David Cassidy dies at 67
November 21, 2017 9:55 PM   Subscribe

1970s teen heartthrob David Cassidy of The Partridge Family dies from liver failure [autoplay video]. One of the Partridge Family hits was "I Think I Love You."
posted by maurreen (51 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Here are videos of 10 of his songs, picked by Billboard.
posted by maurreen at 10:32 PM on November 21, 2017

Prince 57, Tom Petty 66, Glenn Frey 67, David Cassidy 67, and all of them looked good for their age. Unreal.
posted by Beholder at 10:34 PM on November 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

posted by luckynerd at 11:09 PM on November 21, 2017

posted by Jade Dragon at 11:15 PM on November 21, 2017

In fifth grade, the girl I loved was mad for David. (Before she moved on to Donny.)
posted by pracowity at 11:18 PM on November 21, 2017

TFW you think you’re in love with Bobby Sherman and then David Cassidy comes along and you realize what true love is. I still tease my mom because she broke my copy of The Birthday Album.

Cassidy announced he had dementia earlier this year, a disease that runs in his family.

posted by Room 641-A at 11:40 PM on November 21, 2017 [9 favorites]

Was just thinking that Keith Richards outlived his squeaky-clean pop idol parallel universe counterpart, Keith Partridge.

Iggy too.

"I think I love you" was a great catchy song. So long, Keith. You were the imaginary boyfriend to so many of us kids :)
(d0es that sound hideously creepy? Hope not.)
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 11:45 PM on November 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I suppose one of the biggest compliments I can give to David Cassidy is that I spent YEARS thinking“You’re My Best Friend” was a Patridge Family song, since the vocals sounded so close to his.
posted by The Gooch at 1:10 AM on November 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

It was pretty much a commandment that you hate anyone who has their pictures pinned to the wall of one of your friends little sisters room. Especially when she was so pretty and looking to this TV mope, when we were right there -- right there!

Sandy, I've heard down the years that you've had a hard time -- probably it all started with those pictures. I sure do hope you've righted your ship, found yourself a good course.

David Cassidy, you were responsible not just for the broken hearts of the girls -- look at what you did to us boys. Your confectionery smile hid an awfully hard heart, seems to me.


All kidding aside, dementia is no picnic, not for the person suffering it and not for their loved ones. For some people it is a very frightening nightmare experience, for others it's the whiteboard being quietly erased. I hope that it wasn't scary for Cassidy, I hope he had a peaceful slide out the door.

posted by dancestoblue at 1:27 AM on November 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

As someone who grew up during the Partridge Family years, I wanted to be as cool as Keith, but I wanted to date his sister Laurie, Susan Dey. Hubba hubba.

Rest in peace, and tell Reuben Kinkaid hey for everyone.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 3:26 AM on November 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by Melismata at 4:07 AM on November 22, 2017


That's one heck of a band they're putting together in the next world; covering the span of the sixeventies moment, from squeaky-clean pop, through to wistful psychedelic folk (Bonnie Flower), with Malcolm Young giving it an edge.
posted by acb at 4:36 AM on November 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I once worked in an office that overlooked Times Square. We were on the 14th floor - high enough that we were above most ordinary traffic, but low enough that we caught things like sirens - or, "Events" in Times Square. And there were many "events" over those couple years - demonstrations, rallies, concerts, publicity events, etc.

By far my favorite, though, came about during a conference call. We'd seen a stage being set up that morning, so we knew something was coming, but didn't know who was taking the stage or when they'd be on. So my boss went ahead with his scheduled call, apologizing briefly when we heard some squealing from an audience out the window. He went on with the pitch he was making to his callers, when suddenly, the band started down in Times Square:

"Baaah, ba-baaaah, baaaaaah, ba-baaaaah, ba-baaaaah, baaaaaaaaaah....."

