Today is the Celebration of Cher at 70 (With Over 40 Tributes)!

Pool2 PoolThere’s lots of love spilling over on the web-o-shere. It’s literally a virtual Internet Party! Just look at all the hip (and some unusual) sites and magazines celebrating Cherness today!

This is a saying I learned from the McCray family: Cher, I’m glad you were born! You are 70 years of fabulousness today! I feel like the ball on Times Square should drop or something.

Here’s the massive list of love (and one snipe) as of 2 p.m. MST. I’ve broken it down into scholarship categories. Fun with essays, accolades and photo reels!

Straight-out Birthday Wishes

Cher prepares to celebrate her 70th birthday (Reuters)

Happy Birthday from Money Magazine

Singer Cher turns 70, fans pay tribute (Townhall.com) 

Love for Defying Age

Cher just turned HOW old? (Mercury News)

Cher Can’t Turn Back Time: She Turns 70 Today (WBT—Conservative Talk Radio) -- Remember, these are the folks who said Cher is some has-been no one remembers!

Maybe she can turn back time: Cher at 70 (Deutsche Welle)  - SNAP!

Cher Turns 70, Still Knows How to Turn Back Time (Inquisitr)

Can you tell if these celebs are older or younger than Cher (Metro UK)

Turning 70, Cher still a 'hot artist' after 50 years (Inforum)

Love for the Music

10 Reasons Why Cher's “Believe” Is the Biggest Club Record Ever (Thump)

Cher's Official Top 20 biggest selling downloads revealed (Official Charts.com)

Mashable Cher in the studio (Mashable)

Love for the Television

Happy 70th birthday Cher! Relive the time she played every single part in this West Side Story medley (Digital Spy)

Cher turns 70 Today – watch her take a massive tumble in this rare vintage clip (Daily Star UK)

Love for the Film

Happy birthday Cher! Celebrate with her 5 greatest film roles (Arizona Central) - good to see Jimmy Dean love in there but you know how I feel about Mermaids!

Love for the Style

See the Evolution of Cher’s Style (Time)

All Hail Cher, Queen of the Red Carpet Rebels (Vogue)

Can You ‘Believe’ How Many Hairstyles Cher Has Had Over The Years? (Huffington Post)

Cher’s Show-Stopping Style Redefines What It Means To Be 70 (Huffington Post)

Cher's Most Outrageous Outfits (Huffington Post)

Cher at 70: seven iconic style moments (The Guardian UK)

23 of the singer's most outrageous fashion over the years (BT)

The many looks of Cher (CNN)

Cher’s Changing Looks (Wonderwall)

Cher Turns 70! Celebrate By Revisiting The Pop Icon’s Most Glamorous Looks (Idolator)

Cher Hair! Celebrating the Singer’s 16 Best Hair Moments (Vogue)

Love for the Sass

24 Times Cher Was Sassiness Personified (Elle UK) 

10 Times Cher Nailed Twitter (Newsweek)

Her 5 Most Shocking Moments (Express UK)

Cher’s Most Outrageous Tweets of the Past Year (Hollywood Reporter)

Happy 70th Birthday, Cher! 23 Times The Dark Lady Wasn’t At A Loss For Words (Logo)

Love for the Whole Thing

A Look Back (ABC)

You Haven't Seen the Last of Me: The Phenomenon of Cher (Biography.com)

Legendary singer’s best moments (OK! UK)

70 Things we love about Cher (Gay Star News)  -- 70 things! That's impressive!

A look back at her outstanding singing and acting career (DW.com)

Inside the glamorous life of Cher (Marie Claire)

10 amazing facts about the pop superstar (Digital Spy)

The living legend’s most iconic moments (Attitude UK)

Celebrate Cher's 70th birthday with five memorable moments (Lancaster Online)

Cher then and now (WTAE-Pittsburgh)

Cher’s Career in numbers (International Business Times)

CNN’s Cher Fast Facts (CNN)

Fast-Forward Through 5 Decades of Cher (Yahoo! News) 


RIP Stars Re-Release

Chertweet
So the Cher tweet says it all. Cher did not, in fact, know WTF about the Stars re-release, despite some articulate licensing bravado from Binge! Music.

