Cher Awards 2020

Perfume-awardPerfume Award

On September 10, 2020, Scent Beauty announced that had Cher won for customer choice award by The Fragrance Foundation. Here is the Cher’s video where she gives thanks.

Kick-ass-ness Award

The Kate (The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center) also informed me that Cher will receive the 5th annual Spirit Katharine Hepburn Award in a virtual gala on Saturday, October 3 at 7:30 pm (assuming this is eastern time).

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According to The Kate, “the award is given annually to an individual who embodies the bold spirit, fierce independence and distinctive character of the legendary Hepburn.”

Wow. This news made me tear up. It’s quite a shadow to be recognized within! I’m a fan of both but have never been able to contain these two women under the same umbrella; they’re from such different times. But feisty and mighty they both are!

This year’s gala honors Cher’s career in movies, music, television, broadway, and humanitarian efforts, including forming CherCares, and her past acknowledgement of being a fan of Katharine Hepburn. Cher has commented about Hepburn’s “determination, authenticity and uniqueness” and says she is “never bored watching her movies over and over again.”

Ditto to all that. I’ve probably read more Katharine Hepburn biographies than of anyone else and I never stop appreciating how Hepburn continued to evolve and think critically about the world and others right up until she died. She was an amazing mentor for young people and equally for us aging people. What an honor!

The gala will stream live online from www.thekate.org free but with donations being accepted.  You can also access the site here: https://www.katharinehepburntheater.org/

The award statue Cher will receive is in likeness of Katharine Hepburn (sculpted by Kimberly Monson, check it out).  I can’t help but think of the Bono Award right about now, although the Kate award is much prettier.

Spirit-award2Cher will give acceptance remarks and there will be an interview with Ann Nyberg, a past winner. There will also be an online auction a week prior to the event.

The Kate is a not-for-profit organization supporting the arts with 45,000 patrons and a 257-seat theater providing live music, theater, dance, film, opera and comedy performances. Cher joins past recipient Dick Cavett (2016), Glenn Close (2017), Ann Nyberg (2018) and Christine Baranski (2019).

I can’t wait to visit this center in Old Saybrook, CT, once coronavirus is over. It’s exactly the kind of celebrity think-tank center that I find so fascinating (see The Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, TX), both like The Chersonian Institute but with a budget and filled with smart people!  

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Covid Masks

I'm going on vacation next week but I wanted to post something short before I go. 

Lots of fans have been buying sporty and fun coronavirus masks printed with their favorite artists and sports team logos. We have quite a few Chiefs masks in the house. 

In June, Cher's official site offered Chiquitita masks for her last single...and celebrity obsession demands you have plague mementos so...

Well, in any case, Cher's masks still haven't shipped (neither have the puzzles) and germs and boredom can't wait so luckily I received two belated birthday presents that were Cher masks from Etsy:

20200829_125826No store listing came with the above "Take Me Home" mask.

20200829_125834This Sonny & Cher mask looks like camo my friend Coolia said. I can't quite place where the animation is from? Does anyone recognize it? This mask was make by the vegan, one-of-a kind store Clothes Horse Clothing.  

If you search 'Cher mask' or 'Cher face mask' some interesting things come up.

 

 


Covid Masks

I'm going on vacation next week but I wanted to post something short before I go. 

Lots of fans have been buying sporty and fun coronavirus masks printed with their favorite artists and sports team logos. We have quite a few Chiefs masks in the house. 

In June, Cher's official site offered Chiquitita masks for her last single...and celebrity obsession demands you have plague mementos so...

Well, in any case, Cher's masks still haven't shipped (neither have the puzzles) and germs and boredom can't wait so luckily I received two belated birthday presents that were Cher masks from Etsy:

20200829_125826No store listing came with the above "Take Me Home" mask.

20200829_125834This Sonny & Cher mask looks like cameo my friend Coolia said. I can't quite place where the animation is from? Does anyone recognize it. This mask was make by the vegan, one-of-a kind store Clothes Horse Clothing.  

If you search 'Cher mask' or 'Cher face mask' some interesting things come up.

 

 


Chaz v. Chastity Bono

20200815_104846To the left is an article I found in the Chersonian Institute a few weekends ago. It was a prescient find because I'm up to about episode #50 in documenting the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and it was about episode #48 that Chastity started guesting in the Vamp sequences. 

