New Twitter Fight, Wu-Tang Clan, Cher Musical, Movie Premiere

Cher-dirty1Twittery Punches

Cher's Latest Twitter SmackUp Participant: Piers Morgan.

These things are starting to feel like setups, like you know when the Porter Waggoner show got really bad in the 1980s and you would have bet money the no-talent guests were paying Porter to be on the show? I wonder if somewhere there are auditions to have cat-fights with Cher on Twitter. I’m not criticizing…just saying it’s getting vaudevillian.

Stories:

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6487640/piers-morgan-cher-fishnet-stockings-twitter

http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/cher-smacks-down-piers-morgan-for-tweeting-she-s-too-old-to-wear-fishnets-1.2980404

Music

Apparently, Wu-Tang Clan previewed their Once Upon a Time in Shaolin album recently at MoMA PS1 in New York City. Previously they auctioned the album online and the album wont' be made commercially available for 88 years. In this article from Art News the interviewer presses the artists about working with Cher, who replaced Ol’ Dirty Bastard on part of the project. We find out that not only is Cher singing in a small part of one song, but that clip ends the album AND that Cher appears earlier in the album in a skit!

Dammit. Will we ever hear this skit? Excerpts from the Art News interview:

Frere-Jones asked about a sample of a voice he heard at the end of the last track.

“That’s actually,” Cilvaringz said, rubbing his jaw. “Cher? That’s Cher.”

Frere-Jones followed-up about Cher, who apparently acts in a skit on the record and sings, and why she appears on the record.

“I wanna ask you a question,” RZA said. “Did you ever have a crush on Cher?”

“Yeah, of course,” Frere-Jones said.

“Well, okay then,” RZA said.

“Not to get on Cher too much,” he said a few moments later, but she truly was “the kind of woman where they only made one of her. Like who made that?” he asked, waving his hand vertically. Sade, he said, is another woman like that.

Though he didn’t draw the comparison himself, RZA said he wanted the album to be something like that and made reference to another one-of-a-kind woman, this one more related to Staten Island.

“It’s like the Statue of Liberty,” he said. It exists in only one place but belongs to everyone who experiences it.

A Springfield, Illinois, man has created a musical featuring 23 Cher songs called Dark Lady. "I discovered a story line in her songs," creator Mike Sheedy says.

I have a friend who wrote a play based solely on the lyrics of Paula Abdul. These kinds of projects fascinate me. This, however, is more like Mamma Mia! or Movin’ Out (featuring the songs of Billy Joel). I think they call these jukebox musicals. As Sheedy has found out, he can't mount his show without securing the rights to all the songs. No small boulder to roll up a hill. In the meantime, he's created a show poster with his daughter in the staring role.

Movies

Cher-dirty2Cher World is reporting that Cher attended the premiere of the film Dignity with Chaz who appears in the movie as Jerry the Hoarder. I made the mistake of reading the comments on this post. I never do that. I don’t know why I did it this time. Some fans have critiques of Cher’s look and latest concert that confound me. They want her to be something she’s not, like Katy Perry. Why do I read comments??!!

The pic at the top is from the same premiere only showing Cher's full outfit and a very stern look in her eyes that reminds me of when I met her at a bookstore all those years ago.

Chaz's IMDB page has a great pic.

Press

The Boston Herald declares Cher still in a league all her own. So don’t compare her look or her work to things kids like Katy Perry are doing! Sheesh people.

 


Cher Teases with Tweets: A New Perfume in 2015?

UninhibitedI've been felled for two weeks by a cold virus! I literally came home every day from work and downed night-time cold juice and then slept for ten hours until I had to do it all over again the next day. I'm barely over it but we have some Cher news to cover.

My friends have been in a donnybrook over Morrissey's continued disses of Madonna, including of her then-upcoming performance on the Brit Awards. Although Morrissey does have a point to make about award shows being more about promotion flim-flam than about talent awarding, he complicates his argument by continually being a bitter butter ball.

In any case, Morrissey was probably gleeful to see Madonna take a nasty fall during her Brit Awards performance last week. Listening to The Stephanie Miller Show, I found out that Cher and Liza Minnelli had given public support to Madonna after her fall. Someone on the show joked that falling on stage was like a Tuesday for Liza. Funny. But Cher's tweet reminds us how stressful dance performances can be, especially considering Madonna's wardrobe malfunction.

"Heard Madonna Fell On Stage This is Something WE ALL DREAD...MADGE, I GIVE U PROPS, U R a CHAMP 4 FINISHING YOUR SONG...I HOPE U R UNHURT"

Cher World is reporting on some other Cher tweets involving 2015 projects. She's planning to launch a new perfume. More Cher crap to buy! Awesome! I truly hope she poses with another giant jug of the new stuff (see pic above). Cher World also posts some of her latest pics and says that she's still working to restart her tour.

Don-williamsI saw the laconic Don Williams perform last night at our "big" showroom at the Isleta Indian casino. He was awesome although much older than I expected. They had to prop him up on a bar stool to play for an hour and 10 minutes. He barely moved but then he barely moved back in the 1970s. But with that voice, who needs dancers and wardrobe malfunctions? I've been watching old country acts on Pop Goes the Country and itching to see some of them. Unfortunately, most of them have died or retired.

I still keep hoping Cher will come near Albuquerque but looking up our biggest venue, the sadly small Tingley Coliseum at 11,571 seats. Which I guess is why all the somewhat decent acts prefer the Indian casinos.

ScoobyThe Music Times has done a review of Cher's non-variety-show TV work, including her appearance on Scooby Doo. This reminds me, I met a huge Scooby Doo fan at work a few weeks ago. We deconstructed the shows together. I lamented not being able to find Scooby Doo bandaids and she told me when to expect their return to the market. I asked her about her feelings on Scooby Dum and Scrappy Doo (not favorable as expected) and I said I was a purest for the original creepy series. I especially didn't like the celebrity series because it was too light (visually), to silly and not scary enough. She agreed, she said, with the exception of the Sonny & Cher episode!

