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(tones)
(rewinding tape)
(tape button pressed)
(slow music)
- When did you become Cher, Cher?
Are you legally Cher, one word?
- Oh, yeah. I've been Cher for a long time.
- You sign your checks Cher and stuff like that?
- Yeah, all my papers, my passport, my driver's license.
I never really felt my maiden name.
I never really felt any last name ever in my life.
I was always just Cher.
So I just went and petitioned the court.
What you have to prove is
that you are absolutely recognizable
to everyone by that one name.
(upbeat music)
- I want to ask you a little bit about diva concert here.
Are you comfortable with the phrase diva
as applied to you?
You think it's right?
- I don't think it's anything.
I think it's something that is a commercial word
that people ...
- The old meaning has sort of connotations
of temperamental and difficult and egotistical.
- Well one out of three.
(Benjamin chuckles)
- Which one is wrong?
- The first two.
- So egotistical?
- Absolutely because I spend so much time
having to think about myself and so I'm really self-centered
which doesn't make me completely oblivious to things
that are happening around me.
It just makes me more conscious of myself
than is healthy and that I would like to be.
But that's just the way it is.
I don't read music.
I just hear it,
but I'm better with lyrics
and I have kind of a photographic memory because of it.
I can read something and pretty much get the feeling
of it the first time.
It just takes me a little bit longer.
I'm pretty intelligent but I'm really dyslexic
and so school was almost an impossibility for me.
- You have such a icon status in the public mind.
People don't think of Cher as a mom, generally.
What kind of mom are you, were you?
- A working mom at best is not very good.
I mean I love my kids,
but I could've been a lot better mom.
I think I was kind of strict and dragged them with me
and had great times and bad times.
And I'm a cookie-decorating mom.
I don't bake them.
I decorate them, you know.
(Benjamin chuckles)
- Okay.
It's not necessary to smash your children's personalities.
They're respectful.
They know what's right and wrong.
How they live after that is their choice,
and I don't have a lot of vested interest
in making them kowtow to some strange whims that I have.
- You’re very popular apparently in gay circles,
- Yeah.
- And, I guess, I don't know if there's a camp element
to it or not.
- I don't believe it is.
I think that my gay following is really respectful
and if it verges into being camp,
camp is a very specifically gay thing.
That doesn't bother me at all, because I know
that my gay followers really care about me, really love me,
have loved me through thick and thin,
and a lot of times have loved me more through thin
because that's the way gay men are.
They understand not being part of the whole.
- It's a strange thing with your career.
It sort of goes all over the place.
One minute you're incredibly cool,
then you're not so cool
and then you're not so cool
that you're cool again.
Do you just ride this wave?
- I don't know how to do it.
I just ride it.
- Does it get to you?
- Yeah.
It's fun when it's happening you know.
It's not that I don't take it seriously,
it's just that I know what it is.
It doesn't mean because it's happening now
that it's going to happen forever.
But it doesn't mean that it's not either,
so I don't predict this kind of [Bleep] you know.
I could walk out of here tomorrow
and get hit by a truck.
It's just been my life.
It's always been my life.
I don't know that this life makes me happy
but it's the life that I love.
- Can you imagine what the alternate universe
would have been had you not gone this way,
if you had not met Sonny in that coffee shop
and not become famous?
- Yeah I know but you know what we were walking towards
that coffee shop since the day we were both born.
- Destiny?
- Yeah.
- Do you believe in destiny?
- Yeah, I believe in everything.
(Benjamin chuckles)
- [Benjamin] Would you have been happy
if you had not been famous?
- No.
(slow music)
- I've Got You Babe is obviously,
that must be packed with all sorts
of mixed emotions for you, huh?
- Not really anything mixed.
No, it was just like the beginning,
and it was, we were living that song.
Sonny wrote that song for me.
It was about our life.
Since Sonny's death it's a lot more bittersweet, you know,
but the truth is, even though Sonny's dead,
I don't think of him as dead.
I feel somehow closer to him now
than I've felt in a really long time.
We had the just strangest relationship.
I mean, he had me in court trying to prove
I was an unfit mother,
and on the day he lost the case
'cause it was really ridiculous,
we walked out and he grabbed me and kissed me on the lips,
and I was really angry with him, you know?
And then we ended up being hysterical laughing.
We were so much like kids.
You know, we'd spent hundreds of thousands of dollars,
but it was like a joke.
It was always like a game with us.
It was always like a game.
I never could explain it to myself.
I just accepted however it went.
(tape rewinding)
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Cher on Kitsch | Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios

74 Folder Collection
VoiceTube published on September 20, 2016
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