Cher tweeted on Saturday. My full refund floated back across the bank-o-sphere on Sunday lacking any customer service reason. That felt weird and cagey. By Sunday, Binge! Music's website was also down, along with their Facebook and Twitter pages. 

I would like to imagine Cher's henchmen making clandestine phone calls with threats of concrete shoes. It helps ease the pain of not having a legitimized, sanctioned, and scholarly-considered re-packaging of a historically important Cher album working itself through the CD-presses as we speak.

On a Cher Scholarship note: I've never heretofore seen such fan excitement to a piece of Cher news. I think this is yet again another piece of evidence that suggests Stars is Cher's most beloved album. And that this is the life of the Cher fan. Highs. Lows. Longings. Old-age dispairings.


Cher Toon and Milken Conference

DestinySomeone on the Yahoo! Cher group posted this Blank on Blank cartoon today from an interview Cher gave in 1999. It's very cute, creative and actually a great, candid interview.

Most interestingly she says, "Gay men understand not being part of the whole" and that's why they relate to her. I think this idea of mass popularity or fitting in as being "the whole" is very interesting conceptually. 

Anyway, what I love about this cartoon is that it reminds me of the 2010 Serge Gainsbourg movie, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life which I love and was based on a graphic novel by its director, Joann Sfar. This is the kind of creative movie biography I hope Cher gets someday, artful, surreal and letting the animation provide some emotional punch.

MilkenCher spoke at the Milken Institute Global Conference last week. Of course her hobo hat stole the show and not what she had to say.

Well, that's not entirely true. Billboard Magazine did focus on some of her anti-government comments and other comments around the Flint water crisis in Michigan.

I guess there were some issues at the conference around  the lack of respect for female business founders. If you have LinkedIn, you can read this Pulse story about some prominent female business founders who were treated with less than full respect.

From the story: “Nearly 90% of venture capitalists are male. If Wilkis Wilson’s statement is true, and a vast majority of VCs refuse to see the market potential of markets focused on diverse audiences, female founders targeting female customers are doomed.”


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.

 


Sonny & Cher on the Newsstands

Sandc-coverI received a message from Cher scholar Robrt last Saturday while out shopping for next weekends family reunion, (my third in so many years). He said it was suddenly 1975 on the newsstand again!  And sure enough, Sonny & Cher are sitting by the checkout stacks right alongside Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani. Do the millennials even know who Sonny is?

It's a brief story in Closer about the history of their relationship. It's pretty well summed up for such a short piece. With all the hubub going on with Cher's Twitter posts last week and talk of nasty tabloids, those hemorrhoids of journalism, I was confused about whether I should even purchase a magazine called Closer. Was it a tabloid? Closer Weekly in UK sure seems to be by all accounts of my Google searches.

But my perusal of Closer so far leads me to think it's made up of mostly soft-stories about celebrities. There's nothing erroneous in this S&C piece. Nothing new either. Just some quotes from biographer Taraborelli, and old co-worker Hal Blaine. They even dug out Cher show producer George Schlatter commentary. The story that follows is a equally soft piece about Dolly Parton, the boon there being an elusive picture of husband Carl Dean.

If you pick up a copy and read it, you'll surely come to see what an amazing art newsstand cover copy really is.

The Daily News also ran a roundup of shocking celebrity couple breakups that included Sonny & Cher.

Music

Top 40 website also did a list of Top 10 Cher songs. I beg to differ with some of these.  It feels more like a reshuffling of her hits. 

More Posts on the Twitter Thing

It seems like tabloid web pages are the only outlets really running on this Twitter story. Although Cher did do some cryptic tweet ranting last week so who knows. It feels like a personal story (Twitter release all the same) and I debated even bringing it up here except that it bears commentary on how creepy fandom can be. In that it's creepy to be an uber-fan, even a well-behaved sort and when you read stories about creepier fans, unhinged fans or entitled fans, or even just the roach-ridden underbelly of show business, it's so not fun and makes you question whether or not you should be reading Infinite Jest faster (I've started a reading group!) or devoted more of your life to poetry. That is until the poets and their back-biting competitive infighting starts to depress you and you begin to question maybe whether you should be listening to more Cher records and working to finally launch that Chersonian Institute.