Christina Aguilera does a Cher impersonation on The Tonight Show. This remind me, do you notice how many times Bravo plays B?. How far Bravo has fallen. I'm taking to making a list of everything that annoys me about that movie. It feels like a scholarly project. Mr. Cher Scholar is helping. I keep suggesting we watch Silkwood as an antidote.

Cher criticizes the Arkansas governor over not vetoing his state's anti-LGBT bill.

One of my friends has sent me subscriptions to three celeb rags: Us Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, and the Star. Having the Star (or any tabloid) home delivered feels surreal. The February 16 issue has Val Kilmer dying for his religion, which apparently is Christian Science. Another piece praises Chaz for getting buff, losing 65 pounds down from his high of 250 pounds. They claim he wants to try out for Mr. Universe and is on a low carb, no sugar, no dairy diet. Fellow tabloids TMZ and The Daily Mail also reported the story. In any case, Chaz is now celebrity fit.

The Star also shows a full page of Kim Kardashian wearing various outfits involving furs. Boo! She's now my least-favorite Armenian celebrity, which means there's a pretty wide gap between the two Armenian celebrities I know.

  


Cher's Angry Tweets, The Seventies: Glamour, Ratings & Concerts

Cherspecial2The New Year brings new apologies for the lag in blog postings. I've been on the new job for just about a month. No, I'm not teaching at my local community college. I'm continuing my day-job of web content specializin'. And I've been a bit more swamped with family reunion duties that I predicted. My novel-writing and blogging schedule has slipped all to hell!

But...I'm working in a communications department full of really interesting and creative people, our studio department has an animator and an award-winning director, our web team has two visual artists, two photographers, a competitive dancer and a soap maker. Similar to my experiences at ICANN, I've arrived just in time for a sweet web re-branding launch. It's been fun so far.

But anyway, time to move on to...

Cher's Angry Tweets

Cher made some tweets about Hitler and the cloud last month that hit many news outlets. My guess is the tweets were meant to be a joke but I didn't read into them too closely. These people made the attempts to sort it out:

  • PosterMediaite
    "It may not matter in 5 yrs, but Hitler Tweets are forever."
  • Tech Times
    "Our best guess is that Cher was expressing frustration with Apple's iCloud service. Or maybe she was commenting on the recent scandal involving nude photos of celebrities leaking from iCloud thanks to hackers."

Twitchy.com covers Cher's tweets about U.S. Congress. Cher Scholar's old friend Doug Wemple, who wrote a wonderful heart-felt story in Cher Zine 1 about coming out and his long, frustrating journey to try to see Cher in concert, gets caught up in the tweet sweep too.

Which all reminds me of the trailer I saw last weekend for a movie coming to my local independent movie house, She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry. This movie reminds me so much of the situation surrounding Cher's tweets. The trailer chronicles the expression of anger from feminists in second and third wave actions and protests and how uncomfortable this made (and continues to make) some folks. People who disagree with Cher's politics consistently try to characterize her as a nut. It's not a new tactic as this film shows. Looking forward to seeing it.

Giddy Gossip

Lot's of gossipy stuff in the news:

Studio-margauxSeventies Glamour

Just finished the affordably-priced coffee-table book Seventies Glamour by David Willis. It covers all the icons of 70s style, including Margaux Hemmingway, who's photo at Studio 54 (not in the book) has forever fascinated me. She seems so "over it" and strangely comfortable in her pose.

SeventiesglamourThe zeitgeist of the 70s with its "tarnished luster" and the "complex broken mirror ball glamour" is covered. Cher is listed as one of "the beautiful people," a new version of the 1960s "jet set." She's listed in an uberclass alongside Liza Minnelli, Halston, Truman Capote, Divine, Hugh Hefner, Calvin Klein, Liz Taylor and Jackie O. Not too shabby. Although Cher is not cited as an influence or contributor to it, glitter and glam rock are discussed. Cher has one page dedicated to her with a picture of her Stars album cover of 1975 and the joyous color poster for Cher...Special in 1978. I found some groovy out-takes of that session online (above and below).

Cherspecial3 Cherspecial1  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seventies Ratings

When I was working on my eBook about Writing in the Age of Narcissism, I came across an article by Lev Grossman called "The Beast with a Billion Eyes," Time Magazine, 2012. He said "for every minute that passes in real time, 60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube." And this was in 2012! He talks about how YouTube, like cable TV before it, has challenged network ratings, chronicling the tumbling numbers, decade to decade, from the 80s The Cosby Show to the 90s Seinfeld show to 2008's American Idol. He says, "Obviously No. 1 isn't what it used to be."

I often don't know what these ratings numbers mean. Are they talking about audience share, Nielsen rank or actual audience views. When people talk about ratings, they never use the same measurements.

For instance, allegedly, Carol Burnett averaged $30 million people a week in her heyday. But in 2004, Nick and Jessica Simpson won their slot with 11.4 million. But it's complicated by the fact that fewer people were watching TVs in the 1970s. There were fewer devices at least. I decided I need to make a list of Nielsen rankings for Cher's TV shows that covers all three dimensions: total audience, audience percentage share and Nielsen rank. So far I've only found this source that lists each year's top 30 shows: http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/

The Sonny & Cher Comdy Hour 1971: http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1971.htm

Rank #27, viewers: 12,544,200

The Sonny & Cher Comdy Hour 1973: http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1973.htm

Rank #8, Viewers 15,424,600

In 1972 and 1974, they weren't in the top 30. Cher's solo show also didn't crack the top 30 in total. Nor did The Sonny & Cher Show of 1976-7.

TakemehometourA Topless 1979 Show?

When speaking to my cousin and Aunt a few weeks ago, they divulged to me that they saw Cher in Las Vegas during the 1979 "Take Me Home" tour. My aunt said she'll never forget it (in a negative sense) because the show featured scandalous topless dancers.

I started to say, "But I saw the show on TV and it didn't have...." and then I thought, well, of course it wouldn't.

Can anyone help me out there? Did Cher's 1979 Vegas show feature topless dancers?

  

 

 

 


Cher's Greatest Twitter Hits

MorrisPage Six is reporting that Cher used Twitter to help son Elijah find his lost puppy Morris. The web article says Morris was eventually located and that Elijah and Cher are slowly mending their relationship.

