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Cher Zombies Unite

Zombies We've made a lot of wedding planning progress over the weekend. My bf and I met with the caterer about our food options--I was looking for some warm comfort foods like soups and squashes seeing as our event will take place in an old library in the fall. We also found a do-able rehearsal dinner space (which has been vexing us--our favorite Mexican restaurant was too ho-hum about hosting a smaller party so we switched to a chain place--not ideal for food but should work well). And my friends Julie and Christopher and I found a great dress for my Maid of Honor on Monday--although we still might keep looking around. I also went thrift shopping with my friend Natalie and found some nifty trinkets to display on the old library shelves.

But now I really want to talk to you about a serious topic.

Cher Zombies.

Earlier this year on the Cher list someone was getting their usual verbal ass-kicking for daring to criticize her new show. This happens all the time, whenever anyone expresses dismay at a Cher activity or product, be it the auction, the new show, the false stops on the farewell--even folks who have build shrines to her on other days will get sold for scrap on the day they say something negative about Cher. I wrote a letter back sympathizing with both sides (as an artist it sucks to be second-guessed all the time but as a consumer you need to have judgments in order to sort out your world). But I stated that becoming a obsessive loyalist would not make you a fan but a Cher Zombie (and fanatical danger to your society).

This phrase was taken up humorously as a badge of honor by both sympathizers to my point and those who disagreed with me. A few on the list started signing their posts Cher Zombie including "the Texas Cher fan" Terry Stout (is there only one Texas fan?) Terry also started a more adult-content Cher fan list called Cher Zombies.

Now he’s gone and made this awesome shirt which cost him over $500 for rhinestones and letterings. He said it weighs a ton.

I really hope Cher Zombies takes off like Betteheads and Parrotheads.

(btw, I went to a Jimmy Buffet show last week and again this one of the most violent party concerts I’ve ever been to outside of mosh pits--a dangerous drunk happy mob!)

  


More about Burlesque

Vamp






More news on Cher's interest in the movie Burlesque
http://www.myparkmag.co.uk/articles/celebrity/cher/cher-ready-for-burlesque.html

Okay, it’s a musical—even better!  It’s

“reportedly based on Bob Fosse's iconic musical 'Cabaret' - was written by Pussycat Dolls producer Steven Antin, who will also direct the project. It will be produced by Donald De Line, who previously worked on 'I Love You, Man'. Filming will start in September and the movie is due for release late next year.”


News reports are again jumping the gun saying Cher has been cast -- but stay tuned.

But Movies to Cher, call me! 
http://popwatch.ew.com/popwatch/2009/05/movies-to-cher.html

That's the tune of this very funny Popwatch’s analysis:

"the film will tell the story of a small-town girl (Aguilera) who gets in touch with her inner hussy with the help of the owner of a strip -- ahem, burlesque -- club, played by Cher. My only problem with this casting is that they didn't just dump Aguilera and have Cher play all the parts (something tells me Michael Slezak would agree...). But barring that, I'm just excited to have Cher back on the big screen in what could be her first real role since 2003's Stuck On You (unless Johnny Knoxville's The Drop-Out makes it to theaters first).

And really, would it be unreasonable of me to hope that the movie will be book-ended by an updated version of the "Vamp" song from the Sonny & Cher Show? I mean, it would fit the theme so perfectly.... "Stuck in a nowhere town/Thought she didn't have a choice/until the day that she discovered/Little Stina had a big old voice!"

They had me at hello with this one.


Blogs on Cher's Birthday (And that Accent Thingie)

Chername




There were some blogs loving on Cher on her birthday which was last Wednesday.

Cher clips galore can be found on both:

The text below was excerpted from the second link:

“Cher has always and forever will be one of the grooviest gals around...Here are 10 Groovy Facts about Cher…”

[These 10 fun-facts seem designed to serve as a Cher mini-biography--or a biography presented as a fun 10-item list. Neato.]

1) She was born Cherilyn Sarkisian on May 20, 1946, in El Centro, California. Her father was an Armenian refugee, while her mother was of Cherokee, English and French descent.

2) She was an introverted young girl with an active imagination, but after watching Disney’s Dumbo at Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theater, she broke out of her shell and dreamed of becoming a singing and dancing animal.

3) Due to severe, undiagnosed dyslexia, a frustrated Cher quit high school at 16 (she was later diagnosed at age 30). While she was in high school, she had a brief relationship with actor Warren Beatty.

