I know, I know: the whole Partridge Family got credit for the song, but let’s face it: David Cassidy was the main attraction. David starred alongside his stepmother, Shirley Jones, who was already a big star on Broadway. Although it only ran for four seasons, somehow it has lived on in the memories of those who grew up in the early 70’s. And oh, that pretty pretty hair! I think I may have had that haircut myself in fourth grade but mine wasn’t nearly as fluffy.
Just to be fair, here’s the whole crew:
Back in those days, girls fell into either of two groups: “Donny” or “David”. I was firmly in the “Donny” camp but even so, you can’t deny that David Cassidy was a dreamboat. I think our age difference would have been a problem so I hedged my bets and went with the one who was at least a little closer to my own age. David was already 20 years old when the first episode of The Partridge Family aired, although Keith Partridge was supposed to be a teenager.
After, and even during, the Partridge Family’s TV series run, David embarked on a solo career, recording and touring. According to reports, he inspired a mass hysteria reminiscent of Beatlemania. News agencies referred to it as…Cassidymania. Seriously. In 1974 a young girl died from injuries received when she was accidentally crushed at one of his concerts. That will take the shine off a career in a hurry, I’m sure. I think even David got tired of hearing about and seeing himself everywhere and in an effort to escape his squeaky-clean image he posed nude for the cover of Rolling Stone in 1972. Whaaaat? Well, I was only 8 that year so clearly that was off my radar screen.
David hasn’t aged as well as Donny and has had to deal with some embarrassing DUI arrests in the past few years. It really is a mystery to me that some young stars struggle so hard against substance abuse and others seem to keep it together. I wonder what the defining factor is. Does anyone have any insight to share?