I was in grade school when Sonny & Cher first came on the scene...in fact the first 45 I bought was Cher's, "Baby Don't Go". Funny thing, my parent's drug store in North Portland, University Drug, didn't carry records at the time, so I snuck down to our competitors, Portsmouth Drug, and bought the record. I thought Cher was the coolest, I wanted to dress like her, although I couldn't find or afford the faux fur vests, they both wore at the time, but I did wear those hip-hugging, bell bottoms as much as possible. A lot of us watched the Sonny & Cher Show, and were heartbroken when they broke up, including me. In 1990, I was working in radio and hosting an environmental show on KCAL TV in Los Angeles .I don't remember the scenario, but I was invited to a "meet and greet" with Cher and Winona Ryder to publicize their new movie, "Mermaids". I do remember rushing over to the club on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood from my TV show, so excited to get to meet my childhood idol. I had TV makeup on, and my hair was huge, as you can see in the picture, and I was nervous! There were a lot of people there, and the publicists put us in little groups, to wait to meet her. Then we were taken in a small room, and there she was...the one and only Cher! We didn't talk a whole lot, for one, I was tongue-tied, but I did tell her how much I admired her, which she was gracious about, and then, just before they took our picture I said sarcastically, "I'll bet you love doing this", and she said, "You can't even imagine", and we laughed. My only surprise was how small Cher is. On TV she always looked tall, but in person, she wasn't. I'm 5'-9", and she was wearing very high heels that day, I wasn't. She was also very slight, and in amazing shape, as you can imagine. I'll always love Cher!
The first thing people ALWAYS ask when they see this picture is, "Who's the guy in the middle?". The guy in the middle was a Los Angeles rep for Columbia Records, Billy's recording company. I can't for the life of me remember his name, but he was a great guy. I met Billy in '87 or '88 at a private club in Santa Monica, that was, and may still be, right on the beach. Columbia invited a bunch of radio people to meet him because they were promoting his new album, "Kontsert", a live album from the Soviet Union leg of his, "The Bridge" tour. As you can imagine, there were a lot of people there, and Billy was being pulled every which way. .I was very curious about his impression of the USSR, having studied Russian history extensively in college, but instead of asking him about that, I was drawn to a cool brooch on his lapel, and complimented him on it. He said, Christie, his wife Christie Brinkley, bought it for him in Russia. That's when I asked him what it was like over there, and that's probably when this picture was taken, because he joked it was "difficult", and then went on to say some funny stuff. Billy was one of the early rock music acts to do full-on rock concerts there, and some in the Soviet Union were trying to politicize his being there, while he just wanted to play music.
I always liked Tina Turner, but when her "Private Dancer" album came out in '84, I became a HUGE fan. I loved the song, "What's Love Got to Do with It" so much, that my friend, and former boss at KHJ radio in Los Angeles, Charlie Cook, made me a loop cassette of it to play in my car, and I did. I'm guessing I met Tina in 1991, and probably for the release of her "Simply the Best" album. The meet and greet was at the then, Argyle Hotel, on Sunset Boulevard. I remember that because it's one of my favorite buildings in L.A., with its art deco/art nouveau architecture. Unlike the Tina on stage, she was pretty quiet, and somewhat shy. I know I chatted with her for a minute and that I thought she was very nice, but don't remember what we talked about. What I do remember is how beautiful her skin was, and how elegant she was!