Cher in St. Tropez, in LOVE Magazine, Harold Battiste

JeansI'm back from vacation. Back from a New Mexico family reunion (where there were 93 of us). Back from catching up on CNM projects. And there's so very much to catch up on. So much time has passed. Have we all changed?

Donald Trump has been busy making a mockery of a fiasco. Bobby Kristina is no longer with us. Oft-mentioned friend of Sonny Bono, Dick Van Patten, has passed on. There’s so much to cover, I’ll have to do take it in chunks. Today's chunk is a roundup of links regarding Cher appearances and music news.

Articles & Appearances

The rags have been busy proclaiming Cher's impending demise and her heavenly return to Sonny. That this tactic is even still in use tells us how much Sonny & Cher still maintain a hold on the national fantastical imagination.

Cher's cover of Love Magazine is out but it's hard to find. Cher Cher-lovescholar Dishy in New York City tells me her cover is even hard to find on newsstands in the city! I guess the problem is she shares the cover with other talents. And surprise, surprise! Her face is on the cover! (Click the photo to enlarge.)

Cher made a few trips recently and one magazine had all the dets!

Daily Mail said, "Can you Believe she's 69? Cher turns heads in skintight bodysuit and eclectic jacket as she departs from LAX." (Click the link for pics.)

Daily Mail also said in another piece that Cher could turn back time in hippy bell bottoms. (Click the link for pics.)

BarefootThen the Daily Mail posted pics of Cher walking barefoot in St. Tropez. And then even more pics of barefoot walking! (Click the links for pics.)

Then they posted more pics of Cher in see-through pants.  (Click the link for pics.)

It's like they were stalking her or something.

If you'd like to see a roundup of all the people involved in the new Marc Jacobs fashion campaign, this site has it.

And here is another website that has taken on the task of reviewing Cher's most outrageous outfits! It's so subjective.

In Music News

Musician and arranger Harold Battiste has passed away in New Orleans. He received an obit in The New York TimesThe article uses a photo of Battiste with Sonny & Cher (as their long-time arranger and musical director) to lead the story.

Giorgio Moroder Dishes On Producing Cher & Janet, Talks Gay-Bait Bathhouse Oblivion (Pride Source)

Someone has started a Facebook page to get Cher into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Cher World reports that Cher performed a private shew in Monaco. Some say this is proof she's starting back up to tour again. Here is some fan video to get you excited about this news.

In one odd story from Mediate, Mike Huckabee is shown dressed up like Cher to sing "I Got You Babe." I don't know what to say about this. I'm speechless.

Over my vacation, I was reading an email argument between some friends regarding the recent rape allegations against Runaway's producer Kim Fowley. One friend posted this NPR story about "the cruel truth about rock and roll" and how sexually predatory it is regarding young performers. It's truly sobering and something every fan of rock music should read. It makes you wonder what awful experiences Cher might have had as an almost-underage performer working in the 1960s.

25battiste-1-obit-web-master675

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Honored in Brazil, Nick Vanoff, InStyle Mag, Kenneth Goldsmith

Cherbrasil14Been tied up doing the National Poetry Writing Month challenge this month (I have to write a poem a day) and obsessively watching episodes of Schitt's Creek, the new Canadian sitcom on Pop TV staring SCTV's Catharine O'Hara and Eugene Levy. Thankfully it's Canadian and may not get cancelled just because it's on Pop TV and no one knows where that is. It's very funny.

Cher Stuff

A few weeks ago I received a few missives from the Cher store that items were 50% off if you spent over $30. As it turned out only three items were 50% (of which I only wanted one) and to get over the $30 hurdle without buying a $75 sweatshirt you didn't want, you had to buy one of the other sucky three items. So I went over to ebay and bought a Mark Twain magazine to abate my shopping frustration.

Peripheral Stories

Nick Vanoff’s house for sale: ‘Sonny and Cher’ Producer’s Beverly Hills Estate Listing for $25 Million

(Wall Street Journal) (Realty Today)

EssexI love it when poetry and Cher collide. This month is full of that sort of thing. Remember David Essex on Cher's solo show? He now has a book of poems!

Take a look at him now and then watch him with Cher singing "The Long and Winding Road."

