History of David Cassidy Fan Clubs
by Cat Ortiz-White
Photo from The International Press, March 28, 1983 at JoAnna's Resturaunt with David Cassidy. Clockwise from bottom left: Cat, Ellena Quaceci, Mary Armstrong, Betty Syzdek, Liz Surges, Urda Voss, Judi Parrillo, Katy Leu
Most of you are probably aware of The Partridge Family Fan Club and David Cassidy Fan Club advertised on the back of the PF and DC albums and in the Laufer run teen magazines such a Tiger Beat and Fave in the early 1970's. These clubs gave a packet of material for a certain amount of profit. It was this David Cassidy Fan Club that at one time was the largest in history with even more members than the Elvis Presley and Beatle's Fan Clubs combined.
However, these clubs did not have the personal touch of the nonprofit clubs run by the fans themselves and they ended in 1974 after the PF went off the air as the money to be made was gone. Many fans also lost touch with David Cassidy after the Partridge Family until just recently.
Therefore, I'm going to give you a History of the Fan Clubs run by the fans themselves. I will start with the clubs just for David and then go onto the other Cassidy Clubs. Here goes:
"David's Girl's Against Disease" or DGAD was the first fan based club (a club started by a fan). Started in 1972 by Jan Schulman who lived in New York, Jan put out a wonderful monthly newsletter. Jan used the club to raise money for charities that fought disease's such as Cancer, MS, etc. Hence, the name of the club. After the PF went off the air, David's manager Ruth Aaron made this club the Official DC Fan Club for the USA. In 1980, Jan was in a car accident and just as she was getting better, she was in yet another car accident while in a taxi cab! The club was put on hold.
Tina Funk and David. Photo taken by Cat on June 13, 1982 in Calgary, Canada.
"The Just David Fan Club" was started in May 1974 by Tina Funk in Germany. Tina's newsletter was originally printed only in the German language. In 1975 Tina's friend Urda Voss started the sister club "The David Cassidy Fan Club" with the "Da-idy Newsletter" printed in English. Tina's club was the Official Club for Germany and Urda's the Official Club for Europe by David's manager Ruth Aaron.
In 1978 Lain Waymark started "The David Cassidy Appreciation Society" or DCAS. This club is based in England. In 1980 Lain handed over the club to Katy Leuty. David and his family have always been aware of this club and helped it out. Katy also helped out with the UK Documentary on David. This was later shown in the USA on the Bravo Station. Katy's club folded around 1997. Lain Waymark still helped out with DCAS. She was also the UK Representative for my fan club in the mid-80's.
I've also been informed that Jill Hanley also had a fan club in the UK. I don't know the exact dates though. On September 20, 1987 there was a "David Cassidy Convention" in London, England which was very successful. Jill Hanley and Lain Waymark were the one's who organized this event.
The "Da-idy Fan Club" was started in October, 1981 by yours truly. I went by Cathy Ortiz back then. At the time I started my fan club I was not aware of the other fan clubs, as I'd tried looking to join a DC fan club first. I contacted the teen magazines, called David's agency and tried to contact his manager Ruth Aaron. However, Ruth had just passed away. I finally decided to go ahead and start the club in the fall. I wound up meeting David for the first time in person in April 1981. David had come to San Diego, California, which is where I live, to do the play "Little Johnny Jones". I was thrilled when he approved of the club and even signed the membership card for the members.
Urda, David and Cat. Photo taken June 13, 1982 in Calgary, Canada
Later that same year, I found out about the club run by Urda Voss in Germany and wrote to her. I told her about my club and sent her my packet for the fans and newsletters. Since we'd both used the name "Da-idy", I told her we must think a lot alike! Urda asked if I wanted to merge together with her club and I agreed. In 1983, Urda and I met in Calgary, Canada where several of us fans got to meet with David. Urda and I told David about our merger and he seemed pleased with the idea. We then became the "Official International David Cassidy Fan Club" with the"Da-idy Newsletter". Since Urda had started the club first, I agreed to let her still put the newsletters together and send them to the fans from Germany. I had a column "Cathy's Corner" and I'd send current information, clippings, etc. from the USA to Urda to put in the Da-idy Newsletters.
In the winter of 1983 due to differences in style and the difficulty of distance between us (this was before computers with emails, fax machines, etc.) Urda and I decided to become two separate clubs again. Urda kept the name The "Official David Cassidy Fan Club" with the "Da-idy Newsletter" and I renamed my club "The Official Friends of David Cassidy Fan Club" with the "Da-idy Magazine". Both of our clubs were bi-monthly at first and we tried to put out issues on alternating months of each other. That way members of both clubs were getting a "Da-idy" each month.
Betty Syzdek and David. Photo taken by Cat Ortiz-White. March 28, 1983 in New York, NY.
