Don Recalls: Running Into Sonny Bono

The day Sonny Bono was elected to Congress, I couldn't believe it. But he was popular on the Hill telling his pals stories about Hollywood. Anyway, I have a story of my own: When I was on the street in Hollywood I'd run into Sonny now and then, he was always nice to me and we'd have short chats.

Flash Forward: So in the mid-70's I'm in Dallas and one day my friend and business partner Lee Arbuckle and I had just finished lunch, and as we walked out the front door there's Sonny Bono with an attractive handler waiting for a Limo. He looked at me and said, "Hi Don how are you doing?"

I couldn't believe that after all those years he not only recognized me but remembered my name. After his divorce from Cher, Sonny became Front Man for his restaurant in Palm Springs, BONO'S. He used the same memory that amazed me that day in later years to remember regular customer's names, favorite tables and taste in food.

That led to his being elected Mayor of the Springs and that led to the U.S. House of Representatives. As we walked away that day from Sonny Lee said, "I didn't know you knew him," and I replied that I didn't really and told him the backstory. I was disappointed after Sonny's death that Cher said he'd been "A terrible husband for 8 years," but it was probably true, he and Phil Spector were like brothers and Philly wasn't so great a hubby himself.

So, did you know that Sonny Bono had a single hit record all by himself? Well he did, it went to #10 in 1965, and was called, LAUGH AT ME. Here he is in a rare video doing the tune on TV in 1965. Bless his crazy soul. @therealdonrocks

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