Honors & Awards

AIDS Activism

Cher was recently honored at the ‘Inspiration Gala’ in Brazil. 

Articles announcing the award:

Articles about Cher's visit to an art gallery before the ceremony:

Cher's tweet Saturday: "Brazil is lovely. Went to art show last nite & fell in love with MAGIC GOLDEN Art piece by 85 year old woman…IT WAS SOLD. HAD FUN ANYWAY."

Coverage of the event:

amfAR CEO Kevin Frost spoke passionately about amfAR’s Countdown to a Cure for AIDS initiative, with the goal of developing the scientific basis of a cure by 2020. Announcing a $100 million cure research investment strategy, Frost stressed that “amfAR has the will, the commitment, and the know-how to get this done, and to truly make AIDS history.” Frost then presented the amfAR Award of Inspiration to Cher. Speaking of her willingness and ability to use her fame for the greater good, Frost described her as one of the great champions in the fight against AIDS. Cher received a standing ovation and encouraged the audience to “help bring an end to this terrible disease” before bringing fellow honoree Jean Paul Gaultier on stage for a kiss.

Cher World has great coverage with lots of pics: http://www.cherworld.com/cher-news/cher-honoured-at-amfar-2015-brazil/ (Cher World covering the art gallery event:  http://www.cherworld.com/cher-news/cher-visits-brazil-for-charity-event/)

My favorite pics (click to enlarge):

 Cher-5th-Annual-amfAR-Inspiration-Gala-Sao-4NEBx9LJrUhl Cherbrasil15 Cher1  

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

   Cher-5th-Annual-amfAR-Inspiration-Gala-Sao-G7ltjzYK86wl

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

Fashon

InStyle Magazine is inspired by Cher's timeless jeans.

Recognized for blunt tweeting

Must-follow-Monday: Cher

Cher Research

Good resource for research on Cher singles and international album covers.

The Perils of Fame

The National Enquirer on stands now claims that Cher is dying. Cher refutes this.

My co-worker sent me this amazing story about a guy whose iPhone was stolen and he became suddenly famous in China. Lots of good commentary on the perils of fame and why the famous need "teams."

A follow up on the Edith Hill and Eddie Harrison story:
http://entertainment.inquirer.net/167192/cher-paves-way-for-elderly-womans-homecoming-after-a-court-dispute

Arts and Literature

Review of the Scottish S&C Musical (The Guardian)

GsmThe April month of Poetry was dedicated to hip hop poetry and it was interesting to see so many kudos thrown to The Wu-Tang Clan. Kenneth Goldsmith is a conceptual poet who's conceptual manifesto is published in the same issue. Since Cher is often accused of being artificial (by rock and roll standards), I have long been collecting commentary about artifice in art. Goldsmith had three things to say about this:

"Authenticity is another form of artifice."

"At this point in time, it's hard to verify authenticity, singularity, or proper sources for anything. Instead, in our digital world all forms of culture have assumed the characteristics of dance music and versioning, where so many hands have touched and refined these products that we no longer know, nor care, who the author is -- or was."

"Auto-tune your next book of poems."

  


Cher's Greatest Twitter Hits

MorrisPage Six is reporting that Cher used Twitter to help son Elijah find his lost puppy Morris. The web article says Morris was eventually located and that Elijah and Cher are slowly mending their relationship.

Speaking of Twitter, here's a website that has collected Cher's greatest tweets from 2014.

"When perusing the Turn Back Time singer's social media outlet, it is very much like walking into a Hall of Mirrors with the eight members of the band Stereo Kicks: Confusing. Enlightening. Saddening Sometimes spiritual. But always a joy from month to month. It took us a long time to scroll down Cher's timeline, so please god, please appreciate this."

Perez Hilton also recently posted a Best Of Tweets List.

I caught up with Cher's latest and greatest tweets today and I see that she is promising not to drink a drop of Dr. Pepper until her first resumed tour rehearsal, whenever that shall be. If this sacrifice works anything like sacrificing picante salsa works for me, it's a worthwhile incentive of deprivation.

Cher also promises that when she gets better she will write a book:

Walked 1hr & Worked Out [arm muscle emoticon] Felt GOOD.Its a Long Road,but I feel myself getting a little Stronger everyday [ghost emoticon] When this is over im WRITING A BOOK‼️

I will remember this promise.

