1. Derrick from Philly says

    The Divine Miss M is divine.

    Funny, how some entertainers/stars remind you of your youth. Midler was product of the 70s, but turned out much bigger than Disco or that decade. Loving Bette Midler was part of being gay (the homosexual stuff was secondary).

  2. Wayne says

    I was one of the lucky few to be at Krave on Monday when she showed up and I have to tell you it was fantastic! Krave is a hot-spot anyway (especially on Tuesday’s when Fashionista happens) but it was especially cool with Miss M taking the stage. If you’ve never been there take some advice and visit the next time you’re in Vegas.

  3. says

    I was there right in front. I got sick and had to leave right before she came on! Oh what a cruel god! But I did get to blog abut her before I went which brought up my days as a FHA (Future Homo of America)which she had a major influence in.


  4. Mark says

    I love Bette, I love Obama, and I love America.

    But I’m getting a little tired of the phrase “Only in America…” The world is and always has been full of notable people who arose from humble backgrounds. Take Pope Benedict and Saddam Hussein, to offer two widely different examples. Maybe the rags-to-riches was a more typically “American” story a hundred years ago or more, but I don’t think we have a monopoly on it today.

    Okay, I’m done. Go Bette!

  5. Leland Frances says

    On the one hand: anything non-violent that helps Obama get elected….even the endorsement of Gen. Rectum Powell [Senator-do NOT make him a part of your administration.

    On the one hand: Bette was once one of the greatest. The December 1983 San Francisco concert I saw was one of the most incredible entertainment experiences I’ve ever had, and I’ve witnessed the likes of LaBelle and Leontyne and Luciano at their peak. [For priceless, rare samples of some of those days go to the amazing site

    But on the other hand: more than Midlers’s voice and rare gift of music hall chanteuse dramatique are gone. The diva of 2008 is not the Divine of 1977 when she answered a shell-shocked gay community’s call and headlined, along with Lily Tomlin and Richard Pryor, the then biggest fundraiser in history for gay rights in September at the Hollywood Bowl in response to the bloddy Anita Bryant-led defeat of gay rights in Miami, and produced by her then lover/manager Aaron Russo.

    Perhaps it was that the unity and sense of doing something good almost entirely crashed and burned when Pryor segued into an attack on gay racism, crowned by telling the audience, “Kiss my happy, rich black ass,” before walking off stage. Even closing act Midler, wearing a Statue of Liberty costume and pulled on stage in chains by the Harlettes in KKK hoods, shouting, “Well, who wants to kiss this rich white ass?” could entirely save the evening.

    Regardless, 30-yr old post traumatic stress would not justify why she has apparently been entirely Missing In Action for most of the intervening holy war against gays nor, now, in relation to Prop 8 in California, and similar efforts in Florida and Arizona.

    You can read an expansion/update from this past March on her 2003 remarks to Larry King at the link below. The author is almost rhapsodic with gratitude, but, read carefully, the core of her attitude is patriarchal [gays generally aren’t mature enough for marriage equality] and submissive [society isn’t ready for it]. Would she have ever said the same about women not being ready for legal equality, or fellow Jews? We’ve still got to have friends, but Midler stopped being one long ago.

    It is not just because many gays, from Manilo to the owner of the Continental Baths to Bruce Vilanch and all the gay fans in between were the reason all her dreams came true that her close friend, the late Vito Russo, of “Celluloid Closet” fame, who once dubbed me a copy of her performance at NY’s 1973 pride rally, is somewhere weeping.

    “Long ago and oh so far away I fell in love with you before the second show. … Don’t you remember you told me you loved me, Baby. Said you’d be coming back this way again, Baby. Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby, oh, Baby. I [loved] you; I really [did].”,…-a0176867345

  6. Derrick from PHilly says

    Interesting, LELAND. I was going to ask about the poster GALVIN’S comment earlier in this thread. Well, memories of Bette are good memories. Many black folks still admired Frank Sinatra, but he was no friend of ours in the end.

  7. Derek says

    It seems a little cold in my house today, Leland could you direct some of your infinite hot air my way?

  8. says

    when the Divine speaks, everyone MUST listen…

    i’ve never heard an untrue word from her mouth, ever…

    al hail, the Divine!

  9. Rocco says

    Derek, you leave Leland alone. You know not
    of what you speak. All hail the divine Miss M. I was a fan from Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.
    She is real, and she is ours.

  10. JV says

    Yes, LELAND, and as I am sure you are aware people are allowed to change their minds and stances on their opinions as they grow and change.

  11. Leland Frances says

    Thanks, Derrick. I meant to mention Sinatra as another legend who wasn’t so great once one scratched below the surface. Add Brit gay diva Shirley Bassey and her saying seeing Peter Finch kiss Murray Head in “Sunday Bloody Sunday” made her sick. Etc., etc.

    Regardless of what’s gone before, my point remains she’s inexecusably absent today. But when so many GAY celebs are, too, I guess one can’t expect too much of the straight ones.

  12. says

    Leland, I’m not going to down you at all. However, she came out. Barry Manilow didn’t. T.R. Knight didn’t. Didn’t see Sandra Bernhard (of course with her black guys raping…” comments I wouldn’t have gone). Mary Cheney, nope, not here in Vegas. Lance Bass (my favorite bete noir)? No.

    The point is we got media in a positive way. Of course the local news only reported on her at appearance at the county library in front of like 12 people. The other point is that at least she showed up. Barack doesn’t really fall that far from her views on issues affecting us and his ties to religious people makes me wary but am I going to let that negate the fact that he is VASTLY superior for our community than Pop-N-Fresh? ?No.

    As a black man I have often been expected to be happy “we at least got what we were given” so I understand where you are coming from. I have just decided to keep on keeping on full steam ahead and work towards the day that our little gay brothers and sisters won’t have to compromise.

    Bette’s baby steps will help us get there.

  13. excy says

    Gotta love Bette! But please give the “Only in America” business a rest. Oprah says this all the time as well…and it’s just not true.
    It is actually quite presumptuous to assume that other countries do not offer their citizens the chance to fulfill their dreams. It also exposes a lack of interest and knowledge in anything happening outside of your borders.
    That being said…the election of Barack Obama will be wonderful news and anything that american celebrities can do to assist in this regard is very welcome….even up here in Canada.

  14. Dennis Williams says

    Thanks for mentioning the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC. Especially since we were not identified on HBO.