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August 2012
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October 2012

Is Bob Mackie Now a Democratic Strategist?

FennExcuse my confusion but this morning I woke up to The Bill Press Show on my iPhone radio and was amazed to hear Bob Mackie talking about the Romney campaign.

The same voice, the same laugh, the same vocal patterns and pauses. I couldn't believe it.

Only it wasn't Bob Mackie at all!! It was his vocal doppelganger, a man named Peter Fenn. 

So weird! Mackie


More about Peter Fenn:

Cher Family Photographs

CherandgWow. Some real Cher history.

Cher to the left looking like a responsible sister and shepherd of the younger, blonder Georganne.

I've been contending for years that we've never had a legitimate Cher biography published. We've always had these pop-princess biographies year after year. Nothing near what would befit a 47-year career across the entire pop culture spectrum. I yearn for something like Barbara Leaming's treatment of Katharine Hepburn which takes a hundred or so pages to talk about her parents and grandparents and their particular struggles all to show how the grand scheme of her family life lead to Katharine Hepburn's very particular character.

Cher's early life usually gets short shrift. Her mother's amazing life (which rumor has it we should learn more about with Georgia Holt's upcoming special and record album) and the Arkansas side of the story, then the Armenian-genocide-refugee side of the story.

Most biographies just sketch out some high school tales and then the story kicks off when Cher meet Sonny when she was 16 years old, as if her personality was just "on hold" until her svengali came to create it. The real heft of her history has never been told.

So what an amazing thing that she tweeted some family photos recently, including this one of her Arkansas family: "Great Grandparents' cabin back in woods"


What a stern bunch!






Here is a familiar photo of Cher as a kid.

What a cutie!






See more on Cher News:


Cher Goes Out on the Town

Goodmorm...and the girl is still causing a sensation.

Go to Cher World and see more photos. And please, please watch the video of Cher entrapped by fans and paparazzi:

One guy with a green sweater hands her something to sign from behind a door. A barrage of "I love you Cher!"

What happens when love hurts. You can see the aggrivation on her face. And it's hard to believe she still creates such a fury with her appearances after all these years (47!!) after her career started. It's sort of breathtaking.

She was attending the Los Angeles premiere of Matt Parker and Trey Stones'  musical The Book of Mormon at The Pantages Theatre. Last year for Christmas I asked for tickets to the Broadway show for this fall. I can't wait to see it and to be back in New York City with Mr. Cher Scholar!!

Cher's outing last week also produced a new quirky ensemble.   Mormoutfit

And below she shows off her cock-sure purple hat she wears smartly as she's being man-handled through the freak show.

Bookofmorm She tweeted of the event:

On way 2 FAB Nite ! LATE! Road is parking Lot ! I look cute in my Philip Trace Hat! Well Purple Hat …Looks Cute ! I Look like cher??

Actually, she looks like some funky retro- Kool-Cat-in-the-Hat.

And I like it.

Cher News posted her stream of twitter pics on the way to the show:

A friend's camera phone must have also captured Cher and Kathy Griffin sitting in what is surely the first few rows.

TheaterLater in the week, Cher donated her time down on the Santa Monica Pier to support The Heroes Project and her friend and the project's founder Tim Medvetz. The Cycle for Heroes event was to support wounded U.S. soldiers. Other famous cyclers that night included Danny Glover, David DeLuise (the son of Dom), Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols and Richard Stark.

Cher tweeted of the night: 

I just got home from Santa Monica Pier! Tim had 250 bikes and riders riding for veteran’s ‘The Heroes Project’ – a charity that he and I started! There were beautiful young marines with as many as 3 1/2 limbs missing! Our best, bravest and brightest!...There were so many ppl there but i wanted to sit down quietly & speak with this boy! I met a Totally cool young man w/all his limbs gone.


According to

Cher astonished all at the event with her down to earth and laid back friendly attitude. She openly spoke for hours to war veterans and one source from the event said “Everyone was shocked to see a superstar like Cher, looking so casual and normal on the Santa Monica Pier,”  There were no signs of diva demands, it was just the down to earth CHER we all love.

Cher even had a short work out on a spinning bike and dedicated her time to signing autographs for fans as well as posing for photos with the disabled veterans involved in The Heroes Project. 
“She was super sweet,” one fan says, “a real classic icon that is so down to earth”. “Fans kept walking up to her and asking for autographs and she happily obliged. She also took photos with everyone who asked.”