4) In 1962, a 16-year-old Cher met 27-year-old Salvatore "Sonny" Bono, who was an assistant to record producer Phil Spector and offered the runaway a spare bed in his apartment. He assured her that he "didn’t find her attractive in the slightest". They became fast friends and eventually lovers before marrying in Tijuana, Mexico, on October 27, 1964 (they divorced in 1975).

5) Following an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in the fall of 1965 in which Sullivan pronounced her name 'Chur' during their introduction, she began spelling her name with a (misleading) acute accent: Chér (in 1979 she legally changed her name to Cher, with no surname or middle name).

6) Sonny and Cher caught the eye of CBS head of programming Fred Silverman in 1971 while guest-hosting The Merv Griffin Show, and he offered the duo their own variety show, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, which debuted on August 1, 1971, as a summer replacement series (it ran from 1971-74 and 1976-77).

7) She and Sonny performed together for the last time during their appearance on Late Night With David Letterman on November 13, 1987, in which they sang "I Got You, Babe".

8) Cher auditioned for the role of Bonnie Parker in 1967's Bonnie and Clyde, was offered the part of Thelma in 1991's Thelma & Louise, and wanted to play Morticia in 1991's The Addams Family. And her Oscar-winning role in 1987's Moonstruck was originally intended for Sally Field, who turned it down.

9) "Believe", the Grammy Award-winning title track from her 1998 album, made Cher the oldest woman (at age 52)to have a number one hit in the Hot 100 rock era. It also gave her the distinction of having the longest span of #1 hits (more than 33 years). She is also the only female artist to have solo Top 10 hits in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

10) Following her rocky relationship with Sonny and before her marriage to Gregg Allman in 1975, Cher turned down a romantic weekend in Las Vegas with Elvis Presley because she was too nervous about spending the night with The King. She still regrets turning him down as well as Marlon Brando, who also asked her out. However, she did have a passionate fling with a 23-year-old Tom Cruise when she was 39.


All the rest of that list is some same-ole-same-ole but the accent thing has been bugging me for decades!!

What was that about? Was it French 'cause it wasn’t proper French. I can see how some pronunciation notation might have been necessary for the likes of Ed Sullivan types but it was needed more to introduce the soft sounding “ch” part of this exotic new name. Maybe there was a fear peeps would pronounce her name like “shear”. Was this Sonny’s idea or Chér's? And honestly, I don’t care how incorrect it was, I LOVED IT. Why did it disappear all of the sudden?

Trivia question for you: can you guess which album her name first appeared naked?

  


Adam Lambert and Cher

Adamlambert You may have heard that Adam Lambert did not win American Idol last night. He came in second to the very likable Kris Allen. However, Adam remains the blazing star of the show, even in Kris’ estimation.

See? That’s how nice Kris is.

Time Magazine recently published an article about how Idol has produced many singers who can sing perfectly pleasant songs, but Adam is idol’s very first star. In fact, they called him the Un-Idol.

Adam has a kind of Cher-like quality about him, not just because he blew “Believe” out of the water during Hollywood week. The guy is just full throttle and there’s this sense of fulfilled theatrical promise about him. He was strategically polished for an Idol contestant, which made him an almost unfair competitor in this decidedly amateur show. His versatility was engaging. He could do soul, alt-country, torch and then fire his pipes like an 80s glam rocker, a reincarnated Freddie Mercury.

But I think in some sense he was my fantasy of what fully-fulfilled Cher singer could be – had she embraced a 100% torch theatricality that the splendid Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour solos only hinted at.

This article by Mary Zeiher catalogs his key performances on the show (including a slam on Cher’s performance of "Believe").

“Adam Lambert American Idol performance #2: Remember in Hollywood Week when he sang Cher's "Believe"? When I heard what he was going to sing, I immediately thought "Oh, we are done with Adam Lambert. No one can do that song well. Cher doesn't even do that song well." But again he out-shone the competition.”

I actually disagree with her assessment and think although I don't love the song, Cher does as well as anyone with it.

On a related note, Bette Midler had something nice to say about (gasp!) Cher and then something a bit odd to say about Adam Lambert:

If he doesn't win American Idol, Midler doesn't think it means homophobia has reared its ugly, discriminatory head. "Don't take it as a slap in the face if you're a gay person," she said. "I pray that people don't get pissed off."

(Well, Adam did really well in this year's Idol competition so I don’t see evidence of widespread homophobia in American voters, who are every day skewing more tolerant in national polls on gay issues. I guess Family First-types could be behind all the Kris votes... but man, what a pathetic waste of time that would be, dudes.)

