Rags, Stars, 80s Videos, Rosetta Stone, Black Rose, Les Dudek, Elton John, Kathy Griffin and Whatever Else I Can Throw Into One Blog Post
I’m not even gonna go near The Enquirerthis week or this year for that matter (between all the John Edwards, Sarah Palin and Cher stories I’ll lose my mind).
I started a new ceramics class last Saturday and then came home and threw a small dinner party that evening. On Sunday I was so exhausted I crashed and spent 12 straight hours watching “80 Hours of 80s” on VH1-Classic. It was like a flashback to my teen years where I spent the days and night watching 80s videos. All day Sunday I kept saying I should at least read my mail during the commercials and videos I hated (like U2s "With or Without You" or anything by The Romantics) but I found myself just as mesmerized as I was 20 years ago through every single ridiculous yet charming video.
It makes no sense. I feel like I have severe attention deficit watching modern videos with all their jump cuts and poses. But 80s videos, were nothing but mindless shenanigans in front of a camera happen, those suckers hypnotize me for hours. I wasted the entire day laying on the couch. I didn’t even eat much. I even saw a few video’s I’d never seen before and decided to seriously re-evaluate Sinead OConnor (due to "I Want Your Hands on Me") and reconfirmed my yen for P.I.L. (with "Rise"). Then one video practically got me to giddy as I hit the record button on my Crap-o (my Comcast DVR) - it was like 1986 and I was hitting Play on my prehistoric VCR that would groan for two seconds before actually recording anything so that now I have tapes and tapes of videos with the beginnings missing. But this song I saw only once or twice in the 80s but loved it, LOVED IT (and could never find on 45, CD or even now on iTunes!) The Producers singing “What’s He Got That I Aint Got” – perfect 80s-ness.
To answer a few recent questions posted on the blog:
- How is Rosetta Stone going? I love it so far and am still trying to find time to work on it more often. It's designed to teach you how to learn a language as you first did as a toddler. I got 98% on my first lesson; and I am so not a left-brained/memorize-it sort person. So that’s a good sign.
- Do I think the unavailability of Starshas contributed to its current cult status among fans? Most probably so, but I still think that fact is more of a detriment to Cher’s long-term respect as a talented musical artist than it is a kewl underground gem we can all bond over. Why? Because it’s not like Neil Young who maybe has a rare great album that’s become a cult find but he also has plenty of other critically acclaimed albums to rest his laurels on. Cher has lots of pop albums that are easy to find and a few awesome ones that are hard to find. It’s only a cool thing among fans. The rest of the world is still in the dark about it. I will concede that I’m not sure Cher’s respect among critics will even yet treat Stars fairly, but I think she’s definitely getting there, each year more and more respect.
Kathy Griffin Meets Cher
Kathy Griffin’s implored Rosie O'Donnell to introduce her to Cher in exchange for getting Rosie into some braniac conference. This all happened on a recent episode of Griffin’s reality show. Here’s a story about her meeting with Cher.
I was doing research on the spelling of Les Dudek’s name for a Cher Glossary I’m putting together for the revamp of CherScholar.com and I came across this interesting Wikipedia entry that claims there are enough spare tracks for a Black Rose (see kewl pic above) album #2 and that "Don’t Trust that Woman" was written by Les Dudek and Cher. But I thought the co-writer was Elton John (as Lady Choc Ice) and that the song ended up on John’s album Leather Jackets (see the lyrics and credits here on an Elton John discography site) and as explained by Elton John and Cher on The Joan Rivers Show.
However, lesdudek.com list the same song same lyrics for his Gypsy Ride album and claims it was written by Cher and himself: http://www.lesdudek.com/disco/gypsy.htm. Here's the sound clip: http://www.lesdudek.com/disco/byte/gr/gypsy09.mp3.
Yahoo Music clears it up and says it was written by all three of them.
Three things I conclude from this lesson:
- Cher can co-write some catchy sh*t.
- This song can be contorted into vastly different pop and rock genres.
- I like Les Dudek’s voice. I really do.
Do you think there was a jam session with all three of them on this little piece? Nah.