Chaz on OWN, The Leopard Moment, Feminist Anita Sarkeesian

ChazChaz on Own

Mr. Cher Scholar and I have been home sick for the past two weekends. So it was a home-bound surprise to find that my DVR had taped Chaz on Oprah’s Where are they Now? show (first air date: 2/6/206) a few weekends ago. Chaz looked good, talked about new ventures including a clip from a new movie. Orpah and Chaz also had further discussion on life before and after transitioning and whether Chaz’s experience reading as a woman gives him any insight into that gender (spoiler: no it did not). There was also an update in regard to his relationship with his mom (sounds much better).

Disappointingly, I find Chaz can be kind of Sonny-ish on the topic of women. Interviewers probably set him up for this, as if to say “you’re a man now…say something sexist!” For instance, his example about not understanding women involved a comment about how they are so mysteriously offended all the time. He still doesn’t have any more insight into that.

How many stoic women do I know in relationships? A lot. How many men do I know who get easily offended, much more so than their wives and are uncommunicative about why? A lot.  I’ve never heard Mr. Cher Scholar say anything like this. I rarely, if ever, hear my contemporary male friends say this about their spouses. I don't think I've even every heard my Dad make a comment like that. But I have heard some of my friends with same-sex partners complain about it with their partners. The issue seems to defy sex and has more to do with character and relationship dynamics. So it’s kind of an guy trope, this thing complaining about how sensitive women are, and an old-man trope at that.

Having read as a woman for so long should have provided Chaz with some insight into the idea of, shall we call it, female hysterics, simply for the fact of possibly once being erroneously accused of it. I simply don’t buy the idea that you’re born with male prejudices. You opt to have them. Maybe I know some extraordinary guys. Chaz has the option to be an extraordinary guy.

The episode also included an awesome update on Linda Blair where she revisits her feelings about The Exorcist. As you know, William Friedkin is one of our peripherals here because his directorial debut was the Sonny & Cher epic Good Times. In just over a decade he would go on to make his most iconic classic. I still maintain that if you carve out all the gore and bugaboo from this movie, the scenes are quietly and delicately constructed. It would seem Linda has made peace with that movie and is also working an adorably furry charity venture. Her eyes still creep me out a bit though! Watch the show’s trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31SUgyocMZo.

Cher History

LeopardRemember the scene in Cher and Other Fantasies  where they tie Cher's hair and outfit up into a tree? A good tribute to that popped up online last week.  I love how Cher specials are getting some well-deserved revisionist love.

Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.

Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)

There's also a great new interview/dialogue between Cher and Zendaya where they talk about girl power and fashion as empowerment. Great candid and friendly tone from Cher.

Relative?

Every few years my nieces or nephews will solicit me for magazines subscriptions for school fundraisers. I always purchase Time Magazine for a year and then spend three years reading it in the privy. In one issue from 2015 I recently came across a familiar name in their most influential people list: Sarkeesian. It’s only one letter away from Sarkesian! Amazingly I’ve been reading about this woman for years but have never put a name to a story! From Time:

SarkeesianAnita Sarkeesian, 31 year old activist  and gaming feminist advocate, one of Time’s 2015 most influential people. She became the “target of vicious, misogynist harassment, death and rape threats and pornographic vandalism on her Wikipedia page and an effort to have her Kickstarted flagged as terrorism. All of this because she wanted to have a conversation about the way women are portrayed in video games. Anita is just the latest women writer to prove the law coined by journalist Helen Lewis: that the sexist comments onany article about feminism justify feminism…Anita has refused to back down…As her detractors grow increasingly unhinged, we have proof that her efforts are working.” Written by Wil Wheaton.

Anita is actually Canadian but she went to college at Northridge in the Los Angeles area. She is the other Sarkesian you should be following. Wow. I never thought I’d have occasion to say that.If you don’t think we are still in need of feminists in the new millennium, just read her Wikipedia page.

