Alyson’s Archive #4 – David Cassidy, The Partridge Family and “I Think I Love You”

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there lived a handsome prince called David. All the young ladies of the land collected pictures of the prince and adorned their walls with them. 

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The humble author’s teenage collection of David Cassidy pin-ups

Many of you will have heard that one of the 1970’s biggest teen idols died earlier this week at the age of 67. Not a massive shock this time as it had been announced earlier this year that he was suffering from dementia and then last weekend, from multiple organ failure – A transplant was not deemed possible so the life-support machines were switched off on Tuesday at noon. Still sad news however for those of us of a certain age who remember him at his shiniest best.

Of course when I heard the news I had to refer to my box of teenage memorabilia and in the folder of pin-ups and posters from the early ’70s, it turned out that most were of David Cassidy. There were also a fair few of those Osmond Brothers, The Jackson 5, David Essex, Bjorn Borg, Marty Kristian from the New Seekers and Ben Murphy of Alias Smith and Jones fame, but no, by far the biggest number were of Mr Cassidy as he was omnipresent within the pages of teen mags from 1970 to 1974.

I have written about David Cassidy in this blog before (link here) as my first three posts ended up being about artists called David – Bowie, Davy Jones of the Monkees and David Cassidy. Sadly, not one of that triumvirate of Davids is still with us, which is a sobering thought. This revisitation of the artists of my youth is a constant reminder that we are all journeying along that conveyer belt of life apace, and with this latest departure it does give us another “mortality reality check”.

I was just at the right age for David Cassidy to come into my life – As a pre-teen I had watched him play the character Keith Partridge in the kid’s musical sit-com The Partridge Family and then as I reached my teenage years he had become the world’s biggest pop idol, selling out concerts in every corner of the globe. But was it his music we adored or was it the idol himself? As I mentioned last time he appeared on these pages, his song Could It Be Forever was the first one that made me cry, and I didn’t even know why! The teenage hormones were starting to kick in and we girls lose our sanity a bit when it comes to our idols, behaving in a totally irrational and frenzied manner. We buy all the magazines with their pictures and create scrapbooks/fanzines. We cover our bedroom walls with their posters and even iron picture transfers onto our pillowcases. Of course we also dream of them being our fantasy boyfriends, without really understanding what having a real boyfriend would mean.

I have another few things in the archive folder that refer to David Cassidy and think they are worth sharing here as a lasting reminder of just how big he was in the early ’70s. These wordy pages are often to be found on the back of the aforementioned pin-ups but are proving to be the most interesting when looking back – A little bit of pop history. (By the way in case anyone thinks it’s a bit weird that I still have all this stuff – No, I don’t sit around of an evening dressed in flares and platform shoes pouring over pictures of my teen idols, it’s just that if you’ve ever had to clear out your parents’ loft so they can downsize, you end up finding all this childhood ephemera and are somewhat loathe to get rid of it just in case you ever start writing a music blog!)

Poor David’s time in the sun was short-lived as seems to be the case with most teen idols – As soon as your fan base comes of age and finds love with real-life boys, the career is over. Some manage to reinvent themselves but sadly David didn’t really ever manage to negotiate that cross-over success although he did record a new album in the mid ’80s and continued to tour until earlier this year.

But I can’t leave it there. Many of us who were fans back in the early ’70s probably didn’t give David and his Partridge Family pals much thought in the intervening years, but when the Richard Curtis film Four Weddings and a Funeral was released in 1994 there was a great scene where slightly awkward, upper-class Englishman Charles (played by Hugh Grant) attempted to declare his love for Carrie (played by Andie MacDowell). After much procrastination he finally got round to uttering those most difficult of words, “I think I love you” but of course they were attributed first to David Cassidy, when he was still with The Partridge Family – Très amusant and because of that scene (at 0:30) it has become my favourite Cassidy song.

