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Cher Puts Fans in the Driver's Seat with New Set List



If you are on the mailing list of (which you should be if you are any kind of Cher zombie, Cher freak, Cher crew or Cher lovely), you received an email yesterday about visiting her new tour site and ranking 18 of the 50 listed songs to make your voice heard regarding her upcoming set list.

The voting page is a user-interface-friendly ranking list that even has a weighted top-5 mechanism.

I am continually impressed by Cher’s social media worker-bees. This was not only a generous gesture on Cher’s part, but a totally amazing fun thing to play with. I was chatting away like a Chatty Kathy Cher Zombie while my husband watched snowy football all afternoon, rooting for his Kansas City Chiefs.

Here was my ranking and reasoning (for those interested).

First of all, I did not vote for Turn Back Time, Believe or Dressed to Kill because I figured they would probably end up in the show anyway. Of those three, I would like most to see Dressed to Kill because I think Cher’s team would create a good visual segment and interesting costumes for this.

I also didn’t pick songs I may have liked but have already seen many times before, like The Power, Half Breed, Dark Lady, and Take Me Home.

  1. AllAll I Ever Need is You -  This is one of my absolutely favorite Cher songs, and one of my very top Sonny & Cher songs along with United We Stand and Somebody (all from the same record of 1972). Have never heard Cher sing this song live and would love to hear her sing a Sonny & Cher song she hasn’t done in a long while.
  1. Alfie – What a dreamy thing to hear Cher sing this song after all these years. A overlooked fan favorite.
  1. Sirens – One of my newest favorite Cher songs. I know Cher doesn’t love the ballads as much as the high-NRG songs but the world-wide consensus is that Cher does an unbeatable torch song. This was proven yet again on the new album.
  1. Welcome to Burlesque – Yes, I didn’t love this movie but I feel Cher herself knows more about burlesque, vamping, femme fetals and sexy performance than Steven Antin did and could really do a good visual presentation to salvage this song.
  1. Love Is The Groove—I thought a lot about this one. Cher has done this one live before I believe (was it in Europe?) but the song has such a good energy about it and might coincide well with the Zen-ness in Cher’s life.
  1. Favorite Scars – another favorite of the new album, this song actually made it on my annual best-songs (mostly alternative) of 2013 list I do every Christmas.
  1. Walking in Memphis – I know we’ve seen this one off and on in shows, but it’s such a fun, fan favorite. Even non-Cher-fan friends of mine love her version of this song. It never tires.
  1. The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore – This song was a recent hit with my husband on a car-ride to Kansas City. I think this would be fun, campy song to see done over the top.
  1. Taxi Taxi – I think this too was done before in a medley with Love is in the Groove but it has such ethereal lyrics. Would love to see it for myself in a big Cher shew.
  1. Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves – Of all of Cher’s narrative 1970s number one hits, this one really best holds up in the test of time: the most unique, superbly crafted, full of political hypocrisy and so, so beautiful - a perennial fan favorite. Can’t miss with this.
  1. AlfieI Got You Babe – Has Cher even done a full tribute to this song in concert since the 1970s? It would be good to see that. Also, if this is truly Cher’s last venture in touring, it would be a lovely full-circle moment to close with this song, her first hit.
  1. Song for the Lonely – I think Cher said this one was a hard one to sing so I didn’t place it up toward the top (afraid it would be discarded early on) but similar to Walking in Memphis, fans love this song and non-fans love it too. My non-fan friends actually love it more than Believe.
  1. Real Love – Love the 1970s kitsch of this song, an underdog choice.
  1. Love One Another – Nominated for a Grammy and would love to hear it live.
  1. Dov'è l'Amore – Good for some multi-cultural flavor.
  1. Save Up All Your Tears – My favorite Cher power ballad. Her best version of “Strong Enough/Woman’s World/grrrl-power kick-ass-ness.
  1. Many Rivers To Cross – I love Cher's version of this. Recently added it to an album of Jimmy Cliff I made up for my Dad. Although I first decided “loved it but seen it”…it might be interesting to hear Cher revisit this song again after 20 years.
  1. Bang Bang – The same can be said with this song. I don’t much want to revisit it again with the same ole same ole 1980s arrangement. But this song is one of Sonny’s most re-recorded. It’s arguably his masterpiece if one must judge it by how many diverse artists keep re-recording it and how they can deftly mould its moods.

