Last week I was discussing Sonny’s role as a Cher peripheral. While I was taking a walk yesterday and listening to my iPod I realized this was an egregious error on my part. I was walking with my iPod in tow. S&C were singing "Something" off their 1971 Live album. The song came up on my shuffle right after Verve’s "Bittersweet Symphony."
I was thinking it would be a right neat-o thing to be able to talk to one of S&C’s pre-Toto band mates about Sonny’s tendency to punctuate his musical transitions to Cher or the band with dictations such as "Talk about it – go ahead!"
Did they think that was an effective exclamation or did they giggle behind their drum sets? Or did they think it was just plain ridiculous and eye-rolls ensued? I actually love those little blurtings, myself. They’re a circus sort of "take it away!" moment in the live songs.
And the fact that I spent 10 minutes walking and thinking about it makes me think maybe I’m a Sonny scholar? And I never call myself a Sonny Scholar. But the honest to goodness truth is that at age 5, circa 1975, I was really a bona-fide dye-in-the-polyester Sonny & Cher fan...from the beginning. It was my first aesthetic inclination as a consumer of the popular entertainment arts. So why not be a Sonny & Cher scholar, then?
Well...because it sounds very nostalgic (a) and (b) it sounds defined to just that era, as if my interest ends where that act broke up finally in 1978.
Ah...I remember my innocence back in 1979. It was all too clear we were due for Simply Cher Solo ahead. There would be no more TV shows, albums or concerts from Sonny & Cher. I harrumphed and supposed I could continue on as a Cher fan. Although I doubted she would be interesting enough. I had a hard time conceiving of her as an artist entity without Sonny. I even went cold turkey for a year in 1980.
I remember Cher lamenting how boring her show would be if she just sat there on a stool and sang. Imagine: Cher thinks she might be boring. All too much pointless worrying on her part because that seems to be genetically impossible.
And not only did Cher continue to be interesting, when I was twelve I discovered I could look up Cher albums on the card catalog computer at the library. Cher research never looked back. I subsequently learned how to use those green periodical guide books, microfilm and microfiche machines, and the Internet all by looking up Cher stuff.
But anyway, this is all to say Sonny is abused by being considered a peripheral player in the Cher story and in my celebrity obsession in total. He’s just been sort of the silent player since 1978.