The Best of Vacation Times, The Worst of Twitter Times

Icecream"Everyone’s a critic today."
--  Sonny, Good Times

Vacation

It's an ice cream vacation and Daily Mail is stalking Cher through every spoonful.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3649725/Cher-cuts-laid-figure-white-leather-vest-black-yoga-pants-eats-ice-cream-Saint-Tropez.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3654774/Cher-showcases-quirky-fashion-sense-monochrome-ensemble-enjoys-realxing-day-Portofino-pals.html

However, there have been some funny titles about Cher's vacation in light of recent rumors and events:

Cher shows off her fit physique at 70 years old

Cher vacations in Italy amid reports that she’s dying, broke and alone

Cher Broke and Near Death Reports Refuted by Italy Vacation Photos – 70 Year Old Singer Looks Healthy, Happy

Motorcycle Fan

If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, (and I was for like three episodes before I dropped out realizing the thing was a soap opera), you might be surprised to know that Norman Reedus has come out saying his number one choice to ride bikes across America with is Cher: http://www.cinemablend.com/television/Celebrity-Norman-Reedus-Wants-Ride-With-Most-Who-You-Guess-143557.html

In Elephant News

Cher is still working for our elephant friends.

Cher aims to free lonely, chained elephant in Pakistan

Cher aims to free lonely, chained elephant in Pakistan through adoption

Tweet Drama

Drama #1: The Brexit

Cher got flack this week for her tweet about the UK vote to leave the European Union.

Brexit
Stories:

http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/cher-backs-brexit-vote-immediately-regrets/#gs.TGCvH3Q

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/06/27/cher-forced-to-defend-herself-after-confusing-fans-with-views-on-brexit/

Obviously her initial tweet emoticon was misinterpreted. She never "appeared to back the vote and then regretted it." At least if you can read a tweet. She says literally "Pray it's best decision" but if you ignore the praying hands emojii, (is there such a thing as emoji blindness?), it looks like she's saying "It's the best decision." I guess this is why emoticons aren’t admissible in legal documents. It does surprise me that Twitter Followers can't follow.

Drama #2: Then there was the bomb emoji drama which included the words "Cher slammed" in many online article titles.

Bomb

The stories:

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/cher-slammed-bomb-emoji-tweet-turkey-article-1.2691823

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/turkey-cher-slammed-after-using-bomb-explosion-emojis-tweet-about-istanbul-airport-attack-1568007

http://www.tv3.ie/xpose/article/entertainment-news/208406/Cher-apologises-for-Turkey-bomb-emoji-tweet

She's literally saying: "We all pray for innocent people in Turkey airport. Bomb explosion." But I get it: (cartoon bomb ≠ real bomb) = insensitive. Terrorism isn’t a loony toon after all. So I guess a few severed limb emojis are not appropriate either. Hey, dark days call for dark-humor emojis.

But this, my Cher friends and Cher Twitter "followers," is what we call a language problem over in literary-theory land; and some kid will soon be doing a college dissertation on it, if we should be so lucky. Emojis are in fact so new, it’s hard to know officially which of them can officially classified as useful or inappropriate. But Cher seems willing to be the leading test case on the issue.

My beef with emojis is that they evolved from emoticons like this :-/ (which, because I’m old-school, I still use), a system of willfully misusing punctuation marks in order to insert some added layer of emotion into the deadpan language of email communications, (“Is he trying to being a dick with that comment?”), where in olden days people found it hard to decipher contextual humor or anger or sarcasms or winks or any other kind of extreme feeling in email missives and misunderstandings consistently arose, friendships ended,  wars ensued, and jokes failed.

NerdThese days artists are paid (or not) to create little cartoon pictures for us to communicate with instead of us having to use those pesky little Latin letters or instead of getting paid to, say, solve world problems or teach children to communicate better in emails without the aid of stupid little cartoons and then get offended when some celebrity doesn’t use the little pictures right which ironically was a problem the little cartoons (via the misuse of punctuation) was supposed to freaking solve in the first place!

We can all blame Twitter now.


Cher and Muhammad Ali

Cher-aliYou'd have to be in a news blackout not to have heard that entertainer/boxer Muhammad Ali just passed away.

