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  • David Cassidy

    Posted January, 2010

    Photo Courtesy of David Cassidy

    If my aging, feeble memory is serving me as I hope, I was introduced to David Cassidy by way of TV.  The year was 1970 and it was during my family’s first trip to Tennessee to see family since our move to Arizona.  A bunch of family was gathered at my maternal grandparents’ house when my cousins started to excitedly chatter about the Patridge Family about to come on television.

    I thought to myself, “What’s this?  My cousins would to quit playing so we can watch some dumb documentary about BIRDS???”

    Silly kid.

    I quickly discovered what all the fuss was about.  The show was an engaging, fun filled, innocent show about a single mom (the ever gorgeous Shirley Jones) and her singing brood of talented kids.  The eldest of these was David Cassidy and, judging by the sighs, giggles, and muffled squeals, it was apparent that he was the biggest star of the show.

    Over the next four years, I had to endure the many girls of my various dreams swoon over the image and voice of Cassidy.  Yeah, as I’ve already admitted previously, I was mildly jealous of the teen heart throbs of the day and all for legitimate reasons.  That said, I quickly outgrew the jealousy, but not the healthy admiration, of Cassidy and his peers.

    Many years have passed since those days.  However, Cassidy is still wowing girls of all ages by way of concerts, TV appearances, films and Broadway performances.  It was because of an upcoming concert with fellow teen idol, Davy Jones, whom I had the privilege of talking with David by phone.

    Cassidy projects a warm and gracious presence over the phone.  I say this because I knew that he literally walked in to his Florida home from the airport after a long flight from LA.  And, yet, he enthusiastically obliged to the interview.


    We first chatted about a friend of his (and acquaintance of mine), legendary record producer and former U.S.

    manager of Apple Records, Ken Mansfield, whom I interviewed in 2009.  Ken produced an album for David that, due to corporate thick headedness, never made it to American record stores.

    Mansfield said of Cassidy wrote in The White Book, “David and I had spent an intense six months together, and I don’t believe I ever enjoyed my chosen vocation more than I did when I was working with him.”

    In chatting about his upcoming Dallas appearance, David relayed his last experience in the DFW Metroplex back in 1995.

    “I had such an amazing experience there.  I’ve done a couple of concerts there but I also did a Broadway show, Blood Brothers, with my brother, Shaun, in Dallas in ’95, I think it was. The audiences were amazing and my fans have been fantastic.

    “Because it’s been so long since I’ve done a concert there, I’m going to do, basically, a whole – I’m going to do a lot of hits - both Partridge Family and myself.  I’ve gone back and dug out the really great songs from the 70’s.  I’ll take people through a musical journey of my life.”

    At this point in our conversation, Cassidy takes a surprising and entertaining turn down memory lane.

    “When I was thirteen, the Beatles broke.  I got to know all of them.  I got to know John very, very well.  I played with him a couple of times.  He came over to my house and we played some great Beatles songs.  He had forgotten them – the early stuff which I had really remembered.  I’m talking about Meet the Beatles and The Beatles Second Album.

    “You know, when you’re thirteen and I saw them on the Ed Sullivan Show, like a million other guys, I went out and bought an electric guitar – like the next DAY!  I started playing in bands and garage bands through junior high and high school.  It was such an amazing, musical time.

    “I also played with Paul once.  They were doing their final dress rehearsal for their Wings Over America tour (spanning 1975 and 1976). They did it for me and my guitar player.  They were in Paris at the time, rehearsing and I got to hang out and play a bit.

    “But I got to know John really well.  I really think his spirit and his impact on the planet was so great.  I truly believe that he had more to do with changing the world and was willing to die for what he believed in.  He was just lambasted by the media and the press when they did the Bed-In; Nixon wanted to deport him.  But he was such incredibly inspirational guy – hysterically funny and amazingly bright.  They (The Beatles) all did – but he had such an incredible impact on me.”

    Later in our conversation, I brought the subject of Lennon back up.  I asked him what his reaction was and what went through his mind and emotions when John was killed.  I could tell that Cassidy genuinely felt angst and pain as he recalled that horrible night in December, 1980.

    “I got on an airplane and flew back to New York for reasons that are personal.  I didn’t want his funeral to be a circus.  I spent some time with Yoko at their apartment with a mutual friend of ours.  I spent a couple of days there.  It was, for me, a very personal thing.  I actually never talked about it because I talk about him and his life as opposed to the tragedy.