Speaking of Twitter, here's a website that has collected Cher's greatest tweets from 2014.

"When perusing the Turn Back Time singer's social media outlet, it is very much like walking into a Hall of Mirrors with the eight members of the band Stereo Kicks: Confusing. Enlightening. Saddening Sometimes spiritual. But always a joy from month to month. It took us a long time to scroll down Cher's timeline, so please god, please appreciate this."

Perez Hilton also recently posted a Best Of Tweets List.

I caught up with Cher's latest and greatest tweets today and I see that she is promising not to drink a drop of Dr. Pepper until her first resumed tour rehearsal, whenever that shall be. If this sacrifice works anything like sacrificing picante salsa works for me, it's a worthwhile incentive of deprivation.

Cher also promises that when she gets better she will write a book:

Walked 1hr & Worked Out [arm muscle emoticon] Felt GOOD.Its a Long Road,but I feel myself getting a little Stronger everyday [ghost emoticon] When this is over im WRITING A BOOK‼️

I will remember this promise.

   


Andy Cohen, Kids Books, Cher Impersonator for Safety

AndyThe December 5 issue of Entertainment Weekly does some name-dropping with Andy Cohen. They break out a face chart for all the famous people he name drops in his new book The Andy Cohen Diaries. Here is the list:

Sarah Jessica Parker – 26 mentions
Kelly Ripa – 22
Anderson Cooper – 18
Jimmy Fallon – 12
Diane Von Furstenberg – 11
Ellen Barkin – 10
Martha Stewart – 9
Matthew Broderick – 9
Cher – 8
John Mayer – 8
Allison Williams – 7
Jim Edmonds – 7
Lady Gaga – 7
Madonna – 7
Raph Fiennes – 7
Seth Meyers – 7

The same issue lists 50 books every kid should read. The list had some of my favorites: Where the Wild Things Are, Charlotte’s Web, The Ramona series, The Borrowers, Island of the Blue Dolphins, James and the Giant Peach, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Outsiders, Bridge to Terabithia, Harry Potter.

However the list also included some of the books I was most disappointed in, the Series of Unfortunate Events. EW says this series resists providing easy answers to its messy mysteries. I say phooey on that. If you're interested, here's my longer essay on the dismal end of that series.

The list also left out many of my favorites: Nancy Drew books, Little House books, The Rats of Nimh books. I have to admit, I've never read A Wrinkle in Time. Should I go back and read it?

I have a reputation among my friends for liking movies the rest of my friends hate, including Dutch and The Kid with Bruce Willis. Another movie in the list was The Ref with Denis Leary. This week's Entertainment Weekly just listed The Ref as an “criminally underrated Christmas movie.” Thank you. I have to send this information to my friends.

Cher-roadHealthy Living Alliance in Springfield, Missouri, has hired a Cher impersonator to make a funny public service announcement about bike safety: http://www.ky3.com/news/local/cher-the-road-funny-ad-drives-home-serious-safety-message/21048998_29807412

   


Cher Catch Up Summer 2014

AthomeThe hard thing about taking time off this blog is all the catch-up news that demands to be covered when I get back.

Childrens Craniofacial Association held a meetup before the Anaheim concert. Although the event has passed, they are still trying to reach their fund-raising goal. Check them out: https://fundly.com/cher-crew-meetup-event-benefitting-cca-kids?ft_src=twtshare

Happily Cher World and Cher News are back! Whoohoo! Cher News must have finished a very long walkabout but posts are back at http://chernews.blogspot.com/ and Travis has reconsidered throwing-in the towel at http://www.cherworld.com/. Visit them for the late-breaking Cher news.

OWLWOODFriends alerted me to the fact that the best Sonny & Cher house is back on the market. For a while there, Tony Curtis was leaving our homes form Sonny and Cher like breadcrumbs. This house, Owlwood, is yours for 150 million US dollars. That should be a steal for some European castle owner. As for me, I will have to start making $3,200 an hour to qualify for a 30 year loan. 

 SidebangsCher scholar Robrt has been supplying me with some great Cher videos:

RemixesCher scholar Dishy also sent me some European mixes of the Closer to the Truth songs. They're far and away more interesting than their United States versions and I asked him what it took to make a good remix. He has some good ideas.

"Remixes: You've been asking and I've been thinking. With these new "Take It Like a Man" remixes I've found the essence of the remix.  It builds and builds, not just the "scratching" (repeating). It's the beat that gets going into the meat of the song. From there they throw in a gay symphonic something or other to bridge and keep building until the next chorus. The best Cher remix without a shadow of a doubt is Junior Vasquez "One By One" mega mix. There is also an "Almighty Believe" remix that is rather good."  

My Billboard-watching friend Christopher also sent me this message:

"Babs is going to extend her record for longest run of Top Ten albums. Cher better get her ass back in the studio. http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6140774/barbra-steisand-duets-album-babyface-release-date"

     


Fan Burn Out

FanaticThe big news (literally) in Cher World last week was that the man behind Cher World is stepping down. Personally, I love Travis’ very comprehensive web site and have for years. Many other Cher sites out there are quite simply shrines. Some are very good shrines, mind you, literal libraries of amazing images; but Travis always published something extra, not to mention staying on top of continually breaking news, something Cher Scholar will never be any good at.

Keeping up with Cher news not only takes a great deal of time but some extra patience to make your schedule available for breaking stories. (Such as the fact that a new set of D2K tickets went on sale last Friday for Midwest dates).

Cher Scholar did not make this breaking-news post because last weekend she was in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, getting a very affordable hot springs soak. In fact, due to lack of time this summer, even my posts will be slowing down. I just finished a finalized draft of my next book of poems and I’m starting on my first novel (very scary!). That and an upcoming camping trip, two sets of summer visitors, day-job demands and a big family reunion on the coast of Oregon and something’s gotta give.

It seems to be a tragic summer for Cher fan sites. CherNews is MIA and now Cher World is closing its doors.

