Sonny & Cher's Record-breaking Stint at the Iowa State Fair
Crash Week


Fanclub I joined the Cher fan club and lived to tell you about it. It was $25.

By the way, I was a member during the inaugural year of this club back in the late 90s and you got a folder in the mail back in those days -- which I still have. I can’t remember what they charged…maybe $15? Total guess. Years later I also bought the late-70s Cher fan club packet on eBay. I have no idea who ran that club but I loved that it was this kit in the mail with a letter from Cher, a poster and these official-like documents. I love the secret nature of official fan clubs and start to want it to get all CIA with dossiers, passports, ID Cards (Barry Manilow’s fan club actually had those), and local meetings to discuss affairs of the Cher state.

I enjoyed reading the official newsletters in the mail so I’m wondering how a web-style organization will feel. So far, I like the little touches on the site like the floating butterflies on the secret members-only submenu. On the downside, those frames get really screwy if you use your back button (usability issues – it’s my bag.)

And I actually read the user agreement before signing up – which as a normal person I normally wouldn’t do. But this is a fan club so I was interested to see how much of a legal binding agreement I was getting myself into. The thing was 20 printed pages – longer than wedding reception contracts I’ve seen – by like 18 pages!

We’ve come a long way, baby, from that pink one-sheet sign-up in 1977.

A lawyer had been all over this, defining the players at the top: The Site, The Club, The Artist, The Label. There were payment charges, outstanding invoices, collection agencies, they can boot you on a whim in so many words, membership requirements including a credit check!

It all felt a little: “You must wear a bandana around your eyes and be driven to a secret location before entering this fan site.”

To be honest, the privacy policy freaked me out a little bit when I read “info may be provided to Cher including her management, representatives and any new label she may join. As with other third parties, we are not responsible for how they handle the data once they receive it.” 

Fair enough but a little alarming. I resolved to bail if they asked anything too personal, worried I might either start receiving copious barrels of junk mail or find my identity stolen by a transient entourage member living at the Cher compound for a few months.

But nothing alarming or personal was asked, I never had to hand over that kind of info a credit check would require and there was no waiting period. I get the feeling a crazy fan must have sued.

They actually had an interesting translation policy – this too related to my job posting oodles of translations on Internet policy in Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, German, Korean, Portuguese and Italian.  Note to self.

Once I logged in I had a good time. The personalization in the news content was nice. I like being addressed directly – very tech-neat. I am looking forward to the new show fan pics soon to come (but I realize ‘soon’ in ICFC-land means more like geological glacier time), the tone of the content is friendly and the promos are good.

Cher’s fan club bio was exceptionally written. My favorite phrases and parts:

  • “She is truly peerless”
  • “[Sonny & Cher,] sparkling with undeniable chemistry”
  • Bang Bang, Gypsys, Half Breed and Dark Lady are all described as “sultry.”
  • “The rock-etched album Cher”
  • “The rock-fueled ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’”
  • “The clever, acoustic-framed ‘Just Like Jesse James’”
  • “Transcendent popularity”

Instead of ‘gofer,’ Sonny was described as Phil Spector’s studio assistant and PR man. Is that a dressed-up title for him or was Darlene slamming him when she called him a gofer?

“All I Really Want to Do” is described as a cover of The Byrds. Isn’t it really a Bob Dylan cover? Unless Cher’s version took more after The Byrds’ version than Dylan’s, but considering The Byrds and Cher were on the charts at the same time, could S&C have heard it before Dylan’s version?

And then the bio stops at Living Proof with no mention of The Farewell Tour or the Caesars show?  It just needs a  new paragraph is all.

In our profile, we’re prompted to pick our Cher favorites. I actually surprised myself at my choices. I picked Suspect as my favorite movie and Stars as my favorite album. No surprise there. But I picked Heart of Stone as my favorite tour. I think I only did this because I’m tired of the setlist from her last three shows and I’m yearning for covers again. But I really did love the colors of The Farewell Tour. And the Believe tour meant a lot to me – I had third row seats (first time to snare such closeness to any show at all) and I had always dreamed of someday hearing her sing her 60s and 70s hits. But then 10 shows later...

For favorite hair color I picked Silver. Did I really do that? Yes...I loved that silver wig in the Caesars show book. Her black hair is awesome, no doubt, but something about that silver wig looked really sexy.

All in all, I enjoyed my first visit very much. They gave a little. I gave a little. And I’m looking forward to visiting again.

I even signed up for all newsletters including policy updates so I can keep tabs on that saucy terms of agreement. 


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