Cher revealed her "golden rules for life" to Q Magazine for their regular "10 commandments" column in this month's issue...
MY TEN COMMANDMENTS
1. THOU SHALT NOT LEAK
Some a**hole in a cave some place leaked "The Greatest Thing", a song Lady Gaga and I recorded for my new album, and that was just sh*tty. Like, if you copy a DVD there's a huge fine, and they keep going after people and keep busting them. Artists should get together, go to Congress and make it illegal.
2. INSPIRATION CAN COME FROM THE UNLIKELIEST SOURCES
While we were recording [1998 mega-hit] "Believe" in the UK, I saw [late-'80s "Cuddly Toy" hitman] Roachford on a morning TV show. He was singing with a vocoder and guitar, and it sounded so great. My producer said, "You can't do that after you've recorded the song. But I was playing around with the pitch machine and I think I can get something interesting from that..." So he played it and we just smiled at each other. It was exactly what we needed to make the really boring verse... sing.
3. THERE'S CRAZY, AND THERE'S CRAZY
Phil Spector was a hard taskmaster, but not as crazy as the legend has become because he had really good singers. He knew what he wanted to hear. But he wasn't insane -- he wasn't like the director who made A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, Stanley Kubrick. He'd make people do things till they cried.
4. SOMETIMES MOTHER DOES KNOW BEST
When I was a kid my mom was friends with [late Atlantic Records boss] Ahmet Ertegun and kept saying to him, "I have a daughter that sings... she's got a fabulous voice, you should check it out." But everybody's got a daughter like that... And then later -- this is 50 years ago -- I think Ahmet bought Sonny & Cher from Reprise. And then my mom came into the studio and Ahmet went, "Georgia -- this is your daughter? Why didn't you tell me?"
5. A STITCH IN TIME SAVES A CAREER
When we started gigging, Sonny got a suit, I got a skirt, and we would go onstage like that. But then we played the Cow Palace in Daly City [in California] and our suitcases got lost. We ended up going on in our everyday hippy clothes and the kids just flipped out. So then we just started dressing like that.
6. TRUST IN THE ROLLING STONES
In the mid-'60s Sonny and I had such a hard time in America -- kids liked us, but grown-ups hated us. They didn't understand why we looked the way we did, and thought we were dirty. But Sonny & Cher went on tour with the Stones, and they said, "Go to London". So we did, and the people were amazing. They didn't want to fight us. They didn't call Sonny a qu**r.
7. WHEN THE HITS DRY UP, GO FOR THE LAUGHS
Jimi Hendrix and people like that started coming in [in the late-'60s], and our record sales started lagging because we weren't current. We couldn't play concerts any more, so we started playing nightclubs. And in the beginning people didn't really like us at all. We'd play two shows and nobody would come to the midnight show. So we just started performing for the band. And people started coming for that, for the banter. And in 1971 the "Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour" started on TV.
8. DON'T OVERSHOOT YOUR VIDEOS
On the "If I Could Turn Back Time" video [during Cher's late-'80s solo comeback], we shot for days. There was a whole story -- I climbed up stuff, I was running away from a lover, I was in a cage, in a speedboat... And when the director got to the edit, he just said, "F*ck this, here's the money [shot]"... me on the battleship with the sailors. They were real sailors, too. They were funny. They kept calling me "ma'am".
9. DRUGS ARE FOR MUGS
Well, it wasn't a moral decision. I just didn't like it. I mean, if I'd liked it, I would have done it. I got high with my friends -- we smoked grass a few times, maybe, I don't know, 10 times. And it just was always too much of a feeling of dysphoria, and it just didn't seem like that much fun to me.
10. THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A FINAL TOUR
I'm definitely going to tour my new album. Yes, I did the Farewell Tour 10 years ago. But I've got some amazing boys who do special effects for Cirque Du Soleil, and some amazing lighting guys who did P!nk's last show. Now we're pulling out all the stops.
THOU SHALT COVET THESE FIVE ALBUMS:
The Beatles -- PLEASE PLEASE ME
Sonny and I were starting out, and we loved them. They were fresh and the songs were great and they were cute. And they had an attitude that we'd never seen in America.
The Rolling Stones -- OUT OF OUR HEADS
We were on [TV show] "Shindig" with them when they sang "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" for the first time in America. It was unbelievable.
Stevie Wonder -- INNERVISIONS
The one with "Living For The City". That was genius.
Amy Winehouse -- BACK TO BLACK
She was a fantastic singer. Losing her just killed me.
Annie Lennox -- MEDUSA
I love her cover of "A Whiter Shade Of Pale". Her voice is just so haunting.
(Thank you Boston Q)