Terrific & Trying Times At Tower
(Star on Hollywood's "Walk of Fame" Story)
By Cat Ortiz-White
Photo by Cat Ortiz-White. Taken Dec. 23, 1998.
In 1998 David was doing EFX in Las Vegas. Around that time, I discovered a web site on the Internet for David Cassidy. This site had a message board. One day, a fan that goes by the name Ty came up with the idea of getting David a Star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. Most of us agreed it was a great idea. Amy of California contacted the Chamber of Commerce in Hollywood to see what the procedure was to get a star for a celebrity. It would cost a LOT of money! Twenty Thousand Dollars! However, we thought that David's fans might be able to help out with the cost. You needed to have the celebrity's approval of course. Since I'd had previous experience with David and his people, I said I would try to contact David about the idea. I also said I would be willing to do the paper work and put a packet of material together that was required to be handed into the committee. On the form for the star, it stated that the committee picked a certain number of celebrities to get a star each year. The form said they were all announced together. I found this strange, as I knew I'd seen celebrities receive stars at different times during the year. Usually when a movie, record or TV show was being released. For example Lisa Gibbons got a star when her TV show went on the air. Lisa had been on "Entertainment Tonight" for a number of years. However, she never had a hit series, gold records, sell out concerts, etc. Compared to David, I felt she had not accomplished very much in her career.
I contacted the MGM's Press Representative. He was thrilled about the idea and said the MGM would be willing to pay for at least half of the star and that they would be willing to help in any other way. I then contacted David's personal assistant Robyn who said that David would like a Star. Especially since he was having a CD that was going to be released soon. I told Robyn about the cost and how the MGM was willing to pay for half. Robyn checked with David and he told her to have me contact his own Press Agency to help get him the star. Robyn gave me the name of the person at his agency to contact. The young woman at the agency said that if the paper work was submitted by an agency that you didn't have to pay the money at all. I was very surprised to hear that as the paper work clearly stated it cost $20,000 plus the cost of maintenance after that. I figured she knew best though. We both agreed that the packet of material should be turned in at least a few weeks before the decision so that the committee would have time to look it over.
David's Press Representative only had the cover sheet to fill out. You had to select a category on it. "Theater, records, TV, stage, etc." You had to give a "sample" of the artist's work and why they should get a star. I went to work right away. I typed up a Biography, List of plays, TV shows, Discography with GOLD typed in gold next to the gold albums and what number they reached on Billboard, List of Charities David's helped out, Awards been given or nominated, list of web sites, etc. I put together a couple of videos of material such as David's "Emmy nominated" performance on "A Chance To Live," the Partridge Family's TV episode "Soul Club" which had just been listed as one of the BEST TV episodes of ALL TIME in TV Guide, some clips of appearances for various plays, charities, etc. I also included some fan club newsletters from the past and present, CD's, and records. I also included a list of the MANY WONDERFUL fans and clubs that helped contribute information and/or material.
On December 23, 1998, David was scheduled to do CD signing and performing a few songs at Sunset's Tower Records in Hollywood, CA. This was to promote his "New Trick, Old Dog" CD which had just been released. I contacted his Press Representative and we agreed that I'd go down to her office to give her all the material I'd put together. The day before I printed the material I'd done on the computer.
Photo Above of David at Sunset Tower Records by Cat Ortiz-White.
At the top of the List of Plays, I had some nice photos of him in plays. One of the photos was "corrupt" and so the document wouldn't print. I didn't know which photo it was and so I had to try printing without each photo one by one. I never did get it to print with the darn photos and only got two hours of sleep that night! I went to get the printed material copied so that David, his Agency and myself would all have copies as well as the committee for the WOF.
I showered and dressed quickly and left to meet my friend Teresa who works in Hollywood. We went to David's Agency and meet his P.R. It was a very small little office. The woman who was in charge of David looked like she was in her early 20's. I gave her the material and when she looked at the Biography and other things, she said "Wow! This is really great." I told her I made her copies to keep too. She was really pleased as she said "Oh good. We don't have anything like THIS! This is really nice!" I was very pleased and proud of myself, as well as very positive about DC getting a star. Then I asked which category had been selected for the star. She said she didn't know. I said "Didn't you fill out the form yet?" She found the form and said she hadn't but that there was plenty of time after looking at a calendar and counting out the weeks for when it was due. It was due in a couple of weeks! She said she'd ask David which category he wanted to be selected. I was guessing "records" since he'd just released a CD but I was never told. We talked about the star and how it's often really "very political" and who knows whom in Hollywood rather than it really being based on your talent, etc. For some very famous and talented people took years to get a star. Then there are some people who you've never even heard of that get a star and not even when the others do but the committee makes a special "exception" for them. Big record companies and studios can often wheel and deal for their stars better than small agencies, etc. Teresa and I were given a free "Old Trick/New Dog" CD and we left to see David at Tower Records.Left: Proud Mom Sue poses with Beau. Photos have been in past "Just David" and "For All Cassidy Fans" Fan Club Newsletters.
