Previous month:
June 2010
Next month:
August 2010

Cher's Many BFFs

Santa Fe the big news is (and the reason I’ve been so behind in these postings) is that my hubby and I are moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to work on a few projects. I’m going to work on a writing project and John is going back to school to get his masters in archeology/anthropology/southwestern studies.

I’ve made many moves in my life but this is one of the most bittersweet to be sure. I have so many great friends that I’ve made in LA. Then there’s the book fair, the Ojai art fair in Oct, the sunshine, the ocean, all the Dr. Seuss-like horticulture, the special movie screenings…

But if I’ve learned anything from the Cher story, it’s that the more things change, the more they stay Paulette the same. Take for instance her working relationships with her wig lady (she's had the same one for like forever), or her long-time relationship with Bob Mackie, or all those houses she designed with Ron Wilson. Or her friendships with Doriana Sanchez and Paulette Betts. In fact, Paulette and Cher have been through decades of drama, Cher’s divorce from Sonny, their marriages to Allman Brothers’ band members, all Cher's concert shows, infomercials, and paparazzi dramas.

On the outside, Cher seems to change into a whole new person every five years but relationship-wise, much stays the same.

Similarly, I met Julie about 15 years ago on the first day of graduate school at Sarah Lawrence near NYC. Our mutual friend Murph (who recently sent me an awesome wedding gift, a Rodin reproduction of two sculpted hands, she sent she said before thinking I may have carpel tunnel...which I thought was very funny) introduced us because we were sitting on either side of her and we were both two gals who had grown up in St. Louis. Julie and I bonded instantly over our underground passion for pop culture while we studied among those who despised it.

We started Ape Culture, an online pop culture zine and co-wrote a book of haikus about our hometown. She was also integral in my finishing the second Cher Zine, bucking me up when I almost gave up on it. We kept projects going while she went back to St. Louis for a semester to take care of her ailing mom (she lured me into the world of the Internet at that time…I still remember my first “Cher” search from a Sarah Lawrence computer lab she talked me into signing on to in order to use one of her email accounts) and while Julie spent almost a year in Australia and I had moved to Lancaster, PA.

0026_McCray-LoRes-WEB_20091114 Julie was the first woman I ever met with a no-holds-bared sense of humor. And seeing that, I was brave enough to try to be funny myself. Julie also talked me into driving on my onw in Manhattan and (albeit slowly) embracing technology (which is how I am blogging to you at this very moment). 

My life has become infinitely richer from being friends with her. We have spent years tooling around New York City together (Halloween parades, literary readings and hole-in-the-wall restaurants) and years tooling around LA together (nerds interviewing celebrities after movie screenings). We’ve been through drama with boys, drunken New Year’s moments, and we even won a dog on a TV reality show. I don’t expect any of the mayhem to cease, even though I am moving away for a few years. I full expect us to be helping each other out of future jams in the coming decades and after that as old ladies touring Europe on our retirement funds. 

Julie's St. Louis Cardinal Blog

Julie and Jello


A Family That Sees Art Together Stays Together

Elijah-Blue-Allman-at-his-art-exhibit The Cher clan attended Elijah Blue's ‘Stuff of Legends’ Exhibit:


Cher flew in from Las Vegas on Friday to attend the opening of son Elijah Blue Allman’s    satellite exhibition ‘Stuff of Legends’ at the Madison Gallery in Malibu.  Also on hand was the artist’s half-brother Chaz Bono and his partner Jennifer Elia.

The exhibit consists of a series of paintings and installations that will be on display from July 2 – August 2, 2010. 

Last week, I went to Pasadena to the Norton Simon Museum (one of the things on my LA bucket list to do before I move away) and I saw two artists there working with brand themes that reminded me of Elihah's pieces.

Annie, Poured From Maple Syrup, 1966, by Edward Ruscha


and Tom Wesselman's Still Life #2, 1962


The magazine collage pasted into the window above cracked me up. I yearn to see something hopeful in the bleak brand abuse study.

Sooo...who is the guy in the hot pants?

Cher-at-Elijah-Blue-exhibit-Madison-Gallery-in-Malibu Cher-Chaz-and-Jennifer-attend-exhibit-in-Malibu-for-Elijah-Blue





Too Much News for One Little Cher Scholar to Take!

There is so much Cher news these days, it’s enough to make a scholar feel overwhelmed. Let's try to run through them all pretty quickly.

