Sunday, November 26, 2017

David Cassidy

David Cassidy, who became a “teen idol” because of his co-starring role in the1970-74 TV series The Partridge Family, died last week at the age of 67. This made me sad for a whole lot of reasons.

When the show debuted in September 1970, I was 11 years old. I’m about seven months older than Danny Bonaduce, who played Danny Partridge to Cassidy’s Keith, which means that Cassidy was nearly nine years older than me. Nevertheless, I found David Cassidy—fascinating.

In retrospect, I can see I fancied him, though it wasn't a crush, exactly: I just enjoyed looking at him, and I felt a certain something I couldn’t yet define when I did. That wasn’t the first time that had happened: I also liked Davy Jones in The Monkees (1966-68), and also Bobby Sherman in Here Come The Brides (1968-70), though in that particular case I especially liked the theme song [WATCH/LISTEN]. There were also a few others. I talked a bit about that sort of fascination back in 2015.

I really liked The Partidge Family’s big hit, “I Think I Love You” (video above) from their first album, The Partidge Family Album, which I bought [See also: The Partridge Family Discography]. I also bought their second album, Up to Date, and their third album, Sound Magazine, and that was it. I was 12 by then, and starting to realise that liking them wasn’t cool, so I stopped buying their records. I liked their first four singles, all from the albums I bought—and I actually still do, though maybe mostly for the nostalgia.

“I Think I Love You” reached Number One in the USA, Canada, and Australia, Number Five in New Zealand, and 18 in the UK, making it their biggest hit by far. However, they were consistently more popular in Australia than the other three countries. I don’t think that means or says anything about Australia, but it is kind of interesting.

As I drifted away from The Partridge Family, I stopped paying attention to David Cassidy. I was aware of his first solo single, Cherish, which I was fairly blasé about because I liked the 1966 original by The Association better (in those days, I almost always preferred the first version of a song I heard, regardless of what version was the original one). The song was from Cassidy’s first solo album, also called Cherish.

What all this means is that, for me, David Cassidy is firmly stuck to the time I really liked him, back in the first couple years, maybe, of the The Partridge Family. He did a lot more after that, of course, and I know that he had sort of a rough life, including announcing earlier this year that he’d been diagnosed with dementia. But none of that intrudes on the misty, soft-focus memories of a singer I once really liked, and who was among the first male celebrities I found fascinating, in that particular way.

Goodbye, David Cassidy. And thanks.

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