Ali was a guest on the later Sonny & Cher Show and after his death last week this reel of his poetry, including the Cher vs. Ali boxing match, was distributed around Facebook. It's from  the January 14, 1977 episode.

Billboard.com published a retrospective of Ali that included Cher.

Cher's tweets:

Didn’t know Muhammad was dead At T.Hearns/Sugar Ray Fight in Vegas he explained boxing 2me.I Yelled,He Said Ooo-Wee Cher u got a mouth on u.  (from 4 June 2016, 1:22 a.m.)

Ran out of room,got caught up in memories.it was so much fun to be in ring with him.Son was like a kid. (from 4 June 2016, 1:38 a.m.)

Muhammad-Ali-and-Cher-billboard-1548

 


Sonny Bono Genius Search

OvSome friends of ours sent Mr. Cher Scholar some clips of Sonny as Deacon Dark on The Love Boat, completely unawares that I was in the process of searching for Sonny's Aaron Spelling episodes and also forgetting that I was Cher Scholar in the flesh. We asked our friend how he came upon the clips and he said he watched an interview with Terry Reid who mentioned Sonny as a genius. So I dutifully went online to search "Sonny Bono genius" and did not find the interview...but have you seen these?

Open Vault does a four part, almost hour long, interview with Sonny from 1993 about his music history. He talks about the first use of "Pinz-a" in the song "Needles and Pins" (which Cher thankfully dropped in her version). He talks about Sonny & Cher in The Blossoms, their part of the 60s revolution in style (specifically their clothes), his real feelings about Rolling Stone magazine (and maybe a hint into Cher's true feelings about them), his work for Phil Spector, (often described as a go-fer but he also was a record promoter for Spector and was working a student of production). Most interestingly he talks about he conceived of the song "I Got You Babe" as a mashup of the Spector Wall of Sound, Dylan-style folk and bubblebum pop. He also places the origins of Rock and Role solely in the black church.

Mr. Cher Scholar believes there's a natural antipathy between Rolling Stone and Sonny & Cher, not just because the magazine treated them as unhip (which they did in their 1973 long, harsh, but beautifully written, expose) but for the reason they treated them that way, because Rolling Stone has always been trying so hard to sell to the drug scene. That was their entire identity.

Anyway, then I found this! The 1969 promotion record for the movie Chastity.  Is Sonny smoking helium for this?

Chastity: "it had to be said," Sonny says. Who knew? Okay, so this interview isn't as flattering as the one above, especially in terms of how Sonny maintains that homosexuality and "free sex" creates psychic scars (one of his movie's themes) but I do believe/hope Sonny would have evolved on issues of feminism and gay rights as many fiscal conservatives have. That said, this is a juicy piece of Sonny & Cher history.


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.

  


Snuff Garrett Dies

Cher SnuffSo I heard a rumor from Cher scholar Robrt that around December 18 Snuff Garrett had passed away. I did a short search for online obituaries that day but couldn’t find anything and then I went on a two-week vacation. I finally rechecked and indeed Snuff Garrett did pass away on Dec 16 or 17 depending upon the article. The New York Times obit says Dec 16 so let’s go with that.

We’ve lost many to cancer in December and January and I’m feeling somewhat soul depleted already; but I'm taking Snuff Garrett's passing especially hard. Over the last few years I've been having a bad feeling that we wouldn't have him around for long to discuss Cher history and this was a most important Cher record producer (beyond Sonny) who didn’t get nearly enough credit for shaping her image in the early to mid 1970s.

Image may be king but music moves the heavens.

However, I want to do a more considered post about Garrett than I’m prepared to do now. More later. In the meantime, here are some of his obits:

The New York Times

Contact Music

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Best Classic Bands

Times Record News

Passings: Producer "Snuff" Garrett (1939 - 2015) ~ VVN Music

  


Happy New Year, New Cher Scholar Web Sites, New Tweets, More Fanny

ChertreeHappy new year!

I’m back from my work vacation which I spent most of adding analytics to my websites and giving them responsive themes so they’ll work on mobile devices well enough that Google won’t shun me in search results. Whew!