Cher posing with disabled vets:


David Geffen Documentary on PBS

Chergeffen5Cher scholar Rob in Michigan sent me the link to a new David Geffen documentary airing soon on PBS:

American Masters: Inventing David Geffen, premiers nationally on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 on PBS (check local listings). It’s an unflinching portrait of Geffen, who narrates his unorthodox rise from working class Brooklyn boy to billionaire entertainment power broker in extensive interviews.

American Masters explores the highs and the lows in Geffen’s professional and personal life through more than 50 new interviews with his friends, colleagues and clients, as well as other media luminaries. Irving Azoff, Jackson Browne, Cher, David Crosby, Clive Davis, Barry Diller, Maureen Dowd, Rahm Emanuel, Nora Ephron, Tom Hanks, Don Henley, Arianna Huffington, Jimmy Iovine, Elton John, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Calvin Klein, Steve Martin, Lorne Michaels, Mike Nichols, Yoko Ono, Frank Rich, Slash, Steven Spielberg, Jann Wenner, Neil Young, and many others illustrate Geffen’s riveting story.

To take a step back down memory are a few photos of Cher and David (many with cowboy hats):

Chergeffen Chergeffen3 










  Chergeffen5 Chergeffen7 








Chergeffen8 Chergeffen9 










Chergeffen999 Chergeffen6 










Chergeffen4 Chergeffen99 








Hal David Dies

BurtbacharachhaldavidBurt Bacharach and Hal David composed many awesome hits of the 1960s including Dionne Warwick's "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" and Herb Albert's "This Guy's In Love with You." They also made it into the 1980s charts with Naked Eyes'  version of "Always Something There to Remind Me."

AlfieCher recorded Bacharach/ David songs in the 1960s as well. In 1966 she recorded the first version of "Alfie," later made into a hit by Warwick. And in 1968 she tried them again on her album Backstage with the song "This House is Not a Home."

To be honest, I do love Bacharach/David songs but I did not think they were well suited to Cher and her image at the time. Bacharach/David material, although catchy and infectious, seemed very suburban and mainstream. Cher's image was a bit too groovy and even her version of the lite-hippie was still too gritty for these songs. She scored more when she was covering sounds more "alternative" like Sonny's songs, Dylan's gems and other folk-rock ballads.

Personally, I will never forget moving to Los Angeles in early 2002 and ingratiating myself to the streets of the city while singing "and all the stars are parkin cars and pumpin gas."

Boom boom boom!


Sweet Cher Finds

Sonny jumpIf you do a search for "Sonny Cher live 1977" you get about six copies of this photo of Sonny kicking, hair flying, in his Vegas Suit. A fuzzy bootleg of some 1977 shows are kicking around. When Cher scholar Robrt alerted me to one of them, attached was the set list from a Hawaii show. Pretty sweet walk down memory lane.


  1. "All I Ever Need Is You"
  2. Dialogue where Sonny comments on Cher's Singing/Hair/Sitting Down as well as their current status
  3. "I Can See Clearly Now"
  4. Harry Nilsson's "Without You"
  5. "United We Stand"
  6. Cher's Solo of "The Way of Love"
  7. Dialogue with Sonny and Cher from 1965
  8.  "Baby Don't Go"
  9. "All I Really Want To Do"
  10. "Laugh At Me" and dialogue of story behind the song
  11. "You Better Sit Down Kids"
  12. "The Beat Goes On"
  13. "Isn't She Lovely" with Sonny and Chastity Skit
  14. Cher's Solo of "Send In The Clowns"
  15. Sonny's Solo of "Bang, Bang, My Baby Shot Me Down"
  16. Sonny dialogue
  17. "A Cowboy's Work is Never Done"
  18. "I Got You Babe"

What's interesting to me is how much of Sonny you get in the late-period Sonny & Cher shows. I wonder if this was because Cher had professionally "checked out" of the act and was more interested in her 1977 shows with Gregg Allman.

ScjetThe old Yahoo Cherfreaks list has also been posting some gems. This "day in history" link was particularly illuminating:

Sonny & Cher, in full celebrity glory, are pictured disembarking from a chartered Playboy jet for a show in Vancouver in 1973. News has gotten out they their marriage is on the rocks but they are not officially divorced.

