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Tony Curtis: American Prince?

SouthCarolwoodWhile I was waiting for someone at the bookstore to come out and help me find a book on the city of Redondo Beach, I picked up a copy of the new Tony Curtis autobiography American Prince. I leafed through the index to find Cher references.

I never really liked Tony Curtis, ever since I saw him on The Tonight Show years ago when he stated he thought his current hot, young girlfriend was even prettier than his daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis.

On many levels -- a dipwad, I thought.

But anyway, Curtis talks about Sonny & Cher on one page of his new opus. He talks about Sonny wanting to buy his house (but which one? Didn’t they end up buying two of his houses? One on St. Cloud and one on Carrolwood -- see pic above, both in Bel Air?). Curtis also talked about being a guest on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour when S&C were in the process of splitting up (remember his “Detective Fat”?). Curtis casually sympathizes with Sonny and says the breakup was basically over Cher’s ambition and her not wanting be part of the act anymore, 'cos it was holding her back.  And if I remember correctly, this was Sonny’s version of events as well. But not the version many Cher biographers put forth.

Curtis taking this side is not surprising since I recall him appearing occasionally in Sonny’s post-Cher social circle lists. And it’s somewhat disappointing that Curtis plays that down in this book, like he was some disinterested bystander an all.

And dude, you title your book American Prince? Could the book be that credible? Okay, I admit my tastes veer more toward Tony Manero than Tony Curtis. But in any case, this all reminds me of that old James Taylor/J.D. Souther song, “Her Town Too”:

She gets the house and the garden
He gets the boys in the band
Some of them his friends
Some of them her friends
Some of them understand
Lord knows that this is just a small town city
Yes, and everyone can see you fall
It's got nothing to do with pity
I just wanted to give you a call
It used to be your town
It used to be my town, too

Cher's New Album

In a recent Liz Smith article, Cher revealed that her new album will be “all her favorite 60s songs.”

“I am really excited about re-interpreting some of that music. It was a pivotal time in history and in my life personally.”

I am utterly and wholeheartedly looking forward to it.


Love Hurts Tour, Germany 1992

Lhurtsbest Two things happened recently, simultaneously. I received a bootleg of a Love Hurts Tour concert, a show which I had not yet seen in full, and I started reading James Joyce’s Ulysses


This is Germany 1992. What you’d expect a bad bootleg to be (for years I pined of this in a ratty cardboard box, filed in after KATE BUSH and before BOB DYLAN, scrawled with markers on VHS spines at record conventions – always missing). This copy disorienting, dark, fuzzy. Mrs. Brisby I am suddenly. A rat in some German’s pocket trying to stretch for a view.

Where are all the video clips? I hear the sound (it’s going on forever), the David Letterman asshole bit, a Barbara Walters question.

We can’t see upstage. Cher is suddenly there, fuzzy blur with a big wig. The world is industrial-looking, constructed second-story platform and for a moment I wonder if that’s not an impersonator up there. Is this another false entrance? 1989 intermission – remember – at the Mirage – in your hometown?  Her big entrance here, floating down an elevator platform. lack. luster.  No staircase. No chandelier. No stiletto. No King Kong palm. A stage oddly smooshed, stone pillar bookends, mish-mash of last tour’s scenery from storage in the Valley.

Continue reading "Love Hurts Tour, Germany 1992" »

Cher TV Alert

Ellen_27 Oooh. I got my first fan club missive! How exciting!

Apparently Cher will appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Monday, November 3rd to show support for Barack Obama.


My secret fan-club communiqué states:

"For information on when the show airs in your local market, visit for details."  

And then they thank me for being a valued First-Year member. And send their closing regards, Official Cher Fan Club.


Other reports this week state Cher has been throwing her support around out there on the radio waves.

"I called radio stations in swing states like Indiana, Iowa and Florida to tell people to go out and vote," Cher said at last night's grand opening of Luau restaurant in Beverly Hills

Did Cher get the same phone-your-friendly-swing-states email I did? I didn't do it. I so suck.

"I wanted to call the states he needs the votes in most. It was interesting because the stations wanted to talk about music, and I wanted to talk about politics!"

Cher modestly opined that she wasn't sure if she had any power to sway the electorate, but no matter...

"I have no idea if I was able to influence listeners, but I got the message that I was supposed to get across—to vote," she says. "I really think that Obama has a chance to be the president of his time. This is a very dangerous, very sad time for America, and I really think—I wouldn’t say this if I didn’t think it—I really think that he’s the right person for the right time."

And what if Obama loses to Sen. John McCain?  "If you can't say something good about someone, you really shouldn't say anything at all," says Cher. "So what I can say is, if McCain is elected, the idea is so frightening to me, I really can't even bear to think about it."

Maybe this will help in the effort, a hilarious video of what might happen if I, (or you for that matter) forget to vote. Please watch:

Yours in Cher fandom,
Cher Scholar

Maureen McCormick Meets Cher

Cherchas Maureen McCormick’s book about life as a Brady Bunch kid, among other subjects is now available. Cher Scholar Robrt sent me the excerpt where McCormick writes about meeting Cher.

The setup: the group The Brady Kids had their first musical appearance at a music industry show at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Sonny and Cher were there and met the Brady’s backstage.