I Think I Love You by The Partridge Family:

So, “What’s It All About?” – Poor old David Cassidy had a bit of a difficult life after his early ’70s heyday as a teen idol but that seems to be the norm for anyone who has experienced that level of idolatry. I can confirm however that having his picture on my bedroom wall back then was a real joy, and as I drifted off to sleep at night I probably whispered those five little words, “I think I love you”.

Until next time…. RIP David

I Think I Love You Lyrics
(Song by Tony Romeo)

I was sleeping and right in the middle of a good dream
Like all at once I wake up from something that keeps knocking at my brain
Before I go insane I hold my pillow to my head
And spring up in my bed screaming out the words I dread
I think I love you (I think I love you)

This morning I woke up with this feeling
I didn’t know how to deal with and so I just decided to myself
I’d
hide it to myself and never talk about it
And did not go and shout it when you walked into the room
I think I love you (I think I love you)

I think I love you so what am I so afraid of
I’m afraid that I’m not sure of a love there is no cure for

I think I love you isn’t that what life is made of
Though it worries me to say that I never felt this way

I don’t know what I’m up against
I don’t know what it’s all about
I got so much to think about

Hey, I think I love you so what am I so afraid of
I’m afraid that I’m not sure of a love there is no cure for

I think I love you isn’t that what life is made of
Though it worries me to say I never felt this way

Believe me you really don’t have to worry
I only wanna make you happy and if you say “hey go away” I will
But I think better still I’d better stay around and love you
Do you think I have a case let me ask you to your face
Do you think you love me?

I think I love you
I think I love you…

Postscript:

I now realise I was remiss in not sharing any video footage of David Cassidy in today’s post – Here he is as Keith Partridge singing Walking In The Rain, the Phil Spector song that was first a hit for The Ronettes in 1964. This song has actually featured in the blog before (link here) when I wrote about radio, and the chart-run down shows of my early teenage years. Shirley Jones who played his mother in The Partridge Family television series was actually his step-mother in real life and has also appeared on these pages before (link here) when I wrote about the song You’ll Never Walk Alone. As I often say, we keep going in circles around here. Oh and more thing, the eagle-eyed amongst you might just spot a young Jodie Foster in the front row of the audience in this clip as she played the daughter of Shirley Jones love interest in this episode!

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was recorded for the film of the same name and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might finally work out the answer to his question, "What's it all about?"

16 thoughts on “Alyson’s Archive #4 – David Cassidy, The Partridge Family and “I Think I Love You””

  1. Saturday greetings.

    Your comments about the three Davids being gone are oh too true. I try not to think about mortality too much, but it’s hard not to at least now and then.

    Great photo of you and the album cover.

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend. See you —–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wasn’t sure how much feedback I would get on a post about a teen idol as he was definitely not followed by the males of the species so you get the prize for being the first to jump in. You are right, best not to think about mortality too much but at least this year most of those who have left us have reached a ripe old age. As for DC, he did have many health issues which no doubt contributed to his premature demise. I hope you can tell from this post just how big he was back in the early ’70s though – In the right place, at the right time, with just the right hair!

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  2. Nicely written, as usual. For some strange reason I found it quite sad that David Cassidy had died, even though “he was definitely not followed by the males of the species”, and I’ve no idea why.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – It was sad wasn’t it but more to do with that old chestnut time, or the passage of time to be exact. We were probably both just kids when he was in his heyday but what a heyday he had, and now no longer with us. This was a very different tribute to the ones I’ve written for George Michael because David Cassidy was a very different kind of artist, but it just goes to show how savvy George was to navigate that path from teen idol to respected adult singer/songwriter. Not many manage to do it.