The media firestorm (ala TomKat) is about to begin. The reporter calls them "The Salvatore Bonos" and "wealthy swingers" and said the black plane they arrived in looked like a sinister shark cruising down the runway. Sonny was wearing sequined skin-tight Levis and when asked about their marital woes, "Cher looked blank."

Another Yahoo poster provided this awesome online flip-book of Cher photos for a style issue of New York Magazine:

Whenever people bemoan the lack of imagination on today's red carpets, Cher's name always comes up as an example of someone who successfully pushes the envelope. From her patterned bell-bottoms and waist-long, silky straight hair in the seventies to her shiny spandex and sky-high, spiky wigs of the eighties, she transformed herself too often to have a signature style of note, yet each look is unmistakably her own. Never one to shy away from belly-baring mesh tops, gold lamé, or headdresses of any kind, Cher always manages to walk the line between wacky and elegant. Enjoy a look back at her otherworldly outfits from the sixties to today.

My favorites are these (click to enlarge):

Sept 6 1965 Sep 1 1966 1968 nyc











Superpak 2 oct 1 1971 Academy awards march 27 1973 Jan 21 1977 Red Ballon DC


  Feb 14 1982 nigh of 100 starsFeb 28 1979 philly  Take me home tour

Val apr 9 1984 Sep 9 1989 MTV music awards with sambora











1996 london Oct 31 2001 Q awards london Aug 27 2002 atlanta


Dec 13 2010 burlesque london














Not-so-Sweet Cher Finds

CouchIntroducing Bianca Jean. We just picked her up at the animal shelter last weekend. Which is why I've been offline for so many days. She's a complete sweet-pea but the addition threw our lives out of kilter in a big way. I'm just now getting back into any kind of routine.

I'm working on a book as well and in the final throes of challenges. In a weekend of depression over it all I impulsively bought two Cher items.

CollectionOne is the CD Sonny & Cher the collection, the newest Cher compilation from Rhino. The CD copy seems to have been written by a Brit who uses words like CV for resume. Maybe it was my foul mood but I was really annoyed with this thing. First of all, the liner notes written by Michael Heatley misspell her last names as Sarkasian Lapier. He also perpetuates the rickety stereotypes of Sonny as a "swarthy Italian with a nose for talent" and Cher as "half Cherokee Indian." Then he repeats the legally false claim that they were married in Mexico in 1964. After these PR retreads, I completely ignored the chart number claims not wanting to fill my head with erroneous and possibly incorrect facts.

I did like his describing of their sound as "sunshine pop" and labeling Cher as a "bestockinged siren." He also quotes Cher as saying her best quality is that "I just don't stop." There's something simple and profound in that idea.

What is to say about the compilation itself. It's simply a mish-mash shuffle of their duet Atco albums. Nothing special a'tall. And the text on the back cover is worthy of a snicker:

There is much to enjoy in this comprehensive collection of 40 sunshine pop classics from a couple who, as they looked down from their stools on Top of the Pops, had the world firmly at their feet.

Looked down from their stools. Tee hee. Indeed, something about this does smell of shit.

CosmosThen I went and bought the 2010 book Conquer the Cosmos--Use Astrology to Attract a Man, Money, and Happiness You Deserve by Bridgett Walther just because Cher wrote the foreword to it. Barely. The foreward is no more than three short paragraphs and a sentence and the idea seems ridiculous that Cher actually wrote any of it.

In the text Cher, who says she is a Taurus with Cancer rising by the way, insists she was always surrounded by astrology grouping up because she was "surrounded by my parents' friends" and they were always discussing astrology. Now, I'm far from a Cher intimate, but I don't think I've ever heard Cher say "my parents." She would talk about them individually but not likely as a unit as they were never together in her memory. Also, she never spent any time with her father's friends, if she knew them at all. She has said she only got to know her father after she became famous, when it was practically impossible to really get close to him.

I do however believe that she would call Bridgett "at the crack of dawn" to get the astrological lowdown on one of her life crises.

I read the introduction and all about the signs pertaining to me. The book is written for women, and I get the idea her ideal audience is Los Angeles women for the unusual amount of of plastic surgery mentions in the Leo section. I did find out that due to being born in the second week of Leo, I'm probably more of a Sagittarius. After reading up on a Sagittarius for the first time in my life, this made  sense to me. I've never felt like a legitimate Leo and always chalked this up to my parents probably lying about my birth date and actually finding me in a basket floating down the river.