Cher Museums, Musicals, Endorsements, Coachella, The Milken Institute, Toons and Ads

NyorkerSo…my trip to LA was good. I went to two conferences, the Los Angeles Time Book Festival at USC and a Google Analytics workshop for CNM. But I got sick the first day with the stomach flu and that was pretty much my week. Then everything-and-his-Uncle fell apart when I got home. Oh, and I got sick again with a nasty head flu. C’est La Vie.

Cher has been a tweetin' and a hollarin' in the meantime. Here’s a recap:

 

 

Election Tweets

The celebrity endorsement of the week (Washington Post)
Funny that the Washington Post should call this the celebrity endorsement of the week, considering it’s actually a celebrity re-endorsement after a deep, dark night of questioning of the Bernie soul.

By the way, it makes me crazy that people send hate tweets to each other. As one woman put it to Norman Goldman a few weeks ago, “Sending angry tweets isn’t political activism.” So it was enlightening to come across this great Guardian article on hate comments.

Cher keeps the heat on Trump

Cab-n-cakeCher tweeted the above New Yorker cartoon this month and this Cabernet and Cake sign.

Movies

This is an absolutely a great piece (don’t miss the trailer at the bottom) on Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean and celebrity obsession.

Cher Scholarship Abroad

There's a new Cher museum in Salem, Massachusetts. Coolia sent this to me. Sounds like a good time for a road-trip Cher quest!

I also found this video footage of another Cher museum! Someone should develop a Cher museum app for these things!

Cher tweeted about being scheduled to speak at the Milken Conference:

Proud,my frnd Karen(Flint mayor)is coming 2stay.We'll speak at Milken confrence 2 tell story of FLINT,to 3500 MAJOR LEADERS,IN ALL FIELDS

I used to work for Mike Milken. In fact I worked at his Prostate Cancer Foundation, (upstairs from the Milken Institute), when Cher performed for his PCF fundraiser during her Farewell Tour, in between those many faux-final shows. Here's detail about the event. I hope some think-tank braniac attends this and tells us how it goes.

A Coachella breakfast at Sonny & Cher's former estate:

http://wwd.com/eye/parties/rebecca-minkoff-smashbox-lunch-coachella-2016-lunch-sonny-and-cher-10412504/

http://wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/gallery/rebecca-minkoff-and-smashbox-host-coachella-2016-lunch-at-sonny-and-chers-former-estate-10412618/

Outfits

Bob Mackie talks Cher and Carol Burnett

Biography Musical News

The Cher musical is continuing to make news like it just might grow up to be something someday.

 


New Movie, Old Cover, Tweets, Slot Machines, Letterman and CHeritage

Cher_slot_machineThis is my last post before our U.S. Thanksgiving Holiday. I hope you get stuffed!

Gardel (2017)

Cher scholar Dishy notified me of a new Cher movie that has snuck into the IMDB. These pre-production rumors often tip-toe right out of IMDB as quietly as they once slipped in. But this looks promising subject-wise and a period piece would be sweet!

"I Got You Babe’s" Punk Pedigree

Last week I finally came across “The Ramones” version of “I Got You Babe.” Been looking for this for years; so why couldn’t I find it  sooner? Because The Ramones didn’t cover the song. D'oh! Joey Ramone covered it as a duet with Holly Beth Vincent, although the song isn’t on any of her albums or on iTunes or YouTube. You can catch the song on Vimeo.

CHeritage

A few weeks ago I wrote about American Indian appropriation in the outfit choices of Paris Hilton, members of The Flaming Lips and Cher. Thanks to Jack Nicholson scholar Coolia, we now have a new link about Cher’s heritage and possible controversies surrounding it: http://waitingtogetthere.blogspot.com/2013/09/chers-heritage-controversy.html

Tweetage

Cher’s comments about Ben Carson have attracted some attention.

Cher also talks about the US political response to last week's Paris attacks.

New Way to Hand Over Your Money to Cher

Slots! Thanks to Cher World for this news: there is a Cher slot machine coming to Las Vegas. Finally! Didn’t Barry Manilow get one of these like decades ago?

LettermanCher History

Decider did a somewhat scholarly piece on Cher’s last public reunion with Sonny on The David Letterman Show.

