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Cher History: Movies, Music, Musicals

MoonstruckThis is my last blog blast for the summer. This is the beginning of busy season here with guests visiting so I'll be back Cher scholarin' after that.

Old Interviews and Clips

I've been going through a huge pile of old interviews I've never seen. Media: it proliferates like wet gremlins.

Here a good one from October 2016 where Cher reviews all her movies.

And here's a 2013 interview about Closer to the Truth. She attributes of her longevity to luck and says she loves the tracks "Lie to Me," "My Love," "I Hope You Find It," "Dressed to Kill" ('cos it's campy), and "Sirens."

Here's a Love Hurts era interview from CBS This Morning. She's labeled the "Grande Dame of Pop Music" and she says at 45 that workouts are a pain.

Recognize the face of the first few seconds of this 80s interview?! Hint: he was just famously fired. The story is about whether Cher enjoys portraying bad girls in movies and Moonstruck. Gloria Steinem talks about Cher. Cher says Sonny was the "best and worst of everything I know about relationships" and that Gene [Simmons] was "the easiest person I ever lived with." She says Gregg Allman was "a nightmare" but that he had a great heart and great capability. She says she hated slapping Nick Cage’s face so many times.

Around Cher's birthday, Cher scholar Tyler found this retrospective of her best movie roles (Grindr)

In Music

VcTrivium’s Matt Heavy Covers Cher’s ‘If I Could Turn Back Time

Remember the picture above, that scene in Moonstruck where Olympia Dukakis as Cher's mother Rose says, "Now he’s going to play that damn Vikki Carr record and when he comes to bed he won’t touch me." Well, I was searching for "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" images recently and found this amazing thing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aDrztsC-RI from 1972. I didn’t make it to the end but...imagine Vikki Carr complaining to her friend: “Now he’s going to play that damn Cher record and when he comes to bed he won’t touch me.”

Other quotes from Moosntruck.

Cher scholar Tyler also sent me this link to Rock Back Pages where you can join and research old Sonny & Cher articles. Happy scholaring!

Broadway

The thing is a go! Whoohoo!

The Guardian

Billboard


Cher Food

Daily Mail has for some reason recently decoded Cher’s kitchen pantry based on her Twitter posts.

Good Housekeeping has similarly deconstructed the Cher diet.

And food for thought: Cher weighs in on the Nancy Pelosi debate (The Hill). As I've said before, I love it when Cher makes The Hill.

In tribute of this post, I've accumulated some kitchens from Cher houses and movies, along with the tweets of Cher's kitchen pantry (filled with cats).

Cherpantry Moonstruck2 Moonstruck2  Moonstruck2  Moonstruck2Moonstruck2 Moonstruck2Moonstruck2


Cher's Fashion Influence

 BurnettcherArticles continue to appear about the influence of one of Cher's past or present looks:

Makeup

You'll Soon Be Able To Shop Cher's Glitzy Eye Look From The Billboard Awards (Refinery29)

Hair

12 Celebrities Who Channeled 1970s Cher With Their Ultralong Hair (Pop Sugar)

Red Carpets

From Cher to Susan Sarandon, older women are making waves on red carpets (The Sydney Morning Herald)

My favorite wig

Burnettcher2For years I've been trying to describe my favorite Cher wig from the plethora of wigs seen on the 1970s variety shows. It is the Bun-of-Buns wig seen here screen-captured from The Carol Burnett Show, even lovelier encrusted with jewels. Cher scholar Tyler also mentioned that the dress she wore in this skit also appeared in this torch number, "He's Funny That Way" from one of her other variety shows. (She's wearing another version of Bun-of-Buns there!)

Speaking of Carol Burnett, I recently read her new book In Such Good Company about her show.

And thinking about Carol Burnett and Cher reminds me of Mary Tyler Moore and my Great Women of 70s TV meditations. We recently lost Mary Tyler Moore and my favorite tribute was from Cathy Guisewite of the Cathy newspaper comic strip, surprisingly because I never liked that strip. 


The Smell of Cher

Perfume2In the recent Gregg-marriage-to-Cher stories from Ultimate Classic Rock and Inquisitir, Gregg is quoted as saying Cher "smelled like I would imagine a mermaid would smell – I’ve never smelled it since, and I’ll never forget it.” 

Interesting because I would imagine a mermaid smelling sort of fishy.

But anyway, my friend Christopher was recently buying fragrances online and he sent me this great survey of celebrity fragrance lines:

I was struck by the endless number of celebrity fragrances I was encountering.  It prompted me to cull some information by looking up the various celebrity "houses" on Fragrantica.  It looks like La Liz [Elizabeth Taylor] started the whole genre, and aside from her it was a largely dormant field until Antonio Banderas got on board nearly twenty years later. (and with a vengeance--he has released 62 fragrances--!!!--and counting...) and then J Lo went full speed ahead ahead five years after him.    

