. She says she’s going to dye her hair so she’ll always look just like me.” (Reading Eagle, December 24, 1988)

Bette Midler On Meeting Barbara Hershey At Carrie Fisher’s House For The First Time: “I was unprepared for what she was really like. She’s been trailing this flower-child legend for years.  I found her to have great humanity, though – a very serious person and not a flake.” (Reading Eagle, December 24, 1988)

Barbara Hershey On Meeting Bette Midler At Carrie Fisher’s House For The First Time: “Carrie Fisher and Bette were singing and dancing that night, and the rest of us were in awe. That didn’t surprise me. But what did surprise me was afterward. Bette struck me as much quieter and more serious than her reputation.” (Reading Eagle, December 24, 1988)

Gary Marshall On Bette Midler in Beaches: “Bette can do anything from class to crass. I let her bug her eyes out a few times just to get it out of her system. I remember saying to her at one point: ‘Look, this is a realistic comedy. You got on a bunny suit. You don’t have to help it by mugging.'” (Reading Eagle, December 24, 1988)

Bette Midler On Director Garry Marshall In Beaches: “I was very happy to play a character that was real and not a cartoon character. God bless Garry. He kept me from using my usual bag of tricks in the comedy parts. It’s nice not to have to squawk your lines.”  (Reading Eagle, December 24, 1988)

Bette Midler On Producing Beaches: I’m pleased with the film. But producing – who knew it would be so hard? I had to make decisions I never had to make before. In pre-production, I had to find songs and record them, learn choreography and then all kinds of work on details: the colors of sets; casting; hiring the crew; costumes: Barbara didn’t want to wear plaid. It’s like going to war.”  (Reading Eagle, December 24, 1988)

Bette Midler On Movies She’d Like To Make: Well, I’d like to do something where I get the guy. I’d like to have a sexy part before my legs go. In other words, a relationship picture.  I’d also love to do a picture with Dustin Hoffman. I see him once in awhile. We’re friends, and we look like brother and sister. I’d love to do a picture with him and my husband.” (Reading Eagle, December 24, 1988)

Bette Midler On Her Husband Martin: My husband, he’s something. Did you see that HBO special with him? He did a terrific job, though some people just didn’t get it. I’d like to take more time with him. I’ve worked steadily for four years now. I’m overweight, I’ve got bags under my eyes, and I miss my daughter Sophie. Enough.” (Reading Eagle, December 24, 1988)

Bette Midler On Jinxed: “I never knew it got so ugly. I never knew it got down to such mudslinging. It was an enormously painful experience, but it was pain about something as trivial as a movie. A movie is basically a piece of fluff and entertainment.” (Boca Raton, March 13, 1983)

Bette Midler On Jinxed: “I wanted to make the best movie I could. It’s hard to be dignified when one is covered in mud, but I’ve done the best I could.” (Boca Raton, March 13, 1983)

Bette Midler On Pop Music: “You know what makes me the craziest? It’s the homogenization in the record industry today. There are no surprises. They’re giving us a flat presentation and calling that entertainment.” (Boca Raton, March 13, 1983)

Bette Midler On Pop Music:  “In the early days of rock and roll everybody was real. But the bigger the business got, when the corporations swallowed up all the record companies, they all got scared. There’s no rough edges on pop music anymore…and there’s no soul.” (Boca Raton, March 13, 1983)

Director Mark Rydell On Bette Midler Getting Into Character Of The Rose: “There were some difficult moments. I told Bette she had to visit some places inside herself that were very painful for her. She begged me not to make her deal with her own deep loneliness and the pain she’d lived with as a child. Bette didn’t want to go into the battlefield of her subconsciousness. But she committed herself to those black areas she had been trying to forget in all of her 32 years. The result is one of the finest performances I’ve ever seen. She pulled out all the stops.  She had the courage to look her worst, distort her face and wring out her emotions.” (Beaver County Times, November 18, 1979)

Mark Rydell On Bette Midler In The Rose: “In person Bette is quiet and introspective. As Rose she is a raging animal trapped in a life that she can’t handle. I’ve given two years of my life to ‘The Rose’ and right now I’m filled with a sense of triumph.” (Beaver County Times, November 18, 1979)