The pertinent gossip on Cher World is that Travis was banned from Cher’s Twitterspace for discussing the fairness of how meet-and-greet access was being made available and whether or not there is a Cher clique of extra-special fans.

I can completely relate to the phenomenon of losing your enthusiasm for a fan site when you become a disappointed fan…which is the number one reason I don’t want to go there. Meet and greets themselves are a mixed blessing. Meeting the man behind the head of Oz can be problematic.

My one meet and greet with Cher was at a 1998 book signing in New York City. I would never have gone but I was sent by my co-editor at Ape Culture to write a story about the experience. My favorite part was hanging out with other fans on the street in a line circling Tower Records. My interaction with Cher was uncomfortable and without any meaning I can define. After all, what do you say to a stranger?

Offering up nothing to say is inappropriate. I found this out years earlier when I met poet Adrienne Rich in New Jersey at the Dodge Poetry Festival. Although I respected Rich, I was not a fan -- even though I somehow found myself in a line of them to get a book signed by her. My silence was met with sour disapproval. So for Cher, I tried to come up with something interesting to say. A futile exercise becasue how can you guess what a stranger will find interesting?

Neither of these meets were substantial or awful enough to change my respective feelings about either media personality but I did have one meet and greet that did. For years I had a crush on a well-known lead singer. When I heard he was offering meet and greets for a charity function in Las Vegas, I bought two tickets and dragged my only close friend from Los Angeles to the show. Unfortunately, my friend felt the charity concert was too loud and he plugged his ears for much of the time. This was a pretty small venue and let’s just say that during the resulting meet and greets, friendliness did not ensue. A year later there was a blow up on this singer's own website, a blowup allegedly between the singer and his longtime web assistant. Gossip-filled web posts and emails were exchanged between fans.

These behind the scenes snafus did a lot to disengage my celebrity obsession. Events like this, even when the drama dies down, provide a kind of perspective in the guise of an exit door.

Cher probably does have her cliques and mean-girl moments. Although she sure seems to have less drama surrounding her than most celebrities. But that’s still too much celebrity drama for me.

In full disclosure, I have entered two or three fan contests going back to that one for Not.Com.mercial and I did join one or two fan clubs. The last online Cher fan club never bothered to respond to my emails about being unable to access their site after I paid my dues. I had to literally stop a charge on my credit card to extract myself. Cher conventions have been fun to participate in but are full of their own dramas as well.

This time around, I didn’t even know Cher was doing meet and greets.

And now that I do know, these kinds of things should go to better fans than me. I’m not a good soldier. I’m not a good zombie.  In fact, I will go as far to say Cher the person is a threat to my enjoyment of Cher the product.

But I can relate to the other side of it, too. I have fans myself—three of them including Mr. Cher Scholar! That is if you don't count those 70 Tumblr fans who have mistaken me for porn-star Marie McCray. In any case, when a fan criticizes what you do, your first inclination is to ask, “Who the hell asked you?!”

And then you catch yourself and think, “Oh. I did when I asked you to buy my book and engage with it as a human being, one who is separate from me and sees things from another perspective.”

You ask for attention, you get opinions. That said, you do your best to be cool about it. But we're all human.

Which is what is especially interesting to me here: how fandom plays out on the Twittersphere. Fans now have contact with Cher’s daily thoughts (what we choose to read anyway) and Cher now has daily contact with ours (what she chooses to read anyway). It’s a contract of the new technology that can’t help but lead to human drama.

“It’s the human element,” my grandpa used to say, as if the world consisted of fire, water, air and human kerfuffles.

At the end of the day, I feel sympathy for anyone involved in the celebrity/fan symbiosis. I feel solidarity with my fellow fan-site maestro who feels let down and the celebrity who may have little inclination or power to please all fans all the time.

Oz is an uncomfortable place. You meet the wizard behind the curtain and he sends you off on some dysfunctional mission to kill the witch because you’re full of expectation and frenzy and he doesn’t know what else to do with you.

  


Behind the Seams

20140208_092741My friend Shelby emailed me from Los Angeles days before the opening of Cher's new tour. He had an interesting behind-the-scenes story as follows:

The building next to my apartment building makes costumes for TV, film and stage. Normally they work M-F 8-5pm. Yet, you know when they have a BIG deadline when the workers are coming in on Saturday & Sunday and work late into ALL evenings.

Which has been happening the past 2-3 weeks. And this time around…there have been A LOT of limos, chauffeured SUVs. Just parked in front of our building for hours. Hours. I knew they had to be working on someone HUGE. My bedroom window [left] looks right on to their parking lot. [Her small sons], Sawyer and Blake have spent quite some time watching the people come and go and the limos just sit there. We all get bored with it all because we never see any “important” people get in or out.

Yet, I knew I was going to find out who the client was because one of the employees has a son Sawyer’s age and we go to the same daycare, are actually in the same class. I saw her this morning and asked, “So who is the big client you are working on now?”  She replied, “Cher.” My face froze.  I was not expecting that. At all. Cher. Wow. She said Cher has been in and out several times. I asked what she was like, “small?  Nice?” She said, “She is average sized and she is whishy-washy on what she wants.” And that is a problem when you are making costumes for tour that starts next week.

On Tuesday they had a last fitting of the costumes that got bungled. For some reason they flew the costumes and fitters on a commercial airline and not together…so [US Airport Security] TSA held back the costumes. The fitters got to Phoenix at 12pm. The costumes got there at 5pm. 

That will not happen again…so the costumes are leaving TODAY at 3pm on a  chartered flight.

This is all very interesting in light of the comments Cher made opening night, that she had a meltdown crying jag before the show and nothing fit.

  


The Great Leak of 2013

GagacherI would have blogged about this last week but I'm in the middle of a move. My life consists of waking up, going to work, driving down to Albuquerque in search of a new house, coming home and going back to bed and then repeating it all the next day. In the middle of all this, big Cher drama! It goes like this: 

Many years ago Cher fans heard a rumor that Cher had recorded a new Lady Gaga song called "The Greatest Thing." Many years ago fans also heard a rumor that its release was eternally pending. It was a solo or it was a duet or it was a solo featuring Gaga. It was one of those mysterious Cher things.