On Cher --

"I saw her show, and it was unbelievable," Midler gushes. "It was absolutely terrific. I had a great time. She looked great, sounded great and gave it her all. And I got a photograph with her, so I'm happy."

Is she fer real?
  


New Movie Rumor

Christina There are rumors this week that Cher may star in a new movie called Burlesque with pop star Christina Aguilera. (This reminds me strangely of that rumor of the early part of this decade about Cher in a movie with Britney Spears). But anyway, this one is about "a singer from the boonies who comes to L.A. and performs in a sultry nightclub run by Sin City vamp expert" who may or may not end up being Cher.

I actually like the sound of this rumor…it would be nice to see something raw and edgy again.

  


My Divas Book of Essays

Medium_My_Diva There's a new book out called "My Divas" and it's a large collection of short essays by gay men ruminating about the famous women who inspire them.

The only writer I recognized was the poet Mark Doty who talks about writer Grace Paley. Mark was a prominent poet figure while I was in graduate school at Sarah Lawrence in the mid-90s and was very popular and well-liked. I've seen him read a few times at the LA Book Festival - in what I have dubbed the "poetry nook." He's a very funny poet and an astute critic of poetry at the Book Festival's poetry panels.

But anyway, such fine divas as Cher, Bette, Ava Gardner, Jessica Lange and Tina Turner are discussed. But there are many, many more divas included and the essays are short – about 5-10 pages.

Poet Aaron Smith (who wrote "Blue on Blue Ground") wrote the essay on Cher. I wonder if he has any Cher poems. I’ll try to find out. Anyway, his essay was more of a brief personal diary of his most memorable Cher moments. It didn’t delve into characteristics of Cher specifically.

The book's jacket however does provide some illumination on why divas are so sticky with devoted fans...because they pose as simultaneously: “sister, alter ego, fairy godmother [that one seems important], and model for survival” for not only gay men by for "anyone who ever needed a muse" and that these women represent both "vindication and transcendence" and can be “where we find our courage.”

So, some interesting theories to chew on. I’d like to read more about evidence of vindication and what that might mean. A good review can be found here:

http://blog.nola.com/susanlarson/2009/05/gay_men_reflect_on_cher_and_av.html

  


Hole Fit Furor

Newholefit Last Saturday Cher was performing at the music producer David Foster's "'Hit Man: David Foster and Friends" concert at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Not a huge David Foster fan but let's let that go because he's really not much of this story...incredibly. (This story is actually apropos for this week because my maid of honor and I just started planning my bachelorette party at Mandalay Bay. I’ve always wanted to stay there and luxuriate in their beachy-pool.)

But for the life of me, I cannot figure out why Cher wearing an elderly version of her hole-fit has caused such a reaction in the press. She’s been wearing a similar version of the same outfit in all her Vegas shows, in all the Farewell shows, and an odd covered-up version in the Believe tour shows and back through time to the original one seen on the cover of People Magazineback in 1979 which was sold at her auction a few years back. Yes, the fit has evolved as her figure has evolved. But the press notices that now?? And don’t tell me they just don't pay attention to each costume in each show when the costumes are paraded out as the most newsworthy element of each dern show.

But who am I to judge the timeliness of pubic concern over Cher outfittery? Here are the most memorable quotes from each report:

http://www.usmagazine.com/news/cher-wears-a-see-through-bodysuit+-2009115

At a David Foster and Friends concert Saturday in Las Vegas, the singer, 62, wore a sheer black bodysuit, similar to the one she wore 20 years ago in her "Turn Back Time" video.

This is actually an error: she wore the V-fit in "Turn Back Time" Video...she wore her hole-fit singing the same song in the concerts. Bob Mackie made much over having to design the basically non-existent V-fit for the video--she herself felt uncomfortable with it in front of the sailors and threw on a leather jacket at the last minute. Why do people always confuse those two outfits? The V-fit is more risqueé by far.

People79

Tbtfit














http://www.celebitchy.com/50440/62_year-old_cher_in_recreation_of_her_turn_back_time_cut-out_bodysuit/

This past weekend Cher donned a see-through body suit that was nearly identical to the iconic one she wore for her “Turn Back Time” music video in 1992. (that same error again)

The Daily Mail wondered if body suit was the original - and it’s definitely not. The cut outs are different on the sides of her torso – there were two in the original, and there’s only one now. So there’s a teeny bit more coverage. No matter what, Cher looks amazing.Maybe getting to 62 and looking this good will feel like an accomplishment, and she will finally compromise a bit and allow herself to age.

