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January 23, 1973 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-01-23

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Tuesday, January 23, 1973


Page Three

Tuesday, January 23, 1973 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Three

Sunday night at Detroit's Ma-
sonic Auditorium a motley sell-
out crowd of 4600 or so gathered
to welcome the undeniable return
of the former-pineapple-packer-
now-artiste-supreme of Continen-
tal Baths' fame, the Divine Miss
M. Yes, Miss M, Bette Midler,
was making stop No. 3 on her
tour of "tacky" American cities,
Detroit finishing (only) third to
Rochester and Cleveland. But
Bette's engaging performance
was anything but third-or-even-
second-rate, as she entertained
with more sheer talent and drive
than any other artist in recent
memory, this while creating a
stage presence of unmistakably
awe-inspiring nature.
And even if you couldn't tell
the "players" without a score-
card audience-wise, it was Bette
9:30 P.M.-MODERN

on the stage, backed by a four-
piece rhythm section and her
three-girl "choir," the Harlettes.
Nothing else was needed though,
as Bette and her friends provided
almost two and one-half hours of,
as the Divine One put it, hard-
core "trash with flash." Con-
centrating somewhat on her de-
but Atlantic album, The Divine
Miss M, Bette mixed the very
best elements of rock, blues,
boogie, pop and sweet soul in her
show, proving herself to be a
master in the fine art of pro-
jecting natural, intimate warmth
and humor to a far-too-physically-
distant audience; this, of course,
heightening her already excep-
tional musical sense.
Opening with her amiable
theme song of sorts, "Friends,"
Miss M loungingly made her way
through a Bessie Smith song,
bringing a new sense of bite and
fire to the words, hinging on her
use of her own "quadruple-
entendre" and some old-fashioned
B-(plus)-grade bump-and-grind-
ing. Bette gaspingly sang with
the same mellowed savage grace
as Bessie, but she played on
each phrase with a much fuller
sense of both humor and serious-
ness; thus, in the end, the result
was a song that was a full show
in itself.
A "Do You Love Me?"/"Do
You Want to Dance?" medley
was very well-received and
rightly so. The Harlettes pro-
vided clean, seemingly-effortless
accompaniment to Miss M as she
led the entire group in a fine
show of capable, musically well-
conceived dynamics. The ar-
rangement was concise, building
on the interplay between Bette's
voice and the never-sluggish
backing of the rhythm section.
Another ass-kicker rocker, "Dah
Do Ron Ron," was even better
received, as Bette and the girls
sang at full force with no appar-
ent sign of fatigue, adding an
occasional "tacky" dance step
CHAPLIN makes good in
the American West. One
of the greatest comedies
ever made.
Buster Keaton
Donald Sosin's piano ac-
companiment is offered
for both films at all

B~ette Midler: **
sweet and sultry

along the way. This former Crys-
tals' hit lacked absolutely noth-
ing in this performance; it was
just simply amazing, full of the
most infectious, friendly-feeling
sound and life as is conceivable.
Two of the more far-reaching
album cuts were spotlighted,
those being "Delta Dawn" and
John Prine's masterpiece, "Hello
In There." Alex Harvey's "Delta
Dawn" is a song of a once-great
South, and its utterly lifeless
shells of people, performed by
Bette in a southern-comforting
voice with Barry Manilow's lazy,
lingering piano providing the
principle (early) accompaniment.
Bette's voice and the music
swell, the pace/mood grows rav-
enous behind a feeling of non-
descriptness that leaves an ever-
longing bad taste in one's mouth.
After some thought, it would
seem though that this taste is
not as much bad as it is sad,
driven by a desire to resolve
the song at hand. "Hello In
There" is a latter-day country-
pop oratorio on the sad state of
old age and its "captives." As
performed here, Prine's song is
a chilling plea for understanding
and, in a sense, forgiveness for
growing old. Bette sings quietly,
ending each phrase with a touch
of Prine-ish country twine, while
never letting the music overcome
her. The final effect is devastat-
ingly pure and direct.
"Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy"
and "Chattanooga Choo-Choo"
helped to recall the earlier days
of the fast and furious forties.
Bette parodied the Andrew Sis-
ters, piling her hair high atop
her head, one arm vivacious and
the other wall-flower limp, swing-
ing madly in a grand show of,
once again her word, "garbage"
(said with infinite class, of
The Harlettes backed on both
songs, adding to Bette to create
that now-a-days tongue in cheek
sound that had "that certain
something" back then. Lively,
so - to - speak. "Boogie Woogie
Bugle Boy" was excellent even

if it lacked the horns as included
on the album; but as the music
surrounds you, you soon forget
the horns and just listen to the
Divine Miss M sing with all the
true showmanship of Patti, La-
Verne and Maxine combined-
and the joy flows with every word
from her lips.

