On Judy Garland: ‘One day, I said to her: “Mama, why are you always so sad when you sing Over The Rainbow?” She looked at me. “It’s what they want,” she said. “Now let’s go get a hamburger.” Forget anything you’ve read. That’s how I remember her. That’s my reality.’
On reality: ‘Reality is something you have to rise above.’ What can she mean? A plume of smoke. ‘Well, if you don’t like a chapter in your life, then re-write it. It’s your life. Whatever gets you through. Ha! If you can stand back and laugh at something, you’re in control of the situation. You can face down your demons.’
On Michael Jackson: ‘In the end, the scorn, the cruelty, the vicious meanness — these are the things that took his life. He was one of the best performers we’ve ever had. He changed everything. But he was only a king when he was on stage.’
On Lady Gaga: ‘I love Lady Gaga. Not long ago, I went to see her show,’ she says. ‘Someone came up to me at the end and asked if I’d come backstage. Lady Gaga wanted to meet me. There she was, her hair normal, no weird costume. Just a simple dressing gown. She looked like a nice kid. She said: “You’re my favourite. You’re my hero.” There were photographers who wanted a picture of us together so she turned towards them and opened the front of her dressing gown. I immediately closed it. I laughed. She’s into the Madonna thing: shock value. And it works. But the girl has a big talent.’
On Madonna:‘I think she’s terrific. When I’m chatting to her, she’s just normal, the opposite of grand. We’ll meet in a restaurant with friends. Or hang out at a party. She’s always interesting and interested. She’s smart as hell and keeps her eyes peeled. She misses nothing.’
On men: ‘I’ve decided I want three lovers,’ she says, breezily. ‘The first would be enormously rich, with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana skin. The second would be someone who’s passionate about something — science, painting, anything, I don’t care. Passion is so sexy. And finally, I want someone who comes to see me twice a week. I don’t even have to know his name.’
I don’t know about you, but yeah, I still love the hell out of Liza Minnelli.