    “But I miss his voice.  And I mean his voice, now more than ever, his belief in ‘All you need is love.  Love is all you need and all we’re saying is give peace a chance.’”  Trying to choke back tears, David continues, “And his commitment to that was a real and genuine as anyone as I had ever known.  I think he had a lot to do with changing the world and its perception.  He was a tremendous spirit.”

    However, well before the emotional remembrance of his late friend, he excitedly shared his musical influences and memories, he lists a “who’s who” of rock royalty.

    “I saw Hendrix when I was a kid FOUR times.  I saw Clapton and Cream.  I think it was the last show they did.  The live version of Crossroads – I think I was there for that legendary, incredible performance of Crossroads.  I saw THAT SHOW.  They did two nights.  I believe that was the last show they ever did until a couple of years ago when they got back together and played Royal Albert Hall. That’s gotta be, shew, forty years ago!”

    As if to snap back from memory lane, David seamlessly brings the conversation back to his upcoming Dallas appearance.

    “I might take people back to when John and I first got together and played.  Anyway, I might take them all through that and up through my last platinum album.  I’ll do a couple of my remixes from two years ago which I premiered on Oprah.  It was February two years ago and my album went to number one on Amazon the next day.  The impact of Oprah is quite remarkable.

    “I just came off of doing a television series with my brothers, Ruby and the Rockets.  I cut down a lot of the dates because of my work back in television and I’ve moved back out to L.A.   I’m going to start doing a feature film – really a great script.  I’ve only done three features in my life – I’m talking about theatrical releases.  So, we shall see how it goes.  It’s the first show of the year for me and I’m very excited to do it.

    “I did a show last year with Davy Jones, which was really successful.  He’s going to open for me and do the first half.  God knows, he really surprised me.  We forget that the Monkees had an awful lot of hits.  His shows are REALLY good. I think a lot of the audience – they were from the 60’s and mine are from the 70’s.  I think the audience will be filled with a night of incredible high energy.

    “I’m chomping at the bit to get back and do it.  With all of the work and being in Los Angeles, I haven’t performed, I think, since the first weekend in December so it’s been a while.  I’ve got a lot of different sets that I do.  Every show I do different.  I don’t have any set pattern.  Who knows?  I may do a little bit of blues since I’ll be in Texas.  I’ll do some acoustic stuff.

    I’ve learned from Cassidy and others that he is quite the equestrian.  I got the impression from him that, aside from his career and his family, that horses are the next thing nearest and dearest to his heart.

    “Oh yeah!  I raise and breed thoroughbred race horses.  I’ve been doing that for over thirty years.  I race in New York.  I’ve got one in Louisiana at the fairgrounds that actually is going to start tomorrow.  He’s going to make his first start.

    “But I’ve been breading and racing almost exclusively for the last ten years in New York.  I’ve been the leading breeder by percentage of stakes winners and average earnings although I don’t have anywhere near the kind of earning that some of the big farms do.  I have a small breeding operation with six or seven mares.  It’s been a real passion of mine, too.”

    Ever the gentleman, David Cassidy brings the conversation back around his appreciation for Dallas.  He starts off by saying, “I am genuinely, genuinely excited about going back to Dallas.”  Then, switching gears, he tells a story about one of his last visits to the Metroplex.

    “I had come from Detroit.  It was, like, 37 degrees and freezing in Detroit.  I got there (to Dallas) and it’s, like, 89!  And this beautiful, BEAUTIFUL girl, who was working for the promoter and producer, greeted me.  She said (and he puts on his best genuinely Southern, make that, Dallas, accent), “Hi, David!  Welcome to Dallas!”  It was 89 degrees and we’ve got gloves on.  It was night and day!  So, I have great memories of Dallas.

    “I’ve played the Houston Astrodome.  I played a big Reunion Arena there in Dallas.  I’ve heard fantastic things about the Nokia Theater so I’m looking forward to playing there.  We’re going to try to blow the roof off of that place when we come down.”

    THEN, he dropped this little teaser that I don’t think anyone has heard yet.

    “My brother, Shaun, actually may come.  I don’t know for sure.”

    You heard it here first, Dallasites.  If you were contemplating buying tickets for the Cassidy/Jones show, there MIGHT be an extra added bonus.  I dunno.  I’m just saying.