  


Cher on the Cover of Ms. Magazine, 1976

ChermsA few years ago on a visit to NYC I met with Cher scholar Dishy at his house in Brooklyn. He showed me some thing in his Cher collection, including a 1976 Ms. Magazine with cartoon drawings of Cher on its cover: a contemporary Cher with her butterfly dress she wore to the 1974 Grammy awards, a teen Cher in a green t-shirt and a fat baby Cher swaddled in a blanket. Not only had I never seen this thing before, but I was intrigued by it. I finally found my own copy last week.

First let me catalog some interesting things I found in this Ms. Magazine. It’s always fun to look back through old magazines, page by page, to chuckle over the advertisements, the formats and the photos.

There was an interesting column bemoaning Heloise and her household hints with the call-out text noting that 50 years of cleaning convenience has given us, disturbingly, an increase in hours spent on housework. It’s hard to believe that we spend less time doing housework in total for the simple reason we no longer have to chop wood 365. But aside from this, I’m also inclined to believe this has as much to do with conspicuous American consumption (more stuff to clean) as it did with 1950s anti-feminist propaganda (and the idea of the super housewife). But the whole conversation is interesting to me in light of how Bust Magazine and 3rd-wave feminist writers redefined housework in the 1990s and 2000s, the resurgence of knitting and some of the kitchen arts. I think the 1970s feminists were very right to question the idea that women were made to do housework. However, the issue did evolve.

I also found a very interesting news item on the first female National Union head Grace Hartman. I looked her up and if you’re interested in her story, here it is: http://womensuffrage.org/?p=22379

I’m not too familiar with Ms. Magazine so I had never heard of their somewhat famous column in the back of the magazine called “No Comment” where readers send in disturbingly (and laughable) sexists ads and press clippings. Ms. is still doing the No Comment column. You can search their recent archive. The results are much more subtle but also more violent. The old-school no-comments are strictly jaw-dropping in their obviousness. It’s definitely worth your time to pick up old issues in order to read these.

Did you know you could buy a Rabbit car in 1976 for $3.500? There were also WAY lots of booze ads in this issue…like hard alcohol ads dominated the advertising. What’s up with that? I also spotted the beginnings of the Age of Narcissism advertising in the Ultra Ban Roll-on ad: “It’s right for me!” Or crazy promises of consumption in the “I Found It” ad for Happiness Foam-in hair color. Am I finding hair color or am I finding happiness? Because we know they’re not the same, right?

There’s an article in this issued titled, (I kid you not), “Can a 40 year old woman find happiness with 29 year-old man?” Uncanny.

But back to the Cher cover. What did it mean? The cover art was done by Melinda Bordelon (1949-1995) and it references a cover article on genetics by Caryl Rivers titled “Cloning: the New Virgin Birth.” It just bugged me, this cover. What the hell could genetics have to do with Cher? I mean culturally it bothered me. Because I felt certain it couldn’t be good. Although I had no desire to read a very dry article on genetics from 1976, I felt I needed to explicate this situation. I was an English Lit major…it’s what I do.

GrammydressFirst of all, the cover cartoon really captures Cher-face full of delight circa 1964, a somewhat child-like Cher. Interesting choice considering 1976 Cher was very different from both her deadpan, sophisticate face or the more accommodating yet hipster Cher-Show face. But Bordelon captured the big eyelashes, dark eye shadow, and thin eyebrows. Bordelon gave her straighter teeth. By the way, that butterfly dress from the 1974 is still having an impression. I found it in this fashions list of the best Grammy dresses (including the famous green Jennifer Lopez dress that launched Google Images.

The genetics article itself mostly describes nightmare scenarios about in vitro fertilization. You know, because this was back when everyone was alarmed by the idea of “test tube babies.” The author provides scenarios where the poor could be forced to sell their uteruses for food money: “It wouldn’t be the first time that poor women found that their bodies are their one salable commodity.” The author also talks about selective abortions from the results of amniocentesis testing for Down’s Syndrome; in other words, aborting due to sex-of-baby results.

