Sonny & Cher Concert, Deauville Hotel, Miami Beach, FL., 1973

Aside from the fact that I am a huge Cher Fan, or as we are called “Cher Crew Members”, there is a special significance why I wanted so badly to meet Cher. My story begins in 1973.  My father and step-mom had tickets to see Sonny & Cher in Concert at the Deauville Hotel, on Miami Beach.  My father came down with the Flu and couldn’t go to the concert–so my step-mother asked if I wanted to join instead.   Being such a huge fan of Sonny & Cher of course I joined.  Back in that era,  my parents earned a very modest income and couldn’t afford to buy me a ticket to join them for the concert.  That was the first time seeing Sonny & Cher in Concert and it was truly an amazing experience.

Sonny & Cher

After the concert I asked if we could wait so I could get an autograph from Cher? ( I had a huge crush on her).  Although my step-mom was hesitant because of the crowds, she agreed and we must have waited at least an hour.  Finally, Sonny & Cher emerged from the stage area in the lobby of the Hotel and began walking  toward the elevators to go to their room and of course, they had 4 bodyguards surrounding them.  I can remember the details so vividly because of what was about to happen and because I was such a huge fan.  There stood Sonny dressed in a black tuxedo, wearing a white shirt and bowtie dangling from his collar, and there was Cher, standing there with her gorgeous raven long black hair, wearing pink bell bottom hip-hugger jeans, a colorful strapless halter top and sandals with her arms crossed almost expressionless.  I was in awe!

I remember Sonny stopping to talk to the crowd explaining that they were both “very tired” from their performance and Sonny was thanking the straggling fans for waiting.  It was at that moment, I jetted toward Cher for an autograph and one of their body guards “knocked me down to the ground” to protect Cher (just doing their job)–but of course, I didn’t understand at the time what was happening because I just a was a child.  Yes, I was stunned and embarrassed.  It was at that moment in time that “I vowed to myself that someday I would meet Cher!”

The next day, distraught over in incident and embarrasment, my mom, Emily Green lovingly autographed a Sonny & Cher Album that I cherished, “Sonny & Cher, Live in Las Vegas”.  She wrote on the album, “Dear Bill, with Love, Sonny & Cher”– knowing how upset I was. I know in my heart that my loving mom was with me in spirit on May 19, 2017, just 9 days after what would have been my mothers 88th birthday (God rest her soul) and one day before Cher’s 71st Birthday.  This was the evening that I would finally meet Cher!

Classic Cher Concert, Monte Carlo Theater, Las Vegas, NV, May 19, 2017

Finally, 45 years later, I finally met Cher!

Meeting Cher was one of the special and significant moments of my life.  May 19, 2017 my two cousins (sisters Ilene and Elyse) who lived next door to me growing up, (also big Cher fans) and I met in Las Vegas for long awaited reunion with plans to see the Classic Cher Concert.

I had begun working on the details to meet Cher 6 months prior to the concert. After exchanging dozens of emails with 3 special contacts of Cher’s, it was the day of the concert that I finally received an email from Cher’s Road Tour & Ticketing Manager notifying me, that I was to pick up an envelope from the theater’s “Will Call Desk” before the show.

VIP Meet & Greet Passes

To my shock and surprise, the envelope contained “3 Platinum Meet and Greet Passes to meet Cher” after her concert along with special instructions how to get to the meet and greet location.  I was shaking with excitement, almost in disbelief that the time had finally come to meet Cher. I placed the tickets in my jacket pocket and protected them as though I were in possession of the “Hope Diamond”.  (Only a true Cher fan would understand.)   There we were, at the Monte Carlo Theater, May 19, 2017, 8PM, the day before Cher’s 71st Birthday.  The crowd anxious to see Cher entering the theater was amazing to watch and meet. There were fans of all ages, from teenagers to men and woman in their 80’s all lined up from all over the world. We met many great people from all over the U.S., fans who traveled in from Australia, New Zealand, England, Japan; it was like a United Nations Party!   And it was such a diverse group of fans including of course, many fabulous “Flamboyant Gentleman.” Woman wear wearing feather Boa’s, beads, netted stockings, men in sailor hats, blingly-glitzy wardrobe everywhere, it was like all of Cher’s extended family came together for a huge family reunion.