We picked up Cheryl Corwin on the way to Tower. The staff at Tower had us line up outside. Many of us were located near large trash bins. After some time we were finally let back inside the store. Cheri and I saw David's wife Sue who was SUPER friendly! Sue talked a lot about Beau and how he loved baseball and how very good he was at the sport. When we asked if we could take her photo, she went to get Beau to pose with her. We got some lovely photos of the two of them. To the left is a photo I took of Sue and Beau. I've put a happy sun over Beau's face as David has requested that his son's photo not be on the internet. However, some fan clubs are allowed to print his photo.
David performed a few songs from his new CD and sounded wonderful. One of the songs was "You were the one," which he co-wrote with the late Tony Romero and he talked about Tony and finishing the song they started years ago. I wasn't too far from the front but since I'm very short and there were taller people in front of me, I was having a hard time trying to videotape David performing. Luckily a really tall guy next me asked me if I'd like him to hold my video camera. I said, "Oh would you?" He said "Sure!" So I got a really wonderful home video tape of David's performance.
After David sang, we were relocated outside again while they set up a table for David to sign autographs. It took quite a while. You could only have one CD signed and you had to have a proof of purchase from Tower. When I went up to David, I asked if I could have a photo with him instead and this big guard who worked for Tower said "NO! If you get one then everyone will want one!" David shrugged and said "Sorry." I said "That's ok." I then gave him the packet of material I'd done for the Star on the Walk of Fame. I was showing David the material and some woman behind me was screaming at me "He's not going to sign all of that! You can't have that signed!" and so on. It was quite annoying. I turned and said, "I don't want a signature." She kept on yelling at me as I quickly showed David the items. I made sure to point out the sheet with everyone's name on it that had contributed information and items. I told David I only got a couple of hours sleep finishing the package and he said he'd only gotten a hours sleep the night before too. When I was done, David whispered "Thank you very much."
I went to the lady who had been screaming at me and I told her what I'd been doing. She felt really bad for me and said, "Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you wanted all that signed." I said "No I just really wanted to get a photo taken with him but they wouldn't let me." She told me to go stand behind David and she'd take a photo of me in back of him. I said, "Well, I don't want to upset him." She said, "Just go in back. Don't worry about it. I'm in charge here. Just stand in back of him and I'll take a picture real quick." She took my camera and pushed me lightly towards him. So I went in back of him and she took a picture.
When I got the roll developed, I was looking down and it really showed that I'd only had only an hour or two of sleep. David was looking down and you really just saw his head. David later posed with a few fans that waited for him near the exit as he left Tower.
Right: Photo of David autographing a CD by Cat Ortiz-White.
I kinda wished I'd been one of them. I hadn't thought of waiting there like that as I didn't want to pester David again. I wasn't sure if he'd be upset about it or not. I'd heard stories from other fans in the past of him getting upset at fans for that kind of thing. Many of us "old timers" have learned over the years that although David is usually very nice, occasionally he can be a bit "moody." Of course, some of this depends on the fans and if they are calm or try to "rush him," etc. It turned out that this time around, David went ahead and posed with the fans who had waited for him nicely. It would have been nice if David had suggested doing that to me. However, he was obviously extremely tired. So, I'm certain he just hadn't thought of it. I didn't look my very best with bags under my eyes, so maybe it was just as well. Besides that, it was still great seeing my friends and meeting Sue who was so wonderful and Beau who was very sweet and polite. It was obvious that Sue's a FANTASTIC mom! David's performance was superb and it was terrific getting to see him in person again!
As for the Star on the Walk of Fame, the day the items were due to the Committee on the WOF, I called David's Agency. I asked to speak to the young woman who I'd been in contact previously. They told me she no longer worked there! I asked who was now in charge of David Cassidy and asked to speak to them. After waiting and hearing some talking in the background, I finally got someone who asked me what I needed. I asked if the packet of material and cover sheet had been given to the Committee to get David a star on the Walk of Fame. They asked someone else. Then they told me they thought the previous employee had done that. I said "Are you SURE?" They stumbled and finally said, "Yeah, it was sent in." I asked what category was chosen and they said they didn't know but that it was sent in. I don't believe they even really knew if it was sent in or not but that they just wanted to get rid of me on the phone. When the yearly list for people receiving a Star on the WOF came out for that year in the newspapers, I wasn't too surprised then that David was not listed.
I called David's assistant, Robyn and told her David was not on the list. She said, "Oh, you mean he didn't get one?!" I said "No. Sometimes it's taken years for very famous stars to get one." I gave her some examples. I told her that if David wanted to try again next year, I could just update the information and we could try again. She said she'd let him know. As far as I know, David has not tried again. He's also now with a different Agency. I thought I would write about this experience as I've seen some other fans come up with the suggestion of trying to get David a star on the "Walk of Fame," since that time on various web site message boards. If other fans would like to try to do this again and David agrees to it then I think that's great and I wish them all the luck in the world. I certainly feel he deserves one. I just think that having some background on this would also be helpful. All in all, it was an experience I won't ever forget.