   


Cher Bits Catchup

Richard-pryorCher History

A pretty funny recent article about how Richard Pryor once freaked out on the set of the Flip Wilson Show and fisticuffs ensued and Cher allegedly went and locked herself in her dressing room. It's an excerpt of a new biography about him. It's interesting that Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor both have new biographies out and how they were pitted against each other in the 1980s: clean comedy versus dirty comedy. And how history changes everything. As Camile O'Sullivan sings: "time's the revelator."

Cher Tweet Explosions

Cher takes the Robber Barons to task. My grandfather would love that Cher is invoking the Robber Barsons. Too bad she hadn’t done this by 1978 when I was eight and he asked me soberly over the kitchen table what her politics were:

In December Cher also tried to raise awareness for abused Pigs:

6a00d8341d6c7753ef01b8d089f36b970c-200wiA few weeks ago I linked to a Sonny & Cher video taken in a record store and Cher scholar Robrt recognized the album cover in the video. I also remembered Cher plays this video in her latest show.

Robrt believes this is their second album released in Italy with the Italian-language singles added.

Hall of Fame

I think from time to time about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s ridiculous prejudice in denying Cher an induction. I figure she deserves to be in for at least these things:

1. Her style influence in the 1960s and 70s

2. The collected impact of these songs alone:

  • “Bang Bang” – figuring the amount of covers this song has had.
  • “I Got You Babe” – and the phenomenal fad of this song.
  • “The Beat Goes On” – and how a pop song title has insinuated itself so fully in our cultural conversations. I hear this phrase over and over again on TV and in publications; and how impossibly uncoverable the song remains to this day.

We've all seen the most well-known picture of Cher and Angelica Houtson:

Angelica1

But there’s also a Cher picture in Angelica's new book, Watch Me.

Cher-houston

  


Don’t Cry For Me Cherilina

ProgramAn ironic image for Cher's D2K tour: trapped by a virus.

Last week was a very sad week for me. Indulge me, but I’m thinking to make a list will be a cathartic process.

1. As of Sunday when I stopped in Albertson's to sit at one of those blood pressure machines, I've had to accept that this, my 45th year, I’ve developed high blood pressure. Three out of 5 recent tests over the last 6 months have been too high. Heart issues have felled everyone on my father's side of the family. So this is not happy news.

2. The Bill Cosby story is wearing me down. Not only have 16 women accused him of various sexual crimes, but he’s latest TV appearances (The Colbert Report appearance before the story even broke) and interviews have been eerily self-important and left an unsatisfactory taste in my mouth. It reminds me of the Woody Allen incest saga. I grew up on their work and my esteem has been felled by their tabloid scandals which are both hard to prove or disprove (at this point). But that really doesn’t matter because no outcome escapes a tragedy. In Woody Allen’s case, either he did commit incest with his daughter or Mia Farrow is crazy and has contaminated her daughter’s life. Both scenarios are awful. Likewise, Bill Cosby is a rapist or 16 women are conspiring to ruin his career. Problem is, they have little to gain after the statute of limitations. And if you think it’s impossible to keep such crimes a secret for 40 years within an entertainment organization, let me remind you of Penn State and Jerry Sandusky. There’s no pretty truth here. Just yuckiness. And it reminds me that as a society we place a heartbreaking amount of misspent worship on celebrities (no offence to Cher). From what I've seen, baring a few exceptions, Hollywood does not attract balanced, heroical personalities and heroes don't grow from the seeds of maladaptive narcissists. In any case, as Mr. Cher Scholar says, this story pretty much bankrupts Fat Albert, The Cosby Show, the jello commercials, I Spy, all the standup routines....

3. I found out Thursday my friend has brain cancer. She's been having seizures.This is the fifth calamity to befall her in so many years.

4. That same night the Chiefs lost to the Raiders. This was more depressing to Mr. Cher Scholar than it was to me but it did rub off.

5. Hours later I was online via email helping to talk down another friend from an emotional life-crisis.

6. I started the next day looking at my emails and was assaulted by a Facebook status message made by one of my poetry colleagues. The post, not directed at me, was a rotten spew of hatred regarding last week's political events. It was dumbfoundingly angry, hardly reality-based, and left me disturbed for the rest of the day.

