By Jeremy Miles
ONCE they were besotted schoolgirls, frenzied little bundles of teen hysteria who threw themselves at his feet nightly. Today they are women in their 40s, but still they worship their seventies idol David Cassidy.
The American actor who became a pop star by accident after becoming a TV pin-up in the programme The Patridge Family has long become used to the fact that he seems to be a primary cause of arrested development in women of a certain age.
“The fans are very devoted,” he admits. “I did a concert a few weeks back and it was very reminiscent of the early days: a lot of passion, a lot sweating, a lot of screaming. I’ve been very, very lucky.”
Quite how lucky it is to be doomed to drive fanatical forty somethings into a sweating, screaming , swoon is of course debatable but Cassidy seems only slightly bemused his strange power.
He is currently enjoying pop superstardom a second time around. He originally quit while still at the height of his fame. He had scored a string of mega-selling hits and found his face on every teen magazine in existence. It was, he says, quite an experience, but enough was enough.
Not surprisingly for a trained actor he returned to the theatre, Tv and other projects.
But three years ago he hit the road again with the first of what would turn out to be a series of nostalgia tours. To his amazement he discovered that the hysteria that had been rife in the seventies, had not gone away but had merely been lying dormant waiting to be reactivated.
So it is that he will be back at the Bournemouth international centre on May 5 on yet another tour singing hits like Chrish and Could It Be Forever and watching the women in the stalls go wild.
At 55 though he’s clearly had enough. This, he says, will be his final UK tour. Not that Cassidy puts it quite that way. When he spoke to me a couple of weeks ago in a phone call from is American home, he lowered his voice to a whisper as he spoke of the incredible support he had received from his fans but how he wants to spend more time with his family particularly his 13-year-old son. “It’s a crucial age and he needs me to be there for him unfortunately that just isn’t possible when you’re travelling away from home all the time.
“I’m sure i’ll come back and do an occasional concert in London or Manchester one of the big cities, but this is the last major UK tour.”
Cassidy is also putting a block on touring in the States or getting involved in any major , time consuming long-term projects. “I just need to get my life in balance. I need to commit myself to spending quality time at home.” I wouldn’t rule out doing a Broadway play for maybe three months but nothing that’s going to tie me up more than that. I won’t allow myself to become slave to work.”
The current UK tour he says is a thank you to the fans who have supported him so loyally over the past 30 years.
I am so pleased that people care about what I do and I hope they’ll continue to appreciate my work whether it’s as an actor singer, writer or producer. I love to entertain, it’s what I do.
The concert at the BIC will of course include all his big hits but Cassidy is also going to pay homage to the music that inspired him back in the 1960s, including a few numbers by the fab four.
“Those were the records that really excited me when I was growing up. After I saw the Beatles on television I went out and bought an electric guitar. I have a unique relationship that material and I want to share it with people.”