Bette Midler

"Superstar" suddenly found
Bette sad and direction-less.
Though the band and the Har-
lettes played on, Bette was vir-
tually alone on stage, and the
song became a direct one-to-one
relationship with each and every
member of the hudience, creating
a lost sense of forlorn romanti-
cism and grave circumstance
that lingered unmercifully on.
Dylan's "I Shall Be Released"
becomes a powerful woman's
song in Bette's capable hands,
and it too "suffers" from this
ensuing sense of grave circum-
stance, lending itself to the bit-
tersweet side of life.
In one of her more speed-
rapping moments, Bette told her
captive audience that "esoteric"
FM was okay, but it was "AM
(that) gets you out of the house
and onto the street (pause) danc-
ing." And so right she was, prov-
ing her words with three more
rock'n'roll classics. "Your Love

Keeps Liftin' Me (Higher and
Higher)" was raucous through-
out, leading up to the point when
Bette shed her low-cut, floor-
length silver lame gown to re-
veal skin-tight knickers and a
lower-cut silver-sequined corset
top, thus adding to the show.
Bette's voice was striking as well.
The Harlettes and the band were
virtually unstoppable, musically
driving on at an amazing clip.
"Leader of the Pack" proved her
love for "low-grade retro rock'n'-
roll" as she laid down some of
the most vicious teenage-punk
v o c a 1 s since those original
"toughs," the Shangri-Las. This
early Shangri-Las' hit was street
corner talking in its finest sense
as somehow Bette was able to
become the entire trio right be-
fore the audience's eyes, vamp-
ing her way through this verit-
able teenage wasteland of camp
romance and motorcycle mad-
ness. The Harlettes were able-
bodied as ever, providing accom-
panying mock dance steps and
purringly smooth background
vocals. After a chewing gum in-
tro, Bette kicked the biking ma-
chinery into gear, the music
alternating between rabid and
just plain raunchy, and suddenly
the song was over and all of that
mindless joy was gone . . . but
there was more.
The Dixecups' great "Chapel
of Love" was performed in a
most sh-boom sense, its infec-
tiousness never leaving the audi-
ence behind; rather, taking them
along and engulfing them in the
smooth flow of early rock-and,
Midler-magic. The "pits," no
Miss M's rhythm section con-
sists of guitarist. Dickie Frank,
bassist Michael Federal, drum-
mer Luther Rix and pianist
Barry Manilow, who also does
Bette's crisp musical arrange-
ments. Federal and Rix are a
very capable bass/drums duo and
guitarist Frank is a sound, tech-
nically-eloquent instrumentalist.
The real instrumental star though
is Manilow, who plays the piano
with virtually as much feeling as
anyone, playing the part of in-
terpreter of Bette's moods, play-
ing on and with them in his
rather quiet, directing style. The
women, Gail Kantor, Merle Mil-
ler and new addition Charlotte
Crossley, are likewise excellent,
lending their never-overbearing
vocal support to the Divine One.
As for the Divine Miss M, she
is without equal-a warm-blooded
blend of timeless style and grace.
Her voice is at times strained
and breathlessly w on d e r f u 1:
sweet or sultry, it commands
one's constant emotional atten-
tion. Possibly most striking is
her endlessly changing physical
appearance. Her facial features
and expressions run the gamut
of pure camp and emotion: she
can be some-kind-of-wonderful-ly
slutty as in her gum-popping
Sorority sister-reject character
from "Leader of the Pack," or
a seemingly-childlike woman lost
in a bittersweet love as in
"Superstar." Bette Midler is, in
a short three-word phrase, every-
one and everything. With her in-
finite sense of awe-inspiring stage
presence and equally-affecting
musical talents, Bette Midler is
the stage, entertainer par excel-
lence. In one of her favorite
words, "divine."~

So me high-energy
IBoogie and Blues

Luther Allison

AT 7 P.M.
Cinema 5 presents
The Sorrow
The Pity
Directed by
Marosi Ophuls

MARATHON MUSIC-Mojo Boogie Band and Diesel-Smoke
/Dangerous Curves perform this afternoon at the Blind
Pig and Locomotion and Iron Horse Exchange perform
tonight at the Odyssey as part of the WNRZ Community
Marathon. Cover charges will be donated to the Mara-
thon to help organizations in the Washington St. Com-
munity Center before the fire there last December.
Music will be broadcast live over WNRZ-FM.
FILMS-AA Film Coop shows Hamilton's Diamonds Are For-
ever tonight, Aud. A, 7, 9; Cinema Guild shows Chap-
lin's The Gold Rush tonight, Arch Aud, 7, 9:05; New
World Film Coop shows Raga tonight MLB, 7:30, 9:30;
Residential College Astronomical Film Festival shows
Assignment: Shoot the Moon; Exploration of the Plan-
ets; Apollo 9, tonight, RC Aud. 9.
MUSIC-Saxophone Quartet performs tonight at 8, SM Re-
cital Hall.

