Cyndi Lauper Tour

ClA few weeks ago Mr. Cher Scholar and I went to see Cyndi Lauper on her Detour tour. She did a barn-burning version of "Money Changes Everything." She pretty much sang everything I love with the exception of "Shine," which I grew to love when she opened for Cher's Farewell Tour.

In fact, I became a Cyndi Lauper fan on Cher tours, first watching her perform Sisters of Avalon songs on the Believe Tour (Jones Beach when I was at Sarah Lawrence), songs I liked so much I bought the album. Then I saw her a few times on the Farewell Tour in Los Angeles when she was promoting the Shine EP which I loved so much I bought the album. I didn’t see her on the Dressed to Kill Tour but was looking forward to going to one of her Cher shows to show Mr. Cher Scholar how awesome she was, just as I dragged him to the first concert to show how awesome Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo were (and not just a chick band!).

One this solo tour, Lauper was promoting a new country album, which was all got free with our ticket purchase. I really liked her Queens-area spin on some older country fare.

Her setlist

Funnel of Love (Wanda Jackson cover)
She Bop
Heartaches by the Number (Ray Price cover)
I Drove All Night
The End of the World (Skeeter Davis cover)
Walking After Midnight (Patsy Cline cover)
I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart (Patsy Montana cover)
You Don't Know
When You Were Mine (Prince cover)
Who Let in the Rain (Acoustic)
Money Changes Everything (The Brains cover)

Encore:
Misty Blue (Eddy Arnold cover)
Kindred Spirit/Time After Time
Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Robert Hazard cover)

Encore 2:
True Colors (acapella)


Chaz Bono on American Horror Story and The Sonny & Cher House

ChazChaz as Scary Redneck

Chaz Bono is on American Horror Story this season as a recurring character. I know, I know. Two episodes have already aired! But isn't everyone just waiting to binge-watch the show on Netflix anyway? Besides, it was a big secret and nobody knew until after the first episode and then my carpel tunnel flared up and I wasn't blogging so you'll just have to deal with the reruns and the recaps if you haven't been DVRing the show already. Life is heartbreaking that way.

Read about the surprise or read through the recaps.

Did you know there's a "Cher for American Horror Story" Facebook page? Neither did I. I can't really picture this happening.

Owlwood

In other news, the most famous Sonny & Cher house, Owlwood, just resold again. Is that thing haunted?

Here are the stories. The fact that Sonny & Cher once lived in it seems like the lead point, because they're such hasbeens and all. Notice the buried mentions of Tony Curtis and other owners.

Sonnycherhouse

I freaking love this house! Take the drone tour. Can't you just see Sonny chasing Chastity around the pool? Another thing you might notice about this house, it has such a personality of its own, it looks pretty similar now to how it did when Sonny & Cher were in there and decorating it with Ron Wilson. Notice the bedroom mouldings, the print curtains. See for yourself in this nostalgic tour of Cher's past homes.


Election Tweets, the Tabloids, I Paralyze and the Importance of a Good Wig

Trainofth2It seems I've developed an inability to blog in the month of July. And a lot seems to happen in Julys. Here's the recap:

Political Tweets: The Train of Cher's Thoughts

Cher attacks Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson in epic Twitter rant (Metro UK)

Cher: Trump a ‘f---ing traitor’ (The Hill)

Cher Just Shared a Hilarious Photoshopped Snap Of Donald Trump (Billboard)

Conclusive proof Cher is the greatest political commentator of our time (Metro UK)

I’m with Cher is the Anti-Trump Swag You Need (Paper Mag)  Get "I'm with Cher buttons because this fan wants to "Make America Cher again!"

Cher Fan Creates 'I'm With Cher' Campaign to Celebrate Singer's Political Punditry (Billboard)

The I'm With Cher page: http://imwithcher.com/

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Has Had Such a Bad Week Even Cher Is Ripping Her a New One (The Independent Journal Review)

I communicated like Cher for the day and people didn't know what to make of it (Mashable) - this was hilarious.

Music

IpIn this news sent to me by both Dishy and Robrt Pela, the album I Paralyze is sort of getting a new re-release: Back On The Street Again: Vibe On Records Reissues, Expands Cher’s “I Paralyze

Céline Dion impersonates Cher, Rihanna on Jimmy Fallon's late night how.

Tabloids and Peripherals

Jennifer Aniston published a personal essay about the tabloids I thought was particularly good. Of particular note:

“In this last boring news cycle about my personal life there have been mass shootings, wildfires, major decisions by the Supreme Court, an upcoming election, and any number of more newsworthy issues that “journalists” could dedicate their resources towards.”

I couldn't find a picture of Cher and Jennifer but, as they knew each other in high school, there is a picture out there of Chaz and Jennifer.

Chaz-and-jennifer

Speaking of Chaz, there's an article out there on AOL where he "opens about his mom Cher's support and why he's finally ready for his big break in acting" and it lists his recent guest appearances.

WigStyle

In reading through all my old issues of Entertainment Weekly, I came across a Melissa McCarthy interview from the summer 2015 issue where she says:

“I always start with the wig. It keys everything for me. You look so different in a wig that it changes your posture, how you carry yourself.”

I feel like Cher has said that before, too.


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