Everyone cracked up, even the people on the phone. Our callers gamely offered to temporarily put the call on hold and let us call back when the serenade was over.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:00 AM on November 22, 2017 [5 favorites]

Who will Alice Cooper play golf with now?

posted by TedW at 5:04 AM on November 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

I was a kid when The Partridge Family ended its run, went into years-long syndication, and was still reasonably contemporary. I can't say I was much of a fan, simply because I couldn't really relate. But it was understood that he was a pretty face for the teenybopper set. It wasn't until recent years when I caught the show again on tv, and noticed how much the show depended on him. Not only for his exceptionally good looks, but surprisingly, to almost always be the butt of the joke, usually at the hand of Danny Bonaduce playing his kid brother. And the show did it well, knowing that clearly being the show's pretty face draw, he shouldn't be punching down. And Cassidy played that part very well, making himself quite an easily foiled bumbling priss to offset what might have been his overwhelming star presence.

My understanding is that despite his success and being from a show biz family, he longed to be taken seriously as a musician, and somewhat resented the box he was put in by the show. While his life might not have been as tragic as so many show biz kids, he had to deal not only with professional disappointment, but also his share of personal problems, alcoholism and alzheimers, often popping up into wide public view only when he was in some sort of gawkable predicament. RIP.
posted by 2N2222 at 5:05 AM on November 22, 2017 [6 favorites]

It was one of the shows like, "Lost In Space", that I didn't like much but would watch anyway because it was on and whaddyagonna do. So thanks, Mr. Cassidy, for those ambivalent valentines to my childhood ennui.
posted by thelonius at 5:06 AM on November 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

If I had a glass of tomato juice, I'd raise a toast in his honor. *


*because of this episode.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:06 AM on November 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

posted by Thorzdad at 5:20 AM on November 22, 2017

. Friday nights when I was a kid were all about the Brady Bunch and then The Partridge Family (and then Room 222 if I was allowed to stay up).
posted by octothorpe at 5:27 AM on November 22, 2017 [6 favorites]

This quote from the Rolling Stone obit is sad:

"There'll be a time when this whole thing will be over. I won't do concerts anymore, I won't wake up in the morning feeling drained, and I won't be working a punch card schedule. I've had to sing when I was hoarse. I've had them with a gun at my head, almost, saying "Record, 'cause we've gotta get the album out by Christmas!" I'll feel really good when it's over," Cassidy told Rolling Stone in 1972. "I have an image of myself in five years. I'm living on an island. The sky is blue, the sun is shining. And I'm smiling, I'm healthy, I'm a family man. I see my skin very brown and leathery, with a bit of growth on my face. My hair is really long, with a lot of grey. I have some grey hair already."
posted by mecran01 at 5:30 AM on November 22, 2017 [19 favorites]

When I was 8 years old, Tiger Beat magazine printed my letter about how much I loved David Cassidy.

I'm surprised at how upset I am that he's gone. I guess it's because yet another big chunk of my childhood has vanished.

I still have all my albums.
posted by JanetLand at 5:40 AM on November 22, 2017 [15 favorites]

Yikes, I first read one link as "Autopsy video".
posted by hwestiii at 5:57 AM on November 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

Re: I Think I love You... Major props to the ability to sell a pop song that pretty much includes a bass recitative and a pseudo-baroque keyboard solo.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 5:59 AM on November 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

I can't think of David Cassidy without remembering my many tattered copies of Tiger Beat, one of which included "16 Groovy Pix!!!" of him. In those days, he was my definition of "dreamy." RIP.
posted by pangolin party at 6:21 AM on November 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

When I was around 11 years old, I found out how crazy my mom was for David Cassidy when she was a teenager. She lamented that she was getting old, and he was getting old, and someday he'd die and she'd be torn up over it. I didn't really get it until she said, "Honey, one day Zac Hanson will die and you'll know what I mean." And then I really got it.