Chaz Bono's appearances on her parents' shows and articles like this (predicting a very feminine future) always raise issues of transgendring and how to refer to the person of the past. 

When I started documenting Chaz on the variety shows I had to think about whether I should refer to him as her/Chastity or him/Chaz. I opted to use her/Chasitity only because back then Chaz was a cultural artifact of the show, a character as well as a person behind-the-scenes. This is further complicated by the fact that Sonny & Cher and the show's creative team tried to present the family as transparent, very what-you-see-is-what-you-get, not an artifice of characters. 

This was not only debunked at the breakup of their couple-hood, but is a practical impossibility of show biz. Everything is an artifice once the camera stars rolling. So the character Chastity on the show is definitely not the same as Chaz the person. Not only that, but eliminating her/Chastity might be confusing to some people who have strong memories of Chastity, the character. 

This is all to explain one thing I just noticed from re-watching the ending goodbye "I Got You Babe" scenes of the show, something quite extraordinary. Cher consistently pulls focus from everybody everywhere, intentionally or not, on TV shows, movies, at the airport. It's like a superpower she has.

There's only one person I’ve ever seen with the power to pull focus from Cher (aside from Sonny, occasionally) and that’s Chaz Bono.


Cher Once Did Needlepoint; Now She Valiantly Defends the United States Post Office

Cher Works to Save the Post Office

Excuse my title up there. I really didn't know how to tie all these disparate stories together.

First off, fans have been delighted to see Cher fighting for the U.S. post office in recent protests, phone calls and Twitter pics.

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Cherpo1Cherpo2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope if she starts volunteering for the post office, Bob Mackie designs her some "sensible shoes."

Cher and Needlepoint 

Months ago someone was requested photos of celebrity needlepointers like Dinah Shore and Rosey Grier. I found as many as I could but one photo I remembered proved elusive to locate. Then Cher scholar Drew asked me a question and I went searching for the answer to that but instead found the missing needlepoint pic. Maybe someday I'll locate the answer to Drew's question while I'm looking for something else. 

Anyway, Cher once did lots of needlpoint. She did so much she joked, "Then I took up needlepoint—my God, I needlepointed everything. I could have made a needlepoint stove!"

Cher needlepoints on airplanes:

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Cher needlepoints circa 1978/9.

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I also captured an image of Sonny pretending to needlepoint in episode #49 of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour:

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And here are some needlepoints of Cher:

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The Time Magazine pillow belonged to Bob Mackie and sold for $448 on Julien's Acutions.

You can buy the Moonstruck needlepoint pattern on Etsy with a companion Nicholas Cage!

What is a Silkwood Shower?

For the Chersonian Institute, I was filing old magazines and found something interesting. Remember when Entertainment Weekly did a Bullseye pieceon the last page? Do they still do that? Anyway, one I found had a disparaging arrow regarding a rumor that Bret Michaels and Miley Cyrus’ mom were dating. ET says the rumor has sent them “running for a Silkwood shower.” Ok, that's a big rude. And I wondered if that was like…a saying. Apparently it is. Urban Dictionary has a listing for it with this example:

“I had to take a Silkwood shower when I got home from that party since I smelled like an ash tray cooked on an open flame BBQ grill covered in hot sauce.”

So "snap out of it, Moonstruck eggs and the Jack speech are not the only iconic references from a Cher movie.

Here are some shots of a Silkwood shower. It's a pretty serious and scary thing and Meryl rocks it (as did Sudie Bond earlier in the movie). 

Silkwood2 Silkwood2 Silkwood2

 

 

 

1999showCher Concert Reviews

Concert reviews have changed. I've learned this lesson over the last year from various sources from current reviewers and from the deceased reviewers. Is this overwhelming evidence of capitalism taking over PR? Probably. Which is no such a great thing. Buyer beware, there are no objective reviews in the land of corporate conglomeration. 