Months ago we found out the song had been shucked of the new Cher album due to reasons from Gaga herself.

Suddenly last week, the song was leaked onto the Internets amid other Gaga song leaks. (Cher's single "Woman's World" was also leaked last year.) A new rumor has it the leak of "The Greatest Thing" came from someone on Gaga's team.

The truth of these many rumors may never be known. But Cher fans suddenly found themselves able to finally hear the song. (Check Cher World for more details.) Meanwhile, Cher posted angry tweets about the leak:

 "Just heard TGT ! F--K ! IT'S NOT EVEN THE RIGHT F---ING VERSION!!! WHY DO PPL THINK THIS KINDA LEAKING S--T IS OK ! I'm so Fg DISSAPOINTED," she tweeted to her fans.

"Disappointed ( Ive Sat on fkng song 4 over a yr ) NOW SOME A--HOLE LEAKS WRONG VERSION ! GaGa's SINGLE IS GREAT, & THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS."

News reports said Cher was referring to Lady Gaga's new ballad, "Applause."

Looking at a leak from "two sides now" (as Joni Mitchell might), you can see the artist's side of it. In these days of hackers with nothing else to do but break into other people's stuff, you probably need to have your hot songs under a kind of Mission Impossible lock and key, reachable only when Cher and Gaga are together in the same room with some fingerprinting device. Artists should have some kind of control as to what product enters the ear-o-sphere.

Also, they do not get paid. What if they've already paid their musicians, engineers and whutnots. Here is where "this leaking shit" is not OK. There's something to be said to having all the same employees working one album and where they can all benefit from the profits of the whole album. Then a leak of one song wouldn't be so financially detrimental. It would be a preview.

But there are four small positives to a leak of this nature:

1. It's press coverage: more build-up for her album release in late September. July is a long way from September and her press for "Woman's World" has died down. This is better than a sneak peak. It's drama.

2. It's mind-boggling: In search of an answer to a submitted question to Cher Scholar, I'm re-watching all the Sonny & Cher TV shows, (yes, that's how dedicated I am to Cher scholarin), and this gives me pause to consider that Cher was huge in 1973 and now 40 FREAKIN YEARS LATER we are talking about a leak to a new Cher song! At this point, its beyond phenomenal. And on the flip side, would anyone have cared about a leak of a song from Cherished or I'd Rather Believe in You? Nobody's writing about leaks from new Jackie DeShannon albums (God love her).

3. It shuts down crabby fans like me who will eternally complain about their cravings to hear it. Which is mind-boggling that we even feel this way being Cher fans. When you consider all her 32+ studio and soundtrack albums, six seasons of TV show songs, (at an average of four songs per episode...if you break the Sonny & Cher medley into two), and all the material from other special TV appearances, our catalogue of Cher songs is really an embarrassment of riches. But we seem to be the insatiable zombies I have always thought we were.

3. It's a good song, even this version, and it's given me a new Cher fantasy. If only you knew how I hate it when artists ask their crowds to sing parts of their songs for them. They turn the microphone out to the audience and the masses sing the chorus of some hit. Manipulated love and what a rip off. Like I don't need to pay to hear myself sing, you know. However, this song has made me reconsider my grouchiness on this point. What a moment that would be to hear all Cher fans in a big crowd singing the lyrics of "The Greatest Thing" back to her. I get verklempt!

4. My life was in the shithole last week and for three minutes it wasn't. If I can send money somehow to Cher or Lady Gaga I would be happy to.

 


Recap of Woman's World Press Tour

943273_10201522820973247_1967374274_nThe Accolades:

After decades of dissings, then surprised condescension at her success in the 1980s, then the 1990s of affected interest with the turn into occasional accolades and credit, the excitement of this round's interviewers is palpable. I’m chalking it up to the inarguable facts of her career piling up and The Cher Show kids finally finding their asses in interviewing seats. It’s truly extra-ordinary and Cher is responding with her grown-up voice and is downright verbose in her responses.

One of my favorite pile-ups of accolades was from SoSoGay,

“Before Beyonce, before Gaga. Before Rhianna and before Katy. Before Britney, Christina, Cyndi and Celine. Before Whitney and Mariah, and before Madonna. Before colour television, before the Vietnam War, before man walked on the moon. Before the decimalized pound. Before everything, before time immemorial…There was Cher….this shimmering vestibule of unrelenting fabulousness….her sparkling tsunami.”

Ed Brody, the author, tells me Burlesque was amazing and to get over myself. I laughed at that. I wish I could. But that's the cross a scholar bears.

Here's more overview of the love:

  • A Cher fan said she was coolest person ever since he can remember (Watch What Happens/Andy Cohen)
  • Andy Cohen said as a kid he watched The Cher Show and "when she came down the ramp, life, hope, goose bumps, gave me fairy dust, inspiration" came too. He said Cher was putting to bed all the kids in America. (Watch What Happens/Andy Cohen)
  • Anderson Cooper said he grew up adoring Cher—and his mom (Gloria Vanderbilt) said Cher was her fantasy daughter. Kelly Ripa is also a fan. One caller said he had to get high to talk to Cher (Watch What Happens/Andy Cohen)
  • Dan Taylor called her the female artist of rock and roll, the iconic lady (WCBS).
  • On Sirius/XM radio's Studio54 channel, the hosts Marc Benecke and Myra Scheer were very excited. (I just got a new car so have free XM for 3 months or something--whohoo!). In their intro, they played “The Shoop Shoop Song,” “Believe,” Turn Back Time,” and “Woman’s World” clips. On the Town Hall interview with Cher, (the inaugural), Myra noted that she was Steve Rubell’s executive assistant at Studio 54 in New York City. They called her major star, a guiding star, a role model with 250 world-wide awards in music, TV and film, including a Golden Globe, an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, and a hit song in every decade “since 1910” Cher joked. At the first break, they played “Take Me Home” (and noted the song was on the Studio 54 album). The next break “Turn Back Time.” The next break “I Found Someone” (and here a salamander crawled up our faux-bedrock wall and stopped to listen). The next break “Believe," “Strong Enough” next and during the final break “Women’s World.” Many of New York’s straight men asked questions during this interview and I love how straight men in NYC love her. You don't see this so much in LA and the Midwest.