Forty-years later we can see that none of this came to pass. You could argue in vitrio has even liberated some women who wanted children but were fed up with bad relationships. It’s also allowed same-sex couples to become parents and, over all these years, prove their parenting skills.

Nothing remotely in that article could be tied to Cher, but there’s a side panel story on issues surrounding cloning. Unlike the in vitro article, some of Rivers' points are still relevant for many people today. And here is where I found the connection to the cover art:

“The misuses on cloning aren’t hard to predict [and the author discusses dictators controlling their regimes after death through cloning]. “Would women and men project their egos into the future by producing their own ‘carbon copies?’ Would society choose to clone our most valued citizens? Artists…?”

There it is! Multiple Chers! Here I must stop the press and beg to differ! Because if the decades have shown us anything, it is that there can be only one Cher!

In these articles, Rivers is concerned that cloning and in vitrio progress concerns women but that women and minorities were not included in the high-level decisions being made about them, which was no doubt true.

So I don’t mean to fully dismiss the point of view in this article. It feels very patriarchy-obsessed looking back (I mean, the fear of cloned dictators?). But that was fully the point. Back then, the patriarchy did control everything. And it’s because of the good work of the 2nd-wave feminists that I had the more pleasant opportunity to work in a reality that incorporated more female leadership, female decision-making and female opinion-expressing, and I found all of it outside of Ms. Magazine.

   


Cher in John Lennon’s Rock and Roll

LennonIn the outtakes of The Wrecking Crew DVD Mike Lang talks about the John Lennon  Rock ‘n’ Roll album with Phil Spector and how Harry Nilsson came in wanting to do a duet with Lennon.

These sessions were famous because (a) Phil Spector reportedly held a gun on John Lennon and (b) this was during John Lennon’s infamous lost weekend, the year he spent estranged from Yoko Ono, the year of drinking and carousing with May Pang.

Apparently, during the Nilsson/Lennon duet, Cher arrived and did some backup. Mike Lang joked that they were like a strange Peter, Paul and Mary singing together. Then at some point during the duet Yoko Ono calls on the phone and upsets John Lennon and he leaves abruptly. Since all the musicians were there and the time was booked, Spector decided to go ahead and produce a duet between Cher and Harry Nilsson, (an artist not known for his many collaborations with women), covering the Martha and the Vandellas song, “A Love Like Yours Don’t Come Knockin Everyday.” 

Here’s some online historical mentions of the happening:

In 1974, John Lennon was in a bad way. After he lost a copyright lawsuit to Chuck Berry, as compensation he was forced to record a few songs from Berry’s publisher’s songbook. Using this situation as an opportunity to create a rock classics album, he recruited the legendary producer Phil Spector and traveled to L.A. to record what would become 1975’s Rock ‘n’ Roll. During the sessions, Nilsson started hanging around the studio. Spector brandished a gun in the studio one night, Lennon began his descent into a sloshed hellscape, and Nilsson got to share a vocal booth with Cher (who chipped in on backup).

http://grantland.com/features/the-legacy-harry-nilsson/

As they progressed, the sessions quickly attracted a number of celebrities to the studio, among them Warren Beatty, Cher and Joni Mitchell. Lennon and Spector often fought, and the project was moved to Record Plant West after Spector let off a pistol one night at A&M Studios.

After three months a number of suitable takes were finally in the can, although Phil Spector's habit of taking the tapes away with him each night eventually led to disaster.

http://www.beatlesbible.com/people/john-lennon/albums/rock-n-roll/2/

May Pang’s words

Blogger: Was Harry Nilsson around at that time?

May Pang: Yeah, he came in for a visit. Joni Mitchell was recording in the other studio. When she found out that John was recording in the studio we were in, she was coming in all the time. She would bring in other people. One night it was Warren Beatty and David Geffen. Musicians were always coming through the door: Elton John, Cher. Then Phil would give his speech, “How dare you walk into my session.” I would have fights with Phil, because I wouldn’t take it from him. I was in my early 20s at the time, and I was really strong-headed with him. He couldn’t handle that. I was trying to keep John from all the crazy things that people were trying to drag him into, things he was not aware of.

http://articles.absoluteelsewhere.net/Articles/may_pang_rocknroll.html

The Cher influence on the outtake "Be My Baby"

In 1973 Spector produced a number of recordings for Lennon's Rock 'N' Roll album. Inspired by Cher's version of The Ronettes' Baby I Love You [CS: which Spector had just produced!], he slowed down Be My Baby and another of his hits, To Know Her Is To Love Her. Never one to underuse a recording technique, the trick was repeated on Sweet Little Sixteen, Bony Moronie, You Can't Catch Me and Since My Baby Left Me.

