I always had a soft spot in my heart for Sonny Bono, and even his latest incarnation as a U.S. congressman amused the heck out of me. He always acted as if he didn't take government seriously. But of course, the Sonny we all remember is the hippie I've Got You, Babe guy of his Sonny-and-Cher days. Then he looked like an ordinary, not very impressive little man who had the luck to be married to a willowy, sexy, talented brunette.
The truth was that way back then, Sonny was definitely "in charge." Offstage, he was a tyrant who managed every move Cher made, every costume she wore, everything she said and did. I once traveled with them for four days on a concert tour. During this time, Cher said virtually nothing. Sonny talked a blue streak. She was vague and vacant-minded. He was all crisp efficiency and a little to the right of Hitler. When I came back from that trip I had to report to Cosmopolitan that I had zero for an article I was to write. I told editor Helen Gurley Brown, "These two people are mismated. They'll be divorced within three months. If we do this story, we'll end up with egg on our faces." Helen agreed.
Three months later, Sonny lost the woman who was considered his meal ticket. In a way, it seemed he never got over it. But since he was so much "in charge," I'm not sure. Anyway, he went on to bigger and better careers - mayor of Palm Springs, a seat in Congress. His death touches many of us.
Liz Smith, A Friend of the Deceased