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Strong Enough Biography Overview

StrongBecause this book was so dense and illuminative, I'm going to have to take discussion and scholarship of it into sections, starting with her childhood and going through the decades, even dividing up the 1970s into several separate posts.

Why is this? Because this was an actual book of Cher scholarship. Made for a Cher nerd like me. And amazingly, like a real book of pop-culture scholarship, its scope was very narrow, primarily a review of Cher's life in 1975. Just one year! A whole book about one year!

Not only that, but the book delves into that solitary year and 29 episodes of a TV show most people don't even remember existed! How awesome is that? It's great for someone like me but most likely confusing for someone looking for a balanced biography of her life. The book's narrowness is not indicated from its cover. This is not a pop-star biography. This is more of an academic book. The thing has notes in the back for pete's sake. All pop-culture academic books have notes. 

This is not a criticism against other fine Cher biographies out there by George Carpozi, J. Randy Taraborelli, Mark Bego, and recently, by Daryl Easlea and Eddi Fiegel. These biographers may in fact have had notes for their books as well; but possibly they were not published due to constraints from a publisher or due to audience expectations. Notes aren't mandatory but they do provide a wealth of information for further studies.

But this makes this biography's title (and lack of a sub-title) all the more confusing. Why such an open title with no indication that this is not a mainstream biography? It would seem this just frustrates a more casual fan who isn't into reading the minutia of every single episode of a somewhat obscure (in retrospect) television show.

Josiah Howard is an excellent  researcher and reporter (something I admire and will never be; too shy). And as a Cher scholar, I fundamentally appreciate his efforts in combing through Cher artifacts, researching press clippings and conducting interviews with as many players as possible to throw a light on a year many other biographers pass through quickly. I would love to see this kind of treatment made individually for Cher's other television shows and specials, her movies, her videos, and for her albums and concerts.

Howard really brings to life the schedule of a television show, something J. Randy Taraborrelli also did well with his book on Carol Burnett (Laughing Til It Hurts: The Life and Career of Carol Burnett). I'm fascinated with the ins and outs of television production. You get perspectives from producers, stage-hands, choreographers, guests and regulars.  Gailard Sartain did contribute his experiences but uunfortunately (and noticeably absent) were interviews from Teri Garr, Martin Mull, and Steve Martin. Teri Garr and Steve Martin, in their respective biographies, have not really spoken in detail about their experiences working for Cher or Sonny & Cher. Not only did Martin write and perform on both The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and Cher but he opened for Sonny & Cher on occasion. Teri Garr appeared in The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, Cher and The Sonny & Cher Show. I've followed their interviews and autobiographies for years and their silence or briefness on this topic is a little unsettling. You wonder if they are they all still friends.

Howard not only covers the show in detail but he puts his head around large-scale issues of Cher's tumultuous personal life, her hopes for the show (its focus on rock music), the reasons why variety shows started to falter in the mid-1970s (reflected in the issues that made her show a struggle to do: family hour, the political life of America, the show's competition). Howard documents sketches, songs and guests, detailing stories about production, the rise of Cher in the tabloids and other gossip boiling around that time.

So much food for thought. Next week, let's talk about how the book deals with Cher's childhood and her life in the 1960s.


Music I Got for Christmas and How it Relates to Cher

I had a late Christmas exchange two weeks ago and I've been listening to some really good stuff I received on CD. CDs! So old fashioned, I know.

Kt Dido 










I received both the debut albums of K.T. Tunstall (Eye To The Telescope, 2004) and Dido (No Angel, 1999). While reading about them I discovered that K.T. Tunstall had badmouthed Dido in frustration after being told she sounded like her. She said Dido can't sing. Then she apologized and said she didn't want to get into a media war with anybody.

Considering Tunstall and Dido really don't sound that alike and considering their media images are so different (as the publicity shots above depicts), I can both see Tunstall's frustration; but I can also see she was taking herself a bit too seriously. It reminds me of Cher, not because she jumps into media wars and then expresses regret after the media machine exploits it, (although I was reminded of that), but because Cher has the flexibility to be both a tough-cookie and a sex-pot. She doesn't have to diss other women artists on that level.

I honestly don't think these women are even in the same category. I love the ethereal, highly-ornamental pop sound of Dido and the more stripped-down, but still rocking sound of Tunstall. I probably liked more of Tunstall's tunes overall, but her vague lyrics (vague even in attempts at being poetic) left me somewhat dissatisfied. "Under the Weather" is a good example of this. She's close to saying something but from a safe distance. But I still like it. And although I liked only about two-thirds of the Dido album, her lyrics were less opaque ("Hunter" and "My Life" being favorites), although they were less ambitious.

PinkI also received that old 2006 P!nk album I'm Not Dead. This is the album with "Dear Mr. President" on it that Cher likes. Honestly, this seems like an entire album written for Cher in mind with songs like "I'm Not Dead," "Nobody Knows," "Cuz I Can," "I Got Money Now," and "Conversations With My 13-Year Old Self." The album is about a woman living the rich life and how criticism, men, and loneliness all play into it. A great album.












I also received the new album by Steve Marting and Edie Brickell, banjo-filled bluegrass called Love Has Come For You. I thought I would hate this album because I have a love-hate relationship with Steve Martin predating my knowledge that he ever even worked for Cher and I've never much liked Brikell since the 1980s and her annoying, free-spirited, faux-bohemian performances. But thankfully, she's over that now and not singing like street-urchin, Amy-Grant lookalike. I liked these tunes, these lyrics and nothing surprised me more than to read a thank you to Martin Mull in the credits for providing the piece of art you see between Mull and Brickell in the above picture which is a version of what is included on the album cover art.

If you've been a good Cher Zombie, you've been reading all about Steve Martin and Martin Mull working together as writers and rarely-seen performers on Cher's solo variety show. They are noticably absent in the interviews of the book and you have to wonder if they are all still friends. Maybe they were both busy. All I know is there is a great lyric by country-artist Mike Stinson that says, "I got your message when I never got your call." Interestingly, Steve Martin and Martin Mull are still in touch, at least in friendship through a love of fine art.

JbI also received the 2012 debut album by new singer Jake Bugg and this is a winner on all levels. Wall-to-wall great tunes in the same retro-stylings the British and Aussies are exploring right now, from Amy Winehouse to Adele to Daniel Merriweather to the Nosiettes to this set of rockabilly and alt rock and country.



BdLate last year I also received a four album set of Blossom Dearie. In many ways her sassy style and clever lyrics remind me a lot of Nellie McKay. She sings a version of Cher's oft-covered song, "More Than You Know" that is tasty. For some reason, the song "The Riviera" also reminded me of Cher and her days of appearing on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. She also does "Teach Me Tonite," a song Sonny & Cher sang as one of their TV show openers. One of my favorite songs by her is this quirky song, "Rhode Island is Famous for You." 


Camille Paglia on Miley Cyrus

CamileCamille Paglia: you love her or you hate her. She's outspoken and strident and I tend not to agree with her politically or critically and she was not supportive of Chaz's transgendering and has both been critical of Cher's plastic surgery and supportive of Cher's persona on occasion.

But recently my friend Christopher sent me a really good Time editorial by Paglia about Miley Cyrus' recent scandalous performance and it echoes many of the concerns Cher initially had. Her editorial also made many good points about the history of pop music and Madonna, as well:

"...the real scandal was how atrocious Cyrus' performance was in artistic terms. She was clumsy, flat-footed, and cringingly unsexy, and effect heightened by her manic grin.

How could American pop have gotten this bad? Sex has been a crucial component of the entertainment industry since the seductive vamps of silent film and the bawdy big mamas of roadhouse blues. Elvis Presley, James Brown and Mick Jagger brought sizzling heat to rock, soul and funk music, which in turn spawned the controversial raw explicitness of urban hip-hop.

The Cyrus fiasco, however, is symptomatic of the still heavy influence of Madonna, who sprang to world fame in the 1980s with sophisticated videos that were suffused with a daring European art-film eroticism and that were arguably among the best artworks of the decade. Madonna’s provocations were smolderingly sexy because she had a good Catholic girl’s keen sense of transgression. Subversion requires limits to violate.


But more important, Madonna, a trained modern dancer, was originally inspired by work of tremendous quality — above all, Marlene Dietrich’s glamorous movie roles as a bisexual blond dominatrix and Bob Fosse’s stunningly forceful strip-club choreography for the 1972 film Cabaret, set in decadent Weimar-era Berlin. Today’s aspiring singers, teethed on frenetically edited small-screen videos, rarely have direct contact with those superb precursors and are simply aping feeble imitations of Madonna at 10th remove.

Pop is suffering from the same malady as the art world, which is stuck on the tired old rubric that shock automatically confers value. But those once powerful avant-garde gestures have lost their relevance in our diffuse and technology-saturated era, when there is no longer an ossified high-culture establishment to rebel against. On the contrary, the fine arts are alarmingly distant or marginal to most young people today.


With their massive computerized lighting and special-effects systems, arena shows make improvisation impossible and stifle the natural rapport with the audience that performers once had in vaudeville houses and jazz clubs. There is neither time nor space to develop emotional depth or creative skills.

Pop is an artistic tradition that deserves as much respect as any other. Its lineage stretches back to 17th century Appalachian folk songs and African-American blues, all of which can still be heard vibrating in the lyrics and chord structure of contemporary music. But our most visible young performers, consumed with packaging and attitude, seem to have little sense of that thrilling continuity and therefore no confidence in how it can define and sustain their artistic identities over the course of a career.

What was perhaps most embarrassing about Miley Cyrus’ dismal gig was its cutesy toys — a giant teddy bear from which she popped to cavort with a dance troupe in fuzzy bear drag. Intended to satirize her Disney past, it signaled instead the childishness of Cyrus’ notion of sexuality, which has become simply a cartoonish gimmick to disguise a lack of professional focus. Sex isn’t just exposed flesh and crude gestures. The greatest performers, like Madonna in a canonical video such as “Vogue,” know how to use suggestion and mystery to project the magic of sexual allure. Miley, go back to school!

Read the full piece:

What Paglia does here is to maintain that sex has always been a part of pop music and that the raunchiness of Cyrus' performance wasn't the issue. It was the emptiness of it. She makes similar critiques of Lady Gaga. From the UK's Sunday Times, Paglia said that

Gaga is a "manufactured personality" who rips off her music and fashion from "Cher, Jane Fonda as Barbarella, Gwen Stefani and Pink." Paglia also disses the star's attractiveness, saying that "Drag queens, whom Gaga professes to admire, are usually far sexier in many of her over-the-top outfits than she is." Her sex appeal, or lack thereof, is quite a problem for Paglia: "Furthermore, despite showing acres of pallid flesh in the fetish-bondage garb of urban prostitution, Gaga isn’t sexy at all – she’s like a gangly marionette or plasticised android. How could a figure so calculated and artificial, so clinical and strangely antiseptic, so stripped of genuine eroticism have become the icon of her generation? Can it be that Gaga represents the exhausted end of the sexual revolution? In Gaga’s manic miming of persona after persona, over-conceptualised and claustrophobic, we may have reached the limit of an era…"

This is the enduring issue I have with Gaga, not her unsexiness (do we all have to be sexy?), but her flatness, how her artistic gestures are shallow and blatant. I just don't get a message there.

I like how Paglia compares the vapidness of shock for shock's sake between the pop and the art world, and how both fields need something to play against, "subversion needs limits to violate" like Madonna's transgressions against the Catholic Church. Likewise in the art world, if there is no establishment to rebel against, rebellion seems valueless.

I'm also interested in Paglia's concerns about arena shows and how computerized elements "make improvisation impossible and stifle natural rapport." I hope Cher keeps in mind a balance between cool technology and bling-bling effects and allows a spot of unplanned-out intimacy in her new show, understanding the fact that she is beloved to her fans and she could sing on a stool in a pretty dress and charm us all well enough. She is truely much more than "packaging and attitude" (or trust me, I would be bored to tears and would have jumped off the Cher wagon years ago) and defines, all by herself, the "thrilling continuity" of pop music's lineage. I hope someday she takes ownership of that.

She's also naturally sexy (sister to sister, you're time-tested) and thankfully doesn't need to bump and grind a teddy bear.


Review of The Lowdown CD

LdFor those of you who bought the Lowdown biography CD from 2011, you know by now that half of the product is something you already have, the Maximum Cher biography CD from 1999. What a rip off!

Anyway, I listened to Maximum Cher again while on my trip to Pennsylvania. There are very few Cher audio clips on it (despite the CDs bold promises) and it's mostly a UK-biography told by a female narrator who pronounces her surname funny. The narrator also mistakenly refers to mother Georgia as Georgeanna. The audio biography does tell the stories of Cher’s mother’s almost-abortion, Cher loss of virginity to an Italian neighbor named Jeff and the story shows us a streetwise kid with bad teeth, nose, posture, and complexion and how she created an unapproachable teen persona to hide herself. According to bio, Cher was 7 when she moved to LA. Harold Battiste originally hired Sonny (because he liked his enthusiasm) to do record promotion.

McThe CD does elaborate on the early awkwardness of being unaccomplished performers and how Hollywood looked down on them, seeing Cher as aloof and abrasive and Sonny as a comical and a nasal hippie. The CD details the Princess Margaret Charity Ball fiasco, where Sonny & Cher had to play to the Hollywood elite instead of the teenagers they were used to entertaining and how they experienced sound problems and Cher was amplified too loudly and eventually was cut off. Then Sonny's stand-up routine was seen as bad and offensive. Eventually they were heckled by a drunk and the Hollywood stars laughed at them. It seems traumatic but the narrator remarks how Cher would go on to outshine all of them.

The bio also talks about their The Man from UNCLE appearance, how the script was written for them and how Sonny took a few blows in the fake-fight scene. The bo claims there were 200 guests at Cher's wedding to Gregg Allman. Is that true?

Apparently the Brits loved Mermaids and the “The Shoop Shoop Song” spent five weeks at number one. The album Love Hurts also spent six weeks at number one. The narrator calls the movie Faithful an “excellent film.” Other errors on the CD include the mention that Cher performed the song “Bang Bang” in the movie Good Times, the claim that the Cher show saw its debut mid-1975. The CD makes no mention of Cher's very public affair with Gene Simmons (although it lists her many other lovers, big and small) or anything about her band Black Rose but states that “a friend Jean Simmons offered HER home in NY” to Cher before she found her own apartment. The CD also claims Cher recorded “Many Rivers to Cross” with Beevis & Butthead. The CD calls Cher a “living legend in a two-faced, backstabbing LA” and also “The Queen of Pop.”

Cher The Interview is the second CD in the set and it is a repackaging of various TV interviews going back to the mid-1980s.

  1. No Regrets! is the Cynthia McFadden primetime interview Cher did in 2002 where she talks about always worrying about money, Sonny being scientologist, the interview where she said, “I was as smart as I was gonna get at 40.” She talks about her depression, and how you “make a hand with cards you’re dealt.” She also voices her support of Hillary Clinton in the election, how she knows Hillary and how Jimmy Carter was done-in by his inexperience and she feared the same would happen with Barak Obama.
  2. So Long, Farewell is an Australian Farewell-era interview where they ask her if this is really her last tour and she says, “It’s got to be. It won’t get any better.”
  3. What a Life is the uncomfortable Living Proof-era phone interview with the nervous guy. You feel sorry for him with all his “ums” and his nervous laugher. They talk about what it feels like to be an underdog and how she’s not trying to save NYC with her song “Song for the Lonely.” Cher insists she gives the most about who she is in interviews (I agree with this). She draws attention to the fact that most of her movie roles are not glamorous. They talk about the NYC dance-clubs she used to frequent and the DJs she liked. She said she would go to Studio 54 a couple of nights a week and that she also loved the club Heartbreak in NY. The interviewer asks if “The Music’s No Good Without You” is a reference to Sonny. No. He asks her “What’s a “cell” for you” and she says “hiding yourself.” She calls the tabloids soulless, Godless trash and tells him that pain isn’t worst thing that can happen to you.
  4. The Fame Game is the Matt Lauer interview from The Today Show around the time of Living Proof. She calls “Song for the Lonely” anthemic and she appreciates its grandeur in strength. She talks about coming up in show business, how in 1964 she and Sonny started out rough-edged. They had no stylists or dance instructors. They sewed their own clothes and were definitely “not polished, not perfect but real.” She says today’s atmosphere allows for no work in progress. She says she would trade for Bruce Sprinsteen’s voice in a minute. She says this is her great last tour, that it’s a really good one, and she “not sure how much longer I can cheat death.”
  5. Elephants Are Very Human is the interview Cher did at the premiere for the movie Elephants & Man, a Litany of Tragedy and she talks about riding the elephant Margie around for 3 weeks in Good Times and how Margie was her best friend in that “terrible movie.” She talks about the elephant Billy and how he needs a family and how the LA Zoo still uses cattle prods and bull hooks.
  6. A Life on Film is some pre-Academy Award show interview around the time of Silkwood. Cher says she spent eight years trying to get into acting work, alternated between giving up and making a living. She talks about being the worst auditioner in the world and that Sandy Dennis said her Jimmy Dean audition was the worst she had ever seen but that she was fascinated by what Cher was doing. They joke about how she says Dolly Pellicker in the movie and how they did the car scene (coming to work with Karen and Drew) a million times. Cher said there was lot of Cher in Dolly but Dolly was not her and that changed her walk for the role, make herself more slumped over with downcast eyes and that she was embarrassed by the cup-with-pinky-at-high-tea airplane scene. She said she was intimidated to look “like a truck driver” with no makeup and she found it interesting that Meryl Streep is accepted for her work alone without any curiosity about her personal life or how she looks or what her image is. We find out Cher was the running favorite that year (1983) in the supporting actress category. Linda Hunt ended up winning for The Year of Living Dangerously.
  7. This is a Cher World  This is the Rosie O’Donnell interview around the time of It’s a Man’s World (1996). This is a very important Cher interview because it was a very clear truce after years of publicly dissing Sonny and it occurred two years prior to his death. When people surmise that Cher was an opportunist at Sonny’s funeral and that she had spoken nothing but negative slurs about him prior to his death, I always point to this interview. Rosie leads Cher to say something negative and she stays positive. They talk about how Cher is recognized everywhere (except maybe Japan), their thoughts on David Letterman, how Sonny & cher cheated to make “I Got You Babe” the pick of the week in 1965. Rosie plays with Sanctuary items, and Rosie asks her about when she used to needlepoint before she left Sonny, when she was losing her mind. She says she doesn’t talk to Sonny much and Rosie takes umbrage with Sonny and how Chastity is also angry with him over politics. But Cher sets the record straight regarding their ongoing and permanent connection with each other, how she will always be S&C, and about her fondness for Sonny. Rosie says Sonny wouldn’t be anywhere with out Cher and Cher insists she wouldn’t be here without him either. This is the interview where Rosie hilariously tells Sonny to "sit and spin."
  8. My Dear Daughter is a British interview on the Parkinson Show that included comments by actor Stephen Fry who was sitting next to Cher. She talks about life after Sonny and how she had no experience making decisions and taking care of money, how she was fine with him being the boss until Chastity was born. She said they were full partners on the TV show and that the show came easy to her. She said she couldn’t live like a child with him but that his death was devastating. She thought they’d always be able to argue. They talk about Chastity’s coming out and how she questioned her motherhood afterwards and feared the press would hound Chaz. She said she discovered what her convictions were and about the book Family Outings where she comes across as “the bad one.” She said she wished she had had a different reaction, but that’s the reaction she lives with.
  9. Sonny’s Funeral Speech  This is her speech in full and I always feel uncomfortable listening to it or watching it, as if I don’t really belong in that private space. Hearing it every once in a long while I notice different elements of it. Cher talks about working on it for 48 hours. She talks about Sonny’s enthusiasm and how it swept everyone up and everyone “just wanted to be there.” She talks about how he was Sonny long before S&C and how he loved his friends and cooking (“not eating, tasting”). The speech is well written and an honest and fitting tribute.
  10. I’m Not a Sell Out This is the old Phil Donahue interview of 1985 where she talks about conserving energy, exercising on the S&C show. She talks here about Sonny being not as good a friend to her as she is to him, but that she will always be there for him; they’re just not good day-to-day friends because he treats like she’s 16 years old and “you can’t disagree with him.” She talks about being more than one person and that selling out to her is being one flat identity. I can’t help but think about Dolly Parton when she says this. I love Dolly but she's so oppresively a caricature of a real person.


Cher Over the Holiday Break

Elton-chershowBefore Christmas, my husband and I watched the SCTV Christmas Episodes on DVD. I’ve been interested in this video ever since I spent the last year watching old variety shows and trying to get an intellectual handle on the genre. My only experience of SCTV as a variety-show parody is from the performances of the hilarious Juul Haalmeyer Dancers, a very camp and hilarious send up of variety show dance troupes. Watch a five-minute documentary on them:

RickmoranisIn one SCTV episode there is a very funny parody of a piano-duel between Liberace and Elton John that originally aired on Dec 18, 1981. Elton John, played by Rick Moranis, is dressed in what strikes me as a spoof of the outfit and he wore on the Cher show premiere and special from 1975. (See video:

For Christmas, Mr. Cher Scholar and I (plus the dogs) drove to Pennsylvania to see my parents. It was cheaper and more fun than flying. We stopped along the way in Fort Smith (for historical work Mr. Cher Scholar is doing for the show Quick Draw), Memphis and Nashville. Definitely want to go back to Nashville and see a show and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

PodunkWe played the iPod shuffle for three days both ways. That was plenty of time for the song “Podunk” to come up. I have always been confused by this song and what it was trying to do. Mr. Cher Scholar thankfully did some scholarin and cleared up the mystery for me. He said that Cher and Sonny are actually doing impersonations of Mae West and W.C. Fields. Oohhhhh. But you all probably knew that already. So ok, that makes it mildly better.

SadieTruly, I am a fan of Cher’s Mae West impersonations, both her straight-out Mae West and her Sadie Thompson version. In fact, I think her Mae West is an essential component of her oeuvre of characters on those variety shows and, on top of that, emblematic of the larger media character she came to be. I believe in some ways this song "Podunk" is a very raw precursor to those impersonations. I just think she got better and more organic the next decade.

The Byrds version of “All I Really Want to Do” also came up on the iPod shuffle and I was able to think more about why their version failed in competition with Cher’s in 1965. I think there are definitely tonal problems with the Byrds version. Their version is too crisp and neat for one thing, almost bourgeois neatness, if you can accept the Byrds as bourgeois for a moment. Cher’s version is rougher, more Dylanish, hippie-er, scragglier, much more believable as a hippie/feminist creed coming from Cher. Which brings me to my second point: this song needs to be sung by a woman. It sounds like a creepy manipulation coming from a man. “Suuuurre you just wanna be my friend. Uh huh. Friends with benefits.” From a woman it sounds like an emancipated idea/argument. For these two reasons, Cher’s versions comes across as more authentic.

Over the break I also received this message from my friend Julie about a Cher tweet, She said:

I was looking at something else on twitter so decided to take a look at Cher’s page. This is my favorite one.

.@manthon25 U Haven’t LEARNED!! EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE--My Grandma Picked Cotton,My Mom Scrubbed Flrs,My Shoes had Holes--,I SING IN ARENAS

Cher also popped up in one of my dreams. I was driving a car and she was in the passenger seat complaining to me about how many factual errors this blog contains. I was complaining back to her that perfection is impossible and any attempts to be perfect are paralyzing. This excuse brings to mind a quote Mr. Cher Scholar just gave me from Ben Franklin, (“He who is good at making excuses is rarely good at anything else.”). Anyway, I was discussing with one of our LA friends who visited last week that fan/celebrity meetings seem impossibly stressful and who would want to do it because I would expect a similar dressing-down about my blog’s inaccuracies in person (and that would pretty much rob the fun right out of it). Besides, I’ve always said I'm a fan of the stuff, my activities are rebelliously unofficial and unsanctioned and I have never looked to my celebrity-obsession as a role model or idol. Although, ever since that Miley Cyrus fiasco, I have been brushing my tongue.

On eBay, I purchased recently two magazines from Argentina called Holofote (which means "spotlight"), one on Cher and one on Sonny & Cher (Cher's is entitled, “Cher Super Musa”) and honestly they were too expensive for their size and the very little verbiage they contained (which is all in Portuguese). But for some reason I like them because I like to see how Cher comes across in other cultures. There are 18 pages of photos in each booklet but they are not in any chronological order, which bugs the scholar in me. It looks to be a fan production of "PHOTOS MARAVILHOSAS."

MoonstruckdvdCher-related Christmas presents included this odd ornament-packaged version of the movie Moonstruck and this button ("Ask Me About Cher") which looks like legitimate tour or label produced Cher paraphernalia. My friend bought it at Rockaway Records in Silverlake and he said it was perfect for my Cher Scholar “duties.” He closed the note with this post script: “All I see is Reeeeeeeeeed.” 

ButtonAnyway, I hope you had a good winter break. I came home from Pennsylvania with a cold and have spent the last few weeks hosting out-of-town guests. I’m back in the saddle and ready to blog about the latest Cher bio, Strong Enough. However, I have so much to say about it that I’m going to take it in small chucks: childhood, the 1960s, the 1970s, etc. Can’t wait to get started.