In the knowledge that John Lennon and Yoko Ono were separated at the time of Be My Baby's recording, the funereal pace and cathartic pleading transforms the song from being an account of teenage desire into a desperate plea for acceptance.

The decision not to include Be My Baby on Rock 'N' Roll remains puzzling. The song features some of Lennon's most impassioned vocals from the sessions, and stripped of the Wall of Sound backing it would not have sounded out of place on 1970's John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.

The song did appear on Roots: John Lennon Sings The Great Rock & Roll Hits, a rare mail-order album containing rough mixes of the sessions. The collection was released by music publisher Morris Levy and followed legal action over The Beatles song Come Together's similarity to Chuck Berry's You Can't Catch Me, a song owned by Levy. Roots was briefly available in January 1975 before EMI blocked its sale.

www.beatlesbible.com/people/john-lennon/songs/be-my-baby/

So, after the fights between Spector and Lennon over their resulting collaboration, Lennon did gain custody of the tracks but found many of them unusable. The resulting album only has a few Spectorish tracks. Some of the official song selections interestingly have been Cher staples for years: "Stand By Me," "Rip It Up," "Do You Wanna Dance," and "Bring It On Home To Me."

As for all the celebrity backup work done on the album, none of the songs use backups at all or just barely. "Do You Wanna Dance" maybe slightly. Little from the Spector sessions remain: "You Can't Catch Me," Sweet Little Sixteen," "Bony Moronie," and "Just Because." "Stand By Me" is not credited as a Spector song in the album notes but it sounds obviously wall-of-soundish to me. “You Can’t Catch Me” is the song that most addresses the lawsuit over the Chuck Berry song as it was excerpted into The Beatles’ song “Come Together.” 

Lennon said the following about Rock 'n' Roll: "It started in '73 with Phil and fell apart. I ended up as part of mad, drunk scenes in Los Angeles and I finally finished it off on me own. And there was still problems with it up to the minute it came out. I can't begin to say, it's just barmy, there's a jinx on that album."

But Rolling Stone's Album Guide: wrote that "John lends dignity to these classics; his singing is tender, convincing, and fond." And AllMusic described the album "as a peak in [Lennon's] post-Imagine catalog: an album that catches him with nothing to prove and no need to try."

Listen to the Nilsson/Cher duet here courtesy of Dangerous Minds.

Other interesting tidbits surrounding the album:

  


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Eye Has To Twitch

Poster227x227Cher Scholar Jimmy Dean notified me last week that the Diana Vreeland documentary The Eye Has to Travel is now on DVD. So I purchased it and watched it hoping (a) to for some Cherness (let’s be honest) and  (b) to learn something about something.

Disclosure: I recently watched the movie Monk with a Camera about Nicky Vreeland, Diana’s grandson, and loved it. And I’ve beginning to think these movies represent, for me, a dichotomy of meanings. I recommend watching them as a two-fer.

If you understand what I mean by that, you’ll probably agree that I’m not the target audience for this kind of thing. In fact, I have to admit I found Diana Vreeland pretty insufferable. It didn’t help that Mr. Cher Scholar was listening to the movie from the kitchen where he was making homemade dog food (long story) and making snide impersonations of her affectations. A bit distracting but could I have survived this movie without them? No I could not.

You might disagree with me completely. Especially if you love fashion. Here’s the thing. I actually love the Vogue spreads of 1970s. I agree they’re timeless and raise the level of fashion photographer to art. So I wanted this documentary to make an argument for the value of Diana Vreeland and her contributions. Not only did the movie fail to make a coherent, meaningful argument (I don’t even remember the title of the movie being explained), but I felt like one of Diana Vreeland’s sons: my lot in life is to make do with the measly morsels of substance Vreeland consents to provide.