The major success of J Lo's Glow seemed to have convinced every pop tart and her mother to start shilling scents. Paris Hilton actually has a number of well-regarded fragrances, but really, how many people are running around wearing Britney Spears? Apparently a lot.  And who knew Christina Aguilera had so many fragrances?  I thought she had two or three at most; they are not well-promoted, unlike Spears' line, which is widely/routinely advertised.  I was also surprised to see that Halle Berry is up to seven fragrances in just eight years.

The only males that came to mind were Banderas, McGraw, Bieber and Usher, and in presenting the information I decided not to include Usher because he only has five fragrances, which seemed a relatively modest amount, given the size of his celebrity.  It looks like he has given up on the endeavor, as all five were issued between 2007 and 2009 and nothing since.  Coincidentally, I actually like the Usher scents I've sniffed, but they don't have good longevity, but I imagine that is the case with many of these fragrances, as they are on the low end of the price spectrum.  I also smelled a Paris Hilton fragrance for men which I thought was fantastic but ultimately I couldn't bring myself to purchase something that would put $$ in her pocket and to have to answer people who inquired about the wonderful smell, "Oh, what I'm wearing?  That's Paris Hilton."

And here's a link to Uninhibited's entry on Fragrantica; I think you will really enjoy all the detailed impressions from past and present wearers:  www.fragrantica.com/perfume/Cher/Uninhibited-9615.html

  • Liz Taylor: 17 fragrances [started selling in 1988]
  • Antonio Banderas: 62 [...in 1997]
  • J Lo: 28 [...in 2002]
  • Paris Hilton: 22 [...in 2005]
  • Britney Spears: 21 [...in 2004]
  • Jessica Simpson: 16 [...in 2004]
  • Celine Dion: 16 [...in 2005]
  • Mariah Carey: 14 [in 2007]
  • Sarah Jessica Parker: 14 [..in 2005] Nm
  • Christina Aguilera: 14 [...in 2004]
  • Beyonce: 13 [...in 2010]
  • Rihanna: 10 [...in 2010]
  • Nicki Minaj: 8 [...in 2012]
  • Katy Perry: 8 [...in 2010]
  • Halle Berry: 7 [...in 2009]
  • Cher: 1 [1987]
  • Madonna: 2 [2012]
  • Tim McGraw: 7 [...in 2008]
  • Justin Bieber: 7 [...in 2011]

And I leave you with this frightening image, the bottle for Nicki Minaj's Minajesty, introduced in 2013. I'll bet it smells like a million bucks!

Wow. So considering that hefty list of celebrity fragrances, it's interesting that Cher's one itty bitty little ole fragrance does so well in comments considering that the competition is so fierce, considering that her perfume bottles are now 30 years old (!) but then also considering Cher has special mermaid-smelling powers she could put to use designing a fragrance, not just according to Gregg Allman but most people who meet her are always commenting on how she smells so nice.

Cher's debut fragrance Uninhibited was launched in 1987, soon after Elizabeth Taylor launched the infamous fragrance Passion. In fact, Cher's fragrance was sort of overshadowed by Passion, which sold very well with the wealthier and "more mature" Elizabeth Taylor fans. But it seems Uninhibited has become "a beloved vintage fragrance" according to comments online. Here are a few excerpts I thought were quotable. As Christopher and I discussed offline, the majority of these fragrance consumers don't seem to be SuperCherFans with any agendas to promote Uninhibited. These are simply perfume junkies who love it. Behold some of the best reviews of Cher's career...

Perfume1Comments on Cher's Uninhibited

As a feminist lesbian, I'm as big a Cher fan as there can be. She made a career out of "not fitting in" and being different, a total individual and an empowered woman who took life by the horns and made it hers.

**

Uninhibited is an old school power fragrance. I definitely smell aldehyde and rose notes, which are very nearly a deal breaker for me. But the tobacco note really hooks me in. It softens and sweetens as it develops on the skin, and eventually dries down to a classic Oriental style fragrance with a punch.

**

This is a quintessential '80s scent. Loud, proud, brash and sassy. I get so many compliments on this fragrance and I'm sort of embarrassed to say it's Cher, but no one else is ever fazed by it. I fear that when my bottle is gone that will be the end of Uninhibited for me. It's getting harder to find and the prices are crazy on Ebay.

**

It opens with a blast of powdery leather smoke, that almost burns your nostrils. And a dry sandalwood mixed with some unburnt tobacco dominates thereafter. The tobacco is not the sweet/cherry type, but more earthy and dark. I am also sure that aldehydes are present, and the vanilla stays in the back the whole time (with today's standards the vanilla is almost nonexistent, but I guess a vanilla in the 80s was a whole different conception than now).

**

Uninhibited is one of the few scents that it gets better with the age. If the bottle was unopened, the scent is even more beautiful than it was when it was produced.

**

Hello from France, as a men, i used this women perfume at the age of 18 in 1991! i bought it in Geneva, i loved this strong smell and unique composition (so many ingredients distinctive).

