David Cassidy in Concert
Photo to the left is from David's Very 1st Concert In Seattle, Washington. Taken By Kenny Lieu.
From 1970 to 1994, David Cassidy was the biggest teen idol since the Beatles and even had the largest fan club of all time. In 1972 he sold out such large venues as Madison Square Garden in New York City, USA where 21,000 fans attended. David loved doing concerts, especially in the beginning because during his first year of doing his hit T.V. series, "The Partridge Family" David was only paid $600.00 a week for playing "Keith Partridge" and he was not paid anything for making his top charting records. He also did NOT receive any money for all the books, games, or any other merchandise as Screen Gems had acquired all rights to use his name, voice, and likeness. However, David made $8,000 for his first concert and the amount quickly went up to $50,000 per concert. David became the highest paid concert performer for his time. Not only that but David was not really all that fond of the "Partridge Family sound" as it was "bubblegum" music written specifically for the show and it's pre-teen viewers. David was a 20 year old who grew up during the 60's and enjoyed more hard cord, edgy music such as Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and Janis Joplin. During David's concerts, David got to perform not only the P.F. songs in the way he really wanted to but also other songs that he enjoyed himself such as Crosby, Stills and Nash's "For What It's Worth." David's contract with Screen Gems was also changed in Nov. 1971 when David's manager discovered he signed his contract while under age. You were legally considered an adult at 21 during that time and David was only 19 when he signed. David's manager Ruth Aarons then re-negotiated David's contract. He then also became the highest paid television actor at that time as well as getting a small percentage of the merchandise sold.
David first toured the USA & Canada in 1971 & 1972. In 1973 he did a European tour and, in 1974, a World tour. During this time, David caused such mass hysteria that several countries including Australia and Japan threatened to throw him out of their country as a "Health Hazard". David released "Cassidy Live" in 1974 and his single "Please, Please Me" went to number 16 on the British charts. On this album you can hear the roar and excitement of the crowd as well as David constantly saying "Get back!" and "Push back!" to the crowd, to try to get them to stop shoving forward. More than once, David threatened to end his concerts early if the crowd did not calm down. In 1974 a fourteen year old girl named Bernadette Whelan, was fatally injured at his White City concert. This was his next to last concert during that tour, in England where many of the fans were out of control. Bernadette was among many fans taken from the stadium by ambulance to a nearby hospital, where she managed to linger for four days before dying. David said he had no idea, the night he gave his final concert, that at White City Stadium one of his fans had been carried out in a coma. Many people had told David that she had gone to the concert with a known heart problem and that she suffered a heart attack during the excitement of the concert. However, while doing research for his autobiography in 1991, David found that she died of "traumatic asphyxia. "In layman's terms, she had been crushed to death by the crowd. David has already decided this was going to be his last concert tour anyway, but this would later have a tremendous effect on David's mental health. For David's last encore on that tour he sang "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue. "David had announced he was "retiring from touring," at the end of his 1974 tour. It would be 11 more years until he toured again.
In 1975 David recorded an album "The Higher They Climb" which had the hit single "I Write The Songs" in Europe, along with several other hit singles. David also released another RCA LP titled "Home Is Where The Heart Is" in 1976 which was also a huge success throughout Europe. He also recorded another RCA album "Gettin' It In The Streets" but David refused to tour for any of these albums (which did not chart in the USA) and RCA never officially released this album. Although, the single of the same title did hit the top 100 on the billboard charts. RCA then dropped David as his contract was over. "Gettin' It In The Streets" could later be found in some rare and used record stores in late 1979 as a "cut-out".
In 1985, David made a "Come Back" to recording with his first L.P. in nine years in Europe titled "Romance. "The L.P. was a huge hit with several hit singles. During that year, David toured Great Britain and Europe. This tour ended at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London, England, where he once again performed to a sell out crowd. That performance was recorded and made into yet another hit record for him! Unfortunately, due to "label" problems, these records were never released in the United States.
In Russia many of David's albums from the late 1970's and his two hit albums in 1985, became big underground hits on the black market. In 1989, David was asked by the Russian Government to give a special May 1st (a National Holiday) concert. David was more than happy to perform "behind the iron curtain" to the very grateful sell-out crowd. In 1990 David recorded "David Cassidy", his first L.P. in the USA since 1976. Unfortunately, the label he recorded with went out of business soon after it was released. Despite this, David's single "Lyin' To Myself" was a tremendous hit single, hitting the top 40 in Billboards "Adult Contemporary" category and top 100 in the "Rock/Pop" category. It also made the top 10 in VH1's video countdown. During this time, David saw many of his fans by doing promotions and record signings. They all asked him when he would tour. David finally did tour the USA & Canada in 1991, mostly in smaller "more intimate" venues that he could not play during his teen idol days. The crowds were now more of a mix of both older fans from his teen idol days as well as some younger fans who had just discovered him in the 90's. There were now also many males as well as females in attendance. The crowds were now more "polite" yet still tremendously enthusiastic.
David also toured in a few cities with his long time friends The Beach Boys in 1992. David was later kept busy by starring in the Broadway play "Blood Brothers" on Broadway which later toured the USA & Canada. David did make time during his "Blood Brothers" tour in 1994 to do a Benefit Concert for AIDS victims with co-star Petula Clark. He also did another AIDS benefit performance in Los Angeles, CA called "STAGE" performing with his half brothers Shaun & Patrick.
In 1996 David took over Michael Crawford's role, starring in "EFX" in Las Vegas. The show that was not doing so well with Crawford, became the largest selling show in Las Vegas after Cassidy's arrival. David made many changes to the script, including having new music written for the show. "EFX" was then voted "The Most Improved Show in Las Vegas," "The Best Show in Las Vegas," the show with the "Best Dancers in Las Vegas", and David Cassidy was the "Best Entertainer in Las Vegas" during his run in EFX.
In 1989, David released his CD "Old Trick, New Dog" which had the top 40 "Adult Contemporary" hit single "No Bridge I Wouldn't Cross." Once David's quit "EFX" in December 1989, he planned to tour. He needed to first have surgery on an injured ankle and planned on a couple of months of recovery. Dates were made and venues were booked. However, David's recovery was not as fast as he anticipated. Therefore, David had to cancel the tour expect for one venue in Lake Tahoe. David was unable to stand for most of the show, so sat on a stool and along with his rock/pop tunes, also performed as "Johnny Flamingo" a 40's style lounge singer. David would later incorporate this character into his new Las Vegas Show "David Cassidy At The Copa," which he starred in, at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas with co-star Sheena Easton.
Special thanks to Cat Ortiz-White who did all of the hard work, collecting all of the information and wonderful pictures for her Da-idy website. MANY thanks to all the fans that helped contribute to Cat's original list as well as Tiger Beat, FAVE, Flip, Spec, and 16 Magazines, where she got many of the concert dates for 1970 and 1971. Special thanks to Alice Huskisson who supplied almost all of the dates and venues for the 1973 & 1974 concerts. Also, many thanks to: Tina Funk, Barbara Pazmino, Lisa Sutton, Cheryl Corwin, Erik Drilen, Lain Waymark, Jade and anyone else who helped with this list!