Everything went pretty well until I tried to post pictures of my Cher tree on Facebook (see left). I went to Google search my page on www.cherscholar.com about Cher doll outfits to find the name of this year’s new Cher doll dress on my tree (Gown of Paradise). It was then that I discovered my site had been hacked and was redirecting people to porn sites. On Christmas of all things!

So I spent the whole weekend after Christmas re-creating Cherscholar.com in a content managed, secured, responsive place. Anyway, along with the blog, the mama site has a whole new look and the job gave me a list of other things to update over there. So more to come.

Meanwhile, news kept happening in Cherland.

Twitterspats

Trump tweets

Tweet drama over Michigan governor Rick Snyer

Cher v. Ted Cruz

Cher's reaction to Tamir Rice ruling  (Billboard, thanks Christopher)

Movie Memorializing

MermaidsMermaids: Where Are They Know (dammit I feel old). 

The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour

More articles appeared on the band Fanny. June Millington’s biography has come out and it’s a hefty thing I can’t afford right now but reviews so far have been good:

From Pitchfork

From NPR

The NPR article talks about how bad-ass Fanny was and how they knew how to set themselves up and carry their own equipment. The article compares Fanny to both the current band Haim and the 70s The Band and surmises the reason they never broke into success was because they were too good, not gimmicky enough, more committed to their competent jams and funky breakdowns. But being bi-racial and bi-cultural, they were ahead of their time. The article laments that in the digital music age there are no record bins for young people to browse and discover Fanny.

Here's a look at Cherscholar.com website as it has evolved over the years:

Cs2001 Cs2010

 

 

 

 

 

 


Happy Holidays: Twitter Fights, Airpocalypse, George Bush and Glen Campbell

SnowcherHappy holidays to all the Cher Zombies out there. This is my last blog post of the year! We’re coming up on my Christmas break and my somewhat bi-annual Christmas party. I’ll spend some time off CNM working on book and web site projects.

Politics and Global Affairs

What would a blog week be without some Cher Twitter kerfuffles?

There are Paris-attack tweets (Billboard) and U.S. Refugee Policy tweets (New York Daily News and Daily Mail).

Cher also recently did the voice over for a Sierra Club video that just came out. You can read about it and see the video at Mother Jones:

"Now, Cher is lending her famous voice to the fight for a better, cleaner world, in an innovative virtual-reality tour of China's environmental emergency published by the Sierra Club on Monday. Throughout the short video, Cher explains how China has become the world's leading emitter of carbon dioxide, and how putrid air filled with poisonous sulfur leads to 4,000 premature deaths every day in China (true), and two birth defects every minute (also true, but a pretty old statistic at this point)."

HardhatcherMother Jones also does a play-by-play of the video's stated facts. I love their graphic of Cher on their web page with a hard hat, although it's a tad condescending. 

It's a timely launch of the video, however, because Tuesday New York Times just reported this:

"Airpocalypse: Officials in Beijing have declared that the thick smog blanketing the city was bad enough to require a red alert, the first time they have raised the alarm to its highest level, angering and confusing residents."

The Sierra Club video story in also in Eco-watch.

Cher’s Old Malibu House For Sale

Not to be confused with the big house, this is a former house of Cher’s which is back on the market for a paltry $10 million dollars.

Glenc-showCher Music History

Rolling Stone Magazine has been giving Cher some love lately. Previously they posted her tour-de-force video from 1978 with Dolly Parton. This week they posted her holiday duet on Glen Campbell’s variety show from 1969. They sing "Jingle Bells." Cher really rips the seams out of the song in parts and alternatively seems a bit unsure about the arrangement, which should sound familiar to us because it's the same one Cher did with Sonny on their variety shows. At the end, Glen Campbell jokes about "locking Marty Paich up in a basement for a week to get that arrangement."

Better yet, there are more great Glen and Cher duets to be found on YouTube:

  • Cher and Glen doing a duet of "He Aint’ Heavy, He’s My Brother." Such a great performance and apropos in light of recent events occurring in our political discourse about Muslims.

  • Cher and Glen doing a duet of "Bang Bang." Glen goofs up a line of the song.

Also, Cher's song "Believe" is still appearing in song competition shows.

