As doctors warned earlier this week, former “Partridge Family” star David Cassidy died Tuesday in Florida at 67, after suffering multiple organ failure following a three-year battle with dementia. His family released a statement that you can read at the link. Our prayers and sympathies are with them.
It’s been interesting to see the level of media coverage and the outpouring of grief and comments on social media concerning David Cassidy’s passing. While he had a long career of touring, TV roles and playing Broadway and Las Vegas, there’s no denying that the peak of his teen idol fame was over 40 years in the past. Yet fans who might not have thought much about him in decades are pouring out their hearts online about how deeply his death has affected them. There could be several reasons. For many women who were young girls in the early ‘70s, he was their first crush, and I’m sure you never forget that. And it’s always sobering when you hear that someone whose youthful image is frozen in your memory as if preserved in amber has died, especially when that person is suffering a disease such as dementia. It’s a stark, unwelcome reminder that time doesn’t slow down for any of us.
Then again, maybe many fans aren’t just mourning the death of David Cassidy, but the passing of that whole innocent era he represented, when squeaky-clean pop idols like Keith Partridge or Davy Jones crooned age-appropriate silly love songs about holding hands or sharing a first kiss. In recent years, music aimed at young teenagers – rap, hip-hop and pop stars from Britney Spears to Christina Aguilera to Miley Cyrus -- has been steadily pushing the envelope for violent and sexualized lyrics, skimpy costumes and “dance” moves taken straight from porn videos. “The Partridge Family” might seem corny and unbelievably wholesome now, but is there a parent of a teenager anywhere who doesn’t wish we could turn back the clock to that “corny” time before the music, TV and fashion industries started peddling sex, violence and profanity to our kids 24/7?