Sonny Bono Became Mayor Of Palm Springs.....
Because the City would not allow him to put up a sign on his new Restaurant.
Sony Bono was born in Detroit, Michigan, and began his music career working for the legendary record producer Phil Spector in the early 1960s as a promotion man, percussionist and gofer.....One of his earliest songwriting efforts was "Needles and Pins." Later, with his Main Squeeze X wife Cher, They preformed as Sonny and Cher....Bono wrote, arranged, and produced a number of hit records with singles like "I Got You Babe" and "The Beat Goes On."....Sonny and Cher starred in a popular television variety show, The Sonny and Cher Show, which ran on CBS from 1971 to 1977, where Cher developed her wit and charm and dangerous tongue....Cher received more attention as the musical talent while Sony played the Clown and Baffon.....They divorced in 1975 but continued to do the show for another two seasons until canceled by CBS.....After the series ended, Sony and Cher still got together for the occasional TV show or special appearance on programs like Johnny Carson and later Jay Leno.
Bono continued his acting career, doing bit roles in such shows as Fantasy Island and The Love Boat......He played the part of mad bomber Joe Seluchi in Airplane II, the Sequel and the part of Franklin von Tussle in John Waters's Hairspray.....In the film Men In Black, Bono is one of several oddball celebrities seen on a wall of video screens that monitor extra-terrestrials living among us.
Sony Bono entered politics after experiencing great frustration with the local government bureaucracy in trying to open a restaurant in Palm Springs, California.....Remember how the Cahuilla's own every other square mile of the city established by US Treaty....That and an inept and greedy bunch of local politicians he was trying to deal with, set Sony off on a run for Mayor of the City of Palm Springs....Most people thought him a joke and the whole thing a stunt....But to the surprise of the pundits, but not to the citizens of Palm Springs, He was elected as Mayor, he got his sign for his restaurant and he and his wife Mary, were instrumental in making the city more business friendly, got rid of the annual Spring Break Madness, and also spearheaded the creation of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, now held each year in Bono's memory.
After unsuccessfully running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 1992, Bono was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 to represent California's 44th District.....He championed the restoration of the Salton Sea, bringing the giant Sea's plight to national attention......Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich made a public appearance and speech at the State Beach just north of BomBay off of highway 111, on Bono's behalf.
Although a conservative, Bono's celebrity status and easy-going manner allowed him to develop friendships across party lines....In addition, Bono brought a plain-spoken sensibility to Congress.....Asked for his views on illegal immigration, he responded, "what can I say, it's illegal."
Sony's personal life is quite interesting....He married his first wife, Donna Rankin, on Nov. 3, 1954 and they had a daughter, Christine, born on June 24, 1958, before divorcing in 1962.....Sony and Cher met when she was quite young, like about 17, but they married, and had a daughter, Chastity Bono, on March 4, 1969.....Six years later, in 1975, Bono and Cher divorced.....Bono then married Susie Coelho, but divorced her in 1984; he married again in 1986 to the much younger Mary Whitaker.....The couple had two children, Chesare Elan Bono, his son born in 1988, and Chianna Marie Bono, a daughter, born in 1991....He and Mary became a Scientologists, partly because of the influence of Mimi Rogers, but stated that he was still a Roman Catholic on all official documents, campaign materials, web sites, etc.
On January 5, 1998, The world was shocked to hear that Sony Bono had died of severe Head injuries after striking a tree while skiing on the Nevada side of the Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe.....He was 62 years old.....Mary Bono decided to take up where he had left off in Congress and after a special election, was elected to fill the remainder of his Congressional term.....She has since been re-elected in her own right.....She continues to champion many of her late husband's causes, including the ongoing fight to save the Salton Sea.
His x-wife, Cher, gave a tearful eulogy at Bono's funeral, after which everyone in attendance sang "The Beat Goes On".....Sony Bono is buried in the Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City.....The epitaph on Bono's headstone reads: "And the beat goes on"
Gary Hall, the ghostpainter