Cher may have headlined a TV variety show with first husband Sonny Bono, but she made plenty of headlines with her second husband, Gregg Allman, too.
Cher married the Allman Brothers legend in Las Vegas in 1975, just a week after her divorce from first husband Sonny Bono was finalized. In 2012, Rolling Stone posted an excerpt from Allman’s tell-all book, My Cross To Bear, in which he detailed his first encounter with Cher in January 1975, after one of his solo shows at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.
“She smelled like I would imagine a mermaid would smell – I’ve never smelled it since, and I’ll never forget it,” the rock legend wrote.
Gregg wrote that when he first saw Cher, who had brought record exec David Geffen to the show as her date, he “couldn’t believe how beautiful she was.” The rocker revealed that he walked right up to the couple, guitar in hand, but he completely disregarded Geffen.
“I was so rude; I didn’t say hello or nothing at all, because I was so blinded by her,” he wrote of Cher.
— Boss Boss Radio (@BossBossRadio) May 11, 2016
The “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” singer gave Allman her number and the next night they went out to dinner to a Moroccan restaurant in Cher’s hot blue Ferrari after she rejected the limo he pulled up in.
Unfortunately, while there was a physical attraction between them, the singing superstars didn’t have much to talk about, so they headed to pal Judy Carne’s house, where Allman nodded off after doing heroin with the Laugh-In star.
Allman wrote that he called Cher the next day to apologize for “the worst f***ing date in the history of mankind,” and he asked for a second chance. Cher agreed and wore a $1,000 Bob Mackie dress for their second outing.
“We went dancing,” the rocker wrote.
“I don’t know how to dance, but I got drunk enough to where I did…This is when disco was just taking off, so we did some dirty dancing. She had one drink, while I had my 21, of course. When we got back to her place, she took me out to her rose garden, and all the roses were just starting to bloom…We made some serious love!”
On this date 40 years ago, Cher married musician Gregg Allman in a Las Vegas hotel suite. pic.twitter.com/qriSeAtX6Q
— Charles Apple (@charlesapple) June 30, 2015
The couple’s whirlwind romance culminated with a Vegas wedding in 1975, but Cher filed for divorce from the rocker nine days later. The rock ‘n roll couple reconciled, but Cher reportedly couldn’t deal with Gregg’s drinking and drugging, and the stress of the relationship—in addition to his substance abuse issues, the singer was indicted by a grand jury hearing over a narcotics ring—aggravated her skin so badly that at one point her 1976 variety show, Cher, had to suspend taping, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Cher’s son Chaz Bono (who was then Chastity Bono), once told radio host Howard Stern that it wasn’t easy living with a rock-star drug addict.
“He picked me up from school once and got lost on the way home,” Chaz said in a 2008 interview with Stern.
The arrival of son Elijah Blue in 1976 offered a temporary moment of family bliss for the couple. Cher and her now-sober man posed for a People cover story to introduce the world to their bundle of joy.
“Gregory has stopped drinking and has stopped doing any kind of drugs,” Cher said at the time.
“I’ve always loved Gregory, but until now I never felt it was going to last. For the first time, I feel like married people.”
— Tracy Cowart (@tracycowart1966) September 29, 2016
At the time, Cher also took on some of the blame for her husband’s previous perpetually wasted state.
“A lot of it had to do with my work,” Cher explained. “Gregory would say, ‘You’re a great big star, but you’re not that much fun to be around, because you’re not around.’ If he had come from Mars, our backgrounds couldn’t have been more different.”
Allman predicted he and Cher were on “a good plateau.”
Gregg Allman and Cher in Georgetown, 1977 pic.twitter.com/CrqwDjotc7
— Classic Rock In Pics (@crockpics) December 18, 2016
In 1977, just a year after Elijah’s birth, Cher and her husband released a campy duet album, Two the Hard Way, under the name Allman and Woman, but shortly after that, the marriage was done. Cher’s divorce from Gregg was finalized in 1979.
Decades later, Cher told AARP that she remained on good terms with her ex, despite their earlier struggles.
“Being Mr. Cher” is hard on a man’s ego, Cher said.
In 2011, Allman told CBS News it was hard being in such a high-profile relationship.
“I remember going to the grocery store and just seeing my face everywhere,” he recalled. “And I’m like, ‘What is happening, you know?’ [Cher] said, ‘I told you this would happen!’ Yeah, she warned me.”
But the rocker said he always had a friend in Cher.
“Yeah. I mean, we have a kid together and, you know, she’s just, she’s good people anyway,” he said.
Gregg Allman died on May 27, 2017 at age 69 at his home in Savannah, Georgia. The rock legend had battled health issues for several years. Cher posted about the loss of the man she will always love on social media.
WORDS ARE IMPOSSIBLE GUI GUI????
— Cher (@cher) May 27, 2017
— Cher (@cher) May 27, 2017
You can see Cher performing with Gregg Allman in 1975 on her Cher variety show in the video below.
[Featured Image by AP Images]