Almost fifty years ago this week, broadway legend Bette Midler made her Rolling Stone debut.
Not only was there an article about Midler in the issue, but the entire cover was dedicated to her. The article talked about how she got her start at a men’s Turkish bathhouse in New York, The Continental Baths. In the article, Midler revealed that she was very shy as a little girl and was often picked on. One day, she realized that she could make friends simply by making people laugh. That’s when she knew she wanted to be a performer.
“Then one day I learned that I could be popular by making people laugh,” said Midler. “I became a clown to win people’s acceptance and I think that’s when I decided that I wanted to be in show business, to do something in the theater, on the stage … By the time I was in my senior year of high school I was completely stage-struck and had made up my mind that eventually I would come to New York. . . . “
The writer also mentioned Midler’s appearance on The Tonight Show in 1975. The writer of the article is actually sitting with Midler as she prepares to watch herself on the show for the first time.
Bette Midler Shares Embarrassing Moment From Her First Appearance On The Tonight Show
During an interview, this week on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Midler shared some behind-the-scene secrets from her appearance on the show with Johnny Carson.
“I went to the audition. I was wearing vintage clothes and I got out of the car and my dress ripped all the across my butt. And I said to my manager ‘Oh my god, my dress is ripped. Let me have your jacket to hide my panties.’ He said, ‘I can’t go on The Tonight Show without a jacket.’ And I said, ‘What about my ass?’ So anyway, I went into the ladies room and I asked a girl for a safety pin. There were no safety pins so I took a paper clip and I sort of stitched my dress together. And by the time that I got up for that audition, I was so angry that I gave that audition a life. I really gave it my all. I mean, I was livid,” said Midler while laughing.
Her anger definitely paid off because she booked the show. However, Bette Midler says that she believes there was one more key aspect of her audition that got her the gig.
“The first time I went, I wasn’t wearing a bra. And I think I was bouncing up and down. And this was a big scandal. So, I think that’s what it was. But he asked me back,” she said smiling.