Rawhide Cher's boyfriend's comic book

I got my copies of The Rawhide Kid at The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach, the closest comics store to my house. The dude there thanked me for supporting my local comic store vs. buying my comics on amazon. I bought the first collection,  Rawhide Kid, Slap Leather, and the first installment of the second series, The Sensational Seven. The lead character is a somewhat flaming cowboy hero and no one else, aside from all the women, can quite put their finger on it. I'm 100% hooked and LOL'd many times. There's plenty of pop culture references and visual gags. Study the faces of the cowboys behind the kid in the comic cover to the right for a giggle.

Seek them out at your local comic store.

California Diva

The site Californiality says Cher is "a megastar singer-songwriter, actress, director, record producer and native Californian.  She is the undisputed California Diva of all time."

And although the blogger states the pseudonym Bonnie Jo Mason is a name only suitable for country music, he calls Cher  “daring and provocative, she became the fashion trendsetter who popularized bellbottoms and the human navel."

Who popularized the other navels?

After Cher divorced Sonny Bono, I thought I finally had my big chance to marry her... 

Professionally, Cher is the ultimate California Diva but, personally, she's a cool individual who totally keeps it real.  She's part of what makes the California society the best on earth, and Californians love Cher more than anyone.

The Golden State, as the world's multi-ethnic capitol, has more Native Americans than any other state by far.  In 1973, Cher showed support for the America Indian Movement with a song that, still today, is deeply felt by millions of bi-racial and multi-ethnic Californians.  

Californiality recognizes and endorses Cher's fearless anthem as a definitive California theme.  Thank you, Cher.

04_cher-pg-horizontal Burlesque News is HOT

A few weeks ago, movie stills showed up on the Internet:

Along with interviews of Christina Aguilera ...

"I love no-bull-(expletive) women, and she's the best of the best," Aguilera says of Cher, who plays Tess, owner of The Burlesque Lounge. "An original trendsetter in her time and a legend in mine. I found her kind and warm. She had helpful advice and stories for days."

Aguilera's famous pipes get a workout, along with her legs ("I've never danced so much in my life"). She wrote four songs for the soundtrack and does an Etta James oldie.
and the director Steven Antin in USA Today 
"Her manager loved the script but said: 'You know how hard it is to get Cher to commit. She is very dubious.' " He sent it to her anyway, as did mega-mogul David Geffen, a mutual acquaintance of Antin and Cher's.

"We had a meeting at her house and I begged her to do it," Antin says. "She said, 'This character is me. I can do this with my eyes closed.' "

But then she said no. Twice. Even after seeing Antin's office walls plastered with storyboards and reference material, which led her to call him "the most prepared director I've even seen."

The third time proved the charm. "Once she was on board, she was fully committed," Antin says of Cher, whose songs include a new Diane Warren ballad titled You Haven't Seen the Last of Me. "She was there 16 hours a day in 4-inch heels. It was a dream come true to me, saying 'Action' and giving Cher direction. A dream and a little scary."

It is a dream that former actor Antin, 52, who was one of Jodie Foster's attackers in 1988's The Accused, had been thinking about for 15 years or so, ever since he worked with choreographer sister Robin's burlesque troupe that would later evolve into the singing group the Pussycat Dolls.

His wish was to revive the old meaning of burlesque that came out of Victorian-era England instead of what it turned into in 20th-century America. "People think burlesque shows are rooted in some overtly sexual striptease with G-strings and pasties," he says. "But originally it was parody entertainment meant for the middle classes that was provocative, funny and always based in comedy. That's not to say the movie isn't really sexy. But it's PG-13 sexy."

Antin, who also wrote the script with some input from Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich) and Diablo Cody (Juno), has no problem with comparing Burlesque with its racy costumes and bawdy humor to the likes of Cabaret, Moulin Rouge!, Gypsy, Flashdance and Chicago.

Just don't bring up the notorious 1995 Vegas trash-fest Showgirls.

"Burlesque really couldn't be further away from that," he says. "We are not objectifying women. We are empowering them. They hold all the cards."

And finally, The Lunchtime Poll by Michael Slezak

A gallery of seven stills from Burlesque hit the Internet this week, causing waves of excitement among diva aficionados, the Gays, fans of the small-town-girl-conquers-the-big-city film genre, and Bob Mackie (not that these categories are mutually exclusive, mind you). And while, personally, I’m curious to see whether Christina Aguilera the Actress is more Diana Ross in Lady Sings the Blues or Mariah Carey in Glitter, I’m even more stoked for the cinematic return of Cher!

