What a week—first Madonna, now Cher. It's like a more homosexual version of homosexuality. And yes, I met 'er.
We arrived at Tao on W. 16th just past 7PM for a Closer to the Truth album-release party advertised as running from 7 to 9. I'd heard in advance not to arrive after 7:30, so assumed it would be an early night. It was, even though Cher was at a big Warner Bros. meeting before the festivities so was fashionably late.
The space wasn't overcrowded and the décor reminded me of how I'd imagine Cher's own living room to look. Great food (which I took...like a man) and free booze, too.
At one point, an amazing (male) Cher impersonator entered, setting off 1,000s of flashes before we realized it was not she. The real Cher surprised us all by entering via a side door, leading to an avalanche of graying fans in and out of the media.
I realized she was heading to a small VIP area so ran ahead and leaned out over a table, greeting her politician-in-a-parade style. I told her I loved her new CD, to which she laughed and smiled and said, "Thank you!" as we shook hands. Maybe that's the real reason it's called a release party...I almost released during this exchange.
Cher's not Madonna for me, but she's Cher for everyone! I still remember falling asleep at the foot of my parents' bed watching her variety show. She inspires such an outpouring of love...I've never seen so many old people spoiling for a fight in order to share air with someone, people like the bag who bitterly claimed I was shoving her and in turn elbowed me aggressively. I gently grasped her elbow and denied I'd done any such thing, just as gently suggesting she go die. Did I mention I am scorched-earth?
Cher looked good. She has a Loretta Young thing going on with her face, or Jennifer Jones, and I do like how she's doing "her" hair lately, which is softer. Plus, she was wearing a beaded jacket that totally reminded me of this:
Once she made it to the VIP area, Cher met some bigwigs and other lucky types while everyone hovered and shot photos. By "hovered," I mean behaved like 100 fish in a bucket meant for 20. She was then led all around the club—stopping along the way for photo ops with the Cher-inspired drag queen hostesses—and right up to the DJ booth, where she made the following mind-blowingly short, honest speech:
Then...Cher took off. After all, as she pointed out, she had been up since 4AM and "a girl needs to get up later than 4AM!"
The rest of us mere mortals stuck around for a bit, giving me the opportunity to speak with supermodel Garrett Neff, most famous as one of Calvin Klein's more inspired picks to hustle his skivvies. I'd met Garrett briefly at Madonna's MDNA Tour DVD premiere, at which time he'd been rather reservedly amused that I wanted to take a picture of him. But during this encounter, he was completely outgoing and engaged, making sure our photo together was good and then chatting with my friend and I for a few minutes about our jobs and about his apparent ability to do a killer Michael Caine (?!) impression. (He only does it once he's psyched up, like during a casting.) Could not have been nicer, and would have been a herculean task to have been prettier.
I also (of course) spotted stripper Geronimo Frias and admired his he-who-shall-remain-nameless fellow go-go boy, too. Geronimo and I reminisced about our last meeting, which had occurred backstage after this:
P.S. Perez Hilton was the only other bold-faced name I saw (I'd hoped against hope that Madonna would attend so we could get a proper two-shot of them). He looks great...he's lost a whole person.
Cher had left way too soon, but the truth is...it was still a kick to have been so much closer to her.
Cher's new CD Closer to the Truth is out now.