Candidness: Cher seemed so much less guarded in her face, body, and with her words.

  • The New York Times said what they used to say about her in the 1980s, “In this age of rigidly controlled star-bots, no topic seemed to be off-limits (except her relationship status).”
  • She appeared on The Today Show with Savannah Guthrie, (perky like Katie Couric) and was so nice and comfortable in her PJs. After the interview, Guthrie gushed about Cher to her co-anchors, calling Cher an unassuming charmer. I was impressed how easily Guthrie could kid with her.
  • On Z100, the DJ played “Does Cher Care” asking Cher irreverent questions about Paula Dean (Cher feels she’s not misunderstood, just wrong), Sandra Bullock’s new movie trailer: is it overexposed, will it be good? Is Cher even interested (Cher said it looks cool), about the never-ending cupcake craze (Cher said it sucked to begin with and prefers Hostess cupcakes), should Snowden be punished or kicked out of China/Russia? (Cher said this was above her pay grade).
  • Andy Cohen launched CherMaggedon with a plethora of games, including Truth or Cher—the Truth question being who her greatest lovers were (She said they’d all been exceptional. Andy said “That’s a list!” and she answered, “Not a long list but a good list.” He got her to admit Tom Cruise in the top 5 when prompted). In the Dare, Andy Cohen quoted Moonstruck and asked Cher to slap him while saying "Snap out of it." In another segment Gypsies Tramps and Tea, Andy Cohen asked for Cher’s opinion on: Elvis (didn’t know him), Whitney (didn’t know her), Nick Cage (he’s crazy but I love him), Meryl (my idol), Phil Spector (he’s crazy and only paid me $25 for a year’s work), Michael Jackson (I have TMI!), Tom Cruise (He wasn’t a scientologist then and they were hot and heavy for a minute), ever having a lesbian lover? (who hasn’t). She said she stole a horse when I was 13 and took it to Santa Ana. If she could meet anyone? She’d ask Jesus “Dude, what’s the deal?” Her favorite decade was the 80s (so much fun, could go naked swimming). On her bucket list? (I thought she said to build Balobgese house but is that right??). Her best movie role was Moonstruck. Does she have a boyfriend? (The moment anyone knows, you don’t have one; so she keeps that on the low down now—that's a great answer actually). For the Jackal of the Night: Cher picked Senator Ted Cruise because he’s an a-hole who doesn’t like gays or foreigners. According to Andy, the show said "Cher" 29 times – which was a record.
  • During Andy Cohen’s Aftershow, he asked her what sent she would use for a scented candle (Uninhibited); she says she watches CNN/MSNBC. Anderson Cooper made a surprise appearance and said Cher calls in all the time to help people but low key (that she did so with Hurricane Katrina). They asked her about the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage (about time, she said) and they tried to play Kiss, Marry, Shag with her (with Quaid who she’d say she’d marry and Nicholson & Cage but she never finished the list.) They ran a Hair Chertrospective at the end.

Cher was great fun through all these shenanigans.

  WomanssingleThe New Album:

  • On Live Chat NY, Cher said the video wouldn’t be released until September (which is very strange since a video might have helped the single). Cher said the newspaper wig was her wigmakers idea and kinda a nightmare. She said her favorite songs on the album are “Lie to Me” (a Pink song), “My Love” (a future single), Take It Like a Man” (a future single), and Dressed to Kill.” She said she recorded “Woman’s World” in an hour (on Z100 she said the song sang itself) and she co-wrote the song “Lovers Forever” which is actually old and was written for the movie Interview with a Vampire. She said the album has dance, rock and ballads and she hopes it will generate three videos.
  • On Z100 Cher said recording is still scary and tenuous and she is not Cher fan, that recording studios are not her favorite place to be, that she feels more confident on stage (where I shine) because she feels she’s a good entertainer (vs. a singer).
  • To Andy Cohen, Cher said Lady Gaga didn’t like their duet but that she felt it was good. Cher said this was her best album and her best songs and she loved that she didn’t have to lower her keys.
  • WCBS noted that this is her 26th album. She said here it was very eclectic with dance, ballads, a country song, and some funky banjo in one song and a U2-sounding 9/11 song called “Sirens.”
  • On XM she talked about the writing of “Woman’s World.” As she said in "Believe"-era interviews, there's no overt personal connection to the song. She said the writer was a guy and his idea was that women are strong and now demand their rights. (In this light, I think the setup suffers from slight condescension, which isn’t the writer’s fault, but a generational interpretation, ex: we don't need men to tell us this.) Myra said the song was very “I Will Survive of the 21st Century.” (I thought that label should have been applied to the song “Strong Enough” with its 1970s sound). Cher said the song was like “Believe” in that she didn’t like the second verse, which was too similar to “Believe.” Cher said she won’t cry twice, which is why in "Believe" she added the more empowering line: “Maybe I’m too good for you.” She wants to show that women are resilient. Myra said although Cher didn’t write it, she owned it. Cher’s mom said that about her The Voice performance.

GypsiesorigOld Songs:

  • On Live Chat NY, Cher said she turned down “Turn Back Time” around 1000 times and then did the song in an hour. She said her favorite song of her own is “Song for the Lonely.” The interviewer said she loves “Baby Don’t Go” and Cher said that was a great song and very  definitive Sonny & Cher.
  • On Z100 the DJ said Cher has embraced change through the eras vs. musicians who say “this is the kind of music I make” and aren’t flexible. Cher said she gets bored and likes to try new ideas. Cher said she can’t think of anybody my age who is making records to get on the charts or anyone who performs onstage with no clothes. (She’s so funny!) They talked about “Believe” and auto tune and the vocoder and pitch machines. I get confused during such tech talk.
  • On WCBS, Cher says she almost threw away “Believe” although she thought it was a “beautifully constructed idea.” She talked about the first time she heard herself on the radio, for her song “Baby Don’t Go.” They were at her mom’s house where their managers were living (because they were all poor). They were in the living room listening to KFWB and had all been calling on all their phones to the radio station to get it played. Cher said it was an out of body experience with everybody screaming when the song came on. They said they all wanted to go to the Cadillac dealership with bag full of money and buy a Cadillac.
  • On XM, Cher said she hasn’t a clue about her longevity in the business. She agreed with a fan that she liked the “Walking in Memphis” video and was the first to play Elvis. (Like originally? Like in 1971, which is my theory that she’s been doing Elvis since then?)