Daily Mail via Cher World: http://www.cherworld.com/news/?p=755

Cher stunned audiences when she first donned her trademark black cut-out body suit 17 years ago. (Again, 17 years ago was the "Turn Back Time" video - again...wrong! Her first wearing of the hole-fit was 30 years ago as seen above.)

The Kansas City Star: http://www.kansascity.com/stargazing/story/1190851.html

She's still putting it out there, you have to give her that.

http://dlisted.com/node/31998- this snarky blog titled theirs “Git it Granny”  and although technically incorrect (Cher is not yet a Grandmama), it’s still funny. The rest of their review is pretty raunchy, however. Proceed to read it at your own risk. This is all I felt okay with quoting:

Ole' girl shimmed her crotch like a pre-op tranny working for his last layaway payment on a sex change surgery.

http://www.stylelist.com/blog/2009/05/11/cher-turns-back-time/print/ - these guys celebrated Cher's over-the-top fashion sense and joie de vivre and her "scandalous, leaves-nothing-to-the-imagination glittery getup"

“In 1992, she donned a black bodysuit with so little material we'd hesitate to even classify it as an article of clothing.”

“...the jacket is definitely shorter and the hair is even bigger -- who knew, it was possible?...But, the, "I'm way more fabulous than anyone else in Hollywood could ever even dream of being," attitude hasn't changed a bit.”

Stylelist allowed users to vote on two questions:

1) How do you feel about Cher's blast from the past?
Wow! She's amazing! 55% 11,614 votes
Yikes! Leave it in the past! 38% 8,118 votes
She's still performing? 7% 1,530 votes
Total Votes: 21,262

2) Which leotard lady wears it best?
Cher 70%
Lady GaGa 15%
Madonna 15%
Total Votes: 17,166

My review of Cher's hole-fit and TBT-fit through time: http://www.apeculture.com/music/summerofcher.htm 
(scroll down for a review of the hole-fit through time and the "Turn Back Time" V-fit through time)

Video of the David Foster event: http://www.etonline.com/news/2009/05/74090/


 


Cher to Fireman: Call Me

Fireman Cher Hearts Firemen!

I love this story...I love everything about it: Paramedics rushing to save a National Treasure, the National Treasure going all lusty on 'em. It's nice.

Apparently, emergency services were called to Cher's home in Malibu when someone testing her alarm system accidentally activated it.

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Fire Department confirmed to Access Hollywood that they were called to Cher's home on Tuesday after the panic alarm/medic alert button was pushed in error. "The alarm was set off at 11:16 AM and Sheriffs and paramedics responded," the spokesperson told Access.

But Cher’s publicist Liz Smith said "It was a false alarm but [Cher] said she never saw so many cute firemen and paramedics in her life," the rep told Access. "She added there was an especially gorgeous black haired ambulance driver that she is really sorry she didn't get to meet. Maybe there'll be another false alarm."

Cher World's article included this funny blurb:

When emergency crews scramble to a celebrity’s home and it turns out to be a false alarm, journalists don’t usually write about it.

Especially since most Americans don’t even remember who she is…right Fox News?
 


Three Nifty Cher Scholars (Expert Corner)

Scholar Recently I’ve added a new section to CherScholar.com called Expert Cornerand it’s a place where other profound Cher thinkers can ponder the deep questions of the Cher. It's been my pleasure to post a standard Q&A on Cherness and also the first in (hopefully) a series of timelines that show the arc of the Cher phenomenon from different angles. Material so far has been contributed by these very fine Cher scholars:

 

 

 

Ward Lamb
The first time I heard about Ward Lamb was at the first Cher Convention at Chicago in 2000. Everyone (and I mean everyone) left the main floor in a rush to go hear his Cher seminar. I was a bit peeved that I couldn’t attend too. I had to hold down the fort at my Cher Zine table next toMary Anne Cassata’s (of the awesome Cher Scrapbook) and her magazine table. Then I remembered I had read his very thorough Cher album retrospective in Goldmine the year before. Later at the convention, I met him at the final banquet dinner. I had just won a framed Italian print of Tea with Mussolini while those convention auctions were still winnable. Ward introduced himself with compliments about the zine. At the next Cher convention two years later in Vegas I made sure to attend his seminar on rare Cher 45s--I loved it. My friends asked him if he was related to the novelist Wally Lamb (he wasn’t). He entered in the first Cher game, a trivia contest I was hosting and he won first place. He went on to do quite detailed liner notes for Cher’s Sundazed and Rhino re-releases.