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  3. Blimey, that’s quite a pin-up collection you have there – love the new Swedey McSwedeface too! DC was just that bit too old for me at the time… but he was my sister’s crush (whilst mine was Donny). He had such a pretty face though, I had no problem understanding why he was stuck above my sister’s bed with blu-tac.
    You’ve really sparked memories though with your mention of Bjorn Borg, Marty Kristian and Ben Murphy! Oh god yes they really were the heartthrobs of the era. Interestingly all blonde too, whereas I tend to think of our teenage crushes as generally being dark, for no apparent reason, unless it just made them seem more mysterious! That said, there was also the more brooding dark-haired Peter Duel and James Drury from The Virginian, who also resided on my sister’s green and brown painted bedroom walls…

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    1. Ha ha – Yes I had fun the other night laying them all out on our dining room floor. Just to reiterate however, I only found all this stuff when I cleared my parents’ loft but glad I kept it now – I don’t sit around all day pining over my teen idols honest! Yes the heartthrobs of the day were often people we barely think of nowadays, but looking at the contents of the folder there were many beautiful blond boys like Marty Kristian etc. As for The Virginian, my favourite actor was Doug McClure who played Trampas (also blond!).

      Here’s a thing – I showed my mum the pictures of David Cassidy last night, thinking she would remember them from my teenage bedroom wall. Needless to say she didn’t (the awful part about getting older) but she did think I was showing her pictures of a girl. It made be realise that most of our teen idols had really feminine faces (and still do) which made that whole idolatry thing somehow more acceptable, if you know what I mean. I will go before I get into tricky territory!

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  4. I’m impressed that you still have your teenage posters and are not too embarrassed to share them.
    One of my colleagues has a David Cassidy sticker on her filing cabinet!

    Davy Jones’ demise passed me by. I thought he was still with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just to reiterate again – I only have this stuff because I cleared my mum’s loft before she downsized! I honestly hadn’t laid eyes on these pics for years until I started the blog (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!). And no, I didn’t ever have a sticker of him on my filing cabinet at work, now that would be embarrassing! – A wistful sigh about filing cabinets though, as you know they took all mine away at my old job.

      Davy Jones actually died 5 years ago long before I started the blog but I chose to write about him after Bowie as he was also a David Jones at birth – Read up a bit about teen idols before I wrote this post and despite the fact that David Cassidy was omnipresent in the early ’70s, Davy Jones was apparently an even bigger teen idol in the late ’60s. Cute looking boys with great hair and feminine faces – The key to being a teen idol it seems!

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  5. Adorable! What a pic of those pin-ups! I loved the show when I was a kid. Have a vivid memory of biking to the library and checking out the Partridge Family’s Greatest Hits album and copying it to a cassette on my parents stereo. I should remember. It was about two weeks ago. Uh, maybe not. So many of our favorites from our youth are gone now. Where did the time go?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Brian – Nice of you to drop by. Glad you used the word “Adorable” because when CC dropped by he included the phrase “not too embarrassed” (!!), but I think I know where he was coming from!

      Yes I also used to do that thing whereby I borrowed lots of albums from the library then copied them to cassette on my parents excellent stereo – You ended up with an eclectic mix however and that was how I first discovered Julie London whom I wrote about just recently. Where did the time go as you say? – Some of these pin-ups still had the blu-tack on the corners that I would have attached when they first went up on my wall 45 years ago, yet I could remember well doing that. Scary stuff!

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  6. This is how out of touch I am at the moment: I didn’t even know he’d died, although I did wonder why they were playing I Think I Love You on the radio the other morning as it’s been years since I heard his version. It sounded great too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I didn’t really expect a Top Ten of David Cassidy songs but I thought you would have heard that news – You have been busy. I think everyone was taken aback by my vast collection of David Cassidy memorabilia but in my defence it was all from when I was about 12 and just turned up when I cleared out my parent’s loft (the lady doth protest too much, methinks!).

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  7. I used to watch The Partridge Family back in the day. Although I’ve heard it only once in my life, and that more than 40 years ago probably, I still remember the tune to “There’s a whole lot of me still hung on every little bit of you (little bit, just a little bit)”. 🙂 Preceded by Danny saying “Well, we could try that new song that Keith wrote”.

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