    With our conversation about to wrap up, I asked Cassidy if there was anything unique or special that was going to be offered at the souvenir tables in the lobby.  His answer floored me.

    “I think the experience itself – for me – it’s a celebration.”  Clearly, for Cassidy, it’s about the fans and the memories.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?

    To relive your teenage thrills, catch David Cassidy in concert at a venue near you.  His tour schedule is available at www.davidcassidy.com.

  • Davy Jones and David Cassidy - Dallas, 2010

    Davy Jones/David Cassidy Concert

    Nokia Theater, Grand Prairie, Texas

    February 7, 2010

    Do any of you folks watch CBS’s hit show, Cold Case? You know how they always do that thing where certain characters temporarily transition from how they look “today” compared to how they looked back when the crime was committed? Well, I just learned that those transitions are for real and made possible with some super-secret gizmo thingy.

    How do I know this? I saw it happen, en masse, during the Davy Jones/David Cassidy concert last night at the Nokia Theater in Grand Prairie, Texas.

    I know what you’re thinking. You thinking, “Surely you jest, Mr. Patterson!”

    I kid you, not!

    My lovely and graceful first (and only) wife and I are avid people watchers wherever we go. As the crowd filed into the wonderfully configured Nokia Theater, we watched the mostly female crowd excitedly make their way to their seats. 

    Most of the women were in the late forties or older. Some of the women were suffering from ailments that the passage of time bestows on many of us as we hit around the half century mark. Some came alone. Others came with their spouse/date/significant other and others came as a giggly group. Regardless of how we all got there, we were all definitely aged shadows of our former selves.

    That is, until the lights went down, the band fired up and Davy Jones bounced onto the stage.

    That’s when that Cold Case time-machine thingy zapped the building. For the next three hours, it seemed as though everyone metamorphosed back to the way we all were in the late sixties and early seventies. People who limped and hobbled in were suddenly able to jump to their feet, squealing and swaying to the sounds of yesteryear.

    Davy Jones, fit and effervescent as ever, performed an hour-plus set that led the near capacity audience on a trip down memory lane, when times were simpler, innocent and carefree. 

    Knowing how to please his fans, the Monkee front man delivered all the hits. From the hit TV show and related albums to a tune or two from the Broadway Oliver, Jones danced and swayed to the squealing delight of the time-machine treated women in the audience.

    As inmy interview with Jones, he delivered an almost non-stop string of stories drenched in his humor. Delivered with his British accent, one couldn’t help but shake with laughter. He also introduced his lovely wife, Telemundo star, Jessica Pacheco, who performed a beautiful flamingo dance, ending it with some age related humorous banter with her iconic husband.

    As Davy was ending his set, he introduced David Cassidy, providing quite a photo op for the crowd as well as yet an opportunity for the girls to exercise their vocal chords. 

    After the intermission, the Cassidy band paved the way for David’s warm welcome onto the stage. The girls went nuts, as was to be expected. Flashing the perfect smile that is a genetic legacy of his late father, Jack Cassidy, David wiggled, sang and pressed the flesh as the girls again stormed the stage.

    As did Davy Jones, Cassidy delivered the expected hits, peppered with covers of such great rock classics as Cream’s Crossroadsand Deep Purple’s Hushwith the same punch and raw power as the original bands presented them. He also performed an impromptu, unrehearsed set of Beatles tunes as he reflected back on his time with John Lennon. I think David should record a project covering classic rock songs such as these. The sales would do well, as Rod Stewart has discovered.

    Apparently wanting to freshen up some of the Partridge Family and solo hits a bit, David tweaked the arrangements of a couple of the songs to be more in line with blues or jazz. While some in the crowd might not have liked the changes, they never showed it, clapping and squealing once they recognized the tune.

    As the show ended and the house lights came back on, the Cold Case/Time Machine thingy was turned off and everyone morphed back to how we were when we entered the venue three hours before. 

    While it sucks to have had to come back to reality, for brief moment in time we could forget our age and the aches and pains that have tacked on to our bodies over time and once again revisit the emotions and memories of our youth.

    Do you think there’s a Cold Case/Time Machine thingy app for Blackberry’s and iPhones? I want one!

Featured Photo

 

 

george lynch

Our Featured Photo by Boomerocity friend and famed rock photographer, Rob Shanahan (robshanahan.com), is of Dokken's George Lynch! Check out more of Rob's work at RobShanahan.com!

 

 

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