**

One of the most precious gem in my collection. I keep it for real special occasion. Amazing. Simply beautiful.

**

...the heliotrope is to die for in this . Its expertly created, and some of the industry experts mention this as one of the best created...

**

All I can say is WOW, WOW, WOW!

**

A treasure. If you find it, snap it up!!

**

...my obsession with this bewitching elixir continues!

**

Unreservedly recommended.

**

GUY: HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE with this fragrance! My co-workers noticed the smell as soon as I walked in and said it smelt great on me, I smiled and said what it was and that I ordered it exclusively offline. I received compliments on it all day and am so gonna hunt down a big bottle of this little gem for daily wear.

**

One bad comment: This doesn't suit me at all - I smelt as if I'd been doused in WD40!

**

This really was just about the ONLY "celebrity" fragrance worth buying, in my opinion.

**

One of the most stunning fragrances ever made, hands down. I kept seeing this at outrageous prices online and, of course, it peaked my interest. So, I tracked down a misspelled listing on the bay and got a partial bottle for a relative song. I've been completely obsessed ever since.

**

You don't have to be A Scamp, A Camp and A Bit of A Tramp to sport this fragrance, however, I would not recommend it for the uncool--you should be uninhibited as the name implies.

 


Gregg Allman's Funeral

FuneralCher attended Gregg Allman's funeral a few weekends ago and it was a much quieter affair than the one we remember for Sonny; but fans still managed to insinuate themselves along the periphery of the procession route and around the edge of the cemetery (see below). 

It appears Elijah was there as well, although not fully photographed or mentioned.

Some local coverage:

http://www.macon.com/news/local/article154086244.html

http://www.macon.com/news/local/article153863999.html

Cher scholar Robrt Pela also located this very sweet retrospective of Cher and Gregg visiting a high school in Buffalo in the 1970s.  The story probably gives us more insight into their relationship that any of the other retrospectives that have surfaced of late.

While I was at the dermatologist last week, I spied a recent People Magazine (June 12, 2017) obit on Gregg Allman with a picture of Cher and Gregg in lower right corner of the cover. The table of contents declared the article was about "Gregg Allman: His Live and Loves" of which there were a few, but the article was exclusively about his relationship with Cher, "the glitzy variety show hostess" who met "the hard rocker from Georgia with a howl soaked in Jack Daniels."

FansAccording to People, Allman spent 11 stints in rehab and became sober in 1995. His nicknames were Cooch and Gui Gui.  Not to be confused with Gris Gris (from "Walk on Guilded Splinters"). They met, as we all know, at The Troubadour in Los Angeles where Allman said Cher “looked like an Egyptian idol.” And Cher said “I never loved anybody the way I loved him." But that "Gregg needed more than my love.” (which is unfortunately the Boilerplate summary of a music star relationship: see Victoria Principal on Behind the Music discussing Andy Gibb for the most infamous version.)

The relationship started working, Cher said, “when he found out that I was a person—that a chick was not a dummy.” Incidentally, this is the same realization Gene Simmons was made to come to in 1979. Cher: transforming sexist rock stars, one man at a time.

As we know, 9 days after the wedding, Cher filed for divorce but reconciled. Allman later felt "out of place in Cher’s glamourous world” and filed for divorce but she was by then pregnant with Elijah and they reconciled. Then they made their 1977 album and on the tour for that they fell apart with finality.

The Country Music Awards opened this year with a moving tribute to Gregg Allman: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/country-music-awards-open-with-powerful-gregg-allman-tribute_us_5938f2e6e4b0c5a35c9bfb75

And Cher fans have been discussing their feelings (then and now) around Cher's relationship with him. Full disclosure: she was about to separate from Gregg Allman at the moment my older brother unceremoniously and gleefully informed me (at age seven) that Cher was no longer married to Sonny and I cried in a chair for an hour before moving on with my life. I didn't learn about the Allman marriage until I was old enough to read a Cher biography.

But Cher scholar Michael put it very nicely: "I'm happy that I come to Gregg through Cher because I'm not sure I would have found Cher through Gregg. Cher has recorded so much in her career. In the days of album credits, I learned who wrote those songs she recorded. Because of Cher I discovered Dylan, Donovan, Gershwin, Tim Hardin, Neil Young, Buffy Saint-Marie, and a long list of others. Cher may not think that she has made a musical impact, but I know I've been forever in her debt for my early musical journey."

I would agree. And would add that when I was 17 I went on a journey to locate from my local public libraries, every original version of a song Cher had covered. There were so many, I never finished. But it's an interesting exercise to think about other artists you discovered by being a Cher fan. If you need a refresher, take a walk through the writers list, album by album, starting with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_I_Really_Want_to_Do_(album) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Look_at_Us.

I can tell you this, I would never have tried to track down Edith Piaf's version of "Milord" or bought a Miriam Makeba CD in Paris had it not been for Cher.