General Music:

On Live Chat NY, Cher says she Pink, Adele, and Amy Winehouse; On XM she said she still has her favorite go-to song (but said it makes no sense) as Procol Harem’s “Whiter Shade of Pale.” SoSoGay reporter mentioned that her song from Not.Com.merical, “With or Without You” taps into that Procol Harem sound.

MaskMovies & Broadway:

  • According to Live Chat NY, Cher has no word on the status of Drop Out or Bet and Flo, movies once listed on her IMDB page. For her next movie, she seeks a non-glamorous role in an independent film. She says she will never do Shakespeare.
  • She also says she got her Silkwood offer on a Wednesday matinee of her Broadway show, Come Back to the 5 & Dime, and she liked doing a play, found it comforting. (Live Chat NY) She said Broadway was not easy but you get an immediate reaction. (XM)
  • According to Live Chat NY she’s still writing for her Logo show.
  • The DJ of Z100 told Cher he used to watch Mask over and over with his sister. On Z100 and XM, Cher said she was sick during the offer to do Thelma & Louise but that what belongs to you comes to you. She  regrets not being able to do it but feels it was meant to be “Sue’s” part.
  • Andy Cohen during his Aftershow asked Cher if she keeps in touch with the Mermaids daughters, Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci. Cher says they grew up and she hasn’t seen them lately. She said “Noni” went through a strange period but seems back on track and she remembers sneaking Christina M&Ms during the shooting when directors thought Christina was too chubby and banned them from her trailer. Cher said she loved the family-feeling of movies and talking to the tech people. She said she had a great time on Burlesque.
  • On WCBS, Cher retold the story about a crowd laughing at her name during the Silkwood preview (Nichols told her the previews were out and she went to a Tom Cruise movie in Westwood to see it with her sister and her manager, Billy Sammeth). She said it was organic laughter and therefore pretty painful. At the eventual premiere the audience clapped at her name in the credits.
  • On XM, Cher admitted not knowing how’s she’s persevered in a youth-oriented film industry. Myra calls her fearless. Cher said you evolve. Mark said she has communication with audience. Cher said she is likable. She said her most memorable moment was winning the Oscar. It was amazing to her since it took so long to get an acting job. She said Robert Altman was such a rebel. Mike Nichols told her when he saw the Saturday matinee about the character of Dolly that they couldn’t find anyone for the role before they found Cher and so they we were just gonna write her out; Mike said, “She’s a lesbian, but really lovely.” A fan asked if she would do more musicals? She said she wasn’t planning any but she enjoyed singing in a film.
  • One fan on XM commented on her sexy glamor and sensitivity in movies from Moonstruck to Jimmy Dean. Cher joked that she could multitask. She said, I am who I am for better or worse, a lot of worse. She said she likes play in her work and that sometimes she stops doing it when she feels she has nothing to offer.

Twitter & Star Fights:

  • On Live Chat NY, Cher admitted on Twitter it’s hard to read jokes and emotions, saying, “Words can’t see a smile, can’t get emotions." She said she tweets in the middle of the night like a vampire. To Andy Cohen she says she’s good with Madonna.
  • Andy Cohen asked her about Nicki Minaj throwing shade on her. She said people come and go. Snap!

Exercise & Free Time:

  • On The Today Show Cher says for free time, she sees friends, goes to the Bahamas, paddle  boards, goes hiking, or somewhere like Nepal.
  • On XM she talked about working out, working her “ass off” now because when you’re older it gets harder. But she was always into sports and running as kid, climbing trees. She had “so much energy.” Official exercise started for her during The Sonny & Cher shows where she took a dance class during their lunch breaks. She said you have to change it up to trick your body. The same exercise stops working. Now she does yoga, pilates, weights and the trampoline to music, bouncing, she says, makes her happy.

Outfits: Inlove

  • In the New York Times, Cher said her favorite dress was the Oscar Snub Dress: “If you could have seen it up close. It was cashmere, the beading was beautiful, they made earrings and the headdress was exquisite. It was impeccable. It was beautifully done.” (And Cher would know a headdress). She also stated “Camp is in the eye of the beholder.”
  • On The Today Show she said she doesn’t mind people hating what she wears.
  • On Andy Cohen she wore space platforms shoes and black and white geometric jacket and pants. Cher scholar Robrt Pela noted that this outfit matched the back cover of Sonny & Cher’s In Case You're In Love album. She stated her that her favorite outfits where the Oscar dress, and her first Indian “costume,” and the "Turn Back Time" outfit (Which one? The concert hole fit or the video V fit?)
  • On XM, a fan asked what her outfit inspirations were. She said her first inspiration was Bob Mackie. She loved that her friend said her hair on The Voice looked like a chicken from the 4H club. She says she has a  good humor about it. But she said the outfit and wig didn’t translate on the show (I agree: too many cuts and closeups). Cher said art should provoke conversation, not that she can say my hair was art, but she was going for Luxe Punk.

