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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Songbird salutes the 70's: David Cassidy

It was 1970, and there was a new TV show called The Partridge Family.  Aimed at young girls like me, the premise was that a widow and her five children had formed a rock band, and traveled around the country in a brightly-painted bus.  The show starred Shirley Jones, an Oscar-winning actress and singer, and featured her real-life stepson, David Cassidy, in the role of the eldest son, Keith Partridge.

And like every other little girl of that time, I was instantly in love.

My sister and I watched the show, we read the articles in Tiger Beat, we collected the records and the posters, we wished we could go to one of his concerts...

And then, like most teen idols, he faded from view as his  audience moved on...

Years later I learned what had happened to him. Typecast, he was unable to find work.  He lost his fortune and descended into the same alcoholism that had led to the death of his famous father, Jack Cassidy...

And then, in the early 1990's ...there was a new musical on Broadway, Blood Brothers, starring real-life brothers David and Shaun Cassidy, and British pop idol Petula Clark as their mother.   saw the show in 1994, and I was very impressed.  What an incredible comeback for him, proof that David was much, much more than a teen idol.

And then, four years ago, Cassidy toured with Mickey Dolenz and Peter Noone, in a tour devoted to their days as teen idols.  Noone was added after Davy Jones (another of my idols) had unexpectedly died.  Jones apparently helped Cassidy embrace his teen idol past.

The tour came to Westbury, and I finally got my chance to see my David Cassidy concert.

Last Saturday night Cassidy gave a horrible concert performance -- slurring his words, forgetting lyrics, even falling off the stage.  With his history, everyone assumed he was drunk.

And then on Monday came the news:  it wasn't alcohol, it was dementia.  The same disease that claimed his mother and grandfather.    The disease that will now cause his retirement at age 66.

I know the horrors of dementia all too well.

Today I feel sad.  I feel sad for my idol, and for all the little girlswho once loved him.  another piece of our childhood is fading away.


bookworm said...

When we were young, we never imagined that these things could happen to us. We were immortal. Now, we know better, and we see those who we loved or admired decline. Glen Campbell, now David Cassidy, and, eventually, who else? Alana

songbird's crazy world said...

Exactly. I feel old.

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