“Back in 1987, you had to work harder for your viral moments. (Obviously, they weren’t called viral moments then, but this was clearly a predecessor of the genre.) A TV moment had to be something truly once-in-a-lifetime to earn the kind of repeated-viewing immortality that Sonny and Cher on Letterman did with a simple song.”

 


Movies, Musicals and Music, Oh My!

BroadwayCher, The Musical...Still in Progress

Recently Cher met with Tony Nominee Rick Elice to pen the book for her biographical musical. Read more about it at Broadway.com, Contact Music, Out.com, Yahoo!

 

Witches of Eastwick

WitchesLogo TV just did a series of shorts on Witches of Eastwick for Halloween. (Thank you Cher scholar Tyler!)

Cher Scholarship

Dolls2If you loved volume 1, Tamara Lorenz Hampton’s book The Fabulous World of Cher Dolls Volume 2 is out just in time for Christmas.

Here's a great discography of Cher discovered by Cher scholar Dishy: http://www.45cat.com/artist/cher

Bob Mackie, Johnson Hartig Discuss Cher, Kim Kardashian at LACMA (Woman’s Wear Daily)

Here's some bad scholarship for you. Two weeks ago, I reported Cher had never been on X Factor. The scholarship gods had a laugh when I was walking on my treadmill and Cher's X Factor appearance from 2013 came up on YouTube. Who could forget that light show? Me apparently.

Lasershow

Cher-cnmBecause I work at a very cool place, the social media gurus at Central New Mexico Community College posted an alert about the time change this past Sunday with Cher's meme. Pulled through to our website, it looked something like this (see right).

Because I have Cher-radar, I can't help but notice it on there!

Turn Back Time: Don't forget to Cher with your friends. It's a daylight savings time tradition now.

Thanks CNM!

 


LAX Fashion Shows, Mask, Wrecking Crew Outtakes, Chaz Productions

Slimjim2Tweets

Here you can watch Perez Hilton dramatizing Cher tweets. Hmm...it already feels old before it got old. :-/

Outfits & Fashion

It's time for the latest Cher LAX outfit watch! See photo left where Cher is looking like a smooth and shady street corner pimp. (I do like the flowing pants and the whole pimp look, truth be told.)

Speaking of fashion and the career flack Cher always receives from critics (and I consider myself a hobbyist Cher critic), here's a good little blog post from marketing guru Seth Godin about how criticism is ultimately perishable.

Sooner or later, the ones who told you that this isn't the way it's done, the ones who found time to sneer, they will find someone else to hassle.

Sooner or later, they stop pointing out how much hubris you've got, how you're not entitled to make a new thing, how you will certainly come to regret your choices.

Sooner or later, your work speaks for itself.

Outlasting the critics feels like it will take a very long time, but you're more patient than they are.

Movies

Peter Bogdanovich is still talking about working with Cher in Mask. And you might ask yourself, who uses the word "druggie" anymore? Peter Bogdanovich, that's who!

I made that picture for Dorothy Stratten because she’d been murdered, and in the 10 months I knew her I found that she was very, very interested in The Elephant Man on Broadway. She went to see this production and she was very moved by it. After she was killed I figured it out: Dorothy identified with him because of her beauty — because her beauty was as much of a source of alienation as his ugliness. They came to me with this picture called Mask. I thought it was not a very good script but it surely was an interesting story because it was a true story. And then I remember how Dorothy felt about The Elephant Man and I thought, “Well, I’ll make it for her.” [We had] a list of actresses for the role of Rusty. Ellen Burstyn and Cloris [Leachman] and Jane Fonda — anybody with a name. About two-thirds of the way through the list, there’s Cher. I said, "That’s interesting. I can see her [playing] a druggie and riding a motorcycle, and I can’t see Jane Fonda doing it. She’s too sophisticated." Cher and I didn’t get along that well. She sort of irritated me, because she had such a negative attitude. But she’s very good in the picture. I don’t think I’ve ever shot more close-ups — she’s very good in close-ups and not that good in playing the whole scene through, because she loses the thread of it. So I shot it that way, and she should have won an Oscar.

