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LEONORE FLEISCHER
The Rose


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Futura, London, 1979
(price: 90p; 256 pages)

dedication: Dedicated to the men in my past who have brought me down and the men in my future who'll take me back up


The blurb on the back:

Joplin, Hendrix, Morrison
They all lived life to the impossible limit. And beyond. Then there was
The Rose
She was the superstar of her time, the conscience of her generation. On stage, she held the world in the palm of her hand. When she sang, in a hall filled with 10,000 people you could hear a pin drop... a girl sob... a heart break...
Then a solid wall of sound, the audience cheering its thanks for the gift it had been given, the gift of a woman's soul.
But once given, it could never be taken back.
The Rose
All she wanted was love. All she got was pain. All she gave is here.


I'm not really sure where I stand on the issue of Bette Middler. On the one hand, I would never voluntarily listen to any of her recordings; on the other, I kind of admire her dogged determination to become a star, and the fact that she started on the gay circuit in San Francisco with the great Barry Manilow as her musical director. Ultimately I guess one has to be thankful that she decided to take up movies as a career rather than staying with music.

However, the first foray into cinema was a total disaster. The Rose was loosely based on Janis Joplin but was hideously tainted by being (a) smothered in late-'70s American rock, and (b) a dull and startlingly unoriginal sequence of showbiz clichés. None of this was Ms Middler's fault, of course (though her Oscar nomination as Best Actress was somewhat exaggerated), but really the film sucked big-time. The presence of Alan Bates wasn't exactly helpful either.

The novelization - from the screenplay by Bill Kerby and Bo Goldman - is just what you'd expect. But I'm giving it one point more than I normally do for Leonore Fleischer, because it's about music and therefore comes into two categories.


ARTISTIC MERIT: 1/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
1/5


from the maker of...

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Annie
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Fame
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Heaven Can Wait
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Staying Alive

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