So it’s good to look back at a positive review and interview from 1999 (when bad reviews still existed) and this one was by T’cha Dunlevy at the Montreal Gazette is one of those. She was 30 when she reviewed the Believe-era concert and said she

“regularly feels aversion to refuse-to-die ‘60s rock acts. I had no convulsions of revulsion at the Camp Queen’s coup. Maybe it’s her synthetic, timeless beauty or her go-with-the-flow versatility, but Cher has somehow kept her proverbial cool over her three-and-a-half decades in the spotlight…a repetoir of personae, including pop-ditty princess, serious actor, 'I’m-in-love-with-a-man-half-my-age' bachelorette, reactionary mother of a lesbian [remember this was 1999] and, in her 50s. back to the top of the pops without coming off like a circus side-show act.”

“...'How many fingers and toes have you got?’ she asks, queried about whether she’s ever thought of giving up. ‘(It happens) all the time. It’s frustrating. I’m a very mercurial, emotional person, more childish sometimes than grownup. I’m not very calculating. But it’s the only think I know how to do and really love.’”

The end of the interview also notes that both Cyndi Lauper and Wild Orchid were opening for Cher at the time, the same Wild Orchid that produced Stacy Ferguson a.k.a. Fergie Duhamel a.k.a Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas. 


Sonny's Solo Single of 1973

Rub-nose1Who even knew this song existed? Thanks to Cher scholar Robrt who informed me of its existence a few weeks ago, a Sonny solo singled called "Rub Your Nose." It was written by Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown.

The Cashbox review:

SONNY BONO (MCA 40139)
Rub Your Nose (3:15) (Levine & Brown, BMI, I. Levine, L. R. Brown)
Already picking up some air action, the not-as-pretty half of the Sonny & Cher team comes through with his first major chart item in some time as a solo. Reminiscent of the type of material that Cher’s been hitting with, this one looks headed for the Top Twenty. Flip: Laugh At Me (2:40) (Cotillion/Chris —Marc, BMI—S. Bono).

I don't think it made it to top 100. And how is this in any way reminiscent of the material Cher has been hitting with? Those would be hits produced by Snuff Garrett. This is a song produced by Sonny himself and Denis Pregnalato and arranged by future-Toto member David Paich, son of Sonny & Cher's musical arranger Marty Paich.

Here are the lyrics below that I have tried to transcribe. Does it provide any insight into Sonny's illicit and philandering ways? Or is it a critique of a famous wife starting to do the same?

Me and my woman, you and your man were having dinner
all together at the Chinese restaurant
Remember the signals, the ones that we made up in the laundry-mat [that's how he pronounces it]
where I held you and we stole a kiss or two?

Rub-nose2Oh rub your nose means I love you,
pull your ear means late tonight. [No, it means Carol Burnett saying hello to her grandmother]
While they're soundly sleeping we'll be doing it up right.
Tap your foot means you want me
right this minute if we could.
Oh, rub your nose, pull your ear, tap your foot.

Show your affection like I'm showing mine.
Pretend you love him.
You're an actress. [Yikes!]
Why you're almost fooling me.
Leave him an egg roll. I'll pass her the rice
and while they're eating in their frenzy
I'll {something, something} once or twice. [Oh dear, what is that he's doing once or twice?]

Oh rub your nose means I love you,
Pull your ear means late tonight. [No, see above.]
While they're soundly sleeping we'll be doing it up right.
Tap your foot means you want me
right this minute if we could.
Oh, rub your nose, pull your ear, tap your foot.

Oh what fun. Feel the danger in the air.
Careful, girl, 'cos you're starting in to stare.
Danger in the air!

[guitar bridge]

Oh rub your nose means I love you,
Pull your ear means late tonight. [No, see above.]
While they're soundly sleeping we'll be doing it up right.
Tap your foot means you want me
right this minute if we could.
Oh, rub your nose, pull your ear, tap your foot.
{whispers} Rub your nose, pull your ear, tap your foot.
Rub your nose, pull your ear, tap your foot.

Ok, who feels like Chinese food right now? Anyone? Give it a listen and help me decipher the missing words: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYPgxAKREGA


Cher in Furs

We've all seen those iconic photographs of Sonny on the phone brokering business with Cher in the foreground in a black and white fur coat. I always thought maybe this was their house office.

Vogue67-alt1 Vogue67-alt1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, those photos are from the Vogue shoot from November 1967 as it turns out. And it also turns out that this room is “Sonny’s Sunset Strip office.” Well, what an affectation a Sunset Strip office is! 

