Awoke with a start, and could not rewind to the gentle land of Nod.
My teenage crush has gone. He was my first love, truly. His face smiled down at me from my ceiling (I hate to say it was – embarrassingly – a free poster from The Sun which my doting Dad stuck on for me with wallpaper paste). My mother thought it all quite ridiculous and absurd, but then she knew nothing about real love. Obviously. She was my mother!
It was my first taste of romance, this compelling boy (we shared horoscope signs; oh my God) who sang just for me. If he’d met me, of course, he’d have wanted to marry me (a weird ambition at the age of 12/13, to be fair). Others liked Donny Osmond, a goofy Mormon brother with terribly big teeth and a tasteless purple velvet hat. A bit gay, I thought, in the days when people thought like that. Some liked Michael Jackson but, while his music was OK, his looks didn’t do it for me. No, David was the one. He was simply perfect. Thousands of other girls thought so, too, but they didn’t know he sang just for me. They thought they had a chance. No way, sisters.
OK, maybe it was not love, not real love, as I later discovered, but most definitely a crush. I was a teenage girl heading for adolescence. He was my fantasy male, with eyes that would stare into a girl’s soul, floppy hair just awaiting my touch, a voice telling me all I needed to know, that sexy smile; oh, the very safety of it. The idealised boy next door, with his very own happy, slightly syrupy Waltonesque Partridge Family, where his mother was glamorous, fun, and sang for a living while holding her – large- family together, unlike mine who wasn’t and didn’t.
David was powerfully attractive, exciting, and someone I wanted to spend time with, even if only in my dreams or through his music, which I played over and over again on the stereo. My infatuation may have been only a daydream, but dreams were nothing more than wishes…I wished they’d come true.
Of course, the first songs were the best because that was when my feelings were strongest. He would Cherish me. Could It Be Forever? Obviously! How Can I Be Sure? he’d croon. That was well within my power. Rock Me Baby. Yes, please. If I Didn’t Care…no, no, no, no, no. I Think I Love You. Sighs blissfully. Those amazing words.
Obviously, I grew out of my crush, the songs didn’t seem so clever, though they still make me remember with intense pleasure, how I felt at the time. How I wanted to know every last detail about him, wanted to be with him. I would be the one to understand him, make him happy, be the envy of all those girl fans.
My magazine pile increased in size as my pocket money dwindled; I joined his fan club to get my fresh fix of information, to keep me going until the next glimpse of his face on a cover, somewhere. I never ever saw him in concert. That was for middle-class girls who could afford the tickets, but David, my David, would whisk me away from all that.
Reader, he didn’t! Typical bl**dy man! Unreliable, actually…
Of course, the more he failed to deliver, the more it couldn’t last, and soon I’d moved on, ditched him. Unbelievably.
Like most aged pop stars, David married more times than is necessary and turned to alcohol. He didn’t wear well, and if I’d met him in later life, I doubt my head would have turned at all. Failed marriages, drunk driving, being a bit of a sad old geezer still stepping the boards well past his best before? None of that is the stuff of dreams, none of it is attractive.
After some embarrassingly faltering stage performances, he informed the world that he, like his mother, had developed dementia. That at least earned my respect, with a prevailing sense of sadness. A cruel shout.
On the plus side, at least he remained a Democrat!
RIP David Cassidy April 12, 1950 – November 21, 2017