Concerts: Helen-Mirren

  • On LiveChat NY, Cher talked about her first live appearance in bowling alley and Sonny pushing her on stage. She said about her Caesars shows:  “They were very staid.” (New York Times) and that fans couldn’t afford the show so there was an older, low energy audience. She came to understand “you don’t get to decide how they’re gonna enjoy it. They get to decide.” She said on tour she saves her voice and doesn’t talk, lives like a nun.  She said in the 1960s people threw rings on stage, in homage to the fact she had rings on every finger (I did not know that.). She said “Song for the Lonely” is impossible to sing and she didn’t tape Caesars show. (Live Chat NY)
  • The New York Times was with Cher at the Marquee during a very long wig change. Manager Lindsay Scott was asked, “How much of his life is spent waiting for Cher to change her outfit and get trussed up?” “A good amount.”
  • In the Marquee video itself, Cher made a speech about when she was unc2ool and a has-been, “you guys have always been there.” Cher watched some drag queens/impersonators dance to a mix of her songs and she danced and sang along, smiling.
  • On Z100 she said she might tour next year. The DJ asked her about seeing all those cell phones now at shows. She said smart phones weren’t around yet during her farewell tour years.
  • During the Macy’s 4th of July Spectacular, I loved the long hair and the pants. Is that chain mail back in action? Mr. Cher Scholar made many positive remarks, (She looks cool here, looks younger, like the big hoops, she looks great). The women in audience really seem into it. Cher smiles a lot and throws out sultry looks. She did lip sync but in the bootleg pre-tape, you can hear her singing. She comments about dressing age-appropriate (not quite yet; age appropriate would be dressing like Helen Mirren above...can you believe they're less than a year apart in age?). She talks about her choreographer, Doriana Sanchez, and about getting free M&Ms vs Dr. Pepper backstage.
  • Cher announced she’ll be performing a Today Show concert on September 23. The hosts said to “expect a legendary crowd.”
  • Cher said her least favorite song to do live is “Jessie James.” She talked about touring with sonny in early 70s on the club circuit where they had to cook in our room but used Chastity in act; She used to lead the orchestra. (Watch What Happens/Andy Cohen)
  • On XM, Cher said hearing her records again, she felt they sound better. For live shows you need to speed them up because the audience needs excitement. She said singing live is a crap shoot. She said sometimes her musical director  Paul Mirkovich changes up arrangements. A fan asked if there was a drag queen better than she was? She picked Elgin Kenna and called him a genius artist.

TV Shows:

  • To Andy Cohen, she talked about Farrah Fawcett’s appearance on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. “She had tits and I didn’t” so Farrah got all the crews attention. She said one of her favorite things  with Sonny was the Raymond Burr blooper (long form) and on XM she said the blooper was “so us.” She also agreed she loved her West Side Story performance. She said there were 14 costume changes on her show with Sonny.
  • On WCBS, she said her appearance on The Voice was awful and scary. Before the show she told her mom she would either be the greatest reinvention of herself or it would be “get thee to a nursing home."

Family & Friends:  Hersonny

  • Cher said her mom would be a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race and Chaz was great performing in “30 Minute Musical” (Live Chat NY), the episode spoofing Independence Day and Chas played the president.  (Watch What Happens/Andy Cohen)
  • Cher said Sonny’s funeral was very Italian with everybody cooking. “The only person not there was Son.” Cher said they didn’t sing to Chaz at bedtime, they read her stories. (Watch What Happens/Andy Cohen)
  • ON WCBS, Cher said her mom’s best advice was to never litter and that Cher has never seen Chaz better in his life.
  • On XM someone asked for Cher’s advice to new artists. Cher said entertainment and fame are so different now, everyone has an immediate clothing line (I wonder how Sonny would have operated in this era). Cher said Sonny instilled in her the idea never to believe in a no. She said she should have stopped years ago when all signs pointed to no, but like a bumper car she keeps going, it’s in her family DNA. She said far more talented people don’t make it. She hears friends saying older people should move over to give the kids a shot, but the women in her family are not moving out of the way.
  • On XM they asked her for her best personal and professional decade. She said all decades have had their over parts and have also spiked up. “They said I reinvented myself but it was untrue…I’m just me.” She couldn’t decide on a best decade, saying the 1960s were the beginning, the 1970s had the TV show, the 1980s had the movies and was the best decade personally.
  • On WCBS Cher said she was still working with Children’s Craniofacial Association.
  • In The New York Times, Cher said Robert Camilletti was her easiest relationship and of her two husbands, Sonny she was most attached too: “It wasn’t like anything before or after. And it wasn’t all roses. It was very Russian roulette.”
  • On XM she said her true love was Robert Camilletti and Ronnie Zimmerman was the one who could make her laugh so hard she cried.
  • XM asked her for advice for parents. She said I’m on twitter with your kids. She said it's hard to stop telling your kids what to do but you need to think of them as people and cut them some slack and do fun stuff with them. You're not just there to boss them around. But teenagers are crazy. You need to guide them more because you worry about them all the time. Her mom told her never lie, litter, or talk back. But she learned to drive when she was 11 and her mother assures her she was a mercurial child. "Chaz was an angel all the time. Elijah is like me."

Her Character:

  • Calls herself mercurial (Sirius/New York Times) and says her worst habit is worrying too much (Live Chat NY). If she could go back in time as superpower to meet an Egyptian whose name I couldn’t catch or to send the paparazzi into space (Live Chat NY). She said her biggest obstacle is her up and down moods and she works to stay in the center and not be over emotional (WCBS).
  • On XM she was asked if she would change anything she’s done. “How long do we have,” she asked and then said the truth would be too personal. She believes what belongs to you comes to you.

Plastic Surgery:

In the New York Times, Cher admits her limited movie offers might be due to her wrinkle-free visage, that her look might make it “hard to be anyone but Cher.” She said this idea “didn’t feel very good. But it was true. I get that. I understand that.” She was also asked about Chad Michaels allegedly having surgery to look more like her: “If it doesn’t bother him, it doesn’t bother me. I don’t feel creepy. I don’t.”

A Book: Ft

To Andy Cohen, Cher admitted she once wrote "a half-assed book." But before she write the bigger book, people have to die off. She said she and friend, Paulie, talk about it all the time.

Shy Kid to Superstar:

My iPod shuffle served up the Sonny & Cher b-side “Hello” during Cher’s big June/July press push. I was taken by how far she’s come in her confidence.

We've also come to a point of critical mass in her career, where no one (including Cher herself) can pretend this is her first album, movie or project and dismiss or ignore all the preceeding history. I love it when she talks about experiencing showbiz over so long a period of time and, as you can see, all these interviews reflect the breadth of her work, from live shows to TV shows to music albums to being a fashion icon. It's all here.