When Cassidy Was King

In the latter half of the seventies, there were a number of teenage heart-throbs: Leif Garret, Travolta, Shaun Cassidy, Donny Osmond, etc. But in the early seventies, there was no question who reigned supreme for pre-teen girls - it was David Cassidy.

If you look at how extensively this guy was marketed, it is shocking. I would argue he was marketed more than Star Wars! George Lucas had nothing on the David Cassidy money machine.  

There were the obvious products: the posters, the signed photographs, the albums, the patches, the lunch boxes, the buttons, the television show, the dolls, and the many, many magazines that featured the omnipresent Partridge. Indeed, Cassidy's face looked a lot like money.

However, the lengths to which his likeness was peddled was awe inspiring: candy, purses, belt buckles, iron-ons, Halloween costumes, books, pillowcases, trading cards, comics, jigsaw puzzles and jewelry.There were literally David Cassidy cigar wrappers!   

From 1970 - 1972, it seemed David Cassidy's fame knew no limits. He played to two sellout crowds of at the Houston Astrodome over one weekend in 1972. He sold out Madison Square Garden in one day, and there were riots afterward.  In London, 650 were injured, and one girl killed when mass hysteria swept the crowd and fans mobbed the stage.  Everyone wanted a piece of David Cassidy.

.It wasn't long before things began to unravel. All this adulation started to go to his head.  He was no longer satisfied with Tiger Beat. He wanted his name on the cover of Rolling Stone! In 1972, he achieved that distinction, but it came at a price.  In the article, Cassidy seemed to have completely forgotten where all the money was coming from - throngs of rabid tweens - and talked openly about his sex life, posed semi nude, and discussed his drug usage. Ummm.... what do you think the reaction was from his fan base?

David Cassidy groupies from an episode of The Partridge Family

Not surprisingly, the article was not well received. The wheels were starting to come off the Cassidy gravy train. 

I don't blame him. When you're a Tiger Beat star, you may be well paid, but you're not taken seriously. This same desire to be "critically accepted" led to the break up of The Monkees a few years prior. But it's a hard road to break free from the teeny bopper typecast.  The Beatles were able to break free, but they are the exception, not the rule.

Well, it wasn't long lived, but it was an amazing taste of fame that only a handful of people on earth can claim to have experienced.  Think about how people that were really popular in high school often let it go their heads. Now imagine being the most popular guy in every school, in every city, in every state, in the entire country for two straight years - holy shit, that must've been something else!


  1. I always like the Partridge family, but not for him. Danny and Reuben were funny and Mrs. Partridge was smokin' hot.

  2. We were just a bit too young for him, but my sister did like him, but she really got into Shawn Cassidy.

  3. Blimey, that's a lot of David Cassidy!

  4. It wasn't until I read the caption of the first panel that I realized it was David Cassidy - not some girl - answering the door. Sure, the hand looks masculine, perhaps even freakishly large, but I find the hair, the profile and the girlish figure quite attractive.

    Disturbingly so.

  5. A friend of mine had an older sister who worshiped Keith Partridge. Back in 71 she went to see him at Edgewater Park ( long gone) in Detroit. The crowds were massive and made the nightly news. Several girls were taken to first aid when they passed out (swooned?) during the show. As I recall the show was cut short because the cops were getting worried that someone might be crushed. The poor girl could barely see her idol through the mob. She was emotionally devastated.

    Here’s a link to the concert poster http://www.davidcassidyfansite.com/ConcertPages/1971May15.html
    It’s the David Cassidy Fan Site so you’ll find many things David. Enjoy.

    What ever happened to my friends sister? She got over the fact that she couldn’t say ‘I think I Love You’ to David at the concert but unfortunately she had a Jart go through her foot at a pool party. Boy did her summer suck.

  6. I think David Cassidy has a career ahead of him as some kind of counselor. He knows first-hand what it's like to be a total has-been before the age of 25; and in the next few years he'll have a lot of clients like Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Miranda Cosgrove, Victoria Justice, Demi Lovato, etc.

  7. David Cassidy, career counselor? Bonne idée!... but, sadly, too late to save Corey Haim. That said, there's still the other Corey.