Why Did Cher And Gregg Allman Get Married?
Cher with Gregg Allman circa 1978. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Cher married Gregg Allman in 1975, and they stayed together through 1979. People forget that, of course -- Cher will forever be known as half of Sonny and Cher, the duo famous for “I Got You Babe” and their variety shows. When Sonny and Cher split, music fans felt like they'd lost a part of their childhood. Cher's marriage to Gregg Allman was a different beast. While Sonny and Cher found success together, Gregg and Cher seemed likely to ruin the healthy careers they'd each built separately.
The union seems strange on paper -- she’s a pop diva, he’s a southern rocker -- but there was real love between these two. Unfortunately their marriage didn’t last. Cher filed for divorce nine days after they tied the knot, but they stuck it out for three more years and managed to produce an album that no one liked, a child, and they were one of the hottest couples of the ‘70s. It’s a crazy ride with these two.
They met while Cher was on a date with David Geffen
It makes sense that a tumultuous relationship like Cher and Allman’s would begin in a fairly awkward way. According to Allman, the two first met in January 1975 backstage at one of his solo shows in Los Angeles. She was on a date with music mogul David Geffin, and instead of deferring to then head of Elektra/Asylum Records, Allman turned on the charm. Or he did for Cher anyway. Allman wrote in his memoir:
[Cher] smelled like I would imagine a mermaid would smell—I've never smelled it since, and I'll never forget it… I was so rude; I didn't say hello or nothing at all, because I was so blinded by her.
Allman ended up nabbing Cher’s number and calling her the next day. As unlikely a match as they were, she agreed to go on a date with him.
They had a horrible first date
As if their first meeting wasn’t messy and awkward enough, their first date was an absolute train wreck. Allman writes in his memoir that on their first date he passed out after shooting heroin, which would seem like a deal breaker, but not for Cher. She agreed to a second date, which went way better thanks to Allman refraining from heroin use. He writes that the two went to a disco before heading back to her place:
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!
They were married in Las Vegas and almost divorced in Los Angeles
Six months after meeting, Cher and Gregg Allman were ready to tie the knot. Cher was only three days out from being married to Sonny Bono (their divorce was started in ’74 and finalized in ’75), so what better way to celebrate than hopping on a jet to Las Vegas and getting married? On June 30, 1975, Cher and Allman were married, and pretty much immediately after that she realized that she was in over her head.
Allman’s drug and alcohol addiction was too much for her to deal with, and nine days after their wedding she filed to have the marriage dissolved. Cher says that she called Allman to tell him her decision, but that he was so high he didn’t know what she was talking about.
The couple's LP ended their marriage
In spite of Cher’s move to dissolve their marriage, Allman did his best to win her back. He dried out and showed Cher that he could be a good husband. The two reconciled while she was working on her solo variety show for CBS, but when Cher decided to re-team with Sonny Bono for a new show the relationship faced another test.
Allman wasn’t thrilled about Cher working closely with her ex-husband on a new show, and rather than stick around and talk about his romantic fears he took off. It was only after he learned that Cher was pregnant with his son, Elijah Blue, that Allman returned to the marriage.
A year after the birth of their son, Cher and Allman released Two the Hard Way, an LP released under the “Allman and Woman” moniker that featured the duo performing a kind of mash up of southern rock and pop that didn’t play to either of the perfumer’s strengths.
They finally called it quits in 1979
The couple actually went on tour to support Two the Hard Way, but the shows were a strange mix of Allman Brothers and Cher fans who didn’t get along, and Cher spent the entire time worrying that Allman was getting back into drugs and alcohol. Allman later wrote:
There was no future for us because she has that constant paranoia of (my) going back to alcohol.
After playing a 16 day Japanese and European tour, Cher called it a day on their marriage. Even though the doomed couple had a mind boggling three year relationship full of more downs than ups, Cher remembers Allman fondly. When things were said and done she told People:
Nobody ever made me feel as happy as Gregory did... he's wonderful. I don't understand why he can't see it. He's the kindest, most gentle, loving husband and father. But then, he forgets and everything goes to s**t.
Tags: Celebrity Couples | Cher | Gregg Allman | Remember This?... | Sonny and Cher | The Allman Brothers Band
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