Associate Managing Editor
A lot of people missed a killer
concert Saturday night.
In the mirrored, concert park-
ing structure-like Power Center
less than 1,000 gathered to listen
to, dance to, and clap for Luther
Allison's Blues Band and Ann
Ann Arbor's own Mojo Boogie
Both gave fine, high-energy
performances but the small
turn-out made this concert one
that UAC-Daystar lost money on.
The concert had bad luck to
begin with. Two of the acts,
Junior Walker and the All-Stars
and Bobby Blue Bland, cancelled
out. Becausekof that and very low
advance ticketdsales, UAC-Day-
star was forced to move out of
Hill Aud. to the smaller Power
But to the amazement of most,
The Power Center proved to be
a fine place for the concert. And
it was a fine concert.
Up first was the Mojo Boogie
Band. Five bearded young men,
determined to make your foot
start tapping and your ass start
shaking. No frills, just raucous
The two mainstays of the band
were the lead singer who played
guitar and harmonica and an in-
credible saxaphone player. The
two of them provided the drive
and energy so essential for boogie
blues. Two of them switched off
playing leads while the rest of
the band (bass, rhythm, and
drums) filled in the background.
The five combined to produce
a nice mixture on some Otis Rush
and Slim Harpo songs. They were
a fine act and they got the
crowdup and ready for the main
attraction of the night. The
Luther Allison Blues Band.
Luther's brand of blues is excit-
ing. His loud, Chicago-style, bar-
blues is really something dif-
(WABX-Airwaves)-Singer Pat-
rick Sky is having major hassles
with his new album. According
to Crawdaddy Magazine, the al-
bum Songs that Made America
Famous. shocked United Artists
so badly that they demanded
their name be disassociated with
the LP. Pressing plants for both
Columbia and United Artists
have refused to press the album,
which is said to attack every-
thing, including Pope Paul.

ferent for Ann Arbor. And it's
Luther who provides most of the
excitement. His prancing around,
his fast finger work on electric
guitar, his sometimes weird some-
times funny sounds he coaxes
out of his guitar all fit into the
Luther was once billed as "The
next Jimi Hendrix" but the title
is not accurate. He is much more
basic than Hendrix ever was.
Luther's musical roots are much
more into traditional blues.
The band is aptly named. It's
Luther's show all the way.
Bouncing out on stage asking
"Do you feel alright?" he had
the crowd under .his thumb
throughout the entire show.
In fact, the show was mostly
Luther. For almost a full third
of the act, Luther was playing
alone with no backup from the
rest of the band, which was very

tight and seemed to fit in with
Luther's act with no clashes.
Luther showed, as he has in
past appearances in Ann Arbor,
his energy, his fine sense of
stopping the music and starting
up again slowly, and his total
command of his guitar.
His songs are all carefully
planned to get the most excite-
ment from what are sometimes
very old tunes. He ran through
"Little Red Rooster" and "Let
Your Love Light Shine" but they
didn't seem like those old blues
numbers that you have heard so
Luther made those old tunes
come alive. His energy was in-
fectious. The crowd was on its
feet during most of the evening,
pleading, begging, demanding
My only complaint about the
whole evening was that, while
blues has a variety of styles, the
two bands didn't show much ver-
satility. Both have their own
stylized brand of blues which
they didn't veer too far from.
None-the-less, I was up on my
feet with the rest of the crowd
asking for more and more and
more. It was a fine concert.



I ...-I


6:00 2 4 7 News
9 Courtship of Eddie's Father
50 Flintstones
56 How Do Your Children Grow?
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7 ABC News
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50 Gilligan's Island
56 Your Right To Say It
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4 News
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9 Beverly Hilibilhie
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56 French Chef
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7 Parent Game
9 Protectors
56 Evening at Pops
50 Hogan's Heroes
8:00 2 Maude
4 The Incredible Flight of

the Snow Geese
7 Marcus Welby, M.D.
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7 & 9:05


Chester Himes'

Ossie Davis'



Cotton Comes to Harlem
directed by OSSIE DAVIS
Godfrey Cambridge and Raymond St. Jacques star as Chester Himes' Harlem
detectives "Coffin Ed" Johnson and "Gravedigger" Jones, hilariously pur-
suing a fortune of the people's money, "stolen" from a Back-to-Africa rally
held by the glamorous Rev. Duke O'Malley. At the climax, the money turns
up under a bale of cotton used as the central prop in a new striptease num-
ber, but not before devastating spoofs of the police, mock-insurrections,
car-chases, and the funniest sex scene in modern filmmaking. Great!


one day only
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January 24

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