See my ranking:

Create your own:

In other news:

Cher News (via Boston Q) was kind enough to excerpt Cher’s favorite albums list and Top 10 Cher Commandments from Q Magazine. Homework for our next meet-up (which due to Christmas duties, may be a little while):


New Additions to the Cher Doll Christmas Tree

7It's Christmas time again and so that means it was also the time to put up the Cher doll Christmas tree last week and take blurry pictures of it with my iPhone.

This first picture shows my favorite Cher outfit and doll outfit (Foxy Lady) from the Cher show. And since full episodes of that show have not been re-aired in totally, I'm really enjoying reading about them episode by episode in thew new Josiah Howard book.






6The Mother Goose outfit from The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour was this year's addition to the tree. Love it!









4 5 










I located a Santa hat for the Sonny angel, procured from the head of a little stuffed bear. When I removed the hat from the bear, there was a smaller Santa hat underneath glued to the bear's head. This was a superfluous hat!

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Was also able to fulfill a life-long dream...which was to live in a house with a fireplace mantle so I could put my Mego Cher makeup head on it for Christmas. I ordered a child's size Santa hat which ended up being too big (but which is working in a sultry kind of way). Because the Mego makeup head is bare-shouldered, she looked a bit too naked for my Aunts who will be visiting next weekend. So I added the jester neck piece (which I bought for my dog Franz two years ago).

Merry Christmas to all the festive Cher Zombies around the world!


Cher Recipes for Food Holidays

JaneSince we’re in the season of big family dinners, it might be fun to bright out the plethora of Cher recipes out there if you’re needing some Cher-themed inspiration for the holidays.

When I was in Junior High, I fell deeply into the world of celebrity self improvement and fitness. This started with Jane Fonda’s book, The Jane Fonda Workout. Christie Brinkley had a good book called Christie Brinkley’s Outdoor Beauty and Fitness Book. I also had Victoria Principal’s The Body Principal, Revlon’s The Art of Beauty and Raquel ChristieWelch’s yoga book, The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program. It was really hard to learn yoga from a book of still shots. Later I got into Susan Powter’s madness.

But I can honestly say, the long-awatied Cher beauty book with Robert Haas, Forever Fit, was the best of the bunch. Not only was it the most well-rounded, it was the least self-obsessed. It wasn’t filled with copious amounts of Cher photos and had very balanced and real advice and included a big recipe section of low fat foods, about 58 pages of recipes for breakfast, appetizers, soups, dressings and spreads, salads, sides, entrees, breads and desserts. The book also has a chapter on skin care.

Her later exercise tapes were more interesting for the same reason: she didn’t put herself out Victoriathere as an expert, just a student like the rest of us. Although those wacky exercise outfits were nutty!

RaquelSo I always enjoy dipping back into celebrity Cher recipe books and just found another one online: Singers, & Swingers in the Kitchen, recipes to get hung-up on compiled by Roberta Ashley in 1967. Celebrities included: The Byrds, Leonard Nimoy, Paul Revere, The Mamas and the Papas, all the Monkees, Sam the Sham, Leslie Gore, Carol Burnett, The Buckinghams, Paul Anka, the Rolling Stones, Bobby Vinton, Donovan, Herman’s Hermits, Marlo Thomas, The Yardbirds, Larry Hagman, Jane Fonda, Bob Denver, Eva Marie Saint, Bobby Darin, Sally Field, Barbara Streisand, Soupy Sales, Liza Minnelli, Don Adams, Petula Clark, The Supremes, Simon and Garfunkel and some others I’ve never heard of.  It’s a slim 96-page book. Sonny & Cher are in the middle with a pork chop recipe and this intro:

Revlon“Sonny & Cher shared a pizza the afternoon they met. That was the day they both had jobs as background singers at a recording session. It’s been Italian food ever since. Cher doesn’t really know how to cook many dishes, but she’s learned a couple to please husband Sonny, who is Italian. At any rate, they always keep a gallon of olive oil on hand, and lots of different kinds of pasta. Sonny always cooks the pasta, and often have it with one of Cher’s specialties.”