7. The Ferguson story has also depressed me. The grand jury just came out tonight: no indictment on the police officer who fatally shot a black teenager. I grew up in St. Louis where Ferguson is a suburb. I can say many positive things about growing up in St. Louis. I can also say that I know first hand St. Louis has more than its share of racists. I know because many of them used to confide in me their racists thoughts. They did so from high school through my many post-college jobs. I do have friends in St. Louis who are not racists, God bless 'em. But let’s just say I knew more racists there than honest, God-loving people.  Stories appeared last week about guns selling out, the governor declaring a state of emergency and bringing in the National Gard. The KKK is asserting itself with great irony and evil. Interestingly, my St. Louis friends used to chide me about living in Los Angeles, with all its gun violence and rioting. There were zero riots or highway shootings the 8 years I lived in Los Angeles. And as it turns out you don’t have to leave St. Louis for those things. I’m so disappointed that city hasn’t evolved in the last 20 years since I left.

8. My depression and anger over these political events led my cousin, who is a psychologist, to diagnose me Friday night as having "Work from Home Syndrome" - a condition that allows you to stew in your own anger until you become irritable all the time. He suggested I stop listening to the news for a while until my brain resets.

9. Cher has cancelled the remaining dates of her tour. And although she says she hopes she can “finish what she started” and resume the tour next year, this does prove the tour has been sadly ill-fated. It’s also a somewhat drastic and alarming gesture that makes you worry about Cher's health. Upsetting for Cher, her fans, and even Pat Benetar fans. It also means we are coming to the close of an era: invincible Cher.

I was working on a new Cher Scholar site page when I found out, an addendum concert page that lists all her concert dates and available online reviews of each show as I find them. It’s a work in progress but if you want to read old reviews, here they are.

   


Radio Interview, New Mix, Clips

AlbummysteryOld Video

Cher scholar Tyler sent me this clip, the Hell & Keller Pride remix of "The Beat Goes On." Thank God somebody out there is remixing something besides "Believe." I liked the video editing job, too.

I also found the original promo video sampled in the above remix, Sonny & Cher at a record store performing "The Beat Goes On." The clip opens on the record bin at left.

What record is this? Something about "Vol. 2." Is this a compilation album I've never seen before? Does anyone out there have this record?

This is now a good time to say I've always hated that boring ATCO logo.

Comrades in Retirement

In Entertainment Weekly for October 31 there's an article called "Retired? Not So Fast" Listed are people who made big claims about retirement but came back. The list includes Garth Brooks, Ozzy Osbourne, Jay-Z and Barbara Streisand.

In the same issue, Nancy Sinatra’s version of "Bang Bang" is also listed as part of a killer playlist for Halloween.

Costumes Through the Years

As I lamented earlier, I missed the People Magazine detailing all of Cher's concert outfits. I broke down and found a copy from eBay. What's ironic about the article is Bob Mackie does brief commentary on the evolution of some of his common designs. Problem is, he didn't design the new outfits in review. The D2K Egyptian opening-fit is compared to the one Mackie designed in Cher and Other Fantasies (1979). The full-fringe disco outfit from the Farewell show (red version) and the Cher at Caesars Believe-fit are compared. This comparison is very odd. First of all, this outfit and song are not even in D2K (yet) and they could have used either the Cher at Caesars fringe-fit (blue) or the older, original version back from the Take Me Home tour in 1979 (silver).

Red Blue Clear 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The current gypsy outfit is compared to the Farewell Indian sari instead of maybe to the original one from The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. The newer hole-fit (Mackie calls it "The Swiss Cheese") could also have been compared to her 1979 Take Me Home concert tour version instead of her 1980s video version. The Half Breed photo uses the version Sonny & Cher toured with instead of the iconic TV show version from 1973. Kind of wonky choices here.

Obsessing about these things…it’s what Cher scholars do.

Radio Interview

LimpetCher News linked to a new radio interview for Cher. In the interview Cher says she loves the movie The Incredible Mr. Limpet. I would love this movie, too, because I love Don Knotts except for the fact that I have a very bad association with it due to Mr. Cher Scholar and a disastrous birthday night with him that included this movie back in 2006.