Written down, it sounds like she was being unkind, but she wasn't - she just made me think about how much I would feel about the death of a stranger who I admired and had goofy teenage feelings for.

posted by rachaelfaith at 6:27 AM on November 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

posted by allthinky at 6:30 AM on November 22, 2017

My first celebrity crush . . . the first record album my parents ever bought for me . . . the first poster I ever taped to my bedroom wall . . . the reason I started buying Tiger Beat magazine. Nice memories of a very innocent time.
posted by bookmammal at 6:45 AM on November 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

Growing up I had a couple of aunts who were basically Patty and Selma. Chain smoking, kind of ignorant, kind of gruff. Didn’t really get us. One year for my brother’s birthday they gave him a “guitar.” It was a red plastic guitar with David Cassidy’s picture on it and a caption that said “I think I love you.”

Things are different now, for the better, but back in the 1970s a seven year-old boy just didn’t want anything with David Cassidy saying “I think I love you” on it. But, hey, it was a guitar, and guitars were cool, so he didn’t want to just not use it. He covered the picture up with some construction paper and went on to “use” the guitar. We didn’t know anything about music in our house, nobody played anything or took any kind of lessons, so it was never tuned and nobody actually learned how to play it, if it was even possible to do so, but that didn’t matter to my seven year-old brother or five year-old me. We would just bang on it, pretending we were rock stars.

One of the few records my family owned was by the Everly Brothers. My brother and I would listen to it non-stop, staring at the pictures on the sleeve of Don and Phil riding motorcycles with guitars string across their backs. Guitars sure were cool.

So one day when neither of my brothers were home I cranked up The Everly Brothers, pulled out the David Cassidy guitar, and I fucking JAMMED. I was dancing around my brother’s room, pretending I was on stage, fake playing along to Bye, Bye Love, getting lost in my mind until… I dropped the guitar. The headstock broke off, attached only by the fishing line guitar strings. I was no longer an Everly Brother. I guess I was now Pete Townshend, but I didn’t know who that was back then.

Not sure what to do, knowing my brother would kill me if he knew I not only used his guitar, but broke it, I put it back in the closet, put the record player away, and said nothing. When he next went to use his guitar, he found that it somehow broke while it was sitting in his closet, and, amazingly, he never suspected me. The guitar was unceremoniously tossed in the trash.

I finally confessed when I was in my 30s. By then he had forgotten about the guitar.

I know this isn’t really a story about David Cassidy, but that David Cassidy guitar turned me into a rock star that day. Later in life I would dabble with real guitars, never actually getting any good and never playing in a band, but I learned from that David Cassidy guitar how it feels to hold an electric guitar in your hands and lose yourself in the moment.

Thanks, David.

posted by bondcliff at 6:46 AM on November 22, 2017 [26 favorites]

Was just thinking that Keith Richards outlived his squeaky-clean pop idol parallel universe counterpart, Keith Partridge. Iggy too.

It's a hell of a thing, life.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:05 AM on November 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I woke up in grief this morning.

posted by Sys Rq at 7:22 AM on November 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by droplet at 7:50 AM on November 22, 2017

The Partridge Family led to my lifelong fascination with Mondrian's art.

David Cassidy is one of those artists who deserved better from us. He had that burst of success but then had to live the rest of his life being treated like he was still the person he used to be. Maybe he was happy, I don't know, but I always wished he'd gotten a second act where he did get some respect as an actor or singer. He had the talent.

Rest in Peace, David.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:53 AM on November 22, 2017 [5 favorites]

posted by Faintdreams at 8:27 AM on November 22, 2017

posted by Splunge at 8:39 AM on November 22, 2017

My wife saw him perform in the summer of 2016 and Donny Osmond six months later. She idolized both as a kid. She was not impressed with Donny's smug stage presence, but claimed Cassidy was warm and endearing.
posted by davebush at 9:13 AM on November 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

posted by SonInLawOfSam at 10:08 AM on November 22, 2017

I'm very sorry you're gone, David, but thank you for replacing headlines about the Manson family with headlines about the Partridge Family. A lot better for my psyche, I have to say.
posted by queensissy at 10:19 AM on November 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

RIP. It's a shame he never got a decent Broadway career because he was kind of a chip off the old block, a natural song n' dance man. I understand his Vegas production suited this to a T. I have read many accounts that despite his alcoholism he was a decent man, kind to his fans. You can't ask for more than that from someone who endured being a teen idol.