It’s good for a game of Catch the PR Spin. Serve with spaghetti


Mrs. Flax’s Fun Fingerfoods was a promo piece created for the movie Mermaids. Although I didn’t love this 1990 movie, I am charmed by this little book of six pages of finger foods depicted in the film, from frozen fruit kebobs to BLT bites.

Cooking for Cher by Andy Ennis is probably the mother of Cher recipe books. There are about 200 pages of recipes and includes a section on Cher’s pantry, kitchen equipment and chapters on starters, soups, seafood, pultry, meats, vegetarian courses, veggies, desserts and extra material of Cher guidelines to being lean, a 10 day diet and menus for special occasions.

All books have interesting biographical information and are fun to try, especially in competition with other celebrity cookbooks. I competed directly with a Jack Nicholson fan in Cher Zine 2 for entrees, sides and in a fat-free muffin-off.


The C-Word, Best Foot Forward, Cher History and Thanksgiving

CherfeetI just spent an hour working on this post and my Firefox crashed. For the love of God! But my arms are shot and so it’s mostly lost forever. Here is a slim overview of what I said.

Cher scholar Robrt sent me a message reminding me about a good photo of Cher’s feet from the 1970s. I loved this photo as a child: the hair, the tan, the feet, the hand posture, the look, the accent over the E.

Cher scholar Michael sent me an email discussing the negative implications of Cher using the C word. I never got around to covering this last week. I was so wrapped up in talking about the ironic response. I do support people “taking back” negative word meanings. Gay and queer are a good examples of reclaimed words. Third wave feminists believe they can reclaim the words bitch, slut and whore, disemboweling them of their power to offend. However, not everyone agrees words can be reclaimed of their power to hurt. And when groups do try to reclaim words, this can cause confusion between culture groups. For instance, when gay men say something is “so gay” or when black men use the N word, many people can't understand the nuances of one group owning rights to certain words. However, I do believe language is always in process and undergoing change. I do think Cher meant to use the word pejoratively thought (much like Alec Baldwin last week when he used the f**g*t word). She meant the word to be insulting. In this case, we have to ask ourselves, why is this meaning assumed to be negative? Why is a woman’s va-JJ such a bad thing it can so easily be hurled as an insult by men and women?

I’m reading a book now by Kim Addonizio where she discusses writing about sex and the glam-box (my new term). She says the c-word comes from the Middle English word cunte. Middle English. Huh.

 Another friend also sent me word of Cher’s comments about Thanksgiving:

"Thanksgiving is a day to see family, eat food together and watch a movie...Not 2 celebrate the beginning of a GREAT Crime... We gave them Blankets laced w/ Smallpox,” Cher concluded.

This is interesting to me in light of my raised consciousness while working at the Institute of American Indian Arts last year. Some hot button issues in that community, (issues mainstream American is completely oblivious about), would be Thanksgiving and wearing their ceremonial clothing as costumery. I don’t know how Indian activists feel about Cher’s representations as Indian over her career; but I do think that since she has that history of costumery, because she claims Indian heritage, this is a positive statement from her about American Indian consciousness and makes available a high level of public awareness.

Lady-Gaga-The-Muppets-Holiday-Spectacular-will-air-on-November-28-for-ThanksgivingSo after I questioned Lady Gaga’s ability to do variety TV last week, she goes and does a Thanksgiving special with the Muppets. I had no idea and didn’t see it. Was she any good? The ratings were bad according to reports. I wonder if American might be suffering brand confusion with Gaga (similar to what American experienced with Cher between her Vegas shows, Sonny & Cher on TV and the Allman & Woman and Black Rose products and tours). Gaga did topless photos in V Magazine. She releases a meta-single called “Applause” and then does work with the Muppets. Is she an adult or all-American act?

Am loving the new Cher bio. Am very impressed with the copious amounts of research and interviews Howard has done. Am learning a lot and finally, another Cher historian who cares about surname spelling!

For next week: Cher on Vivement Dimanche -- see the clip on Cher News