Poll results from the first 13 days of polling, including my somewhat obvious vote:

  • the return of Cher - 55.3%
  • The big-screen debut of Xtina - 13.3%
  • The combined hotness of Stanley Tucci, Kristen Bell, Julianne Hough, Eric Dane, and Cam Gigandet - 31.4%

Obscenity Rule Overturned

A federal court ruling overturned a policy of the Federal Communications Commission intended to crack down on unscripted curse words and wardrobe malfunctions.

Slip-ups from Bono and Cher were used as examples when the FCC policy fined television networks that did not censor indecency, however spontaneous.

Fox and ABC challenged the "fleeting expletive" rule. On July 13, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled   that the agency's policy was "unconstitutionally vague" and a violation of the First Amendment.

The Parents Television Council and other conservative groups have also targeted Fox's American Dad and (my favorite show) Family Guy as indecent shows

Washington-based Concerned Women for America says,

"A federal broadcast license is a privilege held in the public trust," said Jan LaRue, the group's chief counsel. "Pumping sewage into American homes during the family hour violates that trust."

The court said the FCC policy did not specify what comprised offensive material, other than banning sexual and excretory organs.

The Daytime Emmys

See Cher's video tribute to Dick Clark:

TV Appearances

Access Hollywood: See video of Cher being interviewed before the AFI tribute to Mike Nichols. I think Billy Bush refers to him as Mike Nicholson. Bush talks to Cher about her hurt foot as she stands in front of the step and repeat wall.  I suddenly feel like watching TV Land for some unknown reason. Cher is wearing a ring that gives everyone the finger. She tells a story about how Nichols made her and Meryl Streep cry before the weeping swing scene in Silkwood

Extra: Cher with "her best friend and choreographer, Doriana Sanchez."

Cherlasvegasreview  The Vegas Show

For some reason, I am again not getting my rss feed to work…so I missed this awesome pic of Cher in character as pimp/Mafioso, all-around-Un-Diva from her Bob Seger medley…this new number and performance is as awesome as her tour d’Elvis in the “Walking in Memphis” Video.

Sheley Fralic reviews the show for The Vancouver Sun in a piece called "Cher Grande Dame of Showgirls"

Is there anything as radiant, and yet comforting and predictable, as the sun rising every morning in the eastern sky? Well, yes. Cher, actually.

Cher is all pop culture opera, an over-the-top modern day’s the smartest $2 a minute you’ll ever spend in the name of entertainment.

Oh yeah…Cher will tour again. I know. I know. She said for that whole farewell thing she had her fingers crossed behind her back.

No new set list, I’m staying home. If I have to see the same set list over and over again, ’d rather see it in Vegas.

Auctions & Charity

Heroes In the news of fundraising, Cher announced an auction to help her Heroes Project,

"a non-profit organization that works with veterans, soldiers, and the families and organizations that support them on all levels. Its mission is to improve the care and protection of heroes through individual support, community empowerment and systemic change. The core work of the Heroes Project includes three initiatives:

  • Hope for Heroes –As one of the Heroes Project’s founders, Cher helps organize and lead volunteer groups and outreach efforts to support the military community. The Heroes Project promotes and augments the good work of organizations working with this community across the country.
  • Voices for Heroes –The Heroes Project conducts media campaigns to highlight Heroes2 success stories in   veterans care as well as conduct educational activities targeting decision makers and the general public about the needs and successes in caring for veterans and military families.
  • Climbs for Heroes – Under the leadership of Tim Medvetz, the Heroes Project  supports climbing    programs for wounded soldiers and veterans. After a serious accident left Tim injured and in long with a wounded veteran. Tim is now planning climbs to the “Seven Summits” of the world, each with soldiers and veterans, as part of the Heroes Project. term physical therapy, he vowed he would climb to the summit of Mt. Everest, which he ultimately did in 2007. The comeback Tim experienced inspired him to share the challenge and triumph with those who need it the most—wounded veterans. Recently, Tim reached the peak of Elbrus in Europe
You might remember Tim Medvetz as the fellow Cher was romantically linked to a year or so ago. For  more information visit


Meanwhile, there was the Vegas Memorabilia auction with a spattering of Cher stuff: Lot6364

The most expensive Cher costume sold at the auctions was a tiny two-piece, barely-there  costume including wig worn by Cher during her Living Proof Farewell Tour for $24,000. The auction house originally estimated the costume to be worth between $1,000 and $2,000. Another costume worn by Cher in a 1975 episode of The Cher Show sold for $21,000.

Story beginning the auction:

Story ending the auction: