The 50 Year Mark, Jon Stewart, Sonny's Park in DC, Chaz Play, Cher Art
Cher in John Lennon’s Rock and Roll

LAX Fashion Shows, Mask, Wrecking Crew Outtakes, Chaz Productions

Slimjim2Tweets

Here you can watch Perez Hilton dramatizing Cher tweets. Hmm...it already feels old before it got old. :-/

Outfits & Fashion

It's time for the latest Cher LAX outfit watch! See photo left where Cher is looking like a smooth and shady street corner pimp. (I do like the flowing pants and the whole pimp look, truth be told.)

Speaking of fashion and the career flack Cher always receives from critics (and I consider myself a hobbyist Cher critic), here's a good little blog post from marketing guru Seth Godin about how criticism is ultimately perishable.

Sooner or later, the ones who told you that this isn't the way it's done, the ones who found time to sneer, they will find someone else to hassle.

Sooner or later, they stop pointing out how much hubris you've got, how you're not entitled to make a new thing, how you will certainly come to regret your choices.

Sooner or later, your work speaks for itself.

Outlasting the critics feels like it will take a very long time, but you're more patient than they are.

Movies

Peter Bogdanovich is still talking about working with Cher in Mask. And you might ask yourself, who uses the word "druggie" anymore? Peter Bogdanovich, that's who!

I made that picture for Dorothy Stratten because she’d been murdered, and in the 10 months I knew her I found that she was very, very interested in The Elephant Man on Broadway. She went to see this production and she was very moved by it. After she was killed I figured it out: Dorothy identified with him because of her beauty — because her beauty was as much of a source of alienation as his ugliness. They came to me with this picture called Mask. I thought it was not a very good script but it surely was an interesting story because it was a true story. And then I remember how Dorothy felt about The Elephant Man and I thought, “Well, I’ll make it for her.” [We had] a list of actresses for the role of Rusty. Ellen Burstyn and Cloris [Leachman] and Jane Fonda — anybody with a name. About two-thirds of the way through the list, there’s Cher. I said, "That’s interesting. I can see her [playing] a druggie and riding a motorcycle, and I can’t see Jane Fonda doing it. She’s too sophisticated." Cher and I didn’t get along that well. She sort of irritated me, because she had such a negative attitude. But she’s very good in the picture. I don’t think I’ve ever shot more close-ups — she’s very good in close-ups and not that good in playing the whole scene through, because she loses the thread of it. So I shot it that way, and she should have won an Oscar.

Here are some outtake photos I found online with Cher and her director. These iconic Mask tableaus all look strange with Bogdanovich interrupting them all:

Mask-121 Mask-112

 

 

 

 

  

 

Mask-113  Idontrespectyou

  

 

  

 

In the last one Cher seems to be giving him an"I don't respect you" look.

Music

Finally finished The Wrecking Crew DVD outtakes. Hand over forehead: It took days and days out of my life! Things to look for: Pianist Mike Lang talks about Cher during the John Lennon album sessions; there's a Phil Spector chapter with Cher talking about working with no breaks and how during the Spector Xmas album she didn’t go home for 6 weeks; there’s a S&C segment where Lyle Ritz talks about the scab labor used for the IGUB session and how they all got caught by the union and had to pay a fine but they finally got paid and it all turned out okay because they got like 100 more S&C sessions out of it; Don Peake talks about "The Beat Goes On" session and the dying of cancer joke that was told to Sonny who didn’t get it. (This story is also in the big Wrecking Crew commemorative book.)

There's also a Phil Spector Xmas album section where Cher talks again about the harsh working conditions, for example 15-16 hour days. Cher said she was 16 or 17 years old then and dying she was so tired so she didn't know how the old guys did it.

Frank Capp was the drummer on IGUB. Did we know that?

Snuff Garrett has a section. He says he didn’t know much about music or aesthetics and was basically a money maker. I know this is his thing to keep saying this but it just sounds disingenuous at the end of the day. I feel like it's become a way for him to cover for his choices, to not be accountable for his oeuvre.

Cher on Leon Russel was the best Cher outtake. She comments on Leon's normal unassuming personality and the one days he came into a Phil Spector session drunk. In a later clip, Leon himself says Cher tells the story accurately. After years of following Leon Russell as a respected, gritty solo artist, it was a kitschy thrill hearing him say “Cher.” You can say some of Cher's Narrative Period songs are hokey lyrically, but there were some interesting things going on musically in many of them. The music business is highly unpredictable hit-wise. There is truly no formula that has evolved to make pop songs assured phenomenons.

In other “I Got You Babe” 50th anniversary news...

It’s similarly the 50th anniversary of the St. Louis Arch, the "Poppin' Fresh" Pillsbury Doughboy, The Sound of Music, the Voting Rights Act, the Beatles playing their historic Shea Stadium concert in New York City, and my employer CNM, Central New Mexico Community College!

On August 14, Billboard Magazine officially commemorated IGUB: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/6221458/rewinding-the-charts-fifty-years-ago-sonny-cher-got-to-no-1

And while researching Greil Marcus's commentary about Cher music a few months ago, I came across this Camille Paglia essay on one of his books about The Doors. The essay mentions a Cher story I hadn't heard before:

Oddly for a California writer, Marcus says little about the immense differences between the funky, fast-track Sunset Strip club scene from which the Doors emerged in Los Angeles and the utopian San Francisco milieu of hippie flower power. Furthermore, Marcus notes no parallels between the dark themes of the Doors and those of the Velvet Underground, whom Morrison in fact saw perform in Los Angeles while the Doors were working on their first album. (Cher, attending the same show, reportedly said of the Velvets’ music, “It will replace nothing, except maybe suicide.”)

Peripherals

Here is more coverage on Chaz’s new theatrical ventures including a website he launched for his production venture and August play:

Performance reviews have been good and the website looks great!

  

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