Bette Midler On Her Appendectomy Right Before Her Depression Tour: “MiGod, there I was, going under the knife on my 30th birthday. Is that some kind of message? I turn 30 and suddenly my body starts to fall apart!” (The Evening News, January 19, 1976)

Aaron Russo On Bette Midler And The Right Script: “I waited six years for a movie for Bette. The scripts I read and discarded either lacked quality or weren’t important enough for her. I wanted a role only Bette Midler could play. In other words, if she couldn’t make the picture, the project would have to be abandoned.” (The Evening News, January 19, 1976)

Director Mark Rydell On Bette Midler; “She is savagely honest. She has a built-in phony detector and it is working all the time.” (The Times News, January 19, 1980)

Director Mark Rydell On Seeing Bette Perform Superstar On The Burt Bacharach Special: “I realized then that she was tremendously gifted. I realized then that she is an arc light waiting to be turned on.” (The Times News, January 19, 1980)

To The Audience At Experience The Divine: “ It’s nice to see the trash out tonight.” (New Castle News Weekend, August 28, 1993)

To The Audience At Experience The Divine: “ Hi, How-are-ya doin’How’ve you been the last 10 years? Time flies when you’re on Prozac. But enough about you. Let’s talk about me! Don’t I look FABULOUS?” (New Castle News Weekend, August 28, 1993)

Bette Midler On The Rose: “It goes along with the martyrs. All the martyrs from Billie Holiday to Judy Garland. to Janis Joplin–have pretty much the same story.  Those stories never grow old. People never tire of them.  I don’t know if it’s something in the public conciousness or it’s just people looking for a good cry. People are fascinated by the rise and fall of these public personalities.  But their story is not my story. I try to be relentlessly jolly. I want to survive. There are so many things to do in this business. I want to be able to do them all.” (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Bette Midler On The Rose Character: “There’s a lot of me in that character. I found myself and brought myself. When I didn’t find it, I brought it. I try not to dig into that deep self-pitying place. I’ve spent years there. It’s all destructive. You can’t produce anything when you’re in that place. Sometimes I still go there. It’s like an old habit.” (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Bette Midler On The Rose Character: “I must say that I’ve never had that much sorrow. I’ve never been in that much pain. I’ve been in pain but not that long. The little bits I’ve been through leave certain scars, certain memories that I was able to call on. I don’t overindulge,  Well, I have been known to take a drink now and then. But I’m an ugly drunk. It’s really embarrassing when people see me and I’m looped. I bite people.” (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Bette Midler On Biting While Drinking: “It’s really embarrassing when people see me and I’m looped. I bite people. Not friendly. Rabies time. Once I bit a guy’s glasses. A good friend. I said ‘Gimme your glasses.’ And I tried to eat them. I’m a disgusting drunk.”
(The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Bette Midler on Past Drug Use: “Drugs? I have a paranoid thing about them. I go to that black place when I’m high. I’m okay on the hallucinogens. Not acid, I had a real bad time on acid once. I had a boyfriend leave me” (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Bette Midler on Past Drug Use: “I had a real bad time on acid once. I had a boyfriend leave me. I had spent eight weeks on the road in a show. And I was madly in love with this guy. All the time I was away, he used to call me and tell me how much he adored me. And then the day I came back, he told me he was moving in with another girl. So I decided I would take acid. You can imagine I had a terrible, terrible experience.” (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Bette Midler on Past Drug Use: Mescaline I didn’t mind. But grass used to put me in a real terrible place. For two years it made me jolly and I used to laugh a lot. But then after the second year I found myself getting terribly introspective and looking at myself in the mirror and getting totally freaked out.  I said to myself, ‘Girlfriend, don;t do this anymore.’ So I stopped doing it. I can’t do it at all. “ (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Was There A Conscious Effort To Make The Rose Resemble Janis Joplin: “No. We wanted to avoid comparisons with Joplin. But it seemed like people were going to say it, no matter what. People don’t think of Gracie Slick when they hear about a doomed rock and roll singer — although Gracie had plenty of ups and downs. And people don’t think about Mama Cass or the male singers that died before their time.” (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Bette Midler On Changing Her Voice For The Rose: “Yes, I sing differently in’The Rose.’ It was a conscious effort. I had always loved that kind of music. What ‘kind’ of music? It’s called rhythm and blues if it’s black, and no frills rock and roll if it’s white. It’s very emotional music.” (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Bette Midler On Singing No Frills Rock N’ Roll: “I’ve always sung some. Not a great deal of it. I was timid. I never thought people would buy street music from a chick like me. You know, theatrical background, musical comedy. Musical comedy is sneered at by people who are rock and roll.  But most of them, if you scratch them, their parents used to play ‘Oklahoma.’ You know what I’m saying? (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Bette Midler On Singing Rock And Roll:  “But I was never one who sneered. I was in it from the time I was a kid. I always liked it. I found it fairly intelligent popular music. I always wanted to sing it. But I was terrified.  This film, this character, gave me the chance to do that. I had been looking for the chance for a long, long time. When I was forced to, I really made an effort to learn what the style consisted of and to practice very hard.” (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Bette Midler On Singing Rock And Roll: “It was very difficult for me. I can’t begin to tell you. I wanted it to be authentic. Now, I feel like I can, and that people will ‘buy’ it. I don’t mean pay money money for it. But say, ‘Well, she’s all right. She’s a happening chick.'” (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