Here are some outtake photos I found online with Cher and her director. These iconic Mask tableaus all look strange with Bogdanovich interrupting them all:

Mask-121 Mask-112

 

 

 

 

  

 

Mask-113  Idontrespectyou

  

 

  

 

In the last one Cher seems to be giving him an"I don't respect you" look.

Music

Finally finished The Wrecking Crew DVD outtakes. Hand over forehead: It took days and days out of my life! Things to look for: Pianist Mike Lang talks about Cher during the John Lennon album sessions; there's a Phil Spector chapter with Cher talking about working with no breaks and how during the Spector Xmas album she didn’t go home for 6 weeks; there’s a S&C segment where Lyle Ritz talks about the scab labor used for the IGUB session and how they all got caught by the union and had to pay a fine but they finally got paid and it all turned out okay because they got like 100 more S&C sessions out of it; Don Peake talks about "The Beat Goes On" session and the dying of cancer joke that was told to Sonny who didn’t get it. (This story is also in the big Wrecking Crew commemorative book.)

There's also a Phil Spector Xmas album section where Cher talks again about the harsh working conditions, for example 15-16 hour days. Cher said she was 16 or 17 years old then and dying she was so tired so she didn't know how the old guys did it.

Frank Capp was the drummer on IGUB. Did we know that?

Snuff Garrett has a section. He says he didn’t know much about music or aesthetics and was basically a money maker. I know this is his thing to keep saying this but it just sounds disingenuous at the end of the day. I feel like it's become a way for him to cover for his choices, to not be accountable for his oeuvre.

Cher on Leon Russel was the best Cher outtake. She comments on Leon's normal unassuming personality and the one days he came into a Phil Spector session drunk. In a later clip, Leon himself says Cher tells the story accurately. After years of following Leon Russell as a respected, gritty solo artist, it was a kitschy thrill hearing him say “Cher.” You can say some of Cher's Narrative Period songs are hokey lyrically, but there were some interesting things going on musically in many of them. The music business is highly unpredictable hit-wise. There is truly no formula that has evolved to make pop songs assured phenomenons.

In other “I Got You Babe” 50th anniversary news...

It’s similarly the 50th anniversary of the St. Louis Arch, the "Poppin' Fresh" Pillsbury Doughboy, The Sound of Music, the Voting Rights Act, the Beatles playing their historic Shea Stadium concert in New York City, and my employer CNM, Central New Mexico Community College!

On August 14, Billboard Magazine officially commemorated IGUB: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/6221458/rewinding-the-charts-fifty-years-ago-sonny-cher-got-to-no-1

And while researching Greil Marcus's commentary about Cher music a few months ago, I came across this Camille Paglia essay on one of his books about The Doors. The essay mentions a Cher story I hadn't heard before:

Oddly for a California writer, Marcus says little about the immense differences between the funky, fast-track Sunset Strip club scene from which the Doors emerged in Los Angeles and the utopian San Francisco milieu of hippie flower power. Furthermore, Marcus notes no parallels between the dark themes of the Doors and those of the Velvet Underground, whom Morrison in fact saw perform in Los Angeles while the Doors were working on their first album. (Cher, attending the same show, reportedly said of the Velvets’ music, “It will replace nothing, except maybe suicide.”)

Peripherals

Here is more coverage on Chaz’s new theatrical ventures including a website he launched for his production venture and August play:

Performance reviews have been good and the website looks great!

  


Cher Photographed in Spring

Cher1Lip-lickin' delight! Cher has been out and about in New York City. Lots of lovely pics as a result.

Boss ‘O Tweets

And although Cher was all over the red carpet this week and on TV doing whatnot, the most exciting coverage to happen recently, in my humble opinion, was a review of Cher’s tweets by The Guardian. The Guardian writing about Cher tweet! Maybe it’s the Cher nerd in me but…

Long story short, Sonny was once the only butt of Cher’s wisecracks. Now the world gets to enjoy them.

There was also a recent story about Cher's Baltimore tweets.

In Music

Some exciting music news regarding Cher's song “Believe.” It gets a well-rated review in the cover by rapper MNEK and I agree it’s nifty!

