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‘Never can say goodbye’ to Cher

By |2004-11-18T09:00:00-05:00November 18th, 2004|Uncategorized|

Somebody out there ought to take a tube of bright colored lipstick – say fuchsia – and write across my forehead: S-U-C-K-E-R. And make sure it’s all in caps. You might even want to throw in an exclamation point at the end. This should be my punishment. I should be made to walk around for a whole day like this. I’d say in drag, but then I’d be punishing all those who had to see me as well, and this is not their fault. It’s mine and mine alone.
So what did I do to deserve this? I was taken in by what’s become the new oldest trick in the book by aging recording artists planning concert tours. When I heard that Cher, who I idolized in the 70s and had never once seen live, was coming to town as part of her farewell tour, I believed she was truly saying goodbye and I coughed up $85 I didn’t have so I could wave back to her when she walked off that Detroit stage for the last time.
This was June 2002. Since then, she’s come to town no less than three additional times. Now, Cher is set to return to the Palace of the Auburn Hills Nov. 20 to say goodbye to metro Detroiters for a fifth time.
You’ve got to give it to her. Cher has successfully managed to turn saying goodbye into a new business enterprise for herself. It’s been her full-time job for 2 years now. It has also spawned a whole new line of products, including a live CD and DVD, a new greatest hits package and a collection of all her music videos. At her concerts, Cher initially offered a complete line of products including T-shirts, posters, tour books, dolls, magnets and more. Then, at the start of the year, when some marketing wizard decided to give the tour a new subtitle – “Never Can Say Goodbye” – it was decided that a brand new line of merchandise should be created. That’s right, dedicated fans who’d bought it all the first few times the show had come to their town needed something new to buy. They couldn’t be depraved of the opportunity to spend more money on their favorite fashion plate. So new T-shirts, tour books and the like were created.
At first look, some might say this endless farewell is a Cher fan’s dream come true. But upon closer inspection you can see the missing chips in this giant mirror ball and there are many. With each new leg of the tour she adds, Cher is shrinking her show. It’s now fully seven songs shorter than it was when it first rolled through town in 2002. Songs such as “Different Kind of Love Song,” “Song for the Lonely,” “Heart of Stone,” “Just Like Jesse James,” “Way of Love” “Save Up All Your Tears” and “We All Sleep Alone” have been scrapped, and nothing has been added in their place.
As a friend of mine, who’s such a devoted Cher fan that he’s seen all four of her Detroit stopovers, recently said, by next year, Cher’s show will consist of her coming out on the stage to introduce the lengthy video sequence she uses and then saying, “I’ll be back at the end to say goodnight.”
The obvious answer to why Cher’s continuing with this even if her heart is no longer in it is M-O-N-E-Y. But if she really loves her fans she’ll give ’em a break and either say goodbye for good or stop pretending she’s ever going to. I once pitched a fit at my parents for taking me to the circus and causing me to miss the Sonny & Cher show. Now Cher’s the one I want to fuss with. I mean, I love you, girl, but damn. Say goodbye already.

About the Author:

Jason A. Michael
Jason A. Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Wayne State University before joining Between The Lines as a contributing writer in 1999. Jason has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author having written the authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," which he released on his own JAM Books imprint.