On The Chance Of Doing A Romantic Comedy After The Rose: “You know, I’d like to do a comedy. I don’t know about the romance part. I guess you have to have a little romance. I’m kinda chicken, I don’t want to do a second movie too fast, like everybody does — have a fairly good beginning then rush off and do something you’re not sure of. I’m waiting and considering. “  (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Why Bette Midler Wants To Do A Concert Movie After The Rose: “I love to sing. And I think people love it when you sing. I do, My stage act is kind of ‘low rent.’ My act is like a stripper with a little bit of education. I do a lot of double entendre stuff.  Some of it is quite, quite gross. That’s really what I’m known for. I’d like to do a film in which I do that. I’m gonna.” (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

What Bette Midler Attributes to The Appeal Of Her Low Rent Humor: “Just youthful high spirits. my dear! Lewd can be hysterical if it’s not serious. If it’s serious, it’s not funny. It’s the most frightening, threatening  thing in the world. But when it has the overtones of parody, then it’s quite jolly. That’s what I do. I can be gross. But people know it’s like a little girl who’s got her mouth wrapped around a whole lot of words that she doesn’t really know what they mean. Some people wish I were worse.” (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Bette Midler On Her Lewdness In Her Act And In The Rose: “I’m much lewder in my real act than I am in the film. I had to change a lot of my physical style for the film. I’m a mincer. I wear very high heels. I’m known for skittering and pigeon-toeing my way across the stage very fast. I wanted the things I do while I sing in the film to be more violent of nature.  My girlfriend, Toni Basil, a great rock n’ roll dancer who knows all the microphone moves and pop dances, spent time working with me on the moves for the movie.” (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Bette Midler On Her Audiences: “My audience is pretty broad now. All ages, sexes. Old people think of me as the Great Jewish Entertainer. You know, my mother’s generation. They like me because I remind them of someone they knew a long time ago. The bad girl on the block.”  (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Bette Midler On Her Gay Audiences: “I still have a real strong gay following. I love them. They are loyal.” (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Bette Midler On Her Father Fred Midler: “He went out in ’37, during the Great Depression, which we never stopped hearing about. He was a Republican, and Jewish too. I was so embarrassed when I found out he wasn’t toeing the leftist line.” (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Bette Midler On Discovering Acting: In Her Sophmore Year In High School: “I discovered I could act for a lot of people, not just 30 people, which I used to do when I was a little girl in fifth grade and did improvised shows with my girlfriend. It gave me a lot of confidence, finding out that I could make people laugh and entertain them.” (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Bette Midler On How Entertaining Made Her Popular In High School: “After that (performing in fifth grade) I was elected president of my class. But I was totally incompetent–couldn’t keep order. They tried to impeach me.” (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)

Bette Midler On Making The Rose: “There are things I could have done better in the film, but it is what it is. I used to be terribly dissatisfied with my records and hate my producers. I’m determined not to do this with films. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I know what I’m feeling now is fleeting. I know bad times are going to come and pass. And I know that happiness comes again, too. Right at this minute, I’m happy and satisfied.”  (The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 2, 1979)