Ben E. King passed away. This is a good time to revisit Sonny & Cher’s version of “Stand By Me.” I’ve always thought this version was very creative and outside-the-box.

MsI just saw the Muscle Shoals documentary last week. Cher has a few photos in the movie, outtakes of the headband shots also seen in the Rhino collectors CD of her 1969 album Jackson Highway. Nothing particularly noteworthy about her in the movie except for the fact that they say she was the first customer at the Jackson Highway studio in 1969 after the four "Swampers" decided to leave the FAME Studios to create their own rival studio.

Cher Appearances

So there was this big New York Met Gala this week. And EVERYONE was there. Remember how Cher showed up at the 1975 Met Gala (40 years ago beotches!) with Bob Mackie in that wow-ser dress? So does everyone else remember that, including Kim Kardashian and the press.

Harper's Bazaar story about the designer Cher went with this year. (Marc Jacobs)

Vogue coverage of the dress.

New York Times coverage of the dress.

Cher World Coverage.

Kim Kardashian said her dress was tribute to Cher’s 1975 dress (Daily Mail). 

The Independent.

Express.

Oh, but Kim’s been tributin’ Cher for a long, long time! See the photo breakdown (Daily Mail). Didn’t you always figure Kim, being another Armenian and all, has always been a big Cher fan?

Also ran: Kanye West was at the gala with Kim and he spoke to Cher (allegers) thanking her for popularizing autotune. Is that for reals?

Gala pics (click to enlarge):

Cher5 Designer  Cherkim 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Cherny2After the gala, Cher went strolling around in NYC (Cher World).

Check out those shoes and those bell bottoms!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Television

While Cher was in New York, she took time to say goodbye to the funny asshole on Late Night with David Letterman (Cher World). More coverage in Entertainment Weekly and News Day. And also on some site called Classic Hits.

Pics (click to enlarge):

Letterman Chernewyork Chertweetletterman 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Recognize that jacket from the 1980s when Cher was living in NYC?

PoliticsPeripherals

Cher also did a publicity photo shoot with Heidi Shink and Chaz (Cher World).

Last week I was searching for something about Cher long ago in Bust or Bitch Magazine and I found this, a review of good and the bad in the book Becoming Chaz: http://bitchmagazine.org/post/bibliobitch-transition-by-chaz-bono.

Movies

MaskA blogger writes about what the movie Mask means to her all these 20 years later (Huffington Post).

 

 


Movie Alert, Toto Bro RIP, Cherity and Cher Impersonators

MikePorcaroToto

Another Toto member and Porcaro brother has died. Toto's bassist, Mike Porcaro, died last week at age 59. David Hungate was their original bassist. Mike's brother, drummer Jeff Porcaro, died in 1992 at the age 39. David and Jeff were members of Sonny & Cher's band during the early 1970s, later becoming founding members of Toto with David Paich (also of Sonny & Cher's band and of "David's Song") and Steve Lukather. Many Toto members have worked with Cher over the years as studio musicians and as inspiration. Read Mike's New York Times obit or more about the history of Toto.

The Wrecking Crew Movie

The-Wrecking-Crew-posterGreat news! The Wrecking Crew documentary is coming to an art house near you! I saw an LA screening of this movie back in 2008 and did an expensive blog post about it. Cher in not only interviewed but you learn a lot more about the musicians Sonny & Cher were working with in the 1960s. There is some good old S&C footage here and as the press for the movie states, these musicians were “the unsung heroes of the West Coast Sound."

Go see this movie!

Cher Offers to Help 96-Year Old Edith Harrison

In other big news this week, Cher offered to help 96-year old Edith Harrison return home in Virginia.

ChercoupleCher offered to help pay for needed upgrades to Hill's family home in Alexandria and some medical expensive because Cher was inspired by the love story between Edith and her husband Eddie Harrison who died after they were forcibly separated in December. The story was picked up in at least 145 outlets as of last week.

Cher Impersonators

Stef and Johnny, Peter and Lily, and Sonny and Cher

There are a plethora of Cher impersonators. In my humble opinion, (thffffffft), the best ones don't try to sing. Maybe they can perfect the Cher twang or vibrator or her smokey contralto, but they just can't get the deadpan, cool distance of her persona, which is why our most famous Cher impersonator doesn't sing.