The show debuted when I was in eighth grade. As a straight male his charms were lost on me. Danny got all the good lines and Susan Dey was a freaking goddess to my nascent hormones. But for some of the girls in my small town class, David was the bomb (the rest were still hung up on the Monkees and Bobby Sherman). Then they all moved on to the Osmonds and then into the singer/songrwriters like James Taylor, Cat Stevens, etc. The boys found Zeppelin, Sabbath, and Purple. One unique girl swore by Alice Cooper. It was a helluva era.
posted by Ber at 10:21 AM on November 22, 2017 [7 favorites]

"I really feel, eh, in short, to recap it slightly in a clearer version, eh, the words of David Cassidy in fact, eh, while he was still with the Partridge Family, eh, 'I think I love you.'"
posted by kirkaracha at 10:26 AM on November 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

It's a shame he never got a decent Broadway career because he was kind of a chip off the old block, a natural song n' dance man.

He didn't do much, but he did get to appear in Blood Brothers with his half-brother Shaun, and--dig it--Petula Clark. Although I didn't get to see it with that cast, I did catch it on its Broadway run (the only musical I've ever seen on B'way), and it was quite fine.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:51 AM on November 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Friday nights when I was a kid were all about the Brady Bunch and then The Partridge Family (and then Room 222 if I was allowed to stay up).

Why was I remembering "Love American Style" after the Brady Bunch / Partridge Family hour? Oh, aging brain, you fail again.
posted by aught at 12:14 PM on November 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Spirit of '76 remains one of my favorite post-apoc movies.

We will very carefully not consider how the introduction of glitter boots and US Constitution shirts will fix pollution and the severe lack of tetrahydrozoline, but they should at least be able to overcome factory-work drudgery and that horrible grey-on-grey landscaping.

... Maybe we need more glitter boots now, before things get that bad?
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:50 PM on November 22, 2017

posted by Sheydem-tants at 3:11 PM on November 22, 2017

aught: "Why was I remembering "Love American Style" after the Brady Bunch / Partridge Family hour? Oh, aging brain, you fail again."

That came on at 10 but that was way past my bedtime.
posted by octothorpe at 3:14 PM on November 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

I traded Donny for David and then Alice came along. Bye bye David. You were a dreamboat.
posted by oh posey at 4:13 PM on November 22, 2017

As a guy shy of some head hair, my admiration for this former teen idol increased immensely the time I read that, to aid one of his periodic efforts at career revival, he underwent scalp reduction surgery. Now you may or may not know this, but this procedure is possibly one of the most painful experiences that a human may undertake.

My hat is on to you, Mr. Cassidy!
posted by Chitownfats at 5:01 PM on November 22, 2017

David Cassidy was a talented comedic actor. That episode when he was auditioning was quite good.
posted by ovvl at 8:10 PM on November 22, 2017

You were my wife's first love
posted by PippinJack at 12:29 PM on November 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

In the Rolling Stone interview Cassidy talked about his drug use and how well-endowed he was, revealing that his brothers had enviously nicknamed him “Donk.” “Naked Lunch Box: The Business of David Cassidy” was published alongside an interview with the notorious William Burroughs in the same issue giving it an extra layer of WTF for past, current and future generations to figure out. The frenzy over the cover apparently sent Cassidy’s mother Evelyn Ward to Mexico to avoid the rabid press coverage concerning the shoot. Talk about teenage kicks. NSFW images follow.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:25 PM on November 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

The shocked reaction to that issue of Rolling Stone is the highlight (read: the only part I remember) of the Partridge Family biopic.

Oh wait! I can also remember “You don’t strum a bass, Danny!”
posted by Sys Rq at 7:18 AM on November 25, 2017

Shocking story and pictures from Danny Fields (subject of the documentary Danny Says) about a crowd riot for one of David Cassidy's last stadium concerts in England in 1974.
posted by larrybob at 5:51 PM on December 7, 2017

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