The article says, “Sonny is all business, of course. He has to be, what man isn’t…” Apart from having two sentences needlessly separated by a comma, that casual sentence is hilariously sexist. 

What is Cher doing while Sonny is all business? “Cher diligently reads her fan mail.” Not business-related I guess.

Here are the actual photos that ended up in the magazine (click to enlarge):

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Cher is also shown in her Excalibur “tooling” around.

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She’s also shown shopping at The Sunset Strip store The Psychedelic Conspiracy. The first picture is in the magazine, the second is an alternate image online.

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Chervogue67-alt2-store

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I must say I love these jumping pics though.

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BlackgamaAll photos display Cher wearing her fur coats and include notes on the stores where she purchased them. It reminds me of Cher's 1986 Blackgama ad.

I could be wrong, but it seems doubtful she would do a fur spread these days.

She seems much more furry-friendly and less fur-friendly now. 


Cher Eau de Couture Vs. Uninhibited

CpCher Eau de couture by Scent Beauty is still for sale. They're offering a travel atomizer now and a collector's edition which looks like the first edition with  chain-mail innards. Regrettably, the collectors detail page gives no indication as to what makes the collector's edition special. At that price point, that's not very motivating. I wish they would diversity into lotions and other products but maybe that's beyond the scope of this company.

For my friend Christopher’s birthday, I sent him an extra bottle of Uninhibited that I had lying around plus a new bottle of what he calls "Cher Perfume" or CP. I thought he could do some good comparisons and he sure did. These are his thoughts after wearing both scents for three hours.

He said of Uninhibited: it's “remarkable how assertive only two sprays are...the fact that it can retain that strength from a bottle 25+ years old…it dominates my personal space.”

CP is “by no means a duplicate of Uninhibited.” Uninhibited is “decidedly ‘female’ to me because it is highly floral…not ‘girly’ smelling….no sweetness…would classify as a more ’dry’ perfume….somewhat matronly quality (which is very odd because that is not a word one would ever associate with Cher)….because the composition seems somewhat old-fashioned/traditional insofar as the main quality is a musky/powdery note…perfumes that are ‘younger’ and/or more contemporary have gotten away from that angle, often emphasizing instead more gourmand profiles Preissue-perfume(food/bakery scents) or aquatics (lighter/saltier/more metallic)…there’s also a green or vegetal component that I can detect." He added that he's not much of a fan of this type of profile.

CP, he says, uses the basic profile of Uninhibited but "updates it in a number of ways…the powdery quality is sufficiently dialed down…tilting the scent more towards a unisex impression…green notes can be dark or dirty but these have a clean, bright quality…the scent is more complex…more multifaceted." He loved new perfume saying "The CP goes into rotation tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, a pre-issue bottle of Uninhibited went on eBay last week and sold for $399! So that perfume is still doing well as a resale.

 


Cher at Live Aid

On July 13, 1985 I did not, unlike every other kid in my High School, actually watch Live Aid (all day or for any part). My fan favorites weren't appearing. But since all my friends were at home watching Live Aid on July 13, 1985, I remember being very bored that whole long day. As I was trying to watch other TV, I kept running in to Live Aid and feeling very annoyed. Later, I got the Live Aid book and realized Cher was actually there.

Picture from my Live Aid book of Cher lounging backstage.

20200611_074201

Recently, Cher scholar Tyler posted about Phil Collins telling Cher how to crash Live Aid in Philadelphia.

Here is Phil Collins' story starting at minute mark :40: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orkMaiexPCw

Apparently Cher was on the famous flight Phil Collins took from London to Philadelphia (so he could appear at both locations) and she asked him what all the hubbub was about. He was like, if you don't know already...and then she asked if he could get her into the event and he basically told her to show up and she'd be let in. (Cos she's Cher dammit!) Anyway, his story has more detail but the moral of the story is that she got herself into the finale. 

Here are some screenshots of her singing "We Are the World." She comes and goes very fast. Here's video. (Don't miss Patti LaBelle!)

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Cherliveaid

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Look, she's right behind Lionel Richie!

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Odds and Ends: Believe Cover, Cher Hair Care, Acting vs. Singing, Fan Stuff

OkaykayaI've been collecting quite a big of odds and ends to report. My last few weeks have been tied up with doctor appointments and electronic poems. So here's some catch-up.