I was put off by the whole thing. Vreelands “voiceovers,” (really interview footage with Paris Review editor George Plimpton), are a misleading attempt to give the documentary cohesion. Unfortunately she comes off as completely full of herself in the process. Sure, Cher could do the voice over on the story of her life. But wouldn’t it be better if someone else did it? You see what I mean? You can say you’re fabulous. But it’s really more effective if someone else says you’re fabulous.

A lot of the dialogue between Plimpton and Vreeland went as follows:

George: Were you still living in London then?

Diana: Nooooo!
(with a tone of “how can you even ask me that, you silly person!”)

And when I say affectations, one of hers was to talk like she was a character in a William Faulker novel or a Tennessee Williams play. Real people don’t talk that way. Oh, but Diana Vreeland wasn’t a real person. Ok, fashion-designer-person-who-must-talk-with-a-cigarette in your hand…"whatever."

Because the film is full of vapid statements from everyone, you start to notice the big black holes in the story. Like there’s no life here. It’s all work and no play. Plimpton makes a few attempts to draw Diana out about her mother and her children. Diana deflects all attempts to talk about her feelings and her family, with the exception of how she appreciated her handsome husband. Her own children interviewed mentioned how her disinterest in them hurt their feelings. Asked by Plimpton to tell a story about her kids, she instead told a fantastical story about Charles Lindberg. Ironically, her sons and grandsons all come across as infinitely more interesting than she does.

Maybe this is because, as one of the designers insisted, "Fashion is Boring." Is that even true? Fashion didn’t seem boring in the French movie about St. Laurent, Amour de Fou.

I think the wheel-spinning monologues from colleges, (the Anjelica Houston outtakes illustrate this well), reveal that it might have been a hard stretch for folks to talk about her. Every story is either too general or too specific. Granted, nobody in the fashion world ever really seems passionate about anything so it’s usually hard to tell if their lack of enthusiasm is just an affectation of the profession or they’re actually not that passionate about the Vreeland. They might be passionate about what she achieved or about her innovative ideas but very few of those ideas were actually described.

No cohesive life chronology evolves after an hour and a half and there are few lessons to be drawn from the “story” such as it was, although Diana would pause after anything she said as if she’d just dropped a profound turd on you.

Vreeland aggressively markets herself as style and artifice over content. I was never bowled over by this marketing strategy although people all the time accuse Cher of mastering it. And you can believe that if you don’t want to look very closely at Cher. Personally I couldn’t be a fan for 40 years if that was the case. I’d die of boredom, I would! Cher may not articulate a point of view about depth but she exists as a statement of some interesting complexity.

That all said there was one Vreeland idea I managed to untangle out of this mess of a movie, her appreciation of and focus on 'the flaw.' I agree with her on this. Your flaws make you lovable. Not your perfections. People go chasing perfections all the time (myself included) in a misguided attempt to gain  love (or attention). But even in Vreeland’s case, (a woman highly whose body is heavily flawed by high-fashion standards), the attraction to the flaw seems more about what this means about her. It’s as if she’s saying, “Flaws are good. Sure I happen to have them. Does that make be biased? Is that a coincidence? Maybe I’m not the ugly duckling my mother said I was. Now I boss pretty perfectly-faced, statuesque women around. Now I determine what’s beautiful and what’s not. In other words, my mother was wrong." That’s messed up!

But she did give us Cher in many pages of Vogue magazine.

Tumblr_nonzetgZkx1qlql3fo1_500 Original Stairs 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To add insult to my injuries of time lost watching this film, the Cher photos are in a paltry three scenes: a scarce few modeling shots, her famous appearance at the MET party in 1975 and one photo with Sonny as part of a scene suggesting Diana was hanging-out-buddies with many celebrities, including Jack Nicholson (who she had a crush on), Angelica Houston and Warren Beatty. Now that’s a dinner party.

The movie was self-important and boring. The translation fonts and descriptive text were affected and hard to read... and that pretty much describes the whole experience.