It's rare to find some Sonny & Cher impersonators (even harder to pull off), but there's a new Scottish pair doing a tribute play called "And the Beat Goes On." The Sonny might just be on to something with his stern Sonny stare. But the clothes need a little workup and what's with the teddy bear?

Kathy Griffin Opens Up About Her 'Fashion Police' Exit

Griffin does a very funny Cher impersonation in her act and her friend Cher expressed support last week when Griffin quit Fashion Police...and I do, too. I love how Griffin and Kelly Osbourne have stood up to bullying, especially calling it out among the LA fashionauts.

 


Cher Homes, Calendars, Tour Stuff , Screen Sirens, Oscar Winning Chart Toppers

CalHappy New Year! I started my new job this week at Central New Mexico Community College. So far so good. Everyone is smart, interesting and involved in cool extra-curricular projects.

Over my two week break between jobs I started to go through my back log of emails. I found plenty of Cher links to keep us busy until Cher is back to selling us stuff.

It's the new year and you may be in need of some fan-made Cher Calendars. Here are some places to get some:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cher-DESKTOP-CALENDAR-2015-NEW-Dressed-to-Kill-D2K-Tour-Closer-to-the-Truth-/261688900218?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ceddfba7a

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cher-CALENDAR-2015-NEW-Dressed-to-Kill-D2K-Tour-Closer-to-the-Truth-Magazine-/251663378456?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a984e6818

Links

My friend Julie sent me this link, a vacation rental in Palm Springs billing itself as Sonny & Cher's love nest. Does anyone recognize this house? 

Lovenest2 Lovenest  

 

 

 

  

 

The Cher Look Book - a 101 picture slide show of Cher in New York Magazine.

A short little interview in the Times Union.

Cher doesn't just like running with a younger crowd — she likes outrunning them: a long interview in The Wisconsin Gazette

Video

Cher's Caesar's Palace monologue.

Factoids

DrewcherCher scholar Jefrey noted that in the March 23rd 2012 issue of Entertainment Weekly, (I know! I can't believe that was sitting in my email still), Drew Barrymore co-hosted Turner Classic Movies with Robert Osborne for a special called "The Essentials." They played classics movies like Gilda and Diabolique. Barrymore was asked who her favorite screen sirens of all time were.

She chose Julie Christie, Faye Dunaway, Jane Fonda, Annette Bening and Cher. Wow. Awesome company there. Barrymore said about Cher, "She's strong and comedic and
incredibly brave, but shows vulnerability. I think she's the epitome of rock & roll." (Can Barrymore talk some sense into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?) She cited Silkwood, Moonstruck, Mask, and The JloWitches of Eastwick as some of her favorite Cher performances.

My friend Christopher also notified me that in December of last year Jennifer Lawrence became the highest-charting Oscar-winning actress on the Hot 100 since Cher took "Believe" to #1 in 1999. Lawrence hit at #12 with a song from the latest Hunger Games movie, "The Hanging Tree."

  


Mike Nichols, Dead at 83

ChernicholsCher with Mike Nichols at his AFI Life Achievement tribute in 2010.

Mike Nichols died suddently of cardiac arrest in Manhattan on November 19 at the age of 83. The Dec 5, 2014 issue of Entertainment Weekly memorialized him with a short essay and a list of his essential films, which included Silkwood, released in 1983. 

Entertainment Weekly's commentary on the movie:

“Astoundingly lived-in performances from Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, and Cher anchor Nichols’ drama about blue-collar workers in an Oklahoma nuclear-parts factory.”

People often comment on the difference between Cher and Madonna in film. I believe it is just this "lived-in" quality (not affected, not actor-ly) that many critics find so appealing about her performances.

Watch Cher's tribute to Mike Nichols. where she calls him Dad and talks about how he deserves the credit for her Oscar nomination (for her performance as Dolly Pelliker) and how she always called him whenever she was in a bind.

     


Concert Cher News

SlashCher News has been tracking the release of Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. Good news: the Blue-ray is available for pre-order.

The second leg of Cher shows were to start on September, 11 but Cher has had to push back 10 dates pushing this legs shows into December.