"The David Cassidy Support Group" was started in 1983 by Betty Syzdek who used to be a member of DGAD. Betty started by using a list of members from that club. In the summer of 1984 Betty Syzdek and I shared a hotel room in Kansas City to see David perform in "Jesus Christ Superstar". We decided to merge our clubs together. The first issue was put together by DCSG's Vice President Judi Parrillo. There were articles from all of us that were sent to Judi for this issue. We had photos of David's final performance in "Joseph" as well as many items from Kansas City of DC in "JC Superstar". Judi completed the newsletter and sent it out to all of the fans. However, I heard from many members that they never received that particular issue of the newsletter. For the next issue, Betty who was going to put it together became very ill and it took a long time for her to get it out. After that issue we decided to go back to being two separate clubs. Unfortunately, Betty was extremely sick for a long time and her club folded shortly after our last issue together. Betty would be well and then sick again for a long time until 1998 when she passed away. Betty was a very sweet, compassionate, and fun loving person who raised horses for a living and she left behind two adorable children and husband. She will always be deeply missed!
Renee Burdick, David and Lisa Richmond. Photo taken July 1982. Calgary, Canada.
In the summer of 1984, Lisa Richmond who lived in Los Angeles, CA, helped Jan Schulman restart DGAD.
After a while my newsletters went to quarterly issues as did Urda's. In 1987 I put out my last newsletter and folded Friends of David Cassidy. In 1999 I put up the Da-idy web site. I am currently married and I have a daughter.
Urda folded her club in the Spring of 1988. She is now happily married with children.
Barbara Pazmino and David. Photo taken April 1987. London, England.
Tina Funk then took over Urda's club as they were sister clubs anyway and later enlisted the help of Barbara Pazmino in New York to help with the North American newsletters. Barbara was previously the U.S. Representative for Just David, Urda Voss' International David Cassidy Fan Club and DCAS. So she's had many years of experience with David and his people. Therefore, The Official International Just David Fan Club is now the longest running club for David and they put out wonderful quarterly newsletters. Please click on the name for more information on the club and how to join.
David and Marjon Hoogendam. Photo taken March 8, 1997.
In 1988, after being a contact person for other DC fan clubs for many years, Marjon Hoogendam decided to start "The International David Cassidy Fan Club". The fan club is approved by David himself. The newsletter "David Cassidy Info. Bulletin" was put out about every 3 months and it was written in both Dutch and English. In 2003, Marjon stopped putting out newsletters to the fans. For about a year, Marjon still sent out out the newsletter via e-mail. On Dec. 16, 2004, Marjon sent out an email stating that due to heatlh problems she was closing down the Dutch Fan Club.
In 1991, DGAD put out their last issue before closing.
"Labour of Love" was started by Renee Burdick in 1995. Renee sends out important and often last minute information to fans. Renee also used to be the West Coast Representative for several D.C. fan clubs giving her over 20 years experience. To recieve her information, send a SASE to: Labour of Love, David News Update, C/O Renee Burdick,1447 Twinridge Road, Santa Barbara, Ca 93111.
There was also a fan club based in Australia called "Friends of David Cassidy (Australia)". It was run by Jim Salamanis and Philip Clark, the club started it in 1990 when it looked like David's Enigma CD was going to be released locally in Australia. That fell through when Enigma collapsed. Still, Jim and Philip produced a number of newsletters - trying to keep David in the Australian eye. Also a non-profit club, they produced newsletters out of their own pocket and only asked fans to contribute for the cost of printing and postage. The fan club closed in mid-1997 as Philip had some major personal issues he had to deal with first. Around 1997, Jade's Down Under Web Site, was formed. This well done and professional looking web site has won many awards and is very popular with the fans. After David toured Austrialia in November 2002, Jade invited the FODC (Australia) club to combined forces to try and establish a combined "Down Under" presence on the web. Philip said "Our current thinking is that FODC Australia will be on-line with perhaps an occasional newsletter. Unfortunately this hasn't continued.
Jane Reaburn took over Jade's site in November 2004, since then the site was redesigned. Cat allowed Jane to incorportate much of her Da-idy website so that a complete record of David's activities could be kept together. Jane has now put together over 2550 pages thanks to contributions from fans from around the world. The site continues to grow almost on a daily basis.
I have heard of some fan clubs run from Japan but I'm afraid I don't know much about them. (If you do know about them, please e-mail us so we can share the information.)
On June 10, 2002, David Cassidy launched his own commercial fan club. You can join the "The Official David Cassidy Fan Club" by going to David's Official web site at davidcassidy.com where you can purchase a very early 70's style fan club kit complete with Puka Shells! As they used to say in Tiger Beat magazine, "Groovy baby!