Bono v. Bono

News came out recently that George W. Bush once thought rock singer Bono from the band U2 was the same Bono who was once married to Cher. I guess that might be confusing if you hadn’t lived through the 1970s or the 1980s. But wait...

I guess this isn't any worse than Cher once thinking the moon was the other side of the sun. I guess we have to let this one slide.

Chaz 

Chaz was recently spotted with a date at The Danish Girl premiere

 


Cher's Most Copied Looks, X-Factor, American Indian Appropriation

Brush2 BrushBrush3  

 

 

 

 

 

Cher Style

This week I found a beautiful article about Cher’s "most copied looks" from the website Racked. However, I don’t think they even scratch the surface. But it's always nice to see how influential those Norman Seeff sessions were. It confirms my love of them!

Dolly and Cher

There are new reports that Cher will be on X-Factor (along with Dolly Parton and Rod Stewart). I think this is the third rumor of its kind over tenure of X-Factor. None of the other rumors have panned out; so, I’ll believe it when I see it.

Cher-dolly-hell-heavenDoes this Cher/Dolly/Rod combination remind you of anything? It should. It's the same line up (minus The Tubes) of Cher Special. Rolling Stone magazine must have been thinking this too because they recently found Cher and Dolly’s performance in the "Heaven and Hell" segment on that very same 1978 special. They name the sketch “now-infamous” but I think that’s a pretty big overstatement. It's still pretty obscure as wacky celebrity 1970s variety mash-ups go. But it's still pretty awesome! Watch it for yourself.

Peripherals

Cher-look-alikeWhat’s Cher’s choreographer Doriana Sanchez up to now? 

Is Cher’s Sarkisian family related to Steve, the USC coach who just got fired?

This reminds me, I saw Cher’s doppelganger on my employer’s website a few weeks ago. Doesn’t this nursing student from a bygone era look like Cher?

An interesting story that broke last week about Randy and Evi Quaid being captured in Vermont while trying to enter back into the U.S. from Canada. They've been on the run from "star trackers," court appearances and unpaid hotel bills in no particular order. I never did understand this story so I located a 2011 Vanity Fair article that catalogs their descent into Canada.

Cher-Sandy GallinInterestingly, the story includes two peripheral Cher characters: Evi once modeled for Chrome Hearts back in the day and the Quaids once lived next door to Cher's one-time manager Sandy Gallin. Read the full story. See Cher and Sandy to the right.

Lesley Gore died earlier this year (in February). Did you know she wrote Fame’s “On My Own” which Cher sang at Celebration at Caesars?

American Indian Appropriation

I recently came upon this picture below in a magazine. It’s of Paris Hilton at a 2010 Playboy mansion Halloween party. She's dressed in skimpy American Indian clothing. In the magazine, the column is about offensive Halloween outfits worn by celebrities. One reviewer called Paris “gauche” and the magazine says Hilton never apologized. This is all very interesting to me in light of last years gaff involving The Flaming Lips and a similar American Indian headdress.

Paris-hilton-sexy-costume-halloween-2010So we have to ask the following questions as fans of Cher:

  • Why is there no similar cultural push-back when Cher wears Indian inspired clothing at appearances or as part of her shows?
  • When did the idea of the sexy Indian woman come into play? Was it from Hollywood? Cher has exploited various ethnic identities over the last 50 years, the sexy gypsy being the most famous but not the only one. One of the more interesting facets of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour was its exploration of multicultural identities. But Cher had to be sexy within each iconic cultural role. Was that okay within the context of white, male-controlled TV of the 1970s? Is it okay now?
  • When did the male war bonnet suddenly get conflated with the sexy Indian woman?

I don't have the answer to any of these questions. My identification with the war bonnet is completely disconnected from American Indian cultural significance. This is one of the reasons why, I think, Anglos choose the label of "costume" or "outfit," because they're exposure to these clothes is limited to television and theater and "theatricals" involve "costumes." But many slurs aren't about ignorance and intention.

Which is why I'm interested in how it's perceived, and perceived coming from Cher particularly considering her ethnic look is Armenian and not fully Indian. At least not in the same way Sonny was fully Italian. Ideas of Armenian are confusing the issue.

      


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!