Ward's essay on 3614 Jackson Highway: http://www.geocities.com/marcapreguntas/chernotes2.htm
Ward's liner notes for Sundazed
:  http://www.fortunecity.com/greenfield/wilderness/468/ward.htm
Ward's expert corner Q&A: http://www.cherscholar.com/lamb-qanda.htm


Robrt Pela
Years ago writer Robrt Pela contacted me with some very kind words after having read through CherScholar.com and since then he’s been a great source of not only great wit and Cher commentary but cultural commentary in general. His pushes me to be a better scholar.

Robrt's 2003 article on Cher: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2003-09-11/music/cher&page=158
Robrt's 2005 article on the movie Chastity: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2005-03-17/film/the-virtues-of-chastity/
Robrt's NPR stories: http://kjzz.org/inside/bios/commentators/robrtpela/allstories
Robrt's expert corner timeline: http://www.cherscholar.com/cher-hair.htm

(By the way, both Robrt and Ward have expertise in the decade of Cher I am particularly weak in – the 60s.)

Mike Khouri
Recently I read some of Mike’s liner notes for Cher’s DVDs and a few compilation albums on MCA. He also did the liner notes for the re-release of I Paralyze, filling in some detail on the making of that that oft-glossed-over album.

Mike's I Paralyze liner Notes: http://www.justplaincher.net/modules.php?name=Reviews&rop=showcontent&id=23
Mike's expert corner Q&A: http://www.cherscholar.com/khouri-qanda.htm

I hope you enjoy these Cher writings as much as I have. These are three swanky-smart Cher scholars!



Where Cher and I Have Been

Shower There’s so much news to chat about I think my head will explode. I just had my bridal shower. A beautiful day and at the house of my friend Julia (who I met years ago when I first moved to LA and worked at Agribuys, a now-defunct agribusiness technology company). Her house has awesome harbor and ocean views off the coast of San Pedro. We had fabulous Mexican food made by her husband and played three games-- one trivia game about us that my mother won (I was honestly surprised by that), another game where everybody filled out a list of their likes and dislikes. Then all the women lined up behind the groom and all the men behind the bride and the person with the most in common with each one was deemed their “perfect match.” My bf ended up with a co-worker (who I suspect wasn’t really paying attention to the game and so in confusion never sat down) and I ended up with a childhood friend from Albuquerque. Then we played The Newlywed Game with five couples which included my parents. The last question was “What is the last day of the week you made whoopee.” When it came to me I said emphatically that I was indeed a virgin. My Dad’s card read “What is whoopee?” My parents ended up winning the game. No cards were slammed on spouses heads.

While my parents were in town we also visited Catalina (more quiet and quaint than you’d think on a weekday), Seal Beach for lunch at Walt’s Warf, Pasadena to view some possible wedding program paper, Huntington Library to see The Blue Boy and the HUUGE gardens, and The Charles Lummis House. Talk about a contrast in gardens! The poor Lummis house is dilapidated! He was such a founding part of California history...quite a shame. My parents also helped us planting flowers, and we showed them our future wedding site and talked over wedding favor chocolates we want to get from Wilburs Chocolates, my parents’ local chocolatier.

My most recent opinions on news events:

1. Torture: you can’t be for the sanctity of life and for torture.

2. Susan Boyle: the subtext of this story offends me. To get excited about it presumes that we are so surprised that homely people have talent...when it’s obvious to everyone and their dog that talent comes in all shapes and sizes. So on behalf of all homely, unusual or average looking people, and Susan Boyle,  FU!

Cherhudson2 Speaking of pretty people....Cher was at Kate Hudson’s birthday party (in case you live under a rock, Hudson is Goldie Hawn’s daughter). Cherhudson5

 

 

 

 

News items on the Hudson party:

http://www.themedpartysupplies.com/party-news/cher-timberlake-get-hudsons-party-started-world-entertainment-news-via-yahoo-uk-ireland-news/

http://celebs2day.com/celebrity-news/cher-amp-timberlake-get-hudsons-party-started/

http://sify.com/movies/hollywood/fullstory.php?id=14882012

Cherjewison2 Cher also attended an Norman Jewison tribute in LA and gave good speech. She allegedly also defended her choice of lobbying for Nicholas Cage for his role in Moonstruck.

Normal_cherjewison7

Normal_cherjewison18


 

 

 

 

News items on Jewison tribute:

On a related note, here is a Nicolas Cage Movie Plot Generator: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_bkFIPLIOGL8/Sd6OQbdcsxI/AAAAAAAAfZU/FKFtOHBxnJI/s1600-h/nicolas-cage-movie-plot-generator.jpg