I was enamored of Sonny and Cher. I couldn’t take my eyes off Cher. It was the first time I had been around a woman who thoroughly mesmerized people, who commanded your attention with her looks. We were introduced to her backstage. She was with her daughter, Chastity, a tiny blond cherub with her mother’s expressions. Eve (Plumb) held Chastity’s hand and sweetly asked, “Can you say ‘elephant’?”

Before she could respond, Cher cracked, “She can say a hell of a lot more than elephant, that’s for sure.”

First of all, in my fantasy version of this episode Cher says “She can f*#king say a lot more than elephant, that's for sure.” I don’t know why but that’s more believable to me for some reason.

Secondly, this brief exchange is interesting on many levels. For one, it shows how caustic and coarse Cher could be even among teen celebrities and her own kid. I’m not judging that; but I can attest to being jarred by it the first time I read Cher's language peppered with the f-bomb all through that People Magazine article of 1979. I was nine years old and sick with the flu at the time and my parents brought me home a milkshake and this Cher gift (Cher gifts becoming somewhat of a rare occurrence after it started to occur to them that I wasn’t outgrowing this Cher fetish). And this was right when my illusions of Cher being the classiest, vulgar-free princess were first shattered. I f*#king got over it but it took a while.

Secondly, it also shows how even the most lusted after teen blonde icon of the early 70s, Marsha Marsha Brady, #1 on every boys ToDo list and #1 on every gals ToLookLike list, was actually enamored of Cher who she saw as fully commanding with her looks; and meanwhile Cher is coveting the look of blonde princesses such as her mom, sister and Marsha-Brady-types. It’s insane, absolutely the stuff Dr. Seuss Sneetches fables are made of and evidence that our collective insecurities cause us to chase our own tales like idiots.

And not only could Chastity say the world elephant, she had probably already ridden one in that parade by then.    

Ask Cher Scholar: Cherokee People

On Wednesday, October 22, 2008 Joanne Nichols wrote:

My 27 year old son and I have a bet.  I say Cher did record and release "Cherokee People" (or is it "Cherokee Nation"?)  he says she did not.  Please help and tell me where I can find the release.

I’ve received this question three times, each time the Cher student is practically positive they have heard a Cher version. I’m not telling Cher fans anything they don’t already know to say Cher never recorded this song.

I guess the more interesting question for us is why does the public at large consistently and passionately insist that she did.

Is it because Cher did cover similar Native-American themed kitschy songs in the 70s?

Is it because the song has a kind of organic Cher sound to it? It’s hard to sing it yourself and not sound like Cher?

There are many better 70s drama-fest songs I would have preferred Cher cover, however: "Son of a Preacher Man," "The Night the Lights Went Down in Georgia" (which Cher was offered, but Sonny turned down and Vicki Lawrence recorded it). Cher did do a cover of "One Tin Soldier" for a Comedy Hour Christmas show.

Cher scholars, what are your thoughts?


No More Worst-dressed Lists?

Blackwell Mr. Blackwell, the celebrity with no first name, has died. OMG, how will we know how to judge what celebrities are wearing now?!

He was a bit schizophrenic with Cher. At first she was one of his best dressed in the early 70s; but then by the 1984 she topped his worst list and then was on it again in 1999.

See a compilation of the yearly worsts:
No one seems to care about compiling the best.

One writer takes apart the Mr. Blackwell phenomenon

Now I'm getting wise to what it takes to attract Mr. Blackwell's attention.

The Spice Girls made the worst-dressed list in 1998. Today, they're old news.

Cher topped the same list last year. The reason? She made a major comeback from obscurity. She was news again.

What was interesting, at least to me, was that just four years ago, Blackwell dismissed any mention of Cher. He said then, "She hasn't been around for a long time, and she buried herself completely when she did that navel bit. She's no longer on my list."

What a difference a few years make.

"You've got to talk about people that you can see," he once told an interviewer.

We are seeing Cher again. We're also seeing her navel, and everybody else's.

Blackwell is an interesting guy.

Caesars Cher Cancellations


Cher hit the ‘bloids again last week with news that she was canceling the remaining Caesars’ shows for this year, a total of 7 shows toward the very end of her run. She won’t be returning until next spring.

Stories ranged from straight cancellation news: more tabloid-esque rumors:

Speculation arose after conflicting stories about her health, her breakup with the Hell’s Angel, the expensive humidifier put into the theater for Celine Dion to avoid “Vegas-throat,” and sad stories about Cher fans who spent money they didn’t have to fly out to Las Vegas, book a hotel and see her show -- and only the canceled show was refundable.

Too bad there’s not such a thing as Cher-pilgrimage insurance.

The Las Vegas Review posted a comprehensive piece:  Betting on big name has downside for Aeg Live They point out that the humidifier was in fact taken out after Celine left.

There was even a rumor last week that after Cher’s cancellation she was spotted at the Hollywood Bowl at the Neil Diamond concert. Now is that really likely?

People. Common sense. 

On the other hand, maybe she got free tickets. Maybe old Neil is makin a move!


Cake Cutting Music

MV5BMjEwNTA0ODM2Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNTkyNzM2__V1__SX420_SY357_ According to the wedding magazine "The Knot" (Fall/Winter), Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe" is a good song for cake cutting. Hmmm. I think it's better for a Father/Daughter dance. Is that creepy? What do you think?

Wouldn't a Sonny & Cher cake topper be sweet?