Anyway, Cher laughs a lot in the interview and talks about the Broadway play based on her life.

Mrlimpet

  


Shows Delayed: Cher Under the Weather

SickCher has been forced to delay a few concert dates at the start of her second leg due to a viral infection that is keeping her in bed. I hope she didn't catch something at the old Sonny & Cher house with what sounded like ten people living in it.

Read more at Cher News and Cher World.

This was actually huge news over the last day or so, stories populating pages of the Internet. Here are some of the bigger venues talking about it:

Billboard

CNN

Los Angeles Times

While we're waiting for Cher to come back on tour, I found this article today on Fortune Magazine: "How to Survive on the Road with Cher by dancer and choreographer Jamal Story who has been touring with her for 12 years ("off and on").

There's also a new article by Liz Smith on Cher that appeared in The Huffington Post: "Cher -- Unending, Immortal -- She Is Not Stepping Aside"

And apparently, recently Cher Impersonators attempted a world record (in St. Louis of all places) to gather the biggest crowd of Cher impersonators on a street called Cherokee Street. I think the Cher Convention snagged more Cher impersonators than St. Louis did. But maybe this will be an inspiration to other impersonators out there.

Find out more:

  


Diva News

CherstanThankfully, Cher News is back. Here are some news stories Cher News is tracking:

You’ve seen celebrities doing the Ice bucket Challenge lately to raise money for ALS. Cher has agreed to do it, nominated by Stanley Tucci. More about celebrities doing the ice bucket challenge.

Cher talks about a risque new concert outfit and giving up meat. I second this suggestion being a vegetarian since 1991. I gave up meat in college due to factory farming videos I came across. Factory farms are now fighting to be able to stop anyone from seeing the horrors of factory farming. Corporations are strong-arming congress to let this happen. If you do it, why hide it?

For decades, doctors have been raising alarms about our meat consumption, statistics showing that culture's who eat more fish and veggies live longer, have less cancers and less heart disease. Plus, factory farms are hazardous to air quality. It was hard being a vegetarian in Missouri back in the 1990s. We had only one self-righteous vegetarian restaurant. These days, going veggie is easy. You have many brands of frozen veggie foods, including delish Amys brand, and many more veggie restaurants to choose from. When you come across a self-righteous one, like I did in Santa Fe two years ago, you can say: "Listen peeps, you're not the only veggie house in town! Stop giving me the martyr-tude."

Cher is still stumping for Billy, LA's abused elephant. She provides new ideas to save billy and zoo animals: holograms! This reminds me of Simpons's producer Sam Simon who is fatally ill and spending his fortune to save animals all over, most interestingly buying up horrid roadside zoos. Some news stories:

Cher talks about her new concert outfits. Also good news in there about a new DVD of the show! Apparently, she will film in Toronto. Yeah! I feel this is the only way I will see the new costumes. The new tour dates aren't anywhere near New Mexico (yet). :-)

Cher appears on Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live" as a mystery caller and a tour gross wrap up.

And thankfully Cher World is back too!

A story about how Cher initially hated the song "Turn Back Time"

ChercurleDoes Lady Gaga resemble a 1979 Cher on picture

Cher's new album is not dead; it's back on the charts due to another email reminder to fans who purchased concert tickets.

Broadway.com is appreciating Cher's video of West Side Story.  Why they love it:

"Um, because Cher singing every part in West Side Story is 12 minutes and 43 seconds of complete, unadulterated bliss, that’s why. Way back in 1978, Cher had a special on ABC that was called Cher…Special. (You know, obviously.) Anyway, it included this gem, and we have so many questions. How long did this take to film? Where did all those costumes and wigs come from? Isn’t Tony supposed to be in a gang, not trying out for Red Sox baseball?"

Behind the technical scenes on Cher's concert tour from Live Studio Design.

Cher did a recent interview with AARP Magazine.

 


Cher in Entertainment Weekly & Random Cher Thoughts

PinkcherThe Bullseye page of the magazine Entertainment Weekly has always interested me as being the barometer of what people are talking about week to week in U.S. pop culture. You don’t typically see has-beens there unless they've done something worthy of the proverbial water cooler.

