News Articles - David's Australian Tour 2002
The Interview / David Cassidy
Adelaide, Saturday, November 16, 2002
'30,000 people screaming "I love you, I love you", it's an overwhelming feeling'
Back in March, 1974, five teenage girls were taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital - one was treated for internal injuries after being crushed at a Memorial Drive concert, the others were treated for hysteria and shock. Ten thousand other young fans had been turned away at the gates, prompting American teen idol David Cassidy to announce a second concert for the following night.
Shielded by 27 security guards, Cassidy's arrival in Adelaide was brought forward from Tuesday to Sunday to avoid the mass truancy that occurred in Sydney.
"It was pretty much chaos and hysteria everywhere," Cassidy recalls of Australia. "They were great fans, though. The audience was incredible. When you're standing at the focal point, 20,000, 30,000 people screaming 'I love you, I love you', it's an overwhelming feeling."
But that was way back then. Now he admits to being unsure what - at age 52 - he returns to Adelaide on Monday for a belated encore rendition of such bubblegum classics as I Think I Love You, Cherish and Could It be Forever.
"My fans everywhere all over the world have been incredibly supportive," Cassidy says over the phone from his home in Miami. "It will be interesting to see what happens when I come back because it's been so long since I've been there. I don't know what to expect."
While most Australians only know Cassidy as girl-magnet pop star and squeaky clean Keith Partridge from the TV series The Partridge Family, he has enjoyed a very enduring, active and highly successful theatrical career in the UK and UK. He's starred in more than 2500 live shows, including Broadway and West End productions, winning awards and selling out shows as writer, director, producer and performer. In 2001, he chose to go back to his first love - performing live concerts around the world - and this year released an album, Then and Now (a platinum hit in the US), with the mature Cassidy reworking his old hits. He says there will be a lot of classics in the Adelaide concert.
"Because I haven't been around flogging it for years and years, I've done so much work in the theatre and Broadway ... it's like I opened up a chest that had all these jewels and they were mine," he says.
Launched to fame by The Partridge Family in the early '70s, Cassidy at his peak, age 21, was the world's highest-paid solo entertainer - with a fan-club bigger than the Beatles and Elvis combined. He sold 25 million records and had 10 No 1 hits (five with The Partridge Family) before retiring from the pop scene shortly after his Australian tour.
"I'd been at it for five years and I was quite burnt out and I had been devoted ... to the business of David Cassidy as opposed to who I am and where I am and what I am as a human being," he says. "I always wanted people to know that I loved it, but I wanted to move on creatively and artistically and in every other way and do something else."
As for how the fan base has changed over the decades? "It's interesting," says Cassidy. "Twenty-five years ago, the voices were very high-pitched and they threw a lot of love beads and things at me. Now their voices have dropped an octave and it's almost like three generations. There are kids, there are fans when they were kids, teenagers, and their parents come."
"Instead of throwing love beads they throw, like, lingerie, bras and underwear."
David Cassidy will perform at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on Monday. Tickets at BASS. Repeats of The Partridge Family can be seen on Foxtel-Austar's TV1 at 3.30pm, weekdays.
His Story So Far
BORN : April 12, 1950, in New York.
LIVES : Miami, Florida, with songwriter-wife Sue Shifrin-Cassidy and son Beau, 11 (they moved this year from Las Vegas).
FAMILY : The son of actors Evelyn Ward and Jack Cassidy, Cassidy's stepmother is Shirley Jones, who played his mother on The Partridge Family. His half-brother Shaun Cassidy had a couple of pop hits in the 1970s before moving into television production.
CAREER : Cassidy got his breakthrough role in 1970 when The Partridge Family premiered, playing a singer in a family band. The show had its first No 1 hit that year with I Think I Love You. By the mid-'70s, Cassidy switched to serious acting, appearing on Broadway in the original Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. In 1994, he and Shaun starred in a sell-out US-Canada tour with the stage show Blood Brothers; in 1996, voted best all-round performer and best singer for the $US75 million Las Vegas extravaganza EFX; voted best al-round performer again in 1999; and in 2000 was voted best producer for the Broadway musicals The Rat Pack is Back and At the Copa.