Attitude was the wind beneath Bette Midler's boa-dacious wings
- 1972 Calling herself "the last of the truly tacky women," Bette
- Midler won a camp following by belting out ballads for towel-clad
- men at Manhattan's Continental Baths. Dressed in platform shoes
- and toreador pants or strapless lame' gowns, Midler performed
- "trash with flash and sleaze with ease."
- Always at home in a pose, she left her beloved Greenwich
- Village in the eighties for a blossoming film career in L.A.
- Though time tempered her outrageousness, after she moved
- back to Manhattan with her family in the nineties she could
- still claim the title 'Queen of Trash' - for starting the
- New York Restoration Project to clean up the city's parks.
- In the early days, Bette Midler was feathering her nest as the
- 1972 "I've never really had a home," Bette Midler confessed
- after she had moved into this Greenwich Village brownstone.
- Midler was newly flush after the success of her debut album,
- But the singer, who went on to snag a Grammy for best
- new artist the following year, had already found a place
- to roost: at New York City's all-male Continental Baths.
- Her flamboyant costumes - turbans, halter tops, and forties
- gowns found at thrift shops - lent her diva status among
- the towel-clad crowd, and her eclectic song repertoire,
- including the future hits "Do you wanna dance?" and
- "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," earned her a cult following.
- "The essence of who I am was created in that hothouse
- environment," she later said. "I was able to take chances
- on that stage that I could never have taken anywhere