In the May 23 issue Cher is referenced twice in Bullseye, once for the news about being on the secret Wu-Tang Clan album. EW jokes she’ll go by “Sparkleface Killah.” And two for Liza Minnelli and Rosie O’Donnell appearing onstage at one of her NYC shows during Cyndi Lauper’s opening set. EW makes a Hot in Cleveland joke.

Last weekend I caught up on some Oprah’s Master Class shows. I don't know why I love these but I find them all pretty moving and/or informative.

SarandonSusan Sarandon: I always sensed tension between Cher and Susan Sarandon during Witches of Eastwick interviews back in the 1980s. At least they didn’t seem as friendly with each other afterwards as they were with other cast members. But watching Master Class, it would seem Cher actually has a lot in common with Susan Sarandon, who talked about the art of relationships in the rational way Cher does. She talked about the issues of aging in Hollywood and how she deals with it. She also makes a good case for celebrity political activism. She said something I've hear Cher say often, how it’s the things you don’t do that you regret and not the things you do. Interestingly, she now owns a ping pong franchise.

CrawfordCindy Crawford's episode also impressed me much more than I anticipated it would. She talked about leaving her cell phone out of situations of personal interaction because, she says, you can’t multitask presence. She also talked about being on a retreat and being asked to come up with her core passion. Interestingly, this is not necessarily a job description. She chose something open-ended like Communication. I thought about this and wondered if my core passion might be Organizing. I love to sort things. Is there a job description for that core passion?

The Vivian Vance Museum

VanceOkay, it wasn't a whole museum. But it was a room in a museum. Mr. Cher Scholar and I visited our local art & history museum. That's right. Albuquerque conflates the two so that the museum is neither fully a good art museum or history museum. Wandering around in there, we came up an entire exhibit devoted to Vivian Vance. Apparently Vivian got her start in Albuquerque (although she was born in Cherryvale, Kansas--Mr. Cher Scholar country). The museum was full of news clippings, awards and memorabilia from I Love Lucy days. The exhibit gave me plenty of ideas about the future Chersonian Institute: interpretative plaques, track lighting, security guards scolding patrons to not get too close. Pamphlets. Oohh...I love museum pamphlets!

Vivian's sister is selling scrapbooks and homemade memory books. Visitors could grab a postcard and mail in an order.

  


Wu-Tang, Sheena Easton and Freeman & Murray

WutangThe big news last week was that Cher is to be featured on the new Wu-Tang Clan album. Quite a few people sent me this news, even my Billboard-watching friend Christopher. This was a pretty big deal. Cher was credited in early press releases as Bonnie Jo Mason, a nod to her first pseudonym.

If you listen to the video, you can hear one of Cher's clips. Frustratingly, the album may never be released. One copy will be sold to the highest bidder and then the album may tour as part of museum exhibit. Is this a publicity stunt? Stay tuned.

Read about it here: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/cher-wu-tang-collaborate-for-two-songs-on-secret-album-20140507

SheenaToday my iPod shuffle served up this 80s-perfect and under-appreciated Sheena Easton tune "You Could Have Been With Me." Watch the video to remember what a great song this was.

I've always felt the intro was "I Got You Babe." What do you think?

 

 

 

FreemanlangstonThe book Strong Enough tipped me off to the existence of the Freeman and Murray (Freeman King/Murray Langston) comedy album, "featured on The Sonny & Cher Show. I scored a copy from overseas. It came yesterday and I was afraid I'd have to go out and re-buy a turntable to listen to it.

Fortunately today I found clips on the yousetubes:

 

The back cover contains quotes from many of the people who either worked for Sonny & Cher (David Brenner as their concert opening act) or who were guest stars or big stars of from that time: Sally Struthers, Rob Reiner, Redd Foxx, Mark Spitz, Tennessee Ernie Ford, David Brenner, Ted Zeigler, Harvey Korman, Jean Stapelton, and Don Adams.

I haven't listened to much from the links above, but from what I've seen on the cover and have heard so far, I like their casual yet full-throttle foray into racial comedy and stereotype-busting. Very progressive-sounding (then and now).

The liner notes are odd, using the convention of being personally written but there is no author identified. They describe King as an athletic drop-out from Plahatchie, Mississippi, and Langston as being from Montreal.