I just finished reading David Cassidy’s book, Could It Be Forever? My Story

David Concert playing “I Woke Up In Love This Morning” in a recent concert.

I am actually a little too young to remember singer and actor David Cassidy’s heyday. I was born in 1972, when The Partridge Family, the ABC sitcom in which he famously starred with his former stepmother, Shirley Jones, was still airing. But by the time it went off the air in 1974, I was still a little tyke. The Partridge Family was never as popular in syndication as rival show The Brady Bunch was, so I didn’t even see many reruns until I was an adult. I do like 70s nostalgia, though, so that was why I purchased Cassidy’s life story, Could It Be Forever?. Cassidy’s book was published in 2009 and updated in 2012. I read the updated version. Though I haven’t yet read Cassidy’s 1994 book, C’mon Get Happy: Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus, I did read a comment that Could It Be Forever is somewhat similar to that book. Since C’mon Get Happy isn’t available to be downloaded, I will have to wait until an actual copy of the book arrives before I can comment on the veracity of that observation.

Anyway, I just spent a couple of weeks reading Cassidy’s surprisingly long and detailed life story. I suppose I was interested, not just because he was a huge teen idol back in the day, but because I also read and reviewed his former stepmother Shirley Jones’ book, Shirley Jones: A Memoir. I was pretty shocked by some of what Shirley Jones wrote, particularly about her sons Shaun, Patrick, Ryan Cassidy, as well as her stepson, David. I was interested in reading more about the Cassidy family, particularly about Jack Cassidy, who famously sired these four men and led quite a colorful and checkered life.

Thanks to the success of The Partridge Family and David Cassidy’s wholesome good looks and musical talent, he became a huge star in the early 70s. You’d think that would be an amazing experience and perhaps it was at times. According to David Cassidy’s book, however, being a teen idol that packed thousands of screaming girls into arenas was not all it was cracked up to be. First of all, the pay wasn’t all that great. Cassidy explains that when he signed a contract to play Keith Partridge, he agreed to a very low salary. In the early 70s as his career in show business was taking off, he made a mere $600 a week. His initial contract also allowed his handlers to use his image to sell any products they chose, whether or not he truly endorsed them. He also had to sing songs and dress in outfits that didn’t reflect his actual tastes. Far from favoring the velour suits he and his co-stars wore on The Partridge Family, Cassidy favored jeans and t-shirts and real rock and roll over bubblegum pop.

David Cassidy singing “I Think I Love You” when he was still a young stud.

Cassidy writes that girls would send him fan mail that he never read. Some went as far as to send handmade gifts, like afghans and sweaters, that magazines would report that he put on his bed. Of course, these claims were untrue and Cassidy writes that all of his fan mail was handled by his handlers, who would encourage his young correspondents to join his mailing list and, of course, buy merchandise with his name and picture on it.

As his star power grew, David Cassidy lost his privacy. Girls would sneak into his dressing rooms before concerts or stalk him at home. He couldn’t walk down the street or have a meal in a restaurant unmolested by fans. In one chapter, Cassidy writes about spending some time in France and really enjoying himself because The Partridge Family wasn’t yet airing there. He was able to enjoy a break from stardom, sit in cafes, and do things without worrying about being mobbed by autograph seekers. But then when he got to England, he was reminded of who he was when he was stampeded by fans. Cassidy writes that he made and lost millions during his meteoric rise and fall in show business and he wishes he’d had someone competent and trustworthy handling his finances.

For all the money he made and made for other people, Cassidy often found himself alone. In one poignant passage, he writes about his handlers luring fans away with decoy limousines while he rode in the trunk of a Toyota. Because of the mobs he attracted, the nicer hotels wouldn’t let him stay, though his band usually got rooms in better hotels. Cassidy writes that he was put up in a shabby motel on the outskirts of town. To be fair to the hotels, I’m sure there was much more to it than the crowds of girls Cassidy attracted to their properties. But Cassidy doesn’t write about that in his book. In fact, there’s little in the book about his own behavior during those heady heydays. He comes off as more innocent than he probably really was.

While many people might scoff at David Cassidy’s complaints about stardom, I truly have some empathy for him. The way he describes it, his handlers treated him like a commodity, until he was no longer making them money. Then he was dumped like yesterday’s newspaper. It’s easy to roll your eyes at someone complaining about being a big star and how miserable the experience can be, but unless you’ve experienced such highs and lows in your professional life, I don’t think you can really comprehend how much of a roller coaster it is. I know I can’t– I can only imagine. That being said, Cassidy does indulge in some self-pity in this book that got tiresome after awhile.

One new thing I learned about David Cassidy is that he loves horses. In fact, he has successfully bred race horses for some time now. I had no idea he was a horse lover and as someone who also loves horses, I enjoyed reading about that. I also didn’t know that he was close friends with John Lennon. I enjoyed reading about David Cassidy’s friendship with the late Beatle, who happens to be my favorite of the Fab Four. I also appreciated the commentary he included by other people who witnessed his rise and fall from stardom.

David Cassidy has been married three times and has good things to say (circa 2012, at least) about first wife actress Kay Lenz and third wife, Sue Shifrin Cassidy (although I note that according to imdb.com, they have filed for divorce). He writes little about about his second wife, Meryl Ann Tanz, other than implying that she was abusive and has a “black soul”. He also writes little about his daughter with model Sherry Williams, actress Katie Cassidy, from whom he was estranged for awhile. He does write a bit about his son, Beau, with his third wife and makes it sound like they have a good relationship.

Unfortunately, it appears that like his father before him, David Cassidy has a problem with alcohol. In the past few years, he’s had three DWIs in three different states. He doesn’t really address these issues in the book, possibly because the first edition of it was published before his well publicized run ins with the law.

Overall, I thought Could It Be Forever? was basically well-written and interesting. It would have been nice if Cassidy had included some photos and been a bit more insightful. I’d still recommend this book to those who are interested in David Cassidy’s life story.