Slash reported to The Huffington Post about attending a Cher concert and needing to go outside to smoke eventually gave him pneumonia. So he quit smoking.

Cher is also being sued by her former choreographer Kevin Wilson. Read stories on:

The last link is the testimony of Jamal Story, one of Cher's dancers. He was the dancer featured in last week's story in Fortune Magazine: "How to Survive on the Road with Cher. He makes great reference to the chaos in the Ferguson suburb of St. Louis (my hometown).He says:

I am disheartened to know that racism is part of the charge leveled in a lawsuit at my boss...But even if there is some shred of merit here, the lack of consideration for the three brown band members (of which there are only seven) still in Cher's camp befuddles me.

In fact, one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had dealing with the color quota represented on stage happened on Cher’s stage in Vegas years ago. A brunette out for her wedding was replaced by the cousin of another black dancer on the gig. Adding two of the plaintiffs (who were also there) brought the count of bona fide chocolate up to four, and then there were the two of us too light to figure in. Among the other six dancers were a Latino and a Tongan, both with enough pigment to type them out of a Mayflower Voyage film. We didn’t know whether to take a picture (because who would believe it) or accuse our boss of Blaxploitation. Because of course there were also the two black backup singers, the keyboardist and the drummer…

This doesn’t happen with a racist performer.                                                                             

In fact, since my first gig with Cher twelve years ago, I have missed only 2 of her 568 full stage shows. Never in any of them have I experienced any form of racial or sexist prejudice.

It’s not her style.  I was there every time she strutted around stage in a Native American feathered headdress singing about her Cherokee heritage.  Early in a career older than all of her dancers, she was notorious for entering the back door of venues and restaurants that would not allow her colored staff through their front. She argued with her fans via Twitter that the Tea Party supports racist policies.  She funds the Peace Village School in Kenya for black orphans.  Chand

You know, there was a budget for my hair. When I ran out of Mixed Chicks conditioner on the road,  or couldn’t find a barber for a manicured fro, Cher reimbursed receipts for cornrows. It did not bother her any when I walked on stage wearing them, black pants and a white tank—a look that might have gotten me shot by police in Ferguson—to stand in her spotlight and present her a stool.  This is the conversation we should be having instead, how my "Burlesque" costume with this hairstyle is life-threatening around those who would see a dangerous, uber-sexualized Negro thug.

During a delay in the tech rehearsal for the number “Dressed to Kill,” she sat waiting on the chandelier and smiled at me.

“I’m getting a weave,” I told her.

“Really??!!” she said, ecstatic.

     


Retro Stuff

Music

I recently when on a hunt for Cher mashups. Of course, all the new ones I found were using "Believe" (This is getting old.)

 Beyonce sing’s "Bang Bang" in her HBO trailer with Jay Z.

Video

Cher in a Tea with Mussolini-era interview

Cher and other 80s-celebrities singing "What a Wonderful World." This is from a star-studded special called "An Evening with Friends of the Environment. A Meryl Streep website has a great overview of who participated.

InterviweMagazines

Cher scholar Dishy sent me this link to that awesome interview with Cher in the early 80s with Any Warhol in Interview Magazine: http://www.interviewmagazine.com/music/new-again-cher. I had this cover framed an on my wall for many years.

Movies

Cher scholar Robrt Pela sent me some very kewl news about the movie Chastity. A friend of his was an extra in the brothel scene. His friend said that Cher was pregnant and cranky during filming, "and when he accidentally stepped on her foot, she was not nice about it. Sonny took him aside to talk to him about not stepping on Cher."

NicknolteBut that's not the bombshell news. Nick Nolte is also in the scene when the boys arrive at the cathouse. Nick Notle is the first to enter the scene. Watch the clip at timestamp 5:07.

Robrt informed me that Nick Nolte was involved in Phoenix theater back in the late 1960s, appearing in local plays.

As I was looking for pictures of the brothel scene online (didn't find any), I did find this description of the movie from a site called Cult Oddities: "The film rests squarely on Cher's shoulders, though she got a major boost from Sonny's dialogue, which was littered with unusual thoughts and pithy one-liners."