The $1 Million Barbra Streisand Garage Sale She Can’t Be Happy About


The singer Barbra Streisand is starting to sound a lot like Oprah, what with her focus on lady friendships. But girl is gonna need her close confidants, ’cause the gay icon is being sold out by her former boyfriend who’s credited with discovering her — who’s a gay.

Barry Dennen and Babs met in 1959. They were both starring in a terrible way-the-hell-off-Broadway production, and Barry heard her sing, then turned her on to Edith Pilaf, got her singing and working out those wind pipes as they moved in with each other in New York’s Greenwich Village. As the story goes, Barry realized he was a big ‘mo, they split, and she went on to have an enormously successful career.

Barry went on to write 1997’s book My Life With Barbra: A Love Story. Now, he’s looking to cash in again, auctioning off Barbra’s earliest recordings and hoping to snag $1 million in the process.

The tapes include Streisand singing “A Taste of Honey” and “Two Brothers” in Dennen’s apartment, with him accompanying on guitar. There’s also a Sept. 17, 1960, rehearsal at the Bon Soir nightclub, where Streisand sang “Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now,” “A Sleepin’ Bee,” “I Want To Be Bad,” “When Sunny Gets Blue,” “Lover Come Back to Me,” “Nobody’s Heart” and “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”

“I’m a little trepidations,” says Barry. “I don’t know what the fallout will be. I don’t like upsetting Barbra, and I don’t want her fans angry at me.” That’s funny, because he knows what the fallout is going to be; she’s already got lawyers involved to block the recordings’ release, if you believe the Internet.

Amusing, Barbra is hosting her own auction of her own things, except these proceeds will go to charity — one not called the Barry Dennen Desperation Fund.

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  • akn

    Since I’m feeling charitable today: Edith _Piaf_ is NOT a side dish.

  • Rick

    Nor is Barry “a little trepidations.” Bad grammar on behalf of Barry or a big, bad typo?

  • Chris

    Poor Barry – He has diva-envy.

    He’s already made some cash of of Ms. B with his bizarre book. Now he is looking to cash in yet again with these tapes. Yeah, they are his tapes, but the tapes alone aren’t worth anything beyond the voice/talents of Ms. Streisand. Therein lies the legal issue. Sure, he can keep the tapes – but for him to make money off of her voice is most decidely not legal. If you read the fine print on the site which is “selling” the tapes… there is a good deal of fine print. In short, the person buying them is buying the copyright to them and cannot reproduce them etc. and if they do, the rites revert back to Dennis. So essentially, someone is going to pay a million dollars to only hear the songs for themself and maybe some people they have around to listen (though that might fall under public use and still be illegal).

    If Barry had any integrity, he would have handled this far differently – but he has chosen to exploit his relationship with Streisand and that’s just sad.

    Besides, these recordings no doubt don’t sound very much different from the very early recordings from the Bon Soir that are found on her “Just for the Record” box set. He cannot legally release them and as such, fans are being deprived of heearing her earliest work.

    It’s a shame that he has to stoop this low for a buck. Better he should have gone on and made his own career the way she did.

  • GranDiva

    Barry Dennen did manage a small bit of Lloyd Webber magic himself some years after splitting from Barbara; he originated Pontius Pilate in the original Broadway production of Jesus Christ Superstar and reprised the role in the 1973 (alongside that semi-bisexual future porn star who played an Apostle). Beyond that, bit parts here and there and a lot of voice acting.

  • GranDiva

    1973 film, that is.

  • Bleh

    Go Barry!

    “The beneficiaries are City Year, which provides resources to youths in local neighborhoods; and Cedar Sinai Women’s Heart Health Center.”

    God forbid the singer who might never have been noticed if it weren’t for the gay clubs she originally played in, is the biggest gay diva this side of Judy, and has a gay son who is allegedly HIV+ would give a fucking cent to a GAY charity!

    Her voice is incomparable but she’s become a monster who reeks of cold as ice homophobia.

  • Coke

    Also please note that the link (eventually) goes to an auction that has been over for five years.

  • Coke

    Sorry- the Streisand auction, that is, not the Dennen one.

  • vince

    Barbra gives millions to humanitarian causes-including gay health. She is as warm as melted buttah. You, Bleh, are a big resentful dope.

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