Believe

There was a new "Believe" cover in 2019 from Okay Kaya – and the pattern shows there's always the temptation is to slow that sucker down in the revamp. But it's a nice cover. 

Puzzle!

Meanwhile, Cher has come out with some new "Chicquitita" merch, including a puzzle and a face mask, both a must for Cher merch collectors during Covid.

Puzzle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I must admit, I sought out a bootleg Cher puzzle before this one came out. I'm not at all a "puzzle person" but I'm fascinated by people who are. And since puzzles are such a rage right now, I decided I should try it again. What else could temp me to do a puzzle, but a Cher picture. I found a picture of Cher that I love (from her trip to Armenia) and it took a very long time to arrive, at which time I found out it was from the Ukraine. (I'm probably on a list now). Other puzzle solvers I know laughed at me because it was only 175 pieces. But it was hellaciously hard because it was a mostly gray and black pieces. I could have sworn there were times putting it together I actually felt dizzy. But I did it and shellacked the finished product as a testimony to my hard labor. The new sanctioned puzzle also looks challenging with all the white pieces! I'll start on it as soon as it arrives.

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GqfanFan Psychology

If you're a fan of Galaxy Quest (that nerdy fan is so charming) you may also appreciate parts of the movie Cruise of the Gods although the fans are way less attractive in this made-for-Brit-TV movie with an unlikable Rob Brydon, a very likable Steve Coogan, and a very young and impressive James Corden. Sadly, I felt I could relate too much to the "scholarly fan" character and the "lovelorn girl fan." I've been very wary of fan cruises (and after covid, hell no) but this movie let me experience the scene vicariously.

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CherhairCher Hair

Filing stuff in the Chersonian Institute I  found this email from Cher scholar Tyler from 1999! That’s back when Cher fans were just finding each other on the Internets. Anyway….it was a conversation between Cher scholars Tyler and Meghan about whether or not Cher dyes her hair black (from the warm Armenian brown original color). He paraphrased an article he had from the 1970s, an interview with early Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour hairstylist Jim Ortel about how handy Cher was with her own hair with top knots and whutnot, and how she knows what styles look good on her juxtaposed with her nose, chin and teeth. She had the ends trimmed every three weeks back then and in between salon visits, she wrapped her hair overnight occasionally in olive oil!

In Cher Zine 3, we talked about beauty fads like this. Over the last few years, the fads were avocado and coconut oil and now I’m seeing Kelp and castor oil everywhere. When they move to little baby seal oil, I’m out.

Anyway, the end of the story is funny, the interviewer asks about the olive oil night wrap, “How does this set with her husband Sonny?” And Ortel says, “He’s Italian. He didn’t notice.”

That’s somewhere between an Italian slur and the fact that during this era Sonny probably wouldn’t have noticed Cher’s hair if it had been on fire. 

Tyler, if you see this, thank you. Were there pictures with the article?

Acting V. Singing

In 1999 Entertainment Weekly posted an online argument between Dave Karger and Jessica Shaw about whether “Cher is better suited for the airwaves or the silver screen.”

Imagine! Here are the pertinent excerpts:

Dave: “Watching her strut around with her unique reckless professionalism confirmed to me that the concert stage is where she belongs.”

Jessica starts by saying “Believe” going to #1 in 23 countries was “no great feat” considering Alyssa Milano and David Hasselhoff received hits in countries like Japan and Germany. (Really?) She says, “Cher’s acting, on the other hand, is purely her own talent and skill.” And she’s looking forward to Cher’s role in Tea with Mussolini playing an eccentric Jewish American.

Dave then says Cher’s Oscar win over Holly Hunter in Broadcast News was a “travesty” [ how about over Meryl Streep in Ironweed and Sally Kirkland in Anna?] and he mentions her real bad films like Faithful. He says more people watched Divas Live 99 than will see Tea with Mussolini.

Jessica then goes off on Cher’s bad concert banter, her collagen and face lifts, her “morphing into another person.” She says high viewership means nothing and trashes the Home Improvement TV show. She ends with, “I have one word for you: Mask.”

Dave: He brings up Cher the actress who gave us hair infomercials.

Jessica: “And your hair has been looking much better since you invested." [snap] 

And the squabbling went downhill after that.