We entered the dark theater, found our seats and it was show time…

The concert could only be described as the title of the concert, “Classic Cher”, it featured an; amazing production, beautifully choreographed dance routines, stunning theatrical sets, brilliant lighting, great band, music, sound, vintage Cher and Sonny & Cher clips and similar to Cher’s Farewell Tour Concert, the show featured talented acrobatics, and of course a whole new wardrobe for Cher and her dancers designed by the legendary Bob Mackie, yes, stunning costumes with wig changes for almost every number performed by the incomparable, and “Pop Icon Cher”.  She sang her hits canvasing 5 plus decades of her career, it was incredible.  Cher’s band began playing, then Cher descended from the ceiling of the theater stage in a crystal studded Tibetan gondola belting out, “This is a Woman’s World” as only Cher could in her addictive “contralto 3 octave voice” and with great style and grace.  The show ended with Cher’s last Platinum hit “Believe”, with Cher dancing, strutting and walking the entire width of the stage shaking hands with fans in the front row, then, Cher and her Dancers took a huge bow, Cher signaled the entire audience with the hand sign for “I love you” the curtain came down ending the amazing “Classic Cher Concert.”

Private Meet & Greet with Cher, Monte Carlo Theater

It was now time for us to meet Cher.  We followed the instructions that were included with the Meet and Greet passes to the area of the theater where we were to meet Cher.  When we arrived at the proposed location, my cousins and I looked at each other as though we were at the wrong location, because there we stood, outside two double doors and no one accept one security guard was standing outside the door.

We expected there to be hundreds of screaming fans gathered. Suddenly, the door opened, and a woman appeared—it was Cher’s Ticketing Manager, and she said, “you must be Bill” (I couldn’t believe she knew my name). I wrapped my arms around her, gave her a big hug and said, “thank you!! This means so much to us” as my cousins and I stepped in behind the doors.

Once we entered the first door, I immediately recognized, Paulette Howell, Cher’s best friend (aka. Pauly) she was standing there and I said “hello Pauly”, I took both of Pauly’s hands, looked her right in the eye and said “its so nice to finally meet you” (she must have thought I was crazy because I had never met her before), I had only seen her in photos and knew that she is one of Cher’s Besty’s.  She was so sweet to us, I see why Cher loves her, she is such a doll.    Then to our disbelief, we were escorted into a private Greenroom to await meeting Cher.  All of a sudden, one of my cousins said, “that’s Cher’s voice” as she was approaching our room we could hear Cher belt out “Hi Pauly”.  The next thing we knew, and couldn’t believe it was happening, Cher, along with two photographers walked inside of our private Greenroom, and closed the door.  There were were, “standing alone in a private room with Cher”.

In all my years talking extemporaneously for hours on television, I have never been at a loss for words. For the first few minutes standing in this private room, alone with Cher, I was totally speechless. (I took a deep breath, and said to myself, “Bill you better get a grip on yourself”.)  Then, I began introducing my cousins to Cher and when I said to Cher, “and I am “Bill Green”), Cher interrupted me, threw up her hands and said, “I know who you are!”  I assume she knew me from watching me on HSN, but I may never know?

Tibetan Prayer Beads my cousin Elyse Presented to Cher

We each had a few minutes to chat with Cher privately, I can only remember telling her how much I loved and adored her, my cousin Elyse presented Cher with a long strand of Tibetan Prayer Beads that she had blessed for Cher (what else significant can you give, Cher?) as we each paid homage to Cher in our own words.  Cher was so kind and considerate to with meet fans like us considering how hard she works on stage, she must be exhausted after such a grand performance, and yes, she is truly a star, classy, and so down to earth.  And for those who care to know, she is even more beautiful in person than you can ever imagine–just striking!  She found the magic potion.  Cher’s photographers took photos of us together with Cher and I remember asking if she would mind if I gave her a big hug, “she said of course not.” She is truly so down to earth.

45 Years Later, I Finally Got Cher’s Autograph

Before we departed, I asked Cher to autograph a photo that I brought with me that was taken by the late famous celebrity photographer, Richard Avedon.

I didn’t see a table, so I offered for Cher to autograph the photo on my back, she said, “no it will get messed up, let’s sit over here.” We sat down on a sofa together, and she autographed the photo, “Dearest Bill, with all my Love, Cher”.

Thank you Cher, it was an honor and pleasure to finally meet you in person–thank you for mending a child’s heartbreak.   I know you’ve met thousands of people throughout your career.  I hope that “if and when” you read this,  you simply accept my heart felt thanks and gratitude for finally meeting and for so many years of great music, amazing entertainment, movies, inspiration, humor and happiness that